Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Stirrings from Matilda

I find it ironic that tonight I came across a notebook of information that I had started on about 10 years ago. As I've renewed my search, I kept thinking I had more notes somewhere but I've always tried to keep everything in my trusty file box so I just assumed everything that I had done up until 1998 was in that file box.

I wasn't even looking for this notebook tonight. I was acutally looking for a booklet from one of the Pierce family reunions. Was looking in a cabinet that I rarely ever go in and came across the notebook. As soon as I touched it, I knew it was more old genealogical notes.

In it was all the correspondence between me and another one of the descendants of my Hosch slave owners. She is a direct descendant of Henry Hosch, gggrandmother Matilda's last documented slave owner. Now I know grandmom Matilda lead me to this notebook tonight. I mean it's only been in that drawer for I don't know how long. So, now that she's lead me back to it, I have to determine what treasure lies within that I've missed during all those years of inactivity.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Mother and Son

One of the benefits and joys of doing this blog has been my mother and I sitting down and looking through old pictures. Some I've seen before and it's like I'm seeing them again for the first time and other's I just don't recall seeing before although my mother has had them all along. This picture would fall into the latter category. This is a picture of my grandmother, Mary Pierce Hosch, and my Uncle Willie Felton Hosch. Uncle Willie is one of many Willies on the Hosch side of my family but was named after my grandmother's brother, Willie Felton. One of the reasons I like this picture is the illusion it creates. It's not that Uncle Willie was that tall but that grandmom was that short (under 5').

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

This is the tombstone of my 2ggrandmother's, Matilda, owner. GGGrandmother was a little girl when Matthew Hosch died. The proceedings from his estate incidicate that she was to go to Francis R. Hosch. Francis was more than likely Matthew's daughter as he had a daughter, Frances Rebecca Hosch.

Now the confusing part that I've yet to figure out is that somewhere along the way gggrandmom some how ended up with Matthew's son, Henry. Henry died during the civil war and the appraisal of his estate shows Matilda. Now cousin Roy always had a theory that Matthew's slave, Dave, was our Matilda's father because they both ended up with Henry. In the settlement of Matthew Hosch's estate, Dave was to go to Henry.

So much to get caught up on and understand.

Until next time!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thoughts on a Monday Evening

After reading about many of the trials and tribulations many of my Genefamily have had in trying to communicate with the descendants of their slave owning family, I've always been grateful to the descendants of the slave owners of my Hosch ancestors. Perhaps it's the hunger and drive they have for their own ancestry and the problems they have encountered along the way that makes them so willing to help, or perhaps it's as cousin Roy said one time that they treated our ancestors like family even though we were property and while we are generations removed from that instittution which joined us and both families have gone on, perhaps that connection is still at the core of both sets of descendants. Whatever it is, I'm glad that it is there.

Since Saturday, Millie and I have had a few e-mails back and forth. She's provided me with a 59 page Word Document of the lineage of the branch of my slave owning family. In return I had the opportunity to tell her about the book, Nevah come back no mo' by Clarence Robert Hosch. She told me that she hadn't known about the book until I told her.

And so now as I sit trying to figure out the perfect way to close out this post, only one thing comes to mind: Blest Be the Tie that Binds.

Until Next Time!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ahnentafel Roulette

It's Saturday night and you know what that means, it's time for Saturday Night Genealogy fun with Randy Seavers at Genea-Musings.

Instructions were as follows:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

  1. How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."
  2. Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?
  3. Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."
  4. Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.
  5. If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!
Starting out with step 1, my father is 81 years old. Following the instructions, my roulette number would be 20.25, which rounds to 20. The 20th person on my pedigre chart is my 2ggrandfather, Henry Everett. Since I only determined Henry's name a couple of months ago, I didn't have much to tell, yet, on Henry, so I spun again using myself.
My new roulette number is 12 and the 12th person on my pedigree chart is my ggrandfather Barto / Bartow Hosch.
Three facts about Barto Hosch
  • Barto was probably born a slave. The 1870 census indicates that he was 7 years old which means he was born abt. 1863, two years prior to the end of the civil war.
  • Based on the ages of my granddad and my great uncles on the 1900 census, Barto died between 1890 and 1900.
  • In 1880, his occupation is listed as Farm Laborer. He was single and still lived with his mother, Matilda, in District 243 in Jackson County, GA
Until Next Time!

In the Midst of it All - A Voice Calls

I know many of my new found geneafamily long for things of this nature, so it's with shame that I say I can't believe I've not at some point during these past 10 years taken the time to read Nevah come back no mo' by Clarence Robert Hosch, which contains references to my 2ggrandmother, Matilda Hosch.

You know the story of after moving back home in 1998, I essentially pushed my research to the side for a host of reasons / excuses. So, although between cousin Roy Hosch and myself but mostly Roy, we've been able to push back into the slavery era of our ancestors, it wasn't until this year, when my hunger and passion for the hunt were renewed that I actually sat down to digest Roy's work.

Even so, getting back to researching my Hosch ancestors has been sporadic at best because so far this year I've been consumed with ggrandmom Fannie and ggrandmom Martha Jones (paternal granddad's mom). Plus for some reason, there's that little chink in my personality that wants to be at the same level on all lines at the same time. I know this isn't a reality but it's still a part of who I am that I must contend with. But the ancestors always seem to have a different set of requirements. So, in an ever so subtle way gggrandmom Matilda spurred me to not forget about my Hosch and Rome ancestors. All I did was simply respond to an old post on Ancestry. It's funny that I didn't even know there was a Hosch surname board on Ancestry until this week and I really don't even remember what I was looking for when I discovered it. The poster was asking about one of their Hosch ancestors. My response was to tell them that line moved to Georgia. It wasn't even the original poster that responded to my response but another poster, one of the descendants of my slave owing family. After a couple of e-mails, discovered that she had talk via e-mail to cousin Roy years ago. Now I don't know if this the same person I had contact with myself back then but either way, I've always appreciated the extended hand that I have received from my Hosch slave owners descendants and have always prayed that my other lines are this way too.

So, I feel that I'm coming full circle on the Hosch ancestral journey. First it was me informing Roy of who some of the ancestors, like uncle Hosea, were. Then it was Roy informing me, as he found our slave owning family, and now perhaps back to me to continue on the path.

So, you know what I'm going to be working on this weekend. Yes, I will be trying to catch up on gggrandmom Matilda by reading the excerpts of Nevah come back no mo' , sent by cousin Roy all those years ago. Obviously, gggrandmom feels that there is still work to be done here, so I must heed her calling.

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Green Bethel High School, Class of 1945

This is a picture of my mother's graduating class. My mother is the shortest, smallest person on the front row. (She only weighed 95lbs when she headed off to college. Too bad I didn't take after her.) Can you guess who her best friend might have been? Hint: She's on the front row and stands in stark contrast to mom.

Two of mom's teachers were still living during my lifetime. One, Ms. Ball, standing directly behind mom, use to come visit us all the time. I think mom must have been one of her favorite students.

Updated on 09/20/09 - Mom corrected me. She was in the class of 1945 instead of 1944, so there was a small correction to the title of this post.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Story of Two Aunts and One Man

Martha E. Jones and Genva C. Hosch Jackson

To date, I’ve not come across any true black sheep in my family. There are probably those that present and deceased family consider / considered black sheep but in the true sense of black sheep are not. As a result, I never have had anything to contribute to Black Sheep Sunday and even this is not about Black Sheep but the funny story of two aunts, my dad’s big sis, Martha, my mother’s baby sister, Geneva, and one man, Cleveland. I thought that Black Sheep Sunday was the perfect day to remember it.

Now I don’t think I was born when this story took place (if I was I don’t remember any of it) and to tell you the truth, I’m not even sure my parents were married at the time. So, it’s another story that was relayed to me by my mother and it’s one I laugh at every time my mother tells it because having known both aunts, I know all of this took place in exactly the manner as my mother tells it.

Until I find out differently, let’s just assume that my parents were married at the time this story takes place. My two aunts, Martha and Geneva, were both dating Cleveland at the same time. Now my mother knew they were both seeing the same man. Dad on the other hand didn’t. So, as time went by whenever Aunt Martha saw Cleveland’s mother, she would say there goes my mother-in-law, etc., etc., etc. Now momma could have told Aunt Martha that Cleveland was seeing someone else but mom never said a word. Momma, you know you were wrong for that.

I’m sure by now you can guess where this story is heading. Yes, it was soon announced that Aunt Geneva and Cleveland were getting married. Reportedly dad says to mom, “I didn’t know your sister was seeing Sister’s boyfriend.” Mom always thought it was more that Aunt Martha was seeing her sister’s boyfriend.

One day, after she and Cleveland were married Aunt Geneva, I imagine with her usual cackle, asked her hubby why he decided to marry her instead of Aunt Martha given the fact that Aunt Martha was a school teacher and all and she was just a country girl who longed for the action of the big city. Uncle Cleveland liked Aunt Martha but thought she was just a little too bossy.

Aunt Martha never married. She doted on her 6 nieces and nephews. She never forgot our birthdays. To a certain degree, she was the preserver of the bit of family history that I do have on the paternal side of my family. The older pictures that I have of my Jones, Ewell, and Everett ancestors were Aunt Martha’s. She’s the only person I personally know that has been back to the motherland, Africa. She did a couple of trips bringing goodies back each time. (I have some of her artifacts.) Aunt Martha died in 2000. I get constant reminders of her presence, whether it is looking after her house, which she left to my dad, rummaging through the pictures for something to post for Wordless Wednesday, or just staring at the masks and sculptures that she brought back from Africa that now have a place of honor in my own home.

Aunt Geneva, my cousin Leon (Aunt Geneva’s son) and Uncle Cleveland moved to Detroit. Aunt Geneva and Uncle Cleveland eventually added my cousin Maynard to their family. Aunt Geneva was always sending us packages from the big city. One of my favorite dolls and one of my favorite elementary school outfits came from Aunt Geneva. Aunt Geneva died in August 1995. My last remembrance of seeing Aunt Geneva is May of 1995 when she came to North Carolina to attend Uncle John’s funeral. She stayed with Aunt Marie. Aunt Marie didn’t have a microwave. Aunt Geneva upon realizing that Aunt Marie lacked this vital appliance declared in true Aunt Geneva fashion, “Awww Marie, everyone needs a microwave. When I get back to Detroit, I’m going to send you a microwave.” And she did.

So, there you have it, the story of two aunts and one man.

Until Next Time!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thinking Out Loud, Gathering my Thoughts

Today I decided to try to organize my thoughts, via the blog, by answering a few of my geneafrineds questions from this past Thursday's Trying to Build a Case.

This post will try to answer questions posed by geneafriend Michael Hait.

  • Do you have death certificates and SS applications for your grandmother and ALL of her siblings?
Here is the breakdown of information for grandmom and her siblings. Grandmom and 2 of her sisters didn't work.
Grandmom's death cert - granddad was informant. Fannie's surname, Henry, is listed there, which matches what mom says grandmom told her and what I've been told all these years.
Grandmom's youngest sister, Ossie, no. The informants for her death certificate would have been one of her children. From this branch of the family is how I learned of the White surname for Fannie. Had never heard it prior to this year.
Grandmom's older half sister Mattie, no death cert. She died right on the cusp of Georgia beginning to keep death records. Have not been able to locate a death cert. for her. However, due to there also being some confusion about Mattie's surname, yesterday, I ordered the SS application of her daughter Sallie to see what it has for Mattie's surname. Should say that I'm not sure that Mattie is great grandmom Fannie's child but based on the census records, unaccounted for children, I believe that Mattie is ggrandmom's child. My grandmother didn't pass on which parent Mattie belonged to just that Matt was the oldest and a 1/2 sibling. Mattie is the sibling that none of the rest of the branches of the tree seem to know about.
Roy, grandmom's youngest brother - only the SS app, which was in previous post and indicates Fannie's surname as White. Did not obtain his death cert.
Evelina, grandmom's oldest full blooded sibling, death cert - informant her husband, indicates White. It was Evelina's death cert. that made me finally start paying attention to the White surname.
Effie, has been ordered and waiting on it's arrival. The informant will probably be her husband.
Brothers Claude and Willie Felton - don't know what happened to either one. Nobody in the family even knows of Claude. Mom remembers Felton visiting grandmom when mom was young and remembers seeing pics of him in WWI uniform. Outside of that nothing. Have tried checking online military records for him and come up empty.
  • For death certificates, investigate the informants of each one. Who were they? Did any of them provide info on more than one of the certificates? Did any of the informants have first-hand knowledge?
The ggrandparents were already dead when her children started dying. Of the death certs obtained, all of the informants were the spouses, who were from the same area as their mates. For aunt Ossie, her husband was already deceased when she died so, more than likely, one of her children would have been the informant. For Roy, the informant more than likely was his wife. They had no children and she was still living at the time. Also, Aunt Ossie would have still be living when Roy died.
  • Also, have you obtained SS apps for anyone not listed in the SSDI? SS numbers also appear on many death certificates and some military service files
Grandmom didn't work and was buried under granddad's SS benefits (granddad's SSN is what appears on grandmom's death cert). 2 of her sisters died before there was a SS system plus they didn't work. Sister Effie didn't work. Uncle Felton might have been in WWI but I haven't been able to locate any military records on him. Are there other places I should be trying to find WWI records?
  • Do marriage records provide parents' names in Georgia, like they do in some other states? If so, get marriage records for your grandparents & all of her siblings - esp. if any were married more than once
No, at least not during the time period I'm looking at.
  • Have you checked for birth records? (Not sure when Georgia started recording births.) But don't forget delayed birth certificates - many people recorded these in the 1930s so they would qualify for SS benefits
Georgia didn't start recording births until 1919. Grandparents and their siblings were all in the late 1800s. That being said, some counties have prior records. Oconee is one (started recording births in 1875). Since the great uncles indicated on their WWI draft cards, they were born in Watkinsville, I am planning to check there.
  • Check for obituaries for all siblings
Have the one's for grandmom (1966), uncle Roy (1971), and aunt Ossie (1991). Will ask the cousins if they have one for Aunt Effie (died in 1951). Other 2 sisters died early 1900s and I've not come across any. The other 2 brothers, don't know when or where they died.
  • (This one is obvious.) Check for all federal census records for grandmother & siblings, with her parents. Were there any families living nearby (within a few pages before & after) bearing the same surnames as those provided for your grandmother's mother in any of the other sources
Have checked and rechecked. 1900 and 1910 censuses for Walton County, GA - Unless I've missed them, there are no families in the neighborhood with any of the surnames I have for ggrandmom Fannie. Ggranddad, I can trace back to Greene County, GA and I've even checked there and have come up with nothing.
Based on everything my mother's told me over the years, grandmom never mentioned any aunts or uncles on her mother's side. She talked about her uncle Lon, ggranddad's brother, who also migrated to Walton county and lived beside them. Grandmom mentioned the ethnicity of her grandmothers or at least one of them but there were never names attached to the her grandparents, so I don't know if grandmom met her grandparents or if that was what was told to her.

Friday, September 4, 2009

More Bits of Information From the Peach State

Yesterday, in my excitement and delight at receiving Uncle JD’s social security application, I totally missed there was a big brown envelope with Walton County in the return address. The package was from the probate court and contained a a certificate (transcribed from the original) for Cornelius and Fannie’s marriage. As suspected, there was no information beyond my great grandparents name at the time of marriage and the date they were married. Based on my grandparents’ marriage certificate, I really wasn’t expecting much more than this. Unfortunately, early Georgia marriage certificates, at least the one’s that I have seen, don’t provide a wealth of information.

The probate court officer also informed me that they do have records on Cornelius’ estate; however, they cannot make copies from the book. I, or a foot solider, would need to go there and transcribe or photograph this information. The Probate court will now be a definite stop during the research trip.

Yesterday, I also received documentation from the Walton County, GA Superior Court on the sale of great-granddad’s farm. From a genealogical prospective, there wasn’t any information there but it did perhaps give a different insight into what may have been going on in my great grandmother Fannie’s mind after the death of ggranddad.

I told this story when I first began this blog and hope that you don’t mind hearing it, again. This is from my grandmother’s perspective as relayed to my mother and on to me. Per my grandmother, after the death of great granddad Cornelius, great grandmom Fannie stated that she wasn’t planning to marry again because of the way great granddad had treated her. (Ggranddad reportedly left his family for a brief period, chasing after some woman. But I guess the grass was not greener, so he returned home.) However, as the story goes, some 'ole “Negro” started hanging around shortly after great granddad’s death and next thing you know, great grandmother tried to get all of her children from under foot by marrying off all her daughters that were of marrying age and still in the home. My great aunt, Ossie, was still a child at the time of her father’s death and ended up living with my grandparents, who married a few months after ggranddad's death, for a while.

Now having read about the sale of my ggrandparents’ farm, I wonder if great grandmom might have actually been trying to protect herself and her family from an uncertain future. At the time of his death in May of 1910, the bank and ggranddad owned his farm (i.e. he had a mortgage). Back in those days, I know even for white families, the death of a spouse / dad typically meant, they lost everything. I’m sure that it was even worse for African-American families who, even in the midst of Jim Crow, were trying to have a little something for themselves and their descendants. As best as I can tell, ggrandmom Fannie didn’t work. In Nov. 1911, the farm was sold, probably to pay off the mortgage. In my way of thinking, maybe, just maybe, what my grandmother interpreted as her mother selling out her family for the sake of a man was actually ggrandmom trying to secure a future for her family, especially her girls. Perhaps she knew her boys, although young, would be okay and thought the best way for she and her girls to be okay was to be attached to a man. Either way, things seem to have worked out okay for my grandmother and her two younger sisters.

Now that I know there is documentation of my ggrandfather’s “estate,” I pray that I can get down to Walton County soon to view it. I’m also praying that there may be that little nugget of information is there that will help me to continue on to follow the footsteps of both of my ggrandparents.

Until Next Time!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Trying to Build a Case - Bit by Bit

I received Uncle Roy "JD" Pierce's SS Application today. All I can say is that right now, the "White" Surname is wining out for ggrandmom Fannie. My grandmother and the Martin cousins appear to be the outliers. Does that make their knowledge wrong, I don't think so but it does raise a lot of questions.

  1. Based on the documentation I've assembled to date, why is my grandmother the only one of her full bloodied siblings that handed down a different surname? Did my grandmother know something that the rest of her siblings didn't? There does appear to be one thing that she knew that no one else seem to know (at least no one else handed it down), her older half-sister Mattie.
  2. Another peculiarity noted on Roy Pierce's SSN Application is that on the SS Application, Uncle JD states that he was born in Monroe, Walton, GA. However, his WWI Draft card says he was born in Watkinsville, as did his brothers. Oconee and Walton county are neighbors. Uncle JD applied for his SS card in 1940, 23 years after his WWI draft card.
  3. Lastly, I noted that the SSN application says corrected application. Would appreciate comments and insight into what that could mean.

For now, until I can find something to document the other surnames, I will concentrate on White since that is the only one that I can actually document. By the way, I'm still waiting to receive a copy of the marriage certificate for Cornelius and Fannie. I'm really not expecting it to reveal a lot (my grandparent's just had their names and the date of marriage).

So I make this decision with the surname but it feels like it doesn't help because I don't know anything about Fannie's family. There is a Fannie White, age 2, listed on the 1870 census in Walton County. This could be her but without having a clue as to her other family members, I'm just guessing. And for some reason it just doesn't feel like her (but that could just be me). There has never been a mention of any relatives on Fannie's side of the family. I am still waiting on the death certificate of my grandmother's cousin, Claude Durden to see if that can shed any light on the mysterious one.

So Luckie, Felicia, Allum, Sandra and all my fellow genealogist, where should I go from here? Should I wait until I hopefully receive all the other items requested (Aunt Effie's death certificate, cousin Claude's death certificate, the ggrandparent's marriage certificate, etc.) Do I continue to look in Walton county?


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Cousin Eula Mae Jackson Fifer
Daughter of Evelina Pierce Jackson and Jim Jackson
(1918 - 2003)