Monday, May 31, 2010

Madness Monday

Grandpa Jasper and Grandma Jane Pierce (Part IV)

I haven’t talked about the hunt for my 2nd great grandparents, Jasper and Jane Pierce, in awhile. The reason being at this point, there has been nothing to report.

If you will recall, in my last post on Grandpa Jasper and Grandma Jane, I had decided to try knocking on a few doors in White Plains via snail mail. I had planned to contact White Plains Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church, and Mrs. Mamie Hillman (Greene County African –American Cultural Museum and Resource Center).

  1. White Plains Baptist Church did check their records for my ancestors and notified me that they did not have any records for Grandpa Jasper or Grandma Jane.
  2. I’ve not heard from Mrs. Hillman or the Greene County African-American Cultural Museum and Resource Center. In trying to follow up on my snail mail correspondence, I’ve called and left messages at the telephone number listed on the Greene County African American Cultural Museum and Resource Center website as well as submitting a message via their website but as of yet, no response. I’m beginning to wonder if they are still in existence.
  3. I’ve not written Second Baptist Church, yet. I’m still trying to determine a mailing address for them. I’ve tried searching online but all I find listed is Kilpatrick St., not even a street number. Based my initial attempts to write other organizations in Greene County, I would suspect that they have a post office box. Anybody have any tips on determining this? Would one just call the post office there? Do post offices give out that type of information? I’ve tried calling Second Baptist but it’s usually during the week and there is of course no one there. They don’t have an answering system, so I can’t leave a message.

What now?

I will continue with my efforts to try to contact Mrs. Hillman and Second Baptist Church but I’m also using other avenues to try to determine my ancestors’ last slave owner.

A few weeks ago (May 8), I ventured back to the Family History Center and ordered more microfilm and now am waiting for them to come in. Microfilms ordered were:

  • White Plains Baptist Church Records, 1806 – 1921
    • This was ordered prior to hearing from White Plains Baptist Church. Even though the church stated they had no record of my 2nd great grandparents, I will still check. Perhaps they overlooked them.
  • Greene County GA Probate court Index to Records, 1790 – 1942
    • This was ordered in hopes of 1) determining if there was any information available for Jesse F. Pierce. In previous posts, I laid the groundwork for why I believe Jesse Pierce was my ancestors last slave owner. I realize that he was still living in 1870 and 1880; however, I’m hoping that a probate record, if available, may still reveal something about his relationship to my ancestors.
    • The other reason I ordered this is for the slim possibility that there may have been probate record(s) for Grandpa Jasper.
  • Greene County GA Deeds General Index v. A-B 1785 – 1889
    • I wasn’t sure whether I should order this one as it was unclear whether there were two volumes, labeled A and B, or whether it was surnames A-B. This was also ordered to try to gain information about Jesse F. Pierce and his property.
I’m also continuing to read up on the history of Greene County and am currently reading Tenants of the Almighty by Arthur F. Raper.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


My first cousin, Vera, had this tote bag made for mom and her remaining siblings (Uncle Melvin, Aunt Lue, and Aunt Frances) for the 2008 Pierce reunion. The names you see under their pictures are their nicknames.

This picture is from the collection of the owner of this blog.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Wyvonia Hosch Robinson
1934 - 1959
Boxwood Baptist Church Cememtery

Wyvonia is my first cousin, once removed. She is the daughter of my grand uncle, Will Hosch, and Maudie Johnson Hosch.

The picture is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Who is She?

Is this the infamous half sister, Mattie Henyard Martin, that only my grandmother seem to know about and thus only our line of my great grandparents descendants have ever heard about?

According to Little Irene, which is what mom and I both call our new found cousin, this picture hung on her grandmother Irene Martin Richardson's wall. There are no dates or names on the picture. Little Irene says some of the family says it's her grandmother's mother and others say that it's her grandmother's grandmother.

Both my mother and aunt Lucille recall seeing a picture of their Aunt Mattie but it's been so long ago that neither can say for sure whether the person in this picture resembles the person in the picture they remember seeing so many years ago.

This week, I talked with cousin Irene about trying to use the power of the internet to try to determine who the lady in this picture is. Both of us figured what have we got to lose. So, we are hopeful that somebody out there sees and recognizes this picture and can tell us who this pretty lady is.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Bessie Mae Jackson Thomas
May 12 1914 - April 26, 1950
Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery
Monroe, Walton County, GA

Bessie is my 2nd cousin once removed (momma's first cousin). She is the daughter of Effie Pierce Jackson, grand aunt, and Arthur Hillman Jackson.

Picture obtained via photo request at FindAGrave.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Madness Monday

A Brief Return to the Hunt For Uncle Felton

After reading Ann Coffins’s post, SS-5 Waiting Game, about requesting a SS5 for someone who is not in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), I decided, once again, that I would try to determine what happened to Uncle Felton (my grand uncle) after 1919.

In my last post on Uncle Felton, Continuing the Hunt for Uncle Felton, I showed based on his military summary card, received from the Georgia State Archives, he did not die during WWI. In fact, he never even went overseas. He was in the reserves and was only in for six months. In addition, as mentioned in earlier posts, my mother remembers him coming to North Carolina when she was a child, to visit his big sister (that would be grandmom) and his nieces and nephews (mom and her siblings). This means that in the early 1930’s he was still alive.

Based on mom’s remembrances, I thought chances were good that he might have had a social security number even though I’ve not been able to find any documentation for Uncle Felton after 1919. I figured if he applied for a SSN that would at least give me a clue as to his movements after he was discharged from the army. So, I submitted a request for his SS5 application, along with the $29 fee on April 28th and continued working on other projects while I waited to hear back.

I received a response on Monday, May 10. I knew as soon as I felt the envelope, that there was no SS5 application inside. Initially, I wasn’t even going to open the envelope as I thought it was probably a letter stating that they had no SS5 application on file for him. However, I decided to go ahead and open it and see what was said.

Well, it’s your typical form letter, but the letter implies that there is an SS5 application on file for Uncle Felton but they don’t have any death information on him; therefore, the record can’t be released until I’m able to prove Uncle Felton’s death. Uhhh, given the fact that if he’s alive he would be 114 years old, can we just assume that he’s no longer with us. I understand the rule but doesn’t common sense need to take over at some point.

So, my frustration level in tracking Uncle Felton’s life continues to mount. How can my grand Uncle not leave some type of clues along the way for me, his grand niece, to figure out what happened to him after 1919? Did he get married? Did he have children? Did he die alone with no family around?

Uncle Felton’s life consumes and fascinates me almost as much as that of my great grandmother Fannie, Uncle Felton’s mother. So frustrations aside, I will continue to hunt for clues and hopefully, one day, this mystery will be solved. In the meantime, I’m back to the hunt for the last slave owner of Grandpa Jasper and Grandma Jane.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My first cousin, Bridie Ruth Hosch, in her younger days

From the personal collection of L. Evans

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Renous H. Jackson
1927 - 1943
Fellowship Church Cemetery
Monroe, Walton, GA

Renous is my second cousin once removed (my mother's first cousin).

Picture obtained via photo request at FindAGrave.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Mother's Day Poem

I came across this Mother's Day poem which reflects how I feel on this day and everyday.

My Mother

Who fed me from her gentle breast,
And hush'd me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
My Mother.

When sleep forsook my open eyes,
Who was it sung sweet lullaby,
And soothed me that I should not cry?
My Mother.

Who sat and watch'd my infant head,
When sleeping on my cozy bed;
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

Who lov'd to see me pleased and gay,
And taught me sweetly how to play,
And minded all I had to say?
My Mother.

Who ran to help me when I fell.
And would some pretty story tell.
Or kiss the place and make it well?
My Mother.

Who taught my infant heart to pray,
And love God's holy book and day;
And taught me wisdom's pleasant way?
My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who was so very kind to me,
My Mother?

Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare,
I hope I shall reward thy care,
My Mother.

And when I see thee hang thy head,
'Twill be my turn to watch thy bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed,
My Mother.

For God, who lives above the skies,
Would look with vengeance in his eyes,
If I should ever dare despise
My Mother.

~ Anne Taylor

Poem obtained from Making-Greeting-Cards.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Matrilineal Line

It’s been awhile since I participated in one of Randy Seaver’s, Genea-Musings, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenges. This week, the mission, if we chose to accept it, is

1) List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!

2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.

3) Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Note or status line on Facebook.

My maternal lineage is

1. Me
2. Mom
3. Mary Magdalene Pierce (1890 – 1966)
4. Frances “Fannie” White (abt. 1867 – abt 1916)

I have several surnames for Fannie but to date, the White surname is the only one that I have been able to document.

I had my mother’s mtDNA tested through If you read the series of posts that I did on ancestral DNA, you are aware of the problems that I encountered with regard to haplogroup assignment by Ancestry. I retested on myself, doing the full sequence mtDNA test, through Family Tree DNA and am awaiting those results.

Based on 1) a cousin testing through National Geographic and 2) inputting the results from Ancestry into various databases, my haplogroup should come back as L3e1a. There were 5 exact matches in mitosearch but all only tested the HVR1 region. There were no exact matches in the Sorenson database or the Ancestry database.

On my paternal side, the matrilineal line of my father is

1. Iola Everett (1893 – 1969)
2. Edith Ewell (abt 1864 – 1917)
3. Pennie Ewell (abt 1840 – unk)

Dad’s mtDNA testing was done through Family Tree DNA. His maternal Haplogroup is L3e1. There were 5 matches at the high resolution level (HVR1 + HVR2). I’ve only had contact with one of the matches, who I now consider a DNA cousin. However, at this point we were unable to connect our families and due to the veil of slavery, I doubt that we will ever be able to connect the dots.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Sheats Cemetery ca 2010
Walton County, GA

Current inhabitants

Everytime I see pictures of the current state of the cemetery where some of my ancestors are interred, I'm deeply saddened and of course angered that it's being used for cattle (goats) grazing. Last year, from the moment I saw my great grandfather's tombstone,  I've wanted to resecue this old cemtery. Even if I had the means, I'm not sure it could be done as the property is privately owned. And yet, I take comfort in the fact that through the kindness of volunteers, I was able to obtain those now treasured pictures of my ancestors tombstones.

Pictures obtained from Ed Saye via FindaGrave.