July 2014

S M T W T F S
  12 345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Shakin' the Family Tree on Facebook

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 09:49 pm
She died nearly 7 years before I was born, so I never knew my paternal great-grandmother.

According to what my dad and his sister have told me, if I had only known her at the end of her life, I really wouldn't have known her at all. At the end of her life, Julia Ann Callaway McBrayer Herrington lived with her daughter, Addie Louise Herrington Burris, in the house at 8th and Crittenden in Arkadelphia. The place my dad called home.
Seen from the eyes of children, as my dad and aunt were when their grandmother died, Grandma Herrington had changed. Now, she had a sharp tongue and shrill disposition.

Not like the grandmother of their memories when they were younger.

And not like the memories of my grandmother, Louise Herrington Burris.

I don't have Julia Ann's death certificate. The State of Arkansas couldn't find it for me. So I don't know her official cause of death.

I do know that she died on Wednesday, 12 Dec 1951, at her daughter Inez's house, while my grandparents were on an errand. I don't know if her death was expected, but I also don't have the impression that she was on death's door when my grandparents took her to stay with Inez that day.

Maybe Julia decided, as I know of many others who have, to take her leave while the person who cared for her was away.

Maybe she didn't want my grandmother to see her die.
I can only speculate about Julia Ann's early life.

She was the daughter of my primo brick wall ancestors, Mary C Dunn, and Allen Mason Lowery "Mace" Callaway.

According to the historic records I've accumulated, Julia Ann was the only living child that Mary and Mace had in the 11 years of their marriage prior to Mace's death. She was only 4 years old when her father died, so I wonder how much of him she remembered. I wonder if surely, she knew where he was buried. (I haven't found his grave.)

Julia Ann couldn't have known her father as the man he was before he served in the Civil War. Neither could her mother have known *that* man, as Mary and Mace didn't marry until 1866.

In the 1880 census, Julia Ann was living with her mother, new step-father, David Andrew Williams, and her step-sister, Mary Etta Williams in Clark County.

I know nothing about how the two girls - 4 years apart in age, with Mary Etta the eldest - got along.

In 1881, the girls got a new brother, Rubin Ned Williams. Almost a year to the day afterward, they got another baby brother, William Andrew Williams.

A few years after Willie's birth, David Andrew Williams fell ill with an unknown disease that caused wasting of muscles and a great deal of pain. He died on 23 Jan 1888, when Julia Ann was 14 years old, and her little brothers were 6 and 5.

Her mother did not marry again.
On 13 Dec 1891, Julia Ann Callaway married for the first time to Robert Bruce McBrayer.

Robert's family would have been well known to Julia Ann and her mother. They lived in the DeGray community of Clark County, and both families attended the same church.

Julia Ann and Robert McBrayer had 8 children together, including a set of twin daughters and a child who was stillborn. Robert McBrayer died of "kidney trouble" on 1 Jun 1905 at the age of 34, leaving 32 year old Julia Ann with 7 children, the oldest of whom was 13.

I think Julia Ann must have mourned him. She did not remarry for over 2 years.

On 19 Oct 1907, Julia Ann McBrayer married a widower with 5 children. He was Jasper Monroe Herrington, and he and Julia Ann had 6 children together, including two sets of twins, one of whom was my grandmother. They lived in DeGray in what has been described to me as a dog-trot house with three bedrooms.

Altogether, Jasper and Julia Ann had 18 living children. That boggles my mind.

And as I listened to my grandmother, it was clear to me that Jasper and Julia Ann did not do "his" and "hers." All the kids were their kids - no favoritism, and no step-this and half-that.

Photobucket
Julia Ann Callaway and Jasper Monroe Herrington, in one of the only photos I have of her without a child on her lap


Photobucket
From left: Julia Ann, son Larkin Wellington McBrayer, grandson Robert McBrayer, and mother Mary C Dunn Callaway Williams.
Photo circa 1926/27. Julia's mother, Mary, was probably already blind.

Julia Ann's mother, Mary Dunn Callaway Herrington, died at Julia Ann's home on 9 Apr 1929. According to her obituary, Mary Williams had been blind for 7 years before her death, and unable to leave the house for the previous 2 years.

At least 4 of Julia Ann's children were still living at home at the time of Mary's death, including my grandmother. Jasper died in 1943, 8 years before Julia Ann's death.

Julia Ann learned much about loss from a very early age. Perhaps she was responsible - at least in part - for the attitude about death that I saw in my grandmother.

We live, we love, we lose. We remember and reminisce, and we go on.

It's the cycle of life.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, February 13th, 2011 09:18 pm
They called her Maggie.


Photobucket


She was the next younger sister of Minnie Williams, and lived with her sister and brother-in-law until her marriage to James Webster Wells on 2 Jan 1885, at "the house of J H Shinn" in Russellville, Pope Co., AR.

She and James had five children I have documented.

Maggie Williams Wells died on 19 Jul 1922 in Benton Co., AR. She is buried next to her husband in Bentonville Cemetery, Bentonville, Benton Co., AR.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 01:15 pm
I have three photographs of Eada Belle Parrish.

This was taken around 1889.
Photobucket


I think this one may have been sometime after that.
Photobucket


I expect this one was taken, with husband Fred Chapin, not long before his death in 1938.
Photobucket

Eada Belle Parrish was born on 13 Jul 1856 in Macomb in McDonough County, IL, to Benjamin Abraham Yeager Parrish and Minerva Ann Hamilton. She was the seventh of eight children I have documented.

I think she may have been a favored little sister for her older brother, Daniel Broder Parrish. When he married and began his family, he named one of his daughters for Eada.

Eada's father, Benjamin, was originally from Kentucky. When and why he removed to Illinois is something I don't yet know. But between the births of Daniel in 1848 and John in 1851, the family relocated. The 1850 census found them in Clark County, IN.

After Eada's mother died in 1865 in McDonough Co., IL, Benjamin Parrish remarried to Melvina Crume. They had three children in Illinois.

Benjamin Parrish moved his family back to Kentucky. In the 1880 census, he and Melvina were in Grayson Co., KY, and by the time of Benjamin's death in 1904, the family was in Butler Co., KY.


Some of the extended family must have made a pit stop in Missouri on the back to Kentucky. One of Eada's older brothers, Henry Clay Parrish, died there in 1894 in Vernon County.

And that's where Eada married Fred Chapin on Christmas Eve, 1885.


I can only account for two children born to Eada and Fred Chapin.

I wouldn't be able to account for one of them had it not been for a helpful email contact from another Parrish/Chapin researcher.

I knew that Hattie Belle Chapin was their daughter.

What I didn't know was that Hattie had a sister, Ruth, who died before the 1900 census. Since the 1890 census got either burned or waterlogged in a 1921 fire at the National Archives, I don't know when Ruth was born.

But now I do know why Hattie named her first daughter Ruth.


By 1900, Fred, Eada and Hattie had moved to Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR from Bourbon Co., KS.

The next year, Hattie married Victor Claude Balding. Both families lived near each other, as census records show them both in Ward 5 in Little Rock through 1920.

Eada was widowed by Fred's death in 1938. She died on 2 Dec 1944 in Little Rock.

Eada is buried beside Fred in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, January 2nd, 2011 09:50 pm
Whatever could they have been thinking - Fred and Eada Belle - when they let their only daughter marry at the tender age of 14?

 photo HattieBelleChapinBaldingcrop.jpg
Hattie Belle Chapin, around the time of her marriage in 1901


Hattie Belle Chapin married Victor Claude Balding in Little Rock, AR on 25 Sep 1901. She was 14. He was 27.

She called him Mr. Balding - all her life.

They were my maternal great grandparents.


Their kids called her Mama and him, Pop. The grandkids called them Mema and Pop.

We great grandkids called her Mema, and not too many of us ever met Pop. He died in 1945, just a month after her mother's death.

Photobucket

Victor and Hattie Balding, undated photo


Everyone who knew them said they were head over heels in love with each other.

And Pop's Hattie Belle never let the romance end. She remained a widow until her death in 1976.


Life was hard for the Baldings. Pop worked for the railroad as a telegrapher. There were many mouths to feed.

By the time Hattie was 20, she had three children (my grandmother was the youngest at the time). By 1917, their family was complete, with seven children in all.

My grandmother talked about how the home was run. Every evening when it was almost time for Pop to come home, her mother would go to the kitchen, put on her apron and begin to get supper ready.

Even though times were hard, Victor and Hattie were aware that they were harder still for others. Every holiday, Pop would bring home various and sundry people who had nowhere else to go. Everyone made room at the table.

Pop coached a boys' baseball team when his own sons were young. Mema made their uniforms, and those of their teammates.


Mema loved family gatherings. She seemed content to show up and take her place as a matriarch. And she was good to pose for photos.

She is on the far left in this one, taken in my grandmother's backyard in 1967.

Photobucket


Shortly after that photo was taken, Mema's mental faculties started to decline. At first, it was just a little forgetfulness.

But soon, the forgetfulness became apparent, even to her great grandchildren. I remember going to see her. I'd go into the den to talk to her, and I'd have to introduce myself. If I left the room, and came back, we had to start all over again.

My name didn't seem to register with her any more. So I started saying I was Doris' granddaughter.

She beamed at me. That made sense.

We carried on.


One day when my grandmother and mother took me to see her, something strange happened.

We were sitting and having a nice chat when all of a sudden, Mema got up and left the room.

My grandmother found her in her bedroom, getting ready to curl her long hair and put it back up again. She used one of those skinny little metal curling irons that heated up in its own electrified holder. And real hairpins.

I followed my grandmother in. She asked Mema what she was doing.

I have to get ready. Mr. Balding will be home soon. He likes for his women to look pretty.

It was one of the only times I had seen my grandmother at a loss for words. She helped Mema curl her hair and put it back up again.

Mema headed for the kitchen. Pots and pans started clattering. She was going to make supper.

Grandma tried to stop her - to explain that Mr. Balding wasn't coming home.

Mema shushed her. Couldn't she hear the baby was crying? She needed to tend to the baby and get supper ready before Mr. Balding came home...

My grandma turned away from me, but not before I saw the tears in her eyes.


The decline was rapid toward the end. She was diagnosed with Altzheimers, and the family found a female companion to live in with her.

Mema lived in a world decades past. We humored her.

Her doctor said she was not aware that she had developed breast cancer, and at her age and overall medical condition, there was no point in surgical intervention. He would make sure she stayed comfortable.

Hattie Belle Chapin Balding died on 18 Jan 1976.

And finally re-joined Mr. Balding.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, December 19th, 2010 10:52 pm
My direct line of Chapins in this generation are quite frustrating to track. This generation seems to be the most nomadic of the bunch, and Essie was no exception. I imagine she, as did her siblings, got their wanderlust from their father, who moved their family from New York westward between the 1880 federal census and the 1885 Kansas State Census.

She was born in Olean, Cattaraugus County, New York, in August 1870, and was the ninth of ten children born to Nathaniel Foster Chapin and Elizabeth Harris.

Apparently, Essie's first marriage to Joseph Shepherd occurred in 1889 in Kansas (if anyone knows of a way to get a definitive marriage date other than me traveling to Kansas to do so, please let me know). They had a daughter, Broshia S Shepherd (born 27 Jan 1890), and then Joseph died.

With the help of another Chapin descendant from this line, I was able to puzzle through the birth and actual surname of Essie's second child, Elbert Carr, as well as get some further information on her second, third and fourth marriages to Elbert C Carr, Joseph H Lebolt and Daniel J Finn, respectively. According to that cousin:

Essie Chapin married Elbert Carr in Oregon, because she was pregnant with his son, Elbert. Broshia was her child by Joseph Shephard. Thus, Elbert was named after his father and Broshia and Elbert were half brother and sister. I don't know what happened to Elbert Carr, but Essie did marry LeBolt - his family were jewelers and silversmiths in the Chicago area. Essie and Dan Finn were married later. Ward Finn was not Essie's natural child, he was adopted by her. They moved to Altoona, Pa. because Essie’s family (the Chapins) were carpenters and owned lumber mills. As the Pennsylvania Railroad expanded, the Chapins had contracts to mill lumber for railroad ties. Altoona, Pa was (a "boom town" at one time) one of the fastest growing cities in the USA in the late 1800's because of the Pennsylvania Railroad expansion. Of course, Altoona became a repressed city when the railroads failed. The Chapins moved around a great deal because they followed the railroad business.

After the birth of Elbert, Jr., Essie moved back to Bourbon Co., KS for a while - she was there for the 1895 Kansas State Census, and the 1900 Federal Census. By 1910, she had relocated with her children to Altoona, PA., where she lived out the remainder of her life.

Oddly, when she died on 14 Dec 1948, she was buried as Essie Lebolt Finn.

Essie is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Altoona, Blair Co., PA.