dee_burris: (Default)
 photo IsabelleHerringtonLockridgeandBenjaminThomasHerrington 2.jpg
Isabelle Jane "Belle" Herrington, and older brother, Benjamin Thomas Herrington.
Photo circa 1945.

During the last four or five years of her life, my Aunt Jean was a tremendous source of information about some of the folks in our family tree.

It was when she and I were looking at my copy of the photo above, shared by my Aunt Mary Ann, that Aunt Jean told me about Belle Herrington's first marriage. She said her grandaunt Belle - her mother's paternal aunt - had been married first to a man named Boyd Thomason. She said it was a brief marriage, and then, Aunt Belle married Smith Lochridge.

I dutifully made the notes, and later, set out to find out about Aunt Belle's first, brief marriage.
I never could find a record of that first marriage.

And to complicate things, I found Aunt Belle in the 1920 census in Sparkman, in Dallas County, working as a "servant in a hotel." I thought that was odd, because most of the rest of her family lived in Malvern, in Hot Spring County, with the exception of her oldest brother, Jasper, who lived in Clark County.

Aunt Belle was a widow with two children.

And her last name was Jones. I scoured all the usual places to find the departed Mr. Jones, to no avail.

And concluded that Aunt Belle was married to Mr. Jones no later than age 21, so how could there have been an earlier marriage to anyone named Boyd Thomason?
In the fall of 2013, I published this entry, stating that Aunt Belle had not been married to anyone named Boyd Thomason, and if anyone reading the entry could tell me who Mr. Jones was, to please contact me.

I got that contact last week, by email.

From a descendant of the Thomason family, who knew quite a lot about Aaron Boyd Thomason.

Aaron Boyd Thomason was born on 26 Nov 1878 in Butler Co., KY to Thomas Lindsey Thomason and Mary E Langford. He was nearly ten years older than Aunt Belle.

According to my Thomason correspondent, Boyd (he was called by his middle name) and his brother Vivian, traveled multiple times in the early 1900s to Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma to work the oil fields and the timber industry. He surmises that it must have been on one of those trips to Arkansas that Boyd met and married Belle. He also said that Boyd owned a hotel and some stores in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

And he sent photos of the family that span a period roughly between 1910 (shortly after their daughter Ethel's birth) to about 1913, shortly after their son Thomas Boyd Thomason's birth.

 photo AaronBoydThomason_Ethel_Belle.jpg
Boyd, Ethel and Belle Thomason, photo circa 1910-1911

 photo AaronBoydThomasonandEthel.jpg
Boyd and Ethel

 photo ThomasBoydThomason.jpg
Thomas Boyd Thomason, born 16 Feb 1912

So then, I wondered...what happened to the marriage?

By 1920, Belle was calling herself a widow. That was a very common occurrence for women who were divorced, a shameful marital status in those days.

Both the children were born in Kentucky, Boyd's family home. I found a birth record for Thomas, and he was born in Paducah, McCracken Co., KY.

And I wondered about that. Why would Belle have been in Kentucky? Could her bridegroom have wanted to get her away from her own family? Was Belle's family disapproving of her choice in a mate?

But even more curious - why did Belle change her last name?
The Thomason descendant who emailed me had other information that caused me to think of some possible reasons why Belle Herrington was not simply content to be Belle Thomason.

In 1926, Boyd Thomason returned to Kentucky. To Logan County, where he robbed the Auburn bank. Although the bank robbery took place long after Belle and Boyd split (I keep remembering Aunt Jean saying it was a brief first marriage), what if Belle had become aware of some shady business dealings? Or some outright crimes?

I think it is possible that Belle and Boyd split up before he registered for the draft during World War I, in 1918. He did not list a wife as his nearest living relative.

 photo Boyd Thomason WWI draft card.jpg

What if Belle did not want to be connected in any way, shape or form to Boyd Thomason - and didn't want her kids connected to him either?

Or what if it was dangerous to be known as the ex-wife of Boyd Thomason?
Belle changed her surname and that of her children at a time when people could do that with no legal messiness. You just started using your new name, and that was that.

Her children retained Jones as their legal surnames - Ethel until her marriage to Orvel James Jones, and Thomas Boyd for the rest of his life, which included a stint in the United States Navy during World War II.

Belle remarried, to Smith Lochridge in 1927. They were living with Belle's daughter and son-in-law in the 1940 census, in Weleetka, Okfuskee Co., OK. Smith Lochridge died in 1941, and Belle spent her later years living in Weleetka, close to her daughter. Belle died in 1973 and is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Weleetka.

But Boyd Thomason lost the care and comfort of his family.
The 1930 census found Boyd doing time in the Kentucky Branch Penitentiary in Eddyville, KY.

I couldn't find him in the 1940 census. But I found him on 28 Apr 1943, in Terre Haute IN when he had to register for the old men's draft for World War II.

 photo AAron B Thomason no one.jpg

He was 64 years old, homeless, unemployed, and no one would know how to get in touch with him.

From my Thomason email correspondent:
His family here in Kentucky didn't want anything to do with him because he almost took them down with him. After the bank robbery, my grandfather rode him across the river in his wagon (not knowing he was on the run) and he hid the money under a fence post on my great-grandfather's farm (his brother). They were both mentioned in the newspaper articles and just barely avoided arrest. Nobody trusted him after that. I've heard a great aunt of mine who remembered him say he abandoned his family out west.
Aaron Boyd Thomason died on 24 Nov 1945 in Mount Vernon, Jefferson Co., IL. He was buried three days later in Oakwood Cemetery in Mount Vernon.

I understand he had cousins there.

 photo Aaron_Boyd_Thomason.jpg
Aaron Boyd Thomason

If any of the descendants of Ethel Jones (nee Thomason) Jones or Thomas Boyd Jones (nee Thomason) find this entry, you are welcome to right click and save on any of these photos.
dee_burris: (Default)
As I write this, I am sitting in one of my favorite places - my east porch, which looks out on gardens I built.

I have lived in this spot for twenty years. As I age, I am very glad I built the bones of these gardens as a younger woman.

And as I admire the results of my efforts two decades ago, I feel very close to both of my grandmothers. They also built gardens, and spent considerable time in their gardens.

Addie Louise Herrington had an herbaceous perennial border six feet deep around the perimeter of her home on Crittenden Street in Arkadelphia. I remember especially her camellia, and all of those blue hydrangeas.

Grandma Burris didn't have a porch, apart from the screened entryway to the kitchen. But she and Granddaddy Burris did put lawn chairs in the shaded part of the backyard.

 photo AddieLouiseHerringtonBurris1928.jpg
Louise Herrington Burris, 1908-1980

Doris Geneva Balding had a fully landscaped garden - of her design and built with a lot of her sweat. She hired out the large jobs - like the brick wall she paid my dad to build around her back garden.

Grandma Dee had a terrace, and almost always had a comfortable cushion laid out on her favorite terrace chair. She and Papaw Joe used the terrace as an extension of their home, an outdoor room.

 photo 020.jpg
Doris Balding Williams, 1907-1998

I totally "get it."

I know why my grandmothers spent so much time and put so much effort in their gardens.

There are times when you have to earth yourself. Times when yanking out weeds, and feeling crumbly earth slipping through your fingers allows you to leave behind what seemed just a few moments ago to be so important.

Times when you lose track of time as you let your garden consume all your senses. When the garden tells you that we are all connected.

And it teaches you that no matter what your spiritual paradigm, we humans are totally unnecessary to the changing of the cycles of nature. We're just gravy on the finished product, and will leave this earthly experience behind one day.

And the cycles will go on. So we don't need to go messing up this wondrous creation with toxins and a laissez faire attitude that we can just use, and use, and use without ever giving back.
These days, I am trying to just maintain the gardens. There's enough work in that for me.

My building projects have now turned to gardening in miniature.
 photo 06 04 2015 gnome garden3.jpg
gnome garden, May 2015

My anchor plant in the gnome garden is a dwarf twisted Hinoki cypress.
 photo 06 11 2015 dwarf hinoki cypress.jpg
Dwarf Twisted Hinoki Cypress 'Tsatsumi'

This little tree is a slow grower. Eventually it will outgrow the space, getting a couple of feet tall and about as wide. I haven't researched how it would respond to root pruning to keep it smaller. I'm really looking forward to seeing curling bark.

As time goes by, I can enjoy the planning of its replacement, and relocate this little cypress to its own pot.
The journey is good. I can make it even better by taking time to appreciate my garden.

I love and miss you both.

I'll see you on the other side.
dee_burris: (Default)
Unlike some of my ancestresses undoubtedly did, we don't have a specific wash day here at the cottage.

For the most part, I just eye the sky and look at what is in two laundry baskets. Some days I just feel led to bring some fresh air and sunshine indoors, and sleep under my quilts scented with nature.

Today, I washed the quilts and hung them to dry.

One is a twin sized quilt, hand pieced and hand quilted by my paternal grandmother, Louise Herrington. It is the most recent one of two quilts she made for me before she died. I got it when I was in my early 20s.

It's a split rail fence quilt.
 photo splitrailfence.jpg

Earlier this morning, I took the quilt out of the washer and hung it on the line.

And then stood back and looked at it. Some of the pieces have torn in the 35 years or so I've had it. I'm not sure how to repair them, or if I should. The quilting is holding up very well.

As I looked it over, conveniently opened full so I could really see it, I wondered.

Where did she get the pieces she used?
 photo close.jpg

 photo close2.jpg

I know she didn't use new fabric. That would have been scandalous on so many levels - a slap in the face of the frugality that so many of our female ancestors had to practice to run their households.

So I wonder...are Granddaddy's pajamas in there? One or more of her old aprons? Did she ask some of her friends to save scraps for her to use? How long did it take her to lay out these pieces in a way that pleased her eye?
Missing you, Grandma.

I'll see you on the other side.
dee_burris: (Default)
Jasper and Julia Herrington house, Clark Co., AR
 photo HerringtonGroup2.jpg

George W Burris Jr. house, 8th and Crittenden, Arkadelphia, Clark Co., AR
 photo GEDC0068.jpg

Jo Desha and Maxie Williams house, Russellville, Pope Co., AR. Original construction.
 photo TheWilliamshouseinRussellvilleThanksgiving1899crop.jpg

First addition
 photo Williamshouse2.jpg

Last addition
 photo Williamshouse3.jpg

George W Burris Sr house, Russellville, Pope Co., AR. 500 Glenwood, after the family moved to town from the farm.
 photo GWBurrisSrfamilyat500GlenwoodRsvl.jpg

This is a Sepia Saturday post.

Head over there for more wonderful sepia memories.
dee_burris: (Default)
I was going back through some photos to link to my GEDCOM when I ran across this one.



 photo IsabelleHerringtonLockridgeandBenjaminThomasHerrington.jpg
Isabelle Jane Herrington and brother, Benjamin Thomas Herrington. Photo circa 1945

I looked to see what I knew about this great grand aunt of mine. Not much. I figured I needed to try and flesh her out - make her more real to me.

The photo was a decent beginning.
Several frustrating hours of internet searches gave me more on Isabelle Jane Herrington.

Like she hardly ever - not even in legal documents - was called either Isabelle or Jane.

She was Belle.

The hours of searching also blew up part of the oral family history. Belle Herrington was not married first to a man named Boyd Thomason in 1909.

Because in the 1920 census (I could not find the 1910), Belle Herrington was Belle Jones, and she had two children living with her - a daughter named Ethel and a son named Thomas. Belle said she was a widow, working as a servant in a hotel. The family lived in Sparkman in Dallas Co., AR.

Given Belle's son's name - Thomas Jones, I began to wonder if his father's name was Boyd Thomas Jones, or Thomas Boyd Jones.

In the 1930 census, that hunch got stronger.
Part of the oral family history had it that Belle married in 1927 for a second time to S L Lockridge.

That was closer. Her new husband's name was Smith Louisa Lochridge (with an H not a K), and Belle and her son, Thomas B Jones (shown as Smith's step-son) were living in Seminole, Seminole Co., OK.

In 1940, I found Smith and Belle Lochridge living with Eythel Jones Jones and her husband, Orvel James Jones, along with their three children in Weleetka, Okfuskee Co., OK, where Belle Herrington died and was buried in 1973.

Smith Louisa Jones died in Miller Co., AR in 1941, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Fordyce, Dallas Co., AR. That may have been to have his grave closer to his children from his first marriage.
I never heard anything about great grand aunt Belle Herrington as I was growing up.

But I also never heard my maternal grandmother, Addie Louise Herrington, say anything about the Herringtons who stayed in Grant County, either - the children of Hardy Holmes Herrington and Martha J Cummings. These were Belle's paternal aunts and uncles, like Mary Emeline Herrington, married to Uriah Poss. Or Belle's paternal uncle, Jasper Lee Herrington, who married Sarah Elizabeth Frances Poss.

The only Herringtons I heard about as a child were the ones who lived in and around Malvern (Hot Spring Co.) and Arkadelphia (Clark Co.).

So now, I wonder why.
Anyone with information about the father of Eythel and Thomas B Jones, please contact me, either by commenting to this entry, or you can email me at:
sharpchick13 at hotmail dot com.
dee_burris: (Default)
A photo of my paternal grandmother, Addie Louise Herrington (left) and her sister Florence.

Florence was the only daughter of the five born to Jasper Monroe Herrington and Julia Ann Callaway who *was not* a twin.

Photo circa 1925

This is a Sepia Saturday post. Head over there for a look at other wonderful old photos.
dee_burris: (Default)
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.

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

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)
Spent some time in the 1940 census yesterday, looking in Clark County, AR for my dad when he was a wee thing...

Found him, there on line 20.

Grandma gave the information to the census enumerator.


Granddaddy worked an average of 48 hours a week as the assistant postmaster, and made $2,000 a year - today's equivalent is $32,770.29.

He was supporting a wife and three kids, and almost exactly a year later, their last child, a daughter, was born.
I also found some Callaways not far from there and was able at last to connect Joe E Callaway to his parents.

Wonder if Grandma knew her second cousin was living a few streets over?
dee_burris: (Default)
With another nod to my genealogy induced ADD, I'll bring you a double mystery.

One can probably be solved, and the other, most likely not.
I got a contact last week from a cousin several times removed who is researching our Herringtons. He and I share a great-grandfather, Jasper Monroe Herrington, but we are descended from different wives.

True to form after that series of emails, I leapt away from research on my elusive Duncans, and jumped right back on our Herringtons. (My Duncans, however, are brick wall lightweights when compared to my great-great grandmother Mary C Dunn.)
I think my cousin and I are the only ones researching our Herringtons (the ones in Arkansas who are descended from Madison Monroe Herrington) in a serious way, because there are *major* omissions and inaccuracies in a whole bunch of Ancestry family trees on them.

Like when and where did John Wesley S Herrington (son of Madison Monroe and Julia Ann Holt) die? A bunch of folks say in April 1967 in Camden, Benton Co., TN.

But that SSDI record does not convince me. Because I think John W S Herrington died in Hot Spring Co., AR, sometime between the 1910 census and the remarriage of his widow, Margaret Emaline "Maggie" Kendrick on 25 Apr 1912.

I think there is a grave, badly maintained, or not even marked, somewhere in Hot Spring County for him.

That mystery can probably be solved.

But then, there's Maggie.
John W S Herrington and Maggie Kendrick married on 21 May 1899 in Hot Spring County. He was 20 years old and she was 16. She was the daughter of James J Kendrick and Elizabeth Stanley.

By the 1910 census - taken in Hot Spring County - they had four children. That census record showed that mercifully, all the children born to Maggie Kendrick were still alive. Their youngest daughter, Opal Mae, was four months old at the time of the census.

Mrs. Maggie Herrington married Sandford Ramey Bashaw on 25 Apr 1912 in Hot Spring County. In the 1920 census in Hot Spring County, Opal Mae's surname - spelled Herington on the form - was crossed out and she had become a Bashaw.

She had four younger siblings in that census, including her four month old half-brother, Oscar Kendrick Bashaw.

I moved on to 1930 - and found Sandford Bashaw with three of his four children in Holtville, Imperial Co., CA, working on a fruit farm.

And no Maggie in sight.

The form said Sandford was married, but there was no wife in his home at the time of the census.

And I couldn't find Maggie Bashaw that year to save my life. So I went back to marriage records.

Mrs. Maggie Bashaw married James W Bledsoe on Christmas Eve in 1923, in Saline County, AR. Her youngest child, Oscar, was four years old.

At the 1930 census, Oscar was 10 and living with his dad in California. His mother was living in Benton, AR, making crates at a factory.

I wondered how Maggie bore it - being separated from all of her children. Two of her first four children - James Monroe and Opal Mae Herrington, lived to be adults. I can't find any death information about the middle Herrington children, Eliot and Gillis, who were born in 1904 and 1907, respectively.

All four of Maggie's children by Sandford Bashaw died in California between 1962 and 1992. Their Social Security numbers were issued to them by the State of California, before 1951. That sounds to me as if there was a tear in the family fabric that went beyond the divorce between Maggie and Sandford Bashaw.

Maggie Kendrick Herrington Bashaw Bledsoe died on 19 May 1966, and is buried with her final husband in Old Rosemont Cemetery in Benton, Saline Co., AR.
dee_burris: (Default)
For my new found cousin, Bob. (Actually, he newly found me.)

Having trouble sending photo files to him by email.

So Bob, just right click and save.

This photo is undated, and is a picture of Isabelle Jane Herrington and Benjamin Thomas Herrington, younger siblings of Jasper Monroe Herrington.

dee_burris: (Default)
I met my second cousin yesterday.

He and his wife traveled from Texas for a reunion of his leg of the Burris family that will be held in Fort Smith this weekend.

He wanted to see St. Joe Cemetery, where his grandfather, Walter Monroe Burris, is buried with a whole bunch of our Burris clan. He also wanted to see the old homeplace where our ancestor, James Littleton Burris, built the cabin that housed so many Burris descendants.

We decided to rendezvous at a gas station at the Atkins exit off Interstate 40.
I called Dad as we left the gas station so he could meet us at the cemetery.

I had to call when we left, because within 10 minutes, we all lost all cell phone signals as we headed up into the modest mountains of rural Pope County.

As we gathered outside the cemetery gates, we had a discussion about how we were related.

My second cousin (sorry, guys but the family tree software says Carl is my second cousin, and Dad's first cousin, once removed) descends from James Littleton Burris and Elizabeth Adeline Ashmore like this:

James and Adeline Burris
George Washington (Sr) and Mary M (Wharton) Burris
Walter Monroe and Grace (Bowden) Burris
Cecil Blain and Arlie Ann (Fridell) Burris

For my dad, it goes like this:
James and Adeline Burris
George Washington (Sr) and Mary M (Wharton) Burris
George Washington (Jr) and Addie Louise (Herrington) Burris

G W (Jr) and Walter were brothers.
The old cabin that was the original homeplace was demolished in the mid 1960s and there is not even a footprint left. The old well, dug by hand, is still there, but covered.

We went on to Dad's house - just across the road - and this time, I was all ears as Dad and Carl started swapping the details of the stories they heard.

We used to grow our own wheat. Dad's dad told him about how they used to get the wheat ready to take into Atkins to the mill, and would load the wagon the night before and put it in the barn. Then, they'd get up before sunup the next morning and make the trip into Atkins to the mill. They got back home after dark.

Apparently, that trip got *really* old and my ancestors decided to have their own mill - in the barn. Carl's dad told him about how that mill was built - with leather bearings, no less (James Burris was a tanner) - and used a mule or a horse to go round and round to grind the wheat.

And wouldn't I love to have a photo or a piece of a millstone?
Carl hadn't realized that after the 1838 migration of our Burris and Ashmore ancestors from Lawrence Co., TN, where young James Burris and Adeline Ashmore walked most of the trip and fell in love, they had not immediately married.

They were married on 12 Nov 1840. I always figured it was because Adeline was only 15 during the trip, but something Carl told us made me wonder if it wasn't for a more practical consideration.

Carl said not long after the large ox-drawn wagon party - of not only our Burrises and Ashmores, but a whole bunch of their neighbors - got to Center Valley, 20 year old James Burris took off with a gun and an ax, to go find him some land and build a home.

By the time he had been gone for about three months with no word to the folks back in Center Valley, they began to fear he was dead.

Then, the sigh of relief - James came back. And the homeplace was built, and another move undertaken, this time to the fertile land next to Isabell Creek, where most of James and Adeline's 10 children were born. (The first died - most likely stillborn - and was buried in the first grave in Old Baptist Cemetery in Center Valley.)
We swapped photos during our visit, and Carl had a real gem.

Walter Monroe Burris and first wife, Grace Bowden, undated family photo

We have scant few photos of Walter, and none as a young man. To see Grace's image was very precious.
This journey through my family's history is a real delight.

To meet a cousin who shares much of my history - he at age 82, my dad at 75, and me at age 53...

Well, that's just beyond words.
dee_burris: (Default)
I got a contact about my post on the very old Freeman place from a descendant of William Aflred Freeman.

She was excited to see the photos, which I invited her to copy for her own use. And she also gave me some more information about Freeman descendants.

Which I have dutifully researched and added to my GEDCOM.

We aren't cousins, but I keep up with the ones who married into my family anyway.

Because you just never can tell when someone might need some information.
I've spent some time this morning working on another family tree I manage for a dear friend.

Right now, I'm messing with Joseph Wesley Roach, born 16 Dec 1884 in Missouri and died 4 Jan 1978 in Randolph Co., AR.

My friend's mother is a Randolph County Roach. I know Joseph Wesley figures into her line of Roaches somehow - there were quite a few who stopped off in Missouri on their way south from Illinois to Randolph County. He named his sons some of the favored male Roach names - Jesse, James, Arthur.

I just can't find his parents.

I'd love to be graving.

But it is just too fricking hot.

Every day, I get my Weather Channel text advising of dangerous heat indices. Not that I need the official notice.

We have reached that time in Arkansas summer where you can step outside your front door and feel that the air has mass from the combination of temperature and humidity. The cottage has not received any measurable rainfall since June 28.

I've been looking back at the family photos I have of ancestral homeplaces. Thinking about how it was that they tried to beat the heat of Arkansas summers before the days of air conditioning.

Like the Williams' home in Russellville.

Or the Herrington homeplace in Clark County.



In the two photos above, you can see 1) the shed behind the house, and 2) part of the covered front porch of the house.

The Williams home also had covered porches.

Did they sleep on them in the summertime?

More things that make me say, hmmmm...
dee_burris: (Default)
William Cooper Herrington, wife Lillie (Elkins)
and son Joseph Carl Herrington
Clement Cemetery, Grant County, AR
dee_burris: (Default)
I didn't know for a very long time that Aunt Idelle was my grand aunt by marriage.

I thought she *was* a Herrington.

She was in nearly all the sister pictures taken of my grandmother, Louise Herrington and her sisters.

Louise Burris and Idelle Herrington
(The sun was in their eyes - they really did love each other)

Idelle was born on 22 May 1916 in Cleburne Co., AR to Stephen Douglas Sandage (who went by his middle name all his life) and Bertha Bailey. She was the only daughter, and had three brothers (at least three is all I can account for).

When she was grown, she took after her daddy and became a school teacher. I didn't know that until I saw the 1930 census for the family in Cleburne County, and saw his occupation. He taught in the public schools there.

Sometime between that census and 1932, the Sandage family moved to the DeGray community of Clark County, where they met the Herrington clan.

Apparently, if news accounts from the Southern Standard are any indication, the whole bunch hung out together for a little fun during the Great Depression.


Transcribing the relevant parts of my family's social acticities as reported on 24 Nov 1932...
Health is good in our community at present...The party given by Mr. and Mrs. J M Herrington Saturday night was enjoyed by all...Mrs. Coleman Buck and son are spending a few days with Mr. and Mrs. George Burris...Misses Bernice Herrington and Burna Graham spent awhile Sunday afternoon with Mrs. Rosie Buckley...Misses Bernice Herrington, Nannie Lou Trigg, Gladys Buck, Burna and Myrtice Graham and Corine Harvey and Messrs Otho Sheffield, Hoyle and Dan Graham and Alvin Buck spent Sunday afternoon with Miss Idelle Sandage...Mr. Roy Buck spent awhile with Mr. Robert Herrington Sunday...Gladys Buck took supper with Eunice Herrington Sunday night...Burna Graham took supper with Idelle Sandage Sunday night...Messrs Chester and Clarence Terrell, Robert Herrington and Hoyle and Dan Graham attended a party at Mr. and Mrs. Sam White's Saturday night.

Wonder if that was about the time Idelle Sandage and Robert Herrington were getting sweet on each other?

I don't have a date for Idelle and Robert's marriage, but their son, Robert Herrington, Jr. was born on 25 Feb 1942.

Bob Herrington and Bob, Jr. in
Hot Springs, AR, about 1952

Although she only had one child of her own, Aunt Idelle loved kids.

And we loved her back.

She died on 19 Mar 1999, and was buried beside Bob Herrington, Sr., in Ouachita Cemetery, Donaldson, Hot Spring Co., AR.

See you on the other side, Aunt Idelle.
dee_burris: (Default)
Bernice was one of my grandmother's "little" sisters, and was also a twin. Her twin sister was Eunice Catheline Herrington Granite, who died in 1992.


ANDERSON - Services for Bernice Josephine Stevens, 80, of Anderson will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Anderson's Chapel.

The Rev. Rusty Jeffery of First Baptist Church of Anderson will officiate. Burial will be at Auburn Cemetery.

Mrs. Stevens died Wednesday, Dec. 22 1993 at Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

Born Oct. 13, 1913, in DeGray, Ark., she moved to Shasta County in 1991 from Madera.

[S]he was a homemaker.

Survivors include husband Otto; daughter Linda Erwin of Myrtle Creek, Ore.; sister Inez Horne of Malvern, Ark.; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
dee_burris: (Default)
Frankly, I was disappointed with the offerings at Ouachita Baptist University's Special Collections Section.

I did, however, make a few interesting discoveries.

A glance through the 1932 Southern Standard on microfilm did not yield an obituary I was looking for, but it did give up some interesting tidbits of local flavor about my Herrington relatives who lived in the tiny Clark County Arkansas community of DeGray.

I had never really considered it before, but what did you do for fun when you were dirt poor and the Great Depression sucked the life out of just about everything?

You went visiting...and it made the newspaper.

Searching through the conference minutes of the DeGray Baptist Church provided no information at all about where or how my g-g-grandfather, Mace Callaway died, or where he might be buried.

I asked for copies of all 17 pages of membership notes in the New Hope Methodist Church file for the years 1860-1869. There appear to be skips due to missing records, but they will be useful to my Williams cousin, Jason, and to a lesser degree, to me.

And while I was waiting for copies to be made, I scanned through the Clark County Historical Association's Journal index, and stumbled across a CSA Cavalry unit that seems to be unreported in the usual places, with alphabetized lists of troops who served.

Even more interesting is that it appears possible that Mace Callaway and David Andrew Williams may have served in that cavalry unit together, as shown on a muster roll covering the time from 31 Oct 1864 through 28 Feb 1865. (I'll transcribe that as a separate entry later.)

Another of the CCHA's journals provides more information about years in which Bob Dunn was mentioned in the minutes of the Red River Baptist Association.

So the CCHA made $45 off me today. I bought the 1991, 1993, and 1998 Journals.

Cousin Joe and I made an appalling discovery at the Clark County Courthouse.

We were looking for the letters of administration in the estate of one of our many greats grandpappies, John Callaway, who died intestate in 1834 in Clark County. Joe knew that John Callaway's estate was enumerated in an attachment to the letters of administration.

The probate clerk was able to provide us with a copy of the 6 Jan 1835 probate court order appointing John's widow, Amy, and his son, John S T, as co-administrators of the estate (they were, by the way, fined by the court in 1842 for failure to file an annual accounting of the estate - oops), but the clerk said we'd have to go to the books to look for the letters of administration.

So all three of us tromped over to the closet where the books are kept. 1840 was as far back as we could find.

So the clerk asked us if we wanted to take a look through the other books in storage.

In the attic.


Books with documents over 175 years old are IN THE ATTIC. With no climate control.

And not just in the attic...they were just dumped in the attic in hodge-podge, helter skelter fashion...many looking as if they were thrown in there by whomever was assigned the chore of moving them because before they had been IN THE BASEMENT - where they kept getting damp.

Joe and I kept grimacing at each other over the clerk's head as we looked, each of us righting a book here and there.

We did not find the letters of administration of the estate.

I'm hoping that book was rescued by the Arkansas History Commission and filmed.

So I'll be squinting at microfilm there tomorrow.

The journey is good.

And it continues...
dee_burris: (Default)
Well, everything, if you're talking about spelling...

There's an interesting story in our Herrington family about the spelling of the surname.

When Jasper Monroe Herrington married my great grandmother, Julia Ann (Callaway) McBrayer, he - like she - had already been married before and widowed.

Jasper's son by his second wife, Mary Ann Cothran, was John Richard Herrington. Dick, as he was called, was only 3 when Jasper and Julia married, and she already had 7 kids by Robert McBrayer.

I don't know how they decided there was no room for Dick Herrington in the tiny little house, but they did. (I mean, there wasn't room for all those kids, which combined, numbered 11, but how did they pick Dick to be the odd one out?) Jasper and Julia went on to have 6 children of their own. In the 1910 census, Richard was living with them, but not in 1920.

He went to live with a couple named John and Nora Johnson in Hot Spring County - he is shown there in the 1920 census as a foster son.

John Johnson told Dick that the RIGHT way to spell Herrington was with an "a," i.e., Harrington. So Dick did.

He was the only one of Jasper's descendants to spell the surname that way. I had a heckuva time finding his grave, but finally did. He's buried in Rest Haven Memorial Gardens in Arkadelphia.
dee_burris: (Default)
There are only the two photos in my collection of Madgie. In each, she is shown with one or both of her children.



Madgie had a twin sister, Maggie. They were one of three sets of twins in their extended McBrayer/Herrington family, and older half sisters of my grandmother, Addie Louise Herrington.

I don't know which sister was born first, but they arrived on a hot summer day in late July 1898 in Clark County, daughters of Julia Ann Callaway and Robert Bruce McBrayer.

Maggie died in 1965. Madgie barely made it out of her teens.

Madgie McBrayer married Homer Buck on 10 Jul 1913, just a couple of weeks short of her 15th birthday.

I don't know the names of either of Madgie's children, the youngest of whom died in 1918 also, and whose gravestone in DeGray Cemetery simply says "Baby Buck."


Madgie's stone was equally simple.


Her obituary appeared in the Southern Standard on 24 Oct 1918.

Mrs. Homer Buck died at her home in this city on Wednesday night of last week with pneumonia. The deceased was 20 years of age and leaves a husband and two children, besides father, mother, three sisters and three brothers. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon and the remains were buried at DeGray Cemetery.

Madgie McBrayer died on 17 Oct 1918.
dee_burris: (Default)

The photo had to be taken in the late 1920s, but before 1929, when my grandmother, Louise Herrington, married George W Burris, Jr.

We do not have a clue as to the identity of her beau.

Sepia Saturday is a blogging medium and theme suggested by Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen.
dee_burris: (Default)
Mr. and Mrs. George Burris will celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary Sunday, Nov. 2 and will be honored by their children with Open House at their home at 808 Crittenden between the hours of 2-4 p.m.

Mrs. Burris is the former Louise Herrington, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Herrington of DeGray in Clark County. Mr. Burris is a native of Pope County, but has resided in Arkadelphia since 1923. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Burris, Sr. of Russellville. He is a retired assistand Post Master of the local post office having retired Dec. 31, 1958.

Mr. and Mrs. Burris were married Nov. 8, 1929, at the home of Mrs. Sybil Welch. Rev. John Kilburn was the officiating minister and the attendents were Mr. and Mrs. Paul Horne.

They are the parents of three daughters, Mrs. T. A. Lensing and Mrs. Edward Neumann of Little Rock and Mrs. H. H. Rutherford, Jr. of El Dorado and one son, W. F. (Bill) Burris, also of Little Rock. They have thirteen grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

No cards will be sent but all friends and relatives are invited to attend.



Mr. and Mrs. George Burris were honored Sunday, Nov. 2 with a reception in observance of their 40th Wedding Anniversary held in their home from 2 to 4 p.m.

In the receiving line with the honorees were their four children, Mrs. T. A. Lensing and Mrs. Edward Neumann of Little Rock, Mrs. H. H. Rutherford, Jr. of El Dorado and W. F. (Bill) Burris, also of Little Rock. Mrs. Paul Horne of Malvern, twin sister of Mrs. Burris, greeted guests at the door.

The house was decorated in all areas using the appropriate colors for the occasion of red and pink. The fireplace mantel decor included ivy and crystal holders which held white tapers. The dining table was covered with a red tablecloth overlaid with a white lace cloth centered with an arrangement of red carnations and white mums flanked by candelabras with red candles. The three tiered white wedding cake with pink rosebud trim and red punch were served. Diane Pittman of El Dorado serve dthe cake and Debbie Rutherford of El Dorado and Kathy Lensing of Little Rock alternated at the punch bowl, all of whom are grandchildren. The rest of the 13 grandchildren were also dispensing hospitality and wore red corsages.

The many beautiful gifts, all of which were red or pink, were displayed and were the subject of interest and admiration.

A total of 105 guests signed the red guest book with Dee Burris in charge.

Thanks to my cousin for supplying the news clipping announcing the celebration. (One thing we both noticed was that the first clipping said Grandma's married twin sister was her attendant at her wedding. That's not true - Inez was still quite single and living with her sister and brother-in-law when they were newlyweds in the 1930 census. She did not marry until October 1930.)

You might wonder why so much to-do about a 40th wedding anniversary, when the golden 50 is the one so often seen on the society page of your hometown newspaper.

My dad clued me in on that...the family was afraid Granddaddy might not make it to the 50th.

He didn't. George Burris died on 7 May 1974, five years before his golden wedding anniversary.

Which made this celebration all the more precious...


dee_burris: (Default)
Dee Burris Blakley

August 2017

  1 2345

Shakin' the Family Tree on Facebook


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 03:10 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios