…and waiting for an answer.
Boss Talbott – 1914
This spring I set a goal for myself. I planned to finish transcribing Esther Richardson Talbott’s correspondence. It is a daunting task to be sure. There is a lot of it.
But wow! The things I have learned! The impressions of people I’ve formed. This is not information found in the official records genealogists usually research. (After reading Esther’s letters, who needs reality TV?!)
It was June of 1914 and Boss Talbott was nervous. Boss was in love. In a letter dated May 18, 1914 he had declared his love for Esther Richardson of News Ferry, Va. Three weeks later in this excerpt Boss’s June 10th letter, more is revealed:
you just cant amagun [imagine]
how I feal about what
I asked you and you
said you could not
tell me. Well it feals
to me like my heart
is broken now
Well if you never
due concent and tell
me all ways rember
this I all ways wanted you
to make a change
in life and you never
would with me.
(Hint: When reading Boss’s letter, think phonetics. Boss spelled many words phonetically, but not necessarily correctly.)
It would appear that Boss asked Esther a “big” question. Did he ask her to be his girl? Did he propose? In an effort to keep himself in her mind, Boss included the above photograph of himself.
Boss’s letter does not provide us with his question – only Esther’s answer. Well, lack of answer.
Esther left Boss with a broken heart and waiting for an answer.
As I work my way through transcribing Boss’s letters, it has become clear that Boss would wait many months for the answer to his question.
The good news? The story of Esther Richardson and Boss Talbott does have a happy ending. They were married in November of 1915.
***I am re-posting this post with updates from further research.****
Excerpt from Elliott Family Bible
King Elliott of Mecklenburg County, VA was my GGGG grandfather. [ My grandfather Crafton Talbott>Esther Lee Richardson>Harriett Elliott>Elias Elliott>King Elliott]
King. Isn’t that a great name?
Little is known about the life of King Elliott including the identification of his parents. The general consensus of researchers online places his birth around 1800. This information is largely unsourced. Piecing together the information from the census records of 1820 and 1830 as well as the Elliott family Bible, King’s birth date is more likely to be between 1790-1796.
The 1862 Halifax County, VA court records involving the estate of King’s son Ransom Elliott (d. 1862) help to sort of the relationship between King’s children.
King Elliott had two wives. According to the court records Mary Elliott and Eliza Pulliam “were the half sisters of Ransome Elliotte being the children of his father by a former marriage and not the children of his mother Elizabeth Elliott”. King’s first wife is not known. There is thought this first marriage also produced a son James Elliott (b. 1810-1818). However, beyond his name little is known about this James Elliott. The same court documents state that James Elliott in 1862 had been “apart from this state for many years – more than 7 years”.
King’s second wife was Elizabeth LNU. Their marriage was likely prior to the 1819 birth of their first child Ransom. Other children born to this couple were Harriet Elliott (Lucy A H Elliott) b. ~1823, Dorothy Elliott b. ~1827 and Elias Elliott b. Nov 1831.
King Elliott appears to have lived in Mecklenburg County, VA all of his adult life. The transcribed Bible record above states he died in Oct 1831 just one month prior to the birth of his son Elias. That is incorrect. (Don’t believe everything you read!) While attempting to track King and associated Elliotts through the records year by year (literally), I discovered King Elliott paying personal property taxes in Mecklenburg County, VA through 1838. In 1839 his widow Elizabeth began paying the tax. That leads to the conclusion that King did not die in 1831, but in 1838 (or possibly early 1839).
The King Elliott family was not a wealthy family. No record of land ownership or slave ownership has been found. King never paid personal property taxes on more than one white male and one horse at a time. This Elliott family lived among other Elliotts during the 1820’s and 1830’s in Mecklenburg County, VA. Augustine Elliott was a frequently listed neighbor and most researchers believe he was King’s brother. In the 1820’s Greenville Elliott was found in Mecklenburg County, VA as well. He, too, was likely a brother to Augustine and King, however, this has not been confirmed at this time. (Greenville “Green” Elliott migrated to Tennessee.)
Researching King Elliott and determining his parentage is proving to be a daunting task. Theory abounds. Proof does not. I anticipate more court house research trips (my favorite kind of research). Many descendants lived and still live in or close to the Halifax County line and close to the NC/VA line. I expect I will continue to need to cross county and state lines in my search for the Elliotts. Fortunately, I’m not alone in the task. My Elliott cousin Cynthia is working on King as well. (Hi, Cynthia.) I’m looking forward to the task.
Family history is so much more than just names and dates. Don’t get me wrong. I like researching the names and associated dates of my ancestors.
But I want more. I want the rest of the story. I am fortunate to have a rich oral family history and have the older generations to share those stories.
Saving Memories Forever helps me do just that.
Saving Memories Forever is a subscription website that allows the user to record family stories and store those stories on the website. Both a free and a premium subscription are available. See the details of each here.
The website with the associated app for my smart phone (available for the iphone or android phone) allows me to record my family’s stories. The process is simple. I created an account on the Saving Memories Forever website and then downloaded the app to my phone. I then followed the prompts on my phone to begin recording stories. Once done, I then uploaded the recorded stories to the website. I also have the option to share the stories with other if I wish.
While recovering from my recent ankle surgery, I tried out Saving Memories Forever. I interviewed myself and found the whole process quite fun. I was a little intimidated at first with interviewing myself, but I quickly got over that and just had fun. The provided story prompts had me thinking about things and events I had not thought about in quite some time.
I see a number of applications for Saving Memories Forever.
- I love having the app on my phone as I visit relatives in the coming months. I’ll be ready for an interview even during impromptu visits.
- The app will be great at family reunions. Have a quiet place set aside and have brief interviews with the relatives.
- This app is perfect for children and teens to use while interviewing relatives. Facilitating family relationships and communication skills will be win-win for everyone.
Click over to the Saving Memories Forever website and check it out. I think you will be glad you did.
Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary premium subscription to Saving Memories Forever. However, the opinions above are solely my own.
My genealogy research might be slowed just a bit in the next few weeks. A little ankle surgery, a few weeks to recover and I should be back on the trail of those ancestors. I’m already planning my next research trip – maybe two!
James Lester Howard
Today would have been the 98th birthday of James Lester Howard – my grandfather. The son of Mattie Maddox and Connie Howard the story of his life is rich and long. I have previously written about Granddaddy here, here and here.
But beyond the facts and dates, did you know Granddaddy was:
- The Caretaker - Granddaddy was the oldest of four children. He lost his mother at a young age and from that point on, became a caretaker. He looked after his siblings throughout their lives staying in close contact even in the adult years. As a father he took care “his girls”. As a grandfather and great grandfather he instilled a sense of family in the younger generations. A favorite memory is the walk through his rose garden after dinner. Another favorite memory is watching the interaction between Granddaddy and his great grandchildren during a fishing trip.
- A Southern Gentleman – One of my cousins remembers Granddaddy as a true southern gentleman. Yes, he most definitely was.
- A Special One – When I meet the older generation of cousins for the first time, I typically introduce myself and add that I’m Lester’s granddaughter. (This helps them place me in the family tree.) On one such occasion, I introduced myself to my grandfather’s first cousin. Her face softened and with a smile she simply stated “He was a special one.” That he was.
Did I mention he was indulgent when it came to the grandchildren?
Happy Birthday, Granddaddy!
Four years ago today I started Are You My Cousin? to share the stories of my ancestors. I had no idea of the friends and family I would meet as I pursued my family history. As much as I love digging up information on my ancestors in the records, the stories YOU share through e-mails, photos and over a cup of coffee that are the most special. Thank you all for sharing and for listening! I look forward to another year of sharing my (our) family history with you.
See the first post here.
Happy 4th Blogiversary!!
- Haven’t had your GGG grandfather arrive by e-mail.
Elias Elliott and wife Susan
- Haven’t traveled to a rural courthouse to perform research. Thank goodness for a GPS!
Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Boydton, VA
- You haven’t discovered you can order a veggie burger from the only restaurant/diner in a rural Virginia town.
- You haven’t matched photos of the past in their settings of today.
Education Building in Downtown Raleigh, NC
- You haven’t given a granddaughter a new perspective on her grandmother’s life.
Genealogy boring? Never.
Here are the answers to My Ancestor Did That?! – The Ladies’ Turn.
How many did you know?
Great Great Grandmothers
Great Great Great Grandmothers
- One was born in Ireland. – Joanna Barrett
- One never married. – Mary Jane Thomas
- One died within a couple of weeks of her son. – Samantha Buchanan Maddox
- One was an invalid after the birth of her youngest child. – Panthea Overby Elliott
- One was very active in the women’s activities of her church. – Mary Adline Thomas Harward
So, who is in your family tree?!
Welcome to the ninth installment of Cecile’s Scrapbook – the 1930′s scrapbook of my grandmother Cecile White Howard of Surry County, NC. Missed the earlier posts in this series? Catch up here: first installment, second installment, third installment, fourth installment, fifth installment, sixth installment, seventh installment, eighth installment, ninth installment and tenth installment.
This is the last page in my grandmother Cecile’s scrapbook. I am not sure of the significance of the label on baby’s health in the top left corner. Mrs. H. C. Fowler (written underneath) was likely an aunt or cousin. The chewing gum wrapper below was from Williard Brown – perhaps a beau?
The letter to Miss Cecile White c/o Kings Beauty School in Greensboro is from Mrs. Hampton a “devoted friend”. [White Family Cousins - Does anyone know who Mrs. Hampton was?] The first page of this four page letter is below:
While this is the last page in Cecile’s scrapbook, a number of postcards, letters and articles were found loose in the pages. Like the scrapbook itself, they too share insight into what was important to my grandmother as a teenager and young woman. I will be sharing these over the next couple of weeks.
I had a lot of fun with the recent post My Ancestor Did That?!! . It was a fun way to think about my ancestors’ lives.
Now it’s time for the Ladies’ Turn at My Ancestor Did That?!! The list is shorter this time around. Information about the women in the family tree is harder to come by. Women just did not generate as many records. Still, there was information “out there” to be found on the females in my tree.
If you are a cousin, put your thinking caps own. Did you know who did what?
(Answers in the April 1st post.)
- One was quite the letter writer. (That’s an easy one!)
- One always seemed to have a dog.
- One played the guitar and banjo.
- Two (at least) were a marvelous seamstresses.
- One ran a small grocery/general store.
- Two died young leaving behind small children.
- One relegated her new electric stove to the back porch in favor of her wood stove.
Great Great Grandmothers
- One was bedridden in her later years.
- One was widowed as a mother with 6 children – the youngest a year old.
- One loved chewing gum – and shared it with her grandchildren.
- One received a Civil War pension as a widow.
- One was illegitimate.
Great Great Great Grandmothers
- One was born in Ireland.
- One never married.
- One died within a couple of weeks of her son.
- One was an invalid after the birth of her youngest child.
- One was very active in the women’s activities of her church.
So, who is in your family tree?!