I had the opportunity to meet and interview “new” Haley cousins this past weekend. The matriarch of the family is a lovely and gracious woman who generously shared her stories of my great-great grandparents William and Clara Haley. Her children also shared their stories and memories of the couple as well as others in the family. As anyone researching family history quickly learns, one story can open up new avenues of research. The stories of this weekend proved no different.
Here are some fun facts I learned about my William (Will) and Clara Haley:
- Clara loved chewing gum. She used to chew it and then give it to the children in the family. (That’s a rather scary thought!)
- Clara loved cats. She really had no use for dogs. (So that’s where I get it from!)
- Clara was very strict with her children. She was the disciplinarian more often that her husband Will.
- When Will and his son Clyde bought land in Charlotte County, VA, Will was already in his 60’s. I never realized the family moved there until their later years. [I plan to research their earlier years in Clarkton, VA more thoroughly.]
- Clara had 12 children. One child is known to have died in infancy. I only have accounted for the 9 children who grew into adulthood. I have a 10th child listed without a sufficient source. Does anyone know about a child named Walter Haley?
- It is likely that Will Haley had a form of dementia. His unfortuante death occured in 1948 when he went looking for a lost cow. He failed to return home and an extensive search was launched. He was found dead in a ditch having died of drowning or exposure. [According to family the incident was written up in the Charlotte Gazette. That’s one more avenue of research to explore.]
- Family lore tells that Will Haley was a very religious man. Interestingly, he did not attend church very often once he and Clara moved to Charlotte County.
- Lastly, the Haley family was and still is a very close knit family. I’m proud to be counted among them.
I hope you enjoy reading these little tidbits that I learned about Clara and Will Haley. I am still processing other stories and facts of the Haley family and will share more in the future.
*Note: You may have noticed the lack of names in my post. I do my best not to post names of living relatives for privacy reasons.