Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ancestor Namesakes

Figuring out who my ancestors are named after has always been a fun past time for me. The best one yet is the family of my great great grandparents Allen and Cornelia "Neely" Correll Collett. 

Their first child was Lillian Fostina and I have not been able to figure out where that name came from.

Their second child was Jacob Edward. Neely's  father was Jacob, as was her brother,  and her brother Charles' middle name was Edward.

The next son was Joseph Allen, named for his father. I do not know his father Allen's middle name but I do know it starts with a J. Could be Joseph? 

Daughter Harriett was born next, named after her grandmother, Neely's mother. 

The third and last son was Charles Fisher. Fisher was the middle name of Neely's brother and the name he went by. And Charles was the name of her brother whose middle named was used for Jacob. I think she used her two favorite brothers names but mixed them up. Jacob Edward was named for Jacob Fisher and Charles Edward, and Charles Fisher was named for the same two. Are you with me?

Next was my dear great grandmother Annie. She was named after her great grandmother Annie Groner, mother of Harriett.

The last born child was Molly who is still a mystery. Maybe they thought it was a cute name.

Jacob 'Fisher" Correll

Charles Edward Correll

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Maternal Grandfather Avery Lee Abernathy

My maternal grandfather Avery Lee Abernathy was was born in Newton, NC, on June 15, 1909, to Bertis Abernathy and Prudie Elliott. According to his birth certificate, he was delivered at home by midwife Lucy Ramseur. The family eventually moved to Rowan County, where they all worked at Cannon Mills.

Prudie Elliott Abernathy

Bert Abernathy

Avery and his wife Vera Belk Abernathy worked at Cannon Mills in China Grove their whole lives. I remember visiting as a child, waiting for the midnight whistle to go off so we could run to meet Grandpa at the gate. He'd be carrying his large metal lunch pail, and when we got back to the house we'd sit on the front porch and play with his tools. I still have a scar on my finger from the time he told me to stop playing with that pocket knife or I was going to cut myself!

Grandpa liked swinging in his porch swing, reading comic books and watching Days Of Our Lives. He was also known for his "Red Eye Gravy" and we had a little tune for it, "Want some red eye gravy? Get the recipe from Avery!" One of the funniest stories about him was told to me recently by his youngest living son, Clinton Abernathy. Uncle Clinton told me that when they were boys Grandpa would come home from the mill everyday and sit in his swing reading his comic books. I guess this was his way to unwind when working 1st shift. One day his two oldest sons, Buddy and Charles, took a string and tied it to the swing, ran it across the street and tied it to the screen door of a cranky neighbor. Everyone remembers how those old wooden screen doors bang? Every time Grandpa would swing forward that door would open and slam shut. The boys were hiding under the porch watching, and surely laughing their stinking little heads off. Cranky neighbor man came out to investigate, grabbed the string, and followed it all the way to Grandpa's swing.  I fell certain he knew it was those rotten Abernathy boys (there were FOUR of them and one sweet daughter, my mom) and not my Grandpa.

Harold "Buddy" Abernathy
Charles Abernathy

Grandpa's parents Bert and Prudie are buried at West Lawn Cemetery in China Grove, Bert is marked but Prudie isn't. Two of their daughters are also buried there and not marked. Sad. Grandpa had five brothers and three sisters. One of his brothers, Baby Ervin, died as an infant and is buried at Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Salisbury. Grandpa, a soft heart, would always tear up when he spoke of his baby brother. The other brothers are Fred Monroe, Ernest Edward, Everett Lewis and Carl Hampton. The sisters were Jessie, Annie Belle and Margaret "Odessa". The only sibling I knew was Odessa, and she was loved by all of us.

Fred Monroe Abernathy
Odessa on right with sister-in-law Vera

I have not been able to locate Bert's parents or a death date on them. Their names are Mitchell Abernathy and Nancy Jane Talbert or Tolbert. She went by Nancy or Jane and has been hard to trace. They lived in Gastonia and Mitchell disappears off the census after 1900. In 1913 there is a Jane Abernathy, widow of Mitchell A. living in Salisbury (according to the US City Directory). That is the last record I have found on who I believe to be my 2nd great grandmother Nancy Jane Abernathy. My guess is after Mitchell died she moved to Salisbury to be close to her daughter Fanny, who is also in the city directory. I hope to visit the city cemetery in Salisbury soon to see if they have records. I do know that neither of them is buried where their son Manuel Alvin Abernathy in Gastonia was buried.

Here is Avery, a very sweet man, wonderful father, member of South China Grove Baptist Church where he sang in the choir, lifetime cotton mill worker, surf fisher, lover of animals and children, and a horrendous snorer.

Avery Lee Abernathy loved the beach

One of my favorites - how I remember him

A young Avery with wife Vera Belk Abernathy

Avery and Vera

South China Grove Baptist Church Choir - Avery back row left

Charles, Buddy, Avery, Vera, David, Ann, Clinton

The author on right with little sister, Mimi the dog and my grandparents

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Met a new (to me) cousin!

A couple years ago I started corresponding with a distant cousin named Jim Mosier. His great grandfather and my great, great grandfather were brothers. Jim saw some of my memorials on find-a-grave and contacted me, and we've been cousins ever since. Last month he drove down from VA to visit me in NC and we spent two days traveling around SC to graveyards and visiting family members.

Our grandfathers are buried at this cemetery, Union Baptist Church Cemetery, in Lancaster, SC. They were raised adjacent to the church at the old Tom Small Farm, until their mother died and they were separated to live with relatives.

Jim's great grandfather Thomas Milburn Calvin Mosier had a farm in Cassatt, SC, where some of his descendants still live. After leaving Lancaster we drove to Cassatt to look up Jim's family. We met his cousin Jack, and Jack's wife Jan and son Kyle. Jack had to go to work but Jan and Kyle were so warm and welcoming to us. They let us walk all over the old farm land, take photos and then invited into the home to look through 100's of photos. 

We also stopped at the Cassatt County Store. Jim's Uncle Charley Mosier used to own it but he was robbed and murdered at his house in the early 1970's after leaving the store one night. It has been told that before he died he said they didn't get his money, which he was known to carry a lot of. We met a man in the store who told us a very heart warming memory about Uncle Charley.

It was a great visit, and Jim and I are definitely cousins for life now!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lost Ancestors

One of my favorite past times is visiting antique stores. I always feel sorry for all the "lost ancestors" wishing I could find a way to get them back to their family. I also like to purchase old frames for my own photos. If I find a photo that is labeled with a name, for a reasonable price, I will buy it and try to research the person to find a descendant. 

The photo below is labeled "David Wesley Bryant was born the 19th of October 1905. This is the 27th of April 1906. He weighs now 24 lbs. I found several people on tracing this family and sent them messages but never heard back from them. I am not looking to get paid, I get satisfaction from getting these photos back where they belong - with family!

Last week I found a frame that I really liked. There was a Mecklenburg County Reading Certificate in it:

Behind the certificate was this photo of an old service station. I was able to see the date of 1928 on the plate of the old car, and could read the name of the service station so I did some research. It turns out the reader above was the niece of the owner of the service station, Springs McCoy. I did locate the daughter of a Springs McCoy but it was the wrong one. But I do have a new 86 year old friend now!

Below are three photos I recently found in old frames I bought at an antique store in Albemarle, North Carolina. They are not marked. The photos of the man and woman were in similar frames bought from the same dealer so I am guessing they may be related. The woman's photo was taped to the frame with 1923 Christmas stamps (you can see them behind the edge of the photo). The baby was from a different dealer.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Some of my Military Veteran Ancestors

The only American Revolution veteran I've been able to document is my 5th Great Uncle Brittain Belk. I have read that his brother, my 5th great grandfather Darling Belk, also served in the American Revolution but have yet been able to prove it. Uncle Brittain is buried in Monroe, NC, in the Old Antioch Cemetery along with most of his family including his mother and father, my 6th great grandparents. Uncle Brittain died in 1880 several months after being wounded by the troops of Banastre Tarleton at Buford Crossroads Massacre on May 29, 1780. He was struck in the head by a sword.

My 3rd great grandfather, George Washington Lafayette Belk, enlisted in Company E as a Private, North Carolina 48th Infantry Regiment, on 19 Apr 1862. He mustered out 14 Oct 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA and was killed 14 Oct 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA. After his death his wife Tressie married Charles Fisher Helms, who was also a veteran of the Civil War.

My cousin Woodrow Wilson Belk, who was the great grandson of the above mentioned George Washington Lafayette Belk, died in World War II in a plane crash at Rotterdam while on a Third Air Force flight. He was the son of Oscar and Corrie Pressley Belk and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Charlotte, NC.

My paternal great grandfather's brother, William Andrew Josiah Mosier served in WWI. He survived but was in France when his father died.

Great Uncle William RF Belk served in WWII. He had great survival skills because he had eight sisters!

My mother had four brothers and they all served in the military, as did the husband of her cousin and best friend, Sarah Adams. Mom's brothers were Charles, Harold (Bud), Clinton and David Abernathy, and Sarah's husband was Gerald Murphy.

Harold "Bud" Abernathy

Gerald Murphy

Charles Abernathy

Clinton Abernathy with sister Anne

David Lee Abernathy
My dear father John Edward Mosier served in the USAF, Korea and Vietnam, for over 20 years.


My Step Grandfather Robert E. Lee Rorie

My paternal grandfather Clyde Mosier died when dad was 12 years old. His mother remarried after her three children were grown, but before she had grandchildren. So Papa Bob was the only paternal grandfather I ever knew and he was loved by all of his eight grandchildren. His marriage to my grandmother was his first so he had no children of his own.

Grandma and Papa lived in a two bedroom home with her room at one end and his at the other. We spent a lot of time in her room because that is where her sewing machine was, and also where I slept (with her) when I visited her during the summer. We rarely entered Papa's room. I remember a twin bed that was always immaculately made and a small dresser. The only other thing I remember was a large oval framed photo of a man in a uniform above Papa's bed. We knew it was his father but never asked him anything about his family. We were a little afraid of it because the eyes would follow you. Maybe that is how he kept us out of his room!

When I started researching my family history I of course included my Papa Bob. And I was stunned to find out that his father, pictured above his bed, was in the Civil War. My great grandfather was in the Civil War! Papa Bob was the 17th child of William Thomas Rorie, from his second wife. William Thomas Rorie died in 1924 when Papa was 12 years old.

I asked my aunt what happened to the framed photo and she thinks my grandmother gave it to Papa Bob's only surviving sister, who came to his funeral. That makes sense and is exactly what grandma would have done. How I would love to see it now, and I am thinking with the 1940 census out I may be able to find descendants of his sister, Cara Maybelle Rorie Laney.

Bob and Thelma Rorie

Friday, April 27, 2012

My 2nd Great Grandfather Henry James Mosier

This post will be about old family tales. Growing up we were always told by my grandmother (as told to her by my grandfather Clyde Mosier who died in 1945) that our 2nd great grandfather Henry James Mosier was abandoned as a child by his father, James P. Moser. Henry and his brother Thomas Milburn Calvin Mosier added the i to Mosier when they grew up, and they told their families that their father had died.

Henry James Mosier

Another part of the tale is that James P. Moser asked his wife Margaret Belk Moser to leave with him to move to Georgia (or sometimes it was California) and she refused so he left with the neighbor's wife on a horse and buggy and never saw his family again. Along with this we heard he had a brother that was hanged for stealing horses.

From my research I have learned that James did indeed leave with the neighbor's wife. But the neighbor's wife was his brother's wife, his sister-in-law Mary. And seeing as his brother William disappears after the 1860 census, and has no Civil War records, I think William was the hanged horse thief. Because you see, not only James left for Georgia with Mary and her children, his father (I believe the mother died around this time) and all his siblings also left, all resettling in the upstate SC/GA area, never to be heard from again. I think the family high-tailed it out of Lancaster County, SC, because they were mortified by the hanging. And I think Margaret chose to stay because she had health issues, and didn't want to leave her extended Belk family.  Margaret died a few years later and the three children were raised by different relatives. James and Mary had several children together and lived a long life after eventually settling in Athens, GA.

From all accounts my 2nd great grandfather Henry Mosier was a good man. I recently found his death notice at one of my favorite links,  Chronicling America, listed on my homepage.