Archive for November, 2011

November 10, 2011

Meal Ticket, Pvt. Thad J. Watson, Sr.

This meal ticket was passed down to me in an envelope containing a letter informing my grandfather’s family that he was missing in action. It was dated 22 March 1944, and was from Daddy Thad’s time at Tyndall Field in Panama City, FL, where he received training in the Gunnery school.

Note Daddy Thad’s signature at the bottom of the ticket.

November 9, 2011

Newspaper Clippings: Sgt. Thad J. Watson and Sgt. Clarence E. Fisher

These clippings were passed down to me in an envelope containing a letter informing my grandfather’s family that he was missing in action. There are no notes explaining which newspaper these were taken from, nor the date of publication. It is probable that these were clipped from the newspaper published in Jackson Co., NC, where Daddy Thad’s family and the Fisher family lived.

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November 8, 2011

Dear Mrs. Watson

This letter from Chaplain John Eastwood was written 31 August 1944.

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November 7, 2011

Telegram: Sergeant Thad J. Watson Sr. Missing in Action

This is the envelope containing the telegram informing my grandmother that her husband (my grandfather) was missing in action. It is addressed to her (Mrs. Stella V. Watson) care of her father, O. W. Martin, who lived at that time, I believe, on Messer Creek off of Betty’s Creek Road.

The telegram was dated 4 September 1944 and reads:

The secretary of war desires me to express his deep regret that your husband Sergeant Thad J Watson Sr has been reported missing in action since twenty four August over Czechoslavakia if further details or other information are received you will be promptly notified.

It was signed by J. A. Ulio, Adjutant General.

Nanny once told me of a dream she had. In the dream, she and Daddy Thad had gone on a picnic with one of his fellow crew mates on the Little Lulu, and the crew member’s girlfriend. Daddy Thad left, and she awoke to him calling her name. This dream occurred before she knew he had died, and possibly even before she knew he was MIA. In an eerie coincidence, the crew member from her dream was the only one who survived the day the Little Lulu was shot down; all other members died in the crash.

November 4, 2011

Feature Friday: Bleckley Family Cemetery, August 3, 1894

The following was taken from The Clayton Argus, Volume 1, Number 7, August 3, 1894 issue:

While on a business trip to Chechero last Saturday we were invited by Mrs. F. A. Bleckley to visit the family cemetery, which invitation we cordially accepted, and of which we are by no means sorry. This sacred city of the dead which is on top of a high hill overlooking the family residence on one side and the Methodist church on the other, is the final resting place of the family and its nearest relatives and dearest friends. We were greatly impressed by the good condition in which this hallowed spot is kept. It is enclosed by a nice lattice fence and the grounds within are most beautifully laid off and most scrupulously clean. What prevents the citizens of Clayton from paying the same homage to their departed loved ones? Let us not omit this sacred duty longer.

The Bleckley Cemetery is beautiful, and has some very old burials marked by well-preserved stones. It is located about two and a half miles from Clayton off of 76E going toward South Carolina.

* * * * *

Quotation excerpted from my upcoming volume Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899, expected to be released in 2012.

November 3, 2011

The Last Will and Testament of James Barr, Jackson Co., GA

James Barr was a Revolutionary War veteran who lived the latter portion of his life in Jackson Co., GA. He wrote his last will and testament in 1835.

first I Give to my Wife Mary all my Property both Real & Personal During her Life then to be Divided as follows (to wit)
To My Son James Henson Barr the Plantation wheron I now Live & a negro man Edom & one Cow
The Ballance of My Property to be Sold & Eaqully [sic] Divided between all my Children including James Henson Barr I hereby appoint Mary Barr[,] James Henson Barr & Boley Wilson my Exeutors [sic]

The will was witnessed by James Montgomery, John Cuningham, and Samuel Hay, and was proven 1 March 1841 by the oaths of John Cuningham and James Montgomery.

Two curious paragraphs were inserted in the official record between the copy of the will and the notation where it was proven.

We the Jury find in Favour of applicant & than [sic] was Proof of attestations by only Two Witnesses…
And Decree that the administrators or objectors Pay the Cost of Suit…

There is likely further information in the court minutes on why all three witnesses could not prove the will.

This is a good example of a will not providing the expected information, in this case the names of all of James Barr’s children. One of my ancestors was supposedly a child of this James Barr but was not named in his will. A thorough search through other estate records may yield proof of this connection, as may other records sets such as the court minutes referenced above or land records.

November 2, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Edwin G. Dunham, Crew Member on the Little Lulu

Edwin G. Dunham, crew member on the Little Lulu.

There is some confusion over this gentleman’s name. I have his first name as Edward, Erwin, and Edwin, and his surname as both Dunham and Durham. If anyone can help sort out his name, please let me know, as I would be most appreciative.

November 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Wesley and Nancy Rowland

Father / Mother
Wesley / Nancy
Rowland / Rowland
July 27, 1823 / Apr. 9, 1825
Aug. 18, 1874 / July 6, 1903
At Rest. / At Rest.

Wesley and Nancy are buried at Fouts Cemetery in Macon Co., NC. This photo was taken August 27, 2010.

Directions to the cemetery: From the corner of Harrison Ave. and W. Main St. in downtown Franklin, NC, go about 3.6 miles on Harrison Ave. Take a left on Iotla Church Rd. Go about 3 miles then turn right onto Judd Duvall Rd. Go about 2/10 mile. Turn right onto a dirt road (141) marked with a sign that reads “Fouts Cemetery.” This road goes around the cemetery, which is on top of the hill.

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