Brick walls in our ancestry can come in many forms, but they usually boil down to the inability to extend a lineage. Often, a thorough search of extant records can help break down this barrier. Sometimes, however, the solution can be much less arduous. Such is the case with Ethel Lee (Penland) Ritchie.
After a long break to make ready for the FGS 2010 conference in Knoxville, and then to recover from the trip and catch up on other work, it’s time to resume our study of the ancestry of Roy S. Teague and Hattie (James) Teague Watkins. We’ll begin with Roy’s parents. To summarize what we know about Roy’s parents and siblings to date:
- Roy was enumerated in the 1930 US census, Clayton, Rabun Co., GA, next to Lina S. Teague (a widow, born about 1875), and four of her children, namely Faye C. Teague, Lucy Teague, Louie Teague (who was divorced), and Reba Teague.1
- Roy was buried in the same plot as Lina H. Teague, C. C. and Faye T. Barron, Paul C. Teague (Roy’s known son), and Louie and Fannie Q. Teague.2
- Roy’s obituary does not name his parents, but it does give his brothers as Louie Teague of Clayton and Grady Teague of Pontiac, Michigan; his half-brothers as Ulyus Teague of Rabun Gap and Melvin Teague of Canton, North Carolina; and his sisters as Mrs. Faye Barron and Mrs. Lucy P. Ramey of Clayton, and Mrs. Felton Sullivan of Tallulah Falls.3
A recent search for an obituary led to the discovery of an entire issue of The Clayton Tribune (Clayton, Rabun Co., GA) devoted to a pressing problem: the loss of the hot lunch program in local schools. The issue included several articles written by the editors and local concerned citizens of note, as well as letters sent in to the Tribune from parents, students, and other community members. The published letters ranged from one or two sentences to several paragraphs; some appeared to be excerpts of longer letters, including the following:
It provides many necessary food elements which the children would not otherwise get. The Free Lunch Project is a great help to many children who cannot afford to pay. –Mrs. Hattie Teague1
Hattie was amongst many parents who were concerned about malnutrition and the availability of hot lunches for their children during the coldest parts of winter.
* * * * *
1. “What the Parents Think About the W. P. A. School Lunch Room”, The Clayton Tribune, 21 January 1943, Volume XLVIII, Number 3, 7th page, 3rd column.
Local newspapers can have the most interesting items. While searching for an obituary for a man who was supposed to have died in April 1943, I found two small tidbits in The Clayton Tribune, the newspaper covering Rabun Co., GA. Both were on the front page of the 10 June 1943 issue (Volume XLVIII, Number 23).
The first item, located in the third column, was titled “Five Colored Selectees Leave Rabun”:
The following named colored selectees left Clayton on Tuesday morning, June 8th, at 8:25 o’clock for Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia, where they will receive armed forces examination [sic] and those who pass will be inducted into the branch of service for which they are found best qualified. After being sworn in they will be granted fourteen day furloughs.
The five men were: Richard Hammonds, Donald Penland, Beamon Chavers, Jesse William Larry, and Mack Edward Moore.
The second item, found in the fourth column, was entitled “18-Year-Old Registrants”. There was no explanation, only names along with other identifying information (some of which is not listed here): Boyce Fred Irvin Scott, Tallulah Falls, white; Daniel Griffin, Clayton, “col.”; Henry Edgar Owens, Satolah, white; Carlton Barton Smith, Tiger, white; James Hoyt Ramey, Tiger, white; Andrew Jackson Wilbanks, Tiger, white; David Cleo Davis, Clayton, white; Marvin Sam Shook, Clayton, white; William Joe T. Key, Clayton, white.
Various other issues included letters from local soldiers and small items on placements into new units. Unlike now, local papers were once a font of gossip and other news items of only local interest, and so they can also be a wonderful source on the day-to-day lives of our ancestors.
As promised, here are the photos of the James family plot at Antioch United Methodist Church Cemetery in the Warwoman community of Rabun Co., GA. They are presented here in the order they’re found in the cemetery, from right to left as described in the post Step by Step #5: Hattie (James) Teague Watkins.
Our previous research on the Roy and Hattie (James) Teague family revealed very little about the female half of this couple. To date, we know the following:
- Hattie James was born about 1906 in Georgia; both of her parents were also born in Georgia1
- She married Roy S. Teague in 1924 in Rabun Co., GA; the marriage was performed by M. H. James, a Justice of the Peace2
- She and Roy were living in Clayton, Rabun Co., GA, with three children in 19303
- They had probably seven children during the late 1920s through the 1930s4
- Between 1937 and 1967, Hattie remarried to a Watkins; she was still living as of the latter date5
What we haven’t found in our research is any record connecting her to her parents and possible siblings. While she and Roy were married by M. H. James, we have no clue who that person was or how he might otherwise be connected to Hattie. We don’t know when she died, or who her second husband might have been, nor can we even say for certain that she was the mother of all of Roy’s children. With so little to go on, how can we learn more about Hattie, and in the process extend her lineage backwards?
The first three posts in this series focused primarily on our target couple, Roy and Hattie (James) Teague. Today, we’re going to try to reconstruct their family with the records available to us.
First, let’s summarize what we know about Roy’s children.
- The 1930 US census gives us the names of three children, who we know to be Roy’s because they are named as such, and who Hattie was probably the mother of, given Roy and Hattie’s marriage date.1 In order of birth, they are:
- Susie J. Teague
- Clifford J. Teague
- Claud R. Teague
- Roy’s obituary gave the names and residences of six children:2
- Jack Teague of Clarkston, Michigan
- Ray Teague of Pontiac, Michigan
- Dewey Teague of Titusville, Florida
- Mrs. Roosevelt Coffey of Clayton, GA
- Mrs. Red Dixon of Clayton, GA
- Mrs. Sherman Martindale of Van Buren, Arkansas
- Additionally, a Paul C. Teague was buried between Roy and his brother Louie at Pickett Cemetery.3 Paul died in 1967, and so if he were Roy’s son, he would not have been mentioned in Roy’s 1969 obituary, which mentioned only surviving relatives.4 However, it is also possible that he was Louie’s son, or in some other way related to the family.
Our previous discussion of the Roy and Hattie [--?--] Teague family centered upon their entry in the 1930 US census. Today, we’re going to follow up on two items from our to-do list: Find a marriage record for this couple, and check the Vital Statistics register for their deaths. We’re looking first in the records created and maintained within Rabun Co., GA, where the couple lived in 1930.