Posts tagged ‘Watson family’

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.

October 25, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Etha Mae Watson, Norton Cemetery, Jackson Co., NC

Etha Mae Roberts was born in 25 June 1886 in Jackson Co., GA, the daughter of Alsa and Sally Morgan Roberts. She married first to Elbert Hudson, and second to James “Woodfin” Watson. She died 1 February 1958 in Jackson Co., NC. This was Daddy Thad‘s mother, my father’s grandmother (and my great-grandmother), who was known as Grandma Watson to the younguns.

November 10, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Daniel D. and Levina Alexander

Daniel D. Alexander Sr., Born Aug. 29, 1803, Died Nov. 10, 1853
Levina wife of Daniel D. Alexander, Sr., Born Oct. 10, 1805, Died Jan. 2, 1880

Daniel D. Alexander, Sr., and his wife, Levina, were the parents of my ancestress, Elizabeth Alexander (1833 – 1865), who married James Watson, a participant in and casualty of the Watson-Hooper feud of Jackson County, NC. They are buried in the Salem Cemetery, more commonly known as the Alexander Cemetery, in Oconee County, SC (see reference number C003 on the linked web site).

At one time, the stones stood as individual markers. After Daniel’s broke, a thoughtful descendant had the two placed in a larger monument and reset atop the burial sites. A close-up makes the dates easier to read:

Daniel was the son of Micajah and Elizabeth Lewis Alexander. Levina was the daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Kennemore Rice. Peggy Burton Rich has compiled a great deal of information on this particular Alexander family in a series of books, the first of which is entitled The Alexander Families of Upper South Carolina.

November 4, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Thad and Junior, 1944

Thad and Junior (18 months)

This picture is of my father’s father, Thad J. Watson, Sr., with my father’s eldest brother, Thad J. Watson, Jr. For those of you who are wondering, the “J” is only an initial; it’s not a shortened version of any name.

My grandmother, Nanny, and I moved this picture from one photo album to another when I was a teenager. We left the caption, written by my grandmother, which stated that Thad Jr. was 18 months old at the time the picture was taken. That would make the approximate date of the photo June 1944, just two months before my grandfather died in a bombing run over Czechoslovakia, and about five months before the birth of my father.

October 21, 2009

Linda Ledford Watson, 1948 – 2009

On Saturday, October 10, 2009, Linda Ledford Watson, 61, of Rabun Gap, GA, died quietly in her sleep of complications from Crohn’s disease. She was born June 25, 1948 in Macon Co., NC, to the late Lake Randolph and Ruth Virginia Anderson Ledford. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Johnny Ledford; and a cousin who was raised by Linda’s parents, Virginia Anderson Thompson Stevenson.

Linda was a woman of few flaws and many virtues. Her heart was open to anyone in need, and her home often overflowed with family and friends alike. She was active in her church and in the community, and heavily involved in the lives of her large, extended family.

She was an accomplished seamstress and quilter. She often sewed clothing for her family, especially in the early years when her children were young. Over the years, many a young bride came to Linda for help with her wedding dress, and often for help managing the wedding itself. Linda also completed several quilts for her family and others. Her latest projects included sewing wall hangings for the youngest of her parents’ great-grandchildren. She was also working on a memory quilt for her eldest grandchild.

Linda loved the holidays, but she also had a way of making each day into a special occasion. Some days might be marked by an arrangement of freshly cut flowers straight from her yard, and others by a favorite family meal, but each day was precious to her, no matter how it was passed.

To her husband, she was wife, companion, and partner, having worked with him for many years at the Rabun County Farm Bureau. They were active in Valley Fun and Recreation (both being avid card players), and travelled together to many memorable locations.

To her children, she was SuperMom. She was the Mom who baked goodies or picked up a child when another parent was running late. She was the Mom who was always willing to volunteer, whether for chaperoning a bus or sewing costumes. In fact, many of those costumes were ones she made and wore herself, just to make an event memorable for her children and their friends. During her children’s school days, she was active in the Band Boosters, the Athletic Boosters, and the PTA. She was the score keeper, and the team mascot, and the loudest one cheering on every child, no matter which side they played for. She never turned down an opportunity to pitch in if she could help it.

To her grandchildren, she was Me-Mom. When PBJs were needed for a bus ride to a football game, she delivered them to the school freshly made, and then followed the bus to the game just to cheer the team on. She never missed an event in her grandchildren’s lives, nor did she ever miss an opportunity to spend time with them.

She was a stalwart friend and a devoted sister. Two weeks before her death, she helped cook a special meal for the senior members of her church. The week before her death, she spent much time consoling the family of her two nieces, whose father, Linda’s former brother-in-law, had just been killed. She spent many days making the family rounds, or helping others in whatever way she could.

Many other platitudes could be expressed about Linda, but the final one should be this, that she was quietly devout in everything she did. She held a firm, unwavering belief in God, and there is no doubt that she has joined Him in a better place.

Linda is survived by her husband of 41 years, Varney Watson, of the home; daughter Dawn Watson and son David Watson, both of Rabun Gap; daughter Dee Dillard and son-in-law Claude Dillard, of Dillard, GA; grandchildren Bryce and Bailey Dillard, of Dillard, and Caleb Watson, of Rabun Gap; sisters Jean Ledford VanHook, Liz Ledford Ledford, and Debi Ledford Watts Nylund, all of Franklin, NC; sister Sylvia Ledford Spell of Aiken, SC; sister Bonnie Ledford Shirley of Clayton, GA; brothers Wayne Ledford, Jim Ledford, Benny Ledford, David Ledford, and Joey Ledford, all of Franklin; Timothy Thompson of Rabun Gap; Kieva Stevenson of Clayton, GA; and many beloved brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Visitation was held Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Beck’s Funeral Home in Clayton, GA. A memorial service was held Monday, October 12, 2009 at the Head of Tennessee Baptist Church in Dillard, GA, officiated by the Reverand Doug Porter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

September 4, 2009

Nanny and Dad, 1945

Stella Martin Watson with son, Varney Watson, circa 1945

Stella Martin Watson with son, Varney, circa 1945

This picture is a poignant reminder of the loss of my grandfather, Thad J. Watson, Sr. (“Daddy Thad”), who died in August 1944 just a few months before my father’s birth later that year. My grandmother, whom we called Nanny, is wearing Daddy Thad’s wings on her left shirt pocket, and I believe the insignia on her left sleeve was also once part of my grandfather’s uniform.

Note: This post created in response to GeneaBloggers’ Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #35: Share a photo that conjures mixed emotions in you. Explain why this is the case as you detail the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter.

June 30, 2009

The Crew of the Little Lulu

This post was written for the 75th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, “Justice and Independence”.

I was fortunate enough to have three grandfathers, and all three served in World War II. My mother’s father, Lake Ledford, served in the US Navy. My father’s stepfather, Ned Burrell, was in the Army. And my father’s father, Thad J. Watson, Sr., served in the Army Air Corps.

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