Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Greats

In honor of Mother's Day, I've decided to take a quick look at the little I know about my Great Grandmothers.

Family structures can change due to numerous situations, some people grow up with many grandparetns, step-familes, extended families, adopted families, created families, but biologically, we all have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great great grandparents and so on.

I have 4 biological Great Grandmothers. Two I met. They actually lived into my lifetime, just far enough to have left vaque memories of themselves within my childhood recollections. The other two passed away long before I was a twinkle in anyone's eye.

The year's of their birth range from 1872 to 1891, a range of nearly twenty years, but placing them all the latter part of the 19th century. They were all born in the Southern Piedmont area of North Carolina, into an area still suffering the ravages of the Civil War, but yet, a time of great change, discovery, invention and growth. Two lived rather short lives, the other two rather long lives. All had their shares of heartaches and tragedies, joy and happiness. They were all tough women living through tough times and collectively they all led to the creation of me. The Greats:

Rowena L. Burris Lambert

Rowena Burris was my father's maternal grandmother. She is the firstborn of the "Greats".

Rowena L Burris

She was born in the spring on April 16, 1872 in the community of Big Lick, in Western Stanly County. She was the daughter of  David Burris and Ellen Honeycutt Burris and her parents far outlived her. Her father Dave, born in 1851, was luckily too young to have been drafted into the Civil War, and Rowena was there firstborn child. Her middle initial was "L" and I believe it was for Louise, but I can't be positive. Her name was spelled multiple ways in records, as it was back then with the minimal education most regular country folk recieved. I will stick with the normally accepted spelling of Rowena, although her tombstone spelled her name "Roine".

Rowena grew up a farmgirl and being the oldest child, I'm sure she was no stranger to hard work. She undoubtedly helped her mother with the housework and younger children and probably also helped her father with farm chores.

On November 25, 1894 Rowena L. Burris married Elias Marion Lambert. She was actually a few years older than he was.

Eli was from a community called "Bloomington", which now has a sign and a few houses, but the town itself has long since faded away. It's location, roughly is the area around the intersection of two old country roads, Austin and Canton. The couple were married by William E. Furr, a Justice of the Peace, at his home in Almond Township, which is where Bloomington was located, as well as where Eli had grown up. He was 19, and the son of Rufus Lambert and wife Sarah Ann Burris Lambert and he and Rowena were related. Not first cousins, but third three times over, in a very intermarried, complicated way.

The young couple wasted no time in starting a family, as there firstborn son, William Rufus Lambert was born in the summer of 1895.

He was followed by Beulah in 1897, Roy Lee in 1898 and Roby in 1900. I believe Roby's full name was Robert, but they lost the little guy at age two. He was laid to rest at Bear Creek Primitive Baptist Church, with a number of his kinsmen. His tombstone simply gives the dates and "Son of E M and R L Lambert".

Roby was followed by 4 more boys: Cheldy D. in 1901, Mathew M. in 1904, Claude Duncan in 1907 and Toffey in 1908. Again, another tragic loss of a child. Toffey only made it to 4 years and 17 days old. He was taken to Concord in Cabarrus County and was treated there from October 29, 1911, until January 17th, 1912. The diagnosis was diarhea and pernicious anemia. Toffey was buried at Rocky Ridge United Methodist Church in Cabarrus County.

Before Toffey's death, another son had joined the family, Fred Lee, who survied to adulthood. In 1913, finally, another daughter, Lucille, joined the brood, and I can bet Beulah was happy.

On March 13, 1915, at the age of 42 Rowena L. Lambert gave birth to her 11th and final child, Burley Melvin Lambert. And here is where family legends can diverge from the truth. Many a time I've heard "Well my Grandma told me this", and so it becomes fact. So many folks will swear their 100 percent Caucasian Grandparent was a "full-blooded Cherokee Indian". I'm not sure where all of the Native American ancestor legends came from, but from decades of research, I've discovered, most, but not all, of them are completely ficticious, and if they is a Native American ancestor, it's many many generations back, not Grandma, but Grandma's 10 times Great Grandma. And what's especially interesting to discover, is that within families where olive skin is a genetic trait, the Native American legend might look to have a bit of creedence from the appearance of modern descendants, there's more likely to be African ancestry, than Native American.

But back to Rowena. The family legend was that immediately after my Grandfather's birth, she began hemorrhagging, and was taken to the hospital in the back of a wagon (I had assumed Albemarle), but did not get there soon enough.

The records show that the family was living in Mount Pleasant, in Cabarrus County then, and that Rowena was taken to the hospital in Concord on April 2nd, several weeks after the birth of my grandfather and that 2 days later on April 4, 1915, she passed away from Acute Nephritis with an underlying contributory factor of Uremic Poison. Basically, she had kidney failure from a condition that may have developed during pregnancy.

Rowena was laid to rest at Old Bear Creek with her son Roby. What was true about the story as it continued was that my grandfather was given to Rowena's sister, Ella Elmetta "Mettie" Burris Smith and her husband, Henry Albert Smith, a blacksmith, to raise. The story was that she had no children, yet. The truth was that she didn't have as many children, 3 and then had another one after my grandfather was born. It was said that he grew up in Aquadale, but the couple lived in Albemarle in 1910 and 1920 and didn't move until Aquadale until sometime between 1920 and 1930. After Mettie was widowed, she married Joseph Alexander Gaddy, so Grandfather experienced being raised by 2 uncles. He even went by Smith until the military came calling, and then he had to go by his real name. But, I could have been born a Smith.

After Rowena's death, her husband remarried, three years later in 1918, to Emma Fairybell Honeycutt  Eury, a widow with a couple of kids of her own, who had lost her husband, James, in 1916. Together, they would add 3 more Lamberts to the already enormous brood, Lilly Alma in 1920, Robert Earnest in 1925 and Zorra Bell in 1927.

Eli would move between Stanly and Cabarrus Counties and then to Richmond County in 1930, before returning to Albemarle in 1940. He developed dementia in his late 60's and was committed to Broughton Hospital in Morganton. He died on October 8, 1943 of Chronic Myocarditis due to Cerebral Arteriosclerosis. He was brought back home to Stanly County and buried at Bear Creek along with both of his wives.

Lottie Louise Hill

Lottie Louise Hill was my father's maternal Grandmother. She was born in October of 1886, in Anson County, according to her death certificate, but her parents were living in New Salem, in Union County in 1880 and in Cabarrus County by 1900. At any rate, she grew up near the Rocky River, as did both of her parents. The daughter of William Mathew "Matt" Hill and Sarah Jane Hooks Hill, she spent most of her childhood in Cabarrus County, the daughter of a Grist Miller.

The fifth of 8 children, it appears that her father, Matt, was a bit of a scoundrel too. Her mother, Sarah Jane Hooks, was the daughter of a Confederate soldier who did not make it home. The area was wrought with widows and orphans. Poverty, lawlessness, desparation and illegitimacy abounded and this is what their generation had grown up in. The family story was that Matt committed adultery with Sarah Jane's sister Emmaline and born a son, William Thomas Hooks, with her. The part about the son was true, but as women often lied to protect their reputaions, the truth was that young Matt, all of 19, had two unmarried sisters pregnant at the same time.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Emmaline Hooks gave birth to William Thomas on May 5, 1874.
Nineteen-year-old Sarah Jane Hooks gave birth to Mattie M on June 14, 1874, just a month later.

I don't know why Matt chose one sister over the other, but on August 29, 1875, over a year later, after the birth of both children, he married the eldest, Sarah Jane. It could have had something to do with the fact that Tom was not Emmaline's first child. She'd had another son, at age 15, just one year prior, with John Edward Curlee, named John Edward Hooks.

By the time Matt and Sarah Jane's second daughter, Lillie arrived in 1876, the couple were firmly within the bounds of matrimony.

Lottie Hill 001

By all accounts, Lottie was a beautiful woman, but her beauty did not serve her well. She was only 19 years old when her father, Matt, met a tragic death. He and a friend were walking along railroad tracks when he stepped out of the way of one train, only to be ran over and mangled by another. His widow, Sarah Jane Hooks Hill, sued and the lawsuit took years to settle.

The next year, on May 12, 1906, Lottie married Harvey Lafayette Lemmons, a young man with a head full of ginger curls who had grown up near Charlotte in Mecklenburg County. His mother's people clustered in Union and Cabarrus County and his father's people around Mint Hill.

Their first child, Lula Ninabelle, was born in 1907. Her name may have originally been Sarah, for her grandmother, as the young couple is found living in Charlotte in 1910 with a daughter named Sarah, the same age as Lula would have been. If this was a separate child, who didn't survive childhood, where was Lula at this time?

A second daughter, Tessy, arrived in July of 1910, but passed away at age 3 of TB.

 Tessy Lemmond

Tessy was buried at Rocky Ridge, where her grandfather W. M. Hill was buried, as was a child of my other paternal Great Grandmother, Rowena Burris Lambert. Before Tessy passed away, however, a third child, and the only son, Elder Edgar Lemmons was born in 1912.

Harvey Lemmonds in car 001
Harvey L. Lemmons

The marriage was not a happy one. The family story was that Lottie liked to go out, dance and party while Harvey worked in the Cotton Mill. By this time, the family had moved to Concord, a town with several Cotton Mills and factories. Harvey, broken-hearted and jealous, committed suicide in anguish. The newspaper accounts read like this, putting blame for the failing marriage to Harvey, not Lottie.


The Concord Daily Tribune 
Concord, North Carolina
14 Jun 1915, Mon  •  Page 1

The facts are that Lottie had taken papers out on Harvey for abandonment. They had two living children upon Harvey's death, but unstated in the newspapers was the fact that Lottie was pregnant with her fourth child at the time, a girl, my Grandmother, Bertha Virginia, a red-head who was the spitting image of her father. Harvey died June 12, 1915. He was buried at Rocky Ridge with his daughter Tessy. My grandmother was born September 8, 1915, three months later.

Bertha Virginia Lemmonds
Bertha as a girl

Still in her 20's, Lottie's life had already been wrought with tragedy. Her father had been beheaded and mangled by a train. Her toddler had died of tuberculosis. Her marriage was failing, probably from the fault of both. And her husband had killed himself while she was pregnant. It was a time when women had few options and little power. She was 28.

At some point Lottie met Duncan "Dunk" Burris. Dunk was from Stanly County. He had been married twice by 19, both times to women related to him slightly distantly. His first married to Dolly Burris in 1899, at age 17, had resulted in her passing away the same year of unknown causes. His second marriage to an older widow, Naomi "Omi" Almond, 34 to his 19, resulted in 2 children, one who lived, and a very ugly divorce.

Then Dunk met Lottie. After being widowed immediatley during his first marriage and going through a bitter divorce with his second, the wayward, fun-loving, alchohol-drinking Duncan had stayed single for awhile. At the age of 35, on April 10, 1917, he married Lottie Hill Lemmons. She was 30.

Duncan Burris was the son of David Burris and Ellen Honeycutt Burris, and if that sounds familiar, it is. He was the brother of my father's maternal grandmother, whom I just touched on, Rowena Burris. This is how my grandparents met. He was the nephew of her step-father.

The birth records of Cabarrus County have Duncan Burris and Lottie Hill (maiden name) listed several times: 1918, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1929. As does a line of little graves at Roberta United Methodist Church in Cabarrus County.

1918 made it. That was Aunt Dorothy. She lived until 2010 and got to meet all of my children.

Daisy Burris was born on March 11 of 1921 and died on Oct 8, 1921 at the age of 7 months. The cause was pneumonia with an underlying cause of LaGrippe.

An R. V. Burris was born on March 11 of 1921 also, and had to be her twin. He lived to grow up and passed away in 1992.

R. U Burris was a boy and died the same day he was born.

An unamed baby girl was born dead on April 15, 1929 and was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Albemarle, NC. She was the last of Lottie's children.

UnNamed Daughter Burris

The family story that Grandma told was one of Duncan selling the family cow and the baby (a baby) died because she starved. If true, the baby who died had to have been Daisy, who lived to be 7 months old. Her death certificate said she died of La Grippe, however, a viral infection. Today, we call it the flu. But that's how family stories can vere away from the facts.

Lottie Hill Lemmonds 001
Lottie near the end of her life

Lottie Louise Hill Lemmons Burris died on September 25, 1935. She was 48 years old. She died of psychosis due to pellagra, a horrific disease and a horrific death to follow, caused by poor diet and lack of niacin in the diet. Farm families seemed to live healthier, and those of this era who moved to town and worked in the Cotton Mills, like Lottie and Duncan, seemed to die from very poor diets. What a tragic life this beautiful lady had. Her death certificate said she was to be buried at Fairview Cemetery in Albemarle, but she was actually buried at Roberta Methodist Church in Cabarrus County, with some of her infants. Find-a-grave verifies she is there.

Penny Wayne Turner Davis

Penny Wayne Turner Davis was the youngest of my 4 Great Grandmothers. She was my maternal Grandfather's mother. Born on June 18, 1891 in Anson County, she lived until February 17, 1865, two days before my fifth birthday, and I actually have memories of her. I can mentally walk through the house of my Great Grandparents Davis, room by room. I remember the two porches, the front low one in front of the street, and the high one of the side overlookig a steep bank. I remember the flower pots in the basement windows, like a make-do greenhouse. I remember the glass doors and Penny Wayne's fascinating collection of niks naks, mostley Revolutionary War era lads and ladies.

Despite a good memory of her, her family tree is one of the most mysterious, and difficult to decipher. The first few generations up, yeah, they're there, but after that it's swampy, full of twists and shouldbe's, but indefinite connections.

Her parents were William Alexander Turner and Sarah Francis Falkner Turner, known as Fanny.

Penny was the second of their 3 daughters. There were other babies, apparently, who did not grow up, one a daughter named Mary that resided in someone's memory, as several family trees have her listed. But I do not know when she was born or when she died. Red Hill Baptist Church Cemetery lists several infant Turners graves. A visit there is on the agenda, to determine if any of them are near the grave sites of Penny's parents.

Name:Wm A Turner
Birth Date:Mar 1869
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1900:Albemarle, Stanly, North Carolina
House Number:21
Sheet Number:14
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:181
Family Number:208
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Fannie Turner
Marriage Year:1887
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Cotton Mill, Drawer
Months Not Employed:0
Can Read:No
Can Write:No
Can Speak English:Yes
House Owned or Rented:R
Farm or House:H
Household Members:
Wm A Turner31
Fannie Turner31
Annie M Turner11
Penny W Turner8
Ella Smith33
Virgie M Smith1

The 1900 census is the only one wherein the Turner family is intact. They have moved to Albemarle and are working in the Cotton Mills, a tragic and determinable factor for many a former farm family. Annie May and Penny Wayne are living with their parents and their Aunt Ella and her daughter, Virginia, or Virgie Mae. Ella was the sister of Fanny and had been married to Will Turner's brother Jim, who died of pneumonia in 1895. She had since married a C. E. M. Smith, son of a Robert and E. M. Smith, but Virginia turned out to be a Russell and married a Harris and lived most of her life in Charlotte. Ella was a tough one to follow. After marrying the Smith and one, possibly two, Russells, she married a J. E. Duls or Dull and lived in Charlotte, herself.

Both Fanny and Ella claimed to have given birth to 5 children each, with 2 surviving for Fannie and 1 for Ella. Tragic times. Fanny would have been pregnant with Bessie at this time and Bessie would survive to grow up and marry a Scarboro. She died young, but not without leaving descendants. I've gotten a few Scarboro's in my DNA cousins list that are descendants of Bessie around the second cousin range.

William A. Turner would pass away on January 3,  1902, of what, I do not know. He is buried at Red Hill Baptist Church in Anson County. He was 35.

Fanny remarried a few years later in 1904, to a widower, Brantley M. Thompson. They would have one child, Bennett Lee Thompson in 1907. My Great Grandmother's love for her little brother was notorious. I remember my mother telling me how fond she was of him. She even named one of her sons, Uncle Bennett, for him. Bennett Thompson died in 1975. I was 15.

On April 18, 1908, Penny Wayne Turner would marry William Hampton Davis. She was 16 and he was 17. My grandfather, their third born, but oldest for most of his life, Lewis, had his father's frame and most of his facial features, but his mother's dark eyes. 

Will and Penny Davis family

The 1910 cenus of Albemarle, NC lists Brant Thompson in House Number 204, Salisbury Road, which I am betting is now Salibury Avenue, running from Second Street, crossing First and then all the way to Richfield. His sons Travis 21, and George 18, by his first marriage are living with them, as well as May 20, and Bessie Turner 10. Little Bennett Thompson, the shared child of Brant and Fanny is only 2. They are also hosting 2 boarders, Mamie Taylor and Will Vanderburg.

Next to them is 22 year old John Thompson and his young family.

Next to that, in House 206 is Will and Penny, with son Claude, age 1 and a half. He was their firstborn

Following Will and Penny was Joe Holt and wife Mattie in Number 207. Mattie was Will's sister.

So a whole row of family on Salisbury Avenure.

The Enterprise 
Albemarle, North Carolina
11 Aug 1910, Thu  •  Page 3

Will and Penny would soon experience tragedy. William Claude Davis, born on March 3, 1909 would pass away on August 8, 1910, probably of some childhood ailment. He would be buried at Prospect Church, near the community of the same name between Palestine and Clairemont. This church was popular with the Davis family after they moved from Southern Stanly to Albemarle and was near the last known home of Henry Davis.

The 1920 census would find the family on First Street near Will's brothers Tom and Titus.

The 1930 census would find Will and Penny and their ever growing family living in North Albemarle Township on Old Salisburty Road. The new one, Highway 52, had been built by then. The Davis family, which now included Clyde 19, Lewis 17, Addie Mae 15, Horton H. 12, Doy Ray 9, Fannie Aileen 8, Ramelle 6 and Bennett D 5. They were living right next door to the family of Walther Jonah and Wincy Ann "Annie" Mauldin, who had a 20 year old daughter Maude. Grandma and Grandpa were next door neighbors. Lewis would marry the girl next door.

Name:Will H Davis
Estimated birth year:abt 1892
Birthplace:North Carolina
Marital status:Married
Relation to Head of House:Head
Home in 1940:Badin, Stanly, North Carolina
Map of Home in 1940:View Map
Street:North Second Street
House Number:252
Inferred Residence in 1935:Badin, Stanly, North Carolina
Residence in 1935:Same House
Sheet Number:3B
Number of Household in Order of Visitation:42
Occupation:Section Hand Spinning
House Owned or Rented:Rented
Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented:5
Attended School or College:No
Highest Grade Completed:Elementary school, 4th grade
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census:40
Class of Worker:Wage or salary worker in private work
Weeks Worked in 1939:52
Income Other Sources:No
Household Members:
Will H Davis48
Doray Davis48
Wayne Davis19
Ilene Davis18
Bennett Davis15
Alfred Davis8
Jewel Davis6
Agnes Clark55

By 1940, the family was living on Second Street near Leslie Street. They would remain in this general area until I arrived in town and could remember it. Some of the older children, with my grandfather, were married already. Grandpa had already had his family, all 4, from 1935 to 1939.
An obvious mistake was that the census taker reverse the names of mother and son. The 48 year old mother was not "Doray", she was "Wayne". The 19 year old son was not "Wayne", he was "Doray" or Doy Ray.

Image may contain: 1 person
Alfred Davis

Will and Penny had had their youngest child, Uncle Alfred, who was 8 in 1940. I always knew he and Uncle Doug, son of Lewis, were close, but never realized they were so close in age. Seven years younger than  Bennett, Alfred seems almost an afterthought.

The 6 year old, Jewel, was not a sibling. She was the daughter of oldest son, Clyde Davis, who was working as a salesman and had entered into an unhappy and failed marriage.

Clyde would be their next tragedy.

It had been explained to me that Granpa had had an older brother, who went through a very bad divorce, had a daughter named Jewel, and went through a deep depression. The above article had confused me because he had 5 brothers, certainly, Lewis, Bennett, Horton, Doy Ray and Alfred, but only 3 sisters, Addie Mae, Ramelle and Ilene. The article also failed to mention a daugher, Jewel. Then I discovered that Will and Penny actually had adopted Jewel as a child, and she is listed as a daughter in the 1940 census, so by law, his daughter was actually his sister. The family apparently did not think of her that way, however, as my mother considered her a cousin, not an aunt. 

Great Granparents Davis with Nookie, Clyde, Doy, Addie, Ramelle, little Alfred.

The above photo shows two sons in the service, Claude on the far left and Doy Ray on the far right. Others, from left to right, was a very distinguished looking Will Davis, with Penny Wayne beside him. In front of Great Grandma was a little Eldon "Nookie" Holt, son of Aunt Addie Mae, who stands behind her mother with a hand on her shoulder. Addie Mae was the daughter who looked most like Penny Wayne. Beside Addie Mae was youngest daughter, Ramelle. Her full name was Fannie Ramelle for Penny Wayne's mother Sarah Frances "Fanny" Faulkner Turner Thompson. In front of Ramelle was youngest son, Alfred, that little afterthought.

The remainder of Penny Wayne's children lived fairly long lives. They have all gone on now.

Penny passed on February 17, 1965, 2 days before my 5th birthday. She was 73. She was buried at Prospect Baptist Church Cemetery with her sons, William Claude and Clyde Stevens.

Wincie Ann Mauldin Mauldin Mauldin

Yes, you read that right. Wincie was my mother's mother's mother. I featured her in a blog post called "The Woman who Loved Mauldins". My Grandma would always say her mother was born a Mauldin, married a Mauldin, and when he died, she married another Mauldin. So, as you can bet, a great number of Mauldin links show up in my Dna matches. Due to the endogamy of the situation, they also show as closer relations than they are.

Wincie Ann Mauldin was born on October 4, 1884 in Montgomery County, NC to Frank Washington Mauldin and Martha Margaret Russell Mauldin. Her family lived in Mount Gilead in 1880, a few years before she was born. Wincie was the 7th child in a very large family. When her mother passed away, her father remarried and had several more. Just like my Lambert family in the Rowena Burris Lambert story.

By 1900, they had moved to the town of Norwood, in Stanly County. Wincie was 15, and still living at home when the census taker came around, but she would marry that year, on December 29, 1900, at the tender age of 16 to Walter Jonah Mauldin, a brown-eyed boy who was also her first cousin. His father, James Duncan Mauldin, was the brother of her father, Frank Washington Mauldin. It seems rather creepy and incestuous this day and time, but after a few years doing genealogy, one discovers it was not at all unusual in the 19th century and the early part of the 20th. In some instances, the popluation was just sparse and not much to chose from as far as a mate. Other times, it was a deliberate act to keep property in the family. Neither of those cases applied in the instance of Wincie and Jonah. It may have just been young love.

My Grandmother, Annie Maude Mauldin

Ten years later, Wincy Ann Jonah were still near Norwood, working as farm labor, and had 4 young children. The two year old girl, Maude, was my grandmother. Grandma always said she grew up "at the forks of the river", or where the Rocky River ran into the Yadkin-PeeDee. The 1910 census had them living on the Allenton Ferry Road, which led down to the old abandoned town of Allenton, one of the earliest communities in Stanly County, having existed before the Revolutionary War. Part of what was once Allenton is now underwater after the daming of the river occured. The rest is riverfront development.

Name:Wincy A Mauldin
Age in 1910:26
Birth Year:abt 1884
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1910:Center, Stanly, North Carolina
Street:Alentore Ferry Road
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Walter J Mauldin
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Native Tongue:English
Occupation:Farm Laborer
Industry:Working Out
Employer, Employee or Other:Wage Earner
Able to Read:No
Able to Write:No
Years Married:10
Number of Children Born:4
Number of Children Living:4
Out of Work:N
Number of weeks out of work:5
Household Members:
Walter J Mauldin31
Wincy A Mauldin26
Grover Mauldin9
Fred Mauldin7
Pearl Mauldin5
Maude Mauldin2

Aunt Pearl, Grandma's older sister, with husband Clifford Thompson and daughter, Frances. 

Wincie would have 4 more children in the next decade, Walter Lee in 1911, Riller Estelle in 1914, Holly Benton in 1916 and Robert Franklin in 1919. But the family would also suffer great tragedy.
In 1915, at the age of 17 months old, Riller, a little girl, would die of gastroenteritis, coming from a bad diet, the doctor would note. Just a few years later, in 1918, Holly, a boy, would die at the age of 2 years and 1 month of colitis. One would think that living on a farm with all of the organic options would lead to a healthy dier, but they ate far too much corn, and not a great deal of anything else, except perhaps during the summer growing months. So many babies died before 5 during this time, it led to old wives tales of "they won't live unless they fall off the bed at least once before they hit a year old", which led to many old granny women pushing babies off of beds purposely to the dismay and alarm of young mothers who did not hold their grandmothers superstions by the time my generation was being born.

Sometime between 1920 and 1930, like many other farm families displaced by the building of the dams up and down the Yadkin - Pee Dee River, the Mauldins moved to Albemarle, in Stanly County.
As seen in the part about Penny Wayne Turner Davis, they moved right next door to the Davis family where Maude would meet Lewis and they would become my maternal grandparents. The Mauldins would change from a farm family to a Cotton Mill family.

They were living on Old  Salisbury Road, and by this time, the youngest member of the family, Ada Louise, had arrived and is listed as a 4 year old. The census was in error after Aunt Louise. The Mauldins were always generous about taking in family members. An eight year old girl, Hazel and an infant boy, Elvin, are listed as son and daughter. An adult lady, Viola Mauldin is listed first as 'boarder', but that was marked through and 'relative' was written instead. Viola was actually their daughter-in-law, Viola Martin Mauldin. Hazel Maxine and Elvin Jaspar were her children, their grandchildren. I actually remember Hazel quite well. She married a Kimrey and was a near neighbor of my grandparents. Oldest son Grover was missing. I have not found him yet, or a reason for why he was not living with his family.

The 1930 census was taken of the Mauldin family on April 2, 1930. There was no sign of trouble listed, no illness noted, but trouble and heartache was brewing. Just a few weeks later, on April 28, 1930, Wincie would become a widow. The coroner didn't know the cause of death, but just noted that Jonah was a drug addict. This was something never discussed, never mentioned, over-the-years. Family secrets were swept under the carpet. Bad times were never discussed. Sins were whitewashed, problems ignored. That's the way it was.

Wincie was 44 years old. Fred and Pearl were married. Maude and Walter were working in the mills to support the family. Robert and Louise were still very young. Grover was missing and his wife and children were living with her, but thankfullly, Viola was also working. No doubt Wincie was babysitting her grandchildren while taking care of her own two young children. The 1930 census did give one odd hint. It did not list Jonah as being employed.

I've seen a photo of Jonah as a young man, behind a plow, no doubt made in Norwood before the move to town. He was handsome and strong, dark hair, dark eyes, and a big moustache. I wonder what troubles he had and what substances he abused and why. He was 51.

Wincie was a strong built, thick-boned, strong-minded woman. Three years later, at 48, she married for the second and last time. On September 9, 1933 Wincie married another Mauldin, James Williams Mauldin, whom I knew affectionately as "PaPaw Jim".

Jim had been married and had 5 children of his own. They were married in Rowan County, although he was from Stanly County. They were not first cousins like she and Jonah, but 3 cousins once removed. They may have not known they were related at all. Jim was a kind man, and loved by all of Wincie's children and grandchildren. Her latter years were pleasant.

But tragedy was about to strike once again. Grandma was particularly fond of her younger brother, Walter. At the end of her days, she would often tell stories from her younger years, when her newer memories were no longer fresh. She once told me of an instance when down at the "Forks", Walter was plowing. A flatboat of men came up the river and to shore next to Walter's field. They jumped him and stole his clothes and his mule. He had to walk home in the buff, and stand behind a tree and "holler" until someone heard him, to bring some clothes. I am not sure if his clothes or mule were ever recovered. Seems like the mule tracks could have been traced.

By 1937, Walter was married and a father. The article states he had two small boys, but the only one I know of is Clayton Ray Mauldin, born in 1935. I remember Clayton Ray delivering chips and my mom telling me he was her first cousin. Walter died at the young age of 26 in an auto accident. He was a good man from all reports. Again, Wincie was undoubtedly heartbroken.

The 1940 census finds Jim and Wincie as empty-nesters, still living on Salisbury Avenue and working in the Cotton Mill. They retired by the time I came along and was able to store them in my memory. I remember a velvet portrait of Jesus on the Mount that hung over the mantle. I remember the odd house or apartment of their neighbors over a store, Hoot Gibson's place, where I could see the flickering screen of a black and white TV through the open screened door.

I remember trying to climb Gread Grandma's scalybark tree beside her house and instead, sliding down, slicing open my leg and the blood pouring out. I was screaming and crying, and Wincie came running out, she must have been babysitting, because neither Grandma or Momma were around. She sat me on her tall kitchen counter, on the cold little tiles and cleaned up the blood running down my leg. I remember her being so tall, and so strong. While I remember Great Grandma Davis being a short, compact, quiet little woman, I remember Grandma Mauldin being strong and outspoken, stout and tall.

Another memory was when I was crying over whatever toddlers cry over and Great Grandma would hold out her hand to catch the tears, to water her plants with she said. I would stop crying every time. The woman had skills.

I also remember the night we visited late, much later than usual, and everyone was tense. I must stay still and quiet and there was a room I was not allowed to go into. The night was October 12, 1964, at the house on Ludlow Street.  I was 4 years old. This was the night that the woman who loved Mauldins died.

Wincie was 80 years old and died of Hypertension and Cadio-vascular diesease. She was buried at Anderson Grove Baptist Church. Papaw Jim survived her by a few years, passing in 1966. I remember he gave me a Silver Dollar for every birthday I had. I still have them.

In the above photo: The Jonah and Wincie Maulding Family. Left to right is Grover, Walter sitting on Jonah's knee, Jonah, Grandma Maude Mauldin Davis, between her parents. The tall girl behind Grandma is Jonah's neice, Scrappie, who lived with them. Wincie is sitting, holding baby Rilla, who would die at 17 months old. Fred is to the right of his mother in the back and Aunt Pearl is the girl to the right of her mother. Circa 1914-1915.

So that is the tale of my 4 Great Grandmothers, all born in the latter part of the 19th century, all having tragedy and triumph in their lives. They were born in Stanly, Montgomery, Anson and Cabarrus Counties. Two lived into my early memories. Two died before my parents were born. All 4 amazing women of whom I carry on a bit of: Rowena, Lottie, Penny and Wincie.

No comments:

Post a Comment