Saturday, May 30, 2020

30 Mothers in 30 Days:Julina

When I was little, my mother and I lived with her parents for a number of years. As I had a working mother, a great deal of time was spent with my grandfather. My father was in the army, but they later divorced. Many a summer night was spent swinging on the front porch while my grandfather sang me to sleep, or told me old family stories that had been passed down to him. My grandfather loved history and I loved my grandfather. My passion for genealogy was born in those nights. The source for many of those stories about people who had lived and died long before he did came from his own grandmother. Her name was Julina.

Julina Aldridge Davis and Horton Hampston Davis

Francis Julina Aldridge had been born in 1856 to Henry Garner Aldridge and his wife Priscilla "Prussia" Aldridge. She was a twin, and she and her twin, Julia, were the youngest daughters. There were two sons that followed, John Adam and Joseph, making 12 in all. She died in 1935. My grandfather  had grown up and married by then and his two oldest chidren had been born. He knew her well. I knew her son, my Great Grandfather, William Hampton Davis, he lived until I was in my teens. But Will wasn't the storyteller. It had been Julina.

Name:Julina Aldridge
Birth Year:abt 1856

Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Dwelling Number:257
Family Number:257
Household Members:
Henry G Aldridge42
Prusia Aldridge38
Martha Aldridge19
Hampton Aldridge17
Emmaline Aldridge16
Wm H Aldridge10
Margaret Aldridge7
Rosetta Aldridge5
Julia Aldridge4
Julina Aldridge4
John Aldridge2

Julina's life had not been easy. I suppose the first most tragic thing to happen to her was the death of her twin sister, Julia. I don't know exactly when Julia died, but she did not make it to adulthood. I do know she was buried at a farm on Aldridge Road on property eventually purchased by Kimreys, in a small family plot that also included some children that Julina had given birth to early that died as infants. The cemetery had been plowed along with lands around it, which disturbs me to this day. How much cotton can you grow on a childs grave?

The second tragic thing in her life would be the death of her father. She was a Civil War orphan. Garner, in his 40's, was paid to serve in the place of a wealthier man in the community, a Mr. Green. He did not last long and died of disease his first year  in. Julina's mother, Priscilla, called "Prussia", was not financially able to care for her large family. Her oldest living son, Hamp, who had also served in the War, was married. (J. Walker, the firstborn son died at 15 and is buried at Rehobeth Church).  The daughters in their teens were married off young and quickly to older men in the community. The younger children, including Julina, were bound out, or placed in the homes of  neighbors and relatives in intact families. Families with a father.

Her brother, John Adam, went to live with his Uncle, Josiah Aldridge. He was fortunate. Julina was placed in the home of Benjamin Lindsey Whitley. Whitley had a house full of boys. Julina was used and abused by those boys. She got pregnant by them several times. A few of the babies died or were stillborn. Those were buried with Julia. Some lived, her oldest daughter Mollie and son, Filmore, were the children of Ephraim Whitley, B. L. Whitley's son. Her own mother, Prussia, would have a child, a little girl, Matilda, 7 years after her husband had died, and well into her 40's.

Name:Julina Aldridge
Birth Year:abt 1854
Marriage Date:10 Sep 1889
Marriage Place:Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Father:Garner Aldridge
Mother:Prusid Aldridge
Spouse:H H Davis
Spouse Gender:Male
Spouse Race:White
Spouse Age:42
Spouse Father:Henry Davis
Spouse Mother:Martha Davis
Event Type:Marriage

Julina eventually would begin a relationship with an older neighbor, Horton H. Davis. He had came from a family that had been wealthy before the Civil War, but devasted after. His own father had become the blacksheep of the family after becoming an alchoholic.

I never knew it, but had shockingly discovered, in the old court records of Stanly County, that Hawk and Julina had been arrested for fornication in the 1880's.  Indeed, several of their children had been born before 1889, the year they were married. But they did.

Hawk was a good man. In the Aldridge family history is a quote of his, handed down to Don Aldridge by his Aunt Maudie Scarboro, that Hawk was once told that,' half of those children' were not his. He said he knew, but he loved them all the same.  This did not mean Julina was unfaithful while they were together, though I do not know. Perhaps it just referred to the ones she already had.

Davis Family
Hawk and Julina Davis and Family

My Great Grandfather, Will, was born 2 years after the marriage. He is the small boy second from left in the above picture. Julina had 11 children whose names we know, and supposedly, the two girls who died as infants. Hawk died in 1906 and Julina lived until 1935. Her obituary states she was a devout Christian lady and notes nothing of her checkered past. In the end, she gained back her reputation. My grandfather only knew her as a loving grandmother.

Happy Mother's Day my Second Great Grandmother, Julina.

No comments:

Post a Comment