Thursday, January 18, 2024

Rollie and Vollie; Twins in the Family

I ended my last post with a mystery still dangling like meat off of a broken bone. I can't do that. 

Ellis D. Gaddy and wife Martha Caudle Gaddy were the parents of four children, two sons and a set of twin girls named Carrie and Annie, described as having been beautiful and well-educated by the newspapers. 

Ellis and Martha were both born in Anson County, NC and married there about 1863. The family would later end up in Cleveland County, Arkansas. Ellis died sometime between 1890 and 1896, as he was alive when his son Frank married, but deceased by the time Carrie married. Martha lived on in Risen, Arkansas until 1922. 

Twin sisters, Carrie and Annie were born October 26, 1977. Annie because a school teacher, then married well at 35, to a prosperous local business man. She had a daughter, and raised another, a grand-niece of her husband, as her own, and lived to be an octogenarian. Her twin sister Carrie was not so lucky. She married, and even became a mother, but did both at an early age and lived a much shorter life than her sister.

The mystery comes in as to how many children did Carrie have? It seems that the Mullis family tree, the one she married into, became a little muddled.

Carrie Gaddy married Henry W. Mullis on January 15, 1896 in the village of Clio, Cleveland County, Arkansas.  That's a fact. She was a blushing young bride of 18, and Henry was 19. 

Carrie shows up in one census as a married woman, the 1900. The young couple had a number of boarders, including a cousin of Henry's, and a young son named Guy, with a birth year given as 1896, the year they married.

Carrie passed away on March 15, 1901, just a year after this census. She was 23 years old. We don't know what the cause of death was. It didn't make the papers and death certificates had not yet gotten into popular use. There were any number of ailments that could have taken the life of a healthy young woman at the time, influenza, Thyphoid, pneumonia. She may have even suffered with another, and this time deadly, pregnancy. The medical field was still very primitive and not easily accessible.

She was buried at the Mount Zion Cemetery in Rison. Find-a-Grave, the source of her date of death, connected her to the cemetery profile of her mother, her husband, who outlived her for quite awhile, and to a child named Vollie Roderick Mullis. Who dat?

Carrie was seen in her only census as the mother of one son, Guy. The only way to untangle this mystery was to look closer into the tenebrous future of the Mullis family and what may have fell her widower, Henry.

My next step was to find where Guy, who would be about 12 or 13, was in 1910, supposedly with his father and his father's new family if he remarried. This is where I found him.

NameGuy R Mullis
Age in 191013
Birth Date1897
Home in 1910Justice Precinct 2, Hall, Texas, USA
Sheet Number18b
Relation to Head of HouseSon
Marital StatusSingle
Father's NameHenry R Mullis
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's NameMattie C Mullis
Mother's BirthplaceGeorgia
Native TongueEnglish
OccupationFarm Laborer
IndustryHome Farm
Employer, Employee or OtherWage Earner
Attended SchoolY
Able to readY
Able to WriteY
Enumeration District Number0125
Out of WorkN
Number of Weeks Out of Work0
Enumerated Year1910
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Henry R Mullis59
Mattie C Mullis52
Ura E Mullis28
Moscoe I Mullis22
Roy W Mullis18
Guy R Mullis13
Vollie R Mullis13

Guy is 13, living in Hall County, Texas, and there is Vollie, also 13. There's Henry, with a Mattie C. Mullis, but who are Ura, Moscoe and Roy? Henry really wasn't old enough to have had older children of that age. Wait a minute, Henry wasn't that old. This wasn't Henry Walton/ Walton Mullis, this was his father, Henry Ruffin Mullis, and Mattie McLeod Mullis, his mother, and his three youngest siblings, Zera, Moscow and Roy. Guy and Vollie, the two 13 year old boys, are claimed by Henry and Mattie as sons, and truly, they could as Mattie was only 39 when they were born, but we know Guy was Carrie's son and living with her in 1900. Had Carrie and her mother-in-law been pregnant at the same time? And, where was Henry the younger?

NameHenry W Mullis
Age in 191034
Birth Date1876
Home in 1910McLean, Gray, Texas, USA
Sheet Number22a
Relation to Head of HouseHead
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameTheodocia Mullis
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceGeorgia
Native TongueEnglish
Employer, Employee or OtherWage Earner
Home Owned or RentedOwn
Home Free or MortgagedMortgaged
Farm or HouseHouse
Able to readY
Able to WriteY
Enumeration District Number0114
Years Married6
Enumerated Year1910
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Henry W Mullis34
Theodocia Mullis37
Clifford Bryant19

Henry W. Mullis had also moved to Texas, and was living in Gray County, Texas, where he was a Postmaster. He had remarried 6 years prior to Theodocia, who was 3 years his senior, and she had never had children. Clifford Bryant was simply a boarder. He was also the Assistant Post Master and had been a Boy Scout who was awarded a medal for a heroic deed. 

Texas is a big place with many counties, so how close were Gray and Hall Counties? Had Henry W. traveled with his parents? Hall sits at the base of the panhandle.

Gray County sits a little further up the panhandle, doesn't border Hall, but wasn't far. It's a very flat area.

What brought the Mullis family there? A quick look at the Mullis family finds that Henry Ruffin Morris was born in 1851 in Union County, NC, the son of Henry (No Middle Name) Morris and Ester Ross Mullis. The Mullis family were close in proximity to the Gaddy and Caudle families of Carrie's family and may have even known them. This is another example of how they would move hundreds of miles just to marry within the same old circle of people! His wife Mattie McLeod, however, was born in Georgia and grew up in Arkansas. Her family was an example of those riding the mudslide south. 

In 1920, Henry Ruffin and Mattie were still in Hall County, Texas, and alone. Henry died there in 1922 and Mattie in 1925.

She had pancreas cancer. He had angina.

Where were the rest of the family in 1920? The oldest child under Henry III was a daughter named Lillian Genevieve Mullis who was born in 1879 in Arkansas, and would grow up to marry Taylor Morris Faulkenberry. The Faulkenberry family would settle in Hale County, Texas, Hale, not Hall. Taylor was, like Henry III, a postmaster, and when he died, Lillian took over. They had four children; Frank, Kent, Zerah and Ruth.

NameLillian G Fortenberry
Birth Yearabt 1882
Home in 1920Justice Precinct 4, Hale, Texas
StreetNumber 55
Residence Date1920
Relation to Head of HouseWife
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameTaylor W Fortenberry
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceGeorgia
Able to Speak EnglishYes
Able to readYes
Able to WriteYes
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Taylor W Fortenberry45
Lillian G Fortenberry38
Frank R Fortenberry13
Kent J Fortenberry9
Zera E Fortenberry8
Ruth M Fortenberry6
Moscoe A Mullis31

In 1920, the family is in Hale County, and her brother, Moscoe, is living with them.

Lillian made the history books as the first female Postmistress in the area. Notice in the above 1967 Obituary that she was survived by two brothers, R. W. of San Jose and V. R. of Amarillo.

Henry Ruffin and Mattie's other daughter, Zera Evelyn Mullis, would marry a Homer P. Smith in 1911 in Collins, Texas. They would move to Union County, New Mexico, which is where she would be found in 1920, and raised their large family of Smiths there. She died in 1964 in New Mexico.

We know Moscow was living with Lillian, so that leaves Roy Weaver Mullis. He's not found in 1920, neither is Guy,and neither is Henry Walter Mullis, Guy's father.

Vollie Roderrick Mullis is found in 1920, livng in the same County in Texas as Henry Sr. and Mattie. He married in 1916, to Velma May Robertson. 

The Mullis Slide

Going back a few generations to the first Henry Mullis, father of Henry Ruffin Mullis, the Mullis slide from North Carolina to Arkansas to Oklahoma, Texas and eventually New Mexico, wasn't just the trail of Henry Ruffin's descendants. They were not alone. Henry and Esther Ross Mullis are found in Union County, NC in 1850, but had moved to  Dallas Couny, Akrnasas by 1858. Their large family of 19 children spread out acorss Arkansas, Texas and some on to New Mexico.

Ross Family Story

Henry MULLIS was born in 1813 in Anson Co. NC.287 He was living in 1858 in Dallas Co. AR.287 According to the Monroe Enquirer, Henry Mullis moved his family to Dallas County, Ark in 1858. There he reared 19 children and died on his farm in 1867. He appeared in the census in 1860 in White Oak Township, Jefferson Co. AR.1059 Henry Mullis was living next door to Alex Polk, born NC. With Henry, age 45, were Esther, 41 b NC; James P., 20, b NC; Eli H. 19, John M. 18, Ellen J. 17, Sarah A. M. 15, Caroline 14, Dugal R. 13, Martha G. 11, Mary M. 10; Henry G.R. 9, Sandra C. 6 Lydia A. 5,; Ashley B. (male) 3 NC; Irwin A. 2, AR; Esther A. 3 mos. AR. He owned Cleveland Co. AR on 1 Apr 1861 in Cleveland Co. AR.1060 A Henry Mulis obtained 157.22 acres in Section 7, 8S, 11W in Cleveland Co. AR (adjacent to Dallas Co.) in 1861. In 1882, Dugal R. Mullis obtained 160 acres in Section 6, 8S, 11W. John Mullis obtained 40 acres in 1869 in Section 12. Cary Tolson obtained several plats in Sections 2, 3, 32, and 33, 10S, 12W in 1860 and 1861. He died in 1867 in Dallas Co. AR. Reared 19 children per the Monroe Enquirer, October 23, 1958. The same article had his father listed as Thomas Ross Mullis. Parents: Charles MULLIS and Rebecca CAUDLE.


Spouse: Ester ROSS. Henry MULLIS and Ester ROSS were married in Anson Co. NC.421 According to Goodspeed, the family had 19 children, and D.R. was the 8th. At the time the article was written, there were 5 sons and 4 daughters living. The 3 eldest sons served in the Confederate army and one son was killed.


Roy W. Mullis shows back up in 1930, this time, he is married to his first wife, living with Vollie 
NameVoolie Mullis
Birth Yearabt 1898
Age in 193032
Marital StatusMarried
Relation to Head of HouseHead
Home in 1930Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico, USA
Map of HomeAlbuquerque,Bernalillo,New Mexico
Street AddressNorth 11th St
House Number924
Dwelling Number240
Family Number259
Home Owned or RentedRented
Home Value35
Radio SetNo
Lives on FarmNo
Age at First Marriage21
Attended SchoolNo
Able to Read and WriteYes
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceArkansas
Able to Speak EnglishYes
IndustrySteam Railroad
Class of WorkerWage or salary worker
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Voolie Mullis32
Velma Mullis31
Roderick Mullis12
Mildred Mullis9
John D Mullis2
Roy W Mullis38
Waldene Mullis34
Roy W Mullis12
Thomas W Mullis10

He was  working as astockraiser, and may have been in the cattle business. Vollie was working as a brakeman on the railroad., a thriving business at this time.

Guy Raleigh Mullis

The name Raleigh is seen is various records as 'Rollie', "Raweligh' and various phonetic spellings. I'll stick with the spelling 'Raleigh', the state capitol of North Carolina, as that seems to be the corrct one. He is found in the 1930 census, after missing the 1920, in which I feel he may have been living with Henry Walter Mullis, his father. 

NameRaliegh G Mullis
Birth Yearabt 1897
Age in 193033
Marital StatusMarried
Relation to Head of HouseHead
Home in 1930Precinct 1, Briscoe, Texas, USA
Map of HomePrecinct 1,Briscoe,Texas
Dwelling Number192
Family Number192
Home Owned or RentedRented
Radio SetYes
Lives on FarmYes
Age at First Marriage19
Attended SchoolNo
Able to Read and WriteYes
Father's BirthplaceArkansas
Mother's BirthplaceArkansas
Able to Speak EnglishYes
IndustryGeneral Farming
Class of WorkerWorking on own account
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Raliegh G Mullis33
Mittie P Mullis34
Bernalle M Mullis13
Omalee F Mullis10
Jefferson C Durham22

He's living with his brother-in-law, Jefferson, and farming in Briscoe, Texas. Guy married Mittie Pearl Durham, and they had two daughters, Bernell and Omalee. In 1931, they would have a son, who died as an infant.

Henry Walton Mullis aka "Walter"

Following various records of Henry's travels, like his draft card and City Directories, he had moved from  Hall County, Texas in 1918 to Wichita Falls in 1927, to Hall County again in 1930, where he and Theadosia are farming, to Clovis, Curry County, New Mexico by 1935, and there he remained.

NameHenry Walter Mullis
Birth Date11 Feb 1876
Residence Date1917-1918
Residence PlaceHall County, Texas, USA
Physical BuildStout
Hair ColorGray
Eye ColorBlue
RelativeTheodocia Mulis

Henry shows up in the last census in 1940, which gives us a small insight into his life and career.

NameHenry Mullis
Estimated Birth Yearabt 1876
Marital StatusMarried
Relation to Head of HouseHead
Home in 1940Clovis, Curry, New Mexico
Clovis,Curry,New Mexico
Inferred Residence in 1935Clovis, Curry, New Mexico
Residence in 1935Clovis
Resident on farm in 1935Yes
Sheet Number4B
Number of Household in Order of Visitation79
OccupationProteur Leaser
House Owned or RentedRented
Attended School or CollegeNo
Highest Grade CompletedCollege, 2nd year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census40
Class of WorkerWorking on own account
Weeks Worked in 193952
Income Other SourcesYes
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Henry Mullis64
Theo Docia Mullis68

Described, as you see above as stocky or stoutly built, with gray hair and blue eyes, Henry was last working as a Pasture Leaser, of cattle. He rented a house, worked 40 hours a week and had 2 years of College, which was not common at this time. His wife was a stay at home wife, and they lived next to a jeweler.

Henry W. Gaddy passedaway on April 27,1947 in Clovis, he was 71.

NameHenry Walter Mullis
Birth Date11 Feb 1876
Birth PlaceCleveland County, Arkansas, United States of America
Death Date27 Apr 1947
Death PlaceClovis, Curry County, New Mexico, United States of America
CemeteryMission Garden of Memories Cemetery
Burial or Cremation PlaceClovis, Curry County, New Mexico, United States of America
Has Bio?N
FatherHenry Ruffin Mullis
MotherMattie C Mullis
SpouseTheodocia Mullis; Carry Mullis
ChildrenVollie Roderick Mullis

Theadosia, his second wife, followed him to the grave four years later, in 1951, and was buried beside him. She was 79. Find-A-Grave has Vollie Roderick Mullis linked to Henry as his son, but was he?

The Life of Raleigh

Guy Raleigh Mullis had a birth certificate

He applied for it himself on August 21, 1943 in Curry County, New Mexico. This was just a few years before Henry's death. He gave his birthplace as Kedyon, Arkansas and his birth date as August 23, 1897, so he was approaching his 47th birthday. He named his father as Henry Walter Mullis, born in Cleveland County, Arkansas and his mother as Carrie Gaddy, born in North Carolina. He stated his parents were 21 and 20, respectively, at his time of birth. His father, Henry, signed and swore as witness to the information, naming himself as father and giving his age as 67.

Guy R. Mullis and wife Mittie Pearl Mullis

We'd last saw Guy in 1930 in Briscoe County, Texas. Records show him and his small family in the town of Silverton, in Briscoe in 1935, but by 1940, they had joined Henry in Clovis, New Mexico. This is the only time, besides as a toddler in 1900, that we find Guy and Henry near each other. In 1940, Guy and Mittie are empty nesters in Clovis. Bernalee was 22, married to Don Woods and living near them in Clovis. Omalee was 20, had married Richard Lowry, and was already the mother of two tiny girls. They had remained in Briscoe, Texas.

Their mother, died, that year. Shortly after the census, on August 2, 1940, Mittie Durham Mullis died at age 44. 

Nothing gave clue for the cause of her early departure, only that she 'died at home '. Her body was returned to Hall County, Texas,  for burial.

Guy would continue west to California, where he would meet and marry a young widow, Esther Smiley Howe, who had two young daughters, Eleanor and Carol, whom he would help raise. Guy would remain in Santa Clara, California the remainder of his life, passing on February 9, 1968. His widow, Esther, lived another three decades and died in 1999. The Mullis family slide had moved from North Carolina to Arkansas through Texas to New Mexico and lastly to California in three generations.

Vollie Roderick Mullis

We'd last seen Vollie in 1930, after marrying Velma May Robertson in 1916, and living in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Ray Mullis and his family.

Like both Guy and Henry, Vollie is found in Clovis, Curry, New Mexico in 1940. He remained there until at least 1945, then moved to Amarillo, Texas by 1950. Vollie worked for the railroad, like Guy. He was working for the Kansas, Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway for awhile and received a US Railroad Retirement pension. 

Vollie Roderick Mullis and wife Velma had three children, Roderick Leo, Mildred Fay and John D. Mullis. Vollie died on February 25, 1969 in Burnet County, Texas.  His wife lived another three decades and died in 1997. 

Guy 'Rollie' and Vollie Roderick Mullis had a lot in common. Both worked for the Railway, grew up together, the same age, lived in the same places at times. Both died in February, but a year apart. Their names certainly just twins, the rhyming, the 'R's'.  But there were some things they didn't have in common.

Vollie's WWII draft registration gave his description as being of medium height, brown hair and blue eyes, like Guy, but while Guy was stout, Vollie was slim.

He also had a death certificate. Vollie died of Acute Myocardial Infarction. His date of birth was September 25, 1896. He was a retired Railroad Conductor. He was born in Arkansas to H. R. Mullis and Mattie McCloud.

Vollie also had a birth certificate. He filed for it on December 12, 1958 in Hale County, Texas. He stated he was born in Rison, Cleveland County, Texas. He claimed his parents were Henry Ruff Mullis from North Carolina and Mattie C. McLeod from Georgia. The witness to this event and document was Lillian Fortenberry, aged 77, relationship sister.
Lillian was in her late teens when Vollie was born.

In conclusion, Find-a-Grave has it wrong. Carrie and her mother in-law, Mattie, were pregnant at the same time, one 19, one 20. Both had sons, one in August, the other in September. Carrie died young. Henry W. Mullis left his infant son with his parents. His mother, having just had a boy of her own was better equipped to care for an toddler in 1896 than a young, traveling man. 

Guy and Vollie were not twins, though they may have been raised as such. They were Uncle and Nephew. It happens. My granddaughter has an aunt on her father's side who was two when she was born. They attend the same school, two grades apart and there is a family resemblance and they have the same surname. The staff thinks they are sisters. 

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