Monday, May 26, 2014

52 Ancestors #20: James Monroe Lindsey

James Monroe Lindsey & wife, Mary Sarah Ann Little Lindsey
 Today is Memorial Day & while my family on both sides has many veterans & a tradition of service to our country, today I would like to honor one veteran in particular: my paternal third great grandfather, James Monroe Lindsey.

James was the third child of twenty-four siblings born to William  Lindsey & first wife, Eliza Lewis. He was born on 30 Dec 1829 in Newton Co., GA. He had beautiful bright blue eyes & brown hair as a young man. He was of Scottish descent & spoke with a brogue. When he was about fourteen years old, James' father moved their family from Georgia to Coosa Co., AL. The family lived through much sadness with the deaths of loved ones, but also much joy.

When he was nineteen, James married Mary Sarah Ann Little in Rockford, Coosa Co., AL on 11 Oct 1849. They acquired 1,060 acres of land & moved to Hillsboro (present day Helena) after the birth of their second child Roxie, who was my paternal great great grandmother. (I have written about Roxie in a previous post: As was the custom then, they lived in a two room log cabin with a separate kitchen structure along the Cahaba River & Buzzard Creek.

Civil War was declared in April 1861, but James did not rush to go off to war like so many other men did. It has been said he did not hold with slavery & was a very tolerant man, a man who was  ready & willing to get along with his neighbor without judgment or prejudice if given the opportunity. However, a year after the birth of his fifth child, Susan, James enlisted for service as a private in Company D, 10th AL infantry. Although there were a few instances when he was out sick or injured, James served until the end of the war & was present at Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on 9 Apr 1865. He was paroled at Burkesville Junction between 14-17 April 1865 & began the long walk home on foot. It took him more than three months to make the journey home & by the time he finally arrived, his family had given up hope of his return. But his memories of those days of war never dimmed, as evidenced by letters he wrote home which the Lindsey family preserved.

His letters gave a sobering personal account of the lack of food, clothing and extreme conditions endured by the soldiers and repeatedly illnesses, writing once, “Girls, I need some socks. I hate to tell you my condition about clothing and rations. I would like to write something that would interest you … but if I were to tell you all I know, it would break your heart.”

After the Battle of Spotsylvania, VA, on May 12, 1864, he wrote, “Never have I seen so much blood. They killed so many of our men that the trenches fill up (sic) and we had to pick up their bodies and stack them behind the trenches. The rain through the trenches ran red with blood. On this same day, Jeb Stuart died.”

While he was gone, his wife Sarah & his children did their best to survive & eke out a living on the farm. They were often robbed of food & livestock & what they were able to keep, they were forced to hide. They experienced constant fear, as did so many others, of the "enemy". It was Roxie's job as a child of seven years of age to ring a bell to alert the neighbors when Union soldiers were known to be in the area. James was able to make it home once while ill, but was not able to stay with the family because the Home Guard was busy searching for deserters. Sarah & the children carried food & water & cared for him as best they could while he convalesced in the woods. He recovered & returned to his post & eventually the war ended.

After the war, several of his family members joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (better known as the Mormons). Although he never converted, he was always kind to the missionaries who came to visit. A few of his relatives moved west to Utah. Some stayed behind in AL & some moved on to Texas & Oklahoma. James & Sarah chose to go to Texas where their daughter Roxie & son William Jasper Lindsey (also known as Billy) lived. They continued to farm in Milam Co., Texas for a time.

James with his wife Sarah & daughter Jerome.
His sons James Robert, Joseph Samuel & Sylvester
stand behind him. The date & place of the photo are unknown. 
On 5 Mar 1910, Sarah Little Lindsey passed away in Buckholts, Milam Co., Texas. She was laid to rest at the Little River Cemetery in Cameron, Milam Co., Texas. After 61 years of marriage, James was inconsolable. He moved with Billy to Upshur Co., Texas where he lived for two more years before joining Sarah in death on 9 Jan 1912. Billy arranged to have his father's body carried back to Milam County on the train where he was interred beside his wife at the Little River Cemetery.

Memorial Day was instituted just after the Civil War as a Day of Remembrance, mostly for those who had made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom; but I like to think of today as not only a day to remember those who have paid with their lives in the service of our country, but also a day to remember those who have sacrificed their time with their families to go wherever our country may send them. Most of my family's service men & women have been fortunate enough to return safely home to their families after their time of service ended, but there are a few who were not so lucky. Daniel Tallouzi, Finis Kennedy, Gordon Ross Hill, John Morgan Turnipseed, we remember you & your sacrifice today & always. If you are a veteran, a simple thank you for all you, your families & your comrades have done for our country is inadequate, but heart felt.

"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch   ( : accessed 26 May 2014), James Lindsey and Sarah Ann Little, 11 Oct 1849; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1290263.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2014), James Lindsey, 11 Jan 1912; citing certificate number 2796, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2050599.

52 Ancestors #19: Minnie Nell Houston

Last known photo of Minnie
Nell Houston, date & age
unknown. This photo was
used on the headstone of
her gravesite.
Once again, I am behind in my blogging in the 52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors challenge for 2014. I could make excuses (& I did have some very valid ones for being behind), but I will spare you that.

This week's blog is about my paternal great aunt Minnie Nell Houston. Minnie Nell's life on this earth was brief. She never had the opport-
unity to marry or start a family. Minnie was the last child of nine born to my paternal great grandparents Luther Henderson Houston & Della Green Houston (Schostag) on 29 Nov 1931 in Buckholtz, Milam Co., Texas. She spent most of her life in Milam County & my father, who was just over two years of age when she died, claims to have memories of her picking him up & swinging him high in the air.

Minnie Nell was approaching her sixteenth birthday when tragedy struck & she was diagnosed with carcinoma-
tosis, which is a condition in which multiple carcinomas spread & develop from a primary source. My father said (& I am assuming that he was told this) that it was cancer of the stomach. Peritoneal carcinomatosis (the only thing I could compare this to when I googled) develops in the abdominal cavity & is a rare type of cancer that is advanced & affects the thin layer of tissue surrounding the organs of the abdominal cavity. It develops when other cancers, like colon cancer, rectal & pancreatic cancers spread & are also present. By the time cancer has spread to the peritoneum, the cancer is at an advanced late stage.

Today, doctors would treat this with surgery & aggress-
ive chemotherapy treatment, but back in 1948, such treatment options were not available. Even today, the disease is most often terminal because surgery & chemo options have limited success rates. Back then, there was nothing that could be done & people were told to put their affairs in order. My father says that Minnie Nell's battle with the disease lasted three months before the end came for her. Minnie Nell died on 25 Jan 1948 at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas. I hope, for her sake, after reading of the symptoms of the disease, that she did not suffer overmuch. She was laid to rest with other Houston relatives at North Elm Cemetery in Cameron, Milam Co., Texas on 25 Jan 1948.

I can imagine that the death of her youngest child was a hard thing to bear for my great grandmother Della. My father remembers that she kept a memorial paper doll cut out of Minnie Nell that was lacquered & stood up on a little stand on a table in her living room. In one photo I have of Della & her second husband Ed Schostag, a copy of the portrait that appears here & on her headstone is shown in the background on the wall behind them. Minnie Nell may have gone before her time, but she is not forgotten. I close with her obituary:

Obituary of Minnie Nell Houston
"Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1935," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2014), 005035193 > image 2710 of 3619; citing State Registrar Office, Austin.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2014), Minnie Nell Houston, 25 Jan 1948; citing certificate number 1942, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2218829.
Obituary, The Waco News Tribune, 29 Jan 1948, pg 14, Minnie Nell Houston

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

52 Ancestors #18: William Riley McCoy

Riley & Betty Holland McCoy, my gg grandparents, late 1920's
William Riley McCoy was my great great grandfather on my mother's side of the family tree. I obviously never got the chance to know him since he died many years before I came along, but I did hear a few stories about him, the main ones being that he liked to chew tobacco & he could tell a good tale.

If you ever saw a group of old timers chewing the fat around the town square (you know the ones featured in movies) you could bet that would be the kind of place you would have found Riley as everyone called him. Riley was born in Fayette Co., AL on 9 July 1851 & was the first child of eleven of Hugh & Harriet Farquhar McCoy. His parents decided to move to Texas shortly after along with his maternal grandparents & others as part of a huge wagon train. They arrived in Burnet Co., Texas in 1852 & never left. Last week, I wrote that Burnet County was a rather undeveloped rural place at that time, but even today, it's still a small town where everybody knows everybody & people still say howdy when they pass you on the street (about the only thing that's changed probably is that it's more developed then it used to be).

Riley, like his father before him, was a farmer. On 22 Dec 1870, he married Martha/Mariah Elizabeth "Betty" Holland who was the daughter of long time Burnet County pioneers John Benjamin & Mary Covington Holland. Some weeks back I wrote about how the Hollands migrated to Texas in 1840 when Texas was still a republic. Betty's branch of the Holland family joined relatives here a little later than that, but arrived in time for Betty to be one of the first children born in Burnet County. Betty & Riley would raise ten children themselves (John, Nannie, "Molly" William, Lydia, Dora, Houston, Susie, Lewis & Tennie) & most of them would stay fairly close to home. 

Riley would often tell tales about the indians & the early days of Burnet Co to the younger generation. One story he told was about going with a group to capture Quanah Parker where the bullets flew fast & hot & how the lead melted together when bullets intercepted each other. I've heard it said you could never quite tell when he was pulling your leg. Unfortunately his stories were never written down & died with him in his sleep on 18 Sept 1940; the official cause of death being a coronary occlusion (my mother's side of the family has a medical history of heart problems). His wife Betty had died of a heart attack several years earlier in 1932 & he was living with relatives who found him the next morning.
Death certificate of William Riley McCoy
His passing was much lamented in the Burnet Bulletin where I had the chance to read about what a character he was. During a couple of trips to Burnet, I had the chance to go by the home where he died. A large family was living there at the time. I have also visited the cemetery where he & Betty were laid to rest side by side in Holland Cemetery which is on the old Holland land that once belonged to Betty's family. My mother, brother & I had the opportunity to take a picture the last time we were all there together sometime back around 2000. A doctor's widow owns the property now as far as I am aware & the family cemetery is still there on the property untouched. The cemetery is overgrown much of the time & most of the stone are now unreadable. Fortunately the ones we were looking for were still there for the finding. Many buried there were relatives of the Hollands or someone from the community. I don't think anyone was ever turned away. I hate to see the condition of the cemetery the way it is, but I don't live close to Burnet, so it's one of those things I have to accept & be thankful that I was able to pay my respects to the ancestors who are buried there. 

Descendants of Riley & Betty Holland McCoy-Holland Cemetery, Burnet Co., TX
"Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 May 2014), R W Mccoy and M E Holland, 22 Dec 1870; citing p. 92, Burnet, Texas; FHL microfilm 978759.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 May 2014), William Riley Mccoy, 18 Sep 1940; citing certificate number 40632, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2138005.

52 Ancestors #17: James Robert "Jim" McCoy

James Robert McCoy, age 21
This post is super late because last weekend was spent celebrating my husb-
and's & my 17th wedding anniversary. Before I knew it, time slipped away. For-
give me, it happens to all of us!

If there was ever anyone who was the epitome of the cowboys of yesteryear, it was my great great grand uncle Jim. He was born in Burnet Co., Texas on 9 Aug 1862 to Hugh & Harriet Farquhar McCoy. The McCoy family originally migrated from Fayette Co., AL to Burnet Co., Texas in 1852 & in those days, the county was only sparsely populated & indians roamed the countryside.  The McCoys had eleven children & Jim was their sixth child & fifth son. He left home at the tender age of 15 (apparently kids grew up quicker then) to follow the great cattle drives of the 1880's, where you spent weeks on end in the saddle looking at the rear ends of cattle.

When Jim wasn't riding herd, he was fortunate enough to see the famous geysers of Yellowstone before it ever became a national park. He swam the salty waters of the Great Salt Lake in Utah & spent some exciting time in Dodge City. He spent the famous killing winter of 1886 & 1887 that inspired the painting "Waiting for a Chinook" by Montana artist Charles H. Russell in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The severe blizzards that winter decimated cattle & Jim eventually arrived with more to replenish the herds.

Jim worked as a foreman on many ranches in Northern Montana before settling in as cow boss on Colen Hunter's YT Ranch south of Havre in Hill Co., MT. He found himself a wife to take his name when he married Wilomena "Mina" Dowen, daughter of Nicholas & Elizabeth Harrison Dowen, on 2 Nov 1896 in Fort Benton, Choteau Co., MT. The Dowens were new arrivals to Fort Benton from Michigan. Their home on the YT was the first in the county to have a wooden floor instead of the usual dirt variety. They had one daughter Elizabeth in 1907 who became a teacher & married Warren Grover Murphy in 1941 & eventually moved to AR.

Marriage license of Jim & Mina Dowen McCoy
Like many of his contemporaries, he was a man of few words, but he was known to tell a good yarn or two (perhaps he got this from my ggrandfather William Riley McCoy who was known to be a master story teller back in Burnet County) when he got the urge. He never grew a full beard, (saying a lot of facial hair tended to be too warm & house too many varmints) but did sport a long handle bar mustache. He preferred striped pants held up by suspenders & perhaps because he was a stock inspector for the State of Montana, he carried his nickel-plated Colt low on his right hip long after most cowboys had long since forsaken the practice of going about armed.

His position as stock inspector took him all over Montana. He & Mina eventually bought a house in Chinook & settled down even further, with Jim serving as Blaine County Treasurer in his twilight years. His wife Mina died in 1935. A true cowboy until the end, Jim rode horseback until shortly before his death. He was nearly eighty years of age when he died on 23 Feb 1943 with his daughter Elizabeth at his side. Jim was inducted posthumously into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008. His pistol, gun belt & many personal effects are on display at the Blaine County Museum in Chinook, Montana.

"Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 May 2014), James R. Mccoy and Mina Dowen, 02 Nov 1896; citing p 382, cn 310, Ft. Benton, Choteau, Montana; FHL microfilm 1902873.
James McCoy obituary found in The Havre Daily News, Thursday, February 25, 1943
Photo credit to

Saturday, April 26, 2014

52 Ancestors #16: Sam B. Houston

General Sam Houston on the left, Uncle Sam Houston on the right
 This week's post is kind of a tale of two Sams: General Sam Houston of Texas fame & my Uncle Sam Houston who lived in Cameron, Milam Co., Texas. My paternal great uncle Hubert Houston who was a nephew of my great grand uncle Sam always used to claim that our Houstons were related to General Sam Houston. My problem was that Uncle Hubert only shared his basic Houston research with my branch of the family & never shared his supporting documentation of any link between us & the General. I have never found any concrete evidence of a link between our two Houston families, although I do have a suspicion they are related. I just don't know how.

My working theory for this (even though I haven't found irrefutable documented proof) is based on more than just family resemblance. Our family has always taken particular notice that General Sam & Uncle Sam look very much alike, but there is also the fact that Sam had two brothers named Luther Henderson Houston (my paternal great grandfather) & Charles Culberson Houston. I don't remember where I heard it, but somewhere over the years, I either heard or deduced I heard that Luther got his middle name Henderson from his father John Young Houston's sister Elizabeth who married Hollie Middleton Henderson. I had nothing to base on where Charley may have gotten his middle name Culberson from until I happened to be doing some research on General Sam many years ago.

General Sam Houston descends from John & Margaret Cunningham Houston of Ireland through one of their sons, Robert, who married Margaret or Mary Dunlap Davidson. John & Margaret Cunningham Houston had another son, John, who married Mary Ross (supposedly, some of the data is a little sketchy this far back).  John & Mary Ross Houston had a son named James, who is by tradition or supposition, married to Mary Hughey. James & Mary had a son named John Y. whom many are unclear on exactly who he married for certain (& no, no one ever comments on what the middle initial Y stands for, although Mary & James did have a younger son in their family named Young Gresham Houston). Most agree that he married someone named Elizabeth or Betsey (same difference, right?), but there is a disagreement on what her last name was. I have documented proof that my paternal third great grandfather John Young Houston (who I call Sr to distinguish him from the other John Young Houstons who came after & were named for him) was married to Elizabeth  "Betsey" Rodgers on 25 Nov 1809 in Morgan Co., GA where James & Mary Hughey (& John Young Houston Sr.) lived. (See My ancestor has been said to have been the son of John & Mary Young Houston. John Y. Houston, son of James & Mary Hughey Houston, is supposed to have married Elizabeth Maddox a year earlier on 25 Nov 1808 in Clarke Co., GA (however, I don't have documentation of this). Clarke is two counties northeast of Morgan County, GA & was probably where the bride lived, the premise being here that couples sometimes got married in the bride's county of residence.

James & Mary Hughey Houston also had a daughter named Mary who married Isaac Culberson. (This would make General Sam her uncle. I heard once from a cousin, Debra Nell Houston, that she had heard this claim of Uncle Hubert's also & although she did not now recall the exact relationship, she thought that General Sam was also supposed to have been an uncle many times removed of ours). If there is a connection between our family & General Sam's, is this where Charley, like Luther, got his middle name from?

Our Houstons  & General Sam's ancestry started out in SC from Ireland; they then migrated to GA & AL before settling for good in Texas. General Sam was reportedly very well known for siring children out of wedlock with many women, but although, our mutual relatives followed the same migratory patterns, I do not believe our female relatives were anywhere nearby in the same time period to have fallen victim to his "charms of persuasion", so where is the connection that would explain why our families seem to resemble each other? As far as I know, there is no documented proof of one that I have ever run across where I could say without a doubt in my mind that there actually was one.

Back to Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam was born the eighth of nine children to John Young (Jr) & Roxie Lindsey Houston on 29 Sept 1895 in Maysfield, Milam Co., TX. He farmed & lived his entire life in Milam County, Texas. He married Mary Price, daughter of a neighbor Moses Wright Price & Nannie Elizabeth Richards, on 26 Aug 1915 in Milam County, Texas. Mary taught school for a number of years in the community where they lived. They were blessed with no children of their own, but when the children of James William & Anna Pearl Turnbow Reynolds were orphaned after their parents' deaths, Sam & his older brother Will Houston, split the children into two groups with each brother taking charge, adopting, & raising the orphaned Reynolds children as their own.

The children Sam & Mary took in were Mary Faye & Edna Mae Reynolds. They also adopted & raised as their son, a boy named Douglas. I am not very clear on whether he was one of the Reynolds children or not. The information I have says he was, but I have a note that he may also have been a Woodson; in which case, I do not know who his biological parents were before Sam & Mary adopted him. Douglas died in a tragic plane crash during college while on his way home for a visit  in 1946. Mary Faye & Edna found good husbands, married & stayed close to home.

Uncle Sam died of a coronary occlusion at the age of 70 in Cameron, Milam Co., TX on 6 Apr 1966. He was laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in Cameron. His wife Mary survived him by 12 years & was also laid to rest there in 1978. Below is a photo of Sam & Mary that was shared with me by my cousin Donna Fuller Delamar. I do not know the time or place, but it is obvious that they were attending someone's funeral (perhaps Douglas'?). Whatever the connection, I hope to one day be able to break down this brick wall.

Sam & Mary Price Houston

"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Apr 2014), Sam Houston and Mary Price, 26 Aug 1915; citing Milam, Texas, , reference ; FHL microfilm 981393.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Apr 2014), Sam B Houston, 06 Apr 1966; citing certificate number 25955, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2117976.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

52 Ancestors #15: Viola Houston Otts Colbert

William Andrew Otts & Viola Houston
Otts, date & place taken unknown
This week's post is about a great aunt I never had the opportunity to know, but whose life I am able to relate to. Viola Houston was born into a large family on 24 Jan 1891 in Maysfield, Milam County, Texas. She was the seventh of nine children & third daughter of John Young Houston & Roxie Jane Lindsey Houston. She survived the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918 that claimed four of her family members. She was married to the love of her life at a time in her life when others would have considered her an old maid (age 35). She married William Andrew Otts, son of James & Susannah Russell Otts of Marak, Texas, on 22 Oct 1926 in Cameron, Milam County, Texas. She may have expected to live out her life here, but such was not to be.

Just four short years after their marriage, Andrew was taken from "Ola" when he developed nephritis (an infection that shuts down a person's kidney so that they can no longer adequately filter proteins which allows for the build up of toxins) & died on 19 Oct 1930 in Marak, Milam Co., Texas. He was laid to rest with other Otts family members at Marak Cemetery. They had no children together, although it is unknown whether the fact that they had no children was due to age or what I like to refer to as the "Houston curse" in which many of the female relatives of the Houston family line seem to be barren for whatever reason.

From photos that have been passed down to me by a cousin, Donna Fuller Delamar, it was easy to see that Andrew & Ola were much in love & I'm sure his death must have been a burden that was hard to bear for her. Five years later, she married Ernest Sproull Colbert, son of Henry C. & Lola/Lula Brown Colbert. Ernest was an oil field developer & he had been married before to Lily Mae Walton. They (Ernest & Lily) were married in about 1918 in Walters, Cotton Co., OK & had five children together, four boys & one girl, before Lily's death in 1934. Ernest moved his family to Texas where he met & married Ola & she became step-mother to his children.  The 1940 census shows their family living in Wichita Co., Texas which is quite a long ways from Milam County. Ernest's oldest son Floyd worked in the oil fields also. They eventually moved to Marlin in neighboring Falls Co., Texas & Ernest retired in 1952.

Viola "Ola" Houston Otts Colbert
Ola & Ernest had no children together. She was widowed a second time when Ernest died seven years later in 1959. She died a year later of a pulmonary embolism on the anniversary of his death (11 Mar 1960) in Marlin, Falls Co., Texas. She was laid to rest beside Ernest at Hillcrest Cemetery. Ola seemed to me to have been a nurturing mother type so I can relate that her life may not have gone quite as she had planned. A photo of her that was shared with me by Donna Fuller Delamar seems to reinforce this. I don't know when or where it was taken, but she seems a little sad. Most of the Houston relatives I have known or seen pictures of all look very alike & in her appearance here in this photo, I can definitely see the family resemblance. She's looking down & I wonder if this might not have been taken at a cemetery. Compared to the earlier photo, she seems to have lost weight. Whatever life dealt her, she was able to find happiness & a family of her own in the end.

"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index,  FamilySearch  ( : accessed 18 Apr 2014), William Andrew Otts and Viola Houston, 22 Oct 1926; citing Milam Co., Texas, , reference Vol.18 P543; FHL microfilm 1481550.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch  ( : accessed 18 Apr 2014), William Andrew Otts, 19 Oct 1930; citing certificate number 49905, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2135427.
"United States Census, 1940," index and images,  FamilySearch   ( : accessed 18 Apr 2014), Ernest Colbert, Wichita Falls, Justice Precinct 1, Wichita, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 243-28, sheet 9A, family 212, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 4163.
"Texas, Deaths and Burials, 1903-1973," index,  FamilySearch  ( : accessed 18 Apr 2014), Ernest Sprull Colbert, 11 Mar 1959; citing , reference 9544; FHL microfilm 1846233.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images,  FamilySearch   ( : accessed 18 Apr 2014), Viola Houston Colbert, 11 Mar 1960; citing certificate number 16240, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2116166.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

52 Ancestors #14: Elizabeth Walker Holland

Elizabeth Walker Holland, date unknown,
my 5th great grandmother
This week's post is not intended to inspire political discourse on the ethics, etc., of the slave trade of the 19th century. It is inspired by a 2013 movie many of you are probably familiar with or have heard of called "Twelve Years a Slave".

I'm a southern born & bred & a proud sixth generation Texan. While most of my ancestors were not slave owners, a couple of my ancestors, mainly the Turnipseeds & Hollands of AL & GA, did hold slaves. (Turnipseed family history claims that the Turnipseed family were such good masters to their slaves that they took our surname for their own after their emancipation & the Civil War ended. A maternal aunt of mine claims they were "servants", but I have never bought into that line of reasoning. I won't sugarcoat what they were, i.e., slaves, & I won't accept as gospel at simple face value that we were such good masters to the people we held in bondage per se). Of all the periods of history I have ever studied, the 1800's & the Civil War period has been the most interesting to me. All that said, I have never been a proponent of slavery or racism or felt that either were right or justified.

My husband Chris & I don't make mad dashes to the theater every time there is a new release & it is often months or years before we see something that was mentioned in the headlines usually. This week, we watched "Twelve Years a Slave" which chronicles the story of Solomon Northup of Hebron, NY. There is a Holland family story concerning the death/murder of my fifth great grandmother, Elizabeth Walker Holland that I have always found a little amusing because I read into it what she must have been like as a person.

Elizabeth Walker was born on Christmas Day 1790 in Putnam Co., GA to Thomas Walker & Mary Burns. She was one of five children. On 16 Jan 1812, at the age of 21, she married John Rickman Holland, son of Thomas & Pheobe Rickman Holland in Putnam Co., GA. Together, she & John had nine children: five girls (Mary, Nancy, Martha, Sarah & Simruda) & four sons (Thomas, William, John & Samuel). They started family life in Putnam Co., GA & later moved to Troup Co., GA where their last two children were born. 

Marriage record of John Rickman Holland & Elizabeth Walker, Putnam Co., GA
In September 1840, John headed for Texas, which at that time was a free & independent republic, eventually settling in Erath Co., TX. Eight of his nine children would wind up joining him (Texas is a great state to live in!) before all was said & done. In December 1854, John petitioned the Coryell County, Texas courts for a decree of divorce from Elizabeth who had remained in Georgia with her only remaining daughter Martha & her husband Moses Holland who was a first cousin through John's brother James. A twelve man jury of his peers evaluated his case under the direction of District Judge R.E.B. Baylor & decreed that "John R. Holland be forever absolved both in person and property from all matrimonial obligations toward the defendant, Elizabeth Walker Holland." He continued to send money for her support & immediately divided his Texas lands among their children, including a 500-acre tract in Erath County deeded to Moses and Martha Elizabeth Holland who remained in Chatooga County, GA, with her mother, Elizabeth. Divorce, as everyone knows, was rare back in those days so you had to wonder what the lady was like to drive her husband all the way to Texas to get away from her (or did she just not want to go to Texas with him? No one knows for sure, but it's likely she wasn't easy to get along with).

Here is where the story of Elizabeth takes a turn of for the worse. Elizabeth lived on a plantation in Chatooga Co., GA with her daughter & son-in-law/nephew. She had a maid (who was for all intents & purposes a slave) to wait on her named Julian or Julia Ann whom she had promised her freedom upon her (Elizabeth's) death. On 4 July 1861, when the maid & Elizabeth were alone, the maid struck Elizabeth on the head with a rolling pin, killing her, & dumped her body down a well. The neighbors came out to look for Elizabeth & upon discovering her body, the maid admitted to doing the deed, saying that "she was tired of waiting upon ole miss & never being able to please her". The girl was lynched on 12 July 1861. Elizabeth was buried at Ebenezer Cemetery in Chattooga Co., GA.

Gravesite of Elizabeth Walker Holland
at Ebenezer Cemetery, Chattooga Co., GA
I guess I always thought upon hearing this tale that it spoke to the kind of person she may have been to have a husband move to Texas & divorce her only to have a slave girl kill you by whacking you in the head with a rolling pin. The movie "Twelve Years a Slave" changed my perception of this tale. I'm not saying murder is right or justified, but her treatment of the maid probably, quite understandably, brought about her death. The movie is probably the most graphic of any I have ever seen depicting slavery in the South. It shows Solomon, who was a free man of color being forceably kidnapped & sold into slavery against his will. He was first sold to a minister who treated him well enough, but refused to free him when he showed his intelligence (i.e., he was educated & definitely not a slave originally) & had gotten crossways with a bullying overseer because he had debts to pay. He was then sold to a slave owner & his wife who were absolutely terrible people whose treatment of their slaves was beyond despicable. The man was a cruel sadist who quite clearly made known that he bought into the idea of the white race being superior to the exclusion of all others. The wife wasn't quite as fanatic as her husband, but made her disdain felt & often lashed out at one of their slave women in particular because the girl was her husband's favorite (I won't call her his mistress because she didn't seem to try to encourage his attentions. Her only concern was to survive her lot in life the best way she could). It was apparent that the man & woman who owned the plantation didn't have a happy marriage. The wife begged him to sell the girl or she would leave & the husband told her that he would rather she (his wife) leave than get rid of his favorite. 

It wasn't just this female character named Patsy who came in line for abuse either. Solomon, who had been renamed Platte when he was sold into slavery, was beaten & ridiculed & his master went after him with a knife at one point, trying to kill him, even when he had tried to do as he had been instructed to do. The tale of Solomon at least had a happy ending. Towards the end of the movie, a man who was from up north was hired to do some carpentry work on the plantation & he & Solomon struck up a conversation & a friendship of sorts. Solomon told the man his tale & begged him to get word to his friends & family up north. In time, several men came to the plantation to establish his identity. They threatened the plantation owner with lawsuits & took Solomon back up north where he was reunited with his family. After his experiences, Solomon later became active in the abolitionist movement & the Underground Railroad. The movie was good, thought provoking & well deserving of its 2013 awards. 

"Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 Apr 2014), John Holland and Elizabeth Walker, 16 Jan 1812; citing Putnam, Georgia, United States; FHL microfilm 394053.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

52 Ancestors #13: Roxie Jane Lindsey Houston

Roxie Jane Lindsey Houston,
date unknown
Continuing on from last week's post, this week I am blogging about an incident in my great great grandmother Roxie's life. Roxie Jane Lindsey was  born on 27 Aug 1854 (incidentally, a day before my own birthday in August) in Rockford, Coosa Co., AL to James Monroe Lindsey & Mary Sarah Ann Little. She was the second of nine children & their first daughter. When her father went off to fight in the War between the States, it was her job as a youngster to ring a bell & warn others in the area that "the Yankees are coming".

Her father returned from the war & life continued on. She met & married a neighbor boy named John Young Houston (Jr.) on 15 Mar 1877 in AL. They had nine children themselves: Will, Della, James, Walton, Minnie, Luther (aka "Duke"), Viola (aka "Ola"), Sam & Charles (or "Charley"). John & Roxie moved their family from AL to Milam County, Texas in the early 1880's. They spent the remainder of their lives there. Her first comment on seeing the blackland prairies of Texas was to exclaim over a grove of nearby trees "Oh look at that orchard!"

Roxie was a very sensitive & emotionally high strung personality, but she was just like every other woman of her time. She cooked, she cleaned, she fed & raised her children & did laundry, but an incident in the fall of 1918 most likely tested her resolve. The fall of 1918 brought the Great Influenza Epidemic & many people lost loved ones during that time. Roxie lost four of hers in a matter of a couple of weeks. The first to succumb was her husband John. He had underlying health issues & had been complaining that he was not feeling well. It was believed that he was coming down with the flu. He went out to cut some fire wood near the house, but did not return as soon as Roxie expected him to. She went out to look for him & found him lying dead on the ground. She screamed & her son Will, who lived nearby with his family, heard her & came running. She fainted & her grandson Elmer dipped his hat into a puddle to revive her. Roxie was so distraught that she was unable to attend his funeral & burial at North Elm Cemetery.

It was raining as the family came home from John's funeral. The only children still living at home were Charley & Ola. Charley was sick with flu like symptoms, so Ola sent him on into the house & out of the rain to go to bed. Roxie recorded the last hours of Charley's life. The neighbors came in & a mockingbird sang outside in a mournful call that stayed with her for the rest of her life. Charley died on 9 Nov 1918 & was laid to rest in the Houston family plot at North Elm Cemetery.

Della Houston Crook was the next of Roxie's family to die. Her daughter Della lived in Little River & was married to Halcomb Bascom Crook. They also had nine children & the entire family came down with the flu when the epidemic hit. Della died on 11 Nov 1918 of the flu & attendant pneumonia caused by it, devastating her husband & children who were all still very ill themselves. She was laid to rest at Little River Cemetery in Milam County, Texas. Her death & leaving behind several small children was very hard for Roxie to bear.

Her grandson Elmer was the last to succumb. Elmer was the son of Will & Ida McKinney Houston. Will & Ida had four children of their own (Bertha, Ola, Beatrice & Elmer), plus they adopted two boys (Thomas Franklin & James Allen Reynolds) whose parents (James William Reynolds & Anna Pearl Turnbow) had died. (Jim & Anna had six children who were split up & taken in by Will & Ida McKinney Houston & Sam & Mary Price Houston when Jim & Anna died. Their children were Beatrice, Thomas, James, Mary Fay, Edna Mae & Douglas). He died on 15 Nov 1918 & was buried at North Elm.

Anyone can only imagine how all these events, one on top of another, affected Roxie. Roxie lived twelve more years in Milam County, Texas before being diagnosed with colon cancer. She died on 24 Sept 1930 in Buckholtz & was laid to rest beside John at North Elm. I close this week with a photo of Roxie & her grand-
children at a Houston family reunion. The date & place of the photo is unknown but, from the hairstyles & fashions & the fact that she died in 1930, would have to have been taken sometime during the 1920's. My great aunt Asalee Houston Ulicnik Thompson said she was twelve years old when her grandmother died. Since her maternal grandmother Caroline Valentine Bourland Green died in 1948 when she would have been close to 25 years old, I am assuming that she meant Roxie, her paternal grandmother; however, in comparing the dates, she would have been only seven years old at the time Roxie died. Asalee is the little girl seated in the front row looking off to her left in the photo & she looks to be about seven or so, so maybe this photo was taken just before Roxie's death. Although I cannot prove it, I believe the girl seated next to her with her hands in her lap is my paternal grandmother Beulah Mae Houston Kaufman. She was five years older than Asalee & would have been twelve when Roxie died. I can't ask her now since Asalee is no longer living, but perhaps she meant that my grandmother was twelve when their grandmother died. I don't know the identities of the rest of the people are in the photo, but assume they are the rest of Roxie's grandchildren. Roxie is shown holding the hand of one of her young grandsons. All in all, a great photo! I only wish I had identifying markers & knew who everyone was in the photo.

Houston Family Reunion, date & place unknown
Roxie with her grandchildren.

"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch( : accessed 29 Mar 2014), John Y. Houston and R. G. Lindsey, 15 Mar 1877; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1571845.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch( : accessed 29 Mar 2014), J L Houston, 28 Oct 1918; citing certificate number 43862, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2073349.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Apr 2014), Della Crook, 11 Nov 1918; citing certificate number 51861, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2073413.
"Texas, Deaths and Burials, 1903-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Apr 2014), Chas H Houston, 10 Nov 1918; citing Buckholts, reference 2939; FHL microfilm 1481545.
"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Apr 2014), Elmer Powel Houstain, 15 Nov 1918; citing certificate number 51868, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2073413.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

52 Ancestors #12: John Young Houston (Jr)

Roxie Jane Lindsey Houston,
date unknown
This will be kind of a continuation of the week before last week's post, mainly because this week, I managed to locate the marriage record of my father's maternal great grandparents, John Young Houston (Jr) & Roxie Jane Lindsey. Finding that has left me with a question. My paternal great uncle Hubert Houston's basic research on the Houston line has been the basis of my understanding & research of this line. His research stated that John Young Houston was born on 9 May 1849 in AL (I figured out he was the son of John Young Houston (Sr) & Ann Bailey Tegner by finding him on the 1850 census & calling the Milam County, Texas county clerk & nicely asking her who is parents were shown as on his death certificate. Usually, doing that doesn't work because you can get some crabby people out there, but when I explained I was calling long distance, she was nice enough & kind enough to give me this information over the phone) & died on 28 Oct 1918 in Buck-holtz, Milam Co., TX, USA. Uncle Hubert recorded that he married Roxie Jane Lindsey on 15 May 1877 in Rockford, Coosa County, AL, which is where a question now comes up.

This week, I was on looking through their databases of image files for family marriages in AL. I knew that the Houstons had lived in Shelby County, AL for a long time. FamilySearch has been making more & more images of the actual documents available for awhile now & I have just finally clued in on the best way to locate the actual images of supporting documentation by looking for the folder number in the index & then going to the county database of images & looking for that particular folder number & then the image number, etc that references that particular document. FamilySearch had my great great grandparents John Y. Houston (Jr) & R. J. Lindsey listed as married in Shelby Co., AL on the date that Uncle Hubert had recorded which leads me to the question of where did they actually get married. In Coosa Co., AL where Roxie's family lived as Uncle Hubert claimed (he used to claim we were related to General Sam Houston but never provided any evidence to support it, nor have I ever found any, although (at least to me any way), I see a bit of resemblance between photos of him & my great uncle Sam B. Houston) or did they get married in Shelby Co., AL where John's family lived?

Shelby Co., AL marriage record of John Y. Houston & R. J. Lindsey
In the Great State of Texas where I was born & raised, the law states that you can apply for a marriage license in any one of Texas' 254 counties as long as the two parties on the license get married anywhere within the time period specified (90 days) that the license is valid. An example of this is: my parents picked up their marriage license in Bell Co., Texas where my paternal grandmother lived because my father was considered under age (under 21 years of age) at the time my parents got married (although he was somehow considered more than old enough to fight for his country) & he had to have her sign in consent for him (there's a family story that goes along with this). My parents lived up in Dallas, Texas which is in Dallas County four or five hours from Temple, Texas where Dad's mother lived. They had their wedding in Dallas, not Temple. This leaves me wondering if Alabama marriage law is not unlike Texas' marriage laws in this regard or if Uncle Hubert made a mistake when he recorded their having been married in Coosa County, AL. I've heard it said that sometimes a couple got married in the bride's county rather than the groom's, although I'm not sure of the reason for this (maybe it has to do with her family being the ones who are supposed to pay for the wedding back then).

In the Lindsey Book of Remembrance Vol 1, it is recorded that Roxy & John lived near her parents for awhile after they were married in Coosa Co., AL; however, the 1880 census shows them as Shelby Co., AL residents. I think the reason for this is that John's mother & sisters lived nearby. They left AL in the early 1880's for Texas. I think John's mother had probably passed away by then as I cannot see him leaving AL with her still living there. John & Roxie farmed & raised nine children together: Will, Della, James, Walton, Minnie, my great grandfather Luther aka "Duke", Viola aka "Ola", Sam & Charley. They were known to be good upstanding God fearing people & good neighbors. Although the official cause listed on his death certificate was leakage of heart, John died in the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918 that took three other members of his family & so many others around the country with it. He is buried along side his wife Roxie (who died twelve years later) in the North Elm Cemetery in Cameron, Milam County, Texas. I was fortunate to recently find his obituary on page 12 in the Halloween 1918 edition of The Cameron Herald. There's still more to come on this family!

Obituary of John Young Houston (Jr).

"Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 Mar 2014), J L Houston, 28 Oct 1918; citing certificate number 43862, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2073349.
"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 Mar 2014), John Y. Houston and R. G. Lindsey, 15 Mar 1877; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1571845.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

52 Ancestors #11 Bevlie Anderson Cook

Bevlie Anderson Cook & an
unidentified friend, Sunny Lane
Race Team, Sunny Lane,
Burnet Co., TX
 Sorry that I'm a bit late this week posting. They say a picture is worth a thousand words & for this photo, at least, those thousand words form a story about this one that has been passed down in my family.

The photo to the left is of my mother's maternal grandfather when he was a young man. Bevlie (or Beverly) Anderson Cook was the first born of four sons of William Melvin Cook & Lucendia Temperance Berry. He was born in Burnet Co., Texas on 11 Aug 1878. His younger brothers were Robert, William & John. His parents' marriage was not a very happy one (his father William was a good deal younger than his mother & if you consider their date of marriage with Bev's date of birth, they were probably forced to marry. They eventually separated). William has been reputed, in family lore, to have been a mean individual & as a consequence, Bev spent most of his time with various members of the McCoy family who lived nearby.

When Bev was 22, he married one of those McCoy neighbors, Dora Lee McCoy, daughter of William Riley McCoy & Martha/Mariah Elizabeth "Betty" Holland. Dora was only 15 years old when she said yes to the
Wedding photo of Bev Cook
& Dora Lee McCoy, Burnet Co.,
Texas-4 Nov 1900
farmer boy who spent so much time around her family members. They married on 4 Nov 1900 in Burnet Co., Texas. Their first son Leslie was born three years later, but only lived a month. A year later, they would be blessed with a little girl. It was during these years that Bevlie liked to take his bicycle & race it against the other young men in the area on the dirt roads of Sunny Lane on Sunday afternoons. The story goes that he would leave Dora to her own devices on those occasions to go off & race.

Dora prayed that something would break on Bev's bike so that he would be forced to quit racing & stay home with her. Eventually, the bike broke down & she got her wish. Bev farmed for a living & he & Dora raised six daughters (Bessie, my maternal grandmother Vera, Maggie, Goldia, Ruth & Maybelle) & a son (Melvin). Growing things was a talent he passed down to his children (I myself missed inheriting the green thumb they were blessed with). The family mostly lived in Burnet & San Saba County, Texas. The children eventually found spouses. They pretty much all stayed fairly close to home as young adults, farmed the land & started their own families. The Cook family continued the tradition of a yearly family reunion that Dora's McCoy family had started which continues on to this day each July. Bev & Dora enjoyed their grandchildren & great grandchildren, of which they were blessed with a seeming multitude. Of their children, only one, Maybelle Cook Ray, is still living.

Bevlie died on 28 July 1963 in San Saba, San Saba Co., Texas. A little over a year later, his wife Dora joined him in death. Both were laid to rest at Chappel Cemetery, San Saba, San Saba Co., TX, USA.

Friday, March 14, 2014

52 Ancestors #10 John Young Houston

I had a hard time this week trying to decide who to write on. In fact, I still hadn't really totally made up my mind even as time was running out to come up with a new post. I've spent this week mostly doing research on different lines, mainly my father's maternal Houston line, so I guess I'm going to write a little bit about them. The line originally starts with John Young Houston who was one of four sons born before 1800 to Scotch-Irish immigrants to South Carolina. Family lore has it his parents were John & Mary Young Houston of County Down, Ireland, although little is known about them. I don't know alot about him. He doesn't appear in the historical record for very long. At some point in his young life, John

Marriage record of John Young Houston
& Elizabeth "Betsey" Rodgers
migrated from South Carolina to MorganCo., GA where he met & married Elizabeth "Betsy" Rodgers (daughter of James & Sarah - Rodgers) on 25 Nov 1809. Before that, he was supposed to have been married to a Miss Bradford with whom he had a son Alfred & a daughter Patsy, but it is believed that they all three died & he moved on.

He should have appeared in the 1830 & 1840 census, but to be honest, I don't usually research the pre-1850 censuses because, especially with very common names, there is no sure way to determine whether or not you have the right person since they are by head of household only & don't list anyone by name & only give general ages for the members of the household (most times, they don't even give a general age for the head of the household themselves). The first & only census John Young Houston appears in is the 1850 census in Dallas Co., AL, but a great deal happened to John in the years after he married Betsey & the time he appears in Dallas Co.

Between, 1810 & 1818, John & Betsey had & raised seven children (the first two of whom are believed to have died young). They had four sons: John Young Jr (who died), William (who also died), Ruben Rodgers & James Russell. They also had three daughters: Caroline, Lucy Ann & Clementine. Nothing is known about where or when Betsey was born, but by 1841, she had died, although it is not known exactly when or where. The children were mostly grown & married off by then. On 2 Feb 1841, we find John marrying Ann Tegner (nee Bailey) in Lowndes Co., AL.

Marriage record of John Young Houston
with third wife Ann Bailey Tegner
Ann was the widow of Lewis Charles Tegner Sr who died before 1840 (Ann is listed as head of household in Lowndes Co., AL on the 1840 census). She is known to have had two sons, Lewis Charles (Jr) & William F., as well as one daughter, Nancy, who never married. Together, John & Ann had six more children: Mary Ann, Elizabeth "Betty", Martha, Margaret (who never married), my 2nd great grandfather John Young (Jr), & Sarah. In 1850, the only child not shown in their household is Sarah who had not been born yet. John Jr, my father's maternal great grandfather, is only a year old. Ann's older daughter Nancy is shown living with them, while her sons are grown & out living on their own in Lowndes County, AL in the Maria Campbell household.

John is believed to have died in 1854 in Prattville, Autauga Co., AL. It is not known where either he or Ann are buried. Ann continued on raising her children after his death. The family was skipped on the census in 1860 as far as can be told, but in 1866, we find Ann having moved & living in Shelby Co., AL where she would live for the rest of her life (presumably, as evidenced by the fact she is still living there in 1870 & 1880). Her sons & all but two of her daughters married & started their own families. The 1890 census was destroyed by fire & by 1900, all traces of this particular branch of the Houston family in AL are gone. It is thought that Ann died by the mid 1880's because her son, John Young Houston (Jr) moved to Milam County, Texas around that time. And that is a story for another time.

"Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Mar 2014), John Hughston and Betsey Rodgers, 25 Nov 1809; citing Morgan, Georgia, United States; FHL microfilm 158906.
"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Mar 2014), John Haston and Ann Peegner, 02 Feb 1841; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1293892.
"United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Mar 2014), John Houston, Dallas county, Dallas, Alabama, United States; citing family 160, NARA microfilm publication M432.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

52 Ancestors #9 Jose de Jesus Quinteros

Jose de Jesus "Jesse"
Quinteros, Apr 1941,
age 31,Temple, TX
This week's post is kind of a follow up to last week's post about my Tia Barbarita. While I was going over what I knew about her, I found some new information about my Tio Jesse I had never seen before. It was his alien statement in regards to the selective service. It was both an interesting & an enlight-
ening document he filed in 1943 in order to claim exemption from military service in the US Armed Forces during WWII.

Tio Jesse was the second of three surviving sons of Rafael & Domitila Mendez de Quinteros. He was born in Sept 1910 in El Fuerte, Rio Grande, Zacatecas, Mexico (there have been various dates in September given for his birth date). His family moved to Texas when he was ten years old. He married a widow, Barbarita Pedroza de Garcia, & had six children. He adopted & raised as his own her children by her previous two marriages. He spent his entire adult life working for the Santa Fe Railroad doing track maintenance as an assistant foreman of one of the many rail crews in Temple. Tio Jesse's family lived in one of the Santa Fe Section Houses in Temple (their particular house is no longer standing) which were provided for members of the rail crews & their families.

1940 Temple, Bell Co., Texas Census showing the family of Jesse & Barbara Pedroza de Quintero
The 1940 census found Tio Jesse & his family living in Temple on 17th Street. This was one of the section houses & the home his parents would die in within the next year. Tio is indicated as the person who gave the census taker the information for that year's census. Living in the household is his wife Barbara & children Jonita, Augstina, Faustina, Margaret, Erlinda, Tilta & Jose (some of these names are wrong & two children are missing because they hadn't been born yet). War broke out in Dec 1941. His younger brother Rafael was drafted briefly in 1943 & in Dec 1943, Jesse filed the following paperwork to gain exemption from military service.

Page one is just a brief basic information page. Page two goes more in depth, asking for date & place of birth, his alien registration number, citizenship, marital status, employment & residence information. Most notably, it details where all Jesse has lived since his family moved to the US from Mexico in Dec 1920. I had heard that the Quinteros family had lived in Coleman, Coleman Co., Texas briefly before moving to Belton, Bell Co., Texas from my paternal grandfather & it was gratifying to see it documented here. The bottom of page two asks where Tio Jesse entered the US (Eagle Pass, Texas) & when. Page three covers Tio Jesse's employment with the Santa Fe Railroad & the kind of work he did for them. It states that he has received no education while in the US, nor has he served in the military. It states he is a perm-
anent resident & intends to remain in the US (Apparently things were a lot easier in the age before green cards & visa applications. I know that Tio made atleast one trip back home to Zacatecas, Mexico during the 1940's because he is documented as having crossed the border at Laredo when he was returning home). The bottom of page three gave some information about my paternal grandfather Rafael that I had heard before but not known the specifics about. Tio Jesse stated that the only member of his family to serve in the military was his younger brother Rafael. He entered the service in 1943, exited in 1943 & attained the rank of private during his brief period of military service (I had heard my grandfather was drafted & served briefly, but I didn't know when or where or how long. I have seen only one photo of him in uniform & only knew his service wasn't long enough to earn him an american flag or military honors at his death). The final page, page 4, covers his family & political ideals. It lists the names of his mother & father & that they are deceased (it also gave their occupations). His wife Barbara is listed as well as his children. At one time or another, Tio Jesse was a member of the Red Cross (which is news to me). He indicates he understands & upholds the government of the US & has no affiliation with any type of subversive organization, nor believes in anarchy. Page four ends with his statement that he objects to serving in the military & that he fully understands the nature of the document & statements he is making & that they were read to him & understood by him in English. The page is notarized by W.S. McGregor, a licensed notary public of Bell Co., Texas & bears his signature. It was filed with Local Selective Service Board on 17 Dec 1943 in Temple, Texas.

I would love to find something like this on my grandfather or Tio Pancho but have not. Tio Jesse was my favorite of my father's uncles when I was growing up & finding this document both validated some of things I had heard & gave me better insight to him as a person. I close this week's post with Tio's baptism & birth documents from Rio Grande, Mexico & the border crossing document that was filled out when he returned to Texas in 1944.


Mexico, Zacatecas, Civil Registration, 1860-2000, Río Grande, Nacimientos 1909-1911, Img #322, pg #32
Mexico, Catholic Church Records, Zacatecas, Río Grande, Santa Elena de la Cruz,
Bautismos L. 24-31 1909-1915, Img #226, Record #100, pg 53
"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Mar 2014), Jesus Quintras and Barbareta Pedroza, 01 May 1933, Bk 30, Pg 26, 848.
"United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Mar 2014), Jessie Quentero, Temple, Justice Precinct 5, Bell, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 14-28, sheet 6B, family 125, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 3984. U.S., Alien Draft Registrations, Selected States, 1940-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Alien Registration Forms, compiled 1940–1946. Selective Service System, Arkansas State Headquarters. ARC ID: 576612. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926–1975, Record Group 147. The National Archives at Fort Worth. Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

52 Ancestors #8 Barbara Pedroza Franco de Quintero

Barbara Pedroza de Quinteros,
estimate photo was probably
taken sometime during the
Mexican Revolution
Tia Barbarita was un-
doubtedly my favorite of all my father's paternal aunts. When I finally decided to write about her in my blog this week, I took a moment to review what I knew about her. I knew her parents & that she came from Jalisco, Mexico; I knew she had been married multiple times & I knew she had at least one child by each spouse. She only spoke Spanish (at the time, none of us spoke the language), so my family often had to pantomime in order to get her to understand what we were trying to get across to her. She spent the majority of her life as a wife, mother & homemaker, but her life was not always an easy one.

Baptismal record of Barbara Pedroza de Quinteros,
Sta Thereza, Union de San Antonio, Jalisco, Mexico
She was born on 4 December 1901 in Santa Thereza, Union de San Antonio, Jalisco, Mexico to Francisco & Panfila Franco de Pedroza. Her baptismal record in the parish of Senor de la Ascension records that her grandparents were Silvestre & Anastacia Vasquez de Pedroza & Silvero & Mauricia Rodriguez de Franco.

The Pedrozas had lived in Jalisco for many generations, but around 1915 or 1916, they decided to move their family to Texas. It seems that they wound up in Bell or Milam Counties, Texas because on 30 Nov 1916, Barbara was married at the age of 15 to Marcos Pacheco in Buckholts. They had one son, Jose, together about 1918. At some point during all this, they must have returned to live in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico where Marcos was from. In April 1919, she, her parents, her son & her husband Marcos returned to Texas via Laredo. The Manifests of Statistical and Some Nonstatistical Alien Arrivals at Laredo, Texas records that she can neither read nor write & that she is entering the US for the purpose of accompanying her husband who is looking for work.

Border crossing card of Barbara
Pedroza de Pacheco,
Laredo, Texas
They must only have been back in Texas for a year or so when some-
thing happened to change their life together as a family. It is not known whether Marcos died or simply left, but on 17 Nov 1921, in Bell Co., Texas, she was remarried to Basilio Garcia. They lived next door to her parents in temple & had four more children: Felipe, Ascension, Angelina & Faustino (aka "Frosty"). Basilio worked as a laborer on the Santa Fe railroad there in Temple. On July 4 1931, he was injured in a work related accident & died of internal hemorrhaging on 5 July 1931. He was laid to rest at Hillcrest Cemetery, one of the best known cemeteries in Temple.

Two years passed & eventually she met Jose de Jesus (Jesse) Quintero, son of Rafael & Domitila Mendez de Quinteros (there is a long standing family debate among some in the family about whether our family name is supposed to have the s or not. I suspect that the s was added at some point & our name originally did not have it. I have seen our name spelled both ways, sometimes even within the same document; although, I have seen it spelled most often with the s rather than without it). Tio Jesse worked for the Santa Fe Railroad also & later retired from there. They married on 1 May 1933 in Bell Co., Texas & had six more children together: Margarita (Margaret), Herlinda (Linda), Domitila (Tila), Amelia (Molly), Daniel & Jesse.

Marriage certificate of Jesse Quinteros & Barbarita Pedroza
My memories of Tia Barbarita are of visiting her & Tio Jesse as a child. When I was little, I thought she lived in the kitchen (& maybe that is not far from the truth) because I never recall seeing her anywhere else. She made her flour tortillas by hand (I enjoyed scarfing them as fast as she could make them). She & Tio Jesse made the best tamales (according to my mother since I don't remember them) in great big canning pots. She kept a couple of pet parakeets in a cage that sat on a chair in the kitchen. I took Spanish in junior high & high school & I recall one trip to Temple when I wanted to impress her with what I had learned in class (which wasn't very much). I asked her for a glass of milk in Spanish & her eyes lit up to hear me speaking the language. She said something I didn't understand (this would have been in the fall, so we hadn't been in class long enough to learn more than the basics) & she was disappointed to learn that what I had said was the extent of my comprehension of the Spanish language. It would be a few more years until I would be fluent enough in Spanish to carry on an actual conversation. =(

I didn't see either Tio Jesse or Tia Barbarita for many years after that. I last saw Tio Jesse when he was at a Temple Nursing Home in December 1992. Tia Barbarita was living with one of her children by then. Tio Jesse passed away on 3 Dec 1993. Tia Barbarita survived him by four more years & passed away at the age of 96 on 16 Dec 1997. Both were laid to rest side by side at Bellwood Cemetery in Temple.

Mexico, Jalisco, Catholic Church Records, Unión de San Antonio, Señor de la Ascensión, Bautismos 1899-1905, pg 141, Img #300
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"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Mar 2014), Bassilia Garcia and Barbarita Pedrosa, 17 Nov 1921, certificate #1826, pg 480.
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