Showing posts with label Henyard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Henyard. Show all posts

Monday, June 11, 2012

Madness Monday - One More Clue in the Search for a Great Grandmother

Actually clue is probably not the right term. It was more of a confirmation of my research.

My Great Grandmother, Fannie "Of the Many Names," is one of the main reasons I begin this journey way back when. In fact she's the reason that most of the relatives on my maternal grandmother's side of my family want to begin searching.

I've not talked or researched Grandma Fannie for quite a while. I was having success on other lines and frankly, I had run out of ideas with regard to Grandma Fannie. But since hitting the proverbial 1870 brick wall on my other lines and not having much success breaking through those walls, it's only natural that Grandma Fannie would start calling out to me, again.

So, what the clue that dropped into my lap. Well, if you remember back in 2009, when I first started blogging about my research, I unearthed a new cousin, whom mom and I affectionately call Little Irene, to distinguish her from her Grandmother (mom's first cousin), who was also Irene. Irene's great grandmother, Mattie Lou Henyard Martin was my grandmother's older half sister. Based on the 1900 and 1910 censuses, Mattie never lived in the house with my great grandparents, my grandmother and the rest of her siblings. However, both censuses indicated that my great grandmother had other children that were still living. Therefore, even though my Great Grandfather had been previously married, I concluded that Mattie was my Great Grandmother's child. To date, I've not been able to document my Great Grandmother prior to 1900 and Aunt Mattie, who was born abt 1885 and died 10 Oct 1918 has been even harder. So, my only hope bringing some type of confirmation to the theory of Mattie's parentage was DNA. While I had asked Cousin Irene, early on about doing DNA, it wasn't until this year that she was finally able to do it thanks to 23andme's  Roots to the Future program, which was aimed at getting more African Americans into their database.

When Little Irene's results came in I was ecstatic!

Her mtDNA was L3e1a3. Strange as this may sound, since beginning DNA testing, the only other folks that I've come across with this assignment are known relatives, my mother and my cousin Nicholas who descends from my grandmother's baby sister, Ossie. So based on research, and a recently rediscovered letter from Cousin Ovella, Little Irene's Grand Aunt, to my mother, it appears that the DNA backs up the research.

The second part of the testing with 23and me is the Relative Finder, which shows mom and Little Irene share 1.50%, 8 segments.

Even better, in less than a month, I will finally meet Little Irene. She plans to bring her Grand Aunt Evelyn's photo album. I'm hoping that between the two of us we can finally crack the case of our mysterious Grandma Fannie.

And yes, I'm officially back on the hunt, for the time being, for Miss Fannie "What's Her Name," also know as Fannie "Of the Many Names," aka my great grandmother.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Genealogy Goals for 2012

It's the beginning of another year, and like many I find myself reflecting on the past year and contemplating the future.

I didn't get a lot of genealogical work accomplished in 2011. After dad's death, I struggled to get back on track in so many areas of my life. Every time I felt like I was ready to get back at it, I soon realized that I wasn't and needed more time to morn and deal with this huge void left in my life.

But as the year drew to a close, it was like the petals of the flowers feeling the warmth of the spring sun and little by little the petals are opening back up and leading me to rejoin this game called life. So, I find myself tentatively setting goals for the year.

2012 Goals 

  1. Attend 2012 African American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) National conference. The conference is being held in my state this year, so how can I not attend. Looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones.
  2. Work with my Hosch cousins and relatives toward having a family blowout in 2013. Much to be done.
  3. Hope to finally get everything organized and make sure citations are up to date, etc.
  4. Meet some of my new to me cousins, discovered during the past 3 years. Goals are to meet my cousins "Little" Irene, great granddaughter of Grand Aunt, Mattie Henyard Martin, in July and if things work out, maybe meeting my Perkins cousins, descendants of Great Grand Aunt Penny Rome Perkins.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday

Mattie Henyard Martin
25 March 1885 - 18 October 1918
Harris-Jones Cemetery, Walton County, GA

Mattie was my maternal grandmother's older half sister. Per conversations with my Cousin Irene, Cousin Ovella, Mattie's daughter, had this tombstone placed at her mother's grave many years after Mattie had passed.

The picture of my grand aunt's tombstone was obtained via photo request at FindaGrave

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Tommie Lee Martin (1909 - 1969)

Tommie Lee was the son of my Grand Aunt, Mattie Henyard Martin (the oldest of my grandmother's siblings), which makes him my second cousin once removed. Tommie Lee was the only one of Aunt Mattie's children that didn't remain in Ohio with his brothers and sisters after they migrated there from GA. Tommie Lee is interred in Evergreen Cemetery in Polk County, FL.

Tommie Lee had a son, Tommie Lee, Jr., whom the family has lost contact with through the years, so Tommie Lee Jr. if you or your son Chris come across this post, your family in Georgia, Ohio, and North Carolina would sure love to hear from you.

The pictures of Tommie Lee Martin's tombstone were obtained via photo request at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Who is She?

Is this the infamous half sister, Mattie Henyard Martin, that only my grandmother seem to know about and thus only our line of my great grandparents descendants have ever heard about?

According to Little Irene, which is what mom and I both call our new found cousin, this picture hung on her grandmother Irene Martin Richardson's wall. There are no dates or names on the picture. Little Irene says some of the family says it's her grandmother's mother and others say that it's her grandmother's grandmother.

Both my mother and aunt Lucille recall seeing a picture of their Aunt Mattie but it's been so long ago that neither can say for sure whether the person in this picture resembles the person in the picture they remember seeing so many years ago.

This week, I talked with cousin Irene about trying to use the power of the internet to try to determine who the lady in this picture is. Both of us figured what have we got to lose. So, we are hopeful that somebody out there sees and recognizes this picture and can tell us who this pretty lady is.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

21st edition of Smile for the Camera

Give Their Face a Place

Sallie or Sarah Robinson or Robertson
From the personal collection of L. Evans

I have a name and my aunt’s interpretation of who she was. The faint handwritten of no doubt my grandmother Mary can be seen in several places on the board of this picture card. I’ve blown it up several times and from what I can make out, the name appears to be Sallie Robinson. On the back of the card, the infamous Aunt Lucille has written Sallie / Sarah Robinson / Robertson, mom’s great aunt, ex-slave.

I have checked the 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 censuses and so far come up empty when using the name Sallie Robinson. But I do find a Sarah Robertson, age 56, and a widower on the 1900 census for Walton County, GA. Sarah is listed as head of household and has a niece, Mollie Hearnord (Ancestry interpretation) living with her, who I’ve always suspected was the older half sister, Mattie Henyard Martin, that my grandmother passed along to us. On the 1910 census, there is a Sarah Robertson, age 70, living with grand Aunt Mattie Henyard Martin and her husband Tom Martin and their family. However, the enumerator listed the seventy year old Sarah as the twenty-eight year old Tom’s daughter. What was he smoking? The problem is that due to the spelling / interpretation of the Mollie / Mattie on the 1900 census, do I dare say that that these two Sarah’s are one in the same. I think they are but proving it may be an altogether different story.

My gut tells me that Sallie / Sarah is great grandma Fannie’s, of the many surnames, aunt. And of course my untrained eyes see a certain similarity (the high cheek bones) between Sallie / Sarah and Grandma Fannie.

Great Grandma Fannie
From the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

What do you think?

I'm thankful for the picture of Aunt Sallie / Sarah as it's the only picture I have of any ancestor (direct or collateral) past my great grandparents generation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mrs. Fannie Pierce (part 2)

How does one begin to explain all the mysteries that are clues to a great grandmother but to date, have not helped her descendants locate her. Perhaps you just jump in and rattle them off as they come to mind.

The Two Surnames

First Surname

The two different surnames is the most recent discovery about my great-grandmother and may be the most revealing in finding out more about her. The branch of the tree that descended from my grandmother, Mary Magdalene Pierce, was told through my grandmother that my great-grandmother's surname was Henry. So, prior to the 1900 census, I've looked for a Fannie Henry that matched the description of great-grandmom but to no avail. No one in our branch ever questioned this and always thought that was what the other branches of the family were told.

Second Surname

I met my second cousin Deborah about 10 years ago, shortly after I had moved back home to North Carolina from Colorado. Seeing as I'm a firm believer in the ancestral guidance in doing this research, perhaps the ancestors brought us together for a reason. Deborah is a grandchild of my great-aunt, Ossie Pierce, grandmom's baby sister. Deborah had also been researching the Pierce family's history and we had both gotten to the same point but couldn't get any further. Every so often we would ask each other about our research but I think even though we kept looking, we had both given up on finding out anything else. You would think somewhere during this time the surname oddity would have come up but it didn't until this year.

This year, through Deborah, I've come to know one of my younger cousins Nicholas (great-great grandchild of great-aunt Ossie Pierce), who contacted me to find out more about the family. I didn't pick up on it when he said Fannie's surname was White, didn't pick up on it again when he questioned me inputting Henry into my tree on Ancestry (had been on Ancestry for awhile but hadn't put my info in until Nicholas contacted me). It's only been within the past month that I fully took notice about this difference in surnames. It came about when I started searching death certificates of other ancestors not in my direct line. Great-aunt Evelina Pierce's, grandmom's older sister, death certificate listed Fannie's surname as White (information submitted by her husband Jim Jackson). Interesting!

After making this discovery I double checked my own grandmother's death certificate, surname listed was Henry. What's strange about this is that after great-grandmom remarried, aunt Ossie, who was 9 when my great granddad died, moved in with my grandparents and grandmom and granddad finished rearing her, so logically, you would think the sisters would have handed down the same surname but they didn't.

What I've been able to confirm

This past week, through the, marriage index for Walton County, GA,, I've been able to determine that at the time my great grandparents got married, my great-grandmother's surname was White. The index indicates that a Cornelius Pierce (colored) and Frances (Fannie is a variation of Frances) White (colored) married on 10 Aug. 1889. The 1889 date confirms years of marriage that was given in the 1910 census.

The Henry surname

From information I've been able to gather, I believe that my great-grandmother more than likely had a marriage prior to her marriage to my great-grandfather.

Evidence that points toward a possible prior marriage
  • Both the 1900 and 1910 census indicate great grandmom had other living children that never appeared to have resided with my great-grandparents (they weren't listed with them on either census).
  • My grandmother knew of an older half-sibling, Mattie, whose surname was Henry or Henyard (more on that in my next post).
  • The marriage between my great-grandparents occurred when they were in their mid-twenties. In today's world that wouldn't phase me but in the late 1800's when most marriages occurred by the time you were 20, it does seem a bit odd. (By the way I also think this was great-granddad's second marriage, too, but more on that later.)
When I hopefully go on my research trip later this year, I hope to be able to obtain a copy of my great-grandparents marriage license. If it's anything like my grandparents, there probably won't be a any additional information outside of what's on the index but I can hope that there is some small tidbit of information to point me in the right direction.
Until next time.