Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

When Your Genealogical Research Comes Alive!

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     In February, 2013, I wrote a letter to Mr. David Sheley, a volunteer with the Patrick County Genealogy  Society, in fact their vice president, I believe. I was asking him for help with a “brick wall” I had hit in my research into the parents of my great grandfather Walter Thomas Houchins. As expected and agreed upon, Mr. Sheley published my query in the Enterprise, the local newspaper,  to see what others might offer. I never did find out for sure, the name  of my gg grandfather, but I kind of forgot, because I found about 30 other cousins–actually living! there were Spanglers , Harbours, Lawsons, ,Belchers, Pilsons, Dillons, Price, West, and many more! I was overwhelmed with friendliness and connections!

           My maternal grandmother was Katherine Steptoe Houchins, born 1883 in Patrick County Virginia. She was the daughter of Evalina Howell Langhorne and Walter Thomas Houchins. Grandma Kate as we called her, was the oldest of seven children born to this couple. Unfortunately,, Evalina was going blind like her father and many others in the family. The blindness we have always been told was glaucoma which ran strongly in the family, I am now told it might have been retinitis pigmentosa.  In 1900, Evalina died in childbirth carrying twins, the story of which I told in an earlier blog post. (see the genealogy category to find it) Fifteen when she married, Evalina was only 34 at her death with six living children, ranging in age from 3 to 16. Walter Thomas remarried Lena Elliott and had two more children with her. Unfortunately, he deserted the six living children of his first family. 

     Evalina was the daughter of James Steptoe Langhorne who owned the Langdale plantation which covered 13,000 acres I’m told, much of the area now called Meadows of Dan.  Steptoe, as he was called, is usually given credit for naming the Meadows of Dan. In a 1935 interview, Steptoe’s daughter, Fannie Langhorne Spangler, says that “his place was often referred to as the meadows, from the fact that along the Dan River on his estate, lay the only flat rolling lands found on that stream on the mountain”!  (quote from article written for  the Martinsville Daily Bulletin, by Charles F. Adams, June 15,1935.)

James Steptoe Langhorne, 1822-1905

Spangler, Harvie's portrait of James Steptoe Langhorne

                                 Elizabeth “Lizzie” Rachel Omohundro Langhorne, 1825-1915

                                                Langhorne,  portrait of Elizabeth Rachel Omohundro Langhorne

        As I worked at my research on my mother’s family, of course, I realized that my great grandmother, Evalyna Langhorne was one of 8 natural children, and two adopted children of James Steptoe and his wife Elizabeth Rachel Omohundro Langhorne. Further study helped me realize that Evalyna’s sister Fannie had married  Wallace Wolford Spangler, making their son Charles Langhorne “Tump” Spangler, my first cousin. I had grown up knowing of Tump Spangler, the Virginia state legislator, one of our famous cousins! And his brother Babe, known as the Virginia Fiddler, who I heard play on television in Richmond as a child. However, for whatever reason, I had never met them!  Then I received a phone call from Harvie Spangler, Tump and Kittie Cockram’s son, and my second cousin! He told me many Langhorne stories, some of which I’ve already written about, and breathed life into what had previously only been names on a piece of paper!  Suddenly James Steptoe Langhorne became Grandpa Steptoe.  I never even knew he was blind, as was my great grandmother Evalina losing her sight just before she died. I only knew that one of her sons, my great Uncle Harry Langhorne Houchins was blind. As it turns out, there were ten or fifteen members of the family affected by this disease.

     Talking with Harvie Langhorne Spangler  was like opening a flood gate! Before long he was inviting me to meet my cousins at the Spangler family reunion! I was thrilled. I do want to say, that at least five family members called me due to that article in the paper. I’m writing here about the Spanglers, Langhornes and Cockrams, because that is the reunion I just went to. But I was thrilled to meet Patsy Dillon Reyes, Betty Pilson, Alpha Hiatt, Beverly Belcher Woody, Betty Lawson Lawless, and Patty Lawson Kiser, Allen DeHart in my own backyard, and many more as the weeks went on. My family tree has grown by 500 names probably since I wrote that letter! I figured there are 56 living descendants of my great grandmother Evalina, and I really wanted them all to join me! Of course, that would have made it a Langhorne reunion, not a Spangler one! So, I hope we will do that in the future, for now I am meeting the family and enjoying the area! But never far from my thoughts is the idea of getting all of my cousins, from California, Oklahoma, Illinois, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, and North Carolina together with as many other cousins related to the Langhornes as possible!  

    James Steptoe Langhorne and his wife Elizabeth Rachel Omohundro were the head of the Meadows of Dan branch of my family, but  their daughter Fannie Langhorne Spangler with her husband Wallace Wolford Spangler were leaders of that area in their own family.  As far as our relationship to each other, and to the Langhornes, the Spangler’s come down from Fannie, I and 56 currently living cousins come down from her sister Evalina. 

 James Steptoe Langhorne

Your 2nd great grandfather

Birth 11 Sep 1822 in Langhorne Mill, Roanoke, Virginia, United States

Death 4 Dec 1905 in Plantation, Jefferson, Kentucky, United States

married; Elizabeth Rachael OmohundroYour 2nd great grandmotherBirth 2 Mar 1825 in Amherst, Amherst, Virginia, United StatesDeath 10 JAN 1915 in Meadows Dan, Patrick, Virginia, USA
  • Henry Ellis Langhorne (1849-1865), drowned at 16,no issue
  • Virginia Alice Langhorne (1852-1924) married Charles M.Cassel, 5 children
  • Charles P. Langhorne (1852-) no issue
  • Francis ( E Langhorne (1854-1936) m. Wallace W. Cockram, 6 children
  • Sarah E. Langhorne (1857-1868),died young, no issue
  • Mary O Langhorne (1860-1952) m. first, Wm.Caldwell Shelor, had one daughter, second m. Charles David DeHart, had 7 children
  • Nancy A Langhorne (1863-1917) m. Wm. Pinkney Howell, had 7 children

Evaline Langhorne (1866-1900) m. W.Thomas Houchins, had 9 children, 6 lived to maturity.

  • Borids (adopted son) Thales (1874-) have not identified issue or marriage
  • Ernest Lindsey (adopted grandson, son of Mary)  Langhorne (1879-1953) m. Mary S. Blackard, and had 8 children.

******************************************

 

Francis (Fannie) Eunice Langhorne

Your great grand aunt

Birth 19 Dec 1854 in Mayberry, Patrick, Virginia, United States

Death 30 Oct 1936

Wallace Wolford SpanglerBirth 6 Apr 1851 in Mayberry, Patrick, Virginia, United StatesDeath 17 Dec 1926 in Mayberry, Patrick, Virginia, United States
  • John Watts, “Babe” Spangler (1882-1970)

      Charles Langhorne “Tump” Spangler (1885-1983)

  • Mary Josephine Spangler (1887-1970)
  • Lila Ann Spangler (1889-1973)

Elizabeth Lucretia Spangler (1892-)

Virginia Empress Spangler (1894-1933)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Langhorne “Tump” Spangler

Your 1st cousin 2x removed

Birth 15 Mar 1885 in Patrick, Virginia

Death 30 Jan 1983 in Meadows Of Dan, Patrick, Virginia, United States

Kittie Clyde CockramYour 4th cousin 2x removedBirth 12 Dec 1894 in Virginia, United StatesDeath 12 Nov 1981 in Meadows Of Dan, Patrick, Virginia, United States

 

.Samuel Maurice Spangler (1916-1997)

Leila Evelyn Spangler (1918-2002)

  Thomas W Spangler (1920-1991)

Benjamin Leslie Spangler (1923-1996)

Harvie Langhorne Spangler (1928-)

Charles Bishop Spangler (1932-2011)

Daniel Patrick Spangler PhD (1934-)

 

 

 ************************************************************

 

Mary Josephine Spangler, Tump’s sisterYour 1st cousin 2x removedBirth 14 Sep 1887 in Meadows Of Dan, Patrick, Virginia, United StatesDeath 7 Mar 1970
married: Dudley Singleton SpanglerBirth 28 Apr 1891 in Virginia,United States of AmericaDeath 6 May 1981 in Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia 

   .  Margie M Spangler (1922-)

  • Wallace William Spangler (1923-)
  • Sarah Berniece Spangler (1930-

 

 *********************************************************************


John Jefferson Cockram

Birth 14 Aug 1856 in Patrick County, Virginia, USA
Death 1 Dec 1939 in Patrick VA USA
married

Louisa Elizabeth ‘Lutie’ Helms

Your 3rd cousin 3x removed

Birth 25 Feb 1864 in Patrick, Virginia, United StatesDeath 30 Jun 1944 in Patrick VA USA

 

 Joseph Wooster Cockram (1881-1965)

  • Mary Etta Cockram (1883-1968)
  • William Lewis Cockram (1886-1971)

Walter A B Cockram (1888-1977)

  • Fannie L Cockram (1889-1972)
  • Ella Lou Cockram (1890-1914)
  • Amos Harvey Cockram (1892-1959)
  • Dolly Ruth Cockram (1893-)

Kittie Clyde Cockram (1894-1981)

Leila Evelyn Cockram (1897-1914)

  • Dean Potter Cockram (1899-1997)
  • John Edd Cockram (1901-1937)
  • Florence Alma Cockram (1904-1984)

Hammie Ham D Cockram (1906-1989)

Minnie Susie Cockram (1910-)

Notice: Minnie Susie Cockram is still living at 103, in  Chester, Virginia, just outside of Richmond. She married:

Paul Austin ElliottBirth 25 Aug 1912 in Pelham, Caswell, North Carolina, USADeath 21 Mar 1985 in Richmond, Chesterfield, Virginia, United States of America
Minnie Susie Cockram, sister of Kittie

Birth: August 17, 1910

  • Richard Paul Elliott  (1932-2012)
  • Nellie Jean Elliott (1934-2003)
  • Ralph Cole Elliott (1936-)
  • Kitty Mae Elliott (1938-2005)
  • George Wesley Elliott (1940-)
  • William Howard Elliott (1941-)
  • Betty Lou Elliott (1942-)
  • Donald Austin Elliott (1944-)
  • Carolyn Sue Elliott (1946-)

 

 *****************************************************************

My own g. grandmother was Evalina, usually called Evelyn Howell Langhorne who married Walter Thomas Houchins.

Walter Thomas HouchinsYour great grandfatherBirth 12 May 1854 in Patrick, Virginia, United StatesDeath 19 Dec 1937 in Spray, Rockingham, North Carolina, United States
Evaline LanghorneYour great grandmotherBirth abt 1866 in Virginia, United StatesDeath 6 Oct 1900 in Virginia

 Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883-1943)

         Julia Elizabeth Houchins (1885-1969)

Harry Langhorne Houchins (1887-1973)

William Thomas  Houchins (1890-1968)

Virginia Myrtle Houchins (1892-1894)

John Langhorne Houchins (1893-1968)

Guy Maurice Houchins (1897-1954)

 

Of these seven children, only 3 had issue. Julia had one son, Guy a son and a famous daughter, and Katherine (Kate) had seven children, six girls and one boy who drowned at age eight. Now of course there are grandchildren and great grandchildren, numbering 56 direct decendants living at this date, and I know of one on the way. My mother was Margaret Steptoe Kerse, daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins Kerse,daughter of Evalina Langhorne, sister of Fannie Langhorne Spangler, both daughters of James Steptoe Langhorne—and thus we relate and  descend!

 

Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

2 thoughts on “When Your Genealogical Research Comes Alive!

  1. interesting site.been researching cockram-cockerham lines for a long time.mine came from the same area but didnt see any names i recognised.i would like to compare notes if you have time .i live in surry county n.c. david cockerham

    Like

  2. Hi David, would be glad to compare notes and see what we find. Are you on ancestry by any chance? Facebook? You can write me at helenholshouser@gmail.com

    Like

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