Heart of a Southern Woman

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Jamestowne Colony Ancestors–20 Grandparents ! — 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #52

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Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, we lived only a couple of hours from Jamestown! We went there often in my childhood, to Yorktown and Williamsburg as well. My mother was very interested in history, and wanted to be sure her children understood their Virginia history! She was also very interested in family history, but as far as I know, she had no idea that she had grandparents who had lived in Jamestown! Oh my gracious, she would have been so excited to know all this I’m sure! I am excited as well! As my genealogical research progressed, I began to realize we had some lines of ancestors that extended back to that time frame. However, I had not investigated particularly if we had ancestors who were on the “approved” lists from the Jamestown Society indicating that you did indeed have ancestors from Jamestown. As I approached the end of this 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge, I decided to write about some of our first ancestors–the Huguenots, Pilgrims on the Mayflower, and Jamestown Settlers. I gathered all the lists I could find, and started searching! Some were easy as I readily recognized the names!  Several were amazing to me, because I had perhaps stopped at a daughter or son, never dreaming that including one more generation would take me to Jamestown! Wow! Altogether, as of this writing, I have identified twenty grandparents who were present in Jamestown, and therefore would make my siblings and I , and many of my cousins eligible for membership in the Jamestowne Society. That is simply amazing to me!

I am going to list all twenty of our grandparents here, and highlight the ones I’ve already blogged about–so that you can simply click on them and see their story. At the end of this post, just for information’s sake, I will list their relationship trees. Therefore cousins can tell who comes through the Houchins, the Langhornes, the Omohundros, etc. and see their own relationships.

The very first discovery I made that I’d not known of before, just blew me away! I was looking at the lines, and noticed a Mirian Newport married to a William Hatcher. It was the Newport name that caught my attention. I knew I had seen that name on the lists.  I thought I’d extend her line a bit, and who turned out to be her father? Oh my gracious, none other than Captain Christopher Newport, Captain of the Susan Constant and in charge of all three ships that sailed to Jamestown! I had no idea, and was so excited! He is our/my ninth great- grandfather! His daughter Marian is my eighth great-grandmother and is a qualifying ancestor in her own right! Her husband William Hatcher, my eight great-grandfather is identified as well!  William Hatcher served for many years in the House of Burgesses. 

The following story, originally shared to his family tree on ancestry, by Theodore Walker27, by an unknown author, can be found on ancestry, and is very interesting about the Susan Constant and Captain Newport:

Newport, Capt. Christopher, captainchristophernewport.com340 × 180Search by image

Jamestowne ships

Jamestown Ships, The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery. source: Private Jamestown VA Tours Virginia http://www.williamsburgprivatetours.com197 × 193Search by image

“The Susan Constant, captained by Christopher Newport, was the largest of three ships of the English Virginia Company (the others being the Discovery and the Godspeed) on the 1606-1607 voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia. Susan Constant was rated at 120 tons. Her keel length is estimated at 55.2 feet (16.8 meters). Her overall length from tip to stern is estimated at 116 feet. On the 1606-1607 voyage, she carried 105 colonists, all male.  She returned to England in May 1607. She served as a merchant ship through at least 1615. Her fate is not known. The alternative name Sarah Constant has been cited, and is shown as being the name noted on the earliest document, leading to a belief that Samuel Purchas had the name wrong in his Pilgrims book.  There is growing support for the name Sarah Constant. The article that cites the Sarah Constant is as follows:  He tolde me of three barques on route to the New Worlde, thouse whose names are, as he tolde me thereon, be consysted of “Godspeed”, “Discoverie” or “Discovery”, and one whose name splyte twice, I think ´was “Sarah Constant”.- presumably written by Sir Walter Raleigh. December 20, 1606, 150 passengers left Blackwall, London, England in three London (Virginia) Company ships, Susan Constant with Master Christopher Newport and 71 passengers, Godspeed with Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold and 52 passengers and the Discovery under Capt. John Ratcliffe, carrying 21 persons. They headed for the New World.  After 18 weeks, the ships landed in Cape Henry, Virginia. 105 survivors established the town of Jamestown. April 30, 1607: The ships arrive at Cape Comfort, a vanguard boat stopped at Kecoughtan where the natives welcomed the English Settlers”

If you like interactive websites, and if you’d like to know more about the women in Jamestown, there is a wonderful website titled the National Women’s History Museum.  There we learn that the  Englishmen named the river that flows into the Chesapeake Bay the James River and named their settlement Jamestown, both to honor their King, James I. The settlers of Virginia were looking for gold especially, but none was to be found!

In this same website we finally learn about the women in Jamestown!  ” For over a year after the founding of Jamestown, no English women lived in the colony. Then in October of 1608, two women arrived with the “Second Supply” of men and provisions. Thomas Forrest, listed as a gentleman in the supply lists, brought his wife, Anne Forrest, and her maid, Anne Buras. Buras was about fourteen years old when she arrived. She married the carpenter John Layton within a year, an event that Captain John Smith described as the first wedding held in Virginia. Anne Layton later gave birth to a daughter, named Virginia. While the Laytons are not mentioned again in later records, their arrival represents the beginning of families in Jamestown.

In August of 1609, about twenty women arrived on ships sent by the Virginia Company of London. One hundred more women arrived a few months later. Many of the female passengers on the first ships were traveling with their husbands and families. All were recruited by the Virginia Company, a land-development, stock-issuing corporation based in London.  For the most part these women’s names are lost, but a few survive in the record.”

Lo and behold,  listed on this website, is Jane/Joan Pierce, my grandmother!  Until this very moment I didn’t know she and her daughter existed, only men are usually discussed! “Joan Pierce sailed with her husband William and daughter Jane. By all accounts, Joan was a dauntless woman and enjoyed the challenges of living in Virginia. During a visit to England in 1629, she was described as “an honest and industrious woman [who] hath been [in Virginia] nearly 20 years.” She apparently considered the new colony rich in resources; she was quoted as saying that “she can keep a better house in Virginia . . . than in London.” Many women were in the same situation: while their men took off for the New World, women supported their families and managed the finances. Before leaving England to join their husbands, these women made the decisions about selling property and planning for the long voyage.” 

“Her daughter, Jane Pierce, married John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas. Pocahontas had been the favored daughter of Chief Powhatan, and her marriage to Rolfe in 1614 brought over eight years of peace between the settlers and Native Americans, during which the colony was able to produce profitable tobacco. Pocahontas died in England in 1617, and Rolfe returned to Jamestown. He became active in colonial politics and married Jane Pierce later that year. They had one daughter, Elizabeth, also named for the powerful Virgin Queen.”National Women’s History Museum.   Jane Pierce was my 10th great Aunt, with her sister Edith being my 10th great-grandmother!  Edith Pierce married Jerimiah Clements, my 10th great-grandfather. It is so amazing to me, that I happen to share the Pierces and the Clements with other genealogical researchers–making us cousins now as well as friends! 

Our ancestors:

  1. Nicholas Martiau, see his blog, post–only his granddaughters Mary and  Jane Scarsbrook, 1654-1685 are my direct descendant, not Nicholas or his wife. 
  2. Mary Scarsbrook
  3. Christopher Newport
  4. Daughter Marian Newport
  5. William Hatcher, Marian’s husband
  6. Jerimiah Clement
  7. Edith Pierce, wife of Jerimiah, daughter of Capt. Wm.Pierce, my 10th
  8. William Pierce
  9. William Pierce, son of above
  10. Jane or Joan Phippen Pierce, wife of the Capt. above
  11. John Pinkard
  12. John Browning
  13. Robert Beverly
  14. Peter Beverly
  15. Francis Fairfax
  16. Myles Cary
  17. Henry Cary
  18. John Carter, 1613
  19. John Langhorne
  20. wife Rebecca Carter

From Jamestown Rediscovery we learn that the “Recent discovery of the exact location of the first settlement and its fort indicates that the actual settlement site was in a more secure place, away from the channel, where Spanish ships could not fire point-blank into the fort. Almost immediately after landing, the colonists were under attack from what amounted to the on-again off-again enemy, the Algonquian natives. As a result, in a little over a month’s time, the newcomers managed to “beare and plant palisades” enough to build a wooden fort. Three contemporary accounts and as ketch of the fort agree that its wooden palisaded walls formed a triangle around a storehouse, church, and a number of houses. It is amazing to realize that my own 9th great-grandfather Nicholas Martiau, a Huguenot, French Engineer, helped design and build the  improved palisades around the Jamestown Fort in 1620, allowing for the survival of some of the settlers  during the 1622 Indian Massacre. 

While disease, famine, and continuing attacks of neighboring Algonquins took a tremendous toll on the population, there were times when the Powhatan Indian trade revived the colony with food in exchange for glass beads, copper, and iron implements. It appears that eventual structured leadership of Captain John Smith kept the colony from dissolving. The “Starving Time” winter followed Smith’s departure in 1609 during which only 60 of the original 214 settlers at Jamestown survived. That June, the survivors decided to bury cannon and armor and abandon the town. It was only the arrival of the new governor, Lord De La Ware, and his supply ships that brought the colonists back to the fort and the colony back on its feet. Although the suffering did not totally end at Jamestown for decades, some years of peace and prosperity followed the wedding of Pocahontas, the favored daughter of the Algonquian chief Powhatan, to tobacco entrepreneur John Rolfe.

The first representative assembly in the New World convened in the Jamestown church on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly met in response to orders from the Virginia Company “to establish one equal and uniform government over all Virginia” which would provide “just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people there inhabiting.” The other crucial event that would play a role in the development of America was the arrival of Africans to Jamestown. A Dutch slave trader exchanged his cargo of Africans for food in 1619. The Africans became indentured servants, similar in legal position to many poor Englishmen who traded several years of labor in exchange for passage to America. The popular conception of a race-based slave system did not fully develop until the 1680s.”

The Algonquian eventually became disenchanted and, in 1622, attacked the out plantations killing over 300 of the settlers. Even though a last-minute warning spared Jamestown, the attack on the colony and mismanagement of the Virginia Company at home convinced the King that he should revoke the Virginia Company Charter; Virginia became a crown colony in 1624.

The fort seems to have existed into the middle of the 1620s, but as Jamestown grew into a “New Town” to the east, written reference to the original fort disappear. Jamestown remained the capital of Virginia until its major statehouse, located on the western end of Preservation Virginia property, burned in 1698. The capital was moved to Williamsburg that year and Jamestown began to slowly disappear above ground. By the 1750s the land was owned and heavily cultivated, primarily by the Travis and Ambler families.

You can read or listen to the history of Jamestown in so many places, I have not tried to tell you even half of the history here. I have included a video which is very instructive in the history. I am going to list some of the websites I utilized as well, especially the ones with the lists of settlers, much more than the beginning ones listed here: From the website Historic Jamestown, , Understanding America’s Birthplace, we find this list of the very first settlers and their occupations!

 

 Original Settlers–Spring, 1607

Name Occupation
  • Master Edward Maria Wingfield
  • Captaine Bartholomew Gosnoll
  • Captaine John Smyth
  • Captaine John Ratliffe
  • Captaine John Martin
  • Captaine George Kendall
Councell
  • Master Robert Hunt
Preacher
  • Master George Percie
  • Anthony Gosnoll
  • Captaine Gabriell Archer
  • Robert Ford
  • William Bruster
  • Dru Pickhouse
  • John Brookes
  • Thomas Sands
  • John Robinson
  • Ustis Clovill
  • Kellam Throgmorton
  • Nathaniell Powell
  • Robert Behethland
  • Jeremy Alicock
  • Thomas Studley
  • Richard Crofts
  • Nicholas Houlgrave
  • Thomas Webbe
  • John Waler
  • William Tanker
  • Francis Snarsbrough
  • Edward Brookes
  • Richard Dixon
  • John Martin
  • George Martin
  • Anthony Gosnold
  • Thomas Wotton, Surgeon
  • Thomas Gore
  • Francis Midwinter
Gentlemen
  • William Laxon/Laxton
  • Edward Pising
  • Thomas Emry
  • Robert Small
  • Anas Todkill
  • John Capper
Carpenters

First Supply, January 1608

Name Occupation
  • Matthew Scrivner
appointed to be of the Councell
  • Michaell Phetyplace
  • William Phetyplace
  • Ralfe Morton
  • William Cantrill
  • Richard Wyffin
  • Robert Barnes
  • George Hill
  • George Pretty
  • John Taverner
  • Robert Cutler
  • Michaell Sickelmore
  • Thomas Coo
  • Peter Pory
  • Richard Killingbeck
  • William Causey
  • Doctor Russell
  • Richard Worley
  • Richard Prodger
  • William Bayley
  • Richard Molynex
  • Richard Pots
  • Jefrey Abots
  • John Harper
  • Timothy Leds
  • Edward Gurganay
  • George Forest
  • John Nickoles
  • William Gryvill
Gentlemen
  • Daniell Stalling
Jeweller
  • William Dawson
  • Abraham Ransacke
Refiners
  • William Johnson
  • Richard Belfield
Refiners
  • Peter Keffer
A Gunner
  • Robert Alberton
A Perfumer
  • Raymond Goodyson
  • John Speareman
  • William Spence
  • Richard Brislow
  • William Simons
  • John Bouth
  • William Burket
  • Nicholas Ven
  • William Perce
  • Francis Perkins
  • Francis Perkins
  • William Bentley
  • Richard Gradon
  • Rowland Nelstrop
  • Richard Salvage
  • Thomas Salvage
  • Richard Miler
  • William May
  • Vere
  • Michaell
  • Bishop Wyles
Labourers
  • John Powell
  • Thomas Hope
  • William Beckwith
  • William Yonge
  • Laurence Towtales
  • William Ward
Tailers
  • Christopher Rodes
  • James Watkings
  • Richard Fetherstone
  • James Burne
  • Thomas Feld
  • John Harford
Apothecaries
  • Post Gittnat
A Surgeon
  • John Lewes
A Couper
  • Robert Cotton
A Tobacco-pipe-maker
  • Richard Dole
A Blackesmith
  • With divers others

                                                                  Second Supply, Fall 1608

Name Occupation
  • Captaine Peter Winne
  • Captaine Richard Waldo
Were appointed to bee of the Councell
  • Master Francis West
  • Thomas Graves
  • Rawley Chroshaw
  • Gabriell Bedle
  • John Russell
  • John Bedle
  • William Russell
  • John Gudderington
  • William Sambage
  • Henry Collings
  • Henry Ley
  • Harmon Haryson
  • Daniell Tucker
  • Hugh Wollystone
  • John Hoult
  • Thomas Norton
  • George Yarington
  • George Burton
  • Henry Philpot
  • Thomas Maxes
  • Michaell Lowicke
  • Master Hunt
  • Thomas Forest
  • William Dowman
  • John Dauxe
  • Thomas Abbey
Gentlemen
  • Thomas Phelps
  • John Prat
  • John Clarke
  • Jefry Shortridge
  • Dionis Oconor
  • Hugh Wynne
  • David ap Hugh
  • Thomas Bradley
  • John Burras
  • Thomas Lavander
  • Henry Bell
  • Master Powell
  • David Ellys
  • Thomas Gipson
Tradesmen
  • Thomas Dowse
  • Thomas Mallard
  • William Taler
  • Thomas Fox
  • Nicholas Hancock
  • Walker
  • Williams
  • Morrell
  • Rose
  • Scot
  • Hardwin
Laborers
  • Milman
  • Hellyard
Boyes
  • Mistresse Forrest, and Anne Burras her maide
  • eight Dutch men and Poles, with some others

Relationship Charts for Ancestors in Jamestown,

Capt. Christopher Newport (1563 –  1617) is your 9th great grandfather

 Marian Newporte (1615 – 1646)

daughter of Capt. Christopher Newport

Susannah Hatcher (1646 – 1699)

daughter of Marian Newporte

 Anne Burton (1670 – 1736)

daughter of Susannah Hatcher

 George Stovall (1705 – 1786)

son of Anne Burton

 Rachel Stovall (1760 – 1850)

daughter of George Stovall

 Mary Dillon Polly Turner (1796 – 1879)

daughter of Rachel Stovall

 Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro (1825 – 1915) daughter of Mary Dillon Turner

 Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daugh of Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943) daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

Daugh. of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

 Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

 ____________________________________________

William Hatcher (1613 – 1680)

is your 8th great grandfather

Susannah Hatcher (1646 – 1699)

daughter of William Hatcher

Anne Burton (1670 – 1736)

daughter of Susannah Hatcher

George Stovall (1705 – 1786)

son of Anne Burton

Rachel Stovall (1760 – 1850)

daughter of George Stovall

Mary Dillon Polly Turner (1796 – 1879)

daughter of Rachel Stovall

Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro (1825 – 1915)

daughter of Mary Dillon Polly Turner

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse 

 _________________________________________________

Nicholas Martiau (1591 – 1657)                        

is your 9th great grandfather

Mary Jane Martiau (1631 – 1678)

daughter of Nicholas Martiau

John Scarsbrook (1676 – 1704)

son of Mary Jane Martiau

Col. Henry Scarsbrook (1700 – 1773)

son of John Scarsbrook

Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook (1721 – 1802)

daughter of Col. Henry Scarsbrook

Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne (1760 – 1797)

son of Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook

Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790 – 1854)

son of Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne

James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne (1822 – 1905)

son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse 

————————————————-

 John Pinkard (1647 – 1690)

is your 7th great grandfather

Elizabeth Sarah (widow Eustice) Pinkard (1667 – 1719)

daughter of John Pinkard

Col. James Steptoe Sr., M.D. (1710 – 1778)

son of Elizabeth Sarah (widow Eustice) Pinkard

James Steptoe Jr. (1750 – 1826)

son of Col. James Steptoe Sr., M.D.

Frances Callaway (blind) Steptoe (1798 – 1832)

daughter of James Steptoe Jr.

James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne (1822 – 1905)

son of Frances Callaway (blind) Steptoe

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse 

 ___________________________________________________

Jerimiah Clements (1607 – 1657)

is your 10th great grandfather

Capt. John Clements (1631 – 1710)

son of Jerimiah Clements

John Clements (1669 – 1704)

son of Capt. John Clements

Stephen Clements (1692 – 1746)

son of John Clements

Joyce Clements (1739 – 1821)

daughter of Stephen Clements

Edward Houchins (1760 – 1846)

son of Joyce Clements

BENNETT HOUCHINS (1780 – 1815)

son of Edward Houchins

William Houchins (1807 – 1860)

son of BENNETT HOUCHINS

Nancy J Houchins (1833 – )

daughter of William Houchins

Walter Houchins (1854 – 1937)

son of Nancy J Houchins

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Walter Houchins

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse 

 _____________________________________________________

Capt. William Pierce (1560 – 1622)

is your 11th great grandfather

Edith Pierce (1607 – 1644)

daughter of Capt. William Pierce

Capt. John Clements (1631 – 1710)

son of Edith Pierce

John Clements (1669 – 1704)

son of Capt. John Clements

Stephen Clements (1692 – 1746)

son of John Clements

Joyce Clements (1739 – 1821)

daughter of Stephen Clements

Edward Houchins (1760 – 1846)

son of Joyce Clements

BENNETT HOUCHINS (1780 – 1815)

son of Edward Houchins

William Houchins (1807 – 1860)

son of BENNETT HOUCHINS

Nancy J Houchins (1833 – )

daughter of William Houchins

Walter Houchins (1854 – 1937)

son of Nancy J Houchins

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Walter Houchins

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse – 

___________________________________________________

Capt. John Browning (1588 – 1646)

is your 10th great grandfather

Thomas Browning (1620 – 1679)

son of Capt. John Browning

John BROWNING (1640 – 1690)

son of Thomas Browning

Thomas Browning (1660 – 1725)

son of John BROWNING

Mary Browning (1685 – 1739)

daughter of Thomas Browning

Richard Omohundro III (1709 – 1754)

son of Mary Browning

Richard Omohundro IV (1740 – 1811)

son of Richard Omohundro III

Ellis Putney Omohundro (1790 – 1852)

son of Richard Omohundro IV

Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro (1825 – 1915)

daughter of Ellis Putney Omohundro

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of Elizabeth Rachael Omohundro

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

______________________________________________

Frances Fairfax (1580 – )

is your 9th great grandmother

Peter Beverley (1610 – 1650)

son of Frances Fairfax

Maj. Robert Beverley Sr. (1641 – 1687)

son of Peter Beverley

Mary Beverley (1678 – )

daughter of Maj. Robert Beverley Sr.

Maurice Langhorne (1719 – 1791)

son of Mary Beverley

Elizabeth Langhorne (1758 – 1818)

daughter of Maurice Langhorne

Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790 – 1854)

son of Elizabeth Langhorne

James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne (1822 – 1905)

son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse 

___________________________________________________

Robert Beverley (1577 – 1613)

is your 9th great grandfather

Peter Beverley (1610 – 1650)

son of Robert Beverley

Maj. Robert Beverley Sr. (1641 – 1687)

son of Peter Beverley

Mary Beverley (1678 – )

daughter of Maj. Robert Beverley Sr.

Maurice Langhorne (1719 – 1791)

son of Mary Beverley

Elizabeth Langhorne (1758 – 1818)

daughter of Maurice Langhorne

Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790 – 1854)

son of Elizabeth Langhorne

James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne (1822 – 1905)

son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

_____________________________________________

Col. John Carter (1613 – 1669)

is your 8th great grandfather

Mary Margaret Carter (1637 – 1678)

daughter of Col. John Carter

Mary Beverley (1678 – )

daughter of Mary Margaret Carter

Maurice Langhorne (1719 – 1791)

son of Mary Beverley

Elizabeth Langhorne (1758 – 1818)

daughter of Maurice Langhorne

Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790 – 1854)

son of Elizabeth Langhorne

jnJames Steptoe (blind) Langhorne (1822 – 1905)

son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

__________________________________________

Miles Cary (1622 – 1667)

is your 9th great grandfather

Henry Cary (1650 – 1720)

son of Miles Cary

Elizabeth Cary (1678 – 1691)

daughter of Henry Cary

Col. Henry Scarsbrook (1700 – 1773)

son of Elizabeth Cary

Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook (1721 – 1802)

daughter of Col. Henry Scarsbrook

Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne (1760 – 1797)

son of Elizabeth Cary Scarsbrook

Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne (1790 – 1854)

son of Maj. John Scarsbrook Langhorne

James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne (1822 – 1905)

son of Henry Scarsbrook Langhorne

Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne (1866 – 1900)

daughter of James Steptoe (blind) Langhorne

Katherine Steptoe Houchins (1883 – 1943)

daughter of Evaline (going blind when died young)) Langhorne

Margaret Steptoe Kerse (1918 – 1980)

daughter of Katherine Steptoe Houchins

Helen Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Margaret Steptoe Kerse

_____________________________________________

This is IT! I did it! I completed writing about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks! Actually, more than that as many posts dealt with multiple ancestors like this one! What a difference a year makes! Fifteen years ago, I was told I would only live five years or so, now this year, my fifteenth year of survival with severe heart disease, I have accomplished this challenge, and I have written a novel! Amazing!Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for issuing and maintaining the challenge, and thanks to all the other authors who’ve shared their techniques and their family stories! I could not have done all of this without the support of my family and friends who have encouraged me every step of the way! Thank you so very much! It has been a wonderful experience! 

  

Fireworks!

 

 Sugggested reading and reference:

–Jamestowne Society, Richmond, Virginia, http://www.jamestowne.org/  (includes list of approved ancestors)

–National Park Service, Historic Jamestowne,    http://www.nps.gov/jame/historyculture/index.htm

–National Women’s History Museum, https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/jamestownwomen/index.htm

–Historic Jamestown, http://www.historicjamestowne.org/history/

–Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center,  http://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/jamestown-ships/?

–Jamestowne Rediscovery, http://apva.org/rediscovery/page.php?page_id=6

–History of Jamestown, Virginia (1607–99), Wikipedia Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Jamestown,_Virginia_(1607%E2%80%9399)

 –Washington and Northern Virginia Company Jamestowne Society ,  http://www.jamestowne-wash-nova.org/index.htm

  –Our Ancestors in Jamestown Virginia, http://www.genealogical-gleanings.com/Jamestown.htm

 –Author: Virginia Lee Hutchenson Davis. Commemoration of the 400th Aniversity of the Landing at James Towne, 1607-2007

 Jamestown Book

 

 

This gallery contains 8 photos

Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #45

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Andrew_Jackson_large_portrait

source: commons, wikimedia.org Andrew Jackson

I always knew I was kin to Andrew Jackson; it’s something my father was very proud of, since it was through his mother’s family. My mother, on the other hand, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, always hedged her words carefully, indicating that he might not be the relative of whom we’d be most proud! Now I know why she’d say that. I believe politically, I’d agree with this President’s policies, but personally, I kind of doubt we’d like each other. He was known to have a temper, to even be violently explosive at times! Gracious! How could someone like that become President?
Well, he was a war hero, active in politics for years, and truly, the first “populist” President. He and his supporters formed the Democratic Party! He was the first President not born in wealth, the one the people could identify with, and him with them! Let me start at the beginning, for a brief synopsis of his interesting life.

Andrew Jackson trivia

source: galleryhip.com

Andrew Jackson was born on my birthday, March 15, but over 180 years earlier, in 1767. Tragically his father died in an accident just before Andrew was born. Andrew’s father was also Andrew–Andrew Bennett Jackson and his mother was Elizabeth Hutchinson. The parents had emigrated from Ireland, but were of Scots-Irish descent and devout Presbyterians. Andrew’s older brothers, Hugh, age 2, and Robert, age 3, came to America in 1765 with their parents. Andrew was born in what is now Waxhaw, South Carolina, but both Carolinas claim him, as his birthplace was only about 18 miles south of Charlotte, NC., right on the line between North and South Carolina! At the young age of 13, Andrew acted as a courier during the Revolutionary War, as did his brother Robert. Andrew’s oldest brother Hugh fought and died in the War. The younger boys were captured by the British, imprisoned, and made to serve as servants to the British officers. One story states that Andrew was ordered to polish an officer’s boots, and when he refused, he was slashed with a sword, forever scarred on his hand and head! By the time their mother secured their release, Robert and Andrew had come down with smallpox, and Robert soon died! By the end of the year of 1781, Elizabeth died also, of cholera, which she contracted as she nursed American soldiers with that disease. So, the Jackson family  came to America pursuing religious freedom, and economic stability, and within years, all were deceased except Andrew, who became our 7th President! Some people crumble under such adversity, some are honed by fire, I would have to say, Andrew succeeded brilliantly but with a sad and very rough beginning.
As he matured, Andrew taught school, and eventually became a lawyer through his education in Salisbury, NC. He then moved to S.W. North Carolina, which is currently part of Tennessee. In fact, Andrew Jackson is credited with helping found the town of Memphis, Tennessee.

Battle of New Orlans, with General Andrew Jackson, www.history.com

Battle of New Orlans, with General Andrew Jackson, http://www.history.com

His legal work began to earn him a stellar reputation in Tennessee, and among other honors, he was elected to the Continental Congress of 1796. It appears that his highly respected leadership in the War of 1812 propelled him to National fame. He was known as the person who led the troops that saved New Orleans. Then even though he defied the orders of his superiors, he went to Florida, fought and conquered the Spanish and the Seminoles, and won Florida for America! That earned him significant fame and recognition.

 

source: proactvoice.wordpress.com, Clear and Present danger: The Corporation is Systematically Sucking the Lifeblood Out of America

source: proactvoice.wordpress.com, Clear and Present danger: The Corporation is Systematically Sucking the Lifeblood Out of America

 

In 1824, he ran for President against John Quincy Adams. All together, there were four candidates, and no one got enough votes to win. The House of Representatives appointed John Q. Adams as President, and Andrew Jackson was furious, feeling like the voices of the people had not been heard. At that point he vowed to rid the country of the electoral college, a sentiment I’ve shared a time or two!

Andrew Jackson quote-it-is-to-be-regretted-that-the-rich-and-powerful-too-often-bend-the-acts-of-government-to-their-own-andrew-jackson-92179
Andrew Jackson was elected President of the People; the first of the Democratic party, in 1828. He was the first President to open the White House to the public. He investigated the administrators of Government controlled agencies like the postal service among others. It did not make him popular among the insiders, who thought their positions and power were secure. Jackson even called the Second National Bank a monopoly, and vetoed a bill passed by congress extending their charter for another four years. He diverted the money to banks in the States. The people loved him, and readily reelected him in 1832. The other politicians didn’t like him half as much, accusing him of being rude and manipulative. On January 30, 1835, a man named Richard Lawrence attempted to assassinate Andrew Jackson, but his gun misfired! This was the first attempt to kill a sitting President in our country. Lawrence was an out of work house painter. He said he blamed Andrew Jackson, for his loss of work, due to his dealings with the bank, and that only if Andrew Jackson died would money flow again!

When Andrew Jackson retired from his Presidency, he retired to his Presidential home in Nashville,Tennessee, named “The Hermitage”. Today the home is a beautifully restored piece of history we are told, and I for one would like to visit there. Although it tends to rank third behind Mount Vernon and Monticello for numbers of visitors, it is considered just as significant and beautiful as the others.
Just as Andrew Jackson’s personhood and Presidential practices were controversial, so are his genealogical ancestry records. For years, most experts named our 6th great-grandfather, Dr. Joseph Jackson, 1690- 1765 in Londonderry,Ireland, as the grandfather of our President. His father Andrew Bennett Jackson, 1737 is not in question. However, many more recent genealogists have made the case for one Hugh Jackson and his wife Elizabeth Creath as the grandparents of President Andrew Jackson. The Andrew Jackson Foundation which maintains Hermitage presents both lines of ancestors and states that the proof is still not conclusive to either line. In the second line, Andrew remains our 1st cousin, because the second ancestral line only changes the father of our grandfather David, not the brotherhood of him and Andrew Bennett. This family was surely well-connected, because earlier I wrote a blog post about David Jackson, my fifth great-grandfather, Uncle to the President (his father’s brother) who fought in the Revolutionary War with President George Washington, also a cousin of mine.(see this blog post)   From http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30167-President-Andrew-Jackson-belonged-to-haplogroup-I1, “Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), the seventh President of the United States, most probably belonged to haplogroup I1 based on results from the Jackson DNA Project. His genealogy shows that he is descended from Richard Jackson (1505-1562) from Killingsworth, Eske, Yorkshire, England. Several members (e.g. 93323, 188015, 222633) of this lineage have been tested and they all belong to I1-M253.” Our Hogue family who married into the Jackson family is also in Haplogroup 11, how interesting!


According to our family tradition, this is my/our relationship with President Andrew Jackson:

 

Andrew (7th Pres.) Jackson (1767 – 1845)

is your 1st cousin 6x removed

Andrew Bennett Jackson (1737 – 1767)

father of Andrew (7th Pres.) Jackson

DR JOSEPH JACKSON (1690 – 1765)

father of Andrew Bennett Jackson

David Jackson (1730 – 1811)

son of DR JOSEPH JACKSON

Mary Jackson (1754 – 1800)

daughter of David Jackson

Hugh (twin) Hogue (1788 – 1880)

son of Mary Jackson

Hugh Jackson Hogue (1825 – 1870)

son of Hugh (twin) Hogue

Robert Fulton Hogue Sr. (1850 – 1924)

son of Hugh Jackson Hogue

Helen Blanche Hogue (1881 – 1964)

daughter of Robert Fulton Hogue Sr.

Cecil Hogue Youngblood (1910 – 1988)

son of Helen Blanche Hogue

Helen Spear Youngblood Holshouser

You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood 

Andrew_Jackson_9337

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Lewis Jacob Youngblood, 1846-1919, Civil War Cavalryman–52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #44

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Lewis Jacob Youngblood was my great-grandfather. My direct Youngblood cousins are all descendants of this man, and we are a large group. Some of us have known each other all of our lives, while others have just met in the last year or so. Lewis and his wife Clara B. Spear  not only have great-grandchildren, but 5th great-grandchildren living as of the date of this writing, November 4, 2014. It is so exciting to have cousins come together to share their knowledge and memorabilia from Lewis J. Youngblood, so that all the current and future descendants  may enjoy knowing about their grandfather. 

Although none of us alive today  actually met Lewis Jacob Youngblood,  we knew some of his children, and we heard the stories of his life, so we know a few things about him. We know he must have been brave, because as soon as he was 18 years old, he joined the New Jersey Cavalry, and fought throughout the rest of the Civil War. We know he was smart, because after the war, he worked as a tax collector for the federal government–dreaded in the South! I imagine he must have had a toughness about him, as his move to the South after the Civil War and his buying a farm in the Petersburg, Virginia area, earned him the title of “carpetbagger”.  This was the derogatory name applied to the many northerners who moved South after the Civil War with all their belongings in carpetbags. They came for the opportunity to buy land which had become cheap from people who had become poor because their Confederate money was worthless,  and their huge farms often couldn’t be worked without slave labor.  His community didn’t like him we are told. When he went to church at Gary’s  Methodist Church, no one wanted to sit near him and would usually move to a different place in the church! Feelings from the Civil War ran deep, and he was a Yankee in Rebel territory.

 

Lewis was the son of  Jacob Youngblood, 1807-1869, and his wife Mariah Charlotte Cooper, both of whom were born in New Jersey, USA.  Jacob’s father, John H. Youngblood, was the first Youngblood emigrant to America, in this line. He arrived from Germany where the name was spelled Jungblut/Jungblot. We are looking forward to the day when our genealogical research identifies John’s parents and place of birth.  Mariah Charlotte Cooper is often found spelled Maria or Moriah as well.  However, family stories clearly identify her as Mariah.  In fact, Lewis Jacob named his first daughter Mariah after his mother of course, and his second child, a son James Cooper Youngblood, again after his mother. 

Jacob and Mariah had six children including Lewis Jacob, the focus of this story.  They were James C. Youngblood, 1841-1897, Emma born in 1844, Lewis Jacob 1846-1919, Laura E. born in 1851,  John J. born in 1853, and Hattie born in 1858. These childrens’ stories will be told at another date.  

As we know, Lewis joined the Union Armed Forces when he was eligible to do so at age 18.  He must have been a skilled horseman, because by then, the Union was testing their Cavalry recruits for superior horsemanship.  They would have to concentrate on fighting, handling their horse had to come second nature to them.  We know from his military records that Lewis enlisted as an 18-year-old Private in the New Jersey Cavalry, 2nd Regiment, Company E.  From records gathered on ancestry.com, we can not only see that he enlisted on 5 September, 1864, but that he mustered out on 29 June, 1865 at Vicksburg, Mississippi.  The source of this information is the Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War 1861-65, and  Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.  Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works.Copyright 1997-2009, Historical Data Systems, Inc. PO Box  Duxbury, MA 02331. 

Furthermore, we can actually find out  in what battles our grandfather fought .  We learn that the 2nd Cavalry of New Jersey participated in many battles before Lewis was old enough to join their ranks. Exactly seven days after Lewis joined his Cavalry, on Sept 12, 1864, his Cavalry was engaged in a battle in Memphis, Tenn.! He was 18 years old, and only one week in the Cavalry.  Was he excited, scared to death? I cannot imagine! The following information lists other battles Lewis participated in and tells us the story of their experiences. 

-Fought on 12 Sep 1864 at Memphis, TN.

Fought on 13 Sep 1864 at Memphis, TN.

Fought on 5 Oct 1864 at Memphis, TN.

Fought on 24 Dec 1864

Fought on 26 Dec 1864

Fought on 28 Dec 1864 at Egypt Station, MS.

– Fought on 18 Feb 1865 at Mississippi.

Fought on 28 Apr 1865 at Clayton, AL.

REGIMENT HISTORY: NEW JERSEY
2ND CAVALRY
(also known as the NJ 32nd Infantry)
Second Cavalry.-Col., Joseph Karge; Lieut.-Cols., Marcus
L. W. Kitchen, P. Jones Yorker Majs., Frederick B. Revere,
Peter D. Vroom, Jr., Philip L. Van Rensselaer. This regiment
was recruited in the summer of 1863 and left Trenton for
Washington on Oct. 5 of that year, reaching the capital on the
following day with 890 men. On Oct. 17 Co. A was attacked by
Mosby at Fairfax, Va., and the company was routed, the captain,
with 2 sergeants and 1 private being taken prisoners and 1
corporal wounded and left on the field. Being transferred to
the southwest, the first skirmish of importance took place at
Iuka, Miss., where two companies of the regiment encountered a
force of the enemy and drove it through the place, losing 1 man
killed. On Dec. 6, a change in the plan of operations in that
quarter having been determined upon, the regiment was
transferred by steamer to Columbus, Ky., whence, on the 15th,
it proceeded to Union City, Tenn., where it was placed in the
cavalry brigade commanded by Col. Waring, of the 4th Mo.
cavalry. In Jan., 1864, the command moved forward rapidly
without encountering the enemy in any force, but meeting and
dispersing small gangs of guerrillas, until the 2nd Jersey,
having the advance, came into collision with and routed a force
of hostile cavalry near Aberdeen, Miss., the same evening
occupying Prairie Station and destroying an immense quantity of
corn, together with cotton and other property belonging to the
Confederate government. The regiment, still advancing,
skirmished for some hours with Forrest’s cavalry, finally
reaching the vicinity of West Point, about 100 miles north of
Meridian, where Sherman’s cooperating column had already
arrived. The following day it was also engaged and on Feb. 22
it participated in a fierce conflict at Okolona. On April 10,
Maj. Yorke, with 300 men of the regiment, was sent against the
enemy in the vicinity of Raleigh, Tenn., some distance north of
Memphis, and coming up with the hostile force bravely charged
into its midst, driving it into its brigade camp, after
inflicting severe loss in killed and prisoners. The regiment
also participated in the fight at Bolivar, Tenn., and lost in
the engagement 2 killed and 6 wounded. The conduct of the
regiment in the disastrous affair at Guntown, Miss., both in
the main action and on the retreat, was creditable in the
highest degree, but it suffered heavily, losing 8 officers and
130 men out of 17 officers and 350 men taken into action. On
July 11, with other troops, it moved in search of the enemy
encountering him at Port Gibson, Miss., and losing in the
combat which ensued, through alleged mismanagement, 2 men
killed and Lieut. Braun, 26 men and 2 guidons captured. Two
days afterward, at an early hour in the morning, the enemy in
some force made a sharp assault upon the Union picket line,
pressing it with equal vigor along the entire front but the
assailants were promptly met and after an hour’s fighting were
driven in confusion. Being ordered into Arkansas and
disembarking at Osceola, the command crossed a swamp some 18
miles in length, the mud and water reaching to the saddle-
girths of the horses, to Big lake, where after some brisk
firing a Confederate train consisting of some 18 wagons, loaded
with over 900 stand of arms of approved pattern, together with
11 prisoners and 2 commissioned officers, was captured.
Reaching Verona, Miss., on Dec. 25, the command at once charged
gallantly on the enemy, who was completely surprised and
offered but a feeble resistance, most of them escaping into the
timber under cover of the darkness leaving as spoils, eight
buildings filled with fixed ammunition, estimated at 30 tons,
5,000 stands of new carbines, 8,000 sacks of shelled corn, a
large quantity of wheat, an immense amount of quartermaster
stores, clothing camp and garrison equipage, a train of cars
and a large number of army weapons which had been captured by
Forrest from Gen. Sturgis during the latter’s disastrous
expedition in June. The regiment also participated in the
fight at Egypt Station, in which 74 men and over 80 horses of
the 2nd N. J. were killed or wounded. The regiment returned by
steamer to Memphis, having lost during the entire expedition 19
men killed, 69 wounded and 2 missing, and 155 horses and mules
killed or disabled. The regiment was finally mustered out on
Nov. 1, 1865. (This was also known as the 32nd N. J.
volunteers.)
Source: The Union Army, vol

Source Information

Historical Data Systems, comp. American Civil War Regiments [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.

Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works. Copyright 1997-2000
Historical Data Systems, Inc.
PO Box 35
Duxbury, MA 023.

This is all very exciting, and quite amazing to find in my opinion, but we have more! Lewis kept his saber that he used in the Cavalry, his Spencer’s Repeating Rifle, and his original discharge papers from the New Jersey Cavalry of the Civil War, signed at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and dated 29 July, 1865. He gave these items to his sons, James Cooper Youngblood, 1875-1935, and Lewis H. Youngblood, 1889-1953. They in turn passed these treasured historic items down to their children! One more generation, the heirlooms were passed down again, and yet they survive and remain in the family! I had the opportunity to touch the discharge papers last weekend when visiting my cousin, Kay Youngblood Fuller who is the owner of this 149 year old document! Her sister, Susan Youngblood Rawls owns the rifle! Lewis H. Youngblood III owns the saber! Lewis, Kay and Susan have generously provided pictures for us so that we can all share in the treasures left by our great-grandfather! It is quite exciting to me, to look at these pictures and imagine our grandfather’s hands touching these items as well. The weapons may have saved his life, we don’t know. If not, we would not have been born, because he didn’t marry and start building his family until after the war! Our lives hung in the balance of his skills on his horse, with his sword, his rifle, and in his courage. I have never liked the idea of war. Having grown up a Southerner, it is hard for me to think of being glad this man may have fought other relatives of mine and that they might have hurt each other. Such conflict, can you imagine if you were alive at that time, and your family were split as we know happened? Very sad. 

 I included the pictures of the weapons and the discharge papers  with the soldiers’ pictures so that you could see how they were worn and used. The Spencer’s Repeating Rifle was made in Boston I have learned, and was the Northern Weapon. the Sabers were more often used by the Yankees as well. They were not real sharp on the sides of the blade, for they were not designed to slice the flesh, but almost as clubs to break arms and ribs! The ends were sharp however, allowing the soldier to stab his opponent.  There are two very interesting articles written about the Cavalrymen where I found this and a lot more information in Wikipedia and they can be found at these links:

“List of Weapons in the American Civil War” and  “Calvary in the American Civil War”

Having these heirlooms in the family is an amazing treasure. We can see, touch, and learn so very much about our Grandfather and our history through these objects, awesome! Before we part, I want to list Lewis Jacob Youngblood and his wife Clara B. Spear’s children for you. Then I want to include relationship charts for the owners of these historic items as well. I am happy to do this for anyone in our family, just let me know if I can help. 

 Lewis Jacob Youngblood and wife Clara B. Spear had nine children, all born in Petersburg, Virginia. 

Mariah Youngblood b. 1871, married Wade H. Temple

James Cooper Youngblood, 1875-1935 married Georgeanna Rodgers

Mabel Youngblood, 1878-1957, married Rudolph Beck

Ella Youngblood, b. 1880, married Edward Stanley Parker

Edwin Spear Youngblood, 1882-1943 married Helen Blanche Hogue

Gertrude Youngblood, 1884-1965 married Frank Bonner McCann

Clara Youngblood, 1887-1904, died age 7

Lewis H. Youngblood, 1889-1953, married Lillian Moore

Russell Calvin Youngblood, 1895-1958 married Martha Tally

________________________________________________________________

Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your great-grandfather
 
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
 
son of James Cooper Youngblood
 
Kathryn Anne Youngblood Fuller  and sister Susan Youngblood Rawls
You are the daughters of James Cooper Youngblood –
___________________________________________________________________
Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your great-grandfather
 
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
 
son of Lewis H. Youngblood
 
You are the son of Lewis Howerton Youngblood, Jr
———————————————————————————————————-
Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your great-grandfather
 
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
 
son of Edwin Spear Youngblood
 
You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood –

 

 How about a longer line, this may be one of the longest so far. 
Lewis Jacob Youngblood (1846 – 1919)
is your 5th great-grandfather
son of Lewis Jacob Youngblood
daughter of Edwin Spear Youngblood
daughter of Helen Marie Youngblood
daughter of Grace Marie Webb
daughter of Vicky Lynn Wingo
daughter of Tracy Jarvis
You are the son of Courtney Pender

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Kate Kerse, Twin and Young Artist Dies at 17 –52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #37

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Stained glass window dedicated to Katie Kerse

 

This beautiful stained glass window was dedicated to Katie Kerse, twin of Marie Kerse, pronounced Kearse, who died at age 17, in 1895. She died of a burst appendix.  Kate  was a very talented artist, and her sister Marie was a talented musician, a pianist.  It is not a coincidence that the stained glass window dedicated to Katie  at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, depicts sisters Martha and Mary.  This window is not only appropriate because it honors the twin sisters Kate and Marie, but also because  Martha and Mary begged Jesus to raise their brother Lazarus from the dead. Kate and Marie had a little brother, Andrew Leo , who died at 13 months old, in 1887. The twins would have been 9 when that happened, a very impressionable age for young girls to lose their baby brother! As good little Catholic girls, don’t you think they spent time asking Jesus to bring their little brother back to life ? I suspect they did.

Even though Kate was my Great Aunt, because she died so young, the  family living now knows little about her. We know she was an artist, a painter, whose work was admired by family and friends. Unfortunately, no one in the family has a piece of her work today. However, this stained glass window hangs in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, reminding us that a lot of people loved her.  Her sister Marie played piano beautifully, and played the organ for her church for many years, another good reason to know that the window honors both sisters.  I will write more about Marie  in a separate post.

Unfortunately, there is confusion surrounding the correct date of birth for the twins.  The 1880 census found on ancestry.com, shows the twins at one month old, living with their mother and father, Mary Catherine Botto Kerse,and James H. Kerse in the home of their grandparents–James’s parents, Robert E. and Margaret Kerse.

Name: Kate Kerse
Age: 1m
Birth Year: abt 1880
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1880: Richmond, Henrico, Virginia
Race: White
[daughter of James Kerse and Mary Botto Kerse, granddaughter of Robert and Margaret Kerse
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Robert Kerse
Father’s Birthplace: Italy
[Richmond, Virginia, USA
Mother’s name: Margaret Kerse
Mother’s Birthplace: Italy
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:Blind:Deaf and Dumb:Otherwise disabled:Idiotic or insane:
Household Members:
Name Age
Robert Kerse 45
Margaret Kerse 40
James Kerse 23
Robert E. Kerse 19
Maggie Kerse 12
Lillie Kerse 10
Leo Kerse 5
Mary Kerse 22
Marie Kerse 1m
Kate Kerse 1m
View
Original
Record

View original image
V

Knowing that the Kerse family had been active in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, I called the church and discovered that they had records going back this far and further. Making my request in writing,  I soon learned that Kate’s name  was truly Kathleen.  The church records stated:   “Citation Information Transcription of text Detail Listed parents of Kate and Mary, twins, as James H. Kerse and his wife Mary Catherine Botto. Their written records state they were born on 17 May, 1878, baptized on 25 June, 1879, and Kate died at age 17.”  The church records also state that James H. Kerse and Mary Catherine Botto married  on November 27, 1879, over a year after the twins were born! Born in 1878 or 1880, interesting conflict.

There is another part to Kate’s story that is serendipitous perhaps, or perhaps a direct result of Kate’s work from heaven on behalf of her family–what do you think? Kate’s brother, Thomas Philip Kerse was my grandfather. After losing Kate to infection from her burst appendix, the family was terrified when their only living son Tom came down with the same condition! They hired a private duty nurse to care for him around the clock at the doctor’s suggestion. That nurse was a young woman named Katherine Steptoe Houchins, already engaged to marry another man, but fated perhaps to fall in love with Tom! Katherine was also called Kate.  She helped Tom get well then married him , becoming my mother’s mother, my grandmother! Tom and Kate had seven children, one son and six daughters. They have twelve grandchildren, 15 great grands and twelve great-greats still new to the world!

Life stories are so very interesting, as our families are. With all the twists and turns we are reminded that life is an adventure, with different stories for every individual! I wish I had known Kate, I wish she had lived to be a part of our life! I wonder what it might have been like to have an artist in the family, perhaps encouraging other artists! We never know when we have lost a loved one at a young age, just what we’ve missed by not having them in our lives to learn from, to love, and to be loved by them.  Angels surround you Katie Kerse, and keep you always.

 

St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, --available on facebook

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, –available on facebook

 

 

 

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Max Alexander Holshouser, Family Man and Extraordinary Craftsman–52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #35

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Max Alexander Holshouser was born September 2, 1949 and turned 65 years old this week! I am blessed to be his wife of 43 years this December, 2014.  We have two daughters, Margaret Anne Holshouser, originally called Maggie who decided she wanted to be called Annie about age 14;  and Ali–Alexandra Kathryn Holshouser  now married to Greg Orcutt with three children. Our family has been blessed a million times over by the presence of our intelligent, quiet, strong, independent, mild-mannered, Max Holshouser! Max grew up in rural North Carolina in the small town of  Richfield.  He played baseball and football, fished and studied.  Max attended NC State University where he excelled in woodworking and majored in Industrial Arts Education. He first worked in industries more than education, among other things designing machines as a mechanical designer and draftsman.  However, in 2001 Max returned to the classroom  at Wakefield High School in Wake County, North Carolina where he taught CAD Drafting, Engineering, and Architecture for twelve years. While working in the professional world, Max raised two daughters and  took care of a disabled parent, his Dad, the last seven years of his life. Max taught Sunday School, lead the youth group, and lead family camp retreats for his church at Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church. He served as a Legislative Chairman for almost every PTA in every school his children attended, until he stepped up to serve as President of the Wake County PTA Council, helping coordinate conferences and volunteerism throughout Wake County, North Carolina. Unfortunately, at fifty, his wife became disabled with heart disease and again he found himself  the caretaker.  All of these trials and tribulations,  joys and adventures are part of Max Holshouser for sure, but he has another dimension to him that only people who get to know him realize–he is a craftsman with boundless talent! His abilities have brought immeasurable joy to our family and to others. He has gifted many of his accomplishments over the years, and I just have to tell you about the incredible talent Max Holshouser possesses, or better yet, show you!  Happy Birthday my cherished husband, this is a tribute well deserved! 

 

 

While he was a student at North Carolina State University, Max made an executive desk as his design project for his senior year. It was made from mahogany, and was beautiful.  It was  6′ long,  3′ wide, and 30″ tall. The drawers slid in and out with total ease, and the wood was satiny smooth! I loved it! We moved it from apartment to house to house, with the rooms becoming smaller and smaller, and our children increasing in number, we just did not have room for it. Max gifted it to his sister for use in her upholstery business showroom in Myrtle Beach, SC. Unfortunately, in 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit and flooded her house and business, destroying the beautiful desk! That hurricane had much worse effects on the family than the loss of this desk, you may want to read about it in this post.

Max's six foot, executive, mahogany desk, made while a student at NCSU, 1970-71. DSCF9732

 

We married at Christmas in 1971. Max had been working on a rocking chair he was making for his niece Leslie. I remember it well, because, not only was it lovely, but he had to finish it on our honeymoon in order to deliver it by Christmas, 1971! Recently, we received a picture of our great-great niece using the darling rocking chair Max made 43 years ago!

 

DSCF9734 Amanda's daughter in rocker made by Max in 1971.

 

1972-1974, Max continued to make furniture, but he also started producing beautiful stained glass pieces. We lived in a modern apartment, and Max made furniture in primary colors to fit our lively, 1970’s decor! We had  red shag carpeting, and faux fur cushions made by his sister Brenda Holshouser Goodman to fit the modern chairs he made! The chairs were black and white, and Max made geometric cubes for tables to match! We had a green and yellow decorative dividing wall between our living and dining room, which lit up softly at night, all designed and built by Max! On the wall was a what-not shelf in lime green that spelled out the word LOVE! How romantic a gift from my new husband! Thank heavens we loved primary colors, because a friend and artist, Dennis Anderson, had given us a wedding present of two  6′ x 4′ canvas panels he had painted bright green in geometric shapes! It was the 1970’s! I always felt cheerful with that furniture!

 

DSCF9736Max made this what-not shelf, spells LOVE, for Helen in 1972.Notice LP album sand designed and built by Max as well.

 

 

Max gifted my parents with many lovely items over the years, and his own parents as well. In 1974 Max made an ottoman for my mother to match a  chair she had asked his sister to upholster.  Brenda upholstered the ottoman  to match! In 1973, the ottoman was white, now in 2014, my parents deceased, we own the ottoman which is still strong and sturdy and now covered in red by our talented Brenda of course!

 

Max's ottoman made for margaret Youngblood, 1974, upholstered by Brenda Holshouser Goodman. Max's ottoman built in 1974, still in use in his home in 2014, 40 years old!

 

While he was in college, Max worked for a company that created and installed stained glass windows in churches. He enjoyed working with the glass so very much that he continued to create things throughout his life. In 1974  he worked on several stained glass lamps that he then made more of and gifted to our parents, and our sisters and brothers. The first green one went to my parents and now hangs in  my daughter Ali’s home. The red one went to Max’s parents, but now hangs in our living room as they are also deceased. We have another blue stained glass lamp which was made originally for Max’s parents as well. It now sits proudly in our living room. I remember watching Max create the mold to shape the stained glass globe around! It was amazing to watch it come together. Over the years he made a transom window for some friends, and many small stained glass sun catchers. What a creative man!

 

DSCF9589 DSCF9788 DSCF9790 DSCF9596

DSCF9796blue stained glass globe

 

There is so much more I want to show you, I’ve hardly begun! I’d like to show you his string art, and his cross stitched designs that we have loved for many years! There are the decks, stone patio, and sheds he’s constructed!  Then there are the toys: trains, planes, puzzles, and Noah’s Ark among others! Come back for chapter two! Isn’t it amazing how many gifts God gave this man, my husband Max?! Some people sing, some dance, some are great orators, Max is an artist, an artisan, an awesome man! Happy Birthday honey, I love you with all my heart.

Click here for Part 2,  Max A. Holshouser, Toys, Baking, and String Art!

Click here for Part 3 of 3: Max A. Holshouser, Designer  and Builder of Decks, Stone Patios, and Other Projects Large and Small

 

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W. Thomas Houchins, An Ancestor Gone Wrong –52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #34

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MOD, lover's Leap

Patrick County, Virginia, photo by Helen Y. Holshouser

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I’ve written about many incredibly talented individuals with brilliant minds, and great leadership  qualities. However, in every family, there are a few members you don’t hear about.  That’s a good description of my great Uncle Tom Houchins. As a child, I knew all my great aunts and uncles who were Houchins, my mother’s mother’s family, who were also the children of Evelyn Langhorne–from a wealthy and influential family in Virginia before the Civil War. At least I thought I knew them!  I was in my late teens before I realized that there was another Great Uncle I had never heard of! He lived in Florida while we lived in Virginia, so it was easy to keep him unknown to young kids growing up. What amazes me is that my Mom  was one of six sisters who were very close, and very family oriented. They kept up with their own Aunts and Uncles, and therefore we knew them and our cousins as well! How could it be, that I learned as an adult that we had this petty criminal , irresponsible playboy, and business success all wrapped up in one, in our own family! Kudos Mom, as a mom of the 1950’s, you did your job of “sheltering the children” well!  In recent years, of course, I’ve  talked with my cousins as adults, and we realize our mothers were all aware of our great Uncle Tom’s exploits, but none of them told us–talk about a code of silence (!) and he wasn’t an axe murder or anything! Want to know just what he did do?

Some of it is almost funny, some is sad, some terrible! Take your pick, because you are the only judge. Thomas,  was born William Thomas Houchins 14 June, 1890, in Patrick County,Virginia, a beautiful,  mountainous area of Southwest Virginia. On the 1900 Census we can see the whole family intact for the very last time. Little did they know when the census was taken in June of 1900, that by October, their loving mother, aged 34, would be dead, and their father would leave them for another woman and to start a new family!  Four more months of oblivious childhood–then the reality of a hard life, a different life would set in! They had lived at one time with their grandfather, James Steptoe Langhorne. But he was not well, was blind, and would die within three years as well, so what were these children to do?! You can see on the census, six living children out of nine, as their mother died birthing twins in Oct.1900. (see blog post re. Evelyn here)  Another sister,Virginia Myrtle had died at age 2, about six years earlier. Katie, their oldest child and daughter at age 16 was my grandmother. Was she panicked when her mother died and her father left? Grief stricken I’m sure!  Her sister Julia was 15, Harry was only 13, but would be blind with the family disease by 17. Then there is Wm.Thomas, our  subject of this blog, at the tender age of 9, days before his tenth birthday! His whole world was going to come crashing down around his head! There were two little boys, John and Guy, ages 4 and 3 respectively, did they even remember being a family?

Houchins and Langhorne, Eve, 1900 Census, all family

1900 Census : Souce, Ancestry.com

I knew three of them fairly well. My grandmother died before I was born unfortunately,  and Guy died when I was only five. (now I know all of their descendants, my siblings and cousins! )  Great Uncle John and his wife Aunt Josephine lived in Staunton, Virginia where she taught at the school for the deaf. I remember visiting them often as a child. Uncle John was always mannerly and kind to me. Great Uncle Harry was blind when I  knew him, but he would come see us and stay for days. He would sit out on our front porch and play his banjo and sing!  I would sit at his feet and beg him to play more! more, more! Great Aunt Julia lived in Richmond where we did and we saw her often. When her grandson Billy Pat, who was just my age came to visit, I would get so excited! We would swim, and play and just got along famously. Aunt Julia herself was a lawyer–the first female ast. district attorney in the state of Va. Sometimes she scared me to death! She could freeze you with one look! LOL I’m sure that served her well in the courtroom! In actuality, she was a sweet, kind woman who would do anything for family.  I never knew my Great Uncle Tom existed, until 1966 or 7, when I was a Junior or Senior in highschool. That summer my parents went to visit him and took my younger brother with them! My brother would have been about 12 probably. While I was shocked to learn I had another great uncle alive and successful in Florida, I paid little attention. You see, this was the first time I was allowed to stay home alone with my older brother and sister while our parents were gone away for a week! A week! We had a ball, and thought little of whom they were visiting , I’m sorry to say! I now know my uncle was dying. I suspect Mom knew, and wanted to visit him one last time!  So sad to have been an oblivious teenager! He died in 1968, with no children, but an interesting life.

Thomas was 10 when his mother died. A wealthy close cousin,, Lady Astor, Nancy Langhorne, swoooped in and sent him to military school to continue his growing up! You’d think that would do it! On the 1910 census, taken on April 16, we can see that he is enrolled in the army and is stationed at Fort Myer Military Reservation in Alexandria, Virginia. He is listed as 23 and single on the census.  Did he lie, or is that a typo? We know that  in April of  1910, he would have been only 19, turning twenty that June! We are also told by family members that he had married one Martina Ruth Bowie on January 11, 1910, when they were both 19 years old!  Then we find the US Army Register of Enlistments where we find that Thomas was dishonorably discharged on October 26, 1911. Oh my gracious!

The only way to fill the years in between 1910 and 1930 when our couple is found in Chicago, is to listen to family stories. Thomas’s niece, the famous Mary Stuart of TV fame, wrote about him in her memoirs, Both of Me. She says he was known to have “shot a revenuer”  in the mountains of Virginia and that he joined the army to escape punishment! He would have been a teenager, home from military school, where would he have been living? So, he joins the army and we find him there in 1910. He also gets married that year. We are told in the family, that he deserts the army and heads off to who knows where, but wait, his wife is not with him. Apparently he is going to meet her, when he gets drunk, and marries another woman, becoming a bigamist! All before he is 20! This kid is in trouble–shooting, desertion from the army, now bigamy!

But he has an ace up his sleeve! He has a loving sister who is an attorney! And sure enough, his sister, only 5 years older, but married and living in Richmond, Va. by then, a ripe old age of 25, comes to his rescue! My Great Aunt Julia  helps him annul his bigamist marriage, she works with the army to get him his dishonorable discharge with no prison time,  and it seems there were no charges pending from the rumor that he “shot a revenuer”!  My suspicion is that this older and wiser sister of his also gave him her famous glare, and told him to grow up and fly right–did he?

The next census I can find, 1930,  shows my great Uncle Thomas living in Chicago, with his wife Lillian–in fact, they are listed as Thomas and Lilian Anglin, not W.Thomas Houchins and Martina Bowie, his wife! Wow! I would never have found them of course, except for family stories, not given by any of the sisters, but pieced together through the cousins when we were all over 50 and our mothers were gone! They took these secrets to their graves!

I learned that indeed, they changed their names, legally or not I do not know, but I doubt it..and there is more to the story! What name did he choose? Thomas Smith, or Jones, oh no — Anglin–Thomas Anglin–how sad! Thomas Anglin was his first cousin who lived in Oklahoma! The real Thomas Anglin was a State Senator there in fact–another of the good guys! The real Thomas Anglin  was the son of Pocahontas Houchins and her husband John B. Anglin, also from Patrick County, Virginia, who had moved to Oklahoma. I wonder if he knew? I wonder if our Aunt Pokey knew when  she died in 1927! Wouldn’t she have been furious at her nephew, her brother’s son, a criminal –that he would dare to take her famous son’s name! Can you imagine the family feuds that might have erupted! No Thanksgiving Dinner family gatherings for them! Apparently, it never happened!  Our Thomas Anglin and wife Lilian  lived peacefully and prosperously it appears! By the 1940 census, we find him and Lilian living in Dade County Florida, in Coral Gables! This is where my Mom, Dad, and brother visited him in the late 1960’s! They had a business school there that they owned, and apparently it was very successful! “Buyer Beware” rings in my ears! Of course,  we didn’t have computers  in the  years when he was alive. I understand that their school had a great reputation! He and Lilian never had children. I wonder , did they feel guilty; live in fear of being discovered?  It’s hard to believe–in the midst of attorneys, State Senators (in Virginia as well), actual revenue agents hunting moonshine stills, educators, and so on, how do you get one like this?  You could say he was  scared by his mother’s death and his father’s desertion at his age 10, that he was hurt severely, and perhaps so. It may be that something happened in military school to a young boy of 10–18–that’s a tough way to grow up! However, his brothers and sisters did just fine it seems. We will never know, but wow–what a discovery of a sad and eccentric member of our family! What a journey he had.

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Margaret Steptoe Kerse Youngblood, My Mother, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, #33

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Kerse, Margaret Steptoe

Margaret Steptoe Kerse Youngblood

Kerse sisters at Nancy's wedding

Five sisters participate in their sister Nancy’s wedding to Bob Guthrie in 1943. He was a pilot and was killed over France in WWII. l to r, Katherine Kerse Buck with husband Roger next to her.The next two adults are Guthries, she is Cilla Guthrie, sister of the Groom. The child is the flower girl, Claudia Burnett Williamson, daughter of Julia Louise Kerse Burnett standing with her. In the middle you see the bride Nancy Langhorne Kerse and her husband Bob Guthrie. Next is Margaret Steptoe Kerse Youngblood, with an unknown man next to her. The last sister shown is Janey Bell Kerse Sommers, and behind her on the end is Cecil Hogue Youngblood, Margaret’s husband, my father.

Kerse Sisters, improved picture

l to r, Katherine Langhorne Kerse Buck, Julia Louise Kerse Burnett, Evelyn L. Kerse Anderson, Janey Bell Kerse Sommers, Nancy Langhorne Kerse Goodell and last is Margaret Steptoe Kerse Youngblood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother, Margaret Steptoe Kerse (pronounced Kearse) was born February 21, 1918.  She was the fourth of seven children born to Thomas (Tom) Philip Kerse and Katherine (Kate) Steptoe Houchins. Kate was a nurse in a time when women traditionally did not have careers. Tom was an Irish Police Officer like his father. Both came from wealthy families at one time.  In the beginning of the marriage, Tom had a gentleman’s gentleman to care for him. The family always had a cook and nanny to care for the children. They had a small yacht called The Lady Jane from which they swam and had their friends over for parties. Their father and grandfather held tours and dinner excursions on the Lady Jane to raise money for charities in the Richmond area where they lived. You might enjoy a blog post about the Lady Jane written earlier, by clicking on this link. 

Lady Jane, boat belonging to Thomas P.Kerse

The Lady Jane

Mom was only four years old when a tragedy, her first (her mother’s fourth or fifth) hit the family! Mom’s older brother Bucky (Thomas Phillip Kerse Jr.) drowned in the James River!  He was only eight years old, and Mom was half his age! She remembered it well however, and talked about it her whole life, so we knew it was a defining moment for her. Because of his drowning, she made sure we were all excellent swimmers, and she never let us go down to the James River, so close to our house, without adult supervision! That was her strictest, and one of her few rules!  You can read the story of  Bucky’s drowning in this blog post if you’d like. Mom’s mother Kate, my grandmother, was only 10 when her own little sister died. She was seven when their family home burned to the ground!  Kate was 17, with five younger living siblings, when her mother, Evaline Langhorne, died in childbirth, and her father deserted the family to create another one. She must have been a strong woman, to have become a nurse while living with relatives, her siblings scattered, living in a city 300 or more miles from her beautiful mountain home where she was reared, in Patrick County, Virginia. These were the life experiences she brought to her own family, my mother and her siblings! 

Mom and her sisters attended Catholic schools and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church where the whole family was involved. Mom used to say that one or the other of the seven of them was often in trouble, and had to kneel and pray for repentance so often that their Mom sewed kneeling pads inside their skirts so that their knees wouldn’t get so sore! 

The depression hit in 1929 and my grandparents lost all their money, yet had to take care of their children!  In January 1930, more tragedy hit the family. My grandmother Kate was shot in the head by one of her patients! He had been in a coma, and upon regaining consciousness, he thought she was the enemy, or that she was going to hurt  him, and he grabbed a gun, one long in the room that no one knew was loaded. He shot my grandmother, then he died a few hours later, not knowing what he had done undoubtedly!  But the family suffered, she didn’t die, but was forever maimed, not quite herself as the inoperable bullet affected her speech and thinking ability. My mother was 12 years old when this happened! Gracious!  If we think of the time line of Mom’s life, age 4 her brother dies, age 11 her family loses money in the depression, and by age 12 her mother is shot and brain damaged. I am not sure just what was going on with her father during all of this, we heard little about him when we were growing up, even under direct questioning! I got the impression that he was pretty much absent, at least emotionally, and the second oldest sister, Katherine, aged 14 when her mother was shot, apparently took over the mothering/management duties for her four younger sisters. With all this adversity, the family could have been totally disrupted, instead, the sisters grew closer! You can see in the pictures above, they were often together. That continued all of their lives, so that their children, us first cousins, grew close also.

With this childhood in mind, what do you think my mother’s adult life might be like? Mother and her sisters were all intelligent women. Three of the five sisters finished college, Mom attended college for two years, She did not finish for various reasons, lack of money, war was looming on the horizon, and it may not have seemed that important at the time, although education was always important to her philosophically. I remember when she died and I was thirty, only a couple months from graduating with my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, I was devastated hat she died before I finished, because I knew how much it meant to her! My sister also earned a Master’s degree in Reading and Education, like Mom and her sisters; we were determined to be able to make a living. 

Mom was 21 when her father died, I’m sure that affected her concentration at school, and probably made her think she needed to be at home taking care of her Mom. I wish I had realized all of this growing up, I’d love to have talked with Mom about it. Somewhere between their father and mother’s deaths, the family sold the yacht to a local judge, and they all left the Catholic Church! Leaving the church must have been a momentous decision! I did ask my mother about this a time or two, and she always said she told my Dad that she would become a Methodist like he was, if he promised to go to church every Sunday and to raise his children in the church! He must have taken that seriously, because that is exactly how we were raised! There is only one question, it just so happens that I realize now that Mom and her sisters left the Catholic Church earlier for the Presbyterian Church just down the street from where they lived. Was this due to the influence of teenaged friends, convenience, a crisis of faith?  (That would certainly be understandable!) Just after her father died in 1939, Mom met and married my father, and my older sister was born in 1942, just before her Mother died in 1943.  One would think she had her new husband for support when her mother died, but unfortunately he had already joined the army preparing for WWII duty. She had a new baby, and shared an apartment with some of her sisters whose husbands were off at war themselves. They were together when their sister Nancy’s husband was shot down in his plane over France and killed. 

Mom showed what a strong woman she was all her years. She went out and got a job, using the typing and business skills she’d learned in college. Mom made sure her daughters could type as well, so that we would be prepared to get a job if need be.  She typed well, fast, and accurately.  She typed her way right into the mortgage business, ended up getting her real estate license, and had a successful career in realty and mortgage. From age 24 to age 37 she had four children, two girls and two boys. We would have run her ragged, except when Dad came home from the war, they moved in with his mother who had recently lost her own husband. Grandma stayed home with us kids once we were in school, so that Mom could work. Mom was a rare breed, a true career woman in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s! 

When I was a young child, b. in 1949, Mom always walked about two miles back and forth to catch a bus to work –sometimes we walked with her! When she was 36, my sister was 12, my brother 8, and I was 6. My younger brother had not been born yet! Thirty- six and she finally learned to drive a car! She surprised us all when she bought her own car after passing her driver’s test! I remember, it was an old, rounded, 1954 Chevy, brand new at the time of course! She was so proud of that car, and my older sister was so proud of her!  We lived on a hill, so our driveway was steep. One afternoon, a neighbor named Nancy and I both got in the car to wait for Mom to take us to Brownie Scouts! We must have been playing around and knocked off the emergency brake or something, because suddenly the car was rolling backwards down the hill! At that time, there was nothing across the street but woods and a creek. I remember that Nancy and I both jumped out of the car, and ran into the house screaming, “Momma, Momma, the car is rolling backwards down the hill! Momma, momma…!” LOL By the time we all got outside, of course, it was across the street, in the woods, all the way into the creek! Her new car!  LOL  Mom didn’t fuss at us, didn’t cry, just said something about being more careful and not being in the car without her! 

Mom was very creative and playful when she had the chance. She and my Dad played bridge every week with different friends. She created doll clothes, and played cards with us. My sister remembers how she loved to make special treats for the neighbor children at Halloween! She would dress up in a costume to deliver the treats at the door as well. I have pictures of her in a Halloween costume with my older daughter Ali. Unfortunately, she had passed away before my youngest was born. We loved hanging out with Mom, because she was fun! 

Ali age 4 , 1978, Halloween with Grandma Margaret

Ali Holshouser age 4 with Grandma Margaret Kerse Youngblood, 1978, Halloween

I remember that sometimes we would find Mom up alone, in the middle of the night, just sitting in the dark and quiet. I asked her once why she did this, and she said she was “practicing for when I am an old lady and blind!”–thus walking around in the dark!  I now suspect she was seeking some alone time in a household with 7 people including 4 children, a demanding husband, and a mother-in-law! During my genealogical reseach I have also learned that there was an inherited disease that caused blindness that ran in her side of the family. Retinitis Pigmentosa had blinded 15 people in earlier generations! 

Unfortunately, when Mom was just 50 years old, she had a severe heart attack, I ended up doing the same when I was 50–not the inheritance I wanted! My sister had gotten married a couple years before Mom got sick, my brother one year before, and I was a sophmore in college. My younger brother was only 12. Mom had to quit work, and quit driving, and had her wings severely clipped. It hit my youngest brother the hardest of course since he was still at home! She lived for 12 years however, dying at age 62, after nine more heart attacks! 

Mother was highly respected and liked by her boses, coworkers, neighbors, and those at church. She was friendly and always tried to help others.  She was a natural born leader who taught Sunday school, organized Bible School for the children, and generally took care of everyone and everything. In fact, she served as Superintendant of Sunday Schools at our church for many years! She also had liberal leanings politically, and taught her daughters to follow along through modeling. She worked at the polls because she believed in the right to vote so strongly. She also believed in Civil Rights for people of different races long before it was a popular subject. She believed it was important to take care of those who were poor, who had less than you. She thought it was a sin to have money in your pocket if another person was going hungry. I try to be like that today. Mother put her beliefs into action, cosigning loans for people who needed help buying a house or car. Delivering food and clothes, she was a busy woman. She was a free thinker, very open minded, and almost a bit bohemian.  When she died, the church was full of mourners singing her praises. We heard story after story of how she had helped someone or another, how she had changed their lives for the better! The church even placed a stained glass window in her honor in the women’s Sunday School Class! What an honor! 

Obviously  I loved Mom dearly, she was individualistic and special. We were lucky to have her! 

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