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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thankful Thursday - My Aunt Ruth

Thankful Thursday – Create a post that expresses gratitude for a person (past or present), resource, family history tool or anything connected to you or your and family history that has had a positive impact on your life. This prompt has been suggested by Carolyn Murphy of Family Tree Gal and has been in use by Mary Warren of Mary’s Musings for the past year. From Geneabloggers.



I would like to thank my Aunt Ruth this Thursday. Audrey Ruth Huneycutt was the eldest of 3 children born to Oscar Alexander Huneycutt and Vivian Mae Barnes Huneycutt. Born on July 12, 1923 in Stanly County, NC. She was 5 yrs old when her brother, Lee Wilson Huneycutt was born in 1928. She was 13 yrs old when my Dad, the baby of the family, was born in 1936. At that age, Aunt Ruth was like a 2nd mom to my Dad.


Aunt Ruth with my Dad, William Avery Huneycutt.


1930 U.S. Census of New Albemarle Rd., Tyson, Stanly, North Carolina; Roll: 1721; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 22; Image: 1037, Lines 10-13, "Oscar A. Honeycutt" (sic, should be Huneycutt)
Oscar A. Honeycutt, Owns farm, no radio set, Head, M(ale), W(hite), 31 yrs old (DOB 1899), Married at age 23 yrs old, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC, Farmer of general farm
Vivian Honeycutt, Wife, F, W, 26 yrs old (DOB 1904), Married at age 18 yrs old, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Ruth Honeycutt, Daughter, F, W, 6 yrs old (DOB 1924), Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Lee Honeycutt, Son, M, W, 1 yrs old (DOB 1929), Born in NC, Both parents born in NC

1940 US Census of New Albemarle Rd, Tyson, Stanly County, North Carolina; Roll: T627_2975; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 84-28, Lines 4-8, "Oscar A. Huneycutt" (sic)
Oscar A. Huneycutt, Head, Owns farm valued at $250, M(ale), W(hite), 41 yrs old (DOB 1899), Married, Attended high school 3 yrs, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935, Income $0
Vivian M. Honeycutt, Wife, F, W, 36 yrs old (DOB 1904), Married, Attended school thru 8th grade, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935
Ruth A. Honeycutt, Daughter, F, W, 16 yrs old (DOB 1924), Single, Attending school, Attended high school 3 yrs, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935
Lee W. Honeycutt, Son, M, W, 11 yrs old (DOB 1929), Single, Attending school, Attended school thru 6th grade, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935 W. Avery Honeycutt, Son, M, W, 3 yrs old (DOB 1937), Single, Born in NC




She married Cecil Bob West on August 5, 1944. Uncle Cecil was born 7/19/1918 in Stanly County, NC to Crowell Marshall West and Ethel Carrie Thompson.

1920 U.S. Census of Tyson,  Stanly County, North Carolina ; Roll :  T625_1323 ; Page : 6B ; Enumeration District :  150 ; Image :  563 , Lines 51-57, "Crowell West"
Crowell West, Head, Owns farm, M(ale), W(hite), 36 yrs old (DOB 1884), Married, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC, Farmer
Ethel West, Wife, F, W, 35 yrs old (DOB 1885), Married, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Grover West, Son, M, W, 11 yrs old (DOB 1909), Attends school, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Ulah Bell West (sic), Daughter, F, W, 10 yrs old (DOB 1910), Attends school, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Ruby West, Daughter, F, W, 7 yrs old (DOB 1913), Attends school, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Hampton West, Son, M, W, 3 yrs 8/12 mos old (DOB 1916), Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Cecil West, Son, M, W, 1 yrs 8/12 mos old (DOB 1918), Born in NC, Both parents born in NC

1930 U.S. Census of Albemarle Rd, Tyson,  Stanly County, North Carolina ; Roll :  1721 ; Page : 6B ; Enumeration District :  22 ; Image : 1042.0 ; FHL microfilm :  2341455 , Lines 64-72, "Crowell West"
Crowell West, Head, Owns farm, Owns radio set, M(ale), W(hite), 47 yrs old (DOB 1883), Married at age 24 yrs old (DOM 1907), Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC, Farmer of general farm
Ethel West, Wife, F, W, 45 yrs old (DOB 1885), Married at age 23 yrs old, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Grover West, Son, M, W, 21 yrs old (DOB 1909), Single, Does not attend school, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC, Electrician for power co.
Eula B. West, Daughter, F, W, 18 yrs old (DOB 1912), Single, Attends school, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Ruby West, Daughter, F, W, 17 yrs old (DOB 1913), Single, Attends school, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Hampton West, Son, M, W, 13 yrs old (DOB 1917), Single, Attends school, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Cecil West, Son, M, W, 11 yrs old (DOB 1919), Attends school, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Louise West, Daughter, F, W, 8 yrs old (DOB 1922), Born in NC, Both parents born in NC
Hubert West, Son, M, W, 4 yrs old (DOB 1926), Attends school, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC

1940 U.S. Census of Lead off Albemarle Rd., Tyson, Stanly County, North Carolina; Roll: T627_2975; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 84-28, Lines 61-66, "Crowell M. West"
Crowell M. West, Head, Owned farm valued at $700, M(ale), W(hite), 57 yrs old (DOB 1883), Married, Attended school thru 5th grade, Born in NC, Lived in the same place in 1935, Farmer, Income $0
Ethel C. West, Wife, F, W, 55 yrs old (DOB 1885), Married, Attended school thru 7th grade, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935
Ruby West, Daughter, F, W, 26 yrs old (DOB 1914), Single, Does not attend school, Attended high school 3 yrs, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935, Handy packer for hosiery mill, Income $576
Cecil West, Son, M, W, 21 yrs old (DOB 1919), Single, Does not attend school, Attended high school 4 yrs, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935, Mechanic for garage, Income $240
Louise West, Daughter, F, W, 18 yrs old (DOB 1922), Single, Does not attend school, Attended high school 4 yrs, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935, No occupation
Hubert West, Son, M, W, 13 yrs old (DOB 1927), Single, Attends school, Attended school thru 8th grade, Born in NC, Lived in same place in 1935, No occupation


In 1941 he completed his draft card. He was still living at home and was a mechanic at Morgan Motor Co.


He enlisted on 5/17/1941 in Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, NC.
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
Name: Cecil B West
Birth Year: 1918
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: North Carolina
State of Residence: North Carolina
Enlistment Date: 17 May 1941
Enlistment State: North Carolina
Enlistment City: Fort Bragg
Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: 1 year of college
Civil Occupation: Semiskilled mechanics and repairmen, motor vehicles
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 70
Weight: 155



They had 2 daughters and a son. Uncle Cecil was a mechanic and sold auto parts. They had a small farm and always had a big garden. Aunt Ruth was a wonderful seamstress and loved to do crafts. She made some beautiful ceramic Santa Clauses. I ended up buying quite a few from her and I have a collection. She also handpainted some Christmas cards one year. I have the ones that she sent our family. One is of her house in the snow and I have it framed and I set it out every Christmas. Just last weekend, I had family over for Thanksgiving and our great niece, Savannah, went up to that framed handpainted card and put her nose right up to it like she was trying to see in the house painted on the card. I thought then how much Aunt Ruth would love Savannah! Aunt Ruth also made Christmas ornaments. I remember her making beaded ones one year. She handpainted some one year and I still have 2 of them. Another time she made gum drop Christmas trees that fascinated me although I've never liked gummy candies. Once she sewed each of us a simple A-line dress and elaborately painted them with fabric paint. I LOVED mine but it was too small even when she gave it to me. I must have had a growth spurt. I was so disappointed that I couldn't wear it. For a few years, Elaine and I would go to her house at Christmas and she would show us how to make our own Christmas sweatshirts.

Mom and Dad would take us to Grandma's and/or Aunt Ruth's to spend a week or two in the summer. Aunt Ruth would either get us pixie hair cuts or would do pin curls. My hair was so stick straight that those curls didn't last long but doing 3 girls had to be a pain! She would sew for us while we were there. She just let us hang around her while she did her normal chores. I remember playing around her while she sewed. She smoked and drank instant coffee all day while she sewed. I can still hear the sound of that Singer sewing machine humming in the background, the smell of cigarette smoke and her humming. Just as I typed that I realized that I hum all the time and it's probably from her. We absorbed so many things from her.

She would take her laundry to the laundry mat (their well water was hard) and then bring the wet laundry home to hang up on the line. Then she would spend the afternoon with the ironing board ironing her laundry. She ironed most everything. She had a melted candle on one end of the ironing board that she ran the iron over to give it a slick bottom. She also had a soft drink bottle full of water with a sprinkler head on it. Irons didn't have steam so you sprinkled your clothes and ran the iron over them to create the steam. She also knew how to starch things. She was particular about her laundry.

She would process the fruits and vegetables that they raised. I remember her making her own sauerkraut and pickles, jellies and freezing so much stuff. She also knew how to look for bargains. She took us to junk shops (what we would call thrift stores). I remember one was way out in the country and was run by a black woman. It was called the n** barn (sorry, but that is what it was called). It was like Fred Sanford's junk shop and you could find anything there. I was totally fascinated with that place and there's no telling what treasures Aunt Ruth found there. I loved rooting around in it. Aunt Ruth collected glassware (so do I), porcelain and china pieces (so do I), and antiques. She collected antiques before it was the fashion!

I remember after lunch she would want some quiet time. For a kid, that felt like such a waste of time but I sure understand it now. So she would settle down in her chair and turn on As The World Turns and we would be quiet and let her take a nap. She and Grandma were hooked on As The World Turns. Later on she liked to watch The Young and The Restless too. I guess that's where I got my love of soap operas. For many years I didn't watch them but once I started I was addicted.

Aunt Ruth loved dogs and always had some around her. She had a white English Bulldog named Babe who would sing as Aunt Ruth played her old piano or pump organ. She had a Bulldog and a Dalmation. She raised a litter of beautiful Cocker Spaniels and I bought one from her. She also loved Poodles. She treated her dogs like her babies. She was the only one on either side of my immediate families that had indoor dogs that she treated like babies so I guess I got that from her too.

She was pretty organized so that's another thing I relate with. She was a Democrat and very involved in their local Democratic party. She was a great cook and kept a shoe box of collected recipes. She kept up with her community. She knew who was born, who got married, who died, how they were related, who was sick, etc. She was a caring neighbor who often took food to those who were sick.

She and Uncle Cecil joined the closest Baptist church to their house, Union Grove Baptist Church. For the rest of their lives they were very involved and active in their little church. When we came for the summer it was usually in time for Vacation Bible School and we had to participate. It started off with pickup trucks full of kids riding around the neighborhood yelling, "COME TO VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL" in an effort to invite kids. VBS started with assembly in the small sanctuary. Aunt Ruth often played the piano or organ for services. She also was a Sunday School and VBS teacher. We would then have some Bible stories, crafts, snacks and then back home in time for lunch and her quiet time. Uncle Cecil would usually come home for lunch. They would make us sandwiches and we would get to have RC Colas. At home we didn't often get junk food, including soft drinks. It was a rare treat at home but we could count on Aunt Ruth having RC's.

Another thing I thank her for was her genealogy work. She had an old typewriter and 4 drawer file cabinet and she did genealogy the HARD WAY. There was no Ancestry.com in those days. I wasn't the least bit interested until 1994 and she died in 1996. She gave us some copies of photos of ancestors and this gunned my engine! So then I began asking her some questions and she gave me answers. I knew I had to write it down or forget it and so started my genealogy journey. I never got to see her files but what she told me, along with a cousin, got me started on a hobby that I'm passionate about.

Aunt Ruth died 3/24/1996. Uncle Cecil died the next year on 5/26/1997.

Thank you, Aunt Ruth, for all you taught me, all you shared with me, all your love, for mothering Daddy and grandmothering us, for loving my Mom and accepting her into your family. You made an indelible mark on me and my sisters. I will never forget you!

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