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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Talent Tuesday - Horseback Riding

Talented Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. Got ancestors who had a special talent? Be it musical, comical, or any manner of skill, we post at our genealogy blog through words and pictures.  Here is my story today.

My sisters, Elaine and Melinda, were wonderful horsewomen. From an early age they loved horses and horseback riding. My parents were able to give them horseback riding lessons very early and they had horses most of their lives up until about 8-10 years ago when age and Fibromyalgia (we all three have it) forced them off their horses. Before we could no longer ride, Melinda taught me to ride and I was able to ride one of her horses for about 3 years before I had to give it up. They continued to ride for awhile. Since I'm the oldest, by the time they reached my age, they also had to give it up. But I can say I was able to keep up with them on a lot of trail rides. I especially enjoyed the mountain trail rides we got to do especially the last one which was arranged for my birthday. It was unforgettable because we had a good ride up and a wonderful picnic lunch. But a thunderstorm came up on us and we had a hell of a ride back down in the pouring rain and thunderous lightening. It's something we laugh about even today!

There is a story about one of our Great Grandmothers, Noda Vesta Miller Lamb. She was supposedly a good horsewoman. They lived in the western NC mountains when it was a very poor area. For her to have her own saddlehorse says something about her horse skills and her husband's ability and desire to give her a horse.

Noda Vest Miller was born 11/6/1887 in Madison County, NC to Anderson Miller and Cynthia Ann Hickam. She got pregnant at the age of 18 yrs old and had a daughter named Pearl Juanita. She married John Edward Lamb, aka Ed Lamb, on 10/9/1904 in Madison County, NC. He raised Pearl as his own daughter. He must have really loved Noda. Noda and Ed added 4 more girls to their growing family: Sueda Lamb (DOB: 10/23/1906 in Madison County, NC; DOD: 8/1918 in Madison County, NC of the Spanish Flu Epidemic); Artie Mae Lamb (DOB: 4/3/1908 in Madison County, NC; DOD: 12/28/1999 in Blount County, TN; married Clyde Bovy Johnson); Fannie Marie Lamb (DOB: 2/2/1911 in Madison County, NC; DOD: 12/29/1988 in Greenville County, SC; married Conrad Cutlass Copeland); and my Grandmother, Geneva Margaret Lamb (DOB: 2/14/1915 in Cocke County, TN; DOD: 7/23/1984 in Spartanburg County, SC; married Wilford William Reese).

Noda's daughter, Pearl, married her first husband, Dewey Roberts, in May, 1916 in Cocke County, TN. She and her husband had a daughter named Edna Roberts about 1918. The story goes that there was some heavy rain and Noda worried about Pearl and Edna being caught in a flash flood. She saddled her horse and rode down to their house and rushed in and told them to leave immediately. Pearl had just bought a new Easter hat. She grabbed the baby and the new hat and they made it out of the house just before the water came and, sure enough, flooded the house. They would have drowned if not for Noda.

Noda was possibly newly pregnant with another little girl when this happened. This little girl would be her namesake.

As we know, the Spanish Flu Pandemic hit the world in 1918 and it hit little Madison County, NC too. In August of 1918, their daughter, Sueda, died of the flu. She wasn't yet 12 yrs old. In January, 1919, Noda also came down with the Spanish Flu. She gave birth but only lived 4 days after her baby girl was delivered. She died on 1/26/1919 in Madison County, NC. Little Noda Vesta Lamb didn't live a full 2 months before following her mother and older sister in death. The 3 of them are buried in the Old Antioch Cemetery (it's been virtually abandoned now for the newer Antioch Cemetery). There are 2 headstones but the last time I visited their graves, the tombstones are barely legible.

Ed moved his remaining 3 girls, Pearl, Dewey, Edna and his widowed mother-in-law down to Laurens, Laurens County, SC to work as a carpenter for one of the mills there. They are found there in the 1920 U.S. Census. Eventually he put the girl's in a girl's boarding school back in Madison County, NC. But they thought it was an orphanage and they were terrified that they would be adopted seperately and would never see each other again. They thought my little Grandmother was so pretty that she would go first so whenever someone would travel by the school, they would grab little Geneva and run to the fields where they would hide in the grass. Eventually Ed remarried to a neighbor woman that he knew (she and her family had lived near them). Bess' husband had died a couple of months before Noda had and she had 4 children too. The marriage was not a good one but back then you just lived with it. Ed and Bess had a son named Daniel Lamb. Ed Lamb died 2/27/1939 in McDowell County, NC. Bess Freshour Harkelroad Lamb died 7/31/1958 in McDowell County, NC.

Tombstone Tuesday - Kelly Family Cemetery

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. To participate in Tombstone Tuesday simply create a post which includes an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors and it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.  Here is my submission:

I heard about the Kelly Family Cemetery but could find no directions. It's one of those small cemeteries lost in the woods of somebody's private property. Fortunately, Richard Kelly saw my blog and contacted me and gave me directions on how to get to the small cemetery. It is on someone's private hunting land so I don't recommend you going there. It's fairly isolated. But I do want to give the GPS coordinates so this family cemetery won't be totally lost and forgotten.  Take Hwy 9 to Kelly Town (it's also known as Kelton or Kelly community) where the Kelly One Stop convenience store is. Pass the convenience store and turn left on Pea Ridge Rd. Pass Foster's Chapel church and then turn left on Eisontown Rd. Look for Hart Rd on the left. Just past Hart Rd look for an old dirt road on the left. It has a gate. You follow the dirt road and keep looking into the woods on the left to find the cemetery. The GPS coordinates to the dirt road are 34 50.447' and -81 35.788. There are 6 head stones and most of those are barely legible. I used chalk to highlight them and you can see the before and after photos. There are a good many rocks marking graves and I suppose we will never know who they represent, whether family or slaves. We've been twice now. Once in the summer when we found it. But we came back this Fall after the leaves had fallen so we could better see the lay of the land and to clean up. There were some seedlings coming up on the graves so we brought some nippers to nip them down. We don't want trees growing up and toppling the stones and losing the grave spots. So we nipped around Elizabeth and J.G. Kelly and Thomas Kelly's graves. We didn't want to do too much since it's private land. By the way, it's best to ask permission from the owner whenever you go cemetery hunting on private land and use good manners. Don't leave trash, don't root around outside of the actual graves or build fences, be aware of hunters, etc. It is someone else's property.

The oldest tombstone is this one for Thomas Kelly.

Here it is chalked so you can read it.

Here is Stan next to his Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Thomas Kelly's grave.

These two gravestones are for Thomas Kelly's son, Jamison Gazaway Kelly and his wife, C. Elizabeth Free Kelly.

Here is Luke standing next to Jameson Gazaway Kelly's grave, his Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather.

Here is Stan standing next to Jamison G. Kelly's tombstone, his Great-Great-Great Grandfather.

There are many stones marking graves.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mystery Monday - Missing Person Mabel Tobiatha Reese

Mystery Monday is a daily blogging theme used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. Mystery Monday is where you can post about mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in your genealogy and family history research which is currently unsolved. This is a great way to get your fellow genealogy bloggers to lend their eyes to what you’ve found so far and possibly help solve the mystery. Here is my story today.

Bailey Bright Reese and Lillian Vianna Conner are my direct descendants through their son, Wilford William Reese. But they also had a daughter named Mabel Tobiatha Reese. This story is about her.

Mabel Tobiatha Reese was born 4/21/1919 in Madison County, NC to Bailey Bright Reese (DOB: 1/26/1878 in Madison County, NC; DOD: 12/10/1949 in Marion, McDowell County, NC) and Lillian Vianna Conner (DOB: 1/9/1887 in Madison County, NC; DOD: 1/15/1984 in Marion, McDowell County, NC). Mabel was the 7th child out of 9 children.

According to the NC Birth Index 1800 to 2000, she was named "Mabel Kelith Reese", DOB 4/21/1919 in Transylvania County, NC, Parent1: Bailey B. Reese, Roll #B_C093_66001, Vol 5, Pg 77. But according to her father's family Bible she was named "Mabel Tobiatha Reese".

This is the only photo we have of her. It's possible it was made about the time she married the first time. Notice her signature in the corner. The handwriting is nice and controlled.

She married Walter Baird Phillips on 6/22/1941 in Marion, McDowell County, NC at the age of 22 yrs old. They had a son named David Larry Phillips who was born on 7/19/1942 in Marion, McDowell County, NC. She left her husband and son for unknown reasons. They divorced in 1947 in Volusia County, FL. It was after she left Walter that the family began to lose touch with her. She only visited a few times after that. We think she may have remarried once, maybe twice? There is also a vague family rumor that she may have gone to Australia (to visit or to live)?

One time she visited my grandparents (her brother, Wilford) when they lived in Winston-Salem, Forsythe County, NC. My grandparents lived there from 1953-1957. My Uncle James (her nephew) has vague memories of her coming with a man she claimed was her husband and that he was a baseball player. He thought they were living in Chicago. But he was a little boy, so...

The last time she visited the family, she came to Asheville, Buncombe County, NC to visit her mother and her sister, Margaret Alice Reese Young. She was by herself and had become a severe alcoholic. She had to be hospitalized while she was in Asheville due to drinking anything alcoholic she could find in the medicine cabinets and kitchen. When she returned to where she was living, she mailed an illegible letter back home dated 2/17/1970. It was in a bank's stationary envelope. The original return address on the envelope was "Union Bank, Box 2278 Terminal Annex, Los Angeles, CA". Written over the bank's return address was "Maurice El Family, 921 So. Grand Ave, LA. Calif". It's difficult to read her handwriting, it's possible that it says, "Maurice A. Family". The letter was addressed to "Mrs. B.B. Reese (her mother), C/O Mr. Joe Young, Home Se. Co., Asheville, NC" (Joe Young was married to her sister, Margaret Alice Reese) It had been damaged by the post office and had been taped back together.

Here is a transcript as much as I'm able to read it and the spelling will remain as the original, parenthesis are mine:
"Hi Mom
Just got back from Astarlig & in the bush co (Is this Australia? which would mean it was visit and she's back now.), Me Just Couemd I write. Darling loves you so much & is so glad to be home. Hope your feeling O.K.
Hi Paul & Willford (my grandfather and his older brother) - Mom says say Hello to Alice & Grace (her older and younger sisters)
Woford (my grandfather) Please write your Big sis.
She misses you peoplee.
Thank Maurice"

Page 1

Page 2

This is where it ends. Looks to me like there may have been another page + that are missing possibly when the post office ripped the envelope open. You will obviously see the difference in her handwriting on this letter and envelope. It's so very different from her signature on her photograph. It's oversized and hurried. She's writing in cursive in her letter and as the return address on the envelope but she wrote in print for the addressee on the envelope. The "e" in the printed on the envelope looks like "g". It's made from a "c" with a line dashed through it beyond the letter itself. Is it possible that the letter was written by one person and the envelope was written by another. Were they, either one, really written by her? Does your handwriting change that much even with alcoholism? She also asks my Grandfather, Wilford Reese, to "Please Write Your Big Sis" and she was actually next to the youngest of the 9 children. Wilford was the 3rd oldest so he would be her big brother (the first child died as a 2 yr old so he would be her 2nd oldest of the living children).

This is the last time she was heard from. My Grandfather and her son, at different times, tried to find her.

Her first husband, Walter Baird Phillips (DOB: 4/1/1917 in Madison County, NC) died in 4/18/2004 in Asheville, Buncombe County, NC. Their son, David, died on 7/5/1979 in Miami, Dade County, FL. He was married to Dorothy Faith Christian and they had a son and daughter.

We would love to know what happened to Mabel. We can only pray that she was able to get herself together at some point before she died. As it is, we just don't know and it's a terrible thing not to know what happened to a loved one. Was she murdered and buried in an empty lot somewhere? Or her body was unidentified? Did she die homeless and buried as a Jane Doe? If she was OK, why didn't she keep in contact with her family in NC/SC? Why weren't family notified of her death? Did she move somewhere else?  Did she have a better life and die at hearth and home somewhere? It's possible she's still alive (she'd be 91 yrs old) but where would she be? Did she lose her memory at some point and didn't/doesn't know her family? Her parents and all her siblings and their spouses have passed away now. Her ex-husband and her son have both passed away too. But we would still like to know what happened to Mabel Reese.

Madness Monday - Bertha A. Reese

Madness Monday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. To participate in Madness Monday we simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who either suffered some form of mental illness or an ancestor who might be hard to locate and drives you mad.

Green Hill Reese and Tabitha Freeman were married and had a son named...
...Moses Reese who married Martha Cordelia Jane Strickland and they had a daughter named Bertha A. Reese.

Green Hill Reese and Tabitha Freeman are my direct ancestors through Moses' brother, William Hanes Reese so Bertha would have been William Hanes Reese's niece.

This story is about Bertha A. Reese who was born in the spring of 1900 in Madison County, NC to Moses Reese (DOB: 11/9/1857 in Madison County, NC; DOD: 4/8/1929 in Madison County, NC) and Martha Cordelia Jane Strickland (DOB: 5/10/1870 in Rutherford County, NC; DOD: 7/7/1940 in Madison County, NC). She was the 5th of the 9-10 children of Moses and Martha Cordelia Jane.

1900 U.S. Census of Meder Fork (sic, should be Meadow Fork), Spring Creek Township, Madison County, NC, Roll T623_1205, Pg 8B and 9A, ED 86, Ancestry.com, Lines 96-100 and Lines 1-2, Dwelling 144, Family 144, "Reese, Moses"
Reese, Moses, Head, W(hite), M(ale), Born Sept, 1868, 41 yrs old, Married 18 yrs, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC, Can read & write, Farmer, rents farm
Reese, Caroline J., Wife, W, F, Born Aug, 1870, 30 yrs old, Married 18 yrs, 7 children with 5 still living, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC
Reese, Sonia, Daughter, W, F, Born Jan, 1888, 12 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC
Reese, Walter, Son, W, M, born May, 1891, 9 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC
Reese, Hardy H., Son, W, M, Born June, 1894, 5 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC
Reese, Ona V., Daughter, W, F, Born May, 1897, 3 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC
Reese, Bertha A., Daughter, W, F, Born April 1900, 1/12 mos old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC

1910 U.S. Census of Meadow Fork, Spring Creek, Madison County, NC, Roll T624_1107, Pg 1A, ED 86, Image 426, Ancestry.com, Lines 29-37, Dwelling 8, Family 8, "Reese, Mases" (sic, should be Moses Reese)
Reese, Mases, Head, M(ale), W(hite), 52 yrs old, 1st marriage, Married 23 yrs, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC, Speaks English, Farmer of general farm, Can read & write, owns farm free of mortgage
Reese, Cordela J. (sic, should be Cordelia), F, W, 39 yrs old, 1st marriage, Married 23 yrs, 10 children with 7 still living, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC, Can read & write
Reese, Hardy H., Son, M, W, 15 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC, Farm Labor on home farm, attended school this year
Reese, Olive V., Daughter, F, W, 12 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC, Farm Laborer, Can read & write, attended school this year
Reese, Bertha A., Daughter, F, W, 9 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC,
Reese, Roy C., Son, M, W, 6 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC,
Reese, Bernie E., Son, M, W, 3 yrs old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC,
Reese, Verline E., Son, M, W, 1 7/12 mos old, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC

1920 U.S. Census of Broughton Hospital for the Insane, Shelby Rd, Morganton,  Burke County,  North Carolina; Roll:  T625_1287; Page:  14A; Enumeration District:  202; Image:  872, Line 12, "Bertha Reese"
Bertha Reese, Inpatient, F(emale), W(hite), 19 yrs old (DOB 1901), Single, Can read & write, Born in NC, Both parents born in U.S., No occupation

Death Certificate #296 , Registration District # 125147, Bertha A. Reese, DOD 3/6/1924 at State Hospital, Morganton, Burke County, NC
Bertha A. Reese
Residence: Madison County, NC
Length of Residence in city or town where death occurred: 6 yrs, 4 mos, 10 days
Female, White, Single
Born in 1900 in Madison County, NC, 24 yrs old
Occupation: Housekeeper
Father: Moses Reese born unknown
Mother: unknown born unknown
Informant: State Hospital records in Morganton, NC
DOD 3/6/1924 at 9:45am
Physician attended deceased from 9/17/1918 to 3/6/1924 and last saw her alive on 3/6/1924
Cause of death: Pellagra, duration 14 days
No autopsy, diagnosis based on clinical symptoms
Dr. R.H. Long of Morganton, NC
Burial: State Hospital Cemetery, Morganton, NC on 3/8/1924
Undertaker: W.K. Houch of Morganton, NC

Poor Bertha resided in the Broughton Hospital for the Insane in Morganton, Burke County, NC from 9/17/1918 until she died at the young age of 24 on 3/6/1924. She resided in the Insane Asylum for over 6 years! What would send a young woman insane and cause her death at such a young age? It says she died of Pellagra.

Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disease most commonly caused by a chronic lack of niacin (vitamin B3) in the diet. Native New World cultivators who had domesticated corn that required treatment of the grain with lime, an alkali. It has now been shown that the lime treatment makes niacin nutritionally available and reduces the chance of developing pellagra. Pellagra became common only when corn became a staple that was eaten without the traditional treatment. In the early 1900s, pellagra reached epidemic proportions in the American South. There were 1,306 reported pellagra deaths in South Carolina during the first ten months of 1915; 100,000 Southerners were affected in 1916. At this time, the scientific community held that pellagra was probably caused by a germ or some unknown toxin in corn. The Spartanburg Pellagra Hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina, was the nation's first facility dedicated to discovering the cause of pellagra. It was established in 1914 with a special congressional appropriation to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) and set up primarily for research. In 1915, Joseph Goldberger, assigned to study pellagra by the Surgeon General of the United States, showed that pellagra was linked to diet by inducing the disease in prisoners, using the Spartanburg Pellagra Hospital as his clinic. By 1926, Goldberger established that a balanced diet or a small amount of brewer's yeast prevented Pellagra. In the research conducted between 1900–1950, it was found that the number of cases of women with pellagra was consistently double the number of cases of afflicted men. This is thought to be due to the inhibitory effect of estrogen on the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin. As primary wage earners, men were given consideration and preference at the dinner table. They also had pocket money to buy food outside the household. Women gave protein quality foods to their children first. Women also would eat after everyone else had a chance to eat. Women also continued to serve maize, molasses and fat back pork which combine to contribute to cause pellagra. Pellagra is classically described by "the four D's": diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death. Untreated, the disease can kill within four or five years.

Causes today are:
Poor nutrition
Chronic alcoholism
Neglect and abuse, resulting in malnutrition
Anorexia nervosa
Fad diets
Some medications

Dermatitis, alopecia, oedema
Smooth, beefy red glossitis
Red skin lesions
Weakness, malaise, apathy, lassitude
Ataxia, paralysis of extremities, peripheral neuritis
Dilated cardiomyopathy
High sensitivity to sunlight
Mental confusion - Neurological manifestations include anxiety, depression, delusions, hallucinations.
Eventual dementia - Psycho-sensory disturbances (impressions as being painful, annoying bright lights, odours intolerance causing nausea and vomiting, dizziness after sudden movements); Psycho-motor disturbances (restlessness, tense and a desire to quarrel, increased preparedness for motor action); Emotional disturbances

Treatment is with nicotinamide, a chemical related to niacin. In order to prevent and/or treat pellagra, provide a diet high in protein and adequate in calories. The addition of meats, milk, peanuts, green leafy vegetables, whole or enriched grains, and brewers' dry yeast can enhance the niacin intake.

So, evidently Bertha had suffered from the dementia, mental confusion and who knows what else. She was put in the insane asylum in 1919 and didn't die until 1924. If this had only occurred in the late 1930's or early 1940's she might have been able to be treated with the simple vitamin and a good diet. It's so sad that something that basic and simple could have saved her from such suffering and such an early death. She never married or had children.

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