Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I miss you.
Until we meet again!
- author unknown
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meridian, MS

Any chance I get, I sit down with Grandpa and jot down notes about his family memories. The most recent visits involved discussions about his Hall relatives in Meridian, MS. He recalled his Uncle Joe, specificially and repeatedly mentioned that we needed to visit Meridian. His wish is our command, so I began my research. I spent months gathering all the details I could find about the three Hall brothers who lived in Meridian, Joel Emanuel, William Leighton (my Great-Grandpa) and James Edward Beaumont Hall, so we could make the most of our trip.

When we arrived, we visited the Lauderdale County Archives to gather all the documentation about our relatives we could find. Next, thanks to a tip from a fellow researcher, we visited the ___ Funeral Home. They had books from ___ to present that were available to the public ... I walked right in and was able to print the pages relating to my family (Joel & Octavia).

We then headed to the Coker's Chapel Cemetery where Grandpa's Uncle Joe and Aunt Octavia were buried along with his half brother who died in infancy, William Leighton Hall, Jr.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hall Family Reunion 2009


On September 26, 2o09 (yes, the date is correct ... I'm really behind on my posts), Mom, Grandpa and I met Aunt Mim at the Pine United Chapel Methodist Church to attend the 2009 Hall family reunion. Grandpa is the oldest living Hall in the family and everyone flocked around him for conversation, hugs and pictures. He, of course, handled it like the superstar that he is.
After the reunion Mom, Grandpa and I began our hunt for cemeteries. We were armed with a list and maps to five different cemeteries and only anticipated that we would hit a couple. Well, we got rolling and hit all five!!
Citra Cemetery
Dora Ann Hall Carlton was eldest child and only daughter of James Edward Beaumont Hall and Elizabeth Jane Martin. Dora married George L Carlton in 1888, and according to a letter published in The Halls of Marion County by her brother Henry, "it was a great disappointment and grief to each of them that they had no children."

Simmons Baptist Church Cemetery
May L Hall Hobkirk was the eighth born child of Joel Thomas Hall and Andaline Susan Thomas Allen. She married James Davis Hobkirk in 1879 and had seven children.

Antioch Cemetery
Permilla H L Allen was the fourth child of John Earl Allen and Lucy Thomas Bobbett Anderson. She married Alpher D Marcus Watson in 1845 in Pike county, Alabama.

MacFall / Matthews Cemetery
Joel Thomas Hall was the fifth born child of Joel Thomas Hall and Andaline Susan Thomas Allen. He married Elizabeth Brit in 1890 and had eight children.

Millwood Cemetery
Henry Thomas Hall was the third child of James Edward Beaumont Hall and Elizabeth Jane Martin. He married Septa Pauline Denman in 1894 and had five children.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Newton-Hall Wedding








The year was 1937 and at age 19, Bill met 18 year-old Frances at her boarding house in Atlanta, Georgia. Bill remembers, "she lived at Ponce de Leon ... 9 4 7." At the time, Frances worked as a stenographer at Westinghouse Manufacturing Company and Bill worked as a salesman at Sears Roebuck. They first met after Bill had finished playing a tennis match with his friend. Dripping with sweat he asked Frances on a date for that night and she hesitated to commit. When he presented himself after a quick trip to his apartment, just two blocks away, to shower and shave, she quickly told him "I'll get my coat!" She called it "love at second sight." That night Bill took Frances to the Motorcycle races in Columbus, Georgia. On their second date Bill asked Frances to marry him while they were sitting on a stone fence near the boarding house. She said, "YES!" The two courted for a couple of years before actually marrying. The official announcement was made in the Society section of The Fitzgerald Herald on April 11, 1939.





A luncheon shower was given in honor of Frances on the Thursday before her wedding.

A rehearsal party was held for the couple on Saturday, April 29, 1939.



Prior to the 2:30pm wedding on Sunday, the out of town guests and family enjoyed a luncheon at the Seagraves home (Margaret Julia Burney Newton's best friend).



The wedding ceremony was held at the Methodist Church in Fitzgerald, Georgia. Frances wore a beige dress while Bill strutted (no doubt) in a dark green suit to compliment, per her request. Bill recalls he had difficulty locating a dark green suit, but found on in Purcell's in Orlando.

The newlyweds left straight from the church to move to Orlando, stopping Palatka to pick up Bill's good buddy, Swilley. An overnight stay at the Satsuma Hotel was the extent of their honeymoon as Bill was required to work the following day at Butler's Shoe Store on 3 North Orange Avenue. (It amazes me that my grandfather can remember every address known to man, but what seem like some of the most obvious memories get all jumbled up).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Frances Newton, The Early Years

My grandmother, Frances Newton Hall, has been on my mind a lot lately. I wish she was here to help me with my research ... I would have really enjoyed working on this project with her. With that said, I thought I would do a post about her. There will definitely be future posts with her as the subject, so I'll focus this one on her early childhood.
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Named after her mother's oldest sister, Frances Newton was born on 20 Nov 1919 at the family home in Minneola, Lowndes, GA to Charles Edwin and Margaret Julia Burney Newton. She was an only child, so naturally she was the subject of numerous photo shoots.

I am so fortunate that she left me A Gift of Memories from Grandma, where she answered questions about growing up. The booklet is completed in her handwriting and gives so many details about her life.

As a child she was awarded 10 cents per tooth from the tooth fairy and earned 50 cents per week for her allowence, starting at age 10. She liked to spend her money on toys and movies. She "could go to the movies two times for a quarter and have 5 cents left over for popcorn."

She described the house she grew up in as grey with two stories, a pretty lawn, shrubs, five pecan trees and a barn out back. There was a paved sidewalk in the front where she skated with her friends and a porch that wrapped around three sides of the house where she and her mother "took trips all over the world in our porch swing." They had electric lights and a wood stove to cook on. Fireplaces and wood heaters were used to heat up the house in the winter time and to keep it cool in the summer time, they simply opened the windows.

As with any child, the holidays were extra special to her. She recalled that on Thanksgiving, her Uncle Will (William Wirt Burney) always sent their family a live turkey and they enjoyed a big dinner, including her moms specialty items, mashed potatoes and dressing. During Christmas, Santa filled her stocking with apples, oranges, raisens, a candy cane and one or two small gifts. The family celebrated the Fourth of July with a picnic at the Blue and Gray Park in Fitzgerald and she always had a new dress to wear for the event.

Frances attended Third Ward Grade School, Fitzgerald High School and Southern Business University in Atlanta. She enjoyed History, Geography and English and hated Math and Science. She played Basketball and Tennis, was on the Debate Team and was in the Dramatic Club and the Glee Club.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

William James Burney and Rachel Foreman

William James Burney was born in Glynn County, Georgia on 11 Jan 1832 and spent his early life there. It was also in Glynn County, at age 21, he married a native of South Carolina, Rachel Foreman, on 30 Oct 1856. In 1884, Rachel died leaving William to care for nine children. Around 1885 at 53 years old, he married for a second time to Margaret Anders Anderson (formerly the wife of Richard Anderson). The picture to the left is William James Burney at age 21 and in the one to the right, he is 55 years old.

The picture below was not labeled, but using the pictures above I believe this is William James Burney and his first wife Rachel Foreman. William was 53 when he got remarried and he is very aged in his picture at 55 years old.

According to A History of Savannah and South Georgia, Volume II by William Harden:

"In 1861 [William J Burney] volunteered his services to the Confederate government, and was with the Fourth Georgia Calvary in the coast defense until 1862. In the latter part of that year he put in a substitute, and after returning home removed his family, slaves and stock to Thomas County, where he bought four hundred and seventy acres in lot 331 of the Boston district. In 1864, when Sherman invaded the state, he again enlisted, this time in the Eleventh Georgia Infantry, and was at the defense of Atlanta and with the regiment in other service until the close of hostilities. Upon being parolled, he returned to the farm and [was a resident there until his death].

Together, William and Rachel had ten children:

1) Alexander Hamilton Burney was born on 17 Jun 1857 in Glynn County, Georgia. It appears that he was named after his father's brother, who died in the Civil War. Unfortunately, after just turning two years old, young Alexander died on 30 Jul 1859.

2) Frances "Fankie" Melinda Burney was born 31 May 1858 in Glynn County, Georgia. In 1882 she married a gentleman, five years her junior, named Walter P Jennings who was born Dec 1863. Fankie and Walter had an infant child who died on 28 May 1893, which no doubt resulted in a miserable 35th birthday for Fankie just three days later. On 8 Nov 1895 the couple had a son, named George S (probably Strickland after Walter's father). According to the US Census, the family of three lived in Jennings, Hamilton County, Florida in 1900, 1910 and 1920. In 1920, Fankie's younger sister, Claude also lived at the Jennings home. On all three census records, Walter was listed as a real estate dealer, however he also served on the House of Representatives in 1911 - 1912 and again in 1922. Walter's younger brother, Thomas Albert was the Speaker of the House in 1911.

Walter P Jennings and son, George S in 1902

Walter P Jennings

In 1922 Walter passed away in Hamilton County, Florida and by 1945 Fankie had moved to her son's house at 1223 E Osborne Ave in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida. At age 89, in October 1947, Fankie faced heartache when learning of her 52 year old son's death. She had him transported for burial to Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia, where she would also be buried. Some time between 1945 and her death on 21 Dec 1950, she moved to Fitzgerald Georgia and lived with her sister, Margaret Julia Burney Newton. Also living there were her niece Frances Newton Hall, France's husband, William Andrews Hall and their young daughter Margaret Hall. Margaret Hall remembers a time when she and Aunt Fankie got locked in the bathroom and they sang songs together until someone came to rescue them. William Andrews Hall described Aunt Fankie as someone who read a lot, did not talk much and kept to herself.


3) Rachel Ella Burney was born 11 Aug 1859 in Glynn County, Georgia. She did not marry and lived with her sister, Lula McQueen and nephew, Ralph B McQueen in 1930 in Sarasota, Florida. She was also listed on the 1935 Florida State Census at 703 Bryan St in Sarasota, Florida with this family. Rachel passed away in 12 Jun 1937 in Sarasota, Florida, one year after her sister, Lula. She is buried at Manasota Memorial Park in Bradenton, Forida.


4) Lula Johnston "Scrap" Burney was born on Valentine's Day in 1862 in Thomas County, Georgia. The nickname "Scrap" was given to her as a child because she was tiny girl and the name stuck into her adult life. She was married to D B McQueen and together they had two children, an infant daughter who died 13 Jun 1895 in Boston, Georgia and a son named Ralph B McQueen, born 17 Aug 1896. I cannot determine whether Lula was divorced or widowed from her husband. On the 1900 US Census, she lived with three of her siblings in Thomas County, Georgia and was listed as "single." Her son lived with his Grandpa William Burney at the time. In 1910 she and her son were back together, living with Lula's sister, Ella Rachel in Thomas County, Georgia. Lula was listed as a widow and working in a milliner retail store.

An article in the Weekly Times Enterprise was published on March 16, 1906 about Mrs. Lula B. McQueen, titled: Stylish Millinery and Fancy goods Fresh From the Metropolis

"One of the oldest millinery stores in Boston is that of Mrs. McQueen, on Jefferson Street, near the post-office. Mrs. McQueen has been in the millinery business about seven years in this city. She was formerly associated with Mr. F. C. Ivey, but about four years ago she opened an establishment of her own. She had previously been with C. S. Hawkes in the millinery business in Quitman, and in Thomasville with Mrs. Epply. Her experience, as well as the opportunities she has enjoyed through frequent visits to Atlanta and Baltimore, have enabled her to make a great success. She is ably assisted by Miss Maggie Burney, who has also had large experience and opportunities to study the latest trimmings in the millinery business. One of the specialties of Mrs. McQueens's establishment is the ribbon line, staples and fancy. Her business has steadily grown and she has customers in Thomasville, Barwick, Pavo, Pidcock and even down in Monticello, Fla. "One price and same treatment to all" has been the motto she has followed.

The personal popularity and attractiveness of Mrs. McQueen and Miss Burney have largely contributed to her wide success."

In 1920, 50 year old Lula lived in Sarasota, Florida with her son and she was listed as a widow. She remained in Sarasota until her death on 30 Nov 1936. According to her death certificate, she was divorced. She is buried at Manasota Memorial Park in Bradenton, Florida along with her older sister Rachel Ella, her son Ralph B McQueen and her daughter in law Mabel T McQueen.
Without knowing the full name of D B McQueen, it is difficult for me to follow whether or not he died or they actually divorced. I am leaning toward divorce and imagine she claimed widow to avoid the stigma associated with divorce.

5) Caroline Claudia "Claude" Burney was born 7 May 1866 in Thomas County, Georiga. She never married and in 1920 was listed as living with her sister, Frances Melinda Burney Jennings in Jennings, Hamilton County, Florida. She died in Fitzergald, Ben Hill County, Georgia on 29 Aug 1940 according to the Georgia Death Index, however her headstone has 1949 as her year of death. She is buried near her sister, Margaret Julia Burney Newton in the Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald.
NOTE: I'm not really sure of Claude's birth and death dates. My records indicate she was born in 1866 and died in 1940. This headstone has 1875-1949 ... either this is not her headstone, the folks who made the headstone aren't very good with numbers, or my initial dates are incorrect.


6) William "Will" H Wirt Burney was born 7 Aug 1869 in Thomas County, Georgia. He married a young lady named Gertrude and together they had one daughter named Margaret "Peg" or "Peggy." Peggy married Charles Griffin Willis and both are buried in the Boston Cemetery in Georgia. Peg and Charles had two children.


7) John Glover Burney was born 7 May 1872 in Thomas County, Georgia.
According to A History of Savannah and South Georgia, Volume II by William Harden, John was "one of the progressive and successful merchants of the town of Boston, in Thomas county ... [He] spent his early life on the home farm in Thomas county, getting a practical education in the common schools, and lived at home until he was twenty-four. He began his mercantile career as clerk in the hardware store of F.C. Ivey, at Boston, and by his steady application to business and ability had acquired an interest in the business by 1900, and in 1907 bought out the entire establishment. He carries a large and well selected stock of hardware, cutlery, stoves, harness, farm implements, paints, etc., and supplies a large trade throughout the vicinity of Boston. He is one of the largest stores in the Boston trading district, and he also has a commodious warehouse.
October 30, 1907, Mr. Burney married Miss Minnie Elizabeth Ingram. Mrs. Burney was born at Danville in the bluegrass region of Kentucky, and her parents were D.N. and Emily Ingram. One son, John Glover, Jr., was born to Mr. and Mrs. Burney on December 10, 1910, and a daughter, Emily Ingram, born July 9, 1912. Mr. Burney and wife are members of the Boston Presbyterian church, and he is affiliated with the Horeb Lodge No. 281, F. & A.M."
John's wife, Minnie died of ovarian cancer at only 58 years old and unfortunately missed the opportunity to meet her grandchildren. John Glover Jr. and his wife Billie had two daughters who have very fond memories of their grandfather, or "Pop" as they called him. They recall walking each Sunday morning to the local drug store to get the Sunday paper and listening as Pop read them the comics to them.

8) Mary Alice Burney was born 17 Apr 1874 in Thomas County, Georgia. On 12 Feb 1896 she married John Malcolm Fletcher in her home town. The couple moved to Gadsden County, Florida where they had two children, William J, born Nov 1896 and Emmett Lee, born Aug 1898. When her sons were only 11 and 13 years old, Mary Alice passed away at the age of 35 in Dec 1909. She is buried in the Boston Cemetery in Thomas County, Georgia. Her husband John died in 17 June 1939 and is buried at Salem Cemetery in Havana, Gadsden County, Florida.

9) Margaret Julia Burney was born 10 Jul 1876 in Thomas County, Georgia. On Christmas Day in 1912 she married Charles Edwin Newton. The two only had one child, Frances Newton (my grandma).

The 1906 article discussing her sister, Lula's millinery shop describes Miss Maggie Burney's an able assistant. Her early training led the way for Margaret Julia to open her own millinery shop on Pine Street in Fitzgerald, Georgia. This picture was taken in the Spring of 1926.

Margaret and her husband, Charles were buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill, Georgia.



10) Henry Lee Burney was born 11 Jul 1877 in Thomas County, Georgia. He married a young lady named Mary and they had at least one child, a son named James. Henry passed away 22 Jan 1943 and is buried at the Boston Cemetery in Thomas County, Georgia.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Klejniki, Poland


On Thursday, February 18, 2010 Greg and I took a short road-trip to visit the village his mother grew up in, Klejniki (pronounced Clay-neekee). The village is about an hour drive southeast of Bialystok. There are three sections of the village, Zachac, Klebanszczyna and Kolonia. Greg's mother grew up in the very last house on the west side of the village in the Zachac (pronounced Za-hach) section.




Driving west, the Orthodox Church is on the right hand side and is the only church in the village. The construction on the existing church began in 1974 and was completed in 1988. The stained glasses and alter from fieldstone were made by local residents. The old stone fence surrounding the church was preserved from the 19th century.



A little further down the road on the right is a small roadside chapel and from what Greg's mom told me, before a person was buried, their body would stay the night in this chapel. It is no longer used for that purpose, but now it is common for the body to be set up outside the chapel prior to burial, for family and friends to say their last farewell. Also located at this corner is an informational plaque written in Polish and English, describing briefly the history of the village, focusing mainly on the history of it's Orthodox religion.

At this corner a right turn will lead you to the Orthodox cemetery where several of the Osipiuk relatives are buried. We were able to walk a short way into the cemetery, following the fresh tracks of someone who had visited their relative. Unfortunately the trail ended and the snow was too deep to continue to find anyone we were looking for.

Entrance to the Orthodox cemetery in Klejniki




Orthodox Chapel in the cemetery


Back out on the main road, continiuing west, the last house in the village is where Greg's mother grew up.
Osipiuk house in Klejniki village
Tool shed in the back of the property and the yellow out house that is still in use today


Each village is marked with a cross marking the beginning and one marking the end of the village. This cross sits on the corner of the Osipiuk house.

A more contemporary way of marking the end of a village or city in Poland is the name of the city with a red line through it.