Week 12 – Misfortune

This week’s topic is Misfortune. According to Merriam-Webster:
Definition of misfortune: an event or conjunction of events that causes an unfortunate or distressing result: bad luck

I’m writing about my 2nd great uncle, Hugh Berrell Childs. He wasn’t always unlucky but when he died, it’s one of the more unlucky events I’ve come across while doing research (although I came across a doozy today while talking to my mom about my great-uncle Jess’ family – but I digress.)

Hugh Childs

Hugh was born on October 22, 1898, in Mart, Texas. His parents were Charles Hensley (26) and Kate Eudora Johnson (22). He is listed as the second child of Kate and Charley. The first, Ruby Orine, was born in 1893 – before they were married, so we’re still trying to figure that out. He had three younger brothers (Robert and Roy – twins, and Cecil) He also had two younger sisters (Syble and Mary Ellen).

According to the 1900 census, the family lived on the farm in Limestone County, Texas with his twin brothers. Interestingly, Ruby isn’t listed. They lived next door to Charley’s sister Allie, her husband W.D. Dromgoole and their two sons John and James.

In 1902, his baby sister Syble Eunice was born (Jan 14) and died (Sep 14). He was 3.

In 1905 his mystery sister Ruby died on Jan 6. He was 6.

In 1907, his brother Cecil was born on July 4th. He was 8.

In 1910, Hugh was living on a farm in Limestone County that the family owned. He was there with his parents, and brothers Robert, Roy, and Cecil.

In 1911, his sister Mary Ellen was born on October 6th. He was 12.

On June 23, 1917, Hugh enlisted in the National Guard in Groesbeck, Texas for WW1. Initially, he was in Company K, 6th Texas Infantry. This turned into US Army Company I of the 72nd Infantry Brigade – 144th Infantry Regiment – 36th Division. His number was 1498414. They were in Camp Bowie, Fort Worth, Texas.

Camp Bowie 1918
Camp Bowie 1918

When I found out he was here (I’m in DFW) I went to see the Camp Bowie monument. The camp disappeared as fast as it went up, but they have a really cool monument to the 36th division where it used to be. Of course, I had to go find it. ūüôā While he was at Camp Bowie he was promoted to Pvt First Class on August 4, 1917, and then promoted to Corporal Feb 1, 1918.36th Division Memorial

I suspect the picture below was taken sometime in 1918 before Hugh (and Paul) went to France.

Hugh and Paul
Hugh (front) and Paul (far right) Childs, 1918

On April 11th, 1918 – The 36th division had a review (parade) in Fort Worth, Texas.


The 36th division went over to France on July 18th, 1918 from Hoboken New Jersey.


The ship he went over on was the USS George Washington.

USS GW Brest France 1918

When they arrived in France, they trained in Bar-sur-Aube until September 1918.

According to the Texas WW1 war records, he was 18 at the time he enlisted and fought in Somme Py & Givry France; and Meuse Argonne (1) (2) He was slightly wounded on October 13th, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. (This would later earn him a Victory Medal/Purple Heart designation)

He was in France until May 24th, 1919. He arrived back at Hoboken, New Jersey on June 6, 1919, via the USS Pretoria.



He was honorably discharged June 21, 1919.

Texas WWI records

Upon his return, he applied for and received a Victory Medal for fighting in the Great War. I would really be interested to see who in our family has this, or if it ended up on eBay.

WWI Service 05101920
Application for Victory Medal

Here’s a video about the 36th division also.

Sometime before January 23, 1920, Hugh got married to Maudie Lorene Morgan. According to the 1920 census, they were living in Limestone County – Cottonwood School District (part of Precinct no 2) Enumeration district 85. He was 21 and she was 19. They lived on Mart Road on a rented farm. His occupation is listed as Farmer in the General Farm industry. He was farming on his own account. They were farm #172 in the farm schedule.


On December 30, 1920, his first son, Hugh Burrell Childs (Jr) was born at 7pm. According to the birth certificate, they had moved to 630 Live Oak in Marlin, Falls County, TX. (Unfortunately, there is a closed down supermarket in this location currently.) He is listed as an insurance agent. He was 22.

On October 28, 1924, his second son, James Lionel Childs was born in Marlin. Hugh is listed as a life insurance agent this time. There is no address listed. Interestingly, it also shows that by this time, they had had 3 children but only 2 were living. ūüė¶ I do not have info on this 2nd child at this time. Hugh was 26.

On August 20, 1926, his third son, Darrell Edgar Childs was born in Marlin at 3am. Hugh is listed as insurance for his occupation. There is no address listed. Hugh was 27.

On April 2, 1928, his fourth son, Jack Morgan Childs was born in Marlin. Side note: Apparently, there was a typo on the original birth certificate, because there was an amendment to his certificate of birth filed in March of 1990. It appears that on his original birth certificate, his name is listed as Chtels. His brother Hugh Jr had requested this amendment.

On October 28th, 1929, his first daughter Joy Laverne Childs was born at 6:05am in Marlin. Hugh was 31. Side note: Someone was really creative filling out this birth certificate. Hugh is listed as Hubert, Maudie Lorene is listed as Laverne (???).

On January 30th, 1930 his father Charles Hensley Childs passed away.

According to the Fifteenth Federal Census of the United States, Hugh was still living in Marlin, Falls County, Texas. The enumeration was completed on April 14th, 1930. Hugh was 31. They were renting a house located at 675 Coleman Street in Marlin. It was $22 a month to rent. Wouldnt that be nice?!? It is a block away from their home in 1920. For occupation, it shows him being an Insurance Investigator. He lived there with Maudie, Hugh Jr, Lionel, Darrel, Jack, and Joy.

On Christmas eve 1931, his second daughter Bettie Carolyn was born. He was 33.

In March of 1933, investigator Hugh had to testify in a murder trial in Austin, Tx. A man named Calvin B Yarbrough was accused of killing his 15-year-old adopted daughter. Apparently, she was helping him work on an automobile in the garage. Her dress caught on fire when it came into contact with a blow torch sitting near the car. The father then threw a bucket of gasoline on his daughter “on accident”. Apparently, Yarbrough had taken out $12,000 in life insurance prior to this “accident”. Below is a clipping from Hugh’s testimony.

Hugh has to testify

The accused was found guilty and got 25 years in prison. Also, it appears he may have poisoned his first wife. There was an article about them exhuming her body to try to do testing. Creepy.

John Doyle Childs, his fifth son, was born on March 17, 1934.

Seems like a lot of his kids were all born around holidays. (random)

In 1935, Hugh and his family were living at 522 Capps Street in Marlin.

As soon as I say that, his sixth son Don Alfred was born on August 11, 1937. No holidays there. Hugh was 38.

According to the 1940 census, Hugh was still at 511 Capps. They rented it for $20/month. It looks like that house may still be there. He was living with wife Maudie, Sons Hugh, Lionel, Darrel, Jack, John, and Don and daughters Joy, Patsy, and Bettie. As if 11 people weren’t enough in one house, Maudie’s mother Sarah Morgan, and her brother Richard also lived with them.

A little about the family:

  • Hugh Sr’s highest grade completed was 7th. He made $1500 for the year 1939.
  • Hugh Jr (19) completed all 3 years of high school. He was a day watchman for Compress (?) industry. He made $150 in 1939.
  • Lionel (15) and Darrel (13) were paper boys and carrier boys for the paper. They made $180 and $40 respectively in 1939.
  • Jack (12) was a magazine salesman. He made $50 in 1939.
  • Maudie’s brother Richard was a laborer in Soil Erosion Control. he made $540 in 1939.
  • Side note: Maudie was selected for supplemental questioning on the census! It says she was only married once. She was 19 when she married. She has had 11 children (not including stillbirths) The highest grade she completed was 9th.

In January of 1942, Kate had a family reunion! Hugh et al attended!

Kate Family Reunion!

In Feb 1942, Hugh participated in the “Old Man’s Draft” of WW2. He was still living at 511 Capps in Marlin. His phone number was 870. He was 43 and he now worked for Adams Burial Association. He was 5′ 11″, weighed 235 lbs. His hair was gray and his eyes were brown. His complexion is listed as “ruddy”.

At some point between 1942 and 1955 they moved to 421 Capps in Marlin.

Everything to this point has been good. So where’s the misfortune??

Well on December 12, 1955 at age 57, Hugh was found dead at in an overturned vehicle in a creek bottom. He appears to have had a heart attack around 7:20 am.

man found dead

hugh death cert

Maudie put in a request for a military headstone.

headstone application

headstone application2

Looks like it needs a good cleaning. I need to take a day trip down south…


If you’re related to Hugh, please leave me a comment on things you know about him or pictures!! ūüôā


Week 11 – Lucky

This week’s prompt for #52Ancestors is “Lucky”. This seems as good of a place as ever to talk about my genealogical serendipity on a few different occasions.

The first time this happened was just a little over a year ago. A few days prior to the event, I had had a dream about when I was little, over at my grandparent’s house. We used to always play cards with their friends Tate and Janie. We usually were in the “game room” which was later turned into an office. In the dream, I could see everything that used to be there around the room.¬† ¬†My maternal grandfather worked on the railroad, and he always had railroad memorabilia, like railroad lanterns hanging around. Because of that, I’m always on the lookout for railroad lanterns and Missouri¬†Pacific stuff when I go antiquing. So I was out last March at one of my favorite antique stores, browsing…and what do I come across…have a look for yourself:

Grandpa's RR pic
This is my grandfather’s picture that had always been hanging in his office when I was a child.

Lo and behold, it was the picture I had just dreamed about seeing. It was the very picture that had been hanging in my grandfather’s office when I was growing up. The picture is of two different Missouri¬†Pacific trains in the Fort Worth train yard. One old, one new. I used to spend a lot of time at my grandparent’s house and I remember that picture like yesterday. I couldn’t¬†believe what was before my eyes.¬† Could it be? I turned it over. The back of it was “custom” built. He had fashioned the back with “Monning’s Department Store” boxes. My grandmother used to love to shop there. I snatched it right up.

How it ended up there at the antique mall is a long story that I don’t even know all the details on.¬† The guy who ran the booth where I found the picture just happened to be up at the checkout as I was paying. He told me he had the picture in storage for over 10 years, and he had just gotten it out recently to sell. I asked him how he came to have it, and he told me he picked it up at a garage sale in Hurst. Who knew?

I brought the picture home and hung it up in my garage. It may seem weird to hang it up in the garage, but I spent a lot of time with my grandpa out in his garage. He taught me how to fix things, use tools, and basically helped grow my mechanical mind. It seemed like the perfect place to hang it. (For now, anyway….) As I was getting ready to hang it, I was looking it over again and I never realized that in the newer picture on the right, he is standing on the front of the train!


You never know what you’re going to find if you look long enough ūüôā

Ok. The second time I experienced genealogical serendipity begins with a postcard.

Backstory: one of the things I collect are postcards. I grew up as an airline brat thanks to my mom’s travel career. We used to go all over the world together. (I miss those days.) I would always make it a point to send myself postcards from wherever we visited so I would have a record of our trip. Well as I got older, that turned into a general affection for postcards from the past. Particularly postcards from Texas in towns that I lived in or our family has lived in.

I have also finally started to gather a particular fondness for the town my direct ancestors settled in during the 1880’s. It’s a tee-tiny little town that we’ve probably talked about here and there in previous posts, but it’s called Mart. It’s a very small town about 20 miles east of Waco, on the border of McLennan and Limestone County.

Because of these things, I have eBay searches set up to look for various postcards, one of which is Mart postcards. There have been a few here and there, but they really don’t show up very often. Mart has always been a relatively small town that probably maxed out in population at 3k around 1910. ANYWAY, I got an alert about a Mart postcard on eBay. Cool. But wait a minute, it’s one that someone sent to someone else. The address is to “Christiana, TN” that’s where a lot of my family also lived, including Kate. That piqued my interest! I debated on if I should purchase it or not, then my mom talked me into it. I had never spent that much on a postcard before.

Mart postcard
“A Rainy Day” Street Scene, Mart, Tex. 1909

Mart Postcard Back

Ok, what’s so serendipitous about that? Well, nothing really at this point. We admired the postcard and were happy and thought that was all to the story. Fast forward to July of the same year. I was visiting my mom. Everytime I visit, I attempt to digitize more of her genealogy notes and photos, etc from the work she did in the 70’s and 80’s. As I was going through scanning things, guess what I found: “The letter” If you’ve been following along these weekly posts, this was also mentioned in the post about Kate. Asset 2

Notice the name in the letter — “Mattie Lou”. Notice who signed the letter “Holland Hoover” Now scroll back up to the postcard and look at who it’s addressed to. “Mattie Lou Hoover” HOLY COW!


None of these details clicked to me initially when I scanned in the letter. We were too focused on trying to figure out who Holland was and how it the letter ended up with my Great Aunt Margie.

It didn’t hit me until I got home from vacation that the surname on the letter matched the surname on the postcard. That the postcard was almost certainly sent to one of my ancestors…who on earth was Mattie Lou Hoover??!? You better believe I went to Ancestry and searched and stayed up until 3am until I figured it all out. Mattie Lou Hoover was my¬†1st cousin 4x removed. She was the child of Kate’s mother Ellen Norman Phillip’s sister Lizetta Norman. (Or Kate’s aunt Lizetta’s daughter.)¬† She was 17 years old at the time. The mystery that still remains, is who the heck is “Mid”? I’m guessing that is short for Midge, which was a common nickname for Margaret. She says she was in school so maybe around the same age as Mattie Lou? I’m still working on all the collateral lines of my family in that time period. I’m really really hoping that she shows herself soon!!


Week 10 – Strong Women

This week’s post is a little late. Apologies! ūüôā

This week I will be writing about Nancy Melissa Mullins. She is my 5th great aunt. She was born in Short Mountain, Cannon County, Tennessee on Tuesday, Sept 25, 1855. She is the last child coming from a long line of Daniel C Mullins’ (at least back to the 1750’s). Her father Daniel was born in 1816, and her mother Martha Jane was born in 1823.

Nancy had three older brothers: Jubilee (b. 1841), John Henry (b. 1845 – my 4th great-grandfather), and Joseph C (b. 1850). She also had four older sisters: Julian (b. 1843), Vina Jane (b. 1847), Louisa (b 1852), and Sarah (b. 1854). ***Please note I haven’t completed the collateral research of the brothers and sisters completely. Some of these dates may need adjusting once I do more research. ūüôā

I wanted to write about Nancy because she lived during so many challenging things in her life. There are also some stories that have been handed down through the family, and I wanted to share them.

Her father died when she was just two, so she likely didn’t remember him. The next big thing in her life was the civil war. She lived in Tennessee during the entirety of the civil war. According to the 1860 and 1870 census records she lived in Short Mountain, Woodbury post office. This seems to be located about halfway between Murfreesboro and McMinnville. It still is so weird to me how so many branches of our tree all lived in and around the same areas at the same times. They aren’t married at that time either. I really wonder if some of them knew each other. Too bad we don’t really have a time machine. Anyway, while researching, I found this map that was created of the area during the war.

As you can see by the image below, there were quite a few civil war battles fought in and around Murfreesboro.

Nancy was 5 when the war began and 9 when it ended.

According to the family lore, Nancy’s mother “married a doctor and moved to Texas.” This had to happen at some point between 1870 and 1880. We know this based on the 1870 census and because Nancy got married to John McQuatty Archer on Wednesday May 12th, 1880 in Robertson County, Texas. He is listed as a “Citizen of the Republic of Texas”

John McQuatty Archer

Their marriage was an “interesting” one to say the least. John’s’ first wife was Nancy’s aunt Mary Penelope Mullins (who is my 6th great aunt). Mary Penelope’s mother was Rebecca James. You may recognize the name James. She was the aunt of Jesse and Frank James.

One of the stories passed down relating to Nancy (“Grandmother Archer”) is about Jesse James and her only interaction with him. It must have been sometime in the mid 1860’s.

There also hangs a tale on the name of James. Rebecca James, who married Ezekiel Mullins, had a brother who was the father of the infamous Jesse James. Grandmother Archer was acutely embarrassed over this relationship. She said she only saw this Jesse once, and was deeply impressed by his ungovernable temper. As a small child, Nancy Melissa went with her mother and grandmother to visit this great uncle and his family. All she remembered about Jesse was that he was a sullen fifteen or sixteen year old boy and that he came up to the wash bench to wash his hands and the water bucket was empty. Instead of quietly getting a fresh bucket of water, he picked up a brand new wash pan and sailed it out across the yard into a bed of gravel and knocked a hole in it. This, my grandmother considered inexcusably destructive.

According to the 1880 census, Nancy (24) was living with John (44) and his eight children, ages 18-3. There was also someone named Lizi Bradford (21) living with them. Hopefully she was helping out with all those kids! John was a farmer. (surprise lol)

On top of the 8 kids she moved in with, it was time for her to start having kids of her own! So begins the additional 9 children she had with John. (I have read in various writings, that there were 21 total!!)

She had:

  • Lillie Francis – February 22, 1881
  • Joseph Daniel – April 22, 1882
  • Charles Otis – January 22, 1885
  • Robert Barton – December 16, 1886
  • Roy Coleman – July 12, 1890
  • Benjamin Buchanan – March 10, 1892
  • Nany – April 1894
  • Ila Pearl – June 18, 1896
  • Branchford Julius Thomas – February 16, 1899 (She was 43!)

Of course we don’t have anything for the 1890 census. (sad panda)

In 1900 they were living in Justice Precinct 1, Hutchinson County, Texas. John is listed as a Stock Raiser. All of her children still lived with them.

Nancy Melissa Mullins Archer and daughter, Ila Pearl

John McQuatty Archer and Nancy Melissa Mullins children

Archer sisters_ Ila Pearl, Nannie Lou, and Lillie Francis _Fannie_

John McQuatty Archer and sons Roy, Otis and Ben (probaby)

Another story passed down is about her life in the Texas panhandle. For the life of me, I can’t understand why they would choose to live in this part of Texas. I guess they didn’t know what they were getting in to. They should have moved to central Texas like most of my other ancestors. ūüôā Anyway, here’s the story:

Any destructiveness was very distressing to Nancy Melissa Mullins Archer. It was her nature to salvage and help and nurture everything in the circle of her experience. The whistling Panhandle blizzards of the early nineteen-hundreds were severe – woe to any human being caught out in one of them without shelter. Nancy had to do something about this hazard – she had some of her boys out and trim the tallest tree that they could find, and set it and rig it to hang a lantern as high as possible. This lantern shining out through the blizzards and the darkness guided many a weary wanderer to her door for shelter and comfort. Also, because doctors were so far away, Nancy Melissa Archer delivered almost all the babies born within a twenty mile radius of her home for many years. Finally a doctor did come into the community and was embraced with open arms by everyone. However, “Miz Archer” had delivered so many of the older brothers and sisters that mothers expecting new babies just wanted her there. The new doctor sued her in court for practicing medicine without a license. He did not have a case against her, because she never made any charges, but it came out in court that the doctor’s degree was in Veterinary Medicine.

In 1910 they were living in Justice Precinct 4, Hutchinson County, Texas. John is 74 and still listed as a stock farmer. Their kids Otis, Robert, Roy, Ben, Pearl and Branchford all lived with them. They also had two hired hands -Will Osborne, Alvin Hunt, and a boarder John Cannon.

John M. and Nancy Melissa Archer

John McQuatty Archer and wife, Nancy Melissa Mullins

I was unable to locate her on the 1920 census. I figure she’ll show up as I’m researching her children. \

In April 1930, Nancy is 74 and lived in Amarillo, Potter county, Texas at 2604 Taylor Street. The house currently at this address was built in 1938 so I don’t have a picture of it. She was living there with her two grand-sons Ernest (16) , and John M (15).

Nancy Mullins Archer family

Nancy lived until Friday, March 2nd, 1934. The principal cause of death is listed as senility – old cerebral hemorrhage – myocarditis. She was 79. Her death certificate lists Harriett James as her mother per Joseph D Archer. I’m pretty sure this is incorrect.

She is buried at Holt Cemetery in Hutchinson County, Tx.

She was a strong woman.

Week 9 – Where There’s a Will

This week’s topic is “Where There’s a Will” so I’ll write about the most recent will I came across.

James Matthew Childs is my 3rd great-grandfather. He was born in Monroe County, Georgia on October 27th, 1846. His parents were James C. Childs (1810-1848) and Prudence Brantley Beckham (1819-1884). He had one brother – Thomas B, and a sister – V J. I don’t have much information on his siblings.

His father apparently died when he was one year old.

In April of 1862, he enlisted in the 53rd Georgia Infantry, Co. K. He was 15 yrs old. He was either wounded at Chancellorsville in May of 1863. He fought in the civil war until it’s conclusion in 1865.

On November 12, 1867, James married Mary Frances Woodard (1851‚Äď1905) in Georgia. He was 21.

James and mary.jpg

He was a farmer and over the next twenty years, they had three sons- Willie (b. 1869), Charlie (b. 1872), John Paul (b. 1891) and four daughters – Allie (b. 1874), Jennie (b. 1879), Annie (b. 1882) and Sallye (b 1885). Charlie was married to Kate Eudora.

In 1886, the family moved to Mart, Texas. He was 40.

On June 18, 1905, his wife Mary passed. He was 54.

In 1917, he had a stroke that ended up paralyzing him for the remainder of his life. He lived with both daughters Annie, then with Allie, then back with Annie.

James lived until November 11, 1924. He was 78.

James M Childs Obituary

I’m trying to figure out who the eighth kid is in his obituary???

I recently found a probate record when researching his son John Paul. After revisiting that probate record, the next page had James’ will.

John Paul was listed as the executor of the will. James left Willie, Charlie, Allie, Jennie, Annie, and Sallie each $25. He left the remainder of his estate to John Paul. Apparently, that consisted of Lot 21 in Block 31 in the town of Mart. The value listed at $1000.

I really wish I had more information on his family – siblings, and father particularly. I also wish I could find more photos of him. If any of you cousins out there have some, please contact me or post them in the comments!!

Week 8 – Heirloom

This week’s topic turned into a scavenger hunt/can of worms before I knew it! The topic is “Heirloom”. It is defined as¬†something of special value handed down from one generation to another.¬†As I was trying to decide which one to write about and I realized there are more heirlooms floating around our family than I realized, which is really pretty cool! Anyway, the ancestor/heirloom I’m going to write about is a family bible that was given to my mother by our ancestor, who gave it to me.

The Bible

Originally, it was believed that the bible was Mama Lillie’s. Here I was, all prepared to write about Lillie. I have looked through this bible a few different times, but it’s in such a delicate condition, I generally leave it be. However, because it’s the topic this week, I got it out to see if I could find any notes in the margins or papers inside that would be of interest. Lo and behold if I didn’t¬†find a family tree in it. Now I know that is commonplace in bibles, but I’ve never found one 3/4 of the way through it, near the end. All of them in my experience have been at the very front or very back! So all this time I’ve¬†had this bible sitting there with a family tree and I¬†didn’t even know it! It held a surprise for all of us….it is Julia Dorothy Webb’s bible!

Rumor has it, that bible survived the F5 tornado that struck Waco on May 11, 1953. We’re coming up on the 65 year anniversary of that terrible disaster. I did some research and it appears to be highly possible. The tornado’s path took it along Austin Ave which is only two blocks away from most of the house locations I have found for Julia. It was also 1/3 of a mile wide which would cover it. Here are a few articles on it if you want to read more about “The Tornado”.

Back to the Bible and the tree inside. Some of the tree¬†inside¬†is little confusing because of the way it was filled in. The mother and father listed¬†should¬†be Julia’s, but she has her husband listed as the father, and her mother listed as the mother. Needless to say, the tree is filled out a little wonky. It does have some useful information on it just the same ūüôā


While I was comparing this information to what we have in our Ancestry family tree, I got off onto a rabbit trail. Imagine that happening while doing genealogy!!! (sarcasm)

Julia had three older sisters:

  • Willie Mae (b. 1890)
  • Lillie Ann (b. 1892) – my 2nd great grandmother
  • Lucie C (b. 1895)

Our ancestry family tree has a significant amount of information on both Willie Mae and Lillie, but Lucy is another story.

Rabbit Trail/Scavenger hunt/can of worms #1: I didn’t have a death date for Lucy listed or really anything after 1920. As is my practice now when doing these blogs, I try to do collateral research on the immediate family. I often find many random tidbits that tie back to the subject ancestor. So I went out and did the normal review of hints for Lucy, searched based on data I do know on Ancestry – very little info. So I decided to look for her on FindAGrave, BillionGraves, MyHeritage, etc…NOTHING. Ok, this is very weird…usually, there is *SOMETHING* out there. No marriage license, no birth certificates for children, no death certificates, no graves documented….nada. She was a ghost (no pun intended). I then tried to search for different spellings and removed the Texas filter – Lucie pulled up something in the Texas death index. Lucy C pulled up a grave in Michigan. This is where I stopped because it was getting really late and I was getting way off topic. Did she move to Michigan? I don’t think so. Mom said she¬†visited Julia and Lucy in Waco in the late ’70’s or early 80’s. They were living in a hotel that was converted to a senior living facility. It’s possible that if she had children that lived in Michigan and she moved up there after Julia died? Maybe she was cremated? IDK!!! If anyone out there reads this and is related to Lucy please fill us in in the comments!

Anywaaaayyyy — back to Julia ūüôā

Julia Dorothy Webb
Julia Dorothy Webb

Julia Dorothy Webb was born August 2, 1897, in Marlin, Texas (location according to her bible). Her parents were Sarah Diona Mullins – age 25 (1872-1918) and Joseph Chester Webb – age 37 (1860-1918). Her sisters were 6, 5 and 2 at the time of her birth. I believe she was named after her father’s sister Julina Webb (1869-1953) because the 1900 census has her listed as Julina, living in Justice Precinct 5, Bell County, Texas. I suspect they were living there because Joseph was a farm laborer and they probably moved around as tenant farmers.

In 1910, she’s listed as living in Waco at the home owned by her grandfather John¬† Henry Mullins at¬†307 S 15th Street. (The area where the house was is now a plumbing supply company) She was 14 and along with her grandfather John Henry, she also lived with mother Sarah Diona (36), and sister Lucy (16).¬† Her grandfather’s occupation is listed as a peddler. I wish I knew what he was selling! Julia and her mother and sister are listed as pants makers at the woolen mills. She was 14 and working. Child labor laws anyone? The world has really changed!!

Waco Woolen Mills Post Card 1910

Rabbit Trail/Scavenger hunt/can of worms #2: Where is Julia’s dad in 1910? He isn’t listed on the census at the home that Julia lives at. He is showing up as living at 615 Preston in Waco with wife Sadie D (a nickname for Sarah), and his daughter Lillie (19) and her husband Oscar Grimes (22).¬† There is also a grand-daughter Birdie (2) listed.


Rabbit Trail/Scavenger hunt/can of worms #3: Ok it seems that Julia’s mother is counted on the 1910 census twice??? I suppose it could happen. The first was enumerated on April 23rd by Norton Lacy.¬† The second was enumerated on May 3rd by Paul Weaver. You would make the assumption that Sadie is Sarah but Sadie’s age is listed as 33. Sarah is listed as 36. Sadie shows as having 4 kids born/4 kids living. Sarah shows 5 born/4 living. Sarah works at the Woolen Mill, Sadie doesn’t work. ?????

Scavenger hunt/can of worms #4: Who is Birdie?? She isn’t Lillie’s daughter, the census shows her as having 0 born. She was born in 1908 to one of Joseph’s children. I’m wondering if she was one of his niece or nephew’s kids.

In 1911, her grandfather John Henry Mullins moved down the street from there at 1418 Mary Avenue. Side note: this is why I like to plot people’s locations on google maps. I would have never connected those dots otherwise!

Julia married Harry Holbert Beatty (1895-1973) on the evening of¬†Saturday, August 14th, 1915 in McLennan County, Texas. She was 18. According to the Waco Morning News, “Harry Beatty and Miss Julia Webb were married last night by Justice J.J. Padgett at his office in the county courthouse.”


McLennan County Courthouse in 1920 – Post Card

In 1918, both of Julia’s parents died. Her dad on Feb 2, 1918, and her mom Oct 17, 1918. Sarah’s cause of death is listed as pneumonia aka flu epidemic. We’re guessing that Joseph also succumbed to the flu.

In 1920, she lived at 616 Hood Street, Waco, Texas. Harry was a blacksmith, Julia was not working. (Probably because she was pregnant!)

Julia 1920
1920 Census

She gave birth to her only child Joseph Chestnut Beatty on August 19th, 1920 at 6:30am in Waco, Texas.

JC Beatty
J.C. Beatty Birth Certificate

In the 1930 census, she lived at 408 Turner, Waco Texas. This house is still standing! It was built in 1925. She was a seamstress at the overall factory. Harry was a clerk at the Power and Light “Tise” (I cant read the handwriting)

Julia 1930 Census
1930 Census
408 Turner
408 Turner

This too was also down the street from the other homes Joseph, Julia, Lucy, John Henry, and Lillie lived in 1910. 1910-1930

In 1935 & 1940, according to the census,  Julia lived at 424 Preston, Waco, Texas. She lived there with her husband H.H. and her son J.C. and his wife Ethel. She still worked at the overall factory. Her husband was a blacksmith.

Julia 1940

From here my information gets rather sparse due to privacy laws.

I found some other pictures on Find A Grave

Julia and family
Julia and family. I’m guessing this was taken in the mid-1940’s
Julia and Family
Harry H, Joseph Chestnut, Julia – Dec 25, 1959
Julia Dorothy Webb Beatty
Julia Dorothy Webb Beatty

In 1970, her sister Lillie Ann Webb Grimes died (January 30th).

In 1973, her husband Harry died (April 10th).

In 1974, her sister Willie Mae died (March 12), and her son died (Aug 10).

I speculate that after 1974 is when she and Lucy moved into the hotel/senior living place together.

Also, according to Find a Grave, She was a member of Edgefield Baptist Church &
chapter 43 of the Order Of Eastern Star.

Julia lived until March 27th, 1983 to the ripe old age of 85. She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery РWaco, Texas, Sec D Lot 260

** Postscript – When I came across Julia’s Find A Grave information – it linked back to Lucie Caldonia Webb Smith. See what I mean about researching collaterally?¬†I searched all over the place and this never came up, yet I found it accidentally via Julia.

Week 7 – Valentine

There are so many different ways you could go with this topic. Who was married the longest? Who had a romantic courtship? Who had the most kids? Did anyone go on a great honeymoon?

On my mom’s side of the family, my 3rd great-grandparents Burrell Perry Johnson (1849 – 1939) and Ellen Phillips Norman (1848 – 1927) were married for 58 years. They were married on Monday, February 22, 1869, in Rutherford County, Tennessee. They had five children, 3 boys and 2 girls – including Kate Eudora Johnson.

BP and Ellen

Phillip Nowland Lowe and Audrey Lucille Childs (my grand-aunt) were married 57 years. They were married on Saturday, September 26, 1942, in Mart, McLennan County, Texas. They had one daughter and one son.

Audrey and Phil
Aunt Audrey and Uncle Phil

On my dad’s side, my grandparents Carl Houston Bass and Alpha Lou Reedy were married 59 years. They met in Fort Worth, Texas working at the¬†Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. They were married on Saturday, the 21st of December, 1946 at the Weatherford courthouse. They had two children, Dennis and Vivian.

Alpha and Carl
Alpha and Carl


These couples were very lucky to have found each other so early in life and to have so much time together. I wish everyone could be so lucky!

Week 6: Favorite Name

This week’s topic is favorite name.

After much deliberation – I chose to write about “Mylycent Jekyll“.

She is my 15th great grandmother (assuming the genealogy is correct). I chose her because her name is so unusual. I had quite a list of choices that I was trying to work through, but she’s who I ended up with. In my research, I’ve seen her name listed as Mylycent, Millicent, and Melissende.

It makes me think of Jekyll and Hyde.

Jekyll Coa

Our connection is as follows:

  • Mylycent Jekyll – 15th great grandmother
  • John Temple – 14th great grandfather
  • Sir Thomas of Stowe Temple 13th¬†great grandfather
  • Sir John Temple (Knight) 12th¬†great grandfather
  • Lady Dorothy Lee Temple 11th great grandmother
  • John Alston II 10th great grandfather
  • Col John Alston III 9th great-grandfather – emigrated from England to North Carolina
  • Solomon Alston 8th great grandfather
  • Christian Charity Alston 7th great grandmother
  • James Jones 6th great grandfather
  • Alsa/Alsey Jones 5th great grandfather
  • Eliza Jane Jones 4th great grandmother
  • Joseph Chestnut Webb 3rd great grandfather
  • Lillie Ann Webb 2nd great grandmother
  • Grace Lee Grimes great grandmother

According to the information¬†I found in Burke’s Family Records, she was born in 1520 in Middlesex, England to Margaretha Stoker and Willem Jekyll. Henry the VIII was the reigning monarch at that time. She married first husband Heritage (unknown date) I’m assuming he died. She then married Peter Temple of Stowe, Buckinghamshire in 1547. They had many children – sons:¬†Anthonie¬†in 1539, John in 1542, and Thomas in 1546; daughters: Susan, Millicent, Margaret, Alice, and Anne.

It’s so amazing to think, she lived during the time of Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, and the original Queen Elizabeth I.

She died at age 62 on 6 Dec 1582 in Stowe en Burton Dorset, Warwickshire, England.

Mylycent Jekyll burkes
Burke’s Family Records – Jekyll Lineage


Below are the names I was trying to decide between. ūüôā

  • Burtonhead Boutwell – 7th great-grandfather
  • Mary Frances Magdalene Cooke – 12th great-aunt
  • Eleanor Alianore¬†de Berkeley – 17th great-grandmother
  • Joan “Jane” Lady De Neville – 16th great-grandmother
  • Styntie Douwes – 10th great-grandmother
  • Dempsey¬†Dowling – 6th great-uncle
  • Fulk¬†Fitzwarin – 20th great-grandfather
  • Hayward Pinkney Grimes- 3rd great-uncle
  • Haywood Pickney Grimes – 3rd great-grandfather
  • Narcissa Effie¬†Grimes – 1st cousin 6x removed
  • Benjamin Griswold¬†Hildreth – 5th great grandfather
  • Beathanea “Bethany”¬†Hinnant – 7th great-grandmother
  • Mylycent¬†Jekyll – 15th great-grandmother
  • John J¬†Johnson – 3rd great-grandfather
  • Sarow (Sarah) Sallie Jane Johnson¬† – 3rd great-aunt
  • Violet Cinderella Jones – 5th great aunt
  • Mehitable King – 12th great aunt
  • Marrietje Jacobz Kool¬† – 9th great-grandmother
  • Elisha Touchberry Long – 4th great-grandfather
  • Mahailey Elizabeth Long- 4th gaunt
  • America Elizabeth¬†Marlin – 1st cousin 4x removed
  • Drucilla “Drusie” McMinn – 1st cousin 6x removed
  • Margaret Baroness Ros¬†Neville – 19th great-grandmother
  • Eleanor¬†Neville – 17th great-grandmother
  • Obedience Persons – 7th great aunt
  • Philippa Plantagenet Gravin van Ulster – 19th great-grandmother
  • Saoni – 7th great-grandmother
  • Cornelius Tock¬†Tack – 11th great-grandfather
  • Grietje Artze Tock¬†Tack – 9th great-grandmother
  • Sir Lord Robert Kyme¬†Tailboys – 15th great-grandfather
  • Sir George Lord of Kyme Talboys 14th great-grandfather
  • Anne Talboys 13th great-grandmother
  • Sarah Sally¬†Touchberry – 5th great-grandmother
  • Joseph Chestnut¬†Webb – 3rd great-grandfather

Week 5 – In the Census

This week’s topic has been a little challenging for me, so I’m just going to freestyle and see what I come up with. The census…I think the most interesting thing I’ve found in the census so far is about Sallye Childs Hunter.

Sallye Childs Hunter
Sallye Childs Hunter ~ 1930’s

Sallye was born 11 Nov 1885 in Georgia. She is the youngest daughter of James Matthew Childs and Mary Frances Woodard. I have previously written about her younger brother, John Paul Childs, and her sister in law, Kate Eudora Johnson.

She moved from Georgia to Mart, Texas with the family in ~ 1886.

At age 17, she married Harvey Lee Hunter (26 Jul 1903) in McLennan County, Texas. While they lived in Mart, she gave birth to a son, Marvin, in 1905, she was 19. He apparently died at age 3 in 1908 but I have no sources to confirm any of this other than the 1910 census stating she had two children but only one was living at that time. When Sallye was 21, she gave birth to a daughter, Feryle Francis Hunter (b. 1907).  Also according to the 1910 census, Sallye and family were living with her big sister, Annie Childs Wooten and brother in law, Albert T Wooten. Annie ran a boarding house at 122 South Criswell in Mart.

Here’s where it gets interesting!
Sometime between 1910 and 1920 (I believe it’s sometime around 1919) Sallye and her family moved to Dallas! I live in DFW currently and this really knocked my socks off. I was not aware of any of the Childs family living up here.¬† From the 1920 census on, they lived at 631 W 10th Street in Dallas. I make it a habit to search for all the addresses of my ancestors and save them on google maps. Most of the time, the homes are gone, but…..

631 W 10th - Dallas, Tx
631 West 10th, Dallas, TX

Believe it or not, the house is still there! So 1. Sallye lived about 30 miles from where I do now and 2. her house is still standing! I tried to do some general web sleuthing and according to non-official sources, the house was built in 1926. That is interesting since Sallye, Harvey, and Feryle lived at this address in 1920. Maybe they had a small house and then built this huge one on the lot? Apparently traveling shoe salesmen made a pretty penny in the 1920’s, because that was Harvey’s job. Who knows. Maybe there was something else that happened where they came into some money. In the 1930 census, the value listed on the home is $25,000 which is equivalent to $369,264 today.¬† Regardless, Sallye ran it as a boarding house according to the 1930 census. I’m guessing she learned about how to run a boarding house from her sister Annie.

Sallye’s daughter Feryle graduated from SMU in Dallas. I would have never known there was a mustang in the family without this census discovery.

Harvey died in 1939. Sallye continued to run the boarding house according to the 1940 census.

Sallye died¬†14 Oct 1949 in Dallas. She’s buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Highland Park.

Oddly, the home she lived in is now an assisted living facility. My mom and I have discussed trying to contact the people who run it to see if we could go look at it. I guess we’ll see what happens.


Here are the upcoming topics for February.

Week 6 (February 5-11): Favorite Name
Week 7 (February 12-18): Valentine
Week 8 (February 19-25): Heirloom
Week 9 (February 26-March 4): Where There’s a Will


Week 4 – Invite To Dinner

Kate Eudora Childs ~ 1922 (Age 46)

This week’s topic is who would I invite to dinner?

This one is easy for me. I would invite Kate Eudora Johnson Childs to dinner. She could answer so many questions we have about our family. I could pick her brain about tea cake recipes. I could tell her that my mom almost named me Kate Eudora and that if I would have had children, I would have named my daughter Kate after her. She was my 2nd great-grandmother on my mother’s paternal side.

I almost wrote about her on last week’s topic “Longevity” because she lived to age 92 and experienced SO much in her life. Good and bad.

She was married to Charles Hensley Childs, who was an older brother to John Paul Childs.

Kate was born on Friday, February 11th, 1876 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Her parents were Burrell Perry Johnson (1849-1939), and Ellen Phillips Norman (1848-1927). It appears that she was named after her mother’s sister Katherine (b. 1851). She had three older brothers: Walter (b. 1869), Emmet (b. 1872), and Robert (b. 1874), and one younger sister, Mary Elizabeth, who was born in 1882 when Kate was 5 years old.

Kate lived in Rutherford County, Tennessee until the late 1890’s.

In doing research, my mother located a letter just prior to the time Kate moved, from Holland Hoover who was a cousin. We are unsure who the letter is to, but believe that the “Aunt Kate” he refers to is our Kate, but it could also very well be her aunt Kate. I discovered that Kate’s mother’s sister lived with Holland and his family. We’re still trying to piece together the details on all of this.

Asset 2

(There’s a whole other story about this letter that I will write about at some point this year, but I’m not sure when it will be most appropriate. Just remember “The postcard story” ūüôā I’ll link back to this once it’s written)

I’m not sure when or how they met, but Charlie and Kate were exchanging letters in 1896 before Kate moved to Texas. My mom told me that my grandfather (Randall Childs) found some of them under the old smokehouse at the old home place on the ever elusive “Route 4” sometime in the 1960’s. This is a copy and transcription of one of them.

Letter from Charlie to Kate

Henrietta, Tex – July 10, 1896 (Friday)
Miss Kate Johnson
Kind Friend
Yours of the 7 received and content noted with care and was more than glad to hear from you. I began to think that you had forgotten me. Miss Kate, I have got so much to tell you. I don’t know where to start. I am well, hoping these few lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. Well, we have just returned from red river. we had a nice time. They were five young ladies and one old one and four boys. I thought of you every hour. I wish you could have been with us. I know I would have enjoyed myself much better. Miss Kate, I have learned a lesson that I never will forget since I left home. I have been out of the united states once in my life. I have seen some fine country. it hasn’t rained here since April 12th. you know it is bound to be dry. You spoke of me finding me a girl out here. I wish you could see those girls out here. they are out of sight. My cousin and I went after some girls yesterday morning to go to red river and by the way, where do you suppose they lived just before we got to the house. I saw something on a hill and I ask him what it was. He said it was a dugout and by the way, those girls lived in it. Don’t you tell everyone about this or they would tease me when I come home? Me and Harry Zellner call these girls out here prairie runners. we have had our fun with them. Miss Kate, you spoke of wanting to see me. I know you don’t want to see me half like I do you. I am bound to see you soon if nothing happens. I didn’t know that I did think so much of you until I come out here. If nothing happens, I will be at your house the third Sunday evening. It looks to me like it has been two months since the fourth. I am sorry I missed all those entertainments. We must have them over when I come home. You spoke of that infidel preaching up there. I had rather you wouldn’t go to hear him for I think it is so wrong for a man to do that way. Miss Kate, it’s getting late and I will close. Hoping to hear from you at once. Excuse hate any mistakes I remain as your true friend
CH Childs

upside down – I could write all night but I will save some for the next time. so Bye-bye. remember me is all I ask.
CH Childs

We suspect she moved to central Texas in 1896 or 1897.

Kate married Charlie on Wednesday, October 20, 1897. She was 21 years old, he was 25. According to my great grandmother Lucille, Kate and Charlie were married by her father Reverend Burrell Perry Johnson.

Almost a year to the day, her first son, Hugh Berrell Childs, was born on Saturday, Oct 22, 1898. Eighteen months later, she gave birth to twins. Robert Earl and Roy Hensley were born on Tuesday, April 17th, 1900. (Robert “Bob” was my great grandfather).


During the 1900 census conducted on June 16th, we find “Katie” lived in Limestone County (Prairie Hill and Mt Antioch voting precincts). She was living with Charlie (28), Hugh (1), and two no-name sons (Bob and Roy) (2 months). She could read, write, and speak English.
She had given birth to three children and three were alive. Charlie was a farmer, they lived on a rented farm.

They lived next door to Allie Childs and her husband William D Drumgoole. W.D. is listed as being born in Tennessee. According to a book I own with family bible records from Rutherford County, TN – there are multiple Drumgooles there. I believe Kate’s family knew the Drumgooles. Maybe Kate met Charlie through Allie? Maybe Allie met WD through Kate? So many questions that could be asked at this dinner.


January 14th, 1902, she gave birth to her first daughter, Syble Eunice Childs. Unfortunately, Syble only lived for 9 months. She passed away on September 14th, 1902. I haven’t found a reason for her passing, but yellow fever was common around this time in history.


One of the big mysteries we have surrounding Kate comes from a child found in the Mart Cemetery. “Ruby” is listed as the daughter of C.H. and K.E. Childs. She was born on January 22, 1893. Kate was 16 and still (apparently) in Tennessee at that time. I’m unsure if Charlie was married before Kate. I have not found any record of it. Mom and I have come to the conclusion that they adopted Ruby from either a brother, sister, cousin, or maybe even a neighbor. I haven’t found a Ruby in my tree other than this one. Back in that time, it wasn’t unusual for someone to take in another child. They could have adopted her from an orphanage, although that seems unlikely since Kate was able to have children on her own. My mom suggested that maybe she was like Anne of Green Gables though. ūüôā Although Anne lived longer than age 11. If any of you reading this have any information on this, please post it in the comments. Additionally, I really want to see what the epitaph says on the headstone.

At age 30, Kate gave birth to her fourth son, Cecil Childs on the 4th of July 1906.

In the 1910 census, gathered April 10th, 1910, Kate was 34. She lived with Charlie (38), son Hugh (11), twin sons Robert and Roy (10), and son Cecil (4). She was living in on the farm in Limestone County, Texas. (Justice Precinct 2) Another mystery, it shows that Kate had given birth to 6 children but only 4 were alive. Charlie owned the farm, free and clear.


On October 6, 1911 – Mary Ellen Childs was born. She was presumably named after her younger sister, Mary Elizabeth Johnson Looney. And her mother Ellen Phillips Norman. Kate was 35 years old.

According to the 1920 census (taken on January 26), Limestone County, Mart Independent District, Kate, and Charlie lived on Mart & Prairie Hill Road at Farm 227. Kate was 44 and Charlie was 47. They owned the farm free and clear. They lived with their twin sons Robert and Roy (19), Cecil (13) and daughter Mary Ellen (8). Cecil and Mary Ellen attended school. Charlie is listed as an employer.


On March 24, 1927, Kate’s mother Ellen Phillips Norman passed away at the age of 78. Kate was 51.

On Sunday, January 5th, 1930 Kate’s husband of 32 years died in Limestone County, Texas. She was 54.

The following April, according to the 1930 census: Kate is listed as the head of household. She owned the farm on Mart and Prarie Hill road and is listed as an employer. She lived there with her daughter, Mary Ellen (18), her widowed son Roy (30), and his two children Roy Albert (4) and Mildred Eudora (3). Clearly, her granddaughter’s middle name is a nod to Kate. ūüôā Kate also lived next door to her son Cecil (23), his wife Grace (19) and their daughter Dorthy (2).

She was still living on the farm in 1935 according to the 1940 census.

On Halloween of 1938, her brother Emmet Norman Johnson died at age 66 apparently from gallstones or some issue with his gallbladder. He lived in Waco, Tx. Oh, how we have advanced medically. She was 62 at that time.

The following year, Dec 9, 1939, her father Rev Burrell Perry Johnson died at age 90 from a stroke. He was in Robinson, Texas at the time, which appears to be just south of Waco.

According to the 1940 census. Kate had moved into the town of Mart. She was living with her son Roy (39) who is listed as the head of household. her daughter in law Lavera (23), grandson Roy Albert (14), granddaughter Mildred Eudora (13), grandson Lynwood Lyons (6), grandson Charles (3), and grandson Richard (1). She was 64.

The census states that her highest grade completed was 7th. She is listed as not working at all the previous year, and it has her coded as “Unable to work”. She is also listed as having income from other sources. I’m not sure what the other sources were.

They lived at 111 S Criswell, Mart Texas. That house is no longer standing. ūüė¶

On Dec 12, 1955, her son Hugh Berrell Childs was found in his overturned car dead of an apparent heart attack while driving. He was 57. Kate was 79.

Then on Nov 7, 1957, her son Roy Hensley Childs was found dead in his home in Waco from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was also 57. Kate was 81.

On October 18th, 1966, Kate’s younger sister Mary Elizabeth Johnson Looney died at her home in Waco at age 79. Kate was 90.

July 2nd, 1967, Kates brother Robert Edgar Johnson died in Waco from a urinary infection at age 93. Kate was 91.

According to my mom, Kate lived in Mart on Criswell until she died. Mom remembers walking by her house just before she passed in 1968. Kate was sitting on the porch watching the world go by. Mom waved “Hi” to her. Kate waved back. That’s the last memory my mom has of her.

Kate died at the ripe old age of 92 years, eight months, and 22 days on November 9th, 1968. She had been in at THSM Hospital in Marlin for 12 days prior to her passing. She died of a “Cerebrovascular Accident” which is a stroke in layman’s terms.

Kate DC

According to her obituary, she was survived by her daughter Mary Ellen Childs Pauling, son Robert Earl, and son Cecil. She had 32 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild at the time of her passing. Her funeral was held at the First Baptist Church of Mart on November 11, 1968. She is buried in the Mart Cemetery.

Kate seems like such a neat lady from the stories I have heard, pictures I have seen, and genealogy I have done. I would love to hear about all the changes she experienced. What was Rutherford county like when she was young? What was it like moving to Texas? Did she come here on a train? In a covered wagon? Did she think Texas weather was really hot compared to Tennessee? What about all the changes in technology? What about RUBY? Who was Ruby? How did she meet Charlie? What was it like living with all of Roy’s kids? How was it living on a farm? What happened to the farm? Did they just decide to sell it after Charlie died? Did the plow up checks signal and end of the farm life? There’s so many questions I would love to ask her at dinner.