Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Carr Brothers. Maybe You Know Them?

A number of years ago, I found a treasure trove of postcards that belonged to my Grandmother. My Mother had saved them, and I came across them in her cedar chest after she passed away. I remember seeing them when I was a little girl in my Grandmother’s own chest, but I hadn’t thought about them in a long while. After finding them amongst my Mother’s belongings, I promptly put them away…forgotten, as usually happens with things that get “put away.”

I found them again a few years ago. I had put them in a special box where they would be safe. So safe, in fact, that it was a lovely surprise when I re-discovered them. What fun it was to go through them again. And what insights I gained into the life of my Grandmother when she was a teenager and then a young, unmarried lady. Grandmother (Lorena Grace Sanford Wallace Werkhoven) was born in 1896, so the time period we are looking at falls between about 1911 and 1918.

Those insights must be saved, however, for another time. Today I’m going to concentrate on the postcard that had a photo on it of two brothers. I thought they might be twins. The fashion of the day was to have photos made in postcard form so that they could be mailed to friends and family members. This one had obviously been given to my Grandmother because only their names were written on the back: Cleades Carr and Claudus Carr. Who in the world were they?

One of the insights I learned about my Grandmother was that she had received quite a few postcards from various friends who were males. (Really?My Grandmother?) Naturally, I wondered about these two whose faces I had before me. Her other friends were faceless, made real only by their words and obvious devotion to her. These two simply left her a photo of themselves – one she kept as a memento all of her life.

After finding them again, I did place a post on the Carr surname message boards hoping that someone would come forward who knew them. They never did.  But recently, I began to research them again and actually found them on Ancestry and on Find A Grave. They were indeed twins, born in 1893 in Kentucky. It seems that they lived their whole lives in Kentucky, so I’m not sure exactly how, when, or where they met my Grandmother. It was probably on a trip to Memphis, or perhaps Mississippi, where she lived for a couple of years during that time period.

According to information I found on both of the aforementioned sites, Claudus was killed in a traffic accident in 1931. I can only imagine how much that must have devastated his twin, Cletus. In fact, the tombstone photo I saw on Find A Grave showed Cletus buried in the middle, with his wife on his right and, yes, his twin brother on his left. Cletus lived until 1965, married and had children. Claudus never married.

Shown below is the postcard with the photo of the two brothers dressed in cowboy attire. Someone (probably my Grandmother) had written their names on the back of the card. Cletus’ name was misspelled, evidently written out as it sounded and spelled closer to the spelling of Claudus.

Do you know these twins? Are you a relative? If so, let me know. I have a wonderful piece of history to give you to cherish.

Back of the postcard showing the names of the Carr brothers - with Cletus' name misspelled.
Cletus and Claudus Carr (Not sure which is which)

@2015 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Tribute to the Women in My History (International Women’s Day – March 8, 2015)

"Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men." ~ Joseph Conrad
When pursuing our ancestors, most of us begin by concentrating on those male surnames. However, we eventually understand that in order to know ourselves completely, we must also cherchez les femmes!   (Follow the women!)

In this post, on this important day of celebrating International Women’s Day, I want to honor as many of the women in my ancestry as I can. I wish I had a photo for every one of them, but I don’t. Some of the photos I do have aren’t very good, but they are all that I have as visual representations of what they looked like.

Here are the Women in My History:

My Maternal Grandmother, Lorena Grace Sanford Wallace Werkhoven  (3 Aug 1896 – 21 Aug 1985)      

My Paternal Grandmother, Huldah Norma Akers Love (1 Jan 1893 – 13 Oct 1972)

Maternal Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Dorothy Zeigler Sanford (Jun 1872 – 11 Mar 1938)

Maternal Great Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Marvel Wallace (29 Nov 1852 -1933)

Paternal Great Grandmother, Nancy Emeline Gardner Pounds Akers (8 Mar 1863 – 20 Jul 1939)

Paternal Great Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Roberts Love (12 Jun 1861 – 30 Apr 1923)

Maternal 2nd Great Grandmother, Margaret Elizabeth Turner Zeigler (24 Mar 1841 - 13 May 1911)


Maternal 2nd Great Grandmother, Mary Prudence Clark Sanford (May 1841 – bef 1920)


Maternal 2nd Great Grandmother, Mary Young Marvel (20 Mar 1833 – 2 May 1909)

My Mother, Evelyne Francis Wallace Love (10 Jan 1919 – 18 Mar 1991)

@2015 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Number please. Thank you very much!

Photo of the French provincial phone
I've had since the 1970s.
We received our Yellow Pages books today. Yes, we got two of them. One was the same larger size in diameter that many of us remember – only it was less than half the thickness of the ones we used in years gone by.
The other one was a “companion” book. Just what does that mean? Why in the world do the Yellow Pages need a companion? Perhaps it’s just a more convenient size that we can use to carry around with us. Really?
If I need a number today, I usually just look it up on the or the yellow websites. Googling works, too. It’s so much easier in today’s world of technology. Besides, many people no longer have land lines and aren’t listed anywhere anyway.
But I’ll have to say that in this instance, I honestly miss the “good ol’ days.” I can remember the excitement of getting our new phone book each year. When I was a small girl, the White Pages and Yellow Pages were all together in one book, even for a city as large as Memphis. As soon as it would come, I (always the avid reader) would take it to my room to start reading it. Yes, I read the phone book. That might sound geeky…okay it probably is…but I loved it!
There was so much to learn from those books in those days. There was always a history of the city, plus information about the government to read, and then there was the fun of looking up all of the families of my friends. Naturally, the first listing I invariably went to was ours. Just checking to make sure everything was written correctly, I assured myself each year. It always was, thank goodness.
When I was sixteen, I got my own phone for my birthday. It was a beautiful little blue Princess phone and was a separate line from the family’s line. It was actually in my own name, which meant that my name would be in the phone book, too! So now I was looking up my own name, as well as the names of my friends who also had their own phones. Oh, how I wish I had a photo of that little phone, but I can’t find one. Nevertheless, since blue is my favorite color, the mental picture that I have of it in my head is still very vivid.
For this blog post, I had to settle on a photo of the faux French provincial phone that I bought for myself back in the 1970s. It was always hooked up to our phone system, and I used it often over the years.
Probably my favorite story about that phone involves my youngest (and late-in-life) child who was born in 1985. By that time I had moved the phone to our upstairs bedroom and rarely used it. Punching buttons was so much easier. One day when I had him in that room with me, I sat on the bed to make a quick phone call. At the tender age of three, my exceptionally smart son exclaimed, “What is that?” I’ll admit to being shocked and then started laughing. Of course, he had never seen a rotary phone being used and didn’t realize that the “pretty thing” in our bedroom was a phone!
I’ll also admit that even in that time frame, I was still reading that phone book when it came every year. By then, there were two separate books: the White Pages and the Yellow Pages. Naturally, I had to read through both to get all of the information that was provided about the history of the city, county, and state, and all of the other tidbits of information that was in those books. I had, however, stopped looking up my friends. (One does eventually grow up.) As a teacher, I often used the information I gleaned from those books in my history classroom. I can remember the surprise that most of my students had that so much information could be found in the phone book!
I guess I was still reading the phone books until just a few years ago. We dropped our land line, and any information provided by those books was easily accessible by then through my computer - and even from my cell phone. But the genealogical treasures those phone books hold are still valuable and, thankfully, copies are held in repositories at our local genealogical libraries and also at our county archives.
I have to admit to experiencing a twinge of nostalgia today when I saw those two little Yellow Pages books. I guess I’ll sneak a peek in a day or two to see what’s actually provided by them these days.
More importantly, I have to find out what a “companion” is!
@2015 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: The Oldest Home in Memphis, Tennessee

(Home of Eugene Magevney. Photo taken by me on 7 Mar 2014.)

(Historic Marker outside of Magevney's home.)

@2015 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


It’s an odd little number: eleven. It’s odd in the way it looks and even when one attempts to say it: eleven. Mathematically, it’s an odd number as well: eleven. It’s never particularly been one of my favorite numbers.

Yet its three-fold significance today is known and felt around the world: “On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour.”

Anyone who knows their history understands this phrase. The year was 1918, and that month, date, and hour was when the “War to End All Wars” officially ended.¹

That war, known as “the Great War” at the time, would eventually become known as World War I. The war, unfortunately, didn’t end all wars even though it was one of the most costly wars in history. Over nine million troops were killed, 21 million more were wounded, and some ten million civilians also died as a result of the war.¹

But why does the number eleven appear in all of this? It seems that by the month of November in 1918, the Germans had finally “had enough” and signed a cease-fire a little after 5:00 a.m. on the morning of November 11th that year. It was decided that the official treaty would go into effect six hours later, when it would be 11:00 a.m. in France, where the cease-fire was signed.² From that point forward, that date, time, and hour emerged as an historic phrase.

To celebrate the end of the Great War, the United States observed it as Armistice Day beginning in 1919, but ultimately changed it to Veterans Day in 1954 in order to honor all veterans.³ This important day is also observed in many countries around the world in some form or another.

I’m very proud to have had a grandfather and two grand uncles who served in WWI and am extremely thankful that they survived this ordeal. My grand uncle, Emile Frances Sanford (1898 – 1972), served in Company I of the 28th Infantry and was slightly wounded on July 31, 1918. (See photo.) According to my grandmother, his wife and his children, he was cited for bravery for carrying messages continually over ‘no-man’s land’ during the battle of Cantigny in May of 1918.

Another grand uncle, James Alonzo “Lonnie” Sanford (1902 – 1957), followed his older brother into the military, lying about his age in order to serve. I remember my Grandmother telling me that story and how he was reported as missing in action and presumed dead. He miraculously came home at the end of the war without any notification to the family whatsoever!

My grandfather, Baxter H. Wallace (1895 - 1958) served in Company H of the 101st in the United States Army. One of my uncles told me that he was gassed at Verdun and sent home. Since my Mother was born in January of 1919, I’m extremely happy that he made it home before the number eleven played its part in the end of that war.

The number eleven was lucky for all three of them. They survived. So many others didn’t, and we remember them and so many others who lost their lives during warfare on Memorial Day each year.

Veterans Day is meant to honor all who served, and my heartfelt thanks go out to each of you.

I think I’m beginning to like that little number: eleven. It rolls easily off my tongue now: eleven. Mathematically, it’s still an odd number: eleven.

¹ This Day in History. “Nov. 11, 1918: World War I Ends.”

² Gaylord, Chris. The Christian Science Monitor. “Veterans Day: Why America chose November 11.” Nov. 11, 2011. 

³ The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - The Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs: “History of Veterans Day.”

@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland