Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eleven


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 HISTORY.com. This Day in History. “Nov. 11, 1918: World War I Ends.”  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/world-war-i-comes-to-an-end

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.” http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp


@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Lottie Love



Lottie Love (1889 - 1909)

She was so young - only 19 when she died. She was my grand aunt on my Father's side, and I've always wanted to know more about her and her very short, precious life.

Lottie Love was born on 4 Oct 1889 in Tennessee. Her older sister, Florence Elizabeth Love, was born a few years before her on 8 Sept 1882.¹  The two sisters were the eldest sisters of my Grandfather, Richard Enloe Love, who was born on 28 Apr 1891 in Tiptonville, Lake Co., TN.² 

Lottie was not quite two years old when her little brother was born. Were they close? How did he feel being the only male in a house full of females? His father evidently died when he was very young, as his mother was listed as a widow in the 1900 census.¹

I wonder what Lottie’s life was like. Was Lottie her real name, or was it short for Charlotte? Did she have a middle name? I’ve not found any records to date to indicate any name other than Lottie, but that certainly doesn’t mean that one might not exist.

My cousin, Nancy, told me that Lottie’s mother (our great grandmother) moved her family to Jackson, Madison Co., TN to raise her three children. She worked as a seamstress in a local department store there.

I can’t even imagine how devastated that little family must have been when Lottie died at such a young age. Family stories have been told that Lottie had not been well for most of her life, but that still cannot have lessened the pain. Although Florence had already married before Lottie’s death, I know from some of her descendants how close those three children were.

The photo of Lottie’s tombstone at the top of the page is a tribute to how much-loved she was. The family was not wealthy, so purchasing a monument of this size as a tribute to her must have been very important to them. I took this photo of her tombstone in July of 2009 while on a visit to Brown’s Church Cemetery in Jackson, TN.

Rest in peace, dear Aunt Lottie.
 

¹Year: 1900; Census Place: Jackson Ward 1, Madison, Tennessee; Roll: 1586; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0104; FHL microfilm: 1241586. (Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.)

²Registration State: Texas; Registration County: Jefferson; Roll: 1953881; Draft Board: 2. (Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.)


@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Military Monday: A Letter from Iwo

One of the greatest treasures I own is the short letter I have that was sent to my Mother and my brother from my Father (Richard Enloe “Dick” Love, Jr.) in March of 1945. My Father had not yet seen his son, who had been born several months before - in September of 1944.

Even though I have included a photo of the letter and its envelope, I’m going to translate the writing because it’s not easily readable from the photo.  I have no comments to make on this piece of history because I think the words of a Marine engaged in one of the most horrific battles of WWII speak for themselves. 

Dearest Eve & Rick:                                            Iwo Jima                      16 March
          Wondering if you have received any of the letters I’ve written from here.  Sure hope you have had some assurance that I am OK
You probably know that this island has been secured officially two or three days past.  There is still a good-sized war going on here however.
No dope on when we will get away from here.  Makes very little difference where or when we go, since there is no chance that it will be home.
Give my love to everyone there; sorry have had no time to write them. Will do so later.
You and Rick be careful and be happy.
All my love,                                  Dick




@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Very Nice Surprise – “One Lovely Blog” Award!

Today I received some very exciting news and a very nice surprise. I was chosen by my friend Valerie Hughes as one of the 15 bloggers she admired - and that she had nominated for the “One Lovely Blog” award! Thank you so much, Valerie. What an honor!

Here are the rules for this award: (There are always rules!)
  1.     Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog.
  2.     Share Seven things about yourself.
  3.     Nominate 15 bloggers you admire - or as many as you can!
  4.     Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the “One Lovely Blog” Award.

So first of all: Thank you once again, Valerie, for nominating me for this lovely award. I truly appreciate it.

Here is the link to her blog: http://genealogywithvalerie.wordpress.com/

Seven Things About Me: (Only seven?)
1. I spent over 40 years serving in the field of education: as a history teacher for over 25 years, as a French teacher for two of those years, and as a Middle School Coordinator for over 15 years. (I also had to teach geography every now and then, which was always lots of fun for a person who is never sure where she is!)
2. I generally began the year in my history classes with a unit on family history so that the students would be able to understand their own place in the great scheme of history. (Sometimes that actually worked!)
3. When I was a much younger teacher, I was a soccer coach for two years. (Don’t fall out laughing, please!)
4. I play the piano; was 1st chair clarinet soloist in my junior high school band; switched to the choir in high school; and majored in vocal music for two years in college. (I changed my major when I realized that everyone else spent hours in the practice rooms, and I was always running out to some sorority meeting or other social event…oops!)
5. I was told all my life that I was a direct descendant of General Thomas Gage, and that I was a cousin of General Robert E. Lee. (I never believed the one about Lee even though Lee is my middle name.)
6.  My 4th great grandmother was Hannah Gage, who is not the daughter of Thomas Gage, but I am the 4th cousin, 5 times removed of General Lee himself! (Who knew?)
7.   I am the lucky wife of a wonderful and loving husband, the mother of three fantastic sons, the grandmother of two beautiful granddaughters and one handsome grandson, and the great-grandmother of the most beautiful little boy in the world! (I’m sure that bit about being a ‘great-grandmother’ is some kind of typo!)

Fifteen Bloggers I Admire: (Oh, mercy, this was a hard one, and it doesn’t include Valerie’s, which would definitely be included!)
1. The Legal Genealogist by Judy G. Russell
3. Ancestral Journeys by Jen Baldwin
4. Are My Roots Showing? by Jenny Lanctot
5. 4YourFamilyStory by Caroline Pointer
6. The Sanford Family Misfit by Cassie Clark
7. Your Genetic Genealogist by CeCe Moore
8. Appalachian History by Dave Tabler
9. Genealogy Gems by Lisa Louise Cooke
10. The Enthusiastic Genealogist by Dana Stewart Leeds
11. Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Loretta Gillespie
12. Finding Our Ancestors by Terri O’Connell
13. Mississippi Memories by Janice Tracy
14. Always Anxiously Engaged by Peggy Lauritzen
15. West in New England by Bill West


(Of course, I had to leave out everyone’s favorites: Dear Myrtle, Dick Eastman, Randy Seaver, Thomas MacEntee, GeneaBloggers – and many, many others whose blogs I love! This list needs to be longer. I know I’ve left out some friends - not good!)

Contact Bloggers:
This may take a while, but I’ll begin shortly and keep on until I’ve finished!

Thanks so much once again, Valerie, for nominating me for this “One Lovely Blog” award! J


@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday’s Faces from the Past: “Where there’s a Will…”

My Father died when I was ten years old. Sadly, I never really knew him very well because my parents divorced when I was about two. But I knew beyond all doubt that he loved me and loved my brother. I was his “poochie pie,” and my brother was his little soldier. I’ll have to admit that being a poochie pie was easier and considerably more pleasant than being a Mini-Marine. Much less was expected of me; I was there to be adored. My older brother was always held to a higher standard. It was his job to “take care” of me. He had his hands full there!

None of that mattered, though, when it came down to the end. We knew, even as children, that we were not named in Daddy’s will. The phrase, “You were left out of your Father’s will,” followed us for years after his death. I remember being hurt and not understanding why he did that, and it wasn’t until I was much older that I finally came to appreciate his reasoning.

My Father was an invalid, left that way from the ravages of war, and his Mother took care of him for the last few years of his life after my parents’ divorce. He repaid her by leaving her his property and money.

One piece of property that he owned, however, was sold, and the money was put in trust for us until we reached the age of 21. He also knew that the Veterans Administration would take care of us – something they actually did for veterans back then. We were essentially declared “War Orphans,” and the government paid for our upkeep and education each month, year after year, until the day I graduated from college. My Father knew these things would be in place for us when he wrote his will. I personally came to recognize this in my heart and had accepted his decision as reasonable.

That is until recently.  I had the occasion a few weeks ago to attend a workshop that I almost didn’t attend because it was basically about a site with which I was extremely familiar: the Shelby County Register of Deeds site. I had decided to attend, however, because the Shelby County Register himself was giving the presentation, and, after all, I usually learn something new with every workshop I attend. (I’m a firm believer that we all have something to learn with each and every experience.)

I definitely learned something new that day.

The Shelby County Register of Deeds website is a jewel. The folks at the Shelby County Archives work diligently and constantly to update the records that they have on hand to get them online as quickly as possible. Consequently, every few weeks or so, something new is added. I often forget that and hadn’t checked the site in a while.

The Register mentioned in his presentation that the Probate Court Will Book Indexes/Images 1830-2000 had been updated, and my first thought was that I needed to get home and  check to see if my 2nd great grand aunt’s will was there. Elizabeth Dixon Love (b. 1812) had inherited most of the Love family land and money, and I’ve been trying to find her will for a number of years.

Her will wasn’t there - but my Father’s was. I was stunned! I had never even thought to look for it before, so I’m not sure how long it had been there.  But I was even more shocked to read the following words: 

“…to the express exclusion of my minor children, Richard Enloe Love, III, and Carla Lee Love.”
 
Selected portion of my Father's Will found at Shelby Co. Register of Deeds website

Why was I surprised? I knew that we had not been in his will. Yet there was just something about seeing those words in writing that was devastating.

Poochie Pie needed to get a grip on reality….and I finally did. I know that my Father loved his children, and that he did what he felt was the right thing at the time. As a mother, I understand how he felt about his own mother and what he felt he owed her.

Yet as a daughter, the tears appeared suddenly and unexpectedly as I read those words. The old, “You were left out of your Father’s will,” phrase haunted me once again. There is something about knowing about a thing and understanding it, but it’s quite another concept altogether to read it in print. I’m resigned to the fact that the will is out there now and can finally write about it.

Poochie Pie has put her sassy pants back on.

@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Using Twitter as a Genealogy Resource


Cover photo I use on my Twitter acount
I’ll have to admit that I was drug kicking and screaming (well, not literally, but certainly in my head) onto Twitter a couple of years ago by a tech-savvy friend of mine. She convinced me that I should have a presence there to promote my new genealogy blog.

I certainly felt like a duck out of water because I’m truly not as knowledgeable as I should be about technologically-related venues. I will admit to being intimidated by new things, but I will also admit that once I get the understanding of something new under my belt, I’m fairly good with it.

Thus, I started my adventure on Twitter. At first I would post my own blog, and then re-tweet other posts, until I eventually built up a small following of fellow genea-friends, as well as a few others, too. I had wandered into other areas of personal interest that include history, archaeology, antiques and collectibles (shabby chic and vintage styles in particular), as well as books, libraries, museums, news, politics, and well – you name it! I’m one of those people who are interested in way too many things…a true Gemini, for sure.

In the beginning, I would only check Twitter every few days or so. Of course, that always left me behind on things, so I began to check it more often. In fact, today I can say without doubt that I’m a true twitter-holic; maybe a twit-holic? Perhaps twit might be a better description!

At first I found myself following everybody under the sun that I admired or in whom I had ever had any interest; you know, Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, and well, the entire cast of every Star Trek ever made. Important stuff. Seriously.

Before I personally had even 800 followers, I evidently exceeded the 2,000 number limit and was told one day that I could not follow anybody else until I got a particular number of followers myself. What? Well, of all things!

Needless to say, I began to pare down the list of people whom I follow. I had to make some tough decisions, but I will say that Patrick and William still remain on the list…naturally!

Through it all, I began to realize one major thing: I was truly learning more about the genealogy world, and I was being steered towards some wonderful research sites and opportunities that I would not have known about had I not been on Twitter. Twitter not only gave me the chance to learn new things, but it also allowed me to keep up with what was going on in the genea-world. I also ‘found’ some wonderful genea-bloggers.

So, I’m a firm believer that Twitter is indeed a thrifty approach to learning more about genealogy. I especially love the news ‘dailies,’ those online newspapers that some people put out each day that highlight what others have posted, whether it’s someone’s blog post, or some other news about genealogy, history, archaeology, and so many other subjects.

I generally take a few minutes every day to look at a few sites that post history, archaeology, or genealogy related articles. When I find something interesting, I’ll share it on Twitter. I’ve found that some of the articles I’ve found about archaeology have even made it into the genealogy news dailies. Of course, all three of those subjects are so irrevocably intertwined, I really should not be surprised.

Do I know what I’m actually doing on Twitter? Not really. But two years on, I do feel more comfortable about it, and I know I’m learning new things every day in all of my areas of interest. Somehow I’ve managed to accumulate over 1400 followers on Twitter, and I’m not even sure how that happened, especially since I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing myself.

Perhaps twit was the best description for me personally after all. But thrifty resource is the best description for Twitter by far.

Try it. You just might like it!

@2014 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland