Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday: For a Marvelous Maitland Cousin!

I've often been in despair of the fact that my husband's family did not appear to have many photos of his Maitland ancestors. There were a few grainy black and white photos that I remember seeing somewhere in the past, but we never obtained access to them. 

My husband's father, John D. Maitland, was born in Humboldt, Gibson Co., TN on July 30, 1919. His parents were Geraldine "Jerline" Hamrick, born on April 28, 1895, in Dickson Co., TN and John Dean Maitland, born in Atoka, Tipton Co., TN on January 4, 1891. We have many photos of the Hamrick family, but the Maitland branch of the tree is bare.

I've often thought that one reason for the lack of Maitland family photos was the fact that my husband's grandfather, John Dean Maitland, passed away at the very young age of 48. Perhaps other family members had some of the old photos, but John Dean's son, John D, joined the U.S. Army a couple of years after his father's death in 1939 and went on to serve in Europe in WWII. Marriage and children came not too long after that experience, and he and his wife raised a family of five. Although he was full of great family stories, I never saw many older photographs around his home. Most of the ones I saw were from the Hamrick line.

According to family lore, John D was supposed to have been named John Dean Maitland, but the name Dean was somehow left off the birth certificate and only the "D" appeared.  Forever afterwards, he was simply known as "John D."  John D's father and mother had ten children; four sons and six daughters. John D was number six in the line and the 2nd son.  His oldest brother was killed in a tragic accident in 1937 at the age of 23. With the passing of the oldest son and then the father, perhaps the passing of photographs was left to the six sisters. 

Miraculously, through the wonders of Ancestry .com, I managed to connect with one of my husband's first cousins a few months ago. She's the daughter of one John D's two remaining sisters - and she has photographs and letters and all sorts of wondrous things!  She let me know this week that she's in the process of having them copied and mailed to our home, and I can hardly wait. In the meantime, she did have a photo on Ancestry of my husband's grandfather - a person my husband had never seen in his entire life. In fact, none of John D's children or grandchildren had ever seen a photo of this man. They never knew what their grandfather looked like. Amazing.

I've decided that I need to start meeting the postman every day after I know that the "goodies" have been mailed. I'm not only thankful this Thursday for such a wonderful cousin, I'm also giddy with total excitement: she has a photo (actually a tintype) of the first Maitland in our line to come to America! Charles Henry Maitland was born on May 5, 1838, in London, England and died  on January 7, 1930, in the village of Avondale Mills, which was an area where workers in the textile mills lived at that time in Gibson Co., TN.  We will not only be able to see a photo of him, but also of his wife, Virginia Powell Maitland (1851 - 1941), whose dark hair and possible Cherokee heritage shows up prominently in many of her descendants. 

Mr. Postman, I'm waiting. Hot diggity dog!

My husband's grandfather, John Dean Maitland, son of Charles Henry Maitland & Virginia Powell.
(Photo provided by B. Hatcher, Maitland family researcher and cousin extraordinaire!)

© 2013 Copyright by Carla Love Maitland


  1. part that mans hair in different ways and you have John D.'s sons and a grandson or two. Pick out various places on his face and you can see our husbands. We said they looked like John D but there might be more of the grandfather, from this picture. Does it say how old he was, and is there one of John D. at the same age?

    1. No date was given, so I don't know how old he was. I think the oldest photo I've seen of John D was the one of him in his U.S. Army uniform. But you are right, they all look more like John Dean!