Week 9 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Where There’s A Will, There’s A Codicil

     “Where there’s a will, there are 500 relatives…..”

The Will of Giles Driver, Jr. offers a window into the dynamic of his family. Giles is very detailed in how he disposes of his estate, in some cases right down to the penny. He was specific regarding the circumstances surrounding who received what and the conditions that had to be met to receive the inheritance.  Two notes here – this is not an exact transcription as far as spelling and there are a few words that I couldn’t make out, thus the blanks. Where you see bold text, I have added information for clarification.

Will of Giles Driver, Jr
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Pike County, Georgia – Record of Wills, Volume C-D, 1844-1912, Page 492

19 July 1869

In the name of God Amen.  I Giles Driver of said State and County being of advanced age and knowing that I myself must shortly depart from this life, deem it right and proper, both as respects myself and family, that I should make a disposition of the property with which a kind Providence has blessed me. I therefore make this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and annulling all others made by me heretofore.

Item 1st – I desire that my body be buried in a decent and Christian like manner, suitable to my circumstance and condition, but nothing unnecessary about it. My soul I hope and trust shall return to rest with God who gave it, as I hope for eternal Salvation through the blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Item 2nd – I desire and direct that all my just debts be paid by my Executors hereinafter named.

Item 3rd – I have given to my daughter Sarah R who intermarried with Charles B Hubble one thousand and thirty five dollars in cash, she leaving no child at her death my wish is for said Hubble to have no more interest in my estate whatever.

Item 4th – My wish and desire is for my youngest son Charles G to have one hundred dollars extra and more than the balance of my children this difference is made because he has not received his due proportion of education.

Item 5th – I give and bequeath to my wife, Mary, all the property that she was possessed of at the time of our marriage, to do with as she may think proper at her death. I also desire that three hundred dollars be laid out in hand of which she is to have full control during her natural life or widowhood but at her death or marriage for the lands to return to my estate and to be equally divided among my children or their children as the case may then be.

At this point in the will is a note “See Marriage Contract”. The placement is such that I don’t know if he is referring to his third wife, Mary M Carson, or to his son, Julius W, who is the subject of Item 6.

Item 6th – I throw (?) this restriction and qualification around the property or effects that may fall to my son Julius W, that is, it is not to be subject to any of his debts or contracts now made or hereafter made, but he is to use it for his support and benefit and that of his family and at his death to be equally divided among his children but his present wife and the Serepta Ann Rebecca Reeves wife neither of them is to have any interest in my estate or its increase whatever at the death of my son Julius W Driver I make this difference because he is divorced from the Reeves wife and I understand that the father of his present wife Sarah E Hogan intends to make a similar will.

Item 7th – My will and desire is for my Grandson Giles L Driver and my grand daughter Sarah F Driver (children of Julius W Driver and his 1st wife, Frances Jane Ussery) each to have one hundred dollars to be retained in the hands of my executors until these children become of age or marry. These amounts to be retained out of the portion falling to their Father.

Item 8th  – If any of my children die before or after me and have a child or children such child or children to draw their parents interest in my estate under this will.

Item 9th – I hereby put this condition and qualification upon the property or its effects that may be received by each of my children (to wit) if any of them die and leave no living or posthumous child then the property or its effects falling to such child to return to my estate and to be equally divided among all my children or their children as the case may there be in the manner herein specified for division observing the restrictions and qualifications in this will

Item 10th – My wish and desire is that each of my children that have not had a bed bedstead and furniture to have one after paying off all my just debts for each child to draw an equal share of my estate both real and personal, not counting (?) any old debts against any of them, observing the restrictions, qualifications and differences in this will

Item 11th – I have given my two sons Julius W and Robert P each a mule and each mule valued at one hundred and forty one dollars, sixty six cents, each of them have an extra cow which must be valued. I also paid Doyal & Nunnally fifty eight dollars for Julius ___ for cotton, twenty one dollars _____ due for that Thirty seven dollars these amounts I want counted against them without interest

Item 12th – I constitute and appoint my two sons Alonzo C Driver and James L Driver my lawful

Executors to this my last Will and Testament this 19 July 1869

Giles added a codicil that included the following –

First – Whereas I have understood that my son Julius W Driver intends to claim some property that he was in possession of at the time when he broke up house keeping and separated from his second wife Serepta Ann Rebecca Reeves and whereas I feel satisfied that I have fully compensated him for said property. Now if he claims said property and continues to contend for it then I want the five hundred dollars that I handed him when he started out to California counted against him without interest but if he relinquishes his claim to said property I want the will to be carried out without this codicil so far as he is concerned

Second – In lieu of the one hundred dollars mentioned in the fourth Item of my will to my youngest Charles G my wish is to alter it to Two hundred and twenty five dollars

Third – I also want my son James L to have two hundred and twenty five dollars These last two Items they are to have before there is any division made

Fourth – I want my wife Mary M Carson to have the bedstead and mattress that we lie on in lieu of her bedstead that she sold when she came here

Fifth – There is due from A C Driver Two hundred and twenty five dollars for his mare without interest

Sixth – My wish and desire is for the portion falling to my daughter Synthia E Pryor for her and her husband to have the use and benefits of the proceeds of the property but her present or future husband not to be allowed to trade off any of the property neither to be subject to any of his debts or contracts now or hereafter made the said property is to be exclusively for my daughter Synthia E and her children

Seventh – This I think will make my children as near equal as I can fix it


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Whispers from the Past……

Week 8 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Heirloom – Baby Days

 

A few years ago I came across an item I didn’t even realize I had.  Forty-plus years of research will do that to you.  I found my Momma’s Baby Book.  Mary Ruth Grantham was born 11 Apr 1927, she would have been 91 this year.

I was so excited to find this little treasure.  I never in a million years would have thought it existed.  Inside the worn cover I found such treasures.

Her first word was Daddy when she was six months old.  Her daddy died a few months before her fourth birthday.  My favorite entry for her First Words were “Blates like a sheep at 10 months”.  Her daddy raised award winning sheep and all her life she missed him.  Momma had an older sister, Norma and one of my favorite pictures is of them together.  Momma was such a little butterball.  She always had the sweetest smile.

Norma Louise & Mary Ruth Grantham

My grandma was an interesting woman.  She was widowed at the age of 28 with two little girls.  She raised them through the Great Depression with the help of her family.  I’ve often wondered how those events shaped her as a mother.  I never would have dreamed she would have kept a record of my Momma’s milestones as a baby but I was even more surprised to find a tracing of Momma’s hand.

 

 

 

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Whispers from the Past…..

Week 7 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Valentine – The Key to My Heart

My husband gave me the first of many heart shaped pieces of jewelry 22 years ago.  A simple sterling heart necklace that I wore constantly until about a year ago.  I finally retired it to my jewelry box when the chain had quite literally sawed through the bail.  Through the years, that little heart has entertained my grandbabies and my “Three Little Es”, great-nephews and great-niece, Eli, Ean, and Eliza.

My granddaughter has tried to talk me out of that little heart for more years than I can remember.  I can’t count the times she’s told me that she wanted my heart ‘neckalass’.  Of course Grandpa and Grandma have bought her several heart ‘neckalasses’ over the years but she still wants mine.  My babies have played with that little heart, they’ve teethed on it, they’ve held it while they sleep.

I reluctantly replaced it with another heart, this one has a tiny key-hole and key.  Naturally, the kiddos, especially the two youngest, want to try to fit the key in the lock.  Whether a design flaw or by intent, that key doesn’t fit.  Kids being kids, they don’t give up and they always ask, “Why doesn’t the key fit?”  I tell them, “Only the one who holds my heart can fit the key into the lock.”

Children are amazing little creatures, I love watching their minds work and figure things out.

The 3 Little Es – Eli, Ean & Eliza

Before long, Eliza discovered a way to fit the key into the lock and soon they all had figured it out.  While the little heart and key are symbols of the love shared by me and my husband and by my babies and me, it was brought home to me this Valentine’s Day how much we as adults influence and impress children.

Valentine’s Day, a small box appeared on my desk.  It’s appropriate that the box had a “lock” on it and that inside was this simple message from the “Three Little Es” –  “You Hold The Key To My Heart”…..

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Whispers from the Past…..

Week 6 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Favorite Name – Weltha Josephine Owen Driver

“A name, of course is like a piece of clothing, isn’t it?  It gives you an impression right away.”  James Salter

Weltha Josephine Owen Driver

I never knew my great-great-grandmother, Weltha Josephine Owen Driver.  She was born 30 Sep 1851 in Alabama and passed away 17 Sep 1932 in Graham, Texas, 30 years before I was born.  Wealthy, as she was know to her family, was the oldest daughter of Albert Owen and Martha Collinsworth.

She appears in the census as “Wittly”, “Wilsy”, “Weltha” and “Wealthy”.  She was married to John Allen Driver on March 22, 1869 in the tiny community of Etoile in Nacogdoches County, Texas at the home of her parents.

I always thought she had the most interesting name, I mean who names their daughter Wealthy and why?  There are 229 names that mean Wealthy however, I could never find the meaning of the name Wealthy.  Eventually I did find out that her great-grandmother was named Wealthy so finally I knew “why”.

In 1875, Weltha, John and their sons, Albert and Henry migrated from Long Creek, near Weatherford, Texas to Young County. While laying in supplies for the trip, John saw some dress material in a store in Weatherford and bought a length for Weltha.

She was so proud of the new dress she made from that material, and even more pleased because John had taken the time to pick it out for her. Shortly after they began the trip to their new home, little Henry became ill and John and Weltha would take turn about carrying him as they walked along side the wagon. One night after making camp it began to rain. Weltha wanted to keep the cool air off Henry so she drew the wagon sheet up tight and hung her new dress up to block any air from coming in. In the morning, Weltha was heartbroken to find that during the night the cow had chewed her new dress.

I have often wondered if being named Wealthy or the incident with the cow influenced her personality.  She was very “frugal”.  Even though they were “well off” for the time, she would wear a dress until it was so worn out her daughter-in-law would intentionally get it hung in the washer ringer and would then tear the dress apart so Wealthy would have to start wearing a new dress.

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Whispers from the Past…..

Week 5 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – In the Census – Wiley Green Boman & How He Got His Name

Back Row: Minerva Boman, George Riddle, Ida Boman, Mattie Boman Front Row: Violet Boman. Rob Boman, Louis Boman with Walter Boman, Elizabeth Riddle Boman with Wiley Boman, Cora Boman – Julie had already passed, Mary, Elbert, Celeste, and Bessie had not been born. Photo would be between August 1903 and early 1904. Prior to their move to Texas from Alabama.

Since 1996, I’ve theorized about why my husband’s Uncle Wiley had the middle name Green.  Was it a family name?   Maybe it was a place name?  If it was a family name, whose family was it from?  For years, we played this guessing game and never got any closer to solving this little mystery.

Part of the problem with Uncle Wiley’s name was that the Boman family was a little difficult to track down.  One reason is because there was no consistency in the spelling of the names and they kept moving back and forth across the Alabama/Tennessee border.  My husband thinks they were probably moonshiners, but that’s another story.

This past fall, I was talking to Uncle Wiley’s daughter-in-law and she told me that she had always heard he was named after a neighbor.  I have to say that I had seriously dropped the ball in this case.  I know that you always need to take a look at the other people on the census, well, I hadn’t done that.   Sure enough, in the 1900 Marshall County, Alabama Census, there was Uncle Wiley and his family lived next door to Green Butler and his family, including a son named Wiley in the Kennamer Community.

While I haven’t figured out if there is any connection, other than being neighbors, between Green and Wylie Butler and Uncle Wylie Green Boman, I did notice a few things.

  • Green Butler was born 28 Mar 1867 in Alabama and had a younger brother named, Wylie
  • Louis Jackson Boman, Uncle Wylie’s father, was born 22 Oct 1864 in Alabama
  • In 1870 they were both living in Jackson County, Alabama, Green in Woodville, Louis in Scottsboro – 30 miles apart
  • In 1880, Green Butler is living in Woodville, Jackson, Alabama with his widowed mother, younger brother, Wylie, and other siblings
  • Louis Jackson Boman and family are MIA – UPDATE a cousin found Louis and his siblings living in Kennamer, Marshall, Texas.  His mother, Mary, had remarried to Alexander Parker and the Boman children are also listed under the name Parker
  • 1887 – Robert Washington Boman is born in Woodville, Marshall, Alabama
  • 1889 – Minerva Jane Boman is born in Woodville, Marshall, Alabama
  • 1890 – Julie Boman is born and died in Woodville, Marshall, Alabama
  • 1892 – Mattie Elizabeth Boman is born in Woodville, Marshall, Alabama
  • 1893 – Cora Elizabeth Boman is born in Woodville, Marshall, Alabama
  • 1900 is where I found the two families living as neighbors in the Kennamer Community
  • In 1910, Green Butler is still living in Woodville, Jackson, Alabama, his son, Wylie Butler is married and living in Kennamer, Marshall, Alabama
  • Louis Jackson Boman and family, including, 7 year old Uncle Wiley, are now living in Wood County, Texas near the Kennamer family that they migrated to Texas with

Oh yeah, did I mention that Green Butler married Delilah Kennamer after his first wife died?

So while the mystery of why Uncle Wylie Boman’s middle name was Green is solved, it has left me with a laundry list of new questions surrounding him and his family.

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Whispers from the Past…..