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.


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.


Whispers from the Past…..