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…..

Week 4 – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Invite to Dinner

Around my house, dinner is the noon or mid-day meal.  While what you call a particular mealtime isn’t overly important, in this instance it is.

It seems like every Sunday after church, every birthday, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and many times in between, all of our family would gather at Momma’s house for dinner.  Some weeks Momma fried chickens other times it was roast.  There was always mashed potatoes and gravy and sometimes she would fix “Pineapple Salad” which consisted of a lettuce leaf with a slice of pineapple on it and a dollop of miracle whip in the hole of the pineapple ring.  I always told her she was messing up three good things by combining them and fortunately she didn’t make me eat it.  There was always sweet tea to drink, she fixed it in an old crock pitcher that belonged to her grandma.  When Momma died, her oldest grandson said that he wished he could have one more glass of Grandma’s sweet tea.

My older sister, Becky, and I both liked the chicken’s liver and each time Momma fried chicken, she and I would have to share it.  My oldest nephew, Tom, and I would pull the pully-bone or wishbone, as some people call it and every time, he would get the short end. This was always a guaranteed argument because it meant he would get married first and I am eight years older than him.  Most weeks we’d have homemade banana puddin’ for dessert.  Momma never made it pretty, but it was certainly delicious.  To this day my niece will only eat it while it’s still hot because that was how Grandma fixed it.  Other times she would fix chocolate puddin’ and before she beat the meringue into it, she’d always take a bowl out for my daddy because he didn’t like “calf slobbers”.

Bubba’s 22nd Birthday

We were a big and boisterous group, often there were 15 of us and we’d pull the table apart and add the extra leaves and then everyone would squeeze in.  It always seemed like everyone was talking at once yet we knew what was going on in each conversation. Momma didn’t believe that children should be seen and not heard.

After everyone was full and the kitchen was cleaned up, Momma and Daddy would go into the living room and take a nap  in their chairs.  The grandkids would head outside to run and play.   The adults would congregate in the dining room and play board games like Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble.  There was always a lot of laughing and joking and often we would end up in hysterics because Momma and Daddy would be in the next room trying to out snore each other.

Times were so much simpler, kids played outside, the adults sat around and visited and played games, no one was glued to their cell phone or computer.

I would love to be able to go back for just one Sunday afternoon.

Banana Puddin’

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbs Flour
  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • 2 Egg Yolks – beaten
  • Butter
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Bananas & Vanilla Wafers


  • Whisk sugar and flour together
  • Stir in milk until smooth
  • Stir in beaten egg yolks
  • Add butter – about the size of an extra-large egg
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened
  • Stir in a splash of vanilla extract
  • In a large bowl alternate layers of vanilla wafers and sliced bananas (we prefer more cookies than bananas
  • Pour hot puddin’ over the cookies and bananas (Momma always poked a large spoon down through them to mix the puddin’ in good, like I said, it’s not a pretty dessert

Double or triple recipe as needed

Add 3 Tbs of Cocoa powder if you prefer Chocolate Puddin’, Momma would make meringue (calf slobbers) out of the egg whites and then beat it into the chocolate puddin’


Whispers from the Past…..

Week 3 – 52 Ancestors Challenge – Longevity – A Long & Winding Road

Definition of Longevity

1  a : a long duration of individual life

    b : length of life

2 : long continuance : permanence, durability 

At some time during the 1980s, I was visiting with a cousin by phone.  Madolyn was somewhat of a legend, a living History and Genealogy of the Williamson and Burnet County, Texas areas.  She could pull info out of her memory like you would a computer.  It turned out that Madolyn had rescued dozens of documents that were scheduled to be destroyed.

During the course of our conversation, Madolyn told me that she had several marriage licenses that I would be interested in.  She named off some aunts and uncles and then mentioned my great-great-grandparents, Eb Smith and Sarah Jane Carroll.  Naturally I wanted copies and asked if I paid for the copies, would she be able to make and  send them to me. she would send them to me.

When the mail arrived a couple of days later, I was excited to see an envelope from Madolyn.  I had never once imagined what I would find in that package.  There, among the original marriage licenses of several of my maternal great-great-aunts and uncles, was the handwritten license of Eb & Sarah Jane Smith and a note from Madolyn saying, “I kept this safe until I found the right person to give it to.”

Eb & Sarah Smith

On December 20, 1860, Ebenezer Smith married Sarah Jane Carroll, he was 20, she was 16.  They were married for 26 years before she passed away.  They had 17 children including a three sets of twins and a set of quadruplets, who were born in 1876.  Sarah was preceded in death by seven of her children.

I can’t imagine how difficult their lives were.  I’ve often heard people say that “things were different back then” or that “death was just a part of living”.

At 157 years old, this document is the oldest original document I possess.  To say it is prized, is an understatement.  To me, this simple, piece of paper symbolizes a family, a father born in 1840, a mother born in 1844, a joining together in 1860 that resulted in a family that lived, loved, and died with their youngest daughter in 1967.  How many families can claim to have spanned 127 years within the original family unit?

When I think of Sarah and Eb, I always think of how this family treasure came into my hands.  From a courthouse in 1860 to a lover of History in the 1900s to a woman who had gazed at the faces of her great-great-grandparents while listening to their granddaughter, my grandmother, tell about their lives.  I look at this simple piece of paper and I am reminded of the countless number who have come before me and those who are yet to be born.  They are why I travel the road I do, they are why I am who I am. #52ancestors

That which is not written is lost forever…..

Whispers from the Past…..