Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Good Old Florida Days

This will be a quick one, but I just have to post a couple of old pictures I came across today.

The first one above is some shindig or other the dear mothers or Archer, Florida put together when I was about 4. I think it was called a "Tom Thumb Wedding" and it was held in the Archer School Gym - which is still standing. I barely remember it at all, but I do remember being so afraid that I was crying, which made my mother laugh and say that "mothers are supposed to cry at weddings". I portayed the mother of the bride or groom - not sure which. The lovely bride is my very dear friend, Lura Williams and I think that is Frank Batey as the groom. I am the "lady in black" on the back left side.

Next - and this is for my cousins in Florida and their children - my cousin Larry Benton and his sister, little Miss Donna Benton. Honestly - I think this picture of Larry looks quite a bit like one of his gorgeous grandsons. These two adorable kids were my "living dolls" growing up. I was the "big" cousin - 5 years older than Larry and 6 years older than Donna.

Thank you, Donna, for all your patience in having your hair done a hundred different ways. And Larry, thank you for always loving me like a sister - even after all these years.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Faith of our Fathers (and Mothers)

The past few weeks have been a whirl of family secrets revealed and exciting discoveries of family history. You know - I am just the biggest history nut in the world and it is so much more interesting when it involves your own family.

In trying to track down where my great-great-grandmother, Margiana Cathren Erambert Carter (also known as Kate) might be buried, I was getting stumped. By the way, my Nana - Margie Anna Carter Camp Stokes was quite obviously named for her. Well, she was not buried anywhere near the grave of her husband, John Thomas Solomon Carter (whew - is that a mouthful or what?) This is a picture of his headstone at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Cass County, Texas.

It is so hard to read what people put on these old headstones, but here is transcript of what is written on his. "No pain, no grief, no anxious fear can reach the peaceful sleeper here". I think that is so touching. He died at the very young age of 26, after having traversed with his wife and young family to make the move from Terrell, Georgia to the far northeast Texas lands.

I also had found her mother Sarah Erambert's headstone very near J.T.S. Carter. And here it is.

Sarah was a widow and she had moved with her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren to look for opportunity in Texas. Her headstone has the following inscription:
"We saw not the angel who met her at the gate of the City. We could not see over the river, Over the river our mother stands - Waiting to welcome us". Obviously, my ancestors were people of deep faith.

There a many, many Carters (and Camps) buried in this cemetery. And, let me quickly tell you this is a very historic old pioneer church. The congregation has been disbanded for many years, but they still have a once-a-year service at the church, and all who ever attended or who have ancestors buried in the graveyard and welcomed. I am thinking I WILL be at the next one. It is a covered dish lunch following, and I can attest to what that means in East Texas from the family reunions I attended when I was growing up. Here is the Texas Historic Marker from Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

And here is a picture of the inside of this old church.

As usual, thanks to, I found someone else who had Kate Erambert in their tree. I contacted them, because their tree is "private" and got a quick response. Kate remarried, after her husband John (my great-great-grandfather) passed away. She married William Harrison Sedgass and she is buried in Trinity Cemetery. (The person who contacted me is the grandchild of Ruth Carter who was my great-grandfather Charley Carter's sister - so they are some sort of cousin of mine).

I had also been to Trinity cemetery on the same day as I visited Mt. Zion. My Charley T. Carter, son of said Kate, is buried there along with my great-grandmother Lily Ann Fason Carter.

Several other close family members are buried at Trinity, including my sweet uncle James Earl Camp, who died at the tender age of 12. He was the one who stayed behind when Nana brought my mother, Gladys and my Uncle Joe to Florida.

His little headstone just says "Gone Home".

And here is a picture of old Trinity Methodist Church.

So, I'll be heading back to Jefferson, Texas within the next month or so, and going to Trinity Cemetery to look for my great-great-grandmother's burial site. I am on the trail of membership in the Daughters of the Texas Republic, because Miss Margiana Cathren Erambert Carter Sedgass was the daughter of Charles Erambert who served in the Army of Texas during 1837. He had come all the way from Virginia to help the newly found Republic of Texas as they continued to struggle for independence from Mexico. Charles was granted two "bounty land grants" of 480 acres each for his service. He promptly sold them both after his discharge and headed back towards Virginia. On the way he stopped in Baton Rouge and there he met and married a young widow named Sarah Sheffield Edwards. Coincidentally, it is through Sarah's grandfather that I have my membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Their story is fascinating - and you will hear more about that one in the future. Stay tuned.