The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “Lou Ella Vandiver

A picture is worth a thousand…

or whatever you wish to charge, just as soon as you say what bank you want that check written on. This photo is priceless. This is a photo of my great-great-grandparents on my father’s side.

Aunt Gene, Daddy’s Aunt Imogene Slaton, was telling us about the family before she died at almost one hundred years of age. She stated that her grandfather, Riley Vandiver, had built all the children a bedroom suite. She stated that it was not just a bed, but a complete suite of furniture. That is him with the white mustache. He undoubtedly was quite a skilled cabinet-maker.

She stated that  her grandmother Clemmie’s mother, Mary Anna Yocum Allen, was so small that they had to cut the legs off a straightback chair so she could sit comfortably with her feet on the floor. There is a straightback chair on the porch in the photo. The chair was in the family for years, but no one knows what went with it. When I envision my g-g-g-grandmammy Yocum, I see her as a Mammy Yocum figure. I am afraid she would find that unflattering, but I always admired Mammy Yocum’s spunk.

Also pictured are Riley and Clemmie’s daughter, Mary Vandiver. I wonder where daughter Walker Vandiver was; daughter Lou Ella was likely home with her family. Left to right in the photo are pictured: Tye Glass, Lila Glass, Mary Vandiver, Riley Vandiver, Clemmie Vandiver, and the children are Tye and Lila’s sons Earl and Raymond Glass. Tye and Lila also had two daughters but Mattie O Glass died young. Daughter Dessie M Glass is not in the photo. Earl Petty Glass was born in 1902, Raymond M Glass was born 1904, Dessie Mae Glass was born 1905. The daughter that died very young was Mattie O Glass. She was born 1897 and died in 1910. Some researchers give the child who died as Clyde H Glass born 1901 and died 3 March 1901. The child who died is also noted as Robert Tyree Glass, Jr.

Lila’s father John H Hurst also died a violent death. In 1902, Mr. Glass was working for L & N Railroad. This tragedy was in a  news article that listed Tye Glass’  father-in-law,  John Hurst, being killed when hit by a train on 7 Jan 1902. Both worked for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad line at the Decatur station.

After Lila was killed at gunpoint in 1910, Tye and Mary Vandiver later married. They had one son, Carter Woodrow Glass and one daughter, Helen Glass but who was called Billie by her family and friends. Tye Glass worked for the railyard, first in Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Alabama; then in Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama; then in Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee. Riley and Clemmie moved to the Memphis area with Tye and Mary Glass and there they died.

Riley and Clemmie Vandiver and some family

ca 1909


Bang, bang, bang…

have you heard that incessant banging for the last thirty plus years?

That was me banging my head against the brick wall on my Murray line for longer than my youngest child, now thirty-one, has been alive. I started family research on a serious note back in the early 1970’s. Though to disclose the truth of the matter, I started back in my earliest childhood listening to stories of the family lines from all my elders. I was the only girl in my  family and I always seemed to be around the adults at family gatherings. So, I got to listen and ask some questions. I got to hear the tone and inflections associated with those oft told stories. Some stories were funny and some were tragic. Some relatives were very good salt-of-the-earth kind of people; others were scoundrels. But, I loved and cherished them all because they were family. Those stories of my elders are some of my most cherished memories. I wish I could bottle and sell the memories as I saw, heard, and immersed myself in family history. I have always found family mesmerizing. But, alas, I found that even as early as I was interested in family facts, that even by that time most of the elders had gone and become history. There were a few reliable sources and I made the highest and best use of them as I could. And I wrote it down.

I was able to trace my Murray line back to John M Murray and could document no further. I located information on him back in the 1970’s, before computers were even invented – probably. I knew him to be an ancestor, but could not document his father or even where John M Murray was buried. I located information on his service in the War of 1812, the Creek War, and skirmishes and battles in the Mississippi Territory way back then in the seventies. I even located his obituary in a northern Alabama newspaper. The obituary clearly said that the old soldier of the War of 1812 had lived to be nearly one hundred years of age and was buried at Vance’s Station in Limestone County, Alabama. After decades of searching, I finally just concluded that Vance’s Station must have been one of those ‘lost’ cemeteries. Sad. True. More below the fold.

AlabamAncestors: Four Generations of Murray