Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sophronia E. Statham Robertson

In researching the names of people interred in the Statham (Georgia) City Cemetery, I have relied on information available on-line or at the various Georgia libraries, particularly those in Statham, Winder and Athens.

The grave stone says:

FEB 8, 1851
JUNE 13, 1909

The book, Barrow County, Georgia Cemeteries, compiled in 2000 by the East Georgia Genealogical Society, omits her name Statham, possibly because the researcher figured it indicated the town, not her maiden name.

I believe her to be Sophronia E. Statham who married William C. Robertson sometime between 1870 and 1873.  The evidence I've gathered is far from proof, but it presents a reasonably strong case.  The variations in spelling may be accurate, the result of limited education on the part of the people conducting the census,  or they may be interpretations of LDS researchers.

In the Census of 1860, there is a Siphronia Stateham, age 8, living with John and Emely Stateham, presumably her parents, in Jackson County, Georgia.

In the Census of 1870, there is Safrom Statem, age 19, living with MJ & Emily Statem, Jefferson, Jackson County, Georgia.  Although inadvisable in genealogy, I'm making an assumption that the initial J is for John.

In the Census of 1880, John and Emily Statham were listed in the Santa Fe District of Jackson County, Georgia, but Sophronia is not included in the family.  On another page in that census, Surphrona Robertson, age 29, is listed as the wife of William Robertson, age 33, in Santa Fe District, Jackson County, Georgia, along with children Cora age 7,  John age 5,  Marion age 3, and Emily age 1.  

Given Cora's age of 7 years in 1880, she would have been born about 1873.  Because Sophronia was living at home in the 1870 Census, I've guessed that she and William Robertson were married between 1870 and 1873.  Georgia's Virtual Vault displays a marriage certificate for W.C. Roberts and S.E. Stateham dated 9 Feb 1871.  

As an added bit of information, I think that John and Emily Statham are the Mr. and Mrs M.J.C. Statham who, according to a brief history posted on the Internet by the town of Statham, owned a combination country store and post office.  They would no doubt be the same M.J.C. Stathams who are credited with founding the town and donating land for the First Methodist Church that is now where the Statham City Cemetery lies.   If what I've postulated is valid, the Statham's claim of being founded by a native of England is probably inaccurate, because in 1850 and 1880, Mr. Statham reported to the census taker that both he and his father were born in Georgia.  There is also evidence that the M in MJC Statham's name is for Memory and that he is the son of Anderson and Charlotte Moore Statham who were both born in Georgia.

In a written history, Georgia Marriages 1808-1967, there is a John Statehano marrying Emaline Booth on 17 October 1847.  The marriage certificate available on Georgia's Virtual Vault showing that MJC Stateham and Emaline Booth were married on 14 October, 1847.  As it is common for modern day researchers to read old time handwriting inaccurately, and of course, once it's put into print, it becomes gospel, but I believe that these two are, in fact, John and Emily Statham who are buried in Booth Memorial Park, a short distance from Statham.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Digging up a Cemetery

In November of 2010, I attended a local ceremony on Veterans Day.  On my way home, I stopped at a local cemetery just to look around and perhaps pay some respect to those who'd given every last measure in service of their country.  I came across a grave marked for 1st Lt Emmett J. Hale, and I compared it to the list that had been part of the program that I'd attended earlier.  The only Hale on it was someone named Aimed Hale.

When I got home, I did a quick search on line and found the story of Emmett Hale.  He was a B-26 bomber pilot assigned as a test pilot at Huntsville Arsenal in Alabama and on June 27, 1944, had taken off with a full load of 500 lb bombs that were to be dropped on various targets on the proving grounds.   As the aircraft was climbing past 3000' an engine failed, Lt Hale attempted to set it down on a highway, but banks on both side of the road wouldn't allow room for the big plane to land safely, so he headed for a cotton field.  When it was apparent that he could drop some of his ordnance without endangering those on the ground, he dropped one of the 500 pounders.   It was too late, though, and the aircraft crashed in flames and exploded on impact, killing Lt Hale, the bombardier and the flight engineer.

I looked at the list from the morning's ceremony over and over, compared it to the list that was in the day's paper and came to the conclusion that those who had made up the list for the ceremony had made an error in the name they had listed.  I even came up with a possible scenario that could have ended with an inaccurate name.  I think the person who put the names on the list got them over the telephone and misunderstood the pronunciation of the name Emmet.  Aimed.  Emmett.  Accurate or not, it is a plausible explanation.

I sent a note to the organization responsible and, hopefully, next November, they'll have the name right.   It would be a shame to have a young man give his life for his country and the recognition go to someone else.

Anyway, that started me on a mission.  I decided I'd make a list of each person interred in that cemetery, with photos of their markers, and, if possible, some genealogical information on each.  It is a small cemetery, comparatively speaking, and is within a mile or so of my home.  I've taken digital photographs now and begun my research, both on line and at local libraries.  Around ten years ago there was a book published that lists the people buried there at the time and I've used it as a base.  I've found and corrected a couple of errors and a number of omissions, but the errors are inconsequential, and the omissions are mostly of folks who were buried after research for the book was finished.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dr Boland

While preparing a pamphlet on the Statham City Cemetery in Statham, Georgia, I've allowed myself to go off on a tangent from time to time.  In this case, interred in the cemetery was Mattie Owings Boland and two Boland infants with no given names, but identified as the son and daughter of Dr. S.A. & Mattie Boland.  A little searching on the Internet gave me a bit more information.

Descendants of Hamilton F. Boland

First Generation

1. Hamilton F. Boland  was born on 11/24/1829 in South Carolina. He died on 12/03/1903 in South Carolina.

Family Tree for Boland, Goins, Hamer, Cummings, Barnes, Strange, Crouch, Fussell, Goodson,and Lokey has an extensive genealogy of Bolands, as does Descendants of Johann Heinrich Bohland, but both appear to conflict with another genealogy that has Hamilton born in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  I’ve chosen to go with the first.

Hamilton married Matilda Neely . Matilda was born on 05/05/1834 in South Carolina. She died on 05/01/1910 in South Carolina.

They had the following children:

2 F i. Susan A. Boland  was born in <1860> in South Carolina.

+ 3 M ii. Franklin Boland  was born in <1863> in South Carolina.

4 F iii. Matilda Boland  was born in <1867> in South Carolina.

+ 5 M iv. Samuel Arthur Boland  was born on 08/13/1872. He died on 05/24/1939.

6 F v. Vannis Boland  was born in <1876> in South Carolina.

Second Generation

 4.  Franklin Boland was born in August 23, 1863 in South Carolina.  He died on September 1, 1925 in Waterloo, Laurens County, South Carolina.  He was married to Susan Owings. 

5. Dr Samuel Arthur Boland  was born on 08/13/1872 in South Carolina, probably in or near Waterloo in Laurens County.  He died on 05/24/1939 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.

Built home on Broad St in Statham abt 1907

Samuel married (1) Mattie Owings, the younger sister of Samuel' brother's wife.  Mattie was born on 03/04/1873. She died on 06/13/1913. She was buried in Statham Cemetery, Statham, Barrow County, Georgia.

Mattie died 13 Jun 1813, same day as her son - most likely in childbirth

Samuel and Mattie had the following children:

7 F i. Boland  "Infant Daughter" died on 07/20/1910. She was buried in Statham Cemetery, Statham, Barrow County, Georgia.

8 M ii. Boland  "Infant Son" died on 06/13/1913. He was buried in Statham Cemetery, Statham, Barrow County, Georgia.

Samuel married (2) Young Hodges  after 06/13/1913. She was born in 1887 in Georgia and died in 1980 in Georgia.  Dr S. Arthur Boland and Young H. Boland  are buried together in Hillcrest Cemetery, Loganville, Walton County, Georgia.

NOTE:  For anyone reading this who knows Statham, the house that Dr Boland built is really just around the corner from the cemetery, now owned by Perry & Beth Barton.