Monday, August 24, 2009

visit the grave site of Captain Jacob White

Visit the grave site of Captain Jacob White in Bedford County, Virginia. Photos are available online by going to the JLARC website containing a list of burial sites of Revolutionary War veterans. There are links to four photographs of the gravestone of Captain White.


More on the White Family

The photo is of our GGG-Grandmother, Mary White, taken in the late 1800's. This is where we begin the line of the White family. Mary White married William Head Pearson at the age of 16 in April 1807 in Elberton Georgia.The Campbells reading this may be interested to know that William Head Pearson was born in Laurens South Carolina just a short distance down the road from where we all grew up. Mary & William had three sons, Daniel, James Madison, and Jesse Marion Pearson.

When I was younger I remember my mother telling me about her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. She had told me about a young Private in the Virginia Militia from whom we were descended. Jesse White was always the name I had remembered. He was the father of Mary White pictured here. Born July 18, 1758.

Cousin Art you almost got us there in your earlier post. Jesse White was the son of Celia Page & Henry White. That is our connection to the Whites.

One other interesting fact of this line is that I believe that the name of James Madison Pearson comes through this line. Mary's Father Jesse would have almost certainly would have known James Madison as they both lived in Orange County VA. I do not know if there was a relationship but the name of James Madison Pearson shows for the first time 1 year after James Madison's Presidency ended.

Incidentally Mary White lived to the ripe old age of 91 years. Her grave can be found in Scott County Mississippi at the Old Cash Baptist Church cemetery.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The White Family

George introduced me today to a new line of our family - the Whites.

"[Art,] I added a file here on some documents that I had received from a distant cousin in California awhile back on the White Family. This would be Daddy Mat's G-grandmother's line Mary White b1790- d 1883."
George included a link to a pdf file so that all of the correspondence and documentation on the Whites would be available. Thanks George.

So, who are these people?

The original White was William White, a minister from Wiltshire, England. He and his family were granted land in the colonies by Robert Beverly because, "they were hard workers and because they oposed the Colony's old ruling clique and fundalistic economy." (Comment of Stanley Williams, dated 1985). The use of the term fundalistic is a bit obscure at this point, but it may be that Beverly and White both opposed the idea of slavery as the basis for a new world economy.

This William White died in 1658, appointing his brother Reverend Jeremiah White as guardian to his children. Another brother, John White, vicar of Cheriton, Wilshire, England left a bequest to his brother William's children in a will dated 1668.

William married twice in his lifetime. By his first marriage, he had six children: John, William, Edward,Deborah, Mary, and Jeremiah. His wife's name is lost to time, or someone else will discover it. William's second wife was named Martha, widow of Major Thomas Brice. These two, William and Martha married in 1657, a year before both William and Martha died.

One of William's sons, who it is not clear, fathered John White who married Mary Elliot sometime before 1705. Mary Elliot was the daughter of Thomas Elliot (Ellet) of King William County, Virginia. John and Mary had at least six children: Daniel, Jeremiah, Henry, Thomas, James, and another John. (The birth order is uncertain as is the number of children.) John, Senior died by 1743.

Daniel, the son of John and Mary, died in 1790 in Culpepper, Virginia, but not before producing at least one offspring Henry White.

Henry married Celia Page(?) (whose father was John Page of Buckingham County, Virginia?) Henry and Celia had six or more children: Jacob (Cpt.), William, Thomas, James, Stephen, Obadiah, and possibly, Henry.

I will leave it to George or Kathy to make the direct connection to James Madison Pearson.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

TheLittle Red Hen

The Sky is Falling, the misadventures of Chicken Little and Henny Penny is the more well-known story, but my favorite is the story of Who Will Help?

The story begins as the Little Red Hen finds a grain of wheat and asks which of the other animals in the barnyard will help her plant it. Nobody will help. "Very well, then," she replies, "I will do it myself." No one helps her with harvesting, threshing, taking the wheat to the mill or baking bread. But she has her revenge: The fruit of her labors, fresh homemade bread, is shared with her chicks while the hungry animals look on in shame.

It is not right, as every child knows, but still, it is the way it is - one does the work and everyone else enjoys the fruits of the labor. Growing up as a child, I always had a sense that my mother worked much too hard; a little help now and then from me or the other five children would have gone a long way towards easing her burden. I can now admit that I did not help enough. And, "God bless her," I only remember once my mother getting upset at my brother and I for not pitching in and helping out. Today, I still harbor the guilt of not helping my mother more. All I can do is watch my own two children and wonder why they too don't help out a little more at home.

Thank goodness for George. He found the kernel of wheat and planted it and how it has sprouted. Now like the Little Red Hen, George and I wonder who will help.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Marguerite Tony Lilly Chevallier Meine Pearson

There are at least two sides to every story; the other side of the the story of James Madison Pearson is his wife, our grandmother, Marguerite Tony Lilly Chevallier Meine Pearson. What a name - but more on that later. She was born in Hannover, Germany, on the 26th of April, 1890, which would have made her six years junior to James. She was raised in the village of Graffigny-Chemin, France, in what was formerly part of the historic region of Lorraine. Her mother Julie Laura Chevallier of Graffigny-Chemin, married Charles Guillame (William) Meine of the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

Marguerite had one sister, Marie Leunn Paula Meine. Whether Paula was the younger or older of the two siblings is still a bit of a mystery. The report of the Ancestors of Marguerite (Legacy 4 Aug 2009) lists Paula as the first child and Marguerite second. Moreover, the physical resemblance in the photograph of the two sisters along with their mother favors Marguerite as the younger sister. And yet, the confusion still exists. In a letter dated 1959 from a French notary, Paul Morel to Paula, he refers to Marguerite and Paula as major and minor at the time of their father's death in 1913. Marguerite then at the age of 23 would clearly have been at the age of majority - but what of Paula? Perhaps two or three years separated the two sisters, perhaps as many as four years. Paula as the younger of the two, would then have been a minor under the guardianship of her mother as the letter suggests.

There is a second possibility - that sometime before the First World War, Paula married a German citizen and, as a result, forfeited her rights to French property at the end of the war. To maintain her rights, the family would hold to the position that Paula was the younger of the two children.

This conclusion is speculation on my part, fueled by the stories we heard as grandchildren of Granny (Marguerite) feuding with her sister Paula over language and inheritance. Granny clearly favored the French side of the family, even to the point of reverting to the name of Chevallier instead of Meine after the war. In correspondence with her sister, she used French and adamantly refused to read her sister's letters in German. Finally, the family money had been put into German War Bonds during the war and were worthless at the end of the war. If Paula had indeed married a German citizen before the war, she would have influenced her mother to invest the family's savings on the losing side.

As I say, this is all speculation. Somewhere a birth record for Paula or other document will lay this mystery to rest.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tallapoosa County, Alabama

Tallapoosa County, Alabama is located in east central Alabama, close to the Georgia state line. Coosa County borders Tallapoosa on the west and Elmore County, home of the Coosada Braves, on the southwest. Its county seat is Dadeville. The county is rural; the population in 2000 barely exceeded 40,000 souls.

In Tallapoosa, you can find the General C.L. Pearson Family cemetery. To get there, just follow the directions:

Turn off Hwy 280 onto Slaughter’s Crossing Road.
Go .9 mi - turn left,
over RR track, take right at 1.6 ½ miles, R at 2.4
(walk to top of hill, cemetery is on the left.)

Thanks to Barbara Taylor.
Among the markers are the grave stones of James Madison Pearson and Elizabeth A. Pearson, his wife, which read:
17th Oct 1817 Died 11th Nov. 1891 Age 74 yrs. 25 days.

Wife of James M. Pearson and Daughter of James N. & Martha Brown
Born in Morgan Co., Ga. 12th of Nov. 1823 Died 9th Aug. 1861
37 yrs. 8 mos. 27 days
This James Madison is our great great grandfather and his wife, our great great grandmother. Their son was Benjamin Rush Pearson, who in turn, fathered James Madison Pearson.

The General Charles Lafayette Pearson (1854 - 1940) for whom the Pearson family cemetery is named was a brother of Benjamin Rush Pearson. Charles Lafayette is also buried here along with other family members.

Photo is circa 1938, the farm of General C.L. Pearson (From the Alabama Dept. of Archives).

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The Great War

It was only later after the end of the conflict that it was called by the names it is known by today - the First World War or World War I. It was only when World War II commenced, that the world knew of a second global conflict.

During the war it was sometimes gloriously referred to as a War to End All Wars; expectations were as high as the number of casualties, but 20 years later another global conflict would consume the planet. And, since then, mankind has seen fit to fight other wars and battles.

It was also called The Great War. The use of the word" great" must have been ironic, for one has to think of ways in which to consider this war, or any war, great. Certainly, no one involved could be said to have had a great time. There were massive frontal assaults of infantry soldiers met by machine guns spewing deadly fire and rolling barrages of artillery, gas attacks that poisoned the air and sickened the lungs, trench warfare that caused all forms of sickness and disease. All these factors were brutal and deadly. More than 70 million military personnel were involved with more than 15 million deaths. So, only in this one sense, death and destruction, can this war be called great.

The war officially ended in an armistice on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 a.m. At this moment, the guns fell silent and it was all quiet on the western front. This phrase "All Quiet on the Western Front" became the title for a book by Erich Marie Remarque, describing the horrific experiences of German soldiers during the war. The phrase derives from the dispatches sent from the front to the headquarters, and the occasional moments when the carnage stopped and for the moment it was "quiet on the front."

At the hour, day, month and year that this war ended, Major James Madison Pearson was being transferred from 1st Army Headquarters to Third Division Headquarters. Major Pearson or Pierson, the spelling is French, would remain overseas until October of 1919 serving with the Third Division keeping the peace. Before returning to the United States, Major Pierson would meet, fall in love with, and marry Marguerite Chevallier Meine, a French girl from the village of Graffign-Chemin. So, in this one ironic sense, it was a great war.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Simpler and more adventerous times

This photo is of James Madison Pearson at age 14 I received this from Mary Grace Pearson when we stopped in Mobile Alabama on a recent trip. This was the first pre-WWI photo I had ever seen of Daddy Mat.

There has always seemed to be a sense of adventure with him. To his grandchildren it was the battles of WWI in France that seemed surreal to us. As I have researched him further. I have found other stories of adventure such as the story of the elephant rampage in Valdosta Georgia where Matt was working for his uncle at the New Valdez Hotel and came face to face with the elephant that had gone mad. I later talked to Gloria Dalton Sorensen a first cousin of Daddy Mat's, she had told me that she was very familiar with the story of the rampage of Gypsy the Elephant. She jokingly told me that everyone in Valdosta had come face to face with that elephant on that night, insinuating that everyone had a story to tell. I found the story on the Georgia Archives website that had a mention of Daddy Mat. You can read the story <>

There is also the story of the Two Coosada Braves were his cousin Ed Ferrell and Mat were baited into sleeping in the cemetery nearby a family home.

Born in 1884 Madison Pearson lived in an adventurous time in America. Chester A Author was president He would have seen steamboats traveling up the river near his home. Train travel was the only wat to go for long distance travel. At the age of two the newpapers would have reported on Geronimo (Apache) surrendering.
In 1888 Eastmans' Kodak camera begins amateur photography. Madison Pearson saw the Wright Brothers first flight and saw mans travel to outer space. These were certainly simpler times but also times filled with much adventure and exploration. I wonder what he would think about these times we live in.

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