Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Short View of Longview Texas Memories

I am getting more excited lately hearing that people in my genealogy world have made connections with cousins. Linked those cousins through research, and coupled it up when they took DNA tests.

One person by the name of Mel Collier, a wonderful researcher and author comes to mind as I think about the prospects of tying my ancestors to another ancestor as he has done.

Mel's second book is 150 Years Later; Broken Ties Mended.

Allie Jackson and one of my brothers matched up as DNA cousins on the site 23&Me through the Relative Finder portion. I just happen to manage my brothers account and since I am a big genealogy fan I was anxious to see where and who we match up to.

After conversing back and forth, Allie shared with me that her grandmother was born in Marshall Texas,the same place as my folks. Allie's grandmother was born a Carlisle. She also shared that she was going to Texas, visit relatives, and hopefully do some research at the courthouse. Allie's first stop would be Longview.

When thinking of Longview I have to think about my uncle Leslie and Aunt Beulah who lived at 445 So High Street. That address has stuck in my mind for eons of years. I am glad I remembered because that may help me locate them after finding the Enumeration Districts for the 1940 census when it comes out.

Someone told me he was my great uncle, and others say he is my grand uncle because he is my grandmothers brother. However,for the sake of me not scratching my head and running though looking for a multitude of charts I will stick to just plain uncle. Besides I never remember running up to him as a young child saying " Hi great Uncle Leslie" or "Grand Uncle Leslie, can I have this last cookie"...... nope sure didn't!

(this is one of the charts that explain relationships by Ellen Picard)

Leslie R Taylor son of Joseph and Francis Dickerson Taylor was born in Marshall Texas on February 11, 1911 and is buried in Marshall at the St. Johns Baptist Church Cemetery.
Here is a 1910 census in Harrison County showing Uncle Leslie as an 8 year old with his parents and other siblings. (click on image to enlarge.

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 7, Harrison, Texas; Roll: T624_1561; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0058; Image: 1078; FHL microfilm: 1375574.
He was a minister and pastored at many churches throughout Texas. One comes to mind is a church in Longview by the name of Red Oak Baptist Church.

The same goes for Aunt Beulah his wife. Hmmmm, so since she was his second wife and Sally was his first wife, should I say Grand Aunt Sally 1 and Great Aunt Beulah 2.
The next thing you know their email account if they were alive would be GreatAunt1 at aol dot com or GrandUncle2 at yahoo dot net.
(why do I feel heat on the back of my neck as if I am going to trip over something that is not there?)

I wish I had a picture of Aunt Beulah who was born to the parents of Aaron and Sarah Caleb Mays Sr on October 15, 1905 in Sparta Louisiana. Aunt Beulah must have been visiting her daughter by a prior marriage in Houston Texas because that was where she expired. She is buried in Longview at the Grace Hill Cemetery.

I did find her as a 10 year old in the 1900 Gregg County Texas with her parents and siblings. Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Longview, Gregg, Texas; Roll: 1641; Page: 28B; Enumeration District: 32; FHL microfilm: 1241641.
Name Age
Aaron Mays 56
Sarah Mays 50
Walter Mays 29
John Mays 25
Aaron Mays 18
Willie Mays 16
Henry Mays 14
Daniel Mays 12
Beulah Mays 10
Linden Mays 8

*** I chose the index instead of the actual image because Aunt Beulah is on the second page of the census

My Longview Experience:

My Longview family Reverend Leslie R and Beulah Mays Taylor lived at 445 South High Street. I remember going to visit with my mother on several occasions when we went to Texas. They had a really nice piano in the living room. I remember thinking how dark that room was and the heavy dark velvet looking drapes were closed keeping out the sun light.

I wanted to tinker with the piano but I had it in my mind that I would need a flashlight to look at the keys and I was afraid to ask Aunt Beulah to open up her drapes.

After all her stance was enough for me not to ask. She seemed tall to me at the time and looking up at her I could see her with her arms crossed looking at me. Just waiting for me to touch something. But I fooled her, I kept my hands to myself.

Years later my mom and I went again to see Uncle Leslie. By then Aunt Beulah had passed away and he was living alone. There were apartments in the back of the house, and one of the tenants, a lady would clean and cook for him.

This particular time I looked out the back door and saw a huge billow of what looked like smoke coming from the lady's house. I ran out and saw that her front door was open and called out' Are you in here, Are you Okay". "In here", she called out. The room was filled with light foggy smoke. She came out into the front room, apron on and a big spoon in one hand and a egg turner in the other. She replied, "I'm fine, I was just in the kitchen cooking corn bread."

I went in that kitchen and that woman had the biggest platter of golden brown hot water corn bread I had ever seen in my life. And she wasn't through!
The smoke was coming from this huge black iron skillet as she was frying her bread. She must have felt my smoke filled eyes looking at the bread because she asked if I wanted to try one.
Greedy me said yes and that was the most delicious tasting bread that I have ever had.
As she was cooking she told me what and how to make them myself.

She bought over my uncles dinner which consisted of a plate of hot-water corn bread, collard greens, potato salad and some fried chicken. She also had a peach cobbler with the prettiest topping.

Over the years I have cooked hot-water cornbread but never perfected them the way she did. I tell myself that maybe its because I did not have a kitchen full of smoke and the iron skillet was nothing like the one she had. I also use Canola Oil, and back in the day they cooked with lard.

I wish I could remember her name and to this day I have tried to tap my memory bank. I would love to thank her and I know my kids would like to thank her also. In fact I think they believe they never get a full meal until I cook cornbread. Hot water that is! Yummy!!