Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Cigar Maker

I've been trying to locate the burial location for James A. Wilson and his wife Viola V. V. Lundy. They were the brother and sister of my great grandparents and had married two years before. Two brothers married two sisters.
I'd heard they were buried in Major Adams cemetery near my great grandparents. Viola died in 1905 soon after the birth of their son Emery. I think James died a couple years later.

Two years ago I was in Bradenton for a week and visited the cemetery twice. I checked every marker but didn't find one for them. There are a couple unmarked plots near the other Wilson graves but I couldn't locate any records for the ownership of the plots in this old cemetery.

In researching them I tried to find James on the census from 1910 but couldn't locate him at all. I then looked for their son Emery. I was surprised to find him on the 1910 census living with his aunt Ellen Wilson Dortch very close to my great grandparents in Oneco, Florida. This probably means his father had died by 1910.

I then found him on the 1920 census in Tampa, Florida, this time living with Ellen Dortch's daughter, Lucy Wilson Lynn and her husband Bert. Emery was listed as a Cigar Maker, as was Bert. Tampa at that time was pretty much the Cigar Capital of the USA.

I didn't find any record of Emery after that for a long time. Then one day found an Emery Wilson on the 1930 census living in Detroit, Michigan. This one was shown as being born in Florida and his occupation was shown as a Cigar Maker. So Emery moved to Michigan for some reason. He was not married at the time and living in a boarding house. I've never found any record of him after that census so don't know what happened to him. And the mystery of where his parents are buried is still there.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Horse Thieves

My wife's ancestor John W. Longacre survived the Florida Indian Wars and the Civil War but after moving to Texas was on the wrong side of an encounter with some Texas horse thieves.

John Longacre enlisted on Sept. 8, 1836 in Claysville, AL and served 18 months in the Florida Indian Wars.

He later served in Company G of the 7th Alabama Infantry during the Civil War, enlisting at age 46 on April 1, 1861. He moved to Texas before the war ended where he met and married Lieu Hamby Caraway in Erath County.

I met several relatives who were researching John Longacre and we knew he died in 1872 but didn't know anything about his death. One day while searching some online reference books I found the following entry about him.

"Alabama Records, Vol. 162, Jackson County" complied by Pauline Jones Gandrud pg. 75
Sep 20 1872 - John Longacre, formerly of Jackson County died recently in Texas from a pistol shot received while attempting to arrest two horse thieves. Mr. L. was a soldier of the Florida War and was well known in Jackson.

John Longacre died three months before his last child and my wife's ancestor, Benjamin Franklin Longacre was born.

Lou Caraway Longacre remarried two years after John's death having six small children and no husband. Her second husband was George Colett McDermott and she had four more children with him. They are both buried in the Aycock Cemetery in rural Erath County Texas.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A man called Tub

Crawford "Tub" Lundy was the brother of my great grandmother Ida Lundy Wilson. He got his name, not just from his large stature but from his part time profession.

Tub ran a general store in Parrish, Florida and was the Post Master. He also ran a Moonshine Still on a semi-regular basis. As far as I can tell his moonshine production was never hindered by local law enforcement. They tried but never were able to stop his enterprise. Tub Lundy died in 1949.

In 1984 his grandson, Crawford Wayne Lundy put
his grandpa's still on the front porch of his house in Parrish, Florida as a "talk piece." Since the still was in good working condition he would occasionally fire it up to show how it worked.

No doubt the descendants of those revenuers who chased Tub came calling and decided having a working still was illegal. They confiscated it and fined Wayne $150.

It took two years to resolve the legal case but in the end they returned the Still under the provisions it would be donated to the Palmetto Historical Park Museum and would no longer be "demonstrated" by the Lundys.

Friday, September 11, 2009

150th Anniversary

This October 10th is the 150th anniversary of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The land for the lighthouse was donated to the US Government by my ancestor, Joseph Fulford in 1805. The first lighthouse stood for about 50 years and was then replaced with the present structure in 1859.

The National Park Service sent me an invitation to attend the celebration. They wanted to have some family members there.In addition to Joseph Fulford who donated the land there were several family members who worked as Lighthouse Keepers during the early years.The first keeper one was the son of Joseph Fulford, James Fulford. James's son William Fulford followed in his fathers footsteps. Between the two of them they served as keeper for over 40 years.

We are thinking about making the trip. It should be a fun experience.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Order of the Deep

My Dad liked to save cards. He had all kind of
membership cards, ID badges and things he saved in an old cigar box.

They were from Officer's clubs on many military bases, his Flying Cadet ID, and before the age of PC, his "Jap Hunting License."

While looking through them I realized there was one that had a picture that went along with it.
It was his Ancient Order of the Deep ID card.

He got it when he crossed the Equator during WWII aboard a Tank Landing Ship, USS LST 128.
Along with the ID card was a photo of him having
his head shaved. A tradition that went along with
membership in the Ancient Order of the Deep.