Friday, June 27, 2014

Mother Seth

My great great Grandmother, Versanoy Smith Rowell has it on her grave marker, "Mother Seth," I'm not sure what it means. Her father's name was Seth and she named her son, my great Grandfather Seth.

I can't find any records that list her name as Seth, other than the grave marker.

Versanoy Smith was born in June 1836 in Thomas County, Georgia to Seth Dykes and Eleanor Ann Adams Smith. She married Joseph Ruell Rowell on January 9, 1851 in Jefferson County Florida.

She filed for a Civil War Widow's Pension after her husband died so there are several documents with her signature, always shown as Versanoy.

A coincidence is that my gg grandfather on the other side of the family, James Henderson Hogan was the Chairman of the Taylor County Commissioners in 1900 and signed an affidavit supporting her pension application.This was five years before his grandson Millard Fillmore Green married her granddaughter Ila Rowell.

When the State didn't process the application as quickly as she thought reasonable, she sent several letters to Florida Attorney General David Lang, a former Confederate Army General.

She also had the County Judge and County Court Clerk write letters on her behalf. I am sure she would have gone to see the General in person if needed. Her tenacity to do whatever necessary, prompting the government to action, definitely got passed down to later generations in her family.

Versanoy died sometime between 1910 and 1920 in Shady Grove, Taylor County Florida. She was buried in the Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

There weren't written records of deaths kept at this time in most parts of rural Florida so there is no certificate to explain why her name is Mother Seth on the marker.
I've never found an old bible for the Rowell family but maybe one will turn up one day and explain the name.

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