Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mary Whaley: A favorite picture

My great-grandmother Shaw was Minnie Zipora Wood, a twin of Maudie Lenora Wood, and the daughter of Nathan Robert Wood and Mary E. Whaley Wood. I have other pictures of Nathan and Mary but this week my second cousin Annette Winningham has forwarded me two wonderful photos of Nathan and Mary I'd like to share with my family and friends. Click on each picture if you'd like to see it in a higher resolution.

The first is one of my favorite family pictures. I suspect this was taken in Porterdale, Georgia.
If any one knows for sure, please let me know.
My great-great-grandmother and her cow:

Mary E. Whaley Wood and her cow.

Mary's husband, Nathan, had enrolled in the First Georgia Cavalry, if I remember correctly, at the age of 16, during the War Between the States. Here he is much later, again probably in Porterdale GA:

Nathan Robert Wood

If you are a descendant of Nathan's son-in-law, Columbus Turner Shaw, I hope you will consider a donation toward the cleaning and renovation of the little Shaw Family Cemetery near Lithonia, Ga. It is in terrible condition. Call or e-mail me and I will put you in touch with our two cousins who have taken charge of the clean-up.

This posted way too fast. I'll correct any errors when I find them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Charles Shaw: In the Creek

Bo Tush Creek, maybe? The Yellow River?

Here's my Daddy as a kid in the creek.
The resemblance to me and my brother is amazing.

Charles Columbus Shaw
about 1925?
Click on the photo to see the best resolution available.

From the photos of his cousin Loraine.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mother's Dahlia

Mother has been bragging about her dahlia for several days, and told us at church this morning that we'd best hurry to Rollingwood Drive to see it. My sister Joan did and this picture is the result.
My friend Mike Bock brought us a few dahlia roots two years ago or so and the resulting blooms were so wondrous that I have invested in two containers of dahlia roots since. Unfortunately this project has coincided with the residence in our neighborhood here on the river of a voracious family of woodchucks.

Those derned groundhogs have a hankering for nothing so much as fresh dahlia plants. They've kept our crop nibbled down to nubs.

Mother planted the few roots I gave her in a pot and despite the hungry herds of whitetails in Garden Lakes, she got this gorgeous bloom. Ain't it pretty? Thanks for the photo, Joan!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Louisa' s Little Cemetery

My daddy's daddy was Daddy Shaw - Grady Columbus Shaw - barber, salesman, and storyteller extraordinaire. I lived for the week I spent in the summer at Daddy Shaw's house -- and especially the barber shop! I loved to crank myself up and down in his spare barber's chair while his clippers buzzed and his words painted my brain with images my eyes had never seen. What fun to slide some Tom's peanuts from their little cellophane packet into an ice cold Co'cola. Or earn a dime shining a pair of shoes for someone waiting his turn under Daddy Shaw's clippers. All the while listening to laughing, teasing, storytelling.

His daddy was Grandpa Shaw - Columbus Turner Shaw, Lum for short. My first memory of him is from his funeral where there was a bewildering amount of crying.

(l-r) Minnie, Lewis, Curtis, Lum (Grandpa), and Grady (Daddy Shaw)

I knew nothing of Grandpa's daddy till after he and Daddy Shaw were both gone. Now there's a story. Grandpa Shaw's daddy was not a Shaw! He was a Treadwell, John Treadwell. And he and Grandpa's Mama, Louisa, had never married even though they had a bunch of children together.

John Treadwell

Today I spent some time with several other descendants of that illegal union. My second cousin and genealogy friend Annette Winningham and three other cousins I'd never met before: Gwen Shaw and Clyde Shaw - descendants of Louisa's eldest son, John; and George Long, grandson of Louisa's daughter, Mary Ann Shaw Long.

(l-r) Terrell, Gwen, George, Annette, Clyde

We visited the little family cemetery near Lithonia and found it completely overgrown. You would never know it was there without being very close and having good light.

The cemetery is completely obscured from the road by trees and undergrowth.

We are hiring a tree surgeon to clear the young pines and other undergrowth and weeds. He has assured Gwen that he will be gentle and careful.

There is a chain link fence along one side.

Marci gets a close look at the gravestone of Mary Amanda Shaw Dobbs.*

Those of us descended from the folks buried there should help with the $1200 it will cost, if we can. Sheila and I made a small pledge. If any of my siblings or other Shaw kin would like to help, give me a call and I'll put you in touch with Annette and Gwen.

Louisa's gravestone:
Louisa Shaw
Born Aug. 31, 1842
Died Feb 26, 1932
She was a kind and affectionate wife, a fond mother, and a friend to all.

I've wondered a lot about Louisa. She was revered by her children. Treadwell bought her several houses and a couple hundred acres or so for the use of his second family. He also bought her first shoes and later gave her a slave (Lou Stroud) according to my grandmother. He provided for her in his will. She was so young when this older married man took up with her. If it weren't for their misbehavior I wouldn't be! This poem grew out of my wonderings:

All Things Work Together: Questions for a Kept Girl
For Louisa Frances Shaw, 1842-1932

Louisa, little girl.
Tell your secret.
Was he kind at first?
Did he give you dolls?
Did your dolls know too?
When did you tell your pa?

Louisa, mother girl.
Where is your secret now?
In how many cities do we breathe and wonder?
Did he take you in your sleep?
Carry you from the well? Or the wood?
Where was your Daddy?

Louisa, grandmother girl.
Your secret spreads north and west.
Why did you stay?
Why put him on the mantel?
Should we love him too?
Did your mother cry?

Louisa, great grandmother girl.
I am your secret now.
I know your pain.
I cry for the lost father.
I cannot save you.
I would not.

Louisa, great great grandmother girl.
Your secret is mine and a hundred more.
Without your pain we never were.
These tiny hands would not clasp mine.
I would be no one's Papa,
no one's me.

© 1997 Terrell Shaw

* 9-13-10 I have corrected the name for this grave. I knew better than the name I gave previously, but still put the wrong one. Whoops! This should be a reminder to ALWAYS take genealogical info with a grain of salt and verify, verify, verify. I have seen mistakes on tombstones and lots on census records. Thanks, Annette, for straightening me out!
(Also corrected some typos.)