Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Confederate veteran's tombstone

This is the tombstone of William Billy Poore, 1848-1913. Interestingly the middle name is not a nickname, but part of his given names. William enlisted in the 16th Mississippi Infantry in April 1863 when he was 15 years old, thus the reason for the Confederate flag on his grave. The 16th Mississippi served in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee.

William, his wife and many of his children and other relatives are buried in the Union Seminary Baptist Church Cemetery in Jasper County, Mississippi. One of the reasons they are all buried together is that they also were members of Union Seminary Baptist Church.

You can read more about William and his Civil War exploits and that of his two older brothers in Poore Boys In Gray or on the companion blog.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Old toys can do more than just take us down memory lane

Many of us enjoy looking at antique toys or toys like those we grew up with that on their way to becoming antiques. Old toys can do more than just take us down memory lane.

Toys can tell us about the values our families held or how much money they had to spend. They may say something about what the child hoped to be when he or she grew up.

Take a look at the photo taken in the front yard of the Pierce family farm in Wilmer, Alabama.

Behind the steering wheel of the toy Indy racer is Raymond Lamont Pierce (1923-1981). The girl standing to the right is his big sister Beatrice Valara Pierce (1921-1993). The name of the other child is not known, but is believed to be a cousin, William Gustaver "Gus" Cayton (1921-2011).

Raymond grew up to work in the auto body business and later became an auto supplies distributor. His sister Bea ran a service station for a time. Cousin Gus had a career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Clearly the Pierce family could afford the luxury of store-bought toys and the children had time to play. Farm life, like any other life, may have had its drudgery, but there was also time for fun and play.

What do toys say about the children in your family? Did a fireman ancestor play with toy firetrucks as a child? Did a future engineer play with Erector construction sets?

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What clues do you see in this unidentified class photo?

The only thing that is know about this photo is that pictures students at Wilmer School in the farming community of Wilmer, Alabama.

Judging by the clothing and hairstyles, this photo may have been taken during the 1920s or early 1930s.

Does anyone recognize a face here? Is there anything else in this photo that provides a clue as to when it was taken or who is in it?
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