Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Flowers That Were Popular for Funerals in 1914.

[See] My previous post was based on the funeral home cards that I discovered in a little white box that I took charge of, when my father passed away in 2000, (along with a lot of other family history).

Not sure if I can find out more on Google about Funeral Flowers, but here is a delicate and subtle web site:  I wonder if different historic periods called for different flowers?  So, in my great grandfather's funeral card, sent in 1914, the choices that were made...were they in any way, significant of the times?

There were not a lot of cards, but the choices of flowers purchased for this funeral which took place in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, were repeated more than one time.

Gladioli:   This reminds me of my grandmother, Alice Settles.  I have a lovely picture of her holding a "spray" of these flowers.  Mother took a lot of care that her garden would also feature this flower and it became one of my favorites (though I don't have a garden).  

Asters seemed to be very popular, also (in various colors).

Finally, I discovered the existence of "Horace Reed" or is it "Horace Read " Daisies?  Which are also called "Shasta" daisies

To learn more about daisies, access this website:

What flowers to send to a funeral:  These might include gladioli, snapdragons, lilies, standard chrysanthemums, carnations and roses. Small-scale flowers in mid- to small-size designs are usually used for sending to the home. Only family members who are arranging the funeral should order flowers for the casket.

Funeral Home Cards

Samuel Richard TUCKER:  Maternal grandfather of Wiley Benjamin Hill, the younger.

Born in Sumter, (or "Sumpter"), South Carolina on  23 Jun 1845. 
Died Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Forrest County) at the age of 64, on 17 Mar 1914. 

The only picture that I have of him:

A small white box holds these little cards for Bennie Hill's maternal grandfather, Samuel Richard Tucker.  They are sympathy cards and/or cards telling who sent flowers, etc.

1.  Sympathy: Mrs. Collins and the nurses at Collins Home sent a "spray" with white asters.
2.  "With Sympathy", a spray of pink asters (obtained from Monroe Florist).
3.  A spray of white gladioli from daughters, Rosie, Eunice, and Emma. (Mary's Flower Shop at 318 North Second Street, Phone 33494)---Hattiesburg, Mississippi [I'm assuming].
4.  McMullen's Flower Shop in Monroe, Louisiana; 912 South  Third Street, 36522 (phone); Spray of pink glads.  From the Raymond Ruggs Family.
5.  Collins Convalescent Home; 904 Jackson Street: A spray of ? Pink? gladioli (Mary's Flower Shop).
6.  Spray of White Asters from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mary's Flower Shop.
7.  A spray of white Horace Reed Daisies?  Purchased from Mary's Flower Shop, from Travis Tyner.
8.  Finally, from Mary's Flower Shop, another spray of Horace Reed Daisies from Mr. and Mrs. M. Hatcher.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Tall Tales:  was this something that families did for lack of our modern conveniences?  Read and judge for yourselves.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do you remember that paper and file folders used to come in the 11 X 14 size?  Yes, and peoople wrote letters by hand, with pencil or pen and using a manual typewriter wasn't a challenge if you had a couple of strong fingers.

Here is the discovery waiting for you if you begin to go through boxes of papers, found in an attic, tucked away in a storage room, a closet, or in an old garage:

  • Some of it will be family history stuff; letters, newspaper clippings, and photos.
  • Some of it might be genealogy charts in 11 X 14 format, with likewise styled folders.
  • Occasionally, you will find notes written on those folders!
Here is what my dad wrote on this folder, 11 X 14, all the way to the bottom of the space: witty sayings that he "coined".  Some of these sayings are gems of wisdom, even.

1.  Enthusiasm is that deeply embedded ingredient in the human being that acts as an antibody to destroy procrastination and pessimism.

2.  If wishes worked, where would the workers "Bee"?

3.  In every family three, there's always a little sap.

4.  Yearly, the IRS puts my filthy lucre through the cleaners.

5.  Don't buy gossip just because it's dirt cheap!

6.  Give a weed an inch and it will take a yard.

7.  While the world has slept, into its bosm, socialism has crept.

8.  Civilization starts and savagery ends when people competently record the names, dates, and places of their ancestors, along with the events that took place during their time line.

9.  If we could find other things as well as we can find fault, we would all be rich.

10.  Latin is a dead language; now it is killing me. (Found scribbled in my dad's sister's old schoolbook).


Saturday, January 25, 2014

A House is almost always a home.

In December of 1955, as I remember, my mother and dad moved to the rural community of Wright, Florida.  It was just a few miles away from where we had been living within the city limits of Fort Walton [now known as Fort Walton Beach].  As a child, I had only a vague idea of rural living.  I guess I would have guessed that a "farm" was a place where cows lived.

Lived, past tense.  Dairy cows had lived, just a decade before, on the acreage that my dad purchased.  Large cement cisterns were relics of that time.  There may have been a couple of those in evidence and an old barn graced the property, as well.  A beautiful grove of mature pecan trees dotted the landscape and in the spring, when the clover came up, we got the idea to call our new home "Cloverdale".

It's true that initially, the red blooms and green clover leafs became our playing field, but it didn't take long for us to realize that the bees also liked clover. 

The house itself, featured two stories, an unusual structure in our experience; it hadn't been lived in for a while and felt not at all like a cozy place.  There was no working furnace and northwest Florida can be cold in the winter.  Fortunately, the fireplace provided a temporary solution as we three kids gathered our blankets and with Mother's help, organized a "pallet*" city at night-time.  In less than a week's time, Dad had contracted to have gas heaters put into the walls!

*My grandmother’s house was small but always overflowed with family and guests during the holidays. Us young’uns (grandkids) always slept on and under a pile of quilt “pallets” on the floor, leaving the real beds to the grown ups.

Obituary of Samuel Moses Tucker by "A Friend"

Tucker was my dad's mother's maiden name.  Or said another way, Eunice Hill, my dad's mother, was first (nee') Eunice Tucker.  Her grandfather was Samuel Moses Tucker.  This composition, then, is what a friend of her grandfather's wrote about her grandfather's death.

Obituary for Samuel Moses Tucker

S. M. Tucker was born in Sumter District, South Carolina the 28th day of March 1820—died the 9th day of October, 1883, at his residence in Jasper County, Miss.

About the year 1847, he moved from South Carolina to the state of Alabama, where he resided until the year of 1857. Then he moved with his family to Jasper County, Mississippi where he remained until the cold icy hands of death laid his frail body down to sleep until the resurrection morn.

About the year 1867 he attached himself to M.E. Church South [does “M.E.” stand for Methodist Episcopalian?], in which he was a consistent member for three years and desired to live thus the remainder of his days, but being treated in an un-Christian like manner by one of the leading members of his church, he declined to have anything further to do with the church or that member and said he purposed [proposed] to live a retired Christian life which he did, to the best of his ability until the chastening hand of God was laid severely upon him in stiffness and suffering thus he was brought [some words and a line or two of this is not able to be discerned by myself at this time].....and requested many whom he believed to be Christians to pray for him a few days before his death.

He seem to be troubled by his future prospects but on the day preceding his death, he became reconciled to his fate and exclaimed, “All is well”. And with this he left a brighter evidence of his acceptance with God. [I've had to try and re-create some of this and guess at the words I can't read].

The writer of this notice was with him during his last hours, and conversed with him freely, on the topic of religion and he said, “While I love my children, …..[unreadable] the will of God.” Those that were present at his death said that he passed away like one falling in a trance. “Oh, how sweet it is to die in the arms of Jesus”.

He leaves behind him a devoted wife and fourteen fond children, and many friends to mourn their loss. But, thanks be to God we sorrow not as those who have not hope, for we have reason to believe that “Our loss is his eternal gain”. (A Friend)

[Transcribed by Margaret Hill Harris on January 25, 2014; this composition is yellowed, bound together with tape and typed.]

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Save Every Scrap of Paper?

My dad, my genealogy mentor, kept copies of many of the letters that he typed and wrote by hand.  Back in the day, you could do that by using carbon paper.   

It helped him to keep track of the abundant queries and requests for information that he mailed off; the Post Office was an essential tool for his genealogy research!

From one such copy, I learned something new and significant about my Dad, heretofore unknown.

On the 26th of February, 1978, he was writing a request to a records department in North Carolina.  He had previously visited a repository in Charlotte on a quick trip to Washington D. C.  Inside, he found and requested a photocopy of a will for Edward Givens, one of my mother's progenitors. He collected the copies and got back on the road.

Evidently, my dad was unable to review the packet until he returned home to Fort Walton Beach, for in the letter, he is requesting a photocopy of page 114 in Will Book "C"; this page being the first page of the will for Mr. Givens.  However, in the photocopies obtained previously, this page was for someone named Brevard.

The rest of the will was, indeed, the right file.  Someone at the records department or in the photocopy office had made an error and would need to find the "real" first page, if possible.  My dad sent a self-addressed stamped envelope and a one dollar bill to cover the cost of mailing.  He also complimented the staff at the facility for the fine job of preservation they had done.  At this point, I have yet to go through all my dad's genealogy folders and I'm sure as I continue to review their contents, I will come across this will and perhaps, be able to discover whether the appropriate response to his petition, was in fact, received.

In passing, my father, Wiley Benjamin Hill, writes, "P.S. I had the pleasure of serving in the Air Force at Raleigh-Durham Air Base during World War II."

What?!!  I didn't know that.  This, then, is a meaningful tidbit of my dad's personal history that I can pass along to my posterity.  Nearly fifty years after dad's military service in the Army Air Corps, my son would serve a church mission in the Raleigh area!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Letter from Family Collaborator, Floyd E. Haupt

Letter from
Floyd E. Haupt

"Thanks for the data on the Tuckers.  I decided to xerox all of it and return evverything to you [Wiley Benjamin Hill, Jr.].  I'm glad to have one question answered (but not glad for the way it was answered).  I have wondered whether or not there were any deeds for the Richland County.  My daughter, Ruth Ellen, married John L._______. [omitted for privacy sake],on June 19th.  They live in Salt Lake City.  She just graduated and has gotten a bug about genealogy.  Since I have been swamped lately, (I'm writing a book on computers), I will let her carry the ball for awhile in genealogy.  I loaned her all the basic collections.

" Aunt Florence is visiting us for a few days--she lives in Santa Barbara.  (That is one of my mother's sisters); another of my mother's sisters, Nelly Brown, died on June 26th down in Tucson.  Aunt Florence recently had part of her right leg amputated and so we have a 'wooden legged' aunt.  I suppose it is our pirate ancestry showing up again.

"Did I tell you that I had traced the Tucker line back to Elizabeth County, Virginia and from there to England?  A few generations are hazy but there is no _______[torn off] our line.  Alexander Brown's Genesis of the United States _______[part of torn off piece] has the Tucker lineage in it."

[Signed] Floyd E. Haupt

Date in or around the 1970's?  This was a part of loose files belonging to Wiley Benjamin Hill, Jr.
A one page letter, envelope missing, and torn on the bottom left corner. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

I had written a post about my dad, kind of memorializing his life on the anniversary of his death.  I have pulled that post in order to write a more public type of post.  The feelings I expressed yesterday when I posted, are very personal and private and somehow I may have wandered from talking to about my dad, to talking about myself.

When our parents pass away, I wonder if we don't sooner or later come to the realization that our love for them far outweighs any unresolved issues.

I choose to believe that our parents are our connection to the past.  It is not our position to judge them, just as we hope our children will not judge us.  Our footprints in the sand are unique, as theirs will be.  I bear my testimony that remembering the good times, remembering their struggles and appreciating that they did struggle, will be the bridge to understanding and, in part, the bridge to resolution.  Family History is not a hobby for many of us--it is the key to understanding ourselves and our lives.

So, despite the fact that there will be bad memories or no memories, in some cases--do what you can to spend at least a little time, if you can, giving our parents a cipher on the pages of history.  Hope that someone does the same for us.

I will relate that my husband, when he learned of the death of his father, had a difficult and emotional decision to make: to attend the funeral or not.  He had such a store of conflicting feelings about this man, his father.  However, at my urging, we did attend the funeral.  Once there, my husband was able to reconnect with relatives glad to see him, people who were pleased to accept him into the company of the Harris family.  It was a healing time for him.  We have tried since that time to maintain a correspondence with that group, for they are surely a part of the family history.

Our mom and dad were loved.  Maybe, because of the struggles we had, we are able to better appreciate the times when there were better times.  Make a memory with your family today and if you are fortunate enough to still have your parents in your life, give them a hug, make a telephone call, or ask them to identify that store of photos that some families have.  It will be, I promise, a healing activity.  I didn't say it might not be difficult to reach out, but in the end, I hope that for you it will be possilbe.

Like father, like son.  My son, Richard, has a wry sense of humor that his son, Torin, has inherited.  They have a lot of fun, together.
My Kids, Grandchildren of Wiley Benjamin Hill, Jr.