Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Meet Collins Catpurrnip

December 20, 2017

Sugar: I think the neighbors got a cat.

YoursTruly: The same neighbors that set your property on fire?

Sugar: Yes, I’ve seen a cat in my yard, and I saw him at the neighbors.

YoursTruly: No. Way. Those. People. Have. A. Cat. NOPE.

Sugar: Maybe he’s a stray.

YoursTruly: (rolls eyes) You’ve only had 3 in a year. He’s probably a stray.

*****

We were headed out and about, just driving about halfway along Sugar’s driveway, when he spotted the cat in the neighbor’s yard, crouched down behind an overturned rusty metal bucket. Those people are yard ornament collectors of sorts, but none of their collectibles seem to have any value. There’s a deceased boat, and sections of chain link fencing, and assorted vehicles, and yard debris, and garden statues of dubious value, and the remains of their yard-burning extravaganza. There were plenty of places for a feral cat to hide, but this one was huddled by the overturned bucket

We stopped and put out a can of food, because doesn’t everyone carry canned cat food in the car? He scooted away, feral-style.

*****

Sugar set his trap one evening and caught the little guy almost immediately. I had offered to take him, because the little guy’s presence was making Sugar’s cats go nuts.

After being tested and neutered and vaccinated and ear-tipped, we let him go in my woods by the cat dormitory. He skittered away like a water bug, zigzagging out of sight through the trees.

Sometimes I don’t see cats again after release. I can only hope that they will return for food and shelter after their initial panic. I didn’t see the little guy for almost a week. I returned home from work after dark, and I thought I saw him at the feeding station on the picnic table.

A few evenings later, I heard a high-pitched mewing close by the driveway near The Treehouse.

This was definitely he and not the Scruffy Cat that has been hanging around.

He started showing up in the daytime. Sugar would ask about him every day, and I told him he was going to have to give the cat a name. He knows that I have a few cats that hang around that don’t have names. It’s not like they are going to come when I call them. But if I was going to have to give a progress report every day on this damn cat, then I wanted him to have a name.

Sugar drew a blank in the name game. He suggested that I name him. I rose to the challenge.

Alright, he was going to be Collins after my Collins family, and… hmmmm… and…

Catpurrnip. Collins Catpurrnip.

Mr. Catpurrnip managed to climb into The Treehouse. Sue is harmless and non-confrontational. (Sue has a name because she had to go to the vet, and Cat1000 seemed like a bad idea.)

So he’s not very feral. I would call him a “soft feral”, as opposed to “hard-core”. Soft ferals can be seen in the daytime, but can’t really be handled. There are varying degrees of feral-ness.

He’s not fully integrated into the group. He hasn’t figured out where his place is. Is it okay to be in The Treehouse? Is it okay to eat at the same time from the same dish with another cat? Which cat? Is someone going to chase him away?

The answer is no, no one is chasing Mr. Catpurrnip. But he’s the one that has to get that all sorted out in his brain.

He soon learned that he can’t eat out of the same dish at the same time as Georgia because she will purr and headbutt you and make happy feet on you, which is never good for the digestion.

Welcome to the ‘hood, Mr. Catpurrnip!

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Gulielma Garrard, 1891-1906

April 11, 2016

Here’s another child of Mary Robert Lawton Garrard and Colonel William
Garrard that died too soon.

image

GarrardGulie1906

Image accessed from ancestry.com on 4/10/16. I edited the image by outlining the specific record for Gulie Garrard.

She died in the Telfair Hospital on Apri 4, 1906, of tuberculosis after an illness of 6 weeks. She left behind her parents, her brother William, and her sisters Emily and Cecelia.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Statement by Elizabeth Georgia Basinger of the experiences of her mother, Jane Susan Starr Basinger, & herself during the occupation of the City of Savannah by Sherman’s army on December 20th, 1864.

November 29, 2015

This Gold Mine in Sugar’s Closet is as wide as it is deep.

I was tootling through some Garrard papers (Hi Emily! I’m working on it!) when I found this statement and a transcription. I don’t know when the statement was written, and I don’t know when the transcription was transcribed, or who the transcriber was. I wonder if it’s the same typist and/or typewriter who transcribed William Starr Basinger’s “Reminiscences”. Regardless, I don’t know who transcribed the “Reminiscences”.

What I do know is that it appears to have been written long afterward Sherman’s occupation of Savannah based on some of Elizabeth “Georgia” Basinger’s statement.

So here I’ll present the images and then my digital transcription of the transcription. The original statement is difficult to read, but really? It’s possibly 150 years old. The paper it is written on is solid and only slightly worn on the edges. It is one continuous sheet.

Here we go…

BasingerEG 1864P1BasingerEG 1864P2BasingerEG 1864P3

BasingerEG P1

BasingerEG P2

BasingerEG P3

Here’s an oddity on the back of page one. It’s a carbon. I haven’t attempted to flip the page in a digital fashion. I remember the old days of manual typewriters and carbon sheets. I think that the carbon was inserted incorrectly between two or more sheets. I remember that usually, when typing an important paper, the first draft was not the final draft, and I think that this was an early attempt at transcribing the statement.

BasingerEG Back of P1

Statement by Elizabeth Georgia Basinger of the experiences of her mother,
Jane Susan Starr Basinger, & herself during the occupation of the City of
Savannah by Sherman’s army on December 20th, 1864.
The 20th Dec 1864 was a sad and sorrowful day in Sav, for we
knew the Y army was but a short distance off, and that during the night the City would be evacuated by the Confederate troops. There was but little provision What provision was the Quartermasters had were distributed to the citizens. The Hospitals & Soldiers Homes were disbanded, dismantled & their
little stores divided out among those who were at hand to receive them.
Night drew on dark & threatening, the stars were veiled in clouds as if in sympathy, those whose fate it was to remain in the City retired to their houses, glad to light their lamps, & sit around their fires, though they could do nothing, & talk of nothing but the events of the past day & the anticipations of the morrow. About 10 o’clock we suddenly remembered a sabre we had in our possession & was at that moment leaning in the corner, which had been taken from the enemy & given us by a friend, we had no time then to dispose of it in a safe place as we had done other articles of the
same kind, so Mother & I took it & went to the door & listened for some one to pass to whom we could give it. Presently we heard the noise of a horse’s feet & the rattle of a sword, it was so dark (there was no gas) that we could see neither horse or rider, but we went to the pavement & called. It proved to be an officer, & we knew by his voice & manner a gentleman, so we gave it to him, with a few brief words of explanation & he rode on. We went to bed, more from habit & because we did not know what else to do.
The first sound we heard early the next morning was Oh Miss, Oh Miss Lizzie, de Yankees is come, dey is just as tick (thick) as bees, dey is so many on horses & de horse’s tails is stanin’ out right straight, you jes come look out de winder. We were sorry to see the daylight which brought such a sight to us, what the little negro had said was too true, our street was full of them, there were pickets in the lane, a vacant lot near us was full & they had taken the next house wh was unoccupied. We had our gates & door securely fastened, several did get into the yard, because the servants were obliged to go in & out sometimes, but nothing was taken from the premises.
Our cooks husband would stand at the front gate a few moments & he had a ring taken from his finger & stolen & I was glad of it for it made them more careful. We closed our windows & mourned all the day, sad & listless, all our energy gone, & not a cent of money which was available of any use then we could not eat so we did not realize then that when our stock of provisions exhausted we had no money with which to get more. We retired that night.
At night there were fires in the lane & soldiers around them, their muskets stacked near by. We were amused when on retiring to our rooms we made a little noise with the windows, to see every man spring to his feet & grasp his musket, looking around as if expecting an attack. Thankful that our house had not been invaded we went to sleep. Quite early next morning Mother called “Come, let us up & be doing! As soon as we can get our breakfast we
must go to work, the Yanks all want something sweet & we want some green-backs, we will make cakes & pies &c and sell them”. We did so & were quite successful, we had several little negroes about who were delighted to do it. Several trays full were stolen by the soldiers. This was our life for some time & we made enough to get many things we needed. The rations which were given out, I think belonged to the City, they were given to all white persons who presented themselves. We as well as most others received the rations, because we had no money but Confederate. Whether any were ever denied or not I never heard; those persons appointed to distribute them were well acquainted in the City & I presume much had to be left to their discretion. It was some time before we took any of the enemy into our house; we heard so much about other persons providing for their whole families from the rations brought by those in their house, that we decided to take the next who applied; so shortly five asked to have a room, they would pay
for the room, & the gas, would bring their rations & we would have them prepared & put upon our table, where they & ourselves would take our meals.
The provisions were such that we could not stand it long; so we had to eat our own meals first, then go to the table & pretend to eat. Of course we could have no conversation with them, tho’ they tried their best to induce us, by discussing person & event in which they knew we were deeply interested, but we had made up our minds to be silent & we were. Their very presence soon became so hateful, & the feeling of degradation at even sitting
down with them so great, that we told them they might keep the room but we could no longer cook their meals.
Before breakfast one day, one of the servants said “Miss (they called mother so, short for mistress) I bleve dem Y is going, one big wagon is at the door”. Before we could turn round, they were gone sure enough, & we never heard more of them, the gas bill they did not pay, it was afterwards presented to us, but we declined to pay & so the matter ended. I do not remember the names of the men, we were only too glad to forget all about them.
If we had been sociable with them I have no doubt they would have provided much better; but our pride could not come down to that. Brother was in Va. all that time & Mother had been very sick, the grown negroes had left, & my time was fully occupied. We never came in contact with any of the enemy, so knew next to nothing except from hearsay. Occasionally we would hear from
what was left of the Confederacy. We had (& I have never ceased to regret it) taken the oath in order to receive our letters, for we felt as if we must hear from Va. & a letter did reach us sometimes.
On April 6th (???) I think, was fought the last battle of the confederacy, at Sailor’s Creek Va. Brother’s battalion was there, many were killed & he with many others taken prisoner. The first particulars came to me from my cousin who was also a prisoner. I well remember the number of persons who met me that afternoon on leaving the P O. The news soon flew over the City & by the time I reached home our house was full all eager to hear of their
friends who were in the fight. We had to tell many of the death of their sons, brothers &c, others were left in doubt of the fate of friends, many  were wounded & carried to prison. Brother was taken to Johnsons Is, my cousin to Fort McHenry. After that our amusement was to write long letters & take them to the Provost’s office to be approved & sent off. Three or four would undertake to read one letter, but would soon tire, put it in the envelope & mark it approved. We always took care to give them something sprey
to read about themselves & the fun was to see them make faces over it & yet could not exactly find fault. Brother remained in prison about 6 months, he with a number of others would not take the oath ordered, so they were kept, until their captors got disgusted I suppose for they were released & took no oath. The prison fare was very hard to those who had no money, many
ate rats & scraps left by the more fortunate. Those who had means & obtained better food, put up boxes in the passages, & would put in them what they could spare, & those who needed took from the boxes, so their feelings were saved & those who gave were pleased. We were able by exertion & some sacrifice to keep Brother provided. When he came home we were all right again.
The Mayor as on the approach of the enemy , met them & gave up the City. At the time we felt that terribly & thought we had rather have been bombarded, in our cooler moments we believed the Mayor was right. One night while the five Y were in our house, there was an immense fire in W. Broad St.; powder, shell &c were stored there, of course there were explosions & the shell went all over the City, in some cases through the roofs & into the houses. There was great excitement, & everybody much frightened. Our 5 thought at first that the Confeds were trying to retake the City. I do not remember, but I think the rations were given for about a month.
Many persons were much annoyed by the Y soldiers, but we escaped. The houses of those who had left the City were generally taken possession of, the furniture, clothing &c destroyed & given away, the negroes were paid for their services with it, carpets cut up for horse blankets, vaults in the cemetery broken open to hunt for treasure, particularly those which seemed to have been recently opened for interment. Sav on the whole fared much better than most places.

It’s a favorite old Southern story that the Confederate families that were left behind buried the family silver at the approach of the Union Army. The Basingers were city people, and even though they had a town lot, there is no story of any hiding of family valuables. Sugar has a story that the Basinger silverware was placed in a safe-deposit box at a bank in the 1900s. It was never recovered, if the story is true.

There are a few pieces of silver that Sugar has in his collection. We were looking at them over the Thanksgiving holiday this year, and he found a fork with the initials “E G B” on the underside of the handle.

Do you suppose, when Elizabeth Georgia Basinger took her meals at the table with the Yankees, that she used this fork…

In Which We Find Thomas Remington Bateson, 1872-1879

January 9, 2015

BatesonThomasRemington

 

SMT September 28, 1879: 2/7 – The friends of Wm. Spears and Wm.

Ebbes and family, are respectfully invited to attend the funeral

of Thomas Remington Bateson, youngest child of Thos. Bateson,

deceased, from the residence of the former on Thunderbolt road,

this morning at 9:30 o’clock.

Oh, he was just a baby. He rests with his parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles.

IMG_7643

 

(Incidentally, this is my 900th post. Who knew I’d write this many? I certainly didn’t.)

Another Clue in the Bateson Tree

January 7, 2015

A gentleman commented on the blog.

The Rev. Christopher Bateson is my great, great, great, Grandfather. I have be working on the family history for a number of years. have a letter from Thomas Bateson, of Savannah,Ga. written to his uncle Henry in England on April 23, 1873, on the business stationary.
In this letter he says he has taken over the business from his father, and that he has three children, Alice, Georgina Agnes, and Thomas Remington.
I am trying to find out more about this branch of the family. I am visiting in Florida this winter and am planning a trip to Savannah.
Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

*****

Well, this is big news! Sugar and I didn’t know that Georgia’s middle name was Agnes, and that Thomas’s middle name was Remington.

So I went to the ancestry.com tree and edited Georgia Bateson’s name to “Georgia Agnes Bateson”. (“Agnes” as her middle name completely makes sense to me. Her mother’s mother was Agnes.)

And I search ONE MORE TIME.

And there she is.

There’s a family tree online with her name as Georgia Agnes Bateson Lengnick.

And a photo! She belongs to a nice lady in Texas.

Georgia Agnes Bateson Lengnick.

Georgia Agnes Bateson Lengnick.

*****

The last record I had found on Georgia Bateson was in 1880 when she and her sister were in the Episcopal Orphan Home, and also in the Hartridge household that same year. We wondered why the girls didn’t go live with their grandmother Agnes Mann in Beaufort. On the 1880 census, Agnes Mann had grandchildren living with her. Why not these Bateson girls?

We knew, since Georgia and Alice were not buried in the family plot at Laurel Grove, that perhaps they lived. My worry was that they died and there was no one to pay for their interment, and they were lost to a pauper’s grave.

The last record I had found for Georgia’s sister Alice was in the Savannah City Directories in the 1890s, so I thought that Georgia might have died in the 1890’s. Where was she?

Savannah City Directory, 1893, before cropping.

Savannah City Directory, 1893, before cropping.

The 1893 Savannah City Directory. Alice Bateson, boards at 37 Anderson.

The 1893 Savannah City Directory.
Alice Bateson, boards at 37 Anderson.

Now that I know that Georgia was not deceased until 1956, and that she married a man named Albert C. Lengnick, where is she in 1893?

Albert C. Lengnick, bookkeeper for the Mutual Co-operative Association. Resides at 37 Anderson.

Albert C. Lengnick, bookkeeper for the Mutual Co-operative Association. Resides at 37 Anderson.

Why, she’s at 37 Anderson, of course…

The Gold Mine in the Closet: An Unidentified House, Part 2

December 21, 2014

Here’s the photo of an unidentified house from Sugar’s gold mine in the closet…

scan0008 (4)

We drove by where we thought the house should be, only we were looking on the wrong side of the street.

We didn’t know it at the time. If only we had looked left.

*****

When in doubt, I have a method wherein I take an informal survey. I talk to everyone who will give me the time of day. To the outsider looking in? They go nuts, because I don’t follow the advice of the crowd. I don’t understand why people go nuts. It’s my game. It’s my rules. I’m just interested in what other people have to say. I doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to follow their advice. I’m just looking for opinions and input.

I went the easy route. I asked Sugar’s cousin by way of FaceBook.

She didn’t know the house, either, but she knew people who might know.

Sure enough, SugarCousin has an answer. The house’s address is 601 Whitaker Street, not Huntingdon at all. It’s on the southwest corner of Whitaker and Huntingdon, not across the street at the northwest corner where the vet clinic is.

WHInn

This modern-day photo is from the website of the Whitaker-Huntingdon Inn. But you know at some point we’ll go by there.

 

So how’d we get the address wrong? It looks like there’s a side door fronting onto Huntingdon, which must be 101 Huntingdon, West. We thought we were looking for the front of a house, not an apartment entryway or a side door.

Take a look at their website. It’s quite lovely. According to the history on the page:

The third owner was Dr. Lloyd Taylor who lived with his family in the home 42 years. In 1923, Dr. Taylor added the one story addition on the rear of the structure as his medical office. Two additional rooms were also added by Dr. Taylor in a two story addition in the rear of the house. During W.W.I, the Taylor’s also converted the second story into an apartment.

Apparently Dr. Taylor also added an apartment at some point that Sugar’s grandmother rented for a brief period.

Anyone want to go on a field trip?

The Gold Mine in the Closet: An Unidentified House

December 20, 2014

We wondered about this house.

scan0008 (4)

 

Perhaps it was the house that Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton lived in when the Savannah City Directory showed her living at 101 Huntingdon Street, West.

1940 LawtonLeslieB 101 Huntingdon W

Regardless, Sugar doesn’t recognize the house.

I did a google map search, and it looks like the house faces Huntingdon next to the building that houses the Georgia Historical Society, which faces Whitaker but has a Gaston address. It doesn’t show up on the google map, and it should be on the north side of the street because it is an odd number.

We drove by, and there was a veterinary clinic on the house on the corner. We stared at it as we made the turn as we went south on Whitaker and right on Huntingdon.

Our mistake.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 5

December 18, 2014

We drove by where Edith’s house used to be.

IMG_7482

And after we went home, we kept thinking about the Edith that we are looking for.

004 (3)

We realize that we need to go back to the Library and look at a series of the Savannah City Directories.

So we do.  But it takes us a while. The blogging doesn’t show that we’ve been working on this project for over a month, probably closer to two. We are a bit obsessed with giving our Edith a last name, and finding out more about her.

We think her last name is Barnes.

So we look for Edith Barnes.

We start with 1940 because that’s when we find her on the U.S. Federal Census.

She’s not in the 1940 Savannah City Directory. So let’s guess that means that she wasn’t living there in 1939 when the information was gathered for publication in 1940. But when the 1940 census was taken actually in 1940, she was living there. Make sense?

We do find Leslie Basinger Lawton in 1940 living at 101 Huntingdon, West. We don’t know anything about her living on Huntingdon, so we’ll need to check that out.

1940 LawtonLeslieB 101 Huntingdon W

Here’s Edith in 1941 at 547 East Charlton Lane. She’s a maid for L. E. Orvin.

1941 BarnesEdith

 

Here’s Leslie Basinger Lawton in 1941.

1940 BarnesEdith

In 1942, Edith is still at 547 East Charlton Lane, and is still a maid for L. E. Orvin.

 

1942 BarnesEdith

 

By 1942, Leslie Basinger Lawton is at 122 East Taylor Street.

1942 LawtonLeslieB

 

In 1942, Louis E. Orvin is at 213 East Gaston Street.

1942 OrvinLE

 

Let’s jump to 1948. We’ve established that Edith Barnes is at 547 East Charlton Lane for years. We’ve learned that Leslie Basinger Lawton went from East Gaston to West Huntingdon to 122 East Taylor Street.

In 1948, Edith is at the same address.

1948 BarnesEdith

 

And so is Leslie Basinger Lawton.

1948 LawtonLeslieB

 

Let’s make a bold leap and jump into 1970, where we find Edith Barnes still at 547 East Charlton Lane. The times they are a’changing, and the city directory is not divided into a “white” section and a “colored” section any more.

1970 BarnesEdith

1970 LawtonLeslieB

We can’t find Edith in 1975.

When I get home, I check ancestry.com one.more.time. And I find a death record for Edith Barnes on November 27, 1969. I also find a death record for Edith Barnes in January 1969.

Is this a mistake? A typo? A glitch in the system?

Someone? Anyone?

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 4

December 14, 2014

It feels like we’re getting close.

004 (3)

 

This is Edith who worked for Sugar’s grandmother at the house at 122 East Taylor Street, Savannah, Georgia.

scan0010 (2)

 

We’re looking for more information about Edith. Sugar doesn’t even know her last name, but he knows that once his family drove her home, and it wasn’t far from his grandmother’s house. He has a vague, shadowy memory that it was east of his grandmother’s, perhaps between Price and East Broad, on an east/west street.

I found an entry on ancestry.com for Edith Barnes who lived at 547 East Charlton Lane, and that address fits exactly with his memory.

I can’t find a death record for Edith Barnes in Savannah, so perhaps she was buried back in South Carolina where she was born. Truly, I can’t find a death record anywhere, but this is not an obstacle, only a challenge.

East Charlton Lane doesn’t exist any more. We drove aroundaroundaround and couldn’t find it. If only we had a good map.

*****

I remembered that there are the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Georgia, and, glory hallelujah, they are online. They are not user-friendly, so it involves a lot of panning left/right/up/down and zooming in to read the street names. And some cursage on my part.

I discovered that I can save the image to my computer for your viewing pleasure here on the blog.

Because I found East Charlton Lane on the map. The most recent one was for 1916, and there’s 547 East Charlton Lane.

BarnesEdith 547CharltonLane 1916

 

A little zoomage showing East Charlton Street. East Charlton Lane is just south.

A little zoomage showing East Charlton Street. East Charlton Lane is just south.

If the Edith that we want is truly the Edith that lived at 547 East Charlton Lane, we know that she most likely didn’t live here in 1916. She was born approximately in 1908 in South Carolina. It’s POSSIBLE that she moved here with her family.

And you know what, even if she’s not our Edith, she was SOMEBODY. She was a person that lived and died even if we can’t find her death record.

BarnesEdith 547CharltonLane1916 (zoom)

 

So it’s time to go by Edith’s house.

We find where East Charlton Lane should be, but it’s an alley now.

Right about where Edith’s house should be, there’s nothing.

IMG_7481

Except a sunbeam through the afternoon trees to say hello.

IMG_7482

 

Don’t give up, Edith. We’re still looking for you.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: In Which We Look for Edith, Part 3

December 13, 2014

004 (3)

Here’s Edith.

She worked for Sugar’s grandmother until she was old enough to retire.

Sugar remembers that she was a great cook. He doesn’t remember her last name, or even if he ever knew her last name.

We think that we have found her as Edith Barnes by looking through the 1940 Federal Census on ancestry.com. She’s listed as living at 547 Charlton Lane, but we can’t find Charlton Lane. It doesn’t seem to exist any more.

I can scroll through all the pages of the Savannah City Directory by using ancestry.com, which is tedious, time-consuming work. We decide to go to the Library on Bull Street instead, and look at the directories in person.

There’s a genealogy/history room there. You don’t even have to sign in, unless you want to use the computers. I can take photos of the city directory pages using the digital camera.

We decide to randomly start with the 1957 volume. Sugar would have been old enough to remember Edith, and would remember that they drove her home once to an area east of his grandmother’s that would be close enough for her to walk.

And she’s still at 547 East Charlton Lane, which matches the 1940 census. There are two Edith Barnes, just like the 1940 census, but the second Edith Barnes lives at Fellwood Homes, and we don’t know where that is, so we’re still going with the first Edith Barnes as being our Edith.

While photographing the pages, I wrote the year, name, and address on a plain piece of paper and inserted it into the book, as a way to help me identify the photos during the editing process.

????????????????

I also used a handy little library pencil to help me locate the entry.

Then I cropped the photo for easier readability.

IMG_7428

His grandmother is still at 122 East Taylor Street, which is the only place Sugar remembers her living at.

IMG_7429

IMG_7430

In the 1965 City Directory, both women are living at the same addresses as in 1957.

IMG_7435

IMG_7436

 

Do you see how Leslie B. Lawton is listed at the Widow of Edward P. Lawton and residing at 122 East Taylor Street? Edward never even lived at this address. He died in 1929 when they were living at East Gaston Street.

Right about now we’re flagging, from the researching and the driving around. (We had a list of places that we went to that I haven’t shared with you yet, but it was a long list, and our heads are full.)

So what happened to 547 Charlton Lane? If only we had an old map.

Then I remembered the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps