Posts Tagged ‘Lawton’

FlowerFest 2015: At Stop Two

December 9, 2015

Here’s Sugar’s relative Jordan.


His great-grandfather was Jefferson Brown.

Jefferson’s father was Winnie Joe Brown.

Winnie Joe’s father was most probably Francis Asbury Lawton. According to the DNA and the family stories, he’s the most likely candidate.

Sugar and Jordan share DNA that goes back to the 1700s to Joseph Lawton. Sugar and Jordan’s mother also share DNA.

By a stroke of pure luck and coincidence, Jordan (in Germany, mind you) mentioned that Jefferson Brown lived in Savannah, and he told this to me the evening before we were to set out on a FlowerFest. I found a city directory listing for 1925 that matched the address that Jordan had from a draft registration. Sugar was agreeable to do a drive-by, since he was the one driving the time machine and he knew the area.

 

Jefferson Brown lived at 1024 West 36th Street, Savannah, Georgia, in 1925.


We drove down the street to find the house was gone. There was an empty lot. No sign that Jefferson Brown had ever been there.

Just past the empty lot is a church at 1050 West 36th Street.


Directly across the street from where 1024 would have been was 1025. It is a more modern construction, so I’m guessing that any houses westward from 1024 and 1025 were demolished or removed, and new structures were built, including the church.


The houses at the corner where the street sign is look to be of a vintage similar to the ones where Edith Barnes lived. Edith was Sugar’s grandmother’s housekeeper, and she lived on the east side of town. Her area has been gentrified.

So let’s guess that Jefferson Brown lived in a house that was styled much like this.


And let’s also imagine that Sugar’s grandfather’s family, whose family line had been in Savannah since the mid-1800s, was living on the east side, while Jordan’s great-grandfather was living on the west side about the same time.

But nobody knew about this connection until a DNA match responded to Jordan’s inquiry.

Sometimes the puzzles just work themselves, with properly placed nudging.

You know what this means? We have to find a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map.

*****

It would have been helpful to have checked the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map before we went to Savannah and before I wrote this blog post…

We were on the wrong section of 36th. The 1916 map shows Lot 1024 to be across Ogeechee Road. We were on the section between 1046 and 1047.

1024 West 36th Street, SAV

 

 

 

FlowerFest 2015: Stops One and Two

December 8, 2015

We’re off on our annual poinsettia-placing to Savannah. 

 

Ten!

  

From SC into GA


Sugar and I head into Laurel Grove first. It’s on the west side of town, so we approach it first once we cross over the bridge. 

Our goal is to start with the Densler and Bateson plots, then finish up at the Lawton-Jones mausoleum. As we drove along the lane, we got visually side-tracked by a limping dog, who limped along across the lane in front of us and joined another dog. Then a little shepherd mix PUPPY popped out of the underbrush, right by a black dog that might have been his mother. We had no food in the car to give them. It was all disconcerting. 

The dogs melted into the underbrush, but the puppy came out to bark at us. 

  
There was really nothing we could do about the dogs, except leave them. 

We parked back of the Densler mausoleum and walk around to the front. Mrs. Mary Densler is buried here, and she is William Starr Basinger’s Aunt Polly. More correctly, I believe she is the sister of his mother’s mother Ann Pearson Starr. 

   
   
Some of the bricks look clean and repointed. 

We walk over a few lanes to the Bateson plot. This lot is special to us. We discovered in 2014 that there were Batesons right here in Savannah in an unmarked plot, and Sugar ordered a stone for them. There are 10 people buried here in a lot that can hold 12. The last burial was in 1879, that of the child, Thomas Remington Bateson. No one was left to mark the burial place until 135 years later when a Sugar came along. 

   
    
    
  
I always want to just sit with these people. I wonder what they would think of this: the picture-taking, the blogging, the marking of the plot. And the automobiles, the traffic, the sounds of the interstate nearby, the planes overhead. Every vehicle was pulled by animal power when these folks were alive. I want to talk to them, or actually, simply to listen to what they have to say. This family breaks my heart. 

It’s time to go to Jones-Lawton. 

  
This crypt is on 4 plots, if I understand it correctly. There are 4 graves buried outside the crypt, Sugar’s aunt Emily Augusta Lawton, and his first cousins Mary Garrard Mackin and her brother William, and William’s wife Alice Knott Garrard. 

Inside are at least 18 people. The story goes that it was built by Augustus Seaborn Jones for himself and his wife Emily Robert Jones. Here’s where things get convoluted. Their daughter Elizabeth “Bessie” Jones married Dr. William Seabrook Lawton (they are Sugar’s great-grandparents).  Their son Edward Percival Lawton (he is Sugar’s grandfather) and daughter Gulielma Lawton Read (she married Abram Carrington Read) are buried there, but not their spouses. Another daughter of Edward Percival is there: Leslie Lawton Read, who married a different branch of the Reads. Leslie’s daughter Margaret Louisa Read is there, and she took the last spot. (Another daughter of Edward Percival’s is Emily Augusta Lawton, already mentioned.)

So many Lawtons, so little time. 

   
  

Sugar spots a rainbow effect over Jones-Lawton.

  

We walk around the grounds, noting that the crepe myrtles could be cut back yet again. 

 

From the rear


It’s time now to go somewhere we’ve never gone, literally and figuratively. 

The day before, I had an online conversation with another of Sugar’s Lawton cousins who mentioned that his grandfather Jefferson Brown, a Lawton descendant, lived at 1024 36th Street. I offered to go by to see if the house still stood. 
His name is Jordan, and he tested with 23&me. He’s definitely a Lawton. 

  
You can read his story at the 23&me website. 

 

FlowerFest 2015:  Off to the Cemetery 

December 8, 2015

  
It’s that time of year again! We started in 2009, and now we’re up to 10 poinsettias for 10 plots. 

  

Once again there are excellent poinsettias the Publix grocery store.   

  
The cashier asked him if we were decorating a hall. He said no, we’re going to the cemetery. She melted slightly and told him that was sweet. I didn’t tell her his name is Sugar.

  
And we’re off to Savannah!

The House at 34 South Battery 

October 12, 2015

Sugar’s mother was a Lawton from Savannah. 

Her sister Leslie married a Read, and they lived in Charleston at the corner of Battery and King. 

They had one child named Margaret, and they divorced. Margaret never married. 

Sugar found these photos in his mother’s photo album, which was more in the old scrapbook style where one glued the photos and momentoes to the pages. He’s identified the back garden and carriage house at Aunt Les’s at 34 South Battery. Margaret is in the hammock, Aunt Les is in a chair, and perhaps Sugar’s mother is the other person. We can’t be sure, but she’s not facing the camera, and that was her habit to turn away from the camera. 

This looks like a spring day. The irises are blooming, and the trees are not in full leaf. 

Sugar remembers that his Aunt Les was not a happy person. Is that a child’s memory? Or was she bitter about being divorced, and that attitude became her signature? Maybe she just needed a Sugar of her own. 

   
    

The garden and the carriage house are gone. 

The people are gone.  

The memories are gone. 

All we have left are these charming photos. 

Sleep well, everyone. We’re thinking about you. 

The John Lawton House on the Maye River

October 11, 2015

It’s time for a roll down Memory Lane. 

We head over to the site of the John Lawton house in Bluffton. 

I’m always surprised that no one tries to accost us. I mean, if someone were standing outside your house, taking photos, would you be flattered or would you pick up a shotgun? Strangely, we’ve NEVER had a problem. Perhaps it’s because of my ninja-like stealth-photo-taking abilities. Or perhaps it’s my cloak of secrecy. Or perhaps it’s because I don’t look like I know how to operate an iPhone camera = undangerous. 

At any rate, I’m right up against the gate in some of these photos. 

 

Site of the John Lawton house, circa 1888

  
    
 
There are two houses on the property, but neither are the original John Lawton house. 

    
    

Y’all know I love old bricks.

 Stay tuned ’cause there’s always more dead people fun around here. 

LawtonFest 2015: The Approach

September 14, 2015

It’s LawtonFest 2015!

But where are we going?

  
It looks like rain. Bleh. 

But we’re in luck! It doesn’t rain on a LawtonFest. It’s against the charter rules. 

   

I have inherited by mother’s photo-taking ability. At least this is not a shot of a hardwood floor.

  
Now here’s what I like – so much food that the caterers have to rent a trailer. 

   
It was known that this family married cousins. Apparently, there wasn’t always someone suitable that was available for marriage. I was able to protect Sugar from his cousins. (He’s a good catch.)

After the meal…

  
Plenty of salad and fruit, but where are the brownies?

Clearly we have our priorities right and are ready for the meeting. Yes, this is never an ordinary family reunion where you just show up with a mayonnaise-based covered dish. There’s a slideshow of events past and present. 

   
 
There’s usually a display of books and memorabilia. The first time I went to one of these reunions, I thought, “Why is everyone bringing books except us? Did we miss the memo?”

   
    
    
    
   
That’s just how the Lawton and Allied Families roll. 

Afterward, the evening was so beautiful and still, Sugar and I ended up in the graveyard. 

   
 
‘Cause that’s how we roll. 

Lawton People! Here’s Your 2015 Reunion Letter!

April 19, 2015

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The Lawton and Allied Families Association

135 Lamont Drive

Decatur, GA 30030

April 12, 2015

Dear Cousins,

We had a great time in Robertville last year – and we’re well along the way to restoring the wall

around the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery at Edisto Island. I’ve been reminded again how important

Edisto is to our common heritage. We’ll meet at Edisto Island on June 12th and 13th.

The Edisto Island Presbyterian Church will be our meeting point for the reunion. It’s near oth the

Historical society offices and the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery.

On Friday night we’ll gather at the church to renew our friendships and to discuss the plan to restore

the cemetery wall. The current owners of the land around it have cleaned it up magnificently. By

that time we hope to have a complete plan and perhaps to be along the way toward repair of the

wall.

On Saturday, Tim Drake will tell us about Victorian Era Funeral customs. Some of us may have seen

these customs growing up without realizing their origin. I’m sure it will be interesting. In the

afternoon, we’ll travel to the Lawton-Seabrook cemetery to see it – and hopefully the ongoing

restoration work. Tim is on staff at Clemson and is deeply involved in our state’s history and historical

organizations.

Here are two other important matters before us:

We need to have a good and effective Email list to keep our membership informed. I expect that

90% of our mailing list has an email address. Please help us by sending me an email at:

nealeh1@bellsouth.net, giving me your name and current address. It’s a huge help! We also have a

google spreadsheet that you can use to sign up. Instructions are on the registration form.

Third, we need some help. Mary Catherine Plowden has served faithfully as our Treasurer since

  1. Now it’s time for someone else to take this responsibility. About 95% of the work is in May and

June around reunion time. Please let me know if you can help out. It would be great to announce

the name of the new treasurer at the meeting – rather than beating the bushes for volunteers.

Finally, note that the attachments to this letter have some information on accommodations on

Edisto Island. It’s a resort area, so you should book a room early. But our contact can get

you a “weekend” booking without having to pay for a whole week.

I look forward to meeting each of you in June. Let me know what we can do to make your time

enjoyable. Send me an email – nealeh1@bellsouth.net.

Your cousin and friend,

Neale

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Major Edward Percival Lawton, 1863-1929

March 22, 2015

He’s Sugar’s grandfather.

I don’t know much about him, and neither does Sugar.

He had a military career, and traveled the world on military and business matters.

He also taught at a university in Puerto Rico, or, as it was written on the old photos, Porto Rico.

 

Edward Percival Lawton

Edward Percival Lawton

The family lived on a plantation called “Topside” in Puerto Rico.

There are very few photos of him. Sugar said that the next two photos are of his grandfather and a driver in Porto Rico at the university, possibly around 1914 or so.

When (If) I find more photos, I’ll add them here.

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*****

 

The Gold Mine in the Closet: The House on Duffy Street

February 16, 2015

Sugar and his family lived in a house on Duffy Street until he was about 5 years old.

It was a nice little house in a blue-collar neighborhood.

There are a few random photos that piece together their times at the Duffy Street house.

 

The back of the house showing the little porch where the boys had lunch.

The back of the house showing the little porch where the boys had lunch.

 

(Added 1/9/15)

 

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We think that the woman is Garnett “Garnie” Basinger, a first cousin of Sugar’s mother.

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This is Sugar’s aunt Betsy.

 

(Added 1/9/2015)

Having lunch on the back porch.

 

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Easter at the house on Duffy Street.

Easter at the house on Duffy Street.

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Are there more photos of Duffy Street?

I hope so.

Back to the Gold Mine in the Closet: Unidentified Location in Europe

February 11, 2015

Sugar’s mother was born in Geneva, Switzerland.

There’s a small collection of photos taken in the same general setting, probably prior to Sugar’s mother’s birth. But where are they taken?

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Edward is the boy in the sailor suit. He was born about 1904, so if he is 10, then Sugar’s mother would be about 1, so this could be Switzerland.

Any thoughts?