Posts Tagged ‘Starr’

FlowerFest 2016: On To Bonaventure 

February 1, 2017

Annnnd our yearly hello to Dr. and Mrs. Tucker. Dr. Tucker christened Sugar at Christ Church years ago. 

Dr. and Mrs. Tucker are buried in the same lot as Albert Sidney Lawton. We don’t know the connection. 

I have no clue where the minister who christened me is buried. Now, that is devotion on Sugar’s part. 

Albert Sidney Lawton and his wife Tayloe Corbin Lawton.

Further along, we stop at the Basinger plot, which is across from the Starr plot. 

Y’all know these people. I’ve written about them every year, plus there are all the Civil War letters that William Starr Basinger wrote home to Savannah. 

Across the lane are the older generations of the Basinger family: the Starrs, more Basingers, and Anne Pearson who married William Starr. (Her sister “Polly” Densler is buried in Laurel Grove.) Connections surround us. 

See the “caution” tape along the left rear of the photo? The tape marks out hurricane damage still in evidence.

Our last stop at Bonaventure is the final resting place of Alexander Robert Lawton, his wife Sarah, and their descendants. 

A popular monument is Corinne Elliott Lawton. I talked, months ago, to a tour guide over the phone about some of the false stories that are still being told about these families. When I mentioned that Sugar and I feel like we have a special connection to this family, and that we’ve placed flowers for close to a decade, she said that she had wondered who was doing that. 

There’s an enormous old Sago palm which almost prevents my obtaining a photo. 

FlowerFesting is hard work. Pilgrims need food and drink. So off to The Distillery. 

We’re done for the day, but we are not done with the FlowerFest. There’s still more to be done in Robertville, which will have to happen the following week…

FlowerFest 2015: at the Basinger Plot

December 12, 2015

Across the sandy lane from the Starr plot is the Basinger plot. The large central marker is for Sugar’s great-grandfather William Starr Basinger and wife Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger. Sugar’s brother, mother, and grandmother are also there, plus other Basinger relatives. 


My back is to the Starr plot.

This is a very shady lot, and I’ve never gotten a bright picture of it. We have been faithful to these people since we started bringing flowers in 2009. We didn’t bring flowers at Easter this year because I had to work that day, and Sugar doesn’t want to come alone. I still regret that we missed Easter, even though this is a self-imposed duty and we’re not winning any prizes. 


He points at his mother’s and brother’s graves off to our left.


FlowerFest: a Visit at the Starr Plot

December 11, 2015

Sugar and I drove on over to the Starr plot. It’s almost overgrown, but in a good way. The azaleas were getting big again. 


A vine with colorful berries twined its way through the azalea by Adeline’s marker, just to the left inside of the plot.

Ann Pearson Starr and William Lightfood Starr are to the right. She is the sister of Mary “Polly” Pearson Densler. We stopped first at the Densler plot in Laurel Grove. 

Here’s Jane Susan Starr Basinger. 

To Jane’s left is her only daughter, Elizabeth “Georgia” Basinger, who wrote the statement of Sherman’s occupation of Savannah. 

We walk across the lane to the Basinger plot. I stop to look back and can just make out the spot of red poinsettia. 

It’s a beautiful day. Sixty-six degrees, no wind, no rain, and the sun is shining. 

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!

Easter Lilies for Bonaventure & Laurel Grove, 2014

April 22, 2014



After last year’s less-than-breathtaking lilies, we found these, of all places, at the Publix Supermarket.  Sugar decided that we needed five, and we went over the list again in our heads.  One for Laurel Grove, one for the Basinger plot in Bonaventure, one for the Starr plot, one for Dr. F. Bland Tucker in the Corbin plot, and one for Corinne Elliott Lawton.



We could probably have gotten many more, but we drew the line at five.

On Easter morning, almost a full week later, the lilies were well bloomed-out and glorious.  Sugar had been keeping them sheltered and watered.
















Now on to Bonaventure.  It’s windy and cold, and not many tourists are out yet.  We stop at the Corbin plot where Albert Sidney Lawton is buried, and we see that the same two graves that had flowers at Christmas have flowers again.  We wonder who has been here, and we see that the lilies have blown over, in spite of having been placed into a dug-out hole.




Sugar has forgotten his shovel but he makes do with a digger of sorts.  It’s really not a machete.  Really, not.





As we’re driving off, he notices yet another Lawton that we don’t know.  (He figures it out when he gets home because he has books and stuff, but we still don’t know why they are buried in this plot.)






She’s Lillian Lawton Haynsworth, and she’s buried with her husband James Henry in a Steinberg plot.






Over to the Basinger plot now, to see his great-grandfather, great-grandmother, mother, and brother, along with some other Basinger folks.







Now across the lane to the William Starr plot which is shared with their friends, the Peter Basinger family.




There’s a ready-made receptacle for flowers at the foot of William Starr Basinger’s mother’s grave.  She’s Jane Susan Starr Basinger.


One lone azalea blossom is protected deep into the bush from all the rain and wind.






Onwards to the river to see Corinne Elliott Lawton.



We consider that no one else has brought flowers.  No one.  Yes, it’s been cold, rainy, and windy.  But no one, not even the tour guides that make money off her “suicide” tale have honored her memory with a floral token.

Can I say that these were the best lilies ever, and each pot was only $5.99?  It’s true.  Magnificent buds and blooms graced each plant.  This does not mean that we are cheap, it means that we are astonished.









Hey, Corinne, we’ve got your back.







The far side of this plot has another threshold which we have never crossed. It’s for the Cunninghams.  Nora Lawton, Corinne’s sister, married a Cunningham, and it’s their daughter Sarah Alexander Cunningham who helped me solve the mystery of Corinne’s death.  It wasn’t suicide.





Good-bye everyone.  Sleep well.

In Search of William Starr Basinger, or, The Oysters Go to Dahlonega

April 1, 2014


We left Athens, slowly, driving slowly, on the way to Dahlonega.

Sugar had allowed several hours to get there, but we found it was a very short trip, and we pulled into the town square just in time for lunch at the Picnic Cafe.  How did we decide where to eat?  It was literally in front of our parking spot, and the weather was breezily cold, so we dashed inside.  Plenty of other folks had made the same decision.  A good crowd is a good sign of good food.



Ah, salad and hot soup in a freshly-baked bread bowl.


After stuffing ourselves, we went outside for a look around.  It was still cold and crisp, yet folks were strolling about.




Sugar said that his great-grandfather William Starr Basinger had a law office on the square on the second floor of a building. Why couldn’t this door on the left be the door to his office? I ask you, why not?



I had it in my mind that we would find the house where William Starr Basinger and his wife Margaret Roane Garnett and their family lived.  And as usual, I got my mind all wrapped up around the thought that it could be this house, the Vickery House, which was associated with the college and right by the campus.





There was a log cabin being constructed behind the Vickery House, so here are the photos.




This is a shot of the Vickery House from across the campus using the zoom lens.



We walked back to the square, and I was grateful for my lined, hooded coat and my warm cowl.




Frank W. Hall was a man of means and owned a lot of Dahlonega properties.

After our quick tour, we are no closer to finding the Basinger house.  We have plans to meet with some folks from the Historical Society the next day, and possibly to find some court documents, so cross your fingers!

A Sneak Peek: For Deb Johnson

April 1, 2013

















In Search Of Lawtons & Basingers: Eddie Writes To His Aunt Jane Susan Starr Basinger, 1865

April 1, 2013

The next letter begins a series within a series.  It is written by a mysterious “Eddie” to “My Dear Aunt”.  We figured out that he was writing to William Starr Basinger’s mother Jane Susan Starr Basinger.  We’re guessing that Jane was the holder of these papers that created the William Starr Basinger Family Papers, as so often it is the women that hold on to the paper.





                City Point Va.

                April 15th 1865

My Dear Aunt,

                On the night of the

2nd April Richmond was evacuated

by our troops on Thursday the

6th we were (being the men) over-

taken & badly cut-up.  Our loss

was 25 killed  & 27 wounded.  The

entire division was killed &

captured including Genls Ewell

& Custis Lee.  Our little battalion

behaved handsomely.  I wrote from

Burkeville a day or two ago &

sent a list of killed and

wounded.  I hope you got it.

All of our wounded are at this

place in the Gen. Hosp. of the (?).

At this point we are of common

prisoners of war.  I am

wounded in the left shoulder.

Doing well, I will try and

send you a list of the killed

& wounded of(?) men.  We

do not know how long we

will be here.  It is rumored

we will go to Washington or

will be paroled.  If I get paroled,

I will not know what to do.

Perhaps come on to Savh.  I

am entirely destitute of money

excepting a few Confederate

notes and also destitute of

clothing.  We lost everything.

My watch was taken off after

being wounded.  Would you

write to this place at once

& let me know the names

of some of my relations or

friends that I may call

upon for assistance.  I would

not hesitate to make the (?)

(?) me the names of (?)


I must where he is.

I am told that the Major

with the rest of (?)

are below this point  (?)

of miles he was slightly

wounded in left hand

and side, very slight.

I hope you are all doing well.

You have doubtless heard

of the surrender of Gen Lee

& his entire army.  (?)


letters.  I have (?) will


(?) in the hands of

the Yankees.  They can feel

for a poor suffering sol-

dier if he is a rebel.

                Love to all

                                Yours aff


(?) 2nd section, 5th Corps

Hospital, City Point, Va.


The Starr Family Plot at Bonaventure, Part Two

March 8, 2013

A couple of years ago, Sugar and I went to Bonaventure Cemetery to visit the Basingers and the Starrs.

The two family plots are directly across from each other.  Sugar’s great-grandfather was William Starr Basinger, whose mother was Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

In the Starr family plot is a marker for a child.  Sarah, the only daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Basinger, died in October 1816.  Sarah would have been William Starr Basinger’s aunt, for she was sister to William’s father Thomas Elisha Basinger. has a system that alerts you to a possible record that might relate to your family tree.  One of the alerts was a death record for Thomas Elisha Basinger, who died young at about age 36.

This caused me to think that I might be able to find more information about this family by manually scrolling through all the records.  I’ve done it before while looking for other dead people, and as much as it sounds like a giant boredomfest, it’s educational and entertaining.  And yes, it’s a giant time-suck, but somebody’s got to do it.

So I started with Sarah Basinger.  There were only 21 pages to look at for Savannah in 1816, and I knew that Sarah died in October, so I started looking at page 18, which had records for November.  I scrolled through a few pages to get to October, and I found Sarah, who died on October 2 from a fever and was buried the next day at Bonaventure.

Most of the deaths were from fever.  There was some disease very wicked going around.

What I did not expect to find, and that’s just the beauty of picking through old records, is Sarah’s father Peter.  He died on October 1, 1816, the day before his daughter Sarah, and was buried the following day, the very same day that she died.


Peter Basinger, age 43, and daughter Sarah Basinger, age 7, in 1816.

Peter’s wife Elizabeth had yet more pain to endure.  She had two remaining sons, Thomas Elisha and William Elon.  Both died young, William from battle in the Florida wars with the Indians in 1835.

Thomas Elisha Basinger, 1836.

Thomas Elisha Basinger, 1836.

Thomas Elisha died from delirium tremens.  I told Sugar about that, and he and I are guessing that Thomas Elisha was NOT an alcoholic, and that there must be some other cause of delirium tremens.  Sugar, being the brainiac that he is, has a theory.  Thomas Elisha’s father Peter was a hatter, which was more dangerous than it sounds.  “Mad as a hatter” referred to the mental condition from the slow poisoning from the mercury that was used in the process of making felt for the hats.  Sugar suggests that Thomas was exposed to mercury during his life from being with his father during the hat-making process, and one of the side-effects of this type of poisoning is delirium tremens.  A reference to the “mad hatter’s disease” can be found at this Wikipedia link.

Finally, I found Elizabeth’s death record.  She died at age 61 from cancer.


Elizabeth Tondee Elon Basinger, 1846.

And here we are almost two hundred years after the death of Peter and Sarah, and I can’t even begin to imagine Elizabeth’s grief.

The Personal Reminiscences of William Starr Basinger, Part II

January 12, 2012

Here’s the remainder of the 36 pages that Sugar gave me to scan and post.  Must lie down soon after this.





And that’s the end of my story.