My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Friday, December 23, 2011

THURSDAY'S TREASURE - Turn-of-the-Century Christmas in the Horst Home, Mobile, Alabama

Vintage Christmas Postcard  ca. 1900

In my father's family research folders there are thousands of pages of notes, copies of records, letters from family and replies from officials. So it was a wonderful surprise to find a typewritten letter from Regina Lane (1893-1979), my first cousin, 3x removed. She had typed out a nine page "Horst Family Tree", writing as many names, dates and stories as she knew. On a page in the middle of the history is a story she titled "A Little Christmas Fable."

Mary Regina Altice was the oldest of three children born to Emma Elizabeth Horst (1865-1923) and Charles Monroe Altice (1864-1943). Her mother, Emma, was the the fifth of eight children born to Martin Horst (1830-1878) and Apollonia Weinschenk (1829-1908), my great-great-great-grandparents. [My great-great-grandfather was Charles Frederick Horst (1856-1912), Emma's older brother and Regina's uncle.]

Ladies Home Journal
December 1898
Regina married late in life, at age 43. On April 14, 1937, in Mobile, Alabama, she married Maurice Joseph Lane, an insurance man born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was 51 when they married. Regina and Maurice had a 3-month long honeymoon in Europe and lived in Newton, Massachusetts when they returned, a suburb of Boston. Their life together lasted only five short years; Maurice died November 1942. Regina moved back to her hometown of Mobile after his death. In her remaining years she became very involved in service to her church, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, as well as to the community. She was recognized by Pope Pius XII for her service when he awarded her the Pro-Ecclesia-et-Pontificise medal, the highest award that can be bestowed by the Pope to a non-clergy member. Regina died on June 17, 1979, at the age of 85.

In her story, Regina recounts what Christmas was like at her grandmother's home at the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century. Her grandparents were both immigrants from Germany, the culture that introduced Christmas trees to the American Christmas celebrations. Regina's grandfather had died fifteen years before she was born, but her grandmother along with her aunt Apollonia "Appie" (1870-1942) and cousin Apollonia Manson (1894-1972) still lived in the family home Martin Horst had built after the Civil War.

Here is her story. . .

A Christmas Fable
"Christmas Eve was a most thrilling and exciting time in the Horst family life. Grandma's beautiful mansion was gay with happy grandchildren. Twenty-three she had, of course some lived in Toronto, Canada, and some in Birmingham, who wouldn't be here for the festivities.
Liberty Head Half Eagle
$5.00 Gold Coin (1839-1908)
Each Christmas time Grandma bought the largest Christmas tree she could find. It always reached to the high ceiling and was decorated in garlands of cranberries, strung on long cords, and garlands of pop corn, and many, many exquisite colored glass ornaments and balls, and tiny candle holders, holding small red candles snapped on the branch ends, and all lighted, till we stood, awe struck at the glowing sight. At about dark the door bell rang, and there was Santa Claus tinkling a bell. He was our Aunt Anna and we never even dreamed it, for we all thought he was straight from the North Pole.

Liberty Head Quarter Eagle
$2.50 Gold Coin (1840-1907)
He came into the parlor and shook each one's hand and gave use each an envelope, with a gold $2.50 piece in it. My sister Zoe always got a $5.00 gold piece in hers because Grandma loved her very much. Then we all received stockings stuffed with oranges, apples, nuts, and small gifts. All the older members of the party had wine and fruit-cake, while we had our goodies of a different kind. There was singing and the children danced, and a good time was had by all, then drowsy and tired we thanked our dear Grandma and a merry good-night was wished to all." 
Vintage Postcard ca.1908

Saturday, December 17, 2011

FRIDAY'S FAMOUS - John Howard "Jack" Nelson (1929-2009)

John Howard "Jack" Nelson, my first cousin-once removed, was born in Talladega, Alabama, on October 11, 1929.  Jack was the oldest of three children born to Barbara Lena O'Donnell (1909-1996), and Howard Nelson (1908-1985). Barbara was the younger sister of my grandfather, John Huber O'Donnell (1905-1964). Barbara had been raised by their aunt Philomena "Minnie" O'Donnell (1876-1937) after their mother Mary "Mayme" Huber (1873-1913) died from tuberculosis. Their father, John Martin O'Donnell (1865-1937), kept his three young sons, including my grandfather Huber, with him in Birmingham. Barbara married Howard on August 16, 1928, at St. Paul's Rectory in Birmingham; she was 18, he was 20. Jack was their oldest child, followed by Kenneth "Kenny" (born 1933) and Barbara Beverly (born 1939).

Jack Nelson was a highly respected journalist throughout his extraordinary career. In 1960 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. "The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American Hungarian-born publisher Joseph Pulitzer in 1917 and is administered by Colombia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded annually in twenty-one categories. In twenty of these each winner receives a certificate and $10,000. The winner of the public service category of the journalism competition the winner is awarded a gold medal which always goes to the newspaper." [from Wikipedia]

The following news article appeared in The Los Angeles Times on October 21, 2009.

Jack Nelson dies at 80; Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter helped raise L.A.Times to national prominence
Nelson's investigative coverage of the civil rights movement and Watergate helped solidify The Times reputation. Its Washington bureau grew into a journalistic powerhouse under his leadership.

"Jack Nelson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, author and longtime Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, whose hard-nosed coverage of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and the Watergate scandal in the 1970s helped establish the paper's national reputation, has died. He was 80.

Nelson died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday at his home in Bethesda, Md., according to his wife, journalist Barbara Matusow.

The veteran newsman was recruited from the Atlanta Constitution in 1965 as part of publisher Otis Chandler's’s effort to transform The Times into one of the country's foremost dailies. An aggressive reporter who had exposed abuses at Georgia's biggest mental institution, Nelson went on to break major stories on the civil rights movement for The Times, particularly in his coverage of the shooting of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo and the slaying of three black students in South Carolina in what is known as the Orangeburg Massacre.
 As the Watergate scandal unfolded during President Nixon's reelection drive, Nelson scored an exclusive interview with Alfred C. Baldwin, III an ex-FBI agent hired by White House operatives, who witnessed the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters on June 17, 1972. The stories resulting from Nelson's interview with Baldwin were the first to link the burglary "right to the heart of the Nixon reelection campaign," David Halberstam wrote in his 1979 media history, "The Powers That Be."

Named in 1975 to lead the Washington bureau, Nelson oversaw its evolution over the next 21 years into what Gene Roberts Jr., former managing editor of the New York Times and a onetime rival of Nelson's on the civil rights beat, called "arguably one of the finest bureaus ever in Washington."

'Distinguished career'

"Just his work at the Constitution would be a distinguished career for most journalists," Roberts said. "Then add that he was one of the most effective reporters in the civil rights era, all before you even get to him being bureau chief in Washington.

"All in all, I would say he was one of the most important journalists of the 20th century."

A slender man with a Southerner's easy manner, Nelson was born Oct. 11, 1929, in Talladega, Ala., where his father ran a fruit store during the Depression. The younger Nelson drew Talladega's citizens into the shop with vaudevillian humor ("Lady, you dropped your handkerchief," pause, "in St. Louis yesterday"), displaying a talent for connecting with people that would bolster his later success as a reporter.

He said that "being a reporter is a lot like being a good salesman," said Richard T. Cooper, a longtime friend and a Washington bureau editor for Tribune Co., which owns The Times. "You had to be able to sell yourself to people, convince them that they should answer your question or show you the records" or buy a bag of fruit from your father's store.

Nelson and his family moved to Georgia and eventually to Biloxi, Miss., where he graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1947. Without stopping for college (he later studied briefly at Georgia State College), the teenager launched his career by answering an ad for a job at the Biloxi Daily Herald. He was soon called "Scoop" for vigorous reporting on corrupt officials and gambling payoffs.

In 1952, after a stint writing news releases forthe Army, he joined the staff of the Atlanta Constitution. In a series of articles on Georgia's Milledgeville Central State Hospital for the mentally ill, he exposed an array of abuses, including experimental treatments of patients without consent, alcohol and drug abuse by on-duty doctors, and nurses who were allowed to perform major surgery. As a result of his reporting, the hospital was overhauled and Nelson won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting in 1960.

When he joined the Los Angeles Times five years later, the civil rights movement had been underway for a decade, but The Times "had no coverage of the South. We were doing terribly covering the South," recalled former Managing Editor George Cotliar

He opened The Times' Atlanta bureau and immediately began covering the voting rights demonstrations in Selma, Ala., where on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, state troopers and local lawmen clubbed and tear-gassed 600 civil rights marchers en route to Montgomery. "He just annihilated every other paper. He was ahead of everyone on everything," said Cotliar, who called Nelson "the toughest, hardest-charging, finest reporter I've known in my 40 years in the business."

Nelson's stories quoted sources critical of then-Gov. George Wallace's failure to protect the marchers. According to Bill Kovach, who covered the protests for the Nashville Tennessean and later was editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the governor singled out Nelson for ridicule, pointing out to white audiences "outsiders like Jack Nelson there of the L.A. Times -- that one there with the burr haircut -- trying to tell us Alabamians how to run our state."

In 1970 Nelson experienced the wrath of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. The reporter, after conducting an eight-month investigation, wrote a story about how the agency and police in Meridian, Miss., shot two Ku Klux Klan members in a sting operation bankrolled by the local Jewish community. One of the Klan members, a woman, died in the ambush.

Hoover attempted to suppress the story by smearing Nelson as a drunk, which he was not. ("What they didn't realize," the reporter later quipped to Hoover biographer Curt Gentry, "is that you can't ruin a newspaperman by branding him a drunk.") By defying Hoover, he lost his FBI sources but wrote the article, which ran on Page 1.

Twenty years later, Nelson dusted off his notes from the story and wrote "Terror in the Night" (1993), a book that described the shooting in the context of the Klan's shift from battling blacks to targeting Jews, whom it had begun to regard as the real leaders of the civil rights movement.

Nelson wrote "The Censors and the Schools" (1963) with Roberts; "The Orangeburg Massacre"with Jack Bass; "The FBI and the Berrigans" (1972) with Ronald J. Ostrow; and "High School Journalism in America" (1974).

In 1972, two years after he joined the Washington bureau, Nelson was, according to Halberstam, "one of the two or three best-known and most respected investigative reporters in Washington." But, like most of the Washington press corps, he was frustrated by the Washington Post's dominance of the Watergate break-in story.

The scales briefly tipped in favor of The Times when Nelson received a tip from colleague Ostrow that there was an eyewitness to the Watergate burglary. Nelson began knocking on doors in Connecticut, where Baldwin, the ex-FBI man, and his lawyers lived.

"He was a good reporter because he was always prepared and plain didn't take 'no' for an answer," said William F. Thomas, The Times' editor from 1971 to 1989. "That was his biggest asset . . . . Anybody who looked at the set of his jaw knew they were in for something."
After much back and forth, Nelson was granted an interview with Baldwin, who unwound a fascinating tale of his recruitment by ex-CIA man James McCord, his encounters with G. Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt, and his job monitoring wiretaps on Democratic phones and delivering sealed tapes to Nixon's reelection committee. Baldwin also told of watching from across the street as the burglary at the Watergate complex unfolded and spying Hunt slip away as the police closed in.

When word of Nelson's scoop leaked out, federal prosecutors threatened to revoke Baldwin's immunity, and Baldwin's lawyers pleaded with Nelson to drop the story. Federal Judge John J. Sirica issued a gag order, and then-Washington bureau chief John Lawrence spent a few hours in detention after The Times refused to turn over the tapes of the Baldwin interview.

The Times took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the paper. On Oct. 5, 1972, the paper ran a Page 1 news story by Nelson and Ostrow detailing Baldwin's revelations, as well as a first-person account by Baldwin as told to Nelson.

'A great victory'

Halberstam called the Baldwin story "perhaps the most important Watergate story so far, because it was so tangible, it had an eyewitness, and it brought Watergate to the very door of the White House. . . . It was a great victory for the Los Angeles Times."

Nelson became chief of the bureau in 1975, when it had 15 reporters and three editors. By 1980 the bureau was described by Time magazine as "one of the two or three best" in Washington. By 1996, when Nelson turned the job over to White House correspondent Doyle McManus, it was one of the biggest, as well, with 36 reporters and seven editors.
Known for backing his staff and pushing hard on investigative stories, Nelson made The Times a must-read for Washington's power elite. "The depth and scope of the Washington bureau under Jack was very impressive," said Roberts, the former New York Times managing editor. "We certainly paid attention to what the Los Angeles Times was doing in its Washington bureau."

In a town consumed by politics, Nelson was a well-connected insider who held a coveted seat as a regular commentator on public television's"Washington Week in Review." He brought presidents, senators and members of the House and Cabinet to The Times' offices for regular breakfast sessions with reporters that were broadcast on C-SPAN. "That raised our profile tremendously. . . . We all got our calls returnedfaster," Cooper said.
A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and founding member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Nelson served as chief Washington correspondent until he retired at the end of 2001. In recent years he taught journalism at USC and produced a report on government secrecy as a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Gernment. In 2005 he served on the independent Commission on Federal Election Reform co-chaired by former President Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

In addition to his wife, his survivors include two children from a previous marriage, Karen and Mike; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren." [by Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times, October 21, 2009]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - Charles Clinton Flemming Jr. (1884-1935)

Charles Clinton Flemming, Jr.,   Nov 1907
Charles Clinton Flemming, Jr., was born in Rome, Georgia, on September 30, 1884. He was the fifth child of ten born to Charles Clinton "Charlie" Flemming (1854-1932) and Elizabeth Agnes "Lizzie" McCaffrey (1858-1922). Charles, my great-great-uncle, changed his name from "Charles Augustus" to "Charles Clinton" as an adult - his older brother was Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955), my great-grandfather.

Charles followed his father into the railroad business which was flourishing  in Birmingham in the early 1900's. Charles was an Engineer with the Alabama Great Southern Railroad. The National Museum of American History's website describes the responsibilities of an engineer for a steam locomotive this way:
"Running a steam locomotive combined two responsibilities: managing a highly complex steam boiler and controlling the safe speed of a massive vehicle that could weigh thousands of tons, counting engines and cars. An engineer specialized in one "division" of railroad, 100-150 miles long. The engineer needed to know the location of every signal, every curve, and the slightest change in uphill or downhill grade throughout the route in order to safely control the train." (from
 On November 26, 1903, Thanksgiving Day, Charles married Marie Sophia Fidger - 108 years ago yesterday. They were both 19 years old when they wed. Marie was born in Kentucky in July 1884. Her parents were William Fidger (1848-1910) and Emma J. Buser (1856-1917). In 1904 Marie gave birth to their only child, Florence Elizabeth. Unfortunately, the young family's happiness was short lived. Marie died in childbirth on September 15, 1908; she was 24 years old. She was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Woodlawn, outside of Birmingham.

Charles and Florence, just 4 years old, moved in with his parents. On January 26, 1910, Charles remarried. His bride was Katherine Aurelia Lambert, born February 11, 1885 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents were Joseph Peter Lambert (1862-1924) and Margaret Mary Fox (1870-1935). The wedding took place in Atlanta's West End neighborhood. After their honeymoon Charles and Kate lived with her parents in Birmingham. Her father was Birmingham's City Park Commissioner. Charles' daughter Florence continued living with her Flemming grandparents until she was married.

Charles and Kate had seven children: Mary Agnes "Mike", born November 15, 1910; Dorothy May, born January 1914; Charles Clinton III, called "Hap", born May 15, 1916; James Benjamin and twin brother Joseph Lambert "Joe", born May 5, 1918; Thomas Anthony "Tom", born May 11, 1923; and Katherine Loretta "Kate", born August 9, 1925. Little Dorothy lived less than 18 months, dying on July 4, 1915 - her death certificate said she died from "colitis" after being ill for 3 weeks.

Charles soon began helping his father in his family business "Charlie's Transfer Company". He worked as the business manager by the 1920 Census, a role he continued for many years. His family attended St. Paul's Catholic Church downtown and he was active in the Knights of Columbus.

On Thursday, May 30, 1935, Charles who had been ill and was in a local hospital, died. According to his death certificate the cause of death was a burst appendix. He was 50 years old.

The announcement of his death appeared in the Age-Herald, one of the Birmingham newspapers on page 2.

C. C. Flemming Is Called By Death

Rites Will Be Held Saturday For K. of C. Official

"Charles Clinton Flemming, 50, financial secretary of Birmingham Council of the Knights of Columbus, died Thursday afternoon. Services will be held at the residence, 1422 Thirteenth Place South, at 9 a.m. Saturday, and at St. Paul's Catholic Church at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery, Dillon, of southside, directing.
     Mr. Flemming is survived by the widow, his four sons, Charles C. Jr., Joseph L., James B., and Thomas A.; his daughters Katherine, Mary Agnes, and Mrs. H. T. Kilpatrick; a brother Harry C. Flemming, and two sisters, Mrs. J.B. Thomas and Mrs. W. A. McMurray.
     Mr. Flemming became ill suddenly Monday, and his death followed an emergency operation. He was widely known in business circles, and especially in the transfer business, in which he had been engaged a number of years. In addition to his fraternal work, he was active in church work throughout the state. " (Age-Herald, page 2; 31 May 1935)

A similar article appeared in the following day's Age-Herald, that also included information about the pallbearers: "Active pallbearers will be C.J. Lambert, A.S. Lucas, C.W. Millican, T.A. McGough, F.M. Curtain, W.J. Sullivan, A.L. Stabler, and Vincent Shields. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus." (Age-Herald, page 6, 1 Jun 1935)

Charles C. Flemming gravestone
Forest Lawn, Cemetery
 Charles' surviving widow, Kate, lived only three months longer. She died on September 2, 1935. She, too was only 50-years-old at the time of her death. She left behind her six children, ages 10 to 25, who had lost both parents in a short period of time. Charles and Kate are buried at Forest Hill Cemetery, in the lot owned by his former father-in-law, also the final resting place for his young wife Marie and other members of her family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY'S PHOTO - Thanksgiving at the Flemming Home 1942

Thanksgiving 1942
Every Thanksgiving the family of Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955) and Pearl Alphonsine Horst (1884-1961) would gather at their home on Birmingham's southside to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner together. Harry, my great-grandfather, would have had a turkey tied up to a stake in his backyard for a few days, and Pearl would cook the feast for all to enjoy. Along with the turkey the meal included oyster dressing, rice and gravy (for those non-dressing-eaters), ambrosia and mince pie for dessert.

The Women of the Family
Front (L-R) - "Grandmother", Susie, Frederica Flemming;
Back - Margaret, Pearl, ODee, Ann
Harry and Pearl had eight children, all born in their home in Birmingham. Their children were Pearl Alphonsine, born March 11, 1907; Susan Elizabeth "Susie", my grandmother, born August 23, 1909; Odalie Felice "ODee", born June 22 1911; Harry Clinton, Jr., born September 25, 1913; Charles Frederick, born January 6, 1916; John Edward "Jack", born April 8, 1918; Margaret Mary, born October 11, 1920; and Ann Marie, born December 23, 1923.

The Men of the Family
Front (L-R) Bill Barriger, Charles;
Back - Frank Selman, "Granddaddy, Jack, Huber O'Donnell,
Harry , George Daly

In 1926 oldest child Pearl got married, and by the following Thanksgiving Pearl and her new husband brought their baby, Pearl Elizabeth "Betty" Barriger (1927-2006), the first grandchild of Harry and Pearl, to the family's gathering. As the years passed the number of grandchildren grew and soon numbered thirty-two - 16 boys and 16 girls, born between 1927 and 1962. Two of Harry and Pearl's sons, Jack and Charles, enlisted and served overseas during World War II. All eight children married and almost all of the children and their families settled in Birmingham - all except daughter ODee. She moved with her husband to Metarie, Louisiana. She came home to visit, along with her children, as often as she could, especially during the holidays.

"Granddaddy" Harry would always be requested to show the grandchildren the turkey tied up in the backyard as Thanksgiving day approached, still alive and awaiting his fate. Of course this was something the grandchildren were intrigued with when they were young.  Eventually Pearl bought her turkey already dead and plucked clean from the grocery store, no doubt making dinner preparation easier once the number of family members continued to increase.
Grandchildren: (left to right) Front - Billy D., Harriet O'D.;
Second Row - Buddy D., Harry F. III, Barbara O'D., Dolly D., Jackie D.. (in arms);
Back Row - Mary Sue O'D., Huber O'D., Dot B., Betty B.
When it was time to eat all the adults present, as many as eighteen when everyone was home, ate at the big table in the family dining room. In the living room a table would be set up for the children to eat their meals. After dinner, the children played in the front yard while the grownups talked inside. Then they would often gather the entire family together and take a picture to remember the day.
Harry died in May of 1955, shortly after celebrating his and Pearl's 49th wedding anniversary. Pearl continued living in their home and celebrating the holidays with her family. Daughter Margaret, her husband and their five young children continued to live with Pearl until her death in September 1961, just a month before I was born. At the time, along with her eight children and thirty-two grandchildren, Pearl was survived by thirteen great-grandchildren, two more on the way (including me). Eventually the number of great-grandchildren of Harry and Pearl would total 64 in all. Thanksgiving continues to be celebrated at the home of Harry and Pearl by their descendants.

I hope Thanksgiving 2011 is a happy one for you and your family, as you enjoy dinner together and make new memories! And don't forget to take that family picture together, one that your descendants will be able to look back on 60 years later, and treasure, too!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

FRIDAY'S FORGOTTEN - Military Veterans, Military Heroes

In honor of Veteran's Day, I wanted to remember many of our family members who enlisted or were drafted when America was at war, those who stepped up when called to serve our country. They took time out of their lives, years out of their lives, not knowing if they would be called to put their very lives on the line. Many survived their service; a few did not.

This is by no means a full list of our relatives who served our country, and I won't be listing those living veterans in this post. This is a just a chance to remember, and be proud.

Veterans of the Vietnam War
Harry Clinton Flemming III (1937-2003), born in Birmingham, Alabama; settled in Oceanside, California. Son of Harry Clinton Flemming, Jr. (1913-1972) and Catherine Frederica Perry (1913-1967). Retired as Staff Sergeant for the U.S. Marine Corps. Served three tours during the Vietnam War. Survived by wife, two sons, four grandchildren. [1st cousin, once removed]

Veterans of the Korean War
Austin Murray Cahill (1930-1989) of Birmingham, Alabama. Son-in-law of Elbert William "Bill" Barriger (1904-1979) and Pearl Alphonsine Flemming (1907-1986). Served as Private 1st Class in U.S. Marine Corps during Korean War, January 1951 to September 1952. Wounded in action on October 5, 1951. Survived by his wife. [husband of my 1st cousin, once removed]

George Benedict "Buddy" Daly, Jr. (1936-2002) of Harahan, Louisiana. Son of George Benedict Daly (1908-1967) and Odalie Felice Flemming (1911-1994). Served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Survived by his wife, daughter and three grandchildren. [1st cousin, once removed]

William Arnold Powell, Jr. (1929-2009) of Birmingham, Alabama. Son-in-law of John Huber O'Donnell (1905-1964) and Susan Elizabeth "Susie" Flemming (1909-1999) and my father. Served as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Survived by his wife, son and three daughters, ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild. [my father]

John Joseph "Jack" Smith (1933-2001) of Metarie, Louisiana. Son-in-law of George Daly and Odalie Flemming. Served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Survived by two sons, two daughters and eight grandchildren. [husband of 1st cousin, once removed]

World War II Veterans
Charles Frederick Flemming (1916-2003), born in Birmingham; resided in Denver, Colorado. Son of Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955) and Pearl Alphonsine Horst (1884-1961). Served in the U.S. Army during WWII in Europe, from January 1943 to February 1946. Survived by his stepson. [my great uncle]

John Edward "Jack" Flemming (1918-2008) of Birmingham, Alabama. Son of Harry Flemming and Pearl Horst. Served during World War II in the Army Air Corps. Survived by his two sons and three grandchildren. [my great uncle]

Thomas Anthony "Tom" Flemming (1923-1999), born in Birmingham; resided in Pell City, Alabama. Son of Charles Clinton Flemming (1884-1935) and Katherine Aurelia "Kate" Lambert (1885-1935). Served with U.S. Army during World War II. Survived by two sons and two daughters, eight grandchildren and one great-grandson. [my 1st cousin, twice removed]

Omer Leo Horst, Jr. (1916-1985), resident of Birmingham. Son of Omer Leo Horst (1887-1945) and Annie L. Boggan (1887-1987). Served with U.S. Army during World War II from August 1941 to July 11, 1945. Participated in the D-Day Invasion in France. Survived by his wife and two children. [my 1st cousin, twice removed]

Robert Joseph Horst (1918-1987), born in Birmingham, resided in Chelsea, Alabama. Son of Omer and Annie Boggan Horst; brother of Omer Horst, Jr. Served in the U.S. Army as Captain, in the Pacific. He was unmarried. [my 1st cousin, twice removed]

Edward Eugene Walters (1918-2001), of Birmingham, Alabama. Son-in-law of Charles and Katherine Lambert Flemming. Served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Survived by his wife, eight children, and numerous grandchildren. [husband of my 1st cousin, twice removed]

Civil War Veterans
James Benjamin Flemming (1827-1907), born in South Carolina, resided in Rome, Georgia. Father of Charles Clinton Flemming (1854-1932), my great-great-grandfather. Served with Confederate Army.[my 3x-great-grandfather]

Thomas Joseph McCaffrey (1832-1896), born in Boston, Massachussetts, resided in Rome, Georgia. Father of Elizabeth Agnes "Lizzie" McCaffrey Flemming (1858-1922), my great-great-grandmother. Worked at Confederate ironworks in Selma and Tannehill. Captured at Battle of Selma 1865. [my 3x-great-grandfather]

Revolutionary War Veterans
Michel Fortier (1725-1785), of New Orleans, Louisiana. Father of my 5x-great-grandfather Jacques Omer Fortier (1759-1820). Served with New Orleans Militia. Captain in the campaigns of Bernardo de Galvez. [my 6x-great-grandfather]

To my uncles and great uncles, my cousins, my brother-in-law and my husband, and all the Veterans I'm proud to call my family - Thank You! God Bless You, and God Bless America!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - John Martin O'Donnell (1865-1937)

John Martin O'Donnell, my great-grandfather, was born in Jericho, Kentucky, on November 7, 1865,  to Irish immigrants Patrick O'Donnell (1823-1911) and Bridget Kennedy (1838-1883). He was the sixth of seven children in the family and the only son.

John's father and uncles had "helped to grade the L&N Railroad from Louisville to Lexington and had laid the first steel rails on this line" according to his father Patrick's obituary. So it was natural for John to follow his father's career path into railroading. But instead of the hands-on labor building the railroad, John earned two higher degrees from Eminence College in Kentucky and became a Civil Engineer with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.

This career choice took him to Alabama, leaving his father and sisters in Kentucky, by the end of the 1890's. And it was in the town of Calera in Shelby County, just south of Birmingham, that he met his future wife Mary Huber (1873-1913). Mayme, as she was called, was also from Kentucky. She was working as a school teacher when they met, living in the same boarding house as John in Calera. They were married on Thursday morning, February 11, 1904, at St. Paul's Catholic Church (now Cathedral) in Birmingham.

O'Donnell Home in Norwood
(taken 2009)
John and Mayme settled in Birmingham and had four children: John Huber, born May 6, 1905 (my grandfather); Charles Patrick, born October 18, 1906; Edward Joseph Kennedy, born January 18, 1908; and Barbara Lena, born November 7, 1909. Soon after the birth of Barbara, Mayme became sick with Tuberculosis, a common and often deadly disease from which there was no cure. Even after receiving treatment at a sanatorium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that treated patients with the illness, Mayme succumbed to the disease on March 30, 1913, in her home in Birmingham. Left behind was her husband of less than 10 years and their four small children - Huber (7), Charles (6), Ed (4) and Barbara (3).

In order to continue to work and keep his children, since, of course, there were no daycare centers and his family was all in Kentucky, John placed the three boys in the local orphanage run by Catholic nuns. The boys stayed here at the Atheneaum Orphanage during the week and John would bring them home on the weekends. They were enrolled here from April 2, 1913 (two days after their mother's death) until September 20, 1920. At this time they were 15, 13 and 12 years old, and old enough to stay home while their father was at work.
"Pop" and grandson J.H. O'Donnell, Jr.
ca. 1933

John's youngest child Barbara was sent out west after her mother's death to live with her mother's sister, Philomena Huber (1876-1937). Minnie, as she was called, was a nurse and had moved to Albuquerque to help care for her sister. The siblings stayed close by writing letters, and eventually Barbara, too, moved back in with her father and brothers in Birmingham.

On December 3, 1937, John's brother-in-law Benjamin Ruffner Smith died in Louisville, Kentucky. Benjamin (1857-1937) had been married to John's older sister Alice O'Donnell (1860-1934). John travelled to Louisville for the funeral. It was here, on December 6, that John died. One story says that he was eating breakfast at the family's table when he had a sudden heart attack and died. His body was brought back by train and was buried on December 9th at the old Our Lady of Sorrows' Cemetery next to his wife. He was survived by his four children, their spouses, and eight grandchildren.

                                                    J. M. O'DONNELL DIES
Birmingham Man Succumbs In Louisville; Burial To Be Here
"John M. O'Donnell, 72, of 2909 Norwood Boulevard, died suddenly in Louisville yesterday, relatives here have been advised. The body will be brought here for funeral and burial, services to be at 9 a.m. Thursday at the residence and at 9:30 at St. Paul's Catholic Church, by the Rt. Rev. Eugene L. Sands, Johns-Service directing.
     Mr. O'Donnell had gone to Louisville to attend the funeral of his brother-in-law B.R. Smith, who died Saturday.
     Until his retirement a short time ago, Mr. O'Donnell was connected to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad engineering office.
     Surviving are three sons, Hubert (sic) and Edward K. O'Donnell, Birmingham; Charles P. O'Donnell, Atlanta, and a daughter, Mrs. H. A. Nelson, Birmingham." (Birmingham News, December 7, 1937; page 10)

Prayer Card from Burial Mass
Years after his burial the site of the Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery was being relocated. Many of those buried were re-interred elsewhere but several of the actual graves could not be accurately identified so they were buried at a small cemetery behind Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, marked by four large headstones with the names of the eighty unidentified dead. John and Mayme are buried here.

Headstone at Old Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery
behind Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church
708 1st Street South
Birmingham, Alabama

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SATURDAY'S STRUCTURE - Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, Georgia

Myrtle Hill Cemetery
Rome, Georgia

Myrtle Hills: One of Rome's Seven
"For over 100 years, Myrtle Hill has served as a guardian overlooking the city of Rome. Located at the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers where the mighty Coosa is formed, Myrtle Hill has seen many significant dates in history.

"Before Rome was an incorporated town, Myrtle Hill had no name but was the site of the Battle of Etowah. In September of 1793, General John Seiver descended upon Cherokee, Georgia from Tennessee chasing Indians who had scalped and killed thirteen people at Cavett's Station near Knoxville. Sevier and his men caught up to the Indians at present day Myrtle Hill and the battle in sued. Many Indians were slain including Chief King Fisher. In 1901, the Xavier Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a monument in honor of General Sevier. The marker is located in the southwest corner of the cemetery.

"With Civil War battles happening in Rome, Myrtle Hill, known as Fort Stovall, was very instrumental in the Siege of Rome. A Confederate monument atop Myrtle Hill erected by the Women of Rome stands as a memorial to the soldiers from Floyd County who gave their lives in defense of the Confederate States of America. At Confederate Park is a monument erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to the memory of General Nathan Forest for his bravery and valor in protecting the city from a siege by Yankee marauders. A Confederate Cemetery section holds 377 soldiers - both from the north and the south who lost their lives while here or were originally from Rome.

"Other points of interest at Myrtle Hill include the grave of Ellen Axon Wilson, wife of President Woodrow Wilson. Mrs. Wilson was from Rome and is the only wife of a United States President buried in Georgia. Her grave is located to the right of the main entrance of Myrtle Hill off Myrtle Street.

"A portion of the cemetery has been designated as a memorial park for World War I Veterans, and includes the final resting place of America's Known Solider, Charles Graves. In this park are thirty-four magnolia trees planted in a grove to honor the 34 Floyd Countians who fell during the war." [from]

Flemming Family Lot
Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, Georgia

Flemming Family Lot
[For more specific information about the individuals, please see post: "Hometown Tuesday - Rome, Georgia" October 11, 2011]
Grave of James B. and Sarah Linza Flemming
Myrtle Hill Cemetery
The Flemming Family lot is located off the main entrance of the cemetery. My 3x-great-grandparents James Benjamin Flemming (1827-1907) and Sarah Linza Jackson (1837-1902) are buried in the center of the lot. Next to them, in an unmarked grave is their second child, John W. Flemming (1858-1863). John is the younger brother of Charles Clinton Flemming (1854-1932), my great-great-grandfather; he was only 4 when he died, most likely while his father was away serving the Confederacy in the Civil War. He was no doubt moved from his original burial site.

Also buried nearby are Sarah's parents, my 4x-great-grandparents, William Jackson (1800-1879) and Elizabeth Jackson (1802-1870). They had followed their daughter and her young family from South Carolina.
Graves of Elizabeth (l) and William Jackson (r)

All but two of James and Sarah's children are buried in the family plot, including:
  • Thomas J. Flemming (1860-1914),
  • Oscar Eugene Flemming (1866-1935),
  • Walter Edward Flemming (1869-1907),
  • James B. Flemming (1876-1878).
My great-great-grandfather Charles and the youngest of his siblings, Minnie Flemming Blake (1879-1963) are buried elsewhere.

Also buried here is Willie May Flemming (1898-1898), only 4 months old. She is listed in the family Bible as a daughter of Charles and his wife Lizzie. A notation in the Myrtle Hill Internment Book brings some doubt as to who her parents actually are.

McCaffrey Family Lot
Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, Georgia

McCaffrey Family Lot

Grave of Charlotte McCluskey McCaffrey
The McCaffrey Family lot is also located off the main entrance of the cemetery, just a few lots away from the Flemming Family lot. Here lies my 3x-great-grandparents Thomas Joseph McCaffrey (1832-1896) and Charlotte Elizabeth McCluskey (1838-1917).

Also buried here are several of their children, my 3x-great-aunts and -uncles, including:
  • James Michael McCaffrey (1871-1895),
  • William George McCaffrey (1877-1897),
  • Marie McCaffrey (1882-1882).
At least two grandchildren of Thomas and Charlotte are buried here. Minnie Agnes "Mamie" Flemming (1880-1881) was the third child of Charles Clinton Flemming and Elizabeth Agnes McCaffrey (1858-1922), my great-great-grandparents. She was the younger sister of my great-grandfather Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955). She was just 14 months old when she died. She was buried in the McCaffrey family lot. Another of Charlie and Lizzie's babies is buried here, without a marker. Listed only as "infant of C.C. Fleming (sic)", the baby had one date listed - November 25, 1882. Their family later moved to Birmingham, Alabama; their parents and most of their siblings are buried there.

Grave of Thomas Joseph McCaffrey

Thursday, October 20, 2011

THURSDAY'S TREASURE - Odalie Fortier Horst's 19th Century Lacework

Odalie Felice Fortier was born August 31, 1857 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the seventh child of eleven born to Jacques Omer Fortier (1813-1867) and Augustine Melanie Laperle DeGruy (1822-1872), my 3x-great-grandparents. By the time she was fifteen she had suffered the death of both of her parents. Odalie moved with her young siblings to Mobile, Alabama to be cared for by her maternal aunt Julia Elodie DeGruy Mendoza (1828-1914). Odalie is my great-great-grandmother.

Here Odalie met and married Charles Frederick Horst (1856-1912). Odalie and Charles, my great-great-grandparents, eventually settled in Birmingham, Alabama. Together they had five children including my great-grandmother Pearl Alphonsine Horst (1884-1961).

Odalie was very talented in the art of tatting. She used her talent to create the Flemming Family's Baptismal gown in 1884 for her first child. Several of her lace pieces have been passed down through the family. I know of four pieces that have been framed and hang on relatives' walls. Here is one of Odalie's lace collars.

Never heard of tatting before?

Tatting and Its History
"Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging, as well as doilies, collars, and other decorative pieces. The lace is formed by a pattern of rings and chains formed from a series of cow-hitch, or half-hitch knots, called double stitches, over a core thread. Gaps can be left between the stitches to form picots, which are used for practical construction as well as decorative effect." [from]

It is believed that tatting may have developed from netting and the ropework done by sailors and fishers, often made into gifts for their wives and girlfriends. Knotting, as it was then known, would be reworked and become the art of tatting. The French call it frivolite; the Italians call it occhi; the German word for the craft is schiffchenarbeit; the Swedish call it frivolitet.

"At the start of the nineteenth century tatting was a popular English occupation and in 1843 the Ladies Handbook of Millinery, Dressmaking and Tatting was published. This was to be the start of many books on the subject. Up to this time tatting patterns were passed down from tatter to tatter by word of mouth or simply copying other pieces of work. Shortly after this, in 1850, the woman regarded as the 'mother' of modern tatting appeared on the scene. She was Mademoiselle Eleonore Riego de la Branchardiere, a half-Irish, half-French woman who had a 'fancy warehouse' in London and supplied lace-making and embroidery materials. Between 1850 and 1868 Mlle Riego (as she liked to be known)
published eleven little pattern books showing mainly borders and insertions in tatting. Mlle Riego used picots to join the rings together but she used a needle to do it at first and not a shuttle, as it wasn't until 1851 that an unknown writer published instructions on how to join with a shuttle and so improved the method of tatting.
"Probably the main authority on tatting after Mlle Riego was Mlle Therese de Dillmont, a French woman who wrote what is considered by many to be the needlework bible - her Encyclopedia of Needlework published in 1886 and still available and selling well today. In the chapter on tatting Mlle de Dillmont covers many types of edgings and braids as well as projects such as bedspreads combining tatting and crochet.
"In fashionable society a lady never sat empty-handed and idle. She used either her fan or her knotting
shuttle to show off her hands and to make her look composed and graceful as well as industrious.
" [from]
from Tatting, or Frivolite, by Cornelia Mee
London 1862

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY'S PHOTO - 1927 St. Paul's Graduation Class

1927 Graduation Class, St. Paul's School
Birmingham, Alabama

Susan Elizabeth Flemming, my grandmother, was born on August 23, 1909, in Birmingham, Alabama. She was the second child of eight born to Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955) and Pearl Alphonsine Horst (1884-1961). Susie and her family were members of Our Lady of Sorrow's Catholic Church, located in Homewood,  and had attended Our Lady of Sorrow's School up until the middle of her senior year. At some point that year Susie found out that the boys in her class were being allowed to graduate early, as they would need to prepare for college - the girls were not allowed to do the same. Susie left school that day, walked home, and told her parents to enroll her in another school as she would not go back to Our Lady of Sorrows again. And she didn't. She was enrolled at St. Paul's School, where she graduated in May 1927.

In March of 1977 Susie and the others in the 1927 Graduation Class held a 50th High School Reunion in Birmingham. They had 100% of the graduation class in attendance, as well as both of their teachers from that year. Quite a feat, 50 years later. Their pictures, from 1927 and 1977, as well as a write-up of the gathering appeared in The Birmingham News.

Updated 1927 Graduation Class
March 1977
To 1927 graduate year's big event was Lindbergh's flight
[from The Birmingham News, March 4, 1977; page 24]

     "'We were at the Alabama Theatre that night. They shut the projector off and announced that he'd done it. Lindbergh had flown across the ocean and landed in Paris. I never will forget that.
     'Come to think of it, it's probably the only important thing I do remember from that time.'
     'That time' was May, 1927. Graduation month.
     Mrs. Huber O'Donnell, who was Susan Flemming then, was recalling it this week while getting ready for weekend visitors. The entire graduating class - 10 of them, counting herself - of St. Paul's School from 50 years ago.
     The reunion has been in the planning stages since October. The actual 50th anniversary of graduation won't be until May, but as Mrs. O'Donnell explains, tongue-in-cheek, ' We're all still alive and in good shape now, but we didn't want to press our luck.'
     Five of the class members have scattered to addresses all the way from Florida to Maine, but the others still live here - as do two of their teachers who joined the festivities, Sister Mary Francesca, still at St. Paul's and Winifred Gallagher, the first lay teacher in the diocese.
St. Paul's School
Birmingham, Alabama
     Margaret Colgan, Frances Rohling, Nellie Moore, and Carrie Woods came (they live in town) as well as William Jackson of Baltimore, Md., Raymond McPherson, Easton, Md., Lucille O'Leary, Briarwood, N.Y., Mary Quinlan Smith, Madison, and Emma Rule, Ormand Beach, Fla.
     'From what I understand, all of us are still in good health,' Mrs. O'Donnell says, 'But I imagine most are like me, they wake up with a new ache or pain every morning.'
     When it comes to replaying memories of the day-to-day life of a high schooler in 1927, Mrs. O'Donnell finds she comes up lacking.
     'After 50 years, there's not much left,' she says, 'Lindberg's (sic) the only big thing. All the rest is just . . .'
     'I remember riding streetcars, and I remember that Lucile and Mary Quinlan lived over the mountain then - their families had for a long time.'
     'But nothing really important.'
     She has a high school yearbook, which was ready for some heavy thumbing when the old friends got together.
     Their class picture is in it.
     Of it, Mrs. O'Donnell only shakes her head and says:
     'Look at us. Aren't we floozies!'"
"Pro Deo. Pro Patria. Initium Sapientiae Est Timor Domini. Prov. IX.10"
"For God. For Country. The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

HOMETOWN TUESDAY - Rome, Floyd County, Georgia 1880-1881

Rome, Georgia  ca.1873
An Historical Sketch of Rome, Georgia
[Taken from the first Rome City Directory, 1880-1881]

          "As there has never been a history written it is a difficult matter to give a correct historical sketch of Rome. For the following, we are indebted to the Hon. Judge J. W. H. Underwood, whose father was among the earliest settlers: The court house was first located at Livingston, twelve miles from Rome, on the Coosa river, and through the influence of Daniel R. Mitchell, William Smith, Genubeth Wynn, Zachariah B. Hargrove and Phillip W. Hemphill an act of the Legislature was secured authorizing the removal of the county seat to Rome. By the choice of the people, the election was held and carried. The treaty was made with the Cherokee Indians on the 29th of December 1834, five miles northwest of Calhoun, and was bitterly opposed by their Chief, John Ross. By this treaty, the Indians were removed on the 22nd day of May, 1838, to the Indian settlement west of the Mississippi river. From the year 1838 the town has improved rapidly. In the year 1840 the Rome railroad was completed between Rome and Kingston, which connects with the State road at the latter point. The Selma, Rome & Dalton road was completed in the year 1873; the first steamers were built in 1849 - The Georgia and Alabama - under the auspicious of Wade S. Cothran, and plied their busy wheels between Rome and Greensport, the distance of 175 miles. For many years after its foundation the town of Rome grew slowly and surely, and the people realized the necessity of building up a town and trade for themselves. There are no startling events, no fabulous advances, no thrilling incidents connected with a history of the town. Its history is only that of a quiet village, whose trade for many years was almost entirely local, and which was very little connected with the outside world. The present prosperity of the town is due solely to its commercial enterprise, which, with a healthful situation, a delightful climate, good schools and a brisk trade, there seems no drawback to check its advancement. But Rome's golden days are just ahead when manufactories shall be introduced. The large and beautiful rivers on the outskirts of the town supply sufficient water power to run the largest factories in the State - such as paper mills, flouring mills, and especially cotton factories. What town for its size and population has such receipts of cotton (the receipts last year amounting to about 85,000 bales)? and as soon as this is done the town of Rome will grow to be the town of Georgia, and we feel assured that enterprises of this kind would be encouraged by the citizens of the place.
5th Avenue & Broad Street ca.1870
          The population of the county and various small towns on our railroads is increasing rapidly. Our farmers are beginning to use improved implements; they are also learning that they mnake a permanent investment by enriching their lands; they show great hospitality to strangers. Whether an immigrant ccomes from the North or South, he receives a warm welcome by his neighbors. While our people are taking on much of the enterprise and progress of the age, they do not forget old-fashioned kindness and hospitality.

         Heretofore our town has felt very much the need of a hall for entertainments or public meetings of any kind. Just now, however, a very handsome opera house is being completed by his Honor, the Mayor, M. A. Nevin, solely on his own account, which has very much improved the appearance of our rapidly growing town. The next step required will be street railways, and doubtless in a very few years the town will be able to support this improvement.
Broad Street ca.1890
          The town of Rome is growing rapidly. In the last twelve months many beautiful private residences have been erected, nany of them being stylish and handsome. This is the distributing point for heavy groceries, dry goods and tobacco for several counties, not only in our State, but Alabama; in these articles our merchants do a fine trace. The outlook is very encouraging, and with a few more years of political rest and honest State government, with fair crops, our prosperity will be largely increased. Our county is leading all the counties of the State in the way of good schools, and churches of some sort are in the reach of every family. We believe the watchword of the "Mountain city" is "onward and upward."

Flemming Family in Rome
In the early 1860's James Benjamin Flemming (1827-1907), my 3x-great-grandfather, along with his wife Sarah Linza Jackson (1837-1902) and the first three of their children - Charles Clinton, born June 23, 1854 (my great-great-grandfather); John W., born March 5, 1858 (he died two weeks shy of his 5th birthday, on February 20, 1863) and Thomas J., born July 1860 - relocated from their home in Cassville, Georgia to the nearby town of Rome, in Floyd County, after it was burned to the ground by General Sherman and his Union troops at the end of the Civil War. They had left their hometown of Darlington, South Carolina around 1859, over 330 miles away, traveling west through Columbia, South Carolina, on through Atlanta, to set up house in Cassville. Rome, another twenty miles further west, took in many of the burned out residents of Cassville. James and Sarah had four more children, who would call Rome their hometown - Oscar Eugene, born October 1866; Walter Edward, born July 4, 1869; James Benjamin, born January 4, 1876 (he died at 15-months old on April 19, 1878); and Minnie E., born April 1879. James owned one of the two saddle & harness-making businesses in Rome, located on the main street in town at 314 Broad Street. Sarah died on December 20, 1902; James died December 6, 1907. They are buried together, next to their young sons John and James, in historic Myrtle Hill Cemetery.

Jackson Family in Rome
William Jackson (1800-1879) and his wife Elizabeth (1802-1870) followed their daughter Sarah Jackson Flemming, her husband James and their young family from their hometown of Darlington, South Carolina, to Rome, Georgia. They arrived in the city sometime after 1860. William worked as a tailor. After his wife's death on February 2, 1870, he moved into his daughter's home, where he lived until his own death nine-years later, on February 5, 1879. William and Elizabeth are my 4x-great-grandparents. They are buried side-by-side at Myrtle Hill Cemetery.

McCaffrey Family in Rome
Thomas Joseph McCaffrey (1832-1896) and his wife Charlotte Elizabeth McCluskey (1838-1917), my 3x-great-grandparents, moved to Rome, Georgia, from their home in Shelby County, Alabama, after the end of the Civil War. Thomas, born in Boston, Massachusetts, and Charlotte, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had left their home in Baltimore, Maryland at the start of the war to support the Confederacy. Thomas, who moved south alone, worked as a moulder in the development of ironworks for the war at Brierfield and Tannehill. Charlotte had given birth to five children before the start of the war - only two lived past the age of six:
  • Thomas Joseph, born May 14, 1854, in Philadelphia;
  • Susan "Susie", born March 3, 1856, in Baltimore; she died in Philadelphia on May 28, 1861, from Scarlet Fever, at the age of 5;
  • Elizabeth Agnes "Lizzie", born December 23, 1858, in Philadelphia - she is my great-great-grandmother;
  • Mary Frances, born March 13, 1860, in Washington, D.C.; she died at the age of 7 months on November 7, 1860;
  • John Beauregard, born November 10, 1861 in Baltimore; he died on June 23, 1863, only 19 months old.
At some point after 1863, and the death of son John, Charlotte and her two children followed Thomas to Alabama, after being forced out of Baltimore by Union control of the city. While living in Alabama, in the cities of Selma and Columbiana, Charlotte gave birth to three more children:
  • Charles Andrew "Davis", born May 2, 1865, in Selma, Alabama;
  • Joseph William "Joe", born January 28, 1867, in Brierfield, Alabama;
  • James Michael "Jim", born February 13, 1876, in Columbiana, Alabama.
 They arrived in Rome in 1872, prior to the birth of baby number nine in December of that year. Five of their children were born in their new hometown:
  • Margaret Loretta "Maggie", born December 18, 1872;
  • Charlotte Teresa "Lottie", born April 5, 1875;
  • William George "Will", born May 31, 1877;
  • Agnes Gertrude, born September 26, 1879; and
  • Marie, born June 21, 1882; she died one month later, on July 18, 1882.
Thomas continued to work as a moulder in Rome, and assisted in the development of the city's water works. Thomas died on May 21, 1896. After his death Charlotte moved to Birmingham, Alabama, to live with daughter Agnes, her husband Edward Joseph O'Brien (1867-1922) and their five children. Charlotte died in Birmingham on June 12, 1917. Thomas and Charlotte are buried at Myrtle Hill Cemetery. They were survived by thirty grandchildren, 17 who called Rome their birthplace.

 The Charles C. Flemming Family in Rome
Charles Clinton, "Charlie" Flemming, oldest son of James & Sarah Flemming, met and married Elizabeth Agnes "Lizzie" McCaffrey, oldest daughter of Thomas & Charlotte McCaffrey, in Rome on April 9, 1877 at the newly built St. Mary's Catholic Church. They are my great-great-grandparents. While in Rome they had five of their ten children:
  • Harry Clinton, born January 12, 1878 - my great-grandfather;
  • Susie Elizabeth, born November 17, 1879;
  • Minnie Agnes "Mamie", born August 12, 1880 (she died October 24, 1881, just 14 months old);
  • Charles Clinton, born September 30, 1884; and
  • Elizabeth Imogene "Imo", born September 28, 1886.
After the birth of Imo, Charles and Lizzie moved to Birmingham, following the railroad as it was being built in the new city. Here they had the last of their family:
  • James Benjamin, born September 27, 1889;
  • Charlotte Teresa "Lottie", born September 3, 1891;
  • Sarah Marie, born December 17, 1893;
  • Thomas Joseph, born January 3, 1896; and
  • Willie May, born January 25, 1898 (she died less than 6 months later, on June 19, 1898).
Charlie and Lizzie died in Birmingham and are buried there at Elmwood Cemetery. Daughters Mamie and Willie May are buried in the family plots at Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome.