1940 South Carolina Mill Village Residents

This information is an extraction from the 1940 United Census for my father’s BROWN family, living in the mill village of Lyman, South Carolina.

Source: 1940 US Census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, population schedule Lyman, Beechsprings Township, Enumeration District (ED) 42-13B . sheet number 17A., Line numbers 31-34, James M Brown; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the BROWN Family.

On April 26, 1940, Retha Brown provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 25 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The BROWN family was living at 11 Upland Street, Lyman, South Carolina. They rented their home for $8 a month1 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

James M Brown (the Head of House) was 46 years old on his last birthday. He was born in South Carolina and completed 6 years of school. We learn that James operates a hooker in the folding room of a textile mill2. He worked 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. James worked at the textile mill 49 weeks in 1939, earning $1236 during the year for his work.

Retha Brown, wife of James M, turned 43 on her last birthday. She  completed 1 year of high school. Retha was born in South Carolina and is also employed at the textile mill. Her job is to examine remnants in the folding room. Retha worked 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. She worked 52 weeks at the mill in 1939, earning $775 in wages for the year.

The other household members, children of James M and Retha are:

A single son, Marvin Brown, Jr.,  turned 19 on his last birthday. He completed 3 years of high school and is employed invoicing in the folding room at a textile mill. Marvin worked at this occupation 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and worked 52 weeks during 1939, earning $720 in wages for the year.

A daughter, Gladys Brown, turned 17 on her last birthday. She was also born in South Carolina and is a student in 1939. She has completed 3 years of high school.

NOTE:  The census should be used as a starting point. The information is given orally by a household member to the census taker. The household member might not remember correctly, the census taker might not hear correctly. Always confirm vital information in another source. For example, Retha Jones Brown was born 27 Mar 1896, so would have turned 44 almost a month before she gave this information to the census taker.  She didn’t forget that her daughter, Gladys, had a birthday in March, but she must have forgotten her own.

1,  Back then, the mills owned the houses and rented them out to employees for a small rental fee.
2.  The hooker is the machine that prepares the cloth for folding into parcels.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

South Carolina Thornes in the 1940 Census

The Thorne Family in the 1940s

The information  below was extracted from the 1940 Census for my mother’s THORNE family.

Source: 1940 US Census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, population schedule Campobello Township, Enumeration District (ED) 42-26 . sheet number 10A., Line numbers 20-23, Randell Thorne; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the THORNE Family.

On April 17, 1940, Charity Thorne provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 16 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The THORNE family was living on a farm in a rural location, at Route 2, Campobello, South Carolina in April of 1940.  They were renting their farm for $5 a month.  They apparently did not live in the same place in 1935, but were living in a rural location in Spartanburg County, South Carolina at that time, location unknown.

Randell Thorne (the Head of House) was 36 years old on his last birthday.  He was born in South Carolina and completed 3 years of high school.1 Randell was employed as a card runner2 in a cotton mill.  During the week of March 24-March 30, 1940, Randell worked 40 hours in the cotton mill. He worked a full 52 weeks at the same occupation during 1939, earning $720.

Charity Thorne, wife of Randell, turned 33 on her last birthday. She was born in South Carolina and completed 8 years of school. Charity engaged in housework during the past year.

The children listed in the household are:

A daughter, Ruby3 Thorne turned 13 on her last birthday. She was also born in South Carolina. She was a student in 1940 and had completed 7 years of school.

William Thorne, was a baby, not yet a year old. He was born in South Carolina.

Footnotes:

1. He probably graduated from high school as high school was generally only three years in South Carolina at the time he would have been in school.

2. A card runner was the worker who ran the carding machine. Carding machines perform a combing operation, aligning the fibres so they will make a strong thread when spun. The process leaves the operator covered in cotton fluff. Seen as a low-status job by others in the industry.

3, My mother, Ruby Jeanne Thorne, despised the name Ruby. She was called Jeanne from the time she was old enough to tell people what to call her. She threatened to haunt me if I had Ruby carved on her headstone. Needless to say, I did not. Her headstone says “Jeanne Thorne Brown.”

NOTE:  The data found on the census records is not always completely accurate. This was information given orally to the census taker by the a household member. Errors were frequently made, particularly on ages and places of birth. Spelling is often incorrect as the census taker would write it down as it sounded to him or her. Examples of errors in this census extraction are as follows. Randell Thorne’s name was spelled incorrectly, it should have been Randall. However, his name wasn’t actually Randall at all, but that is another story entirely. He was born 28 Dec 1901, so would have been 39 when the 1940 Census was taken. William Thorne, my uncle Bill, was just over two weeks old at the time the census was taken. He was born 31 Mar 1940, so JUST made the cut-off for even being enumerated. Think of the census as a starting point and always verify the information in another, primary source.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

The Girl Next Door in the 1940 Census.

The information  below was extracted from the 1940 Census for my husband’s ALBERDING family.

Source: 1940 US Census, District of Columbia, population schedule Washington, Enumeration District (ED) 1-378 . sheet number 8A., Line numbers 18-25, Conrad A Alberding; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the ALBERDING Family.

On April 19, 1940, Arthur Alberding provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 18 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The ALBERDING family was living at 705 Quincey Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia. They owned their home, valued at $7000 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

Conrad A. Alberding (the Head of the House) was 49 years old on his last birthday. Conrad was born in Holland and was a Naturalized Citizen of the United States. He completed 8 years of school. We learn that Conrad is the Manager of the Press Club (Editorial Note: The National Press Club) and his industry code is Liquor Store, so the Club at that time functioned primarily as a bar. He worked 40 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and for a full 52 weeks during 1939, earning $4000 for the year.

Conrad was married to Bessie H. Alberding, who turned 45 on her last birthday. Bessie was born in England and was a Naturalized Citizen of the United States. She completed 9 years of school. Bessie engaged in home housework for the week of March 24-March 30, 1940, just as she had in 1939. She earned no salary, so it can be assumed she was keeping house in her own home.

The other household members listed here include the children of Conrad and Bessie Alberding:

Ellen M. Alberding, who turned 24 on her last birthday, was born in Pennsylvania and completed 4 years of high school. She was employed as a Private Secretary at the C & P Telephone Company1 and worked there 39 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. Ellen was employed in the same job for the full 52 weeks of 1939, earning $1200 for the year.

Annetta Alberding turned 22 on her last birthday. She was born in New York and completed 4 years of high school. Annetta received some college education. She is listed as in school in 1940.

Conrad Alberding, Jr. turned 21 on his last birthday. He was born in New York and completed 4 years of high. Conrad earned $1880 in 1939 as a Clerk at the United States Department of the Treasury. During the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 he worked 39 hours at the same job.

Arthur Alberding, the family member who gave this information to the census taker, turned 17 years old on his last birthday. He was born in the District of Columbia and had completed 3 years of high school. During the week of March 24-March 30, 1940, Arthur was still a student, so was finishing his 4th year of high school when the census was taken.

In addition to the Alberding family, the household included two lodgers, Charles B. Dew and his wife, Estelle. Charles was born in North Carolina, completed 4 years of high school and was a Meat Cutter at a retail grocery. He worked 44 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and a full 52 weeks at the same job in 1939, earning $1440 in 1939. Estelle, who turned 27 on her last birthday, was also born in North Carolina. She completed 4 years of high school and was engaged in home housework for both the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and all of 1939. As she earned no wages, home housework in the Alberding home may have paid some part of their rent. Charles and Estelle Dew were lodgers in the Alberding home in 1935 as well.

Footnotes:

1. Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company

NOTE: Census data is not always accurate. Do not rely on the data given to the census taker, as errors are often made. Verify dates of birth, places of birth, and other vital details. Bessie Hines Alberding was born 18 Sep 1892, so would have been 48 years old when the 1940 census was taken. Ellen Alberding was born 4 Feb 1914, so she would have been 26 years old in April 1940. I have not verified the education of the parents, Conrad and Bessie. The years of high school appear to be correct for the Alberding children as all graduated from high school and several attended some college. Census records are a valuable tool, but are not a substitute for official vital records.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

What Can We Learn from the 1940 Census?

The information  below was extracted from the 1940 Census for my husband’s REID family.

Source: 1940 US Census, District of Columbia, population schedule Washington, Enumeration District (ED) 1-378 . sheet number 8A., Line numbers 2-17 , Ernest Reid; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012).

From this image we learn the following about the REID Family.

On April 19, 1940, Clara Reid provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 18 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The REID family was living at 703 Quincey Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia. They owned their home, valued at $7500 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

Ernest Reid (the Head of House) was 70 years old on his last birthday. He was born in Virginia and completed 8 years of school. We learn that Ernest worked no hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. He did not work in 1939 and received no wages that year. He did receive more than $50 from sources other than money wages or salary in 1939.  Given his age, it is assumed that he retired from employment before 1939. He was unable to work, according to the information provided to the census taker.

Clara Reid, wife of Ernest, turned 65 on her last birthday. She also completed 8 years of school. Clara was born in the District of Columbia. She was unable to work in 1939. Clara also received more than $50 from sources other than money wages or salary in 1939.

The other household members listed here include:

A married son, William, who turned 34 on his last birthday. William was born in the District of Columbia, completed 4 years of high school and was employed as a meat cutter in the Retail Grocery industry. He worked at this occupation 48 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and worked 52 weeks during 1939, earning $1200 wages for the year.

William’s wife, Ethel, turned 30 on her last birthday. She was born in New York and completed 4 years of high school.  Ethel was engaged in home housework in 1939 as well as for the week of March 24-March 30, 1940.

A single son, Andrew, who turned 31 on his last birthday is in the household. Andrew was born in the District of Columbia and completed 4 years of high school. He was a meat cutter in the Retail Grocery industry and worked 24 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. Andrew worked as a meat cutter in 1939, working 52 full weeks, earning $1100. for the year.

Another single son, Warren, turned 20 on his last birthday. He was born in the District of Columbia and competed 10th grade.  Clara gave information to the census taker that Warren did not work in 1939 but attended school and was in school during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940.

William Reid and his wife, Ethel, lived in at this address in 1935. With them in their grandparents household were 5 grandchildren of Ernest and Clara – children of William and Ethel. Louise, 17 years old on her last birthday, completed 10th grade and attended school in the last month; Joseph T., 15 on his last birthday, completed 9th grade and attended school in the last month; Richland turned 11 years old on his last birthday, completed 4th grade and attended school in the last month; Bryan turned 8 years old on his last birthday, completed 2nd grade and attended school in the last month; Dennis turned 2 years old on his last birthday. All of William and Ethel’s children were born in the District of Columbia.

NOTE:  Census data is not always accurate and for the purpose of extracting the data from the 1940 Census, I made no corrections. Do not rely on the data given to the census taker, as it is sometimes not correct. For example, William and Andrew Reid were born in Fairfax County, Virginia, not in the District of Columbia as stated on the census. Andrew Reid did not complete high school – he had only a 6th grade education according to what he always told my husband, his son. Clara apparently overstated the level of eduction of her children. The census is a tool, but digging for additional information is always a good idea.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards  a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

The 1940 Census is ONLINE and I Was Lucky Today!

It’s HERE!!!  All of the waiting is over – well, not really, unless you are lucky enough to know where to look.

I was lucky in the wee hours of the morning since I happened to be online when Ancestry.com began uploading the images and the District of Columbia was one of the first areas to go online. I was lucky because I knew where my husband’s Alberdings lived in 1940 and they had not relocated since the 1930 Census was taken. I was lucky because I could find the enumeration district that corresponded to the district in the 1930 Census, thanks to Stephen P. Morse, PhD and Joel D. Weintraub, PhD. Using their Unified 1940 Census ED Finder made that simple. A big thanks to these men and the work they did to make the wonderful tool available.

I found my husband’s Alberding grandparents, with his mother, Ellen, still living at home. Next door, I found his Reid grandparents, with his father, Andrew, still living at home. Andrew Reid married the girl next door, Ellen Alberding, two months after the 1940 Census was taken, on 8 Jun 1940.

The Reid family home was full of people – nine in all – Grandfather Ernest Reid, Grandmother Clara, father Andrew, his brother, William (along with William’s wife and five children). The only wage earners in 1939 to support that large household were Andrew and William and neither earned a lot, so I can imagine things were pretty hard for them.

For grandfather Conrad Alberding, I find a slightly different story. Conrad is manager of the National Press Club, earned a nice salary in 1939. My husband’s mother, Ellen, had a good job too and contributed nicely to the family’s income. One of her brother’s was also a healthy wage earner. Additionally, the Alberdings had a married couple lodging with them. As they were not family, it can presumed they paid rent for their rooms. The Alberdings were much more comfortable financially than were the Reids.

Yes, I am very excited about all that can be learned from examining these census pages. It isn’t going to be easy at first. There is not yet an index, you must know where to look for those you are interested in finding. The servers are over loaded today, making it difficult to  see the records even you have done your homework and know where to look. Luck helps a lot too.  We will have to be patient as this will all settle down. If you are very patient, you can wait for the indexes to be completed, one state at a time. If you aren’t that patient, try to figure out where your relatives were in 1940. If they didn’t relocate from their home in the 1930 census, the link I mentioned above will help you find the corresponding enumeration district for the 1940 Census. It is like a bit like an archeological dig – lots of preparation will help get you to the right enumeration district and you can page through until you find the correct street. Fair warning, it will also take some luck! Me. I was lucky today!

A Leap of Faith Finally Proven!

I am taking a step away from my ALBERDING research today. Some very exciting new information has surfaced that literally has me dancing a jig in the living room. I mention in my welcome page that what started me on the genealogy journey was a very, very old family Bible. The records in the Bible date back to my 4th Great-Grandparents, William FOSTER and his wife, Sarah. William FOSTER was born 24 May 1768 and Sarah was born 15 Oct 1773. The Bible lists all of their 11 children with their dates of birth.

For almost 20 years, I have tried to prove Sarah’s maiden name. This is a very daunting process in the US since no records ever give a woman’s maiden name once she marries – we are a patriarchal society. I had a piece of evidence that led me to make a leap of faith that her maiden name was JONES. No proof, just a bit of evidence and some information about known relationships.

All of the children, except for one, of William and Sarah FOSTER are listed by first name only, along with their dates of birth. The exception is daughter Malinda Jones FOSTER, born 22 Dec 1808. Malinda was the only one of their children ever refereed to by a first and middle name. In Sarah’s will, she is the only child listed with her full name, Malinda Jones FOSTER. To me, that was evidence that the JONES name was very important to Sarah and that was my little piece of evidence on a maiden name for Sarah.

Family relationships also played a role in my leap of faith. These families were very closely allied in Amelia and Cumberland Counties, Virginia. A good illustration of this is that Mary Ann JONES married first Thomas JAMES. Thomas had a sister named Sarah JAMES. Sarah married Robert FOSTER, brother of my 5th Great-Grandfather, John FOSTER. Mary Ann JAMES married William “Major Billy” FOSTER in Amelia County, Virginia after Thomas’ death. Major Billy was a brother to both John and Robert FOSTER. Based on the fact that these families were so closely allied, my gut feeling has always been that my Sarah FOSTER was a younger sister of Mary Ann Jones James FOSTER. The problem was that no one had any information stating that Mary Ann had a younger sister named Sarah.

The Library of Virginia has started digitizing their Chancery records – these consist of Court actions involving Estates and eventual distribution of property from the Estates. Chancery records were found involving the estate of John JONES of Cumberland County (adjacent to Amelia County)`, Virginia, father of Mary Ann Jones James FOSTER. One of the minor children listed in these records is a Sarah JONES. Based on the information in the records, this Sarah would have been seven years old when John JONES’ will was written in 1780. Thanks to my Bible records, I had Sarah FOSTER’s birthdate and she would have been exactly seven years old in 1780. Sarah JONES would have been fourteen years old at the time the property was divided in 1786 and Sarah FOSTER would also have been fourteen years old in 1786.

I will continue to dig for actual proof that my Sarah FOSTER was born Sarah JONES in Amelia or Cumberland County, Virginia. However, I am now satisfied that Sarah JONES is my 4th Great-Grandmother and that a search of nearly 20 years is over. To me, the evidence now exists to back up my leap of faith made so many years ago.

Dutch Genealogy – The Alberding Family – A Scandal?

                                         Hendrika and Hendrick Alberding

UPDATE: I picked up the date of death for Coenraad Alberding incorrectly. The entry I used for for his great-great grandfather who died in 1809.  The date of death of Coenraad discussed below is undetermined.  He died before 1916, but was probably Hendrika’s natural father.

Chapter 2

Before I write about the Alberding siblings who stayed in Amsterdam, I need to back up a bit to some information uncovered since my last post. The City Archives of Amsterdam has some records online and I spent a long time searching for Alberding information there.  I found a “Funeral Book” that listed the date of death or funeral (it is all in Dutch, but I could make out the dates at least) for great-grandfather-in-law, Coenraad Abraham Alberding, Sr. as 29 Dec 1909 in Amsterdam.

I had found Hendrika in the Social Security Death Index where her date of birth is given as 23 Jan 1911. As I was entering  information on my grandfather-in-law’s parents and siblings into my genealogy database, a message popped up that Hendrika’s date of birth was after her father’s death. Hmmm – OK.  I rechecked all of the information and realized that she was born 11 months after Great-Grandfather Coenraad’s death.

I sent an email off to a cousin in Holland – the granddaughter of one of the Alberding siblings who did not immigrate to America – and asked her what she thought about this.  She replied that her Mum remembers her mother saying, “there were always uncles whom visited the house.” Lia continued, “so great-grand ma Johanna might have had a baby from one of them, when her husband had already died.” How deliciously scandalous! Genealogists live for discoveries like this one.

No one had ever said there was any question about who Aunt Riki’s father was.  Surely one of the older children must have realized that, doing the math, it did not add up that Coenraad, Sr. was Hendrika’s father.  The oldest of the children who did not immigrate was Adriana Kuiper nee Alberding.  Many of the children and grandchildren of Johanna never remember hearing an Adriana mentioned and guessed that there might have been a rift between Johanna and Adrianna. This discovery could well be the source of the rift as Adriana might have seriously disapproved of her mother giving birth to a baby 11 months after her father died.  Adriana herself was no angel, but I will save that story for another post.  The Alberding women would most certainly have been in favor of contraception – I have no doubt!

A Tale of Two Cemeteries

A Tale of Two Cemeteries

Frances Eugenia Thorne Smith

A month and half ago, I was contacted on FaceBook by a cousin from the SMITH branch of my THORNE line. She was interested in learning more about her Thorne ancestors.

My great-great grandfather, William Taylor THORNE (8 Nov 1829 – 26 May 1916) lived his entire life in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. He fought in the 2nd Battle of Manassas, where he lost an arm and left the Confederate Army as a Lieutenant. He was married to Mary Berry TURNER (9 Feb 1835 – 30 Jan 1915), also born and died in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

I am descended from their son, Durham Lee THORNE (1 Jun 1868 – 11 Dec 1943) who married Annie Caldwell FOSTER (29 Aug 1878 – 12 Jan 1947). The SMITHs are descended from Lee’s sister, Francis Eugenia THORNE (10 Oct 1860 – 27 Sep 1946) who married John McClellan SMITH (28 Feb 1845 – 13 Nov 1918).

I discovered among my papers a genealogy chart done by a member of the SMITH family many years ago. This paper was in my great Aunt Mary Sue THORNE’s papers. It may be the only copy left in existence.

As I added the SMITH cousins to my database, I began to research them. Frances and John M. SMITH and most of their children are buried in Cowpens, Spartanburg County, South Carolina. The obituaries I have been able to locate all state they are to be interred in Cowpens Cemetery. I could not find them on surveys for Cowpens Cemetery, also known as Cowpens City Cemetery. I did find most of them on a survey for Daniel Morgan Memorial Gardens in Cowpens.

The survey states these burials are in an older part of the cemetery and that the cemetery has many burials from the 1800s, many unreadable stones, and many graves marked with only field stones.

This made me curious to find out more about the history of the cemetery. I wrote to a librarian in the Kennedy Room at the Spartanburg County Library. All she could find was a bit of info from a “History of Cowpens” book. According to this book, Cowpens Cemetery dates back to 1850, when large landowner, John Terrell Wilkins, set aside land for a community cemetery.

The information on the Daniel Morgan cemetery is not presented as clearly as it could be. It says Floyd’s Mortuary “assumed ownership” of the property in 1950. It goes on to say “Tip” Moseley is considered the “father of the new cemetery” because he wanted to develop property for a new cemetery and considered battlefield property but the ground proved unsuitable. In 1944 the town of Cowpens deeded seven acres to Moseley for a cemetery. It says the new cemetery became reality by the “middle 1950s.”

Cowpens Cemetery and Daniel Morgan Memorial Gardens are adjacent to one another. Daniel Morgan Memorial is the newer section on the northern side of Cemetery Street. The Cowpens City Cemetery is on the southern side of Cemetery Street encompassed by Mr Cash Drive and Smith Street.

It is not possible that a cemetery that opened in the “middle 1950s” has graves dating back to the 1800s. It is possible that Daniel Morgan Memorial Gardens annexed some sections of Cowpens Cemetery. If that is the case, why does no one have any information on this? I have spoken to the staff at Floyds and they have no history on the cemetery or on annexing portions of the cemetery.

Did the surveyor who transcribed the headstones in Daniel Stewart Memorial Gardens wander into some sections actually belonging to Cowpens Cemetery and index these burials in the wrong cemetery? I may never find an answer to these questions but I really would like to know which cemetery these cousins are really buried in.

Olive Bertha Smith

Missionary to China & Taiwan

Missionary and prayer center founder, Olive Bertha Smith (affectionately known as “Miss Bertha”), was born on November 16, 1888, near Cowpens, SC, to John McClellan and Frances Thorne Smith. She attended Linwood College in North Carolina for one year, then transferred to Winthrop College, where she graduated in 1913 with a bachelor of arts degree.  She worked as a teacher for one year after graduation in an elementary school in Blacksburg, South Carolina, but feeling the call to the mission field, enrolled in the Woman’s Missionary Union Training School in Louisville, Kentucky and graduated in 1916.  She served for one year as principal (and also as a teacher) in Spartanburg County, South Carolina at the Cooley Springs School.

On July 3, 1917, the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention appointed Smith as a missionary to China. She spent much of her initial time in China learning the Chinese alphabet and language and teaching English classes to Chinese students. She also witnessed the roots of the Shantung Revival (a period of Christian spiritual awakening for Chinese people) during her lengthy career of mission service. For some of her time in China, she was in charge of a girl’s boarding school at the mission, where she taught Bible classes in both Chinese and English.

After being interned by the Japanese in 1941, Miss Bertha continued her work in China until 1948 when Communism forced her out. She then moved to Formosa (the main island of Taiwan), where she served until her retirement. She was the Southern Baptist Convention’s first missionary to Taiwan. After her retirement, Bertha Smith prayed for and ministered to pastors and other Christians up until her death in 1988.

She retired from mission service in 1958 at age 70 but traveled extensively telling about her mission work. Smith founded the Peniel Prayer Center in Cowpens, SC, in 1973. She also authored books about her experiences as a missionary, Go Home and Tell and How the Spirit Filled My Life and is the subject of a biography, Miss Bertha: Woman of Revival by Lewis Drummond.  Many of her oral sermons are still available, many online for free download.

Olive Bertha Smith was one of Southern Baptists’ most influential foreign missionaries. She was also a beloved educator, author, and administrator. Smith died on June 12, 1988, in SC, at age 99, just short of her 100th birthday.

Miss Bertha’s brother, Lester Berry Smith, became a minister in Newport News, Virginia. Rev. Smith married Rev. Intha DeLona McCraw, also an active minister in Newport News, Virginia.

Miss Bertha never married and spent her years after retirement with her sister, Jennie Elvira Smith, also never married, until Jennie’s death in 1976.

Miss Bertha’s Find a Grave Memorial is here: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=83324412&rand=333

The Smith Branch of my Family

I may be a research junkie, but I am a terrible blogger.  My New Year’s resolution is to do a better job of reporting on what I am researching and why I am researching that topic.

I was contacted on FaceBook a month or so ago by a SMITH cousin, who wanted to know more about her THORNE ancestry.  For a research junkie, this wasn’t as simple a request as it sounds.  Before I could tell her about the THORNE family, I had to trace the SMITH link back to where it linked up with the THORNE line and go from there.

I have a very old printout from a very old genealogy program that was in my Aunt Mary Sue THORNE’s papers that gives the SMITH genealogy from the THORN marriage on.  The papers are hard to read and follow, but with some perseverance, I have muddled through part of it and gotten new names into my database.  I also have some old family group sheets from another THORNE cousin that contain SMITH family information and have been useful in this project.  The work isn’t complete, but it will be soon.

In the process of adding the SMITHs, I made a discovery that surprised me.  The most famous SMITH is Southern Baptist Missionary, Olive Bertha SMITH, who served in China and Taiwan for 47 years.  I went to Find a Grave and found there was no memorial there for her or for the other SMITHs buried in the same, Cowpens.. South Carolina cemetery.  Of course I had to fix that.

There is some confusion in my mind as to which of two Cowpens cemeteries the SMITHs are buried in.  I found them on a survey for Daniel Morgan Memorial Gardens, but all of their obituaries list Cowpens Cemetery as their burial place.  I added 720 burials on Find a Grave to Daniel Morgan Memorial Gardens, but have a suspicion that the surveyor wandered into an old section of the Cowpens Cemetery, right next to Daniel Morgan, and included these burials in the wrong cemetery.  More research will hopefully solve this question.

Meanwhile, I created a nice memorial for Miss Bertha, as she was affectionately known, and linked her with her parents and their parents, back to the THORNE connection.  William Taylor THORNE, Civil War Veteran,and his wife, Mary Berry TURNER, had a daughter, Frances Eugenia.  Frances married John McClellan SMITH and that is where the SMITH connection began. They had another daughter, Marie Rosalee, who married John SMITH’s brother, Columbus Daniel SMITH, Jr., so we actually have two, related SMITH lines descended from THORNEs.

My next post will be about my mission to find out the history of these two cemeteries and explain the difficulty in separating them.  I do want to honor Miss Bertha, so I am going to create a post right after this one that does that.