Picture Perfect Saturday #37 ~ Matilda M. Divine

I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

In honor of “Women’s History Month”, each Saturday this March I will be highlighting one of my female ancestors.

This week I am showcasing this photo of my maternal 2nd Cousin, Matilda M. Divine with 2 of her daughters, Laura and Myrtle. Matilda was born on May 26, 1855, in Tennessee. She moved to Missouri with her family when she was 2 years old. She was raised in Dade County which was still a developing area at the time, and she learned to hunt and fish alongside her brothers. Matilda married Joseph K. West on March 25, 1875, at the age of 19. The couple moved to Cedarvale, Chautauqua County, Kansas 3 years later. They had 8 daughters and no sons, so Matilda taught all of them to fish and hunt. In this photo, taken in the early 1900s, you see that they are a little over dressed to be out hunting. It appears that they may have gone to Church first and decided to shot dinner afterwards without bothering to change their clothes. Just look at those furs and shoes! Left to right is Laura, Matilda, and Myrtle. Matilda and Myrtle are holding the rabbits and the three of them look as though they are pretty proud of themselves.I am sure they had rabbit stew for dinner.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

The Overall Gang #9 ~ Robert Henry Divine

A lot of time while writing about our ancestors, we focus on those who would be considered successful by current standards. After all, there is usually far more documentation and sources that we can draw from that makes developing the story of their lives much easier. Looking through photos I made a discovery! I have quite a few pictures of my ancestors wearing farmers overalls. The majority of my ancestors spent their whole lives making a home and raising a family on a farm. To them, wearing overalls was a sign of honor, and they were proud of what they did. So to honor these hard-working men I will highlight the life of one of the “overall gang”, including the photo and a brief biography of the legacy they left behind.

This week I am featuring Robert Henry Divine, my 3rd cousin 2 times removed. He was born on February 6, 1891, in Golden City, Barton County, Missouri. He was raised on the farm of his parent, John Bernard Divine (1863-1940) and Lucinda Charity Watson (1869-1906). His family moved to Miami, Ottawa County, Oklahoma when he was 6 years old, where his father continued to farm. In 1911, at the age of 20, he married Joda Shaffer (1891-1985), and they purchased a farm near his parents. Except for the 2 years he served in the Army during World War I, he spent his entire life raising corn, alfalfa, cowpeas, and milo maize (known as sorghum). They also raised 3 children, 1 son and 2 daughters. Robert died on September 23, 1959, at the age of 68.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Thursday at the Cemetery #50- Maple Grove Cemetery, Sylvania, Missouri

This week I am once again honoring some of my ancestors who are buried in a small rural cemetery in Missouri. These are from my maternal side, and once again have quite a few “Divine” names. This cemetery is located in the Southwestern section of the State between Springfield and Joplin. There are 387 known graves there with the oldest one being in 1882.

Since there are several of my ancestors buried here I will be posting about this cemetery for a couple of weeks.

William Riley Divine, my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born on November 11. 1857, in Monroe County, Tennessee. He was the sixth of seven children born to James J. Divine (1818-1908) and Mary Elizabeth Clayton (1820-1892). He moved with his parents and siblings to Dade County, Missouri in 1863. He was a farmer, owning his own land, and he married Rebecca Jane Spurgeon (1857-1943) on November 20, 1877. They had 8 children, six sons and 2 daughters. According to his death certificate he was killed after stopping on the train tracks of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Crossing on Highway 160 in Lamar, Missouri on February 2, 1945,at the age of 85.

Rebecca Jane Spurgeon, wife of my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born on October 10. 1857, in Pana, Christian County, Illinois. She was the daughter of Moses (1823-1896) and Angeline (1828-1864) Spurgeon. She moved with her parents to Dade County, Missouri in 1860. She married William Riley Divine (1857-1945) on November 20, 1877. They had 8 children, six sons and 2 daughters. She died on October 19, 1943, in Golden City, at the age of 86.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Picture Perfect Saturday #25 ~ Six “Divine” Siblings



I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

This week I am showcasing my maternal 3rd Cousins 1 times removed. The are just five of the fifteen children born to William Riley Divine (1819-1875) and Amelia Webb (1823-1897). L to R Back Row: Martha Caroline (1852-1921) , Texanna (1850-1938), Matilda (1855-1944) Back Row: Sarah Jane (1849-1931), William Webb (1854-1931) Nancy Elizabeth (1843-1914). This photo was taken about 1908.

Poor William, he looks like being in this photo was torture. Maybe because he is the only male amongst 4, not just women, but sisters! Each of the sisters have a slight smirk on their face. It makes one wonder what was said just before the photo was taken! This is definitely a true treasure.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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My Ancestors Signature #37 ~ Alfred Divine

How many of you have searched for any kind of photo of an Ancestor and you weren’t able to find one? Especially for one who lived before photography was invented? Have you ever looked through documents like wills, or marriage licenses and you discover that your 3x Great Grandpa had signed it? This signature is a little piece of him that was left behind. By posting it online we can preserve it for future generations.

My 1st Cousin 4 Times Removed

Alfred Divine 1817-1900
From Pension Application dated 1891

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Picture Perfect Saturday #20 ~ John Alexander Divine & Family

I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

This week I am showcasing my 2nd cousin, John Alexander Divine (1852-1936) and his family. This photo was taken about 1895. I love everything about it! You can tell they are wearing their best clothes and there is no doubt that they are related because they all look alike! It makes me wonder how long they had to pose for the picture as they all look a little tired.

Left to Right-Back row: Charles (1880-1960), Rosa (1879-1936), Mary (1882-1916), Anna (1884-1962)
Left to Right-Front row: Lafayette (1886-1967), John (1852-1936), Bess (1892- 1966), Ella (1856-1922), Winifred (1889-1929)

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Freaky Friday’s ~ William & Thomas Divine ~ Brothers to the End

William Riley (1819-1875) and Thomas Mason (1824-1898) Divine were the sons of James Marshall (1793-1872) and Nancy (1796-1872) nee Calloway. Although they were brothers, and they were the same in many ways there was however, one big issue that made them quite different.

William Riley (1819-1875) and Thomas Mason (1824-1898) Divine were the sons of James Marshall (1793-1872) and Nancy (1796-1872) nee Calloway. Although they were brothers, and they were the same in many ways there was however, one big issue that made them quite different.

Here are some of the ways they were the same:

They were both born in Greenville District, South Carolina. Thomas in 1824 and William in 1819.

They were both Farmers.

They both got married while living in Monroe County, Tennessee.

They both moved their families to Morgan, Dade County, Missouri in 1857.

They each named a son after each other.

They both named a son after their beloved Grandfather Thomas Divine.

They both named a daughter Nancy after their mother.

They both enlisted and fought in the Civil War.

Here are the ways they were different:

William and Milly had 15 children; 10 girls and 5 boys. Thomas and Nancy had 6 children; 4 boys and 2 girls.

They were buried in different cemeteries; William in Friend Cemetery in Missouri and Thomas in Falls Cemetery in Oklahoma.

The biggest difference between these two brothers was that William enlisted as a private in L Company 8th Missouri Southwest Volunteer Cavalry for the Union, and he was anti-slavery. Whereas Thomas enlisted as a private in the 15th Calvary Missouri regiment for the Confederacy, and he was pro-slavery.

It makes me wonder how two brothers, brought up in the same home, could have two such opposing beliefs.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Timeand Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Hometown Tuesday ~ Glassy Mountain, Greenville County, South Carolina

hometown tuesdayGlassy Mountain, located in Greenville County at the edge of the Blue Ridge mountains. It has an elevation of 2760 feet above sea level. It got the name from the water that flows down the large granite face of the mountain that often freezes. The icy rock face reflects the sunlight as if it were made of glass. Glassy Mountain is considered the “heart” of the Dark Corner of Greenville County. The mountainous region, originally populated by Cherokee Indians, was and is home to an independent and hardy collection of people.

Thousands of years ago, this was the domain of the Cherokees. As firstGlassy mtn river white hunters, then traders, and later settlers entered the area, interactions occurred between the two peoples. What began as mutually beneficial trade led to confrontations as the white people wanted more and more land and the Indians were willing to give up less and less of it.

Glassy MountainAs late as 1776, the Cherokees controlled most of the South Carolina Piedmont as a tribal hunting ground. But in the Treaty of DeWitt’s Corner that year, they ceded all but the northernmost parts of Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, and Greenville counties. The whites immediately moved into the newly gained territory and built fortifications. They erected a blockhouse near the modern town of Tryon, N.C., and built forts near the modern towns of Gowensville (Fort Gowens) and Duncan and Landrum (Fort Prince). These fortifications stood on the Cherokee boundary and approximated what is now the dividing line between the two counties.

After the Americans won their independence and established a government, they began to emphasize internal improvements. By 1820, the state of South Carolina had begun construction on a toll road from Charleston, S.C., to Asheville, N.C. The plan included a magnificently designed, stone-arched bridge, called the Poinsett Bridge, in the heart of the Dark Corner. The bridge still stands today, a short distance from Highway 414, although it is no longer used for traffic.
In the early 1830s, however, the attention of the people of South signCarolina was not on scenic parks. The Andrew Jackson administration imposed a higher tariff that was especially harmful to the primarily agricultural South. South Carolinian’s, led by Jackson’s own vice president, John C. Calhoun, led the opposition to the tariff. Despite those efforts, the tariff passed Congress and Jackson signed it into law. But the South Carolina legislature voted to nullify the law, essentially declaring that it did not apply in South Carolina.

Not everyone in South Carolina, however, favored nullification. Opposition to it was strong in the Upstate, especially in northern Greenville County. A government official sought to convince the people of the folly of opposing nullification. Standing in a wagon so that all could see and hear him, he waxed eloquent on the righteousness of standing against the national government on the issue. At some point in his speech, he hit a raw nerve, and some of his listeners overturned the wagon and spilled him unceremoniously in the dirt. Forced to end his speech, he dusted himself off, declaring that “the light of nullification will never come to this dark corner of the state.”

greenville-county-dark-corner-mapThe notoriety of the Dark Corner only increased during the Civil War. The residents of the area were divided over slavery; therefore, a constant struggle raged between Unionists and Confederates. The whole southern Appalachian range, including the Glassy Mountain area, became a haven for deserters and draft dodgers of both the Union and the Confederacy. It also once again became bloody ground as soldiers from both sides sought to capture the deserters, draft the dodgers, and punish their abettors. As enforcement of conscription laws tightened, resistance to them increased proportionally. And gangs of fugitives preyed upon the residents of the land for survival. In many instances, long-standing feuds were settled behind the convenient guise of civil war. In some instances, animosities continued beyond the war itself.

The area was also populated by fiercely independent Irish and Scottish immigrants who took a dim view of authority. Many grumbled about rich men buying their way out of the service. Many men joined the battle not for any political point of view, but because of a desire to defend their homes. One of the common expressions among the common soldiers was ‘rich man’s war, poor man’s fight.’ There was some bitterness in the fact that ordinary people were dragged into this, not because of any feeling about state’s rights or that they were defending anything except … defending their homes.

During the war and the economically sparse times of Reconstruction, stillthe mountain farmers had a hard time making a living. No matter how efficiently they produced corn and other grains, they could not survive on what little cash that crop produced. Corn sold for only about 50 cents a bushel. Farmers discovered, however, that if they used the grains to make alcohol—moonshine—they could make much more cash. A bushel of corn yielded about two and a half gallons of whiskey, and whiskey sold for about a dollar a gallon. A farmer operating a 50-gallon still could make 10 or 11 gallons of whiskey a day. The math was simple.

So moonshining became a common business enterprise in the rugged mountainous expanse. The problem was that the national government wanted to tax liquor. To make alcoholic beverages without paying a tax was illegal. But the mountaineers who ran the stills didn’t want to pay taxes. So a battle of wits and weapons erupted. The mountain people could trust no stranger; he might be a “revenoor.” Friends and family members of the moonshiners refused to help the government agents. If the residents suspected that a government agent was in the area, the moonshiners conveniently disappeared into the surrounding gaps and hollows. If agents discovered a still, they destroyed it. When the competing interests collided, shots were often exchanged. The conflict continued well into the 1960s. Some people say that it is still a problem today.

My 4th great-aunt, Celia Divine was born 1784, in South Carolina. She was the 2nd of 7 children born to Thomas Divine Jr. (1748-1840) and Jemima Dill (1755-1748). In 1813 she married John A. Butler (1773-1839) and they moved to Glassy Mountian, South Carolina. They had 6 sons and  6 daughters. John was a farmer but it is not known if he was one of local moonshiners. Celia died on  July 4, 1857, at her home in Glassy Mountain at the age of 73.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday Salute ~ Major Paul Eaves Divine ~ Spanish American War

Paul E Divine military PicPaul Eaves Divine, my maternal 2nd cousin 3 times removed, was born on May 20, 1871, in Tazewell, Claiborne County, Tennessee. He is the second of five children born to Dr. John Washington (1836-1903) and Mary Adalaide (Newlee) Divine (1835-1915). Paul graduated from High School in 1889 and attended the Cumberland School of Law, receiving his degree in 1896.

In 1898 with the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Paul joined Paul E Divine Spanih Am Warthe service as a Major in the 6th US Volunteer Infantry. He came from a long line of Divine’s who had fought in Country’s previous wars, and he felt it was his duty to do the same. This particular war was probably one of the shortest wars our country has been involved in.

The Spanish–American War broke out in late April 1898. The American strategy was to seize Spanish colonies in the Atlantic, Puerto Rico and Cuba, and their possessions in the Pacific, the Philippines, and Guam. On May 10, Spanish forces at Fort San Cristóbal under the command of Capt. Ángel Rivero Méndez in San Juan exchanged fire with the USS Yale under the command of Capt. William C. Wise. Two days later, on May 12, a squadron of 12 US ships commanded by Rear Admiral William T. Sampson bombarded installations at San Juan. On June 25, the USS Yosemite blocked San Juan harbor. On July 18, General Nelson A. Miles, commander of US forces, received orders to sail for Puerto Rico and to land his troops. On July 21, a convoy with nine modes of transport, and 3,300 soldiers, escorted by USS Massachusetts, sailed for Puerto Rico from Guantánamo. General Nelson Miles landed unopposed at Guánica, located on the southern coast of the island, on July 25, 1898, with the first contingent of American troops. The opposition was met in the southern and central regions of the island but by the end of August, the island was under the United States control.

On August 12, peace protocols were signed in Washington and Spanish Commissions met in San Juan on September 9 to discuss the details of the withdrawal of Spanish troops and the cession of the island to the United States. On October 1, an initial meeting was held in Paris to draft the Peace Treaty and on December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed (ratified by the US Senate February 6, 1899). Spain Paul Eaves Divine Military 4renounced all claim to Cuba, ceded Guam and Puerto Rico and its dependent islets to the United States, and transferred sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States and in turn, was paid $20,000,000 by the U.S. In August of 1898, Paul was appointed Post Commander of Puerto Rico Guayama. He received his commission from the military Judge Advocate. He held this post until early 1905. He returned home and immediately moved to Johnson City, Tennessee.

Paul Eaves Divine Military5

From July 1, 1905, through 1908, he was appointed the Treasurer for Mountain Branch for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Johnson City. He also started his own law practice with a fellow Cumberland graduate David Guinn.

He married Lulu Belle Milburn in 1907, and they had 3 daughters, Josephine, Ada, and Florence.

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Paul died on April 17, 1935, at the age of 63. His obituary includes the following: “Paul is considered a highly respected citizen of this town as well as an honest lawyer and Political leader with the Republican Party.”

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.