7/23/16

Antebellum Daughters...Emma and Elizabeth

Emma and Elizabeth share one of the most symbolic and beautiful headstones in the Howell Family Cemetery.  The year of it's placement was probably when Elizabeth died in July 1921 at the age of 64.

It is thought that Emma's name and dates were included as a memorial to her...possibly due to the fact that at the time of death in January 1879 at age 24, her grave was left unmarked.

The documentation of her short life during the time after the Civil War and through the turmoil of the Reconstruction Era is sadly lacking in anything more than the Census.

Emma was two years and nine months older than Elizabeth, and as young girls growing up in the midst of the Civil War, one can only imagine the kind of childhood they must have had.  Perhaps their headstone portrays the essence of their spirituality here on earth as their family so hoped it would also be in heaven.

Their shared headstone speaks volumes about Emma and Elizabeth as they were regarded by their families knowledge of the symbolism behind the kneeling Angel at the Cross.

 For Emma, the Angel symbolizes their grief at her untimely death. For both sisters the Calvary Cross signifies belief in faith, hope and love...they were surely loved by all who knew them.

Elizabeth was 21 years of age when Emma died.  Her father's death six years earlier, left the family farm in Cobb County, Georgia, for his wife and children to continue.  There she resided through the 1890's.  In 1900 Elizabeth joined the household of her youngest sister Savannah and her family of husband Hiram Brown and three sons.  Elizabeth spent many years living with her sister and brothers who remained in Georgia.  In the years before her death, she and her aging older brother lived with their youngest sister Savannah. 
She was obviously a devoted sister and was thought of as an
 Angel here on earth as well as in Heaven.

7/11/16

Antebellum Daughter...Fannie Margaret

In my fathers house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you. John 14.2
This inscription occupies the bottom half of Fannie Margaret's headstone.  The stone lay broken for many years with a crack through the first line of John 14.2.  The stone has been repaired thanks to a Howell Family cousin and a Find A Grave contributor who added the photo in February 2013...151 years after Fannie Margaret Pittman's death.

The inscription in all likelihood, held a special significance to Fannie's family, but one that may have been lost on those of us who read it all these years later.  The verse has often been chiseled on grave markers for those who died young...as did Fannie.  She was a few months away from her 30th birthday, and for all of those nearly 30 years she was devoted to her parents and siblings.  From birth to death, records indicate this to be so.

Fannie Margaret Pittman was born ten years before the end of the Antebellum Era and died twenty years after the end of the Civil War.  Thirty years of unrest, turmoil, and uncertainty.  Is it any wonder her family would think of The Fathers house of many mansions as a place of peace and tranquility. 

She was the second daughter and sixth of ten children, born two years after Eugenia and two years before Emma.  So, she was almost a middle child with older siblings who watched out for her and also a big sister to Emma, Elizabeth, Isaac and Savannah.  Is it any wonder 'for I go to prepare a place for you' were words of comfort for those who mourned her.  Fannie's earthly body lies beneath a cracked stone, but her spiritually whole soul lives in peace and tranquility in one of the many mansions in The Fathers House.  I am comforted.

7/7/16

Antebellum Era in Texas

The historic sites I visit with my camera often yield photos for future posts of unknown origin with no idea of when or how they will be used. That was the case today as I perused posts about the Antebellum era.  It led to a Photo File of pictures taken in 2011 at Fort Davis National Historic Site.

I remember using many of the photos when posting about our trip in September that year.  You can see some of the photos and read about Fort Davis Historic Fort in these posts:
Fort Davis Photo Tour...The History
West Texas Frontier Life...Enlisted Men
Frontier Wife's Kitchen
That period in Texas history has always been my favorite, so it is no wonder that the same era in Georgia's history has captured my interest, imagination and heart.

Like Georgia, Texas is in certain respects, historically distinctive.  Both as Southern frontier states settled by pioneers who migrated from northern and eastern parts of Colonial America.  In Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors, those migration tracks are documented in the lives of the First Generation Colonial Pittmans  through the Third Generation of Georgia Settlers.  Each generation has been a historically significant journey in their lives as they struggled to survive in a new colony...in a new state...in a new America.

The Antebellum Era 1800-1860 is known as the period of time occurring before the Civil War.  This is the time of my Great Grandfather George Washington Pittman who was born in 1843 in Cobb County, Georgia. 

He was the great grandson of a Revolutionary War Soldier.  He was the grandson of a prominent Georgia Planter and Statesman, and the son of a farmer, a soldier, and a man who was caught up in the conflicts over slavery, land fraud, the gold rush, and political discontent that lead to the ultimate Antebellum definition of the Civil War.

Through the stories and profiles of my Great Grandfather George and his nine siblings, Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors begins it's first steps on the road to Texas.  But first, they must take their first steps in their birth place of Cobb County Georgia, overcome the burdens of the Antebellum Era and most significantly for their line of descendants...survive the Civil War.

7/4/16

Antebellum Daughter Mary Eugenia

Mary Eugenia Pittman and James Hampton Howell were united in marriage in 1885, when Mary was 35 years old and James was 41.  The circumstances of their late in life marriage, according to research, seems to revolve around the Antebellum Era, the Civil War and Family Ties.

Mary was ten years old in 1860 when the Civil War broke out.  James was 16 when he enlisted in Company A of the Georgia 13th Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia.  He enlisted in July 1861, a few months after his cousins William and George Pittman, brothers of Mary Eugenia.

James, William and George served from the beginning to the end of the Civil War and lived to come home to the aftermath and desolation the war left on their homes and families.  Three years after returning home George married James' sister Emma June.  Mary was eighteen and James was twenty-four. 

Eighteen years passed before Mary and James were married.  Census records, marriage certificates, tax records, Last Will and Testaments and other factual documents unfortunately are lacking in information regarding personal relationships.  Therefore, one can only speculate about the circumstances of marriages that already have close family ties.

By the 1900 Census James and Mary were listed in Cobb County, Howell District of Georgia, a rural farming district.  James was fifty-six, Mary fifty and daughters Ruby and Gussie were ten and seven.  Although James had listed his occupation in earlier census and documents as farmer, his occupation in the 1900 Census was left blank.  The reason possibly was stated in his Obituary in the Marietta Journal newspaper, June 17, 1909.
Hon. James H. Howell Claimed by Death...Hon James Hampton Howell, a prominent citizen of Cobb county, died at his home, in Austell, Thursday night a 12 o'clock, of heart failure.  Mr. Howell had been a resident of Cobb county all his life.  On account of ill health, he moved from his farm on the Chattahoochee river about six months ago to Austell, Ga., but his health grew worse until the final end came.

After James' death, Mary Eugenia and daughters continued to live in the home she owned on Church Street in Austell. 1909 had been a hard year for Mary with the death of James and the death of her brother William who had migrated to Texas in the late 1890's.  In 1910 Mary's sister Lizzie Elizabeth age fifty-two resided with her, Ruby and Gussie.  Ruby married in 1911 and Gussie in 1925.

By 1920, Mary was 71 years old and resided with daughter Ruby and her husband in Austell.  Ruby was working as a stenographer for a furniture company and her husband Claude was a traveling salesman.  The next year, 1921, Mary lost two more of her siblings, Lizzy and Albert.  Another brother James Allison died in 1928.  In the 1930 Census Mary was still  living with her daughter Ruby and husband Claude.  Also listed was her daughter Gussie, now a widow after a short five years of marriage.  Gussie was employed as a bank clerk.

Mary Eugenia Pittman Howell died April 19, 1934 at 84 years of age.   As the fifth child and first daughter of Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman, Mary outlived all but one of her siblings...George Washington Pittman, her seven years older brother.  George and William were the only two of the ten children who migrated to Texas.  All the others remained close to their 'Roots' and 'Family Ties' in Cobb County, Georgia.

Mary Eugenia and James are buried in the Howell Family cemetery in Mapleton, Cobb County, Georgia. Many of their family members, both Howell and Pittman are buried there. 

Isaac Howell, grandfather of Mary and James was the first person buried there on November 9,1860. 

The story of his death was perhaps an omen to the end of the Antebellum Era and the beginning of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era of the South. 



It is told/written in the family history thusly.....
....Isaac, upon hearing the November 6, 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln,
went into a rant, cursed and dropped dead. 
 
Photo Disclaimer...Photo from the Vintage Photo Collection of CollectInTexas Gal.  Used here as a representative of the period.  Not intended to depict persons named in this post.  Howell Cemetery Photo from Find A Grave.

7/2/16

Antebellum Daughters

Toward the end of the Antebellum Era which is generally considered when the Civil War began in 1860, a married woman's right to own and control property they brought to a marriage gained support in the enacting of homestead laws.  Mid-Western and Eastern States began adding homestead law provisions to their constitutions in the 1840's.  These laws were a way of sheltering wives' assets from the creditors of husbands who had bankrupted themselves, thus giving families a crude safety net.

By the time 'Rainey' Pittman and wife Mary Anne Howell had their first daughter in 1850, Women's Rights Movements in the South had not reached the fervor and support initiated in the Northern states.  However, the homestead laws, reforms in Education, Mental Health and the much debated Abolitionism Movements would impact their daughters who would both benefit and suffer from the social and economic reforms of the Antebellum Era.

Mary Eugenia Pittman was born into a family who had a prominent history as early settlers in Georgia.  A family who at one time were wealthy land owners, educated statesmen, and patriots dating back to the American Revolution.  She was the great granddaughter of one of Georgia's Patriarch Baptist Ministers and founder of Georgia's first Baptist Church.  However, by the time she was born on March 31, 1850, her family was already beginning to suffer from the pre-Civil War infractions of higher taxes and the pressures brought about by the Anti-Slavery Movement.

On August 1, 1952, when Eugenia was two years and 5 months old, a sister Fannie Margaret was born.  The Pittman children now numbered four boys and two girls with oldest son William Howell 10 years,  George Washington 9, Albert Singleton 7, and James Allison 5.

The Pittman family resided in Cobb County, Georgia, on land that had been in the family for several generations.  Also in Cobb County were Mary Anne's extended family of parents Isaac and Margaret Howell, brother Michael Sylvester Howell and  seven other brothers and a sister.

The two families, brought together by the marriage of Rainey and Mary Anne would stand together and support each other throughout the difficult years through the Civil War and beyond. Rainey and Mary Anne would have two more daughters and one more son before the onslaught of the Civil War.  Emma was born on August 14, 1854, Elizabeth on May 27, 1857, and Isaac Marion  on May 4, 1959. 

And so ended the Antebellum Era. 
 Life as they knew it for generations would be changed forever.
 
Photo Disclaimer:  Photos from the vintage photo collection of CollectInTexas Gal.  Used here as a representative of the period.  Not intended to represent persons named in this post.