Joseph Henry Floyd

M, #1404, b. 25 June 1902, d. 18 September 1985
Father*John J. Floyd b. c 1852, d. 31 Jan 1904
Mother*Nancy Elizabeth Coody b. 2 Oct 1858, d. 23 Aug 1934
Birth*25 June 1902 Joseph Henry Floyd was born on 25 June 1902.1 
 He was the son of John J. Floyd and Nancy Elizabeth Coody
MARRIAGE*16 December 1928 He married Lola Mae Newman on 16 December 1928. 
Burial*1985 He was buried in 1985 at Limestone Baptist Church, Cochran, Bleckley County, GA.1 
Death*18 September 1985 He died on 18 September 1985 at Bleckley County, GA, at age 83.1 
CENSUS1920*1920 He appeared on the census in 1920 at GA; Living with mother and brother.2 
Note*2003 He Margot, I do have the info that you requested:
Barkwell Joseph Floyd
b. March 27, 1930 pl. Bleckley County, GA
d. December 21, 1992 pl. Perry Hospital, Perry, GA
burial: Cremated - ashes to second wife
Married ( 1 )
Betty Sue Hudson (dau. of Susie L. Jones & John Thomas Hudson)
b. February 05, 1935 pl. Cochran, Bleckley Co., Ga.
d. March 24, 1981 pl. Taylor Memorial Hospital
Hawkinsville, Pulaski Co.,GA
burial: Orange Hill Cemetery, Hawkinsville, GA

Married : Sept. 14, 1953 in Cochran, Bleckley Co., GA

Children: Treasure (b. Oct. 25, 1954 in Hawkinsville, GA)
Barkwell Joseph, Jr.(b. Dec. 04, 1957 in Birmingham, AL)
Barkwell was married a second time but all the information that I know is that her maiden name was Rachel Strather. If you do not have the vital dates on Barkwell's parents, Joseph H. Floyd and Lola Mae Newman they can be found on the cemetery listing for Limestone Baptist Church Cemetery at the Bleckley County Website.
Please thank your mother and Betsy Mullis for their help in helping a stranger solve a family connection mystery. I am going to give Treasure a print out of her ancestors and I know she will be thrilled to learn that her distant cousins were so sharing with their information. Also, I am sure that Treasure would like to know the location of the original Floyd homestead. Thank you for being willing to help us get to know more about her Floyd family. Bill Hudson
----- Original Message -----
From: Margot Woodrough
To: bill hudson
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 5:16 PM
Subject: RE: Barkwell Floyd
Hi Bill, I would appreciate having date of Barkwell's birth etc. to add to my database. Also your sister's name. Do you know the location of the original Floyd homestead in Bleckley Co. I do if you re interested.
-----Original Message-----
From: bill hudson []
Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2003 10:32 PM
To: Margot Woodrough
Subject: Re: Barkwell Floyd
Based on what your mother said in her messages, I went back through your online genealogy and found that Nancy
Coody was married to John J. Floyd who was a possible
father of the right approximate age. I based this on Joseph
H. Floyd ( Joe )'s year of birth - 1902. I have current access
to an online 1900 Federal Census. When I looked up John
J. 's Family by looking in Pulaski County, GA census data,
I found the following:
John J. Floyd Head of Household
Nancy E. wife
Henry son
James A. son
Emma daughter
Morgan H. son
Since your mom says that Joe, Morgan, Will and other older brother's mother was a Coody and Morgan's name is listed as a son, it seems very likely that John J. and Nancy were Joseph ( Joe ) Floyd's parents. This is a good starting point at the very least or it would appear so. I will try to double check this by looking up a 1910 census or maybe a 1920 census but it will take some time.

Thank you for your help,
Bill Hudson
----- Original Message -----
From: Margot Woodrough
To: Bill Hudson
Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2003 5:12 PM
Subject: FW: Barkwell Floyd
I sent your message to my mother Annette Kaplan. she replied to me, but don't know if you received her message so here it is.
-----Original Message-----
From: Annette Kaplan []
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 12:00 AM
To: Margot Woodrough
Subject: RE: Barkwell Floyd
Joe Floyd is our cousin. He is /was the brother of Morgan Floyd Joe's wife was Lola Mae Newman and I knew them well. I went and sat up at the wake of their mother when I was a child. I believe some of these kids may have come and lived in our house (where Wayne lives now) after Mama died. Morris will know about this. Cousin Will Floyd, father of Vera, Zola, Willie Nell, and at least one other daughter whose name slips me, was a brother to Joe and Morgan. Morgan never married and was a mail carrier for many, many years. I believe they had other brothers, one of whom may have been Johnny Floyd, an attorney in Cochran and one of whom may have been the Ordinary in Cochran. Love me
----- Original Message -----
From: Margot Woodrough
To: Annette Kaplan
Sent: 3/6/03 8:01:02 AM
Subject: Barkwell Floyd
What do you make of this?
-----Original Message-----
From: bill hudson []
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 9:05 PM
Subject: Ancestors of Joseph H. Floyd
My name is Bill Hudson and I am interested in the Floyd ancestry because my sister married Barkwell Joseph Floyd; son of Joseph H. Floyd of Cochran, GA. I have enjoyed reading through your Floyd ancestry and am fairly sure that Joe Floyd , as he was known, was a part of this wonderful family. This is probably the same Joe Floyd that was an honorary pallbearer at Ed Floyd's funeral in 1960.
I am trying to do the ancestry of my sister's children with
B. J. Floyd whose names are Treasure and B. J., Jr. Any
help that you could provide in suggesting who Joseph H.'s
father / grandfather might have been would be a great help.
If there was no tie to your Floyd family, I would also like to
know so that I could search elsewhere.
I already have the ancestry of Joe's wife, Lola Mae Newman and know
that he was a mail carrier in Cochran
for many years. According to his marker at Limestone
Baptist Church Cemetary, he was borned June 25, 1902
and died Sept. 18, 1985.
Any help appreciated,
Bill Hudson in 2003. 


Lola Mae Newman
MARRIAGE*16 December 1928 He married Lola Mae Newman on 16 December 1928. 
Last Edited16 Jan 2008


  1. [S513] Bill Hudson, "Bill Hudson," e-mail to MVW, April 2003.
  2. [S61] 1920 Census;, Living with mother and brother.

Laura A (Gertrude) Floyd1

F, #3649, b. October 1899
Father*George Augustus Floyd1 b. Aug 1875
Mother*Henny Lara Quincy Stokes1 b. Apr 1877
Birth*October 1899 Laura A (Gertrude) Floyd was born in October 1899.1 
 She was the daughter of George Augustus Floyd and Henny Lara Quincy Stokes.1 
Last Edited22 Jan 2013


  1. [S59] 1900 Census;.

Laura V. Floyd

F, #1410, b. April 1887
Father*James Everette Floyd b. 10 Aug 1861, d. 30 Jun 1918
Mother*Mary Victoria (Mollie) Young b. Apr 1866, d. b 1920
Birth*April 1887 Laura V. Floyd was born in April 1887. 
 She was the daughter of James Everette Floyd and Mary Victoria (Mollie) Young
CENSUS1920*1920 She appeared on the census in 1920 at Bleckley County, GA.1 
Last Edited24 Jun 2003


  1. [S61] 1920 Census;, She is shown as head of household with her brother and sisters.

Leroy Floyd1

M, #5346, b. 15 August 1907
Father*Seaborn Andrew Floyd1 b. 11 Mar 1866, d. 10 Sep 1929
Mother*Mary Lou Sandiford1 b. Oct 1876
Birth*15 August 1907 Leroy Floyd was born on 15 August 1907.1 
 He was the son of Seaborn Andrew Floyd and Mary Lou Sandiford.1 
Last Edited6 Aug 2017


  1. [S490] Donald R. Floyd, The Elusive Floyds.

Lillie Belle Floyd

F, #1448, b. 2 January 1901, d. 16 May 1903
Father*Archibald R. Floyd b. 3 Jan 1868, d. 30 Oct 1927
Mother*Margaret Juliette Holland b. 27 Jul 1882, d. 30 Oct 1937
ChartsZachariah Davis
Birth*2 January 1901 Lillie Belle Floyd was born on 2 January 1901.1,2 
 She was the daughter of Archibald R. Floyd and Margaret Juliette Holland
Burial*1903 She was buried in 1903 at Pulaski County, GA..3 
Death*16 May 1903 She died on 16 May 1903 at age 2.3 
Last Edited1 Jul 2002


  1. [S470] Doris Dixon, "La Verne papers."
  2. [S498] Wiregrass Genealogy Group, Floyd Cemetery, Cemetery record give DOB as March 20 1901.
  3. [S498] Wiregrass Genealogy Group, Floyd Cemetery.

Lona E. Floyd

F, #1504, b. January 1888
Father*Stephen F. Floyd b. Oct 1862
Mother*Elizabeth (Lizzie) (?) b. Mar 1855
Birth*January 1888 Lona E. Floyd was born in January 1888. 
 She was the daughter of Stephen F. Floyd and Elizabeth (Lizzie) (?) 
Last Edited17 Aug 1994

Lucinda Floyd

F, #1120, b. 18 October 1799, d. before 1860
Father*Federick (Fed) Floyd b. c 1779, d. 1825
Mother*Mourning Bass b. c 1790, d. b 1860
Birth*18 October 1799 Lucinda Floyd was born on 18 October 1799. 
 She was the daughter of Federick (Fed) Floyd and Mourning Bass
MARRIAGE*17 February 1820 She married O. D. Tucker on 17 February 1820. 
Death*before 1860 She died before 1860 at GA. I cannot find the family on the 1860 census so suspect Lucinda and O.D. were dead. 
Married Name17 February 1820  As of 17 February 1820,her married name was Tucker. 
CENSUS18501850 She appeared on the CENSUS in 1850 at Houston County, GA; His farm was valued at $4,500.1 


O. D. Tucker
Last Edited27 Apr 2006


  1. [S52] 1850 Census;.

Lucinda Harriett Floyd

F, #1637, b. 25 December 1850, d. 13 June 1894
Father*Washington J. Floyd b. 10 Feb 1814, d. 15 Sep 1885
Mother*Susan Lister b. 1833, d. 8 Jun 1909
MARRIAGE* Lucinda Harriett Floyd married Jesse Aden Wade, son of Willis H. Wade.1 
Birth*25 December 1850 She was born on 25 December 1850 at Pulaski County, GA.2 
 She was the daughter of Washington J. Floyd and Susan Lister
Burial*June 1894  She is buried at Cotton Ridge just down the road from Cary in Bleckley County. It is a small cemetery in the edge of a field very close to Cotton Ridge housing development.1
Death*13 June 1894 She died on 13 June 1894 at GA at age 43 Margot, sorry I should have put the dates in the caption below the picture but didn't realize it is kinda' hard to make out. Lucinda Harriett Floyd Wade: b. Dec. 25, 1850, d. June 13, 1894. Her husband was Jesse Aden Wade Sr. b. Jan. 1850, d. Oct. 1924. He was buried in the Cary Cemetery (Mt. Calvary Bapt. Church), Cary, Bleckley Co. He remarried after Hattie died and that's apparently why he wound up in the Cary Cemetery with his second wife. Others in the Wade Cemetery at Cotton Ridge are Willis H. Wade b. Jan. 21, 1814, d. Aug.(?) 24, 1887 and his wife Rachel C. Scarborough b. Dec. 17, 1821, d. Mar. 24, 1892. They are the parents of Jesse A. Wade Sr. and have no connection with us except as Hattie's inlaws, as far as I know.3 
Married Name Her married name was Wade.1 
Census*1860 She appeared on the census of 1860 at GA. 
Census1870 She appeared on the census of 1870 at GA. 


Jesse Aden Wade b. January 1850, d. 24 August 1887
MARRIAGE* She married Jesse Aden Wade, son of Willis H. Wade.1 
Last Edited12 Dec 2005


  1. [S491] Jerry Floyd, "Jerry Floyd," e-mail to MVW, June 2001.
  2. [S490] Donald R. Floyd, The Elusive Floyds, p. 133.
  3. [S490] Donald R. Floyd, The Elusive Floyds.

Lucy R. Floyd

F, #1497, b. 31 December 1896
Father*William Amos (Bill) Floyd b. 24 Mar 1866, d. 22 Jul 1948
Mother*Lucy Hart b. 1874, d. 1897
ChartsZachariah Davis
Birth*31 December 1896 Lucy R. Floyd was born on 31 December 1896.1 
 She was the daughter of William Amos (Bill) Floyd and Lucy Hart
Married Name Her married name was Kilchriss.1 
Last Edited30 Sep 1999


  1. [S23] Doris Floyd Dixon, "Pedigree Chart."

Mable E. Floyd

F, #1654, b. May 1896
Father*John James Everette Floyd b. 29 Nov 1863, d. 16 Mar 1934
Mother*Mary E. (?) b. Jul 1861
Birth*May 1896 Mable E. Floyd was born in May 1896. 
 She was the daughter of John James Everette Floyd and Mary E. (?) 
Last Edited17 Aug 1994

Manila Floyd

F, #1416, b. 11 February 1898, d. 20 November 1973
Father*James Everette Floyd b. 10 Aug 1861, d. 30 Jun 1918
Mother*Mary Victoria (Mollie) Young b. Apr 1866, d. b 1920
MARRIAGE* Manila Floyd married R. Thomas Davies.1 
Birth*11 February 1898 She was born on 11 February 1898.1 
 She was the daughter of James Everette Floyd and Mary Victoria (Mollie) Young
Death*20 November 1973 She died on 20 November 1973 at age 75.1 
CENSUS1920*1920 She appeared on the census in 1920 at Bleckley County, GA.2 
Note*2006 She She was the person responsible for encouraging Tina Floyd to move to Jacksonville. Tina then encouraged her sister, Annette and the rest is history. in 2006. 


R. Thomas Davies b. 2 July 1894, d. 24 June 1971
Last Edited13 Sep 2007


  1. [S512] Bob Bridger, "Bridger," e-mail to Margot Woodrough, March 2003.
  2. [S61] 1920 Census;, Living with her siblings.

Margaret Floyd

F, #1494, b. 30 May 1892
Father*John J. Floyd b. c 1852, d. 31 Jan 1904
Mother*Nancy Elizabeth Coody b. 2 Oct 1858, d. 23 Aug 1934
Birth*30 May 1892 Margaret Floyd was born on 30 May 1892 she is the twin of Morgan Hudson Floyd. 
 She was the daughter of John J. Floyd and Nancy Elizabeth Coody
CENSUS1930*1930 She appeared on the census in 1930 at Bleckely County she was living with her widowed mother. 
Last Edited16 Jan 2008

Margaret Ann Floyd1

F, #4074, b. 6 December 1954, d. 31 July 1987
Father*Ralph Floyd1 b. 26 Feb 1923, d. 9 Aug 1991
Mother*Dorothy Wanetta Davis1 b. 15 Apr 1925, d. 30 May 1994
ChartsZachariah Davis
Birth*6 December 1954 Margaret Ann Floyd was born on 6 December 1954.1 
 She was the daughter of Ralph Floyd and Dorothy Wanetta Davis.1 
Death*31 July 1987 She died on 31 July 1987 at age 32.1 
Last Edited17 Oct 2004


  1. [S560] Jada Rotte, "Jada," e-mail to Margot Woodrough, October 2004.

Margaret Annette Floyd1

F, #2821, b. 22 June 1918, d. 11 May 2006
Father*James Edward Floyd b. 25 Mar 1875, d. 19 Sep 1960
Mother*Annie Jane Holland b. 17 Jul 1884, d. 19 Apr 1967
ChartsAnnette Floyd Vollmer
Zachariah Davis
Birth*22 June 1918 Margaret Annette Floyd was born on 22 June 1918 at ., Bleckley County, GA.2 
 She was the daughter of James Edward Floyd and Annie Jane Holland
MARRIAGE*4 August 1941 She married Herman Charles Vollmer, son of Herman Christian Vollmer and Margaret Mae Knopp, on 4 August 1941 at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Jacksonville, FL.
Obituary2006 Obnituary of Margaret Annette Floyd was in 2006.
Death*11 May 2006 She died on 11 May 2006 at Largo, Pinellas County, FL, at age 87. 
Burial*October 2006 She was buried in October 2006 at Cedar Hill; Family Plot, Cochran, Bleckley County, GA, Her body was cremated allowing the planning of a family reunion to honor her memory. Her grandchildren as well as her great grandchildren and her daughter and son-in law were in attendance as were her two remaining sisters, LaVerne and Mary.

In 1999, armed with her new computer and word processor Annette Floyd Vollmer Kaplan began to write her memories. They are rich with detail of life in the Ed and Annie Floyd Family. Get a cold drink and put your feet up for a trip back to the beginning of the 20th century. Annette and her family were witness to the last remnant of the old ways. Fed and Mourning Floyd would have felt somewhat comfortable living in the same county that Annette describes. They would have seen signs of rapid and dramatic change, but they would have seen much that was familiar. Even the early Basses and Floyds from North Carolina and Virginia would have seen many familiar habits and foods, and certainly the turn of the planting seasons would have been familiar. Annie and Ed and their children represent the end of those days. Let’s take a look before we blast into the 21st century.

I don’t remember very much about June 22, l9l8. But I have been told a few things, which I will try to set down for posterity. It was a happy day at the farm in Georgia. They had a new baby girl! Not that they needed another baby, but babies were inevitable about every two years and they were so happy to have a girl instead of another boy. The three just prior ones had been boys and they were pretty tired of boys by June 22.

Enough babies already had been born into this rural farm family, but they just kept coming. You see, I was the ninth in a series, which would end up being 12 in all. There was to be a double – twins – next time around so there were really only 11 births in all, and the final one was to be a redhead named LaVerne. She has lived up to all her redhead potential. She was called carrot-top for obvious reasons. But this is not about her but rather about me as best I can remember of my life and what I don’t remember firsthand, then some of what I was told.

My earliest recollection is of a very sad occasion – the death of my parents’ first grandson, Wallace. I don’t really remember his death but the sadness. We came home in the wagon and I was placed on a pallet (a folded quilt) beside the front door while the wagon was unloaded. I myself was not too well, being covered with ulcers on my legs – a plague called erysipelas. I was to suffer from this malady for most of my childhood years. Every summer I would develop this dread disease from the slightest scratch, mosquito or flea bite. And there were plenty of those. You will never have heard of this disease for it is called by more modern names now but it was quite serious and was a staph infection, which, before antibiotics, often was fatal. Those of you who know LaVerne know that she has a round scar on her right cheek. This was caused by the same infection. One of my cousins, Willie Nell Floyd, died at a very early age, in her teens, when she developed this disease on her face from a pimple

Basically my childhood was happy and without any great momentous events that I can remember. We swam in the nearby creeks and fished in them as well. We fished at a place called the boneyard on Little Limestone Creek. I don’t know why it was called the boneyard except I seem to remember hearing that when farm animals died they were taken there to be disposed of (eaten by the buzzards) sort of far from the house. Anyway, it was a good place to fish. Another good fishing and swimming place was the jackhole – I guess we caught jackfish (a form of pickerel) there. Then there was Blue Springs – what beautiful water – ice cold and crystal clear. We would stand in it up to our chins with our teeth chattering and see if we could count our toes on the bottom. We often went there for Fourth of July fish fries and picnics. These were community gatherings – not just our immediate family. All the farm families in the Limestone community would load up their children, dogs, watermelons, frying pans, etc., and head for Blue Springs for a day of fishing, swimming, and just having a good time. The women would watch the kids and the men would go fishing all morning. The men would return with their catch, build up fires and the fish would be cooked for our lunch. Watermelons that had been cooling all morning in the icy water of the spring would be cut and eaten. Normally we did not eat watermelon at meal times but it was a four o’clock in the afternoon happening. You would hear someone say, well it’s about watermelon cutting time and we would gather around the watermelon bench in the front yard and cut three or four melons which had been resting on the front porch for several days.

We never thought about it at the time, but if one of the kids had become distressed in the cold water, there would have been no one to rescue us for none of the women could swim a stroke. We would have had to rely on another of the kids to get us out. Luckily most of us learned to swim almost by the time we learned to walk – well not quite that early – but we did not really remember when we could not swim.

We never had bathing suits to swim in. We would not have been allowed to wear them because they would have been much too immodest, and Papa would have skinned us alive if he saw us in one. Not to worry about that, they were unheard of. We all wore cut-off blue jeans, only they were called overalls in those days and were strictly what farmers and their kids wore to pick or chop cotton. We would not have been caught dead in them even for sweeping the yards They were standard everyday dress for the males of the family but girls – never.

Talk about sweeping yards. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Never? Well, we did – every Saturday morning. But let me go back just a little and tell you about yard brooms. We had several colored families who lived on the farm and helped with the farm work. But they also did extra chores such as washing the clothes – I’ll tell you about that later – and gathering yard broom material. They would go out into the woods and gather gallberry bushes, a low growing shrubby type undergrowth found in low-lying wet places. These bushes had a bushy head that formed on the end of about a six-foot high spindly stalk of very tough wood. The stems were about the thickness of two No. 2 pencils. These were gathered and brought home and tied into bundles of eight or 10, wrapped very tightly with torn up strips of old sheet or other material and tied. They were then laid on the meat bench (hog-killing story later) to dry out and shed their leaves After a week or so they were dried out enough to sweep the yards.

I had the job of sweeping the outside front yard. Long ago when the first girls started to arrive in the family, Papa decided to plant an oak tree to commemorate the birth of each little darling. Unfortunately he chose a water oak, which produces leaves about twice the size of your thumbnail and curved and shaped in the same fashion. Try sweeping them off of a sandy yard with a gallberry brush broom if you really want to have fun on your day off. I was a meticulous sweeper and swept walking backward so as not to make any tracks in the newly swept yard. When I finished it looked like the fine Japanese sand gardens you see in pictures today. Imagine my distress when I saw that a chicken had walked on it and made tracks before Sunday church folks came to dinner. No, we did not have lawns, we had sand. And if a blade of grass dared try to peek up it was snatched out by the roots! Such impertinence, grass trying to grow in our clean-swept yards.

Some years later we thought about making a lawn, and my sister Tina came home over Thanksgiving one year with her car loaded with St. Augustine grass cuttings from her lawn and got everyone busy plowing and digging up the front yard and sticking out sprigs of grass. That night it came a hard freeze, the earliest in memory, and no one was sure whether the Florida grass would survive. I don’t remember whether it did because I had already moved to Washington by this time and was not in on the grass-planting project. In any case, the point is we eventually got a lawn after I was grown, married and moved away.

There was another type of yard broom – one made from dog fennel. This tall weed grew in the ditches, along the fences and in fence jambs. Do you know what a fence jamb is? It is not to put on your toast or hot biscuit. A fence jamb is made in a split rail fence. The rails are laid in a herringbone fashion and sometimes stretch for miles. The rails are laid on top of each other and are not fastened together at all, but they will last for a generation and they are wonderful for climbing or just sitting on top of in the sun. And, of course, the ground-nesting birds such as quail love them for building their nests. Blackberries also grow in the jambs. We picked these and Mama made wonderful blackberry pie and we went around with blue mouths.after having this for dinner

Mama also made wonderful blackberry jelly and jam and canned berries so we could have pies in the winter. But the best of all, she made blackberry wine for the church communion service. Communion only occurred once a year – third Sunday in August, Big Meetin’ Day – so it didn’t take much for that, but she made a lot while she was doing it so we would have some to drink ourselves. Delicious. To this day, I only really like sweet wine. There is a trick to wine making. To test whether there is enough sugar in it, you carefully wash a fresh-laid egg and put it into the wine and if it floats there is enough sugar. I never knew how Mama knew all this but she did. Ours was a non-drinking family but once in awhile we could have a hot toddy if we had the croup or Mama was trying to make the measles pop out on us. We also had homemade eggnog and syllabub at Christmas. When I went to Macon to school and came home on weekends, Mama would slip a little bottle of wine in my bag to take back to school to help cramps from the “curse.” That’s what your period was called back then, “the curse,” and it was whispered as if you were doing something unspeakable. But these things were not talked about. Our neighbor up the road told me about it after it happened to me and scared me half to death for I was sure I was dying.

Papa always tried very hard to have a hog killing before Christmas so we could have a fresh ham for boiling for Christmas dinner and fresh sausages for breakfast. The weather did not always cooperate with him. He would go out very early in the morning to check the frost and temperature to see if it was hog killing weather. When I am in Georgia in the winter and it is a crisp cold morning someone will come in and if you ask about the weather they are likely to say “hog killing weather out there” and those of my generation would know immediately what they meant – cold as hell and you had better bundle up before going out.

Hog killing day was a big day for the entire area. Previous arrangements had been made with certain neighbors that they would be available to help in “Mr. Ed and Miss Annie’s” hog killing. When you hear old folks say that they had a hog killing time at a party it means they really had a ball. Everyone was in a good mood and looking forward to a couple of days of socializing with all the neighbors who were helping. Some volunteered to cook dinner while all the others worked outside. Dinner would have been such goodies as fresh liver, turnips cooked with fresh backbone, sweet breads etc. Blackberry pies would be served from the berries canned in the summer, peach cobbler would be made from previously canned peaches and any other good thing that anyone thought of cooking. It was really a very festive time, and we kids always wanted to miss school so we could participate. But this was not allowed.

When Papa decided that the morning was just right I would wake up to the sound of the grindstone in the back yard being turned furiously and all of the butcher knives and case knives and every other cutting instrument being sharpened until a man could get a pretty good shave with them if he really wanted to. The next sign would be the smell of a wood fire outside around the scalding kettle, simply a discarded syrup kettle, which had been saved for scalding hogs. They were scalded so the hair would scrape off easily. We also scalded chickens so you could pluck the feathers readily when you were going to cook one for Sunday dinner. We had either fried chicken or chicken and dumplings for almost every Sunday dinner, but especially if the preacher was coming home with Mama and Papa from church.

But back to hog killing. It would hit me with the awful realization that this was the day the pigs were being killed when I saw Papa come into his bedroom (which is where the fire was burning and where us yunguns were trying to get or keep warm), go to the closet and take out the rifle and some shots and I would know it was going to happen. I covered my ears so I could not hear the shots or the pigs squeal when they were hit. This part was awful to me. But once past this stage, hog killing day got very exciting and interesting. We had a long pole out at the barnyard suspended between two other upright posts and this is where the snow white scraped carcases were hung by their back feet. Papa or one of my grown brothers or one of the colored men on the farm would then go down the line of pigs, sharp knife in hand and someone else holding a basket to catch the entrails, and the pigs were eviscerated one by one. If it was a big hog killing there could be as many as 10 or 15 pigs done in one day. And there were so many of us that ours was a big two-day event.

The entrails were then given to one of the black women to clean. The chitterlings would later be scraped until they were as thin as tissue paper and used for stuffing the sausages. We had a rather large table in the back yard – a permanent fixture in all farmyards – where the pigs were laid out for Papa to cut up. This table was made by four or six posts being sunk into the ground and then a table top constructed on these posts. We had a similar one in the front yard, which was called the watermelon bench – because it was narrower than a table – and this is where we cut watermelons about four o’clock every afternoon after July 4, when the first melons got ripe. Watermelons were a must for the fourth of July!
The meat bench would be covered with fresh-cut pine boughs on which the carcasses were laid and Papa proceeded with cutting them up into hams, shoulders, heads, feet, backbone, spareribs, etc. Each cut was put into a separate cotton basket, which also had been lined with pine boughs.

In the meantime, the women were busy “ridding guts” – trimming all the fat off the intestines and putting it into one of the wash pots to dry out the lard. This fat residue was cracklins and made the best cracklin bread you ever tasted. This process was called rendering the lard. Papa and his helpers would prepare the meat cuts for curing. I don’t know what he put into the coarse salt, bought in 100-pound bags, but he rubbed each piece, except the backbones and spareribs with this salt mixture to preserve it. All of the fresh backbone and spareribs would be used immediately by our family and the neighbors who had helped with the work as we had no other refrigeration to preserve it except for the cold weather.

By the end of the first day all of the basic work would be done and the second day would be devoted to making sausages and rendering the hard fat into lard. God, why didn’t we all die of cholesterol? Well, obviously no one knew there was cholesterol so how could you die from it?

We had a smokehouse nearby the backdoor to the kitchen and this was the ultimate destination of all of these shoulders, hams, and sides (if you listen to the stock market for very long you will hear them talking about the price of pork bellies futures). That’s what these sides of meat are. There was a plant growing on the farm that we called bear grass. Well, it is in fact a form of yucca, which is fibrous, strong and very tough. Maybe that’s why it was called bear grass. Anyway, this is what was used to hang the meat up with in order to smoke it. Papa would cut behind the tendon on the ham and shoulders, insert a piece of this yucca and use that as if it were wire to slip over the hanging poles suspended over the fire pit in the middle of the smokehouse. A simple slit of about an inch or so was made in the corner of the sides through which a leaf of this yucca was inserted and tied to make a hanger for them. They were all subsequently hung up and a fire was made in the hole in the ground of the smokehouse. The fire was made with green hickory branches and it was never permitted to burn freely but just smolder to make a lot of smoke. And that’s how you get hickory smoked ham. Except nowadays I am sure they just rub them with some artificial flavoring that tastes like hickory smoke.

The second day of the hog killing was devoted to making sausages, rendering the hard fat, making Brunswick stew, souse meat, pickled pigs’ feet and all of the other preserving. Mama said everything was used but the squeal. There is a saying that you like to eat sausages but you don’t want to watch them being made. That was certainly not true for me. I loved helping make the sausages. Mama grew very hot peppers and sage in the garden in the summer and stored this for seasoning the sausages. She would put in some hot pepper, salt and sage and then make a test patty which was cooked on a griddle brought from the kitchen and placed on the hot coals around the lard rendering pot. Everyone stood around waiting for the tasting – sort of like a wine tasting party – and there usually were at least three separate tastings, the seasonings being altered slightly each time, until everyone was satisfied that they were just right. Of course, Aunt Sis wanted hers much hotter, so Mama would humor her by making some extra hot for her. She also drank her coffee boiling hot as soon as it was poured while the rest of the family “saucered and blowed” theirs. Except me. I never drank coffee because Mama would give me castor oil in coffee so I learned to hate it. In later years if one of us did not like something or was unusually fussy about something we were told we were “as curious as Sis.” This didn’t mean inquisitive but it meant peculiar. Funny how words meant such different things then and there. More about words later on, assuming I don’t get sick and tired of this remembering thing.

When the final approval was given of the sausage seasonings, then came the time of stuffing and this is what I loved to do. We had a sausage grinder and it had a stuffing attachment to it. The casings (scraped clean entrails) were put over this stuffing tube, sort of like pulling on your nylons and then the fun began. Someone would hold the loose end and someone else would turn the crank while someone else fed the ground meat into the machine. I liked to turn the crank and I would make it fly and watch with glee as the sausage came out fat and round at the other end with the aroma of sage hickory smoke and cold, crisp, clear Georgia air. Ecstasy!

This is where I fell asleep last night with the smell of sausages and biscuits and homemade syrup floating through my head. At least that let me go to sleep without much trouble. I will write about making syrup later on – yes, we made it by the gallon, grew and ground the cane and cooked the cane juice into syrup. And we had parties doing this. What fun it was to go to a cane grinding. But back to the sausages.

When the last bit of ground sausage meat was stuffed, the sausages were taken to the smokehouse and draped on long poles suspended from the ceiling of the smokehouse. There they would also be smoked along with the other hanging meat. Some of the grease would begin to drip out of them as they began to “cure.” For the rest of the winter we would have sausages and biscuits for breakfast, along with grits and eggs sometimes. We would alternate this by having country cured ham instead of sausages. If we did not eat all of the sausages by spring then Mama would can them to have over the summer. They could not be left hanging in the spring or they would get “rancid” and bugs would get into them, so she would pack them into an old butter churn and cover them with some of the homemade lard to preserve them for use in the summer. But basically, sausages were a winter food. In the summer we wanted fresh meat like rabbits, squirrel and other things. The boys would go hunting and bring these home and this was a real treat. By now we were tired of ham and sausages.

Sometimes the weather simply would not cooperate with hog killings, so a solution had to be found to keeping all of this meat cold enough so it would not spoil before it could be preserved. My father solved this problem by constructing a huge icebox in the smokehouse. It had a very heavy lid that could be raised and lowered if you had two strong men to do it. It was divided into sections, one for 100-pound blocks of ice, alternating with sections twice as wide in which to pack the meat. If the weather turned warm, Papa and the boys, mainly Buddy, would go to town in the wagon and go to the ice house and load the wagon with these blocks of ice and bring them home and pack the meat and ice into the icebox until the warm spell had passed. There were no weather reports available to us and we relied on the Farmers Almanac to a great extent to predict the weather. Certainly five-day forecasts were far into the distant future.

Papa was a pretty good weatherman. He would go out to the end of our front porch and look up at the clouds and could pretty much tell whether a shower was coming our way. He could mostly judge whether the cold snap coming would be sufficient to take care of the hog killing weather he needed before embarking on this task. He seldom missed! Can you imagine existing today without weather reports, storm and tornado warnings? And how can you plan a vacation in Greece or Turkey without getting on the Internet and checking the weather in those countries?

Spring was a wonderful time – everything was getting a new start – fresh vegetables from the garden, a welcome relief from turnips, collards, dried peas and beans and sweet potatoes. These things made up most of our diet with the addition of whatever canned fruits and vegetables we had been able to put up the summer before. Mama always planted her garden, especially string beans on Good Friday. I grew up knowing nothing about Good Friday except that it was the day for planting string beans. Garden or English peas as we called them (we now call them green peas) were planted very early, maybe even before Christmas. Irish potatoes (white potatoes as opposed to sweet potatoes) were also planted early. How delicious when we got the first mess of these peas. It might not be more than two cups full for our whole family, but Mama saved the tender hulls and cooked them and she added dumplins to make out a mess. I have no idea why a serving for everyone was called a “mess” but it was. The boys and Papa would go off to catch a “mess” of fish, and in order to make a good “mess” the fish would be supplemented with hushpuppies. Mess also meant “don’t you dare scatter things and leave them for someone else to clean up your mess.” In the military “mess’ means where and what you eat so I guess it all ties together.

Spring also meant that school would soon be out. We only went to school until April 18 and before that time there would be run-away-from-school-day, either April fool’s day or as close to it as possible. I went to a two-room school called Smith School where there could not have been 50 students. Every spring we older kids would plan to run away from school for a day. Of course, we were very conspiratorial in our plans, although I am sure the teachers knew as much about our plans as we did for there would always be a tattletale in the group. Anyway, we older ones would all disappear from school and only leave the younguns – those too little to keep up. We would end up doing nothing more for the entire day than going for a romp in the woods and playing on the sawdust pile back in the woods. We would pick wild flowers, violets, honeysuckle and yellow jasmine and get barefooted for the first time in the spring. Lord, we were tired of having to wear shoes every day. We always went barefoot except on Sundays when we were hauled off to the Primitive Baptist Church called Mt. Horeb, which was where my father and mother went to church on third Sunday of each month.

Our school had two rooms – one devoted to the first through fourth grade and the other to the fifth through seventh grade. Most kids went no further than the seventh grade. I was lucky. I got to go to town to high school. What a treat that was. I remember the day that Papa took me to town and to Cochran High School to talk to the principal, Mr. T. M. Purcell. Mr. Purcell was a very distinguished looking man with snow white hair. He immediately dubbed me “Flapper,” I guess because I had such blonde hair that he must have thought I looked like his version of a flapper. He never called me anything but Flapper for the entire time I attended Cochran High School. He is also the one who dubbed LaVerne “Carrot Top” because of her red hair. He was a wonderful man and we loved him in spite of being in awe and afraid of him. We never wanted to be sent to see Mr. Purcell – this was big-time trouble.

But back to Smith School, five miles out from town. I especially remember two teachers – Sara Frances Horn and Pauline Hinson. They boarded at our house because they had no way to get to the school from town and our house was within walking distance (about a mile) from the school. We had the best house in the community and Mama put a bed in the “living room” for the teachers. Other houses in the community did not have living rooms. We did. And furthermore, we had the only white painted house outside of town. Only houses in town were painted. We had floors with no cracks between the boards and our house was sealed, which meant there were no cracks between the boards of the walls. Some years prior Papa had made arrangements for a sawmill to come to our woods and cut trees and make lumber for our new house. That is what accounted for the sawdust piles that we played on in the woods.

Our teachers were quite talented and innovative. For example, every year at the end of school we would put on plays, pantomimes, minstrels and lovely end-of-the-year programs. Buddy and Jay and I did black-face minstrels in addition to the regular plays. Our faces were painted black with burnt cork and our hair was made by unraveling black stockings and stitching the yarn to a cutoff top of a stocking and pulling this over our own hair. We put on three-act plays, which Sara Frances ordered from a place called Dennisons. We did monologues and dialogues and dances. I usually was in these plays because I could memorize lines and pages and pages of monologue, not that I was such a talented actress!

All of the grownups in the community participated in these programs. The men came and constructed an outdoor stage attached to the front of the school house. The room in which the older kids were taught had a built-in stage and this was used primarily for Christmas pageants and other small productions, but it was much too small for our big productions. In addition, the schoolroom could not accommodate everyone who came to see the big programs (everyone in the community – no one missed). For seats outside for the new stage, they laid long boards across kegs or whatever they had to make seats for the audience; they strung up telephone wire around the stage and the women made curtains from their bed sheets and hung them to make a curtain. We had pans filled with some kind of powder across the front of the stage and when the program was over this powder was ignited and made the most beautiful colored lights for the grand finale. Mama made many of the costumes. She made dozens of colored crepe paper dresses for the dancers. She made angel wings for the angels and she had a good imagination on how to make these things. Wire would be bent into the shape of wings and covered with white gauze and then edged with Christmas tree tinsel to make them shine.

Our three-act plays would be taken to other schools such as Cary and Davis and Salem schools and put on for the benefit of those communities. These were serious productions for which we practiced two nights each week until we had them down to perfection. Going up to school at night to practice was a real treat for me – I had a chance to be with the teachers, not as student but to listen to grownup talk. Buddy always went with us whether he was in the play or not – he was our protector against any strange night happenings such as seeing mysterious lights and other ghostly things prowling around. On one occasion there was some real drama. We looked out the schoolhouse window and saw a red glow on the other side of some nearby woods. Someone yelled “house afire” and we flew out of the schoolhouse forgetting our practice and everything else, and raced up the road and to our horror it was the home of a neighbor, Mr. Big Green Smith.
All we could do was watch in horror as they lost their home and everything in it. Even the smokehouse could not be saved. Happily the barn was saved, but not before all of the mules had been set free so they could escape in case the barn caught fire.

Sometimes Buddy was our tormenter. He would fake a scare just to make our hair stand on end. He really was quite devilish. I remember when the school kids all got lice in their hair and the teachers were afraid that they might have gotten them and asked Buddy to examine their heads for them. Buddy caught some lice on the pigs and put them in a folded paper in his pocket and at the right moment presented them to the teachers and pretended he had caught them on their heads. You can imagine the panic and consternation they underwent until he could no longer hold back his laughter and had to confess his trick. Our hair got combed with a fine toothed comb until our scalps were raw looking for lice and I am reasonably sure this is how the saying “go over with a fine toothed comb” came into being. Know of a better explanation?

Our school was heated by potbellied stoves in each room and the boys brought the wood in each day to burn in them. Some days the heat would be so intense in the stove that the outside would get literally red hot. We had a “privy” back behind the school in the edge of the woods where we went to the toilet. We had a well where we lowered a bucket and hauled up water for us to drink. We did not have drinking cups, but we grew gourds of all sizes, which we used for all sorts of things. During the summer we would have dried some of the small gourds and cut the side off and this would have been saved to take to school to be used as our drinking cup. Also, at home we had a long-necked gourd which would have been cut in the same fashion and used as the dipper in the water bucket that set on the shelf on the back porch. Periodically these gourds, as well as the water bucket (made of cedar shakes and held together with brass bands around them) would be taken out to the sand bed in front of the house and scrubbed shining clean with the brass bands gleaming. A mixture of soft potash soap and sand would be used for this purpose. Mama, of course, had made the potash soap at home from grease and cans of Red Devil Lye.
This same soap was used to scrub floors, wash clothes and in a pinch when we did not have “sweet” soap we had to take a bath with it.

Taking a bath sometimes meant just washing our feet before going to bed. But when we got into the washtub for a real bath whoever had drawn the water from the well and set it out in the sun all afternoon to get warm a little got to get into the tub first. From then on whoever could muscle in ahead of the others got to go next. I hated having to wash my feet and legs with the potash soap. Afterward if you stood in front of the fire your skin would feel like it was shrinking. We would back up to the fireplace in the winter and raise our skirt in the back to get our behinds good and warm. We kept the foot tub, a small version of the washtub, sitting on one corner of the hearth so we could all wash our feet before going to bed.

On the other corner of the hearth was a crockery churn filled with milk that was set there in the warmth to encourage the milk to “turn” to clabber, so we could churn and get fresh butter and buttermilk. This fresh buttermilk and hot cornbread made a wonderful supper on a cold night. We had many cows, three or four, that we milked every day, night and morning, winter and summer. Jay and I were the milkers. Sometimes the cow would get impatient or aggravated if your long fingernails dug in and she would kick us. One cold morning just such a thing happened to me and she kept on kicking and got her foot into the bucket and spilled milk all over me. It was very cold and by the time I got to the kitchen door the milk had frozen on me. The cats used to follow us to the cow pen and Jay could hit a bull’s-eye with a stream of milk at 10 feet. The cat would open her mouth and Jay would squirt milk into it.

Jay and I were great friends. He was my typical older brother and would fight my battles at school and on the way home. He was two years older than I but we both went to the same grade when we began high school in town. He later dropped out and I was on my own but the first year we drove our old faithful mule called Brown Kate to school. She was quite old and feeble and unable to do any farm work anymore and was the only one we kids were allowed to drive hitched to the buggy. One day poor Brown Kate died and Jay and I were in a dilemma about going to school. Papa finally decided that Jay could handle Alice, a long legged high stepping creature so he let us take her to school. It just happened that Jay and I were both in a school play and we were studying our lines on the way home from school. Jay had wrapped the reins around the whip holder as we often had done with Brown Kate, when we met a motorcycle coming up the road. Alice jumped the ditch, buggy and all and tried to run away. Jay jumped out of the buggy and grabbed the bridle and calmed her down enough so he could cover her head with his jacket to get her past the motorcycle. All the while I was still in the buggy terrified. We didn’t dare tell Papa about our escapade.

We had beautiful mules – I remember one named Daisy. She was the most beautiful mule I had ever seen, sort of a pinkish blonde with a brown streak down her back. Papa bought her from the gypsy mule traders who came to town every winter and camped on some vacant lots on the road up to the college. I never got to see the gypsies but from what I was told about them with their guitars and violins and singing, next to going in the circus, I was sure being a gypsy was the best thing in the world to do. But we were kept strictly at home when they were in town.

The circus came to town one year and marched some elephants through Cochran and set up a tent out on the road to Macon. Mama took us to town on Saturday afternoon to see the circus. I was 5 or 6, maybe as much as 10. I don’t remember. All I remember is I sat with some other little girls across the tent from Mama and when they asked for five little girls to come ride the elephant I popped out of my seat and ran out and got on the elephant and rode around the tent. Mama could not believe I had done such a thing but I did. I even remember that I was wearing a purple popcorn check dress that day (who could forget that).

I wanted to tell you more about the gourds we grew. They were used as martin gourds. A martin is a kind of swallow that flies around at dusk and catches mosquitoes. We always had at least one martin pole and a dozen or more gourds for them to use for nests. They would come sweeping in and they were so beautiful. I think I remember them being called blue martins. We also had bats that would swoop around about dusk. I think they too were catching mosquitoes. The gourds were arranged in a tier of three or four tiers with several gourds at each level, sort of a bird condominium or high-rise building.

It is time I went back to reflect on my grandparents and parents a little. My grandmother Orlifia Bryant Holland was a widow who had been abandoned by her charming, handsome rogue of a husband named Jesse Jasper Holland. As best I know, he simply picked up and walked away from his wife and two children, two young girls. Mama and Aunt Juliette, were left to fend for themselves as best they could. My grandmother’s sister, Aunt Jane Bryant was either already living with them or came to live with them to help out as best she could. The two women and two small girls abandoned on a farm must have had a very tough time. Their only income would have been what they could earn by their daily work in someone’s field. I remember that Aunt Jane had a spinning wheel and made thread from cotton they had picked in the fields. I remember hearing Mama talk about having to pick the seeds out of the cotton every night before going to sleep. Each had to fill her shoes with cotton she had picked seeds from. Granny and Aunt Jane would card the cotton and Aunt Jane would then put it on the spinning wheel. The way you card cotton is to take small amounts of cotton and lay it on a small board with projecting wires and then take another board of the same kind and comb the cotton back and forth until it was clean and fluffy. A cotton card looks like an oversize wire hairbrush only the board is sloped and the handle is attached in the middle of the back of the card. Times were tough.

Papa and his brother, Uncle Archie, lived not too far away from these women and children. Papa told me he married Mama so he could look after her and take care of her. She was only 13 when they married and she was only 14 years older than her oldest daughter, Viola (Shug) who will be 100 years old in March 2000. My name, Margaret Annette, was given me as a combination of Annie and Margaret Juliette. I have always liked my name but I was told that it was not given to me until I was over a year old! For the first year of my life I was simply called “little sister.” I had three older sisters still at home when I was born and I was sort of their pet. They crocheted and made tatting to go on everything I wore and embroidered and smocked dresses for me. Then when the twins came along two years later they were the darlings. The final one was the redhead LaVerne who was the baby of the family all her life. I remained close to my older sisters and to my younger ones, too, for that matter, all my life.

Grandpa Holland remarried and produced four more children – Aunt Eva, Aunt Florence, Aunt Ruby and Uncle Jay. They were half sisters and brother to my mother and Aunt Juliette. Papa’s brother Uncle Archie married Aunt Juliette, so my first cousins are all double first cousins.
Grandpa Holland drifted off to Florida and at some point he had a little country store and at another he spent his time hunting, fishing and trapping in the Everglades. He knew all about the Seminole Indians in Florida and about alligators and panthers (we called them painters) in the Everglades. From time to time he would come to visit us and we would sit on the front porch while he regaled us with tales of his adventures. Some true,I am sure, and I am equally sure some were not. We children adored him. He brought oranges and grapefruit from Florida and this was a real treat because in those days they were not readily available at Thompson’s general store in town. I believe he married two more times before he died, which was right much for those days! He sure told hair-raising stories; so much so that we would be afraid to go in to bed unless a grownup went into the house with us.

We got out of school early in the spring so we could help with the farm work. We helped with the planting and cultivating, the planting of the kitchen gardens (we usually had three of these) and all of the many chores that must be performed on a farm. We brought in water and filled the tank on the stove so we could have hot water when a fire was built in the stove the next morning. We gathered the eggs from the henhouse, fed the chickens, hogs and mules milked the cows, brought in stove wood to be used for cooking, and brought in kindling to start the fire. We always had to shuck the corn that was fed to the animals. This meant large baskets full to feed a half dozen mules and maybe as many as 50 hogs. We shelled the corn to feed the chickens (removed the grains from the cobs). The cobs were saved and taken to the privy to be used as toilet paper when we ran out of Sears Roebuck catalogs! How I hated having to use the “shiny” pages, the ones with pictures of the latest fashions on them for toilet paper. But the corncobs were much worse. There were no indoor toilets and no toilet paper. In the winter the cold wind would blow up through the holes where you were sitting and freeze your butt off. Believe me, no one lingered in the privy with their favorite book or magazines. We didn’t have many books, just our schoolbooks and no magazines. We did receive a daily newspaper, The Macon Telegraph, for as long as I can remember. It was delivered to our house by the postman who drove around the mail route, RFD (rural free delivery) No. 2. Add Cochran, Ga., to that and any mail from anywhere in the world would be brought to our house. After I moved away Mama would even “dress” (clean) a chicken once in awhile and mail it off to me from this rural route and mark the box perishable and it would be refrigerated and sent on to me and arrive in good order. She also mailed me sweet potatoes, pecans, cakes and pies the same way and I received them with great delight. It was a real treat to get a “care” package from home long before care packages came into being for our soldiers in World War II.

We worked on the farm in the fields but were not supposed to ever look like we were field workers, sunburned. So Mama made us put on sunbonnets every time we stepped out of the house “or we would end up as brown as ginger cakes.” Along with these sunbonnets, we wore the boys’ overalls, long sleeved shirts buttoned at the wrist and on top of this we wore long gloves made from cutting the foot off some old black stockings and making a hole for the thumb and only allowing the first joint of our fingers to protrude in order to stop any single ray of sun from touching our complexion. We did not have creams and lotions for our faces but we used buttermilk on our skin and sometimes slices of cucumber to help us be more beautiful.

Mary was always very beautiful but not as beautiful as she wanted to be or thought she was. She had freckles and she hated them. She would generally succeed in talking me out of the few pennies I earned working in the field in order to buy Stillman’s freckle cream, which was supposed to remove them. I later learned it had mercury in it as a bleach and it is a wonder she did not poison herself with it. We had an all-purpose medication for cuts, etc., called Cloverine salve. I think it was nothing more than vasoline with a little perfume in it. We also had iodine, which was used on cuts. This burned like fire when applied to a cut and on me it would blister the skin around the cut. I must have been allergic to something in iodine.

We made it fun to do some of the chores we were required to do. For example, the peanuts, which were to be used for planting, had to be shelled by hand, and since we had quite large fields devoted to growing peanuts this meant that we had to shell a lot of them. So every night we each were parceled out a portion of peanuts to shell before going to bed. After a while we got tired of this deal and decided to have peanut shellings. Our house had a big wide hall that went all the way through the house so on the day of the peanut shelling we took all of the chairs and lined them up in the hallway, along each wall, and invited all of the young people in the community to come to a peanut shelling. When they arrived they were given shoe boxes, pans and roasters from the kitchen and any other suitable container for the peanuts, and lined up in the chairs and put to work to see who could shell the most peanuts by bedtime, around 8:30 or 9 o’clock. We would shell our fingers off as we laughed and talked and if Mama and Papa were not looking, seeing if we could hit someone down the line with a well thrown peanut. Sometimes we would “parch” (roast) peanuts and cook syrup down and make peanut brittle while we were shelling the peanuts. This was always a fun time with our friends and we looked forward to peanut shellings.

Another fun thing was cane grinding. We had a cane mill down at the bottom of the hill and we made syrup for our family as well as for the other families in the community. Usually the cane was ground early in the mornings and then the syrup would be cooked down during the day. The neighbors hauled their cane down and stacked it along the fence, and Papa knew which stack belonged to which family. The neighbors paid him for cooking their syrup by giving him every fourth gallon he made. When we decided to have a cane grinding we would pass the word up the road to the neighbors and they would all gather at the cane mill late in the afternoon and the mill would still be grinding juice. We younguns would play games, drink cane juice and sit around and tell ghost stories about “hants” and hanted houses. I never knew there was such a word until I looked it up two days ago when I was thinking about writing about this. It really is in the dictionary. I thought it was just our way of saying things.

The fiber from the cane stalk is called pumings. And this was piled up in a large mound and left to disintegrate. These mounds afforded many happy hours of play for us. We rolled down them, we slid down them on our back sides and we caught bullis vines in the spring and shook the muscadines (official name of bullises) and swung out from the top of the mound a-la-Tarzan and Jane. Great fun.

Being paid in syrup for making it for the neighbors meant that we had much more syrup than our family could possibly use, although we used a lot. Papa would take a few gallons at the time and take it to town and trade it out at Thompson’s general store for the things he needed to buy for our use. We did not have to buy very much since we grew almost everything we ate. About all he had to buy was flour for making biscuits, black pepper, which Mama bought, along with vanilla flavoring, from the Watkins man, coffee, tea and such other things that we did not grow. Mama also bought liniment and fly spray from the Watkins man. The Watkins man was a person who traveled the country selling patent medicine, Vicks salve for croups and colds and mustard for mustard plasters for your chest when you had a deep cough, and other items farm families might need. He came by our house about once a month and called out in a loud and cheery voice, “Anything in the Watkins line todayyyyyy?” His car smelled so good, like cloves, black pepper, vanilla flavoring and all kinds of other goodies and we usually needed something.

Mama sent her surplus butter and eggs to town by Papa and he sold them at Thompson’s store but he got money for them and this was Mama’s butter and egg money, which she hoarded so when she got a chance to go to town she had a few dollars of her own that she could spend for a length of voile or other material to make herself or one of us a Sunday dress. This material would have been bought at Thompson’s Dry Goods store. Periodically Papa would have instructions from Mama to go to Thompson’s and pick up needles, thread, buttons, snaps or a bolt of material so she could make us girls dresses either for church or school. Mama was a very good seamstress and made all of our clothes. I don’t ever remember seeing her cut anything out by a pattern except a pattern she had cut out of newspaper. If she saw someone with a dress she liked she would ask them to let her cut a pattern off of it and then she would make dresses for herself or for us like it. All of us would get a dress off of the same bolt of fabric but they would not look alike because Mama would trim them all in a different way so we did not look like peas in a pod, she said.

Other fun things were cake walks, taffy pullings, box suppers and once in a great while we could go to someone else’s house for square dancing. Dancing and card playing were not allowed in our house when we were growing up. A cake walk was a gathering, at the school mostly, where a big circle would be drawn on the floor with numbers printed on it. Each number represented a cake that someone had baked and donated. Everyone marched around the circle while someone played the fiddle or some other simple instrument such as the jew’s-harp or harmonica and when the music stopped whoever was on the number that had been selected beforehand won the cake represented by the number. Each walker had to pay a small amount, maybe a quarter or fifty cents to walk, and the school made a few dollars for its use. This money could have been used to buy the plays we put on, I suppose.

A box supper was a little different. The girls in the community would pack a box supper for two and wrap it up as nicely as they could and decorate the outside to make it as attractive as possible. The box would contain fried chicken, potato salad, sliced tomato or tomato sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches, slices of cake and/or pie and any other goody they could think of and it would be put up for auction. Whoever made the highest bid got the box and the girl who made it to eat supper with him. Whichever of the boys who had saved the most money would keep the bidding going until he got the one he wanted. Sometimes you had to eat with someone you didn’t really like just because he outbid your “feller.”

Mama made all of our clothes. I don’t recall ever having a “bought ready made” dress as we called them, until I was grown and saved enough cotton-picking money to buy one. She made our underwear out of flour sacks. We bought flour by the 50-pound bag. Behind the kitchen door we had a meal box, which Papa had built. It was a box with two compartments, one side for corn meal and the other for flour. It stood off the floor on legs and had a lid that could be lifted up to get the flour or meal, and Mama also kept her biscuit tray in the side with the flour. I spent many hours sitting on top of this box in the warmth of the kitchen. Sometimes reading a book or just watching and listening to what was going on in the kitchen. It was a cozy warm corner and whoever was sitting on the meal box usually got told when to stick another piece of wood in the stove and when to run out to the woodpile and bring in a turn of wood. Another funny use of the word “turn,” meaning armload.

When the flour sacks were empty, they were carefully washed to remove the printing which said “Birdsey’s Best” in white letters on a red background, and saved to be used for many things, among them making drawers for Papa and the boys and underpants for us. The sacks were a thin cool fabric and were used for dish towels, milk straining cloth and many other things. These flour sack underpants we wore every day. Underpants were called bloomers in those days. One summer Mama got some black sateen, a soft shiny material, and made us black sateen bloomers. This was years before shorts for girls were heard of. But Mary, La Verne and I promptly tucked the tail of our dresses into the bloomers and ergo, we had turned the bloomers into a forerunner of shorts.

In later years flour sacks and chicken feed sacks were printed with pretty prints and were used to make aprons and sometimes even dresses for the little girls. The cornmeal was ground from corn which we grew on the farm. We would shuck and shell the corn, and Papa and Buddy would take it to a grist mill and have it ground into cornmeal. We ate cornbread with all of our vegetables and ate hot biscuits every morning for breakfast. In much later years Mama would send to town for “lightbread” to make sandwiches for the school kids but aside from that we only ate biscuits and cornbread.

Being retired for a number of years I never paid much attention to the day of the week or month, so when I really wanted to know “when it was” I usually had to search around for a calendar or check the weather channel on the TV to see what day and time it was. Can you believe, I discovered I could just glance down in the right hand corner of my computer screen and glean this valuable information?

Here I am 82 years old and working on a computer! I am headed pell-mell down the information superhighway to the year 2000! Except they don’t say 2000, they say Y2K. It took me awhile to figure out what they meant by Y2K but I finally did. There are all kinds of predictions of gloom and doom about these monsters crashing when the clock strikes midnight and I remember the story of Cinderella when her carriage turned back into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight and wonder if that is what they are talking about. Yes, I named my computer “The Monster.” It does monstrous things. Mary named hers “Sweet Pea” but hers is blue so it needed a gentler name than my beige one.

We lived at the top of a red clay hill in Georgia and when it rained hard, if there were any cars on the road you could be sure that sooner or later there would be a call from our front yard for Mr. Ed to come and pull someone out of the ditch. No ice I ever drove over in Washington years later was as slick and dangerous to drive over as a red clay hill in Georgia. Believe me, I have spent many days in the ditch on this information super highway and I have many crashes stored up on my C Drive to prove it. However, yesterday was a red letter day for me. I finally got out of the ditch on downloading and retrieving documents that are being sent to me by e-mail, which is how I am communicating these days. It is not enough just to push the download button and think you have got it. You may have it but where the hell is it. All this does is just pitch the thing into a giant size wastebasket and you can’t find it when you need it. I just assume that many of my downloaded e-mails ended up in e-mail heaven. These dead bodies will have to be removed from my C Drive but I will have to do this with strict supervision so as not to delete (pitch out) things I really need, or want.

How did I ever get involved with a computer in the first place? I had lived back when we drove a mule and buggy to town and cooked our meals on a wood burning “Home Comfort” range – never mind that I now do almost all of my cooking with a microwave oven – and swept the yards instead of mowing the lawn and suddenly here I am involved with a computer thereby putting to rest the old saying “YOU CAN’T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS,” but I haven’t learned them all yet!

One day my beloved Steve (my son-in-law) came over and announced that it was time for me to have a computer. I protested rather vigorously but where Steve is concerned I am somewhat of a pushover so he dragged me out to the garage and demanded the keys to my car, which has a large trunk and hauled me off to the computer store. I had no earthly idea what we were looking for but he did. He conducts his entire law practice alone on his computer from a room in his condo at St. Pete Beach and only types with one finger in the bargain. Here I am typing with nine fingers; the thumb of the left hand does nothing to help out in typing. After about an hour of looking at all of the equipment in the computer store it was time to make a decision. Meanwhile, I had found a chair and plopped myself down to wait until the reason for my being there arrived – handing over the Visa card and signing it.

I could not believe the mountain of boxes we had acquired. They filled the huge trunk of my car and also the back seat. We hauled all of this merchandise back to my condo and Steve tore into the boxes like a kid on Christmas morning. He worked until midnight setting the thing up and explaining to me the rudiments of how it worked. I looked on in utter consternation and terror. I was also flabbergasted that I had been so foolish as to spend $1,500 on this thing about which I knew less than nothing and for which I had no earthly need, and furthermore I was terrified of touching it. When Steve came back to help me get started two days later he said I had opened and left open 32 windows. Not knowing what a window was I did not know what he was talking about. I had simply “clicked the mouse” trying to make the thing go. My only previous experience with a mouse was one where you put a little cheese on a trap and tried to catch him. Now this thing in my hand is a mouse!

Steve knew that I enjoyed playing bridge and solitaire so he installed these two games for me. For the first month I practiced these games trying to learn how to control this mouse – which in itself is not easy to do if you are not accustomed to mice. Mine sometimes runs a little wild when I am trying to zero in on something.

Anyway, yesterday was a red letter day for me. I managed to drag what I am writing out of Word Perfect where I am working and saved it, attached it to an e-mail and flashed it off to my darling granddaughter Page in Pittsburgh with a copy to her mother at St. Petersburg Beach, and I could have sent copies to my sister and niece in California with one fell swoop. Talk about progress, I have come a long way, baby, from that day in the computer store. And from the two-room school house in Georgia.

Much to my amazement, this computer has brought various members of our family much closer together. We are communicating with each other much more than ever before. I talked Mary (or rather Mona, her daughter) into getting one. We now write to each other every day and are on the buddy line fairly frequently. Mona got one for Mary, not herself. Mona is an artist who does all of her work on the computer, and her husband is a stock broker, so that is a real computer family – their kids do their homework on the computer

Talk about the information super highway, we all went to Greece last summer with Steve and Margo going to Turkey before I left for Greece, and we were in daily communication by e-mail so that I could follow their progress in Istanbul and all of Turkey right from my condo in Largo. I knew when they visited the Blue Mosque and when they visited Topkapi Palace, and when they joined us in Athens, we sent and received e-mails to and from our relatives in Atlanta, California, Pittsburgh and wherever else we chose.

I even remember the first time I ever saw an airplane. Mama went out to the smokehouse to cut some meat or get a soup bone or something of the sort and called frantically to us in the kitchen to hurry outside and see what was up in the sky – it was not a bird or Superman but a plane. Later on I went to a field just outside Cochran and went for a ride. For $1 you could go up for about a five- or ten-minute ride. It was beautiful up there looking down and seeing the fields and houses below.

Learning to operate a computer was not altogether different from my experience in learning to drive a car. When I was about 16 years old suddenly Cochran acquired a shirt factory. This meant jobs in town that paid real money to those of us farm kids who could grab one of these jobs. I was one of them who succeeded in getting one – but how was I to get to town to accept this job? By this time we had acquired a family car, a big black Chevrolet with extra wheels on each side next to the engine, on the running board. It was quite impressive looking – but how to make it get from the farm to town and the shirt factory and back to the farm was far beyond my capabilities. Those who could drive, namely Buddy and Albert, two of my brothers, did not have time or the inclination to drive me to and from my new job each day. What was I to do? Shug, my oldest sister, was out at our house on Sunday before I was scheduled to go to work at 7 a.m. on Monday and she knew how to drive. She had to drive as her husband, Lucian, was blind and could not drive. Her son always said you could tell she had been taught how to drive by a blind man! The reason for this remark being that she was inclined to get to talking and looking at something and heading the car in the direction of her gaze. However, she. managed to drive well into her 90s, and the last car she bought was a Thunderbird, which she said she had always wanted. I never knew her to be involved in an accident or get in the ditch on those red clay hills between the farm and Cochran where she lived.

She volunteered to take me out on Sunday afternoon and teach me how to drive. So away we went. We drove around the countryside for two or three hours and she let me steer the car and showed me how to push in the clutch and change the gears, and decided I knew enough to drive to town the next day to go to work. So I drove back to our house. Only a couple of problems. The brakes did not work very well and you sort of had to coast to a stop, and she had not shown me how to use the reverse gear. I would not have been able to back up even if she had because how can you see where you are going if you are going backward! Anyway, morning came and I had to go to work. I made it to the factory and looked for a wide open place to park so I would neither have to depend on the brakes nor my ability to back up. When time came to go home I drove all the way around the building so as not to need to maneuver to get back out and onto the road to go home. At the end of a week of driving my palms had corns on them from holding the steering wheel so tightly, trying to drive and stop the car. I thought the tighter I held on the better I could control the thing as I had done in driving old Brown Kate to school. Eventually I did learn to drive the car and have been driving ever since – accident free so far, and without glasses

Mama always had a saying: “Take it a little bit at the time, like the cat eating the grindstone!” And that is certainly what I had to do learning to drive both a car and a C Drive. I wonder why it is called a C Drive. Maybe it means computer drive. Why not an A drive like the old model A Fords?
But before there were Model A Fords, there were Model T Fords, lovingly called “Tin Lizzies.” Buddy bought one of these models and as in “Oklahoma” it had eisenglass curtains that you buttoned all around in case there was a change in the weather. I don’t believe I could have learned to drive one of these models. First you had to crank it. On the steering wheel there were a couple of levers that had to be set – one was called the magneto and maybe the other was the spark, I don’t remember.These had to be set just right and then you stuck the crank in the front end under the radiator and cranked and cranked and cranked. Finally, after much cranking the thing would begin to sputter and you had to be quick to get out of the way as it would start to move as if to run over the cranker. Fortunately I was too young and small ever to try to drive this car. Herschel later bought a Ford Roadster with a rumble seat that you opened up. There was a lid back where you might expect a trunk to be and when you lifted it there was a seat big enough for two and you rode sitting on the outside of the car. You also could remove the top from over the driver and passenger and everyone was sitting outside and riding! I was allowed to drive this vehicle but only if Herschel was in the passenger’s seat. Then he bought a red Pontiac convertible – boy that was living. He would drive up those red clay hills when they were covered with mud and slick as glass put on the brakes and throw this car into a spin and spin around in the middle of the road two or three times. I put that car into the ditch one time and someone had to come with a mule and pull me out. I got into the ditch one other time in my driving on the farm. One day there was no one to drive Mama and Papa to church but me. By this time we had acquired a beautiful Ford V-8 and I was to drive the new car Everything was fine until I met a car right in the middle of a big sand bed. Wanting to make sure I did not damage the new car I pulled as far over as possible and the sandy shoulder simply melted from under me and I was in the ditch. If you have ever driven in the sand at the beach you know how challenging this can be. I doubt you are allowed to drive on the beach any more but when I was young driving on the beach at Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Daytona, was what we most liked to do.

This almost cost me my life once when I was riding with a friend at Jacksonville Beach when his car was hit by a speeding driver as we attempted to turn around on the beach. The other car hit my side of the car up where the front door hinged onto the body of the car and threw me out across the beach. I landed on my back and was paralyzed for several days while Tina, and Kelly, her husband, and Mama spent a great deal of their time with me in the hospital. Tina and Kelly had sent for Mama to come down to Jacksonville when they saw how badly injured I was. Eventually my legs regained their feelings and I recovered completely. I have often wondered if that accident might have contributed to the backaches I have suffered in later life.

The country roads are all paved now but when I was a girl growing up they were just dirt roads. The chain gang, prisoners who wore black and white striped uniforms and were chained together, worked the roads. Several times each year the gang would be brought out, along with a very large road scraper and the washboard and rutty surface would be scraped smooth and the extra dirt would be piled up along the shoulders and left. You sure hoped there would not come a rain for awhile for if it did all of this scraping and smoothing and piling of dirt along the sides would turn the road into a quagmire. The first car that came along would make ruts and all of the subsequent cars would have to stay in the ruts in order to travel. One of the most harrowing experiences I ever had on muddy roads was once when I went to Macon with Shug and Lucian and we stayed too long and “dark caught us.” It poured rain and we had to come all the way from Macon in the rain over red clay hills for the entire 40 miles at night.

That is in the same category as once when Steve, Margo and I decided to drive from Washington, D.C., to Cincinnati over a George Washington Birthday weekend to visit his family. We left Friday after work and were going to drive all night. We hit snow in the mountains and drove over some harrowing mountain roads with hairpin turns and switchbacks. Not a light or sign of habitation to be seen anywhere. Unfortunately there were many large trucks on the same road that night. Eventually, we reached a small town but the only hotel was full. We finally got a room in a run-down motel, with no heat and not much light but at least it was better than an icy mountain road at midnight!

May 8, 1999. Well, here I am back again this morning on this memory thing. I don’t quite know how I got talked into doing this except my dear daughter, Margot, must have thought I needed to do something to justify the purchase of “The Monster,” my computer. Being very frugal people, you just don’t buy something and let it sit there and not earn its keep, so I was assigned a project to “get the good out of this thing” as my mother would have said. Writing these memories is sort of like cleaning out the closets of your brain. You know that it won’t be long before you will have to move out of this old house and if you don’t write down the stuff you have stashed back thinking that some day you might need it, then no one will ever know you had it when the house is bulldozed under and it as well as the house will be gone forever. So I keeping opening old dusty boxes and bags of memories that have been saved. Not because you thought you would ever use them again but like some old clothes that no longer fit, you liked them and you could not just pitch them out. I am forever running across things that I did not remember putting away. Many of these things I have not thought of in years and am surprised myself when they pop out at me.

The other day I even remembered a dream I used to have about flying, long before I knew that people really could fly if they had an airplane. In my dream I would climb up on the meat bench in the back yard and fly all the way around the house and land on the watermelon bench in the front yard. Imagine my disappointment after this dream and I went out and tried it only to land on my feet on the ground when I jumped off the meat bench. I do remember when my children were young and we took the long and arduous drive from Washington, D.C., where we lived, back to the farm to visit my parents, the girls would say “Mommie, tell us about olden days.” We did not have radios in cars in those days and to entertain them on the long trip I would regale them with tales about when I was a little girl. I guess this desire stuck with Margo and she still wants me to tell her about “olden” days. Olden days for me go back to the time when I lived on the farm and if we heard a car coming up the road we would all run as fast as we could to the front yard just to see it go whizzing by at about 10 miles or so an hour! There were no freeways in those olden days and we drove all the way from Washington to Cochran on two-lane highways, with the last five miles out to the farm on dirt roads – and how I hoped it would not be raining when I hit this dirt road, for I still dreaded those red clay, slippery hills in spite of the fact that by now I was well accustomed to driving on ice and snow. Those hills still intimidated me.

I drove a car for 20-odd years even before I needed a driver’s license. When I got my first driver’s license all I had to do was tell them that I wanted one and thank goodness I did not have to take a test. I had never done any parallel parking in my life and had no idea what it was or how to do it. We always just pulled in head first to the curb and stopped when we hit the sidewalk. They still park that way in Cochran.

I even remember when there were no radios. We did have a gramophone. Papa bought it for our new house with the living room, so we could play records. One of our first records was one that came with the machine and it was called “The Fox Chase.” This was the sound of dogs barking and running through the woods as if they were chasing a fox with a little music, mostly harmonica playing to dramatize the chase. We played this hours on end. I can still hear it in my head.

We were delighted when Shug and Lucian, who lived in town, got a radio – a crystal set – and we would go to her house in town to listen to the radio. There were such programs as Amos and Andy, a blackface skit about black people. We tried to go to town every week to listen to this program. Finally, we got a radio for the farm – a Philco – which ran on a car battery. The symbol was a white dog sitting in front of what looked like a big bullhorn with his head cocked to the side and the words underneath said “Listening to his master’s voice

Many years later after I had lived in Washington for quite some time, my mother came to visit me. Part of the entertainment for her was to take her down to Bethesda, Md., and stand on the sidewalk in front of a store and look at TV in the window of the store. This thought puts me to thinking what it may be like for all of you following after me. Here I sit at a computer writing all of this. What will you be writing or thinking about when you are 82 years old? I wish I could pop in on you and see! Maybe some of you will be living on the moon by then. I am sure that this information super highway will look like a two-lane road or even maybe an old country dirt road by then. That’s the bad thing about moving out of this old house, I wonder what the new neighborhood will look like.

I just got a telephone call saying they had the perfect apartment for me at the retirement home where I am going to live. These places were always called “Old Folks Homes” when I was growing up. Funny, I don’t much feel like old folks except when my back and hips hurt and I have trouble getting the groceries in from the car to the kitchen and then standing at the sink or counter preparing a meal. A man came yesterday to repair the wall in my computer room (imagine me with a computer room – that’s what I now call the front bedroom of my condo) and told me I could not be much older than he. He said he was 65 and when I told him I was 82 he refused to believe I was the same age as his mother. Boy, what a lift that gave me. It made my day! I still drive my car alone to and from Macon, Ga., a couple of times each year to visit family members who still live there, although driving is not quite as much fun as it used to be. We really should flatter each other once in awhile just to make someone feel good. It doesn’t cost anything and it is only a white lie and not really a sin at all. I have spent a lot of my life trying to figure out what was “sin” and what was not. My parents went to church regularly and took us younguns with them. We were not required to actually go into the church when we got there but were left outside in the churchyard to play with the kids of other church members who had brought them along because there were no baby sitters to leave them with at home. If you were a parent you drug your kids along wherever you went.

Anyway, Mama and Papa belonged to Mt. Horeb Primitive Baptist Church. The Baptist church nearest to our house was Missionary Baptist and they had an organ in the church. Primitive Baptist churches did not have music and the hymns were sung a cappella. In addition, they performed foot-washing rituals. Every third Saturday and Sunday in August was “Big Meeting” time and this was when communion would be taken and feet would be washed. Mama always prepared the bread and wine for this service and took it to church. She baked the unleavened bread on a griddle on the top of the Home Comfort range in the kitchen, wrapped it carefully in a clean piece of flour sack or other cloth and took it to church to be broken into small pieces and given to the church members as the sacrament. I can still hear my cousin Jim Floyd sitting on the front row of the church and “striking the pitch” with his beautiful voice and then all others would join in the singing. I still have Mama’s old song book someplace. Sunday Big Meeting would be an all-day affair, sometimes with as many as three preachers preaching so you can see why the kids were left in the yard to play. Otherwise pretty soon there would have been pandemonium in the church when the restless kids all got to “squalling.” Boy, those old preachers, especially Brother Spivey (who looked somewhat like Teddy Roosevelt) could preach hellfire, brimstone and damnation, with pounding on the pulpit for emphasis. And then there was Brother Jim Frank Dykes who looked something like Inkabod Crane must have looked. He was not as powerful a preacher as Spivey. Brother Josh Chance finally became the pastor of the church and my mother and father became closest friends with Brother Josh and Sister Mandy. Their great-grandson, Sammy Raffield, is married to Mama and Papa’s granddaughter, Judy Floyd. Well, one or more of the preachers would preach in the morning and finally break for dinner on the ground about 12:30. Dinner on the ground, ah how wonderful that was! All of the women in the church would have been baking and cooking all kinds of goodies for Big Meeting. They would have fried chicken and ham, potato salad, baked cakes and pies, made chicken pie, cooked butter beans and black eyed peas, fried and boiled okra made biscuits and cornbread and maybe even have brought a loaf of “lightbread” with pimento and cheese to spread on it. Pickles of every sort would have been brought: pickled peaches and cucumbers, corn relish and preserves, jams and jellies, boxes and baskets full of every imaginable thing to eat. The men would have set up a table, 15 or 20 feet long, out under the pine trees in the churchyard. The table would have been constructed of rough sawn boards laid across saw horses to form a table. The women would have packed their best white tablecloths to spread out on this table and then would have proceeded to unpack all of the boxes and baskets of food. They would have brought plates and knives and forks from their kitchens at home as there were no such things as paper plates and plastic knives and forks in those days. All of this would be piled high on the table for everyone to eat. What feasts they were.

After eating all we could, the remains would be packed up in the boxes and made ready to take back home. After a visit to the privy in the edge of the woods, the congregation would reassemble to continue with the preaching and foot washing. The church had small metal wash pans, which were stored in a small cabinet fastened to the wall beside the pulpit. These basins were kept there to be used each third Sunday in August. About four o’clock in the afternoon, the meeting would break up and people would begin to return to their homes.

These Primitive Baptist churches were scattered all around the countryside, and each met on a different Saturday and Sunday of the month. Trail Branch met on the fourth Saturday and Sunday. Sweet Home met on the first Saturday and Sunday. Hawkinsville met on the second Saturday and Sunday. When there was a fifth Saturday and Sunday, then one of the churches would request that Fifth Sunday meeting be held at their church. One of the reasons they met on these Sundays was to enable different members of the home church to go to another church and hear their preacher. Cousin Jim and Cousin Ava Floyd always came by and took Mama and Papa with them when they were going to Trail Branch, Sweet Home or any other church.
Our Lord cousins lived in the Trail Branch community, and since their meeting was the fourth Sunday and they came to our third Sunday meeting, then sometimes I was allowed to go spend a week with the Lords, and Mama and Papa could get me the next Sunday when they went to Trail Branch. How I did love going to Cousin Robert and Cousin Dolly Lord’s house for a visit! Ruth, Rosa. Susie, Ben, Ivy, Lorene, Louise, Minton and many other names I can’t remember. Oh yes, Nanny Barfield, who lived across the field. We had to pass their house on the way to the Bee Tree hole where we went swimming. We also went for hayrides in the wagon and Cousin Robert had billy goats, which I never saw anywhere else.

The preachers at these churches were, themselves, farmers just like all farmers, except they “had been called to preach.” They were sort of circuit rider preachers and were paid the few dollars, five or ten, however much could be collected, to help pay for their gas to travel from their communities to the meeting places to preach. If they were preaching at Mt. Horeb, they would come to church and preach on Saturday and go home with someone to spend the night Saturday night – frequently at our house or Cousin Jim’s house. If they stayed at our house, then on Saturday night Mama and Papa would get word around the community that there would be singing at our house on Saturday afternoon or night and many neighbors would come to join in.

Any third Saturday night you could almost be sure we would have someone spending the night – either the preacher or one of the visiting church members And when dinner was not served on the ground at church, several people would come home with Mama and Papa from church. After I got old enough to be left behind at home I was put in charge of seeing that the front porch was swept, the younguns washed and into clean clothes and a clean white starched tablecloth was on the table and the table was set ready for dinner to be served as soon as they got home from church. Our table would seat eight or 10 people and frequently there would be three sittings, beginning with the men and gradually getting down to the younguns. By this time there would be nothing left of the fried chicken except maybe a wing and of the chicken and dumplins except a foot or two and some dumplins. Yes, Mama cooked the chicken feet. They gave the dumplins a good flavor she said. They were skinned beforehand and were pristine white and Mama always ate them. She said she liked them but I never tried them. Mama also always ate the chicken back. I suspect she chose this piece so as to let the others have the best pieces.

I have never been what I would call a religious person. I sort of believed in live and let live and do unto others as you wanted to be done to and it has served me pretty well all these years. I don’t ever remember hearing very much about how God loved me or any of the things I hear the preachers talking about these days on TV. About the only time I heard about God being loving was when someone who was exasperated at you or something else and they would say rather sternly, “Oh, for the love of God,” why did you do or not do something about which they were not particularly pleased. It seemed to me the Wrath of God was a more likely state of affairs. It appeared, from things I heard all the time that God was pretty displeased about something most of the time and I had better watch out or his wrath would come down on my head when I least expected it.

I heard all about heaven with streets paved with gold, which seemed a little far-fetched to a girl who lived on a red clay road that got slick as glass when it rained and who earned about three or four dollars at the most for a week of working in the field. It sure seemed like a waste of money to pave a street with gold to me. In the summer the church just down the road from us, Limestone Missionary Baptist Church, had a week of Big Meeting (they sometimes called it revival) and even though our family did not belong to that denomination, we children went there to church every night. This meant that I had more than a dozen white shirts to starch and iron for the boys to wear to church. In those days we did not have electricity so naturally there were no electric irons. This being June, it was pretty hot already in Georgia, but never mind the shirts had to be ironed. So I built up a fire of oak logs in the fireplace in Mama and Papa’s room and stood the flat irons on end in front of the fire and heated them and this is how I ironed these broadcloth shirts. No wrinkle proof fabric in those days either. If you accidentally got the iron too hot or did not wipe any ashes completely off and smudged one of these shirts, you had to rewash and starch it and start the process all over again. By the time I finished this job I was standing in a puddle of sweat. Of course, there were no electric fans to turn on – there was no electricity, remember? Can you imagine having to go to bed that night in a room where a hot oak fire had been going all day? And it a featherbed to boot. What does “to boot” mean? I guess it means “in the bargain.”
With four boys going every night even if they wore a shirt three times it meant a dozen to “do up.” We went to church to be with our friends, not to be religious or “get religion.” We would not have dreamed of becoming a member of that church. As a matter of fact, you were supposed to wait to join any church until you were called, I suppose by God, to join. Buddy is now 98 years old and has never joined the church, so if he doesn’t hurry up he will not hear his call. But he went to church all his life. I suppose he was torn between which denomination to belong as he married a “Missionary Baptist,” so there was a difference of opinion.

You sure did not want to join the church in the winter and have to wade out into that ice cold creek to be baptized. Sometimes they would almost have to crack the ice to get in, and as soon as you came up from the water someone else would have waded out dragging a coat on their arm to lay around your soaking wet shoulders. That takes guts or faith or whatever you want to call it. I never got struck dumb as St. Paul did on the road to Damascus.

Papa and Cousin Jim and Brother Josh would sit around for hours on end reading and discussing the “scriptures.” None of the three had ever attended school for more than a year or two, so I don’t have any idea if they could even pronounce the words, much less understand what they meant. They would sing about Beulah Land and crossing over the Jordan, only they pronounced it “Jurdan” as it is still pronounced in Georgia. Cairo as in Egypt, is pronounced Karo in Georgia, and Houston as in Texas, is called “Howstan.”

The family Bible was an enormous book about four inches thick and the size of a Webster’s unabridged dictionary, the kind you find in libraries on a stand all to itself. You could not possibly sit and read it as you would a regular book. It would break your arms in short order, so the only solution was to sit hunched over a table and try to read it. Births, deaths, and marriages were all recorded on special pages provided for those records. Those were the vital statistics for most families.

These country churches belonged to the “Ebenezer Association” and periodically each church would get the “sosation” meeting. Boy what a time that would be. The men would go to the church where this meeting was being conducted and construct a “brush arbor” out under the trees. They would build a frame as if for a house, with branches of trees cut and laid across the top for cover, a quite large structure, since people would be coming from miles around from the various communities to attend this meeting. The benches from the church would be hauled out and set up under this arbor and additional benches constructed from lumber to take care of the crowd of people. This meeting would go on for three or four days, with the first day or two being taken up by the business of the various churches. The remaining days would be devoted to preaching and singing with dinner on the ground both Saturday and Sunday.

We would spend weeks preparing for these meetings, cooking everything in sight to be taken for these dinners. The house would have been cleaned from stem to stern, featherbeds and quilts taken out and draped over the yard fence to sun and air, floors scrubbed clean, water buckets scoured, yards swept, kerosene lamps cleaned and filled with fresh kerosene and any other cleaning Mama or Papa could think of. This was an important time and lots of people would be coming to our house to spend the nights – so many that pallets would have to be made on the floor so everyone would have a place to sleep. We younguns loved to sleep on those pallets with our friends, and would talk all night if Papa did not call out for us to get quiet and go to sleep. A giant size slumber party for the kids.

We also had all day sings at various places such as the school house and Jay Bird Springs. These were similar to all-day meetings except there would not be any preaching. Quartets, solo singers, duets and general audience participation would go on all day. The songs would be mostly church hymns and some Negro spirituals. But ballads and folk songs would also be included at these sings. All of my older sisters had taken singing lessons and from an itinerant singing teacher before I was born. They sang “square” notes but did not know how to read “round” notes to this day. I don’t know the difference. Here again all the participants would have brought boxes and baskets of food, which was served and shared by all.

Cotton picking time unfortunately coincided with third Sunday in August and we knew we had to hit the cotton patch before daylight on Monday morning after Big Meeting. We had many acres planted with cotton so this meant many weeks in the field picking cotton. Mama would take her sewing machine out to the front porch where it would be cooler than in the house and make cotton sacks. This was a long narrow sack made of heavy canvas, with a strap to put around your shoulder, in which you dropped the locks of cotton as you picked them. These sacks were made long enough so that the bottom dragged on the ground behind you as you walked to relieve the weight you had to carry. They would become very heavy by the time you got them filled. You would pick one row down and one back to the place where you emptied these bags either onto a burlap cotton sheet on the ground or into a hand-woven cotton basket. Buddy and the field hands usually picked down the middle between two rows, carrying two rows at a time. I could never keep up with the others and Buddy was always having to come over to my row and catch me up. He let me empty my sack in his basket or on his cotton sheet and when we picked for another farmer and got paid for it he gave me credit for having picked a hundred pounds and that is what I would earn for the day. Sometimes I would end up with two or thee dollars for the week. This is what Mary talked me out of for her freckle cream.

Picking cotton was hard, back-breaking work. But even so, we sometimes had fun doing it. If a watermelon vine had volunteered and come up in the middle of the cotton patch and we found a ripe melon on it, it was great to “bust” it open and eat it right there in the field.

We had several colored families living on our farm and we also hired transient workers, farm workers from other family farms, to help us with such things as picking cotton when they were not needed or working on their home farms. There could be as many as maybe 15 or 20 pickers in a field at one time. We would get the colored people to start singing spirituals late in the afternoon. About “an hour by sun,” Papa or Buddy would announce they were going to the house to get the wagon and we would pass the word that it was about “quittin time” and you would hear the call go out, finish up your row, it’s quittin time. The wagon would come across the field and Papa and the boys would weigh up. Buddy could pick 400 pounds in a day if the cotton was good,

Papa kept a record in a little notebook of how much each worker picked for the day so he could pay them at the end of the week. He kept a record of how much the rest of us picked so he would know when a bale had been picked. We younguns always climbed up on top of the cotton in the wagon and rode home – getting to the house just at dusk, and we still had to do our chores such as bring in stove wood, fill the tank and bring in fresh water for the night, bring in the slop jar (a container for the bedroom so you didn’t have to go out to the privy in the dark) in case you had “to go.” After chores, we would eat supper, sit around a little while, wash our feet and go to bed. Up before dawn the next morning and off to the field for another day. How we prayed for a rain shower so we could come to the house and rest. We did not have shoes to wear in the field. We got shoes pretty soon after school started – at least by the time cold weather came – and so we went barefoot the rest of the time. The ground would get as hot as fire in the middle of the day so we tried to step in the shade of the cotton stalks and if we walked across the corn field we jumped from one spot of shade to the next as the corn stalks were planted about four feet apart and our legs could not reach that far.

My mother and father had little or no schooling but they were both very bright. Papa could figure up how much he owed a cotton picker who picked 587 pounds of cotton at the rate of 75 cents per hundred, and Mama was also good at figures. I learned from her how to count everything in fives and tens instead of just adding straight.

Taking the first bale of cotton to the gin in Cochran was a day of celebration. Papa would come home with a 100-pound block of ice from the ice house in town and cans of condensed milk for making homemade ice cream. Papa would not touch milk or even let one of the other family members drink out of his coffee cup if they put milk in their coffee, (he swore he could taste it) but he dearly loved ice cream. He would usually bring home a mess of mullet fish from town, which Mama would cook for supper. We did not usually cook at supper time, just ate what was left over from dinner. Papa liked the pot likker from the vegetables with some cornbread broken up in it for supper. We always had a large pan of baked sweet potatoes and often we would have a sweet potato and a glass of milk for supper. These fish would have been shipped in from Savannah or from Florida as they were not a fresh water fish as we caught in the creeks around our farm. He would also bring home kit fish. This was a fish that was packed in coarse rock salt and sold in a yellow wooden tub. I think these were shipped in from some place up north. These Mama would rinse off and let them stand overnight in clear cold water to get rid of some of the salt and cook them for breakfast along with little thin hoecakes of cornbread. I loved these fish and always looked forward to getting them because we wanted a change from all the fresh fish we had.

The leftover ice from the ice cream making would be carefully wrapped in newspapers and burlap bags and placed in a tub so we could have ice tea or iced bullis juice for dinner the next day. Having something cold to drink was a rare treat for us. We had no refrigerator until Papa built one many years after we moved into our new house.

At some point in my early childhood, when I was 6 or 7 yeas old, I guess, Papa decided it was time to build a new house for the family. I don’t remember very much about living in the old house but I do remember that he arranged for a sawmill to be brought into our woods and set up at the back side of the “New Ground.” This was the land he had acquired and cleared after he had been farming the “Old Field” for a number of years. To this day, those fields are still called the “New Ground” and the “Old Field.” There were many large pine trees in these woods and the sawmill began to cut them down and saw them into lumber. This lumber was hauled up to our house and stacked in triangular-shaped stacks and left there to cure. I spent many happy hours climbing over these stacks of lumber. There were several of them and we turned them into our playhouses and went to visit each other in them as if they were our homes. The neighbor girls and boys would come to visit and play with us.

Then finally came the day when we had to move out of the old house so that it could be torn down and replaced by the new one. Parts of the old house were to be salvaged if possible and incorporated into the new one. We moved about a quarter of a mile down the road into a much smaller tenant house on the farm and I do remember living in that house while our new house was being built. We were crowded into two or three rooms and even Ruth, one of my older sisters was still living at home so there would have been 12 of us, including Mama and Papa, in that small house. I believe Ruth married while we lived there for I do not remember her moving back into the new house when we went home.

We watched as our new house was being built. The stacks of lumber were hauled into Cochran to the planing mill to be planed into smooth boards, to be grooved for sealing the rooms and for all sorts of cuts and changes to be made to the rough sawn boards. Grandpa Holland came up from Florida to help with the building of the new house. I think I am correct in saying that he built the windows or maybe it was the window screens. Our new house was the talk of the community – we were building a mansion with glass door knobs even, something unheard of for farmhouses. And we were going to have a living room. We always called it “the front room,” a room where no one slept but where people just sat, mostly company. This was unheard of for the time and place. We were going to have a dining room – a room used just for eating – when everyone else in the community ate in the kitchen. In other words, we were really “going up town” out in the country!

Our old house had a kitchen that was separated from the main house by a sort of breezeway where the water buckets and wash pans were kept so you could wash up before going into the kitchen to eat. Many years later when I visited China and went for a meal at one of the communes, I found the same type wash basins on a shelf outside the dining area and we were invited to wash our hands there before eating. A small world and 50 years behind the U.S.

Finally the great day came for moving back home. While we had watched the house unfold, we had never been inside to see what it looked like or even gotten closer than the road in front to gaze at the progress. Without letting us know anything about it, Papa had gone to town and bought a new buggy, which he hitched up and drove the quarter mile down the road to fetch Mama and the younguns to our new house. We were dumbstruck when we got there and could examine all of the wonders – painted walls and even painted floors. Glass doorknobs and screens on the windows to keep the flies and mosquitoes out and a bright shiny tin roof. Papa built two swings for our front porch and we had a ball swinging in them. In later years I was to spend many happy hours sitting in one of those swings and talking with my own father about “olden times.” We were millionaires, in our minds. All of the beds were feather and we even had two iron bedsteads. The fireplaces had decorative fronts on them and mantle pieces above them. The living room fireplace was even built out of bricks set in a decorative pattern and the living room floor was not just straight boards but set in a log cabin design and painted. Who had ever heard of painting floors! We were accustomed to rough sawn boards for floors with large cracks between the boards and I had up until that time been accustomed to seeing my sisters scouring the floors with potash soap mixed with fine sand and a scouring broom made from corn shucks. Papa made the scouring broom by taking a board about two inches thick and about eight inches wide by about 16 inches long and boring holes about an inch and a half in diameter. These holes were bored at an angle and a long handle was inserted in the top to use in pushing the broom. The same design as today’s push brooms used for sweeping garages, warehouses, etc. Shucks would have been forced through the holes, and the floors were scoured with these shucks. I am sure you get the picture.

We did not have rugs or any kind of carpet, but in the kitchen and in Mama’s room we had linoleum rugs. They had flowers and other bright and colorful designs on them and were very pretty. In the kitchen stood a shiny new Home Comfort range waiting for the hundreds of meals my mother would cook over the years on this wood-burning stove and for the thousands of jars of fruits and vegetables she would can during her remaining life. Instead of the usual “side table” in the kitchen, we had a kitchen counter atop built-in cabinets and it was covered with a tin counter top! Very modern and up-to-date for those days. We had no sink in the counter, but we had no running water in the house and washed the dishes in a dishpan on this counter. Our lights were kerosene lamps – electricity and running water in the house were many years in the future.

Mama pounded many pieces of steak on the corner of this counter to tenderize them for cooking country fried steaks and gravy. Periodically Papa or someone else in the community would butcher a beef and we would have this steak. I don’t ever remember having a roast or any other kind of beef and I suspect it was because the men did not know how to do anything but cut all the beef into slices for this purpose. When someone butchered a beef, it would be cut up and placed in the wagon and whoever had butchered it would peddle the entire beef throughout the community, keeping for his family as much as he thought could be used up before it spoiled. The hides would be carefully cured and kept for making seats in chairs when the old seats were worn out. The hair would be left on these seats. These cowhide seats would last almost forever. My brother still has two small rockers with these cowhide seats, and I am sure they are more than 75 years old and have been in daily use in his farmhouse all these year

Papa had shoe lasts of various sizes and when the soles of our shoes wore out, he went to town and bought leather and replaced them. He kept his tack hammer, tacks, drawing knife for cutting the leather and other tools in a small tool house in the barn. He kept his tool house locked, and woe unto the one who ever got into this stash of tools and disturbed them. He had hammers and chisels and saws and other tools that no one was allowed to touch, ever. Of course, there were old tools that we were allowed to use if we needed them.

Once, many years later after we both had married and moved away, Mary and I came home for a visit and decided we did not like one of the barns, which was across the road in front of the house, and we decided to tear it down, so we made good use of these old tools. We tried to get the boys to move it and they refused, so she and I went at the job ourselves. Papa always kept a supply of nice lumber in the barn and when someone in the community died he would be called upon to build their casket. Mama kept a supply of white satin material with which she lined these caskets. She would sit down at her sewing machine and gather this material into a ruffle for the lining and for the pillow, which she made from cotton that had been carded and put aside for just this purpose. These caskets were made in the shape you see in pictures from the Middle East today. Wide at one end to accommodate the shoulders and slim at the other for the legs and feet. There were no undertakers called in, no one was embalmed, and the men of the community took their shovels and went to the cemetery and dug the grave, and after the funeral they put the earth over the casket and mounded it up. A wooden board would be stood on end to mark the head of the grave. The women of the community would wash the body and put it into its best clothes for burial, and it would be placed in the casket and set before an open window to keep it as cool as possible until time for the funeral. When it was time for the funeral, the casket was transported to the church if the person was a member of a church and a sermon would be preached and hymns would be sung. If not a member of a church then graveside services would be conducted. Everyone visited around the church and cemetery, for this was a time when you saw many of your old friends and acquaintances.
Many years before my grandfather Holland died, he had found a special cedar tree, which he sawed down and had made into boards for his casket, which he planned for Eddie to build. My father’s name was James Edward Floyd. Mama and family members such as Grandpa Holland, called him Eddie as did close friends. Everyone else called him Mr. Ed. Grandpa may even have acquired these boards when the lumber was being sawed to build our house. All I know is that it was stored in the rafters of the barn or garage for many years before it was used and we always knew those were for Grandpa’s coffin. When I was in high school in Cochran, about 1933 or 1934, I got news that rocked me to the core. My nephew, Lucian Berryhill, found me between classes and told me that Grandpa had died. I thought he meant his grandpa, my father. No, not Papa, but Grandpa Holland. I knew Grandpa Holland had been sick for quite some time and was then living at our home. Mama and Papa had put a cot in their room on which he slept so he would be in a warm room and they could look after him at night. One day while Mama was in the kitchen cooking and Papa was out doing chores, Grandpa, who could not get up alone, somehow managed to get from this cot to the closet where Papa kept his pistol in a small trunk and get the gun and back to the cot where he shot himself. Papa kept the pistol for only one purpose – to go out before daylight on Christmas morning and shoot it to announce to the world that it was Christmas morning. This is the only time it was ever shot to my knowledge. But Grandpa knew the gun was there and this handsome, bon vivant of a man could not bear the thoughts of lying there helplessly for who knew how long waiting to die. Again, he did things his way, as he had done all his life.

I never knew how he traveled from Cochran to the Everglades in those days but he did. He spent winters hunting and trapping there, coming home from time to time to tell us his tales of adventure. After our new house was built, he would arrive unexpectedly in an open touring car. We would look out the window and see a cloud of rolling dust moving up the road from about a mile away and we would race to the front porch or yard to see whoever pass. It would be Grandpa – one hand on the horn to scare the chickens and pigs from the road and the other waving his big white Panama hat. How handsome he was. I later saw Clark Gable in the movies and he was a dead ringer for Grandpa Holland. No wonder he had four wives – he was irresistible. He had a beautiful mustache, which he kept meticulously combed and waxed and a head of magnificent black hair and what tales he could and did tell. He would not drink coffee, but every morning of his life he drank a cup of boiling hot water at breakfast instead of coffee. He said it was good for his digestion.

Mama was always busy doing something – cooking, sewing, canning, preserving, mending and patching – nothing was thrown away. Clothes were patched and mended until they were “threadbare.” Collars and cuffs were turned when they wore out on the outside, and pockets were patched in trousers until eventually she would have to replace them.

She saved all of her scraps and if she was not busy doing other things, she spent afternoons piecing up quilts by hand. She tried always to have two or three quilt tops pieced up so that she was ready to have a quilting at almost any time. All of our beds were covered with quilts as there were no blankets. Quilts were used in the wagon for children to sit and lie on and on the floor for pallets when there were more people to sleep than beds to sleep on. Papa made her a quilting frame, which in the old house was hung from the ceiling in her bedroom. In the new house she simply placed the rails of the frame across the backs of chairs. When it was time for the quilting party a number of neighbor women were invited to come spend the day with Mama, and they would quilt all day. Someone would be in the kitchen cooking dinner, and when it was time to eat the men would come in from the fields and eat dinner with the women. Mama, Aunt Juliette, Aunt Sis and neighbor women would participate in these quiltings. They would laugh and talk and tell jokes, some of which might be a little naughty. Mama and Aunt Juliette, especially, liked somewhat “smutty” stories and would laugh until tears came down their faces. Both of these sisters were great practical jokers and when they pulled a practical joke that sort of backfired they would say “that sure got away” with him or her. Also to express embarrassment they would say “that got away with me so bad” or “that sure got off” with me.

Someone who was vain or “prissy” was called “stuck up.” Or you might hear: “She thinks she is something on a stick.” If one of us kept pestering Mama, she would say, “Oh, go to grass and chew pussley.” Was she talking about parsley or purslane? I never knew.

Another thing Mama did was “lye hominy.” We would shell maybe a peck of corn and Mama would put it into the wash pot filled with cold water and pour Red Devil Lye in and let it set until the husk came off the corn and the grains were soft. Then the corn would be rinsed many times in clear cold water to be sure all the lye was rinsed out. Rinsed was pronounced “wrenched” as you might do to your wrist or ankle.

She also made lye soap in the wash pot. This was done by placing scraps of fat meat in the wash pot and adding this same Red Devil Lye to it, and it would be turned into soap.

Basically the wash pots were used for boiling clothes, one for white clothes, another for lightly colored clothes, such as our dresses and towels, and the third for the work overalls and shirts of the men.

Monday was washday at our house and each Monday morning shortly after sunup three colored women, Cindy Chapman and her daughters, Ellen, and I can’t remember the name of the other, would show up at our house to do the piles of dirty clothes. There were three washtubs on a “bench” out at the wash place and beginning with the white clothes they would be put through the three tubs where they would be scrubbed by each of the women on a washboard, a corrugated board where they would have had three separate soapings and scrubbings. After the third tub, they would be placed in the wash pot for white clothes and subsequently boiled in soapy water for maybe an hour while the colored clothes were being washed and prepared for the wash pot. The work clothes would be placed on the battling block and with a stick about the size of my lower arm, would be “battled” (beaten) to loosen the dirt and then they would be placed in their pot of boiling water and boiled while the white and lightly colored clothes were being rinsed. The three tubs were emptied of the dirty soapy water and would be refilled with clean clear water drawn from the well by means of lowering a bucket and “drawing” water from the well. Imagine how many times the bucket had to go down to draw six tubs and three wash pots full of water. When everything was rinsed thoroughly in the three tubs of water, then they were wrung out by hand and hung on the clothesline to dry in the sun. You never slept on sheets and pillow cases that smelled so good as did those dried in the fresh Georgia air and sun. It took these three women most of the day to get the clothes on the line to dry and if a shower came up before they were dry we would hear Mama call “there’s a cloud coming up, run quickly and help me get the clothes in off the line!” Such scurrying around – no time to fold them as we went – snatch them off and run into the house and fold later.

Sheets and pillow cases were all made by Mama from unbleached muslin sheeting, which had to be seamed down the middle and hemmed. We hated new sheets because they were rough to sleep on and much preferred those that had been washed many times and softened up. Sheets were not ironed, but pillow cases were and the “Sunday” pillow cases were starched, to boot. Sunday pillow cases would be embroidered and the hems were edged with either tatting or crochet. Tatting was used on many things as all of the older girls made tatting for everything. I tried to learn how to make tatting last summer when I found Tina’s tatting shuttle but could not get beyond the basic stitch, and Shug can no longer see the stitches well enough to teach me. What a pity.

All tablecloths were starched and ironed as were napkins. We only used the white tablecloth and napkins on Sunday, however. During the week we ate off oilcloth tablecloths and did not have napkins. The flour sack dish cloths served for napkins if we used anything. Papa always had a “dishrag” at his place and we sort of passed it around. However, when we left the table we went immediately to wash the grease off our hands.

Note – Annette stopped recording her memories then picked up the project again. Here is the final installment that was discovered after her death on May 11, 2006.

AFK Memories

It worked, I had not forgotten how to set up a document and save it so guess my old brain is still at least partially operational. I wanted a separate page for this in case I decide at a later date not to include this. What I am about to relate is still very painful for me even at this late stage of my life. Perhaps that is why I could not get started back on my memories.

When Shug moved to Macon to take a beauty course after the death of her husband, Lucian, there was no way for me to finish high school in Cochran so she decided to trade her baby, Bobby, off to Mama for me. Shug could not care for an infant and go to school in Macon so she arranged for Mama to keep him in exchange for me going with her to Macon to finish school. Each Saturday night after she finished at the school, we got in the car and drove to Cochran and spent the night with Mama and Papa and the family and then drove back to Macon on Sunday night, In order for Shug to get me into the high school in Macon, she had to adopt me since I was entitled to go to school only if I were her dependent.

I left all of my childhood friends and family in Cochran, including my first love, John Embry Parkerson. behind when I left and went off to a place where I did not know anyone except my sister, her son Lucian, and her niece on her husband’s side so no relation to me. This was quite a trauma for me Shug’s course only lasted six months so as a result she moved at the end of her course, not back to Cochran but to the adjacent town of Hawkinsville where she opened a beauty shop. This left me in Macon with no place to live so she made arrangements for a room for me at a boarding house on Cherry Street.

There were six girls living at this boarding house and I learned much later that two of them were prostitutes. But they were beautiful and full of fun and very protective of me and would not let me go out alone with a boy. I did learn a few facts of life like birth control, which I had never heard of up until that time and they even showed me what they used! This was all talked about in whispers. How quaint this all sounds now when you can find a dozen or more different types on any grocery or drugstore counter today to say nothing of them being passed out to the kids in schools. Why have we always been so inhibited when speaking about such a vital part of life as human sexuality, without which of course there would cease to be humanity. Unless you believe literally in virgin birth.

I managed to finish the year of school after Shug left and commuted to Cochran on the train every Friday afternoon after school and back to Macon on Sunday afternoon to be ready for Monday classes.

School was finally over and I went back to the farm to live. Tina wanted me to go to Jacksonville to live with her and go to business school but Papa would not allow it. I was only sixteen and too young to be away from home, never mind that I had already been away for nine months in Macon both with and without an older sister to look after me.

Came June and I would be seventeen on the 22nd. On second Sunday we went to church in Hawkinsville and the son of Mama and Papa’s friends Fred and Ida Hogg (she being cousin Ava Floyd’s sister) came to our house. He was a good friend of my brothers and also of mine. Jay and I did our chores and asked for permission to go to town to get the Sunday paper so we could see the “funnies” and also so Jay could see a girl he liked in Cochran. Jay, Willie Fred Hogg and I went to town. Unfortunately, it was after dark when we got home and Papa was very angry that I had stayed out after dark with a boy. I had been with two boys, one of whom was my brother who would have killed for me. This made no difference to Papa. He proceeded to get a switch the size of my finger and proceeded to “cut the blood” out of my back. I was terrified but refused to cry which angered him even more. I even said, you had better make this one a good one for you will never lay a finger on me again. The boys finally came to my rescue and made Papa stop beating me. Here I am 82 years old and can hardly see how to type this for the tears that still come to my eves when I talk about it. I knew then and there that I had to get away and live my own life but how. I worked at the shirt factory in Cochran and made about ten dollars a week. I finally got permission to move into a room in Cochran and share it with another girl and not drive back and forth over those muddy clay hills., I paid about $3.00 per week for room and board and was frantically saving every penny I could get to buy a bus ticket to Jacksonville. Imagine my distress when I had saved enough and was ready to go for my ticket only to discover that my roommate or someone else had robbed me of all my savings!

I was in utter despair. I felt trapped and could see no way out of the predicament I was in. I took the only action that I could see open to me. Jay and his then girlfriend, later to become his wife, Willie Fred and I took a ride on Christmas Eve and wound up parked at Embry’s Mill which was a favorite place for young people to park in those days. Everyone rode out to Embry’s Mill to see if any of their friends were there. It was a beautiful spot where we picnicked and swam in the summer. Willie Fred, who was five years older than I and a life long friend of the family and almost like a brother to me, had fallen in love with me and as we sat on the back bumper of the car talking, he knew of what had happened to me and of my great unhappiness said quietly and simply to me, why don’t you marry me and get away from home. After hesitating a few minutes I decided, why not. If I were married no one could stop me from leaving then. I regretted using this man for this purpose all the rest of my life. I was so unfair to him.

We got back in the car and told Jay and Alice what we were going to do and they drove us to the home of the Ordinary and we got him and his wife out of bed and he married us. I don’t think you even needed a license back then. I certainly don’t remember anything about one. We stopped at home and told Mama what we had done and then went on to his house and told his parents. We had no money, not even Five dollars, and no place to go. His sister and her husband were spending the night with her parents and they let us go to their house a couple of miles down the road to spend the night.

We stayed in the house with his parents, occupying a room with the two youngest boys, about six and eight years of age until spring. By spring we had saved enough money $25.00 to order a three piece bedroom set from Sears and we moved into a two room shack up the road. Our families gave us a few dishes and a pot or two and someone donated a two=eye wood stove, a homemade kitchen table and two chairs and that was all we had. Tina came home in the fall and I went back home with her. Albert and Willie Fred followed me to Jacksonville and tried to persuade me to return but I refused. At last I was free and there was no turning back. I never saw Willie Fred again but I carried my guilt for treating him the way I did all my life.

This ends my life story in Georgia. Sure it was still home and I loved it but I had cut my ties. Somehow I would make a life for myself beyond the horizons I could see from the farm kitchen windows. There was a great big world on the other side of that pine forest at the back of the field. Sure, I had treated someone badly in order to break free but I had to go.

Tina enrolled me in Duval Vocational School which was a free trade school where I could learn typing, shorthand and bookkeeping. In addition, there was a program whereby I could help the math teacher and get paid about $3 or $4 a week. I had a very meager wardrobe, two or three dresses, a pair of shoes and a sweater and that was it. I wore Tina’s clothes to school and met her every day at lunch and she bought lunch for me. I slept on her sofa and helped around the house with the chores as best I could. Both she and Kelly went to work on me to teach me correct English, table manners, how to dance and in general behave like a lady instead of the hayseed that I was. I learned to type and take shorthand and before I could finish my classes she got me a job in a law office with two of her friends who were lawyers. They could not pay me but they could give me experience, without which it was impossible to get a job, so I worked free. Tell me how one was expected to get experience if no one would give you a job unless you had experience. Finally, they upped my pay from$0.00 to $3.50 per week. I was on my way.

Tina and I had always been very close while I was growing up and she always tried to bring me something special when she came home. I know now what a sacrifice this was for her as she was making a very small salary and she had to live out of what she made and repay Lucian the money he had loaned her to go to Jacksonville to take her business course.

I suspect one of the reasons Papa did not want me to go live with Tina was because the man she had married was Catholic. To Papa, who had never known anything about any other religion than Primitive Baptist, a Catholic was like the devil incarnate and he forbade Tina from bringing Kelly home when she came. She tolerated that for a year or two but finally announced on one of her visits that it would be the last time she ever came home unless her husband could accompany her.

I adored Tina and her husband Kelly. She was beautiful and he was handsome. They had a nice life and did such wonderful things as going to dances, going canoeing and out with their friends to play bridge and such other sophisticated things to which I had never been privy. They always included me and Tina dressed me up in one of her evening dresses and they took me to balls with them. Tina taught me to love the opera, which I had never heard of before. She and I would get up on Saturday mornings and hurry and do the cleaning and laundry and then lie down in the afternoon across her bed and listen to the Texaco broadcast of the opera. I was introduced to Carmen, Verdi, La Traviata and the other great operas. Kelly being a linotype operator at the Florida Times Union, the leading newspaper, had to work on Saturday getting out the Sunday edition which he always brought home with him. Saturday nights they usually played bridge at their house or the home of one of their friends. They took me on cook-outs to the beach and to shrimp and crab feasts where we caught the shrimp and crabs. They once took me to the home of one of their friends who had a dock and a boat and he taught me to water ski, only way back then it was called aquaplaning and was done on a flat board on which one stood.

I was an excellent swimmer, having learned how so many years ago at the old mill pond. One of the churches within walking distance had a pool and I walked up there two or three nights each week and took a life saving course and became a certified life saver. Kelly and Tina got me a badminton set and put it up in the back yard and we played badminton many happy hours. I was their special pet and I loved it. This was a whole new life for me--one I had only dreamed of in the past--no more picking or hoeing cotton, fun things to do and wonderful books to read and knowledgeable people with whom to associate. I soaked it all up like a sponge. I listened and learned and tried to improve myself in every way I possibly could.

After working free and then getting paid $3.50 per week for a short time, my great opportunity came. I now “had experience” and could apply for a real job! I was not quite finished with my business course at Duval Vocational School when my shorthand teacher sent me on an interview in another law firm, Daniel and Thompson. Miracle of miracles, I was selected for the job and it paid $10.00 per week. The education I got on this job was to affect the entire remainder of my working life and make me who I am today. I never had an opportunity to go to college but there were so many things I wanted to know. Little did I know, but the man I was going to work for was an angel in disguise. Mr Richard P Daniel. He took a genuine interest in me and gave mea little black book with three words in it each day and I was to look them up in the dictionary and be prepared to tell him everything about them first thing the next morning when he would give me three new ones. He was a very prominent attorney, from an old Jacksonville family. He spent his free time working on all kinds of civic matters and was very active with the NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Mr Daniel instilled in me the desire to learn words and I spent all my time from then on reading the dictionary when I was not busy with my office duties, We remained friends for the remainder of his life. Many years after I moved to Washington, his son-in-law, Mr. Edward Barrett, became an Assistant Secretary of State and I was working in his area of the Department of State and visited with Mr. and Mrs. Daniel when they went to Washington for his installation. Small world!

MEMORIES - Doll House

You asked me to write and tell you how your doll house with the electric lights came into being:

This is my best effort to recreate what I did. Back in those days oranges and other citrus fruit and vegetables were shipped in wooden boxes about two and a half feet long and divided down the middle. These boxes, when laid on their side with the open side outward made ideal doll house rooms and stacked one on top of the other, made the house two story in the bargain.

I had made a very crude one when I lived in Jacksonville with Tina and Kelly just for my own enjoyment but when I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl I also gave birth to a desire to make her a real doll house from orange crates. So I did. I collected old wallpaper sample books to get the paper for the walls; built stairs from the first to the second floor. Got pieces of tapestry upholstery fabric samples for carpets on the floor (rugs really as wall to wall had not been invented so far as I knew). We also had summer rugs made of sisal, which we put down in the summer and put the wool rugs away in moth balls for the summer. Carefully wrapped in “tar paper” and then brown paper and sealed with tape and stored in the rafters of the basement for the summer.

Your father put a small switch on the outside of the doll house and installed wiring for lights and we used small flashlight bulbs and batteries and eureka, we had electric lights throughout the house.

I took gift boxes, which in those days were pretty sturdy, not at all flimsy, and cut out patterns for furniture, chairs, sofas, beds, etc and with needle and thread sewed the cardboard together to make the frames for the furniture. When this was completed, I padded the cardboard frames and upholstered them with pieces of upholstery material and in the case of beds with linen and bits of fabric I had left over from garments I had made. I made velour portieres for archways between rooms and also for winter drapes at the windows. Summer curtains and drapes were also made so that the house could be changed from it’s winter dress of heavy velvet and velour to light cool summer fabrics, just as the house we lived in had to be done.

This looks like as good place as any to relate how spring and fall house cleaning were done each year. First, you set aside a week and planned to do nothing else------then you began to completely dismantle the house-- and you kept it up until the house finally bore no resemblance to it’s former self. Seasonal rugs (wool for winter and sisal i.e. crex rugs for summer) depending on the season were taken up and the others were unpacked and put down after the floors had been stripped of the old wax and fresh wax was put on the hardwood floors Furniture was stripped of slipcovers in fall cleaning and their real upholstery was displayed for winter. Slipcovers were washed, ironed and put away awaiting their coming out again the following spring. Heavy velvet drapes, wall hangings, etc were hauled out to the backyard and put on the clothes line to air and were thoroughly brushed to rid them of dust and they were packed away and lace curtains were installed downstairs and ruffled priscilla curtain installed in bedrooms upstairs. These curtains would all be washed, starched and placed on curtain stretchers to dry before being hung at the windows.

Beds would be stripped of their chenille spreads and silk or rayon ones Put on after the mattresses had been thoroughly brushed to get rid of any dust and the springs, slats and frames wiped down with a damp rag and camphor. There were no box springs in those days so each spring coil had to be wiped off with this damp cloth. Walls were brushed down with a goats hair brush to get dust off and baseboards were washed clean and wiped dry.

Kitchen cupboards would all be cleaned out, shelves washed and new shelf paper put in. Kitchen linoleum stripped of old wax and re-waxed. You have seen the ads for Pinesol where they say it smelled like a Carolina pine forest--well our house smelled as fresh and clean as Johnson’s paste wax and camphor water could make it smell and the windows, -- storm windows and storm doors would have been hauled up from the basement and installed, after windows and every other bit of glass were washed and polished until they sparkled like diamonds. By this time it is Thanksgiving eve if you have been doing fall cleaning or Easter eve if you have done spring cleaning, Your back, legs, arms and fingernails are all broken by this time and you don’t really care if the Easter bunny shows up or the turkey gets cooked or not. But at Thanksgiving you will still have to toast and break up a couple of loaves of bread, chop a half bunch of celery and three or four onions to stuff the turkey as there was no ready made stuffing and by the time you had broken and crushed and stuffed all this bread into the turkey, there was no skin on your hands and you walked around all day with them dripping lard to keep them from bleeding (NO HAND CREAM THAT I REMEMBER) but we had one hell of a clean house and we were very thankful that ordeal was over for another six months!

I can’t believe all this came out just to tell you about a simple little orange crate doll house I built many years ago for a precious daughter. 
Name Variation  Margaret Annette Floyd was also known as Annette Floyd. 
Married Name4 August 1941  As of 4 August 1941,her married name was Vollmer. 
Biography*1999  Margaret Annette Floyd was always a go-getter - one who meant to be something or die trying. Ambition should have been her middle name. As a teen she left home to live in town in order to attend school, and later she moved to Jacksonville, Florida to live with her sister Tina in order to educate herself at business schol. Tina and Kelly Rosenberger lived on the water in Florida so it was natural that they would be members of the boat club and spend weekends participating in the club activities. It was at this club that Annette met her husband at an invitational canoe race. He was from Washington D.C., a town that must certainly have spelled glamour to her. They were married in August of 1941. 


Herman Charles Vollmer b. 28 August 1907, d. 14 June 1978
MARRIAGE*4 August 1941 She married Herman Charles Vollmer, son of Herman Christian Vollmer and Margaret Mae Knopp, on 4 August 1941 at Jacksonville, FL.
Last Edited15 Feb 2011


  1. [S180] Unknown subject unknown repository.
  2. [S179] Unknown subject unknown repository.

Marry E Floyd1

F, #3913, b. 1896
Father*Jesse T Floyd1 b. 1872
Birth*1896 Marry E Floyd was born in 1896.1 
 She was the daughter of Jesse T Floyd.1 
Last Edited2 Mar 2004


  1. [S60] 1910 Census;.

Martha J. Floyd

F, #1640, b. 1856
Father*Washington J. Floyd b. 10 Feb 1814, d. 15 Sep 1885
Mother*Susan Lister b. 1833, d. 8 Jun 1909
Birth*1856 Martha J. Floyd was born in 1856 at GA. 
 She was the daughter of Washington J. Floyd and Susan Lister
Census*1860 She appeared on the census of 1860 at Pulaski County, GA. 
Census1870 She appeared on the census of 1870 at GA. 
Last Edited17 Aug 1994

Mary Floyd

F, #1535, b. 15 December 1920, d. 5 June 2017
Father*James Edward Floyd b. 25 Mar 1875, d. 19 Sep 1960
Mother*Annie Jane Holland b. 17 Jul 1884, d. 19 Apr 1967
ChartsZachariah Davis
MARRIAGE* Mary Floyd married Hassan El Khadem
Birth*15 December 1920 She was born on 15 December 1920 at Pulaski County, GA. 
 She was the daughter of James Edward Floyd and Annie Jane Holland
Death*5 June 2017 She died on 5 June 2017 at age 96 Mary Floyd El-Khadem, known affectionately in later years as simply Sweetmama, was born to James Edward Floyd and Annie Jane Holland Floyd on December 15, 1920 in Cochran, Georgia. Mary, and her twin brother were the tenth and eleventh of their twelve children.
After graduating from Cochran High School, Mary moved to Florida to live with one of her sisters and continue her education. Once completed, she moved to Washington DC and lived with another sister where, after World War II, she began working for the U.S. State Department and was eventually assigned to a post in Cairo, Egypt. It was on this assignment that she met and fell in love with her husband, Hassan, or as she called him, Smitty. The couple were married in Paris and remained happily married until Hassan’s death in 1967.
After the assignment in Cairo was complete, Mary and Hassan moved to Georgia, opened a dress shop, and gave birth to their daughter, Mona. They lived in Georgia, New Jersey and Cairo before reading about La Jolla in National Geographic which triggered their move to Southern California. It was there that the pair started a real estate business and their son, Joseph was born. Mary continued in real estate in La Jolla and Coronado before retiring at age 60.
Mary loved to travel. She and her sisters took off on great adventures together exploring countries across the globe. But she always favored going "home" to Georgia to visit her family. She loved a day of fishing in a family pond followed by an impromptu potluck fish fry with hushpuppies and a full evening filled with laughter, conversation and even a lively game of cards after that.
Mary adored her children and grandchildren, eleven brothers and sisters—her entire extended family. She became a cheerleader to all, ever supportive of talents, ideas and aspirations, great or small, encouraging each one to take every opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Sweetmama was loved by all who ever met her and will forever be remembered in our hearts. 
Married Name Her married name was El Khadem. 
Biography*1999  Just at the time Annie Floyd thought she could care for no more children, she was blessed with twins. It was a blessing that there were older childre to help or surely the housekeeping chores would have been impossible. Mary and Aaron, the twins, were born in the twenty-second year of the Floyd marriage when Annie was thirty-six years old. Mary, like her sister Annette would leave the rural life at a young age, go to Washington to live with her sister, obtain a job with the State Department, travel to Egypt and eventually marry an Egyptian citizen. Possibly Fed and Mourning Floyd never heard of Egypt except through their bible, and now their great grandaughter was bringing an Egyptian into the family. Mary's twin brother, Aaron, like most of the male Floyds, chose to remain in Pulaski County, Georgia. 


Hassan El Khadem d. 1967
MARRIAGE* She married Hassan El Khadem
Last Edited6 Aug 2017

Mary Floyd

F, #1642, b. 1868
Father*Washington J. Floyd b. 10 Feb 1814, d. 15 Sep 1885
Mother*Susan Lister b. 1833, d. 8 Jun 1909
Birth*1868 Mary Floyd was born in 1868 at GA.1 
 She was the daughter of Washington J. Floyd and Susan Lister
Census*1870 She appeared on the census of 1870 at Pulaski County, GA. 
Last Edited27 Oct 2001


  1. [S56] 1880 Census;.

Mary Floyd1

F, #3670, b. 1902
Father*Gus G. Floyd1 b. 1874
Mother*Winnie (?)1 b. 1877
Death* Mary Floyd died. 
Birth*1902 She was born in 1902.1 
 She was the daughter of Gus G. Floyd and Winnie (?)1 
Last Edited26 Jun 2006


  1. [S61] 1920 Census;.

Mary Floyd1

F, #4761, b. circa 1798
Father*James Floyd1 d. 1794
Birth*circa 1798 Mary Floyd was born circa 1798.1 
 She was the daughter of James Floyd.1 
Married Name1809  As of 1809,her married name was Mulkey.2 
Last Edited21 Sep 2007


  1. [S601] Dottie Punch, "Dottie Punch - Floyd research," e-mail to mve, 2007.
  2. [S601] Dottie Punch, "Dottie Punch - Floyd research," e-mail to mve, 2007, Her uncle Gromon signed for her to marry as she was a minor.

Mary (Polly) Floyd1

F, #3944
Father*Thomas Penuel Floyd Sr.1 b. c 1764, d. May 1815
Mother*Mary Sarah Beckwith1
Birth* Mary (Polly) Floyd was born at Nash, N.C.1 
 She was the daughter of Thomas Penuel Floyd Sr. and Mary Sarah Beckwith.1 
Married Name Her married name was Braswell.1 
Last Edited8 Nov 2007


  1. [S486] Donald Floyd, "Donald Floyd."

Mary Ann E. Floyd

F, #1405, b. 6 August 1855, d. 16 March 1938
Father*Amos Kinchen Floyd b. 11 Apr 1816, d. a 29 Sep 1900
Mother*Anna Luttia Mc Daniel b. 1827, d. c 1860
Birth*6 August 1855 Mary Ann E. Floyd was born on 6 August 1855 at Pulaski County, GA. 
 She was the daughter of Amos Kinchen Floyd and Anna Luttia Mc Daniel
MARRIAGE*1 January 1874 She married William Henry Davis, son of Zenos Davis and Julia Ann Little, on 1 January 1874 at Dodge County, GA.1 
Death*16 March 1938 She died on 16 March 1938 at GA at age 82 Mrs. Annie Davis, one of the oldest residents of this section, died at the home of her son, Jim Davis, in Cottondale Wednesday, March 16, of paralysis. She was a native of Pulaski County, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Kinch Floyd. She was 82 years old. Funeral services were conducted in the Second Baptist Church Thursday afternoon by Rev. J. H. Estes. George, Charles, Alvin, and Jack Davis and Roscoe and Andrew Floyd served as pallbearers. Interment was in Floyd Cemetery (located behind the Max Perkins place), near Empire.

From the Bible of James Henry Davis: Annie E. Floyd Davis died March 16, 1938. Bob Bridger says that his mother remembers when she died. My mother was a child of about 9 or 10 and this date fits that age for her. I am getting the obit to further clarify the dates and will send it to you when I send the completed update on my Davis file.2,3 
Burial*17 March 1938 She was buried on 17 March 1938 at Floyd Family Cemetery, Bleckley County, GA. 
Census*1860 She appeared on the census of 1860 at GA. 
Census1870 She appeared on the census of 1870 at GA.4 
Married Name1 January 1874  As of 1 January 1874,her married name was Davis. 
CENSUS1880*1880 She appeared on the Census in 1880 at GA; Henry Davis along with wife Ann and two boys, William and James were living with her parents in house # 446.5 
Census1880 She appeared on the census of 1880 at GA.6 
Living*1924 She was living in 1924 at Plainfield; In 1924 she is mentioned in her brother's obituary and said to be living in Plainfield. Dodge County Newspaper Clippings, Vol. VI, page 2951 (March 24, 1938). 


William Henry Davis b. 31 July 1847, d. 30 January 1927
MARRIAGE*1 January 1874 She married William Henry Davis, son of Zenos Davis and Julia Ann Little, on 1 January 1874 at GA.1 
Last Edited2 Dec 2008


  1. [S471] Letter, Doris Dixon to MVW, Feb 29 2000.
  2. [S162] Unknown subject unknown repository.
  3. [S537] Faye Dyal, "Faye Dyal," e-mail to Margot Woodrough.
  4. [S163] Unknown subject unknown repository.
  5. [S56] 1880 Census;.
  6. [S348] Unknown subject unknown repository.

Mary Anne Elizabeth (Babe) Floyd

F, #1237, b. 19 April 1872, d. 6 December 1892
Father*Shadrick D. Floyd b. 22 Jun 1845, d. 1916
Mother*Elizza (Louisa or Louise) Davis b. 8 Aug 1845, d. 6 Mar 1888
ChartsZachariah Davis
Birth*19 April 1872 Mary Anne Elizabeth (Babe) Floyd was born on 19 April 1872 at Pulaski County, GA.1 
 She was the daughter of Shadrick D. Floyd and Elizza (Louisa or Louise) Davis
Burial*1892 She was buried in 1892 at Bleckley County, GA.2
Death*6 December 1892 She died on 6 December 1892 at GA at age 20. 
CENSUS1880*1880 She appeared on the Census in 1880.3 
Last Edited14 Jun 2016


  1. [S498] Wiregrass Genealogy Group, Floyd Cemetery.
  2. [S498] Wiregrass Genealogy Group, Floyd Cemetery, Section 1 grave # 18.
  3. [S56] 1880 Census;, Living in house # 445 with parents.

Mary J. Floyd

F, #1457, b. September 1889
Father*Charles F. Floyd b. Jan 1862
Mother*Martha (?) b. May 1875
Birth*September 1889 Mary J. Floyd was born in September 1889. 
 She was the daughter of Charles F. Floyd and Martha (?) 
Last Edited17 Aug 1994

Mary Lou Floyd

F, #1512, b. 31 July 1906
Father*Will (Willie) E. Floyd b. 14 Jan 1880, d. 6 Jan 1941
Mother*Sammie Munn b. Dec 1881
Birth*31 July 1906 Mary Lou Floyd was born on 31 July 1906.1 
 She was the daughter of Will (Willie) E. Floyd and Sammie Munn
MARRIAGE*16 June 1928 She married Jesse Lamar Hitchcock on 16 June 1928 Mary Lou Floyd, my mother, was born 31 Jul 1906 in Pulaski Co. She married Jesse Lamar Hitchcock. 
Married Name16 June 1928  As of 16 June 1928,her married name was Hitchcock. 


Jesse Lamar Hitchcock
Last Edited14 Jan 2008


  1. [S61] 1920 Census;.

Mattie Lee Floyd1

F, #1498, b. 5 February 1899, d. 27 October 1977
Father*William Amos (Bill) Floyd b. 24 Mar 1866, d. 22 Jul 1948
Mother*Fannie Hart b. 11 Aug 1875, d. 16 Nov 1950
ChartsZachariah Davis
Birth*5 February 1899 Mattie Lee Floyd was born on 5 February 1899.2 
 She was the daughter of William Amos (Bill) Floyd and Fannie Hart
Death*27 October 1977 She died on 27 October 1977 at age 78.2 
Married Name Her married name was Smith.2 
Name Variation  Mattie Lee Floyd was also known as Mattie Lee Floyd.2 
Last Edited30 Sep 1999


  1. I had this person as a male named Matthew, but Doris Dixon told me it was a female named Mattie.
  2. [S23] Doris Floyd Dixon, "Pedigree Chart."

Mattie Lou Floyd

F, #1428, b. September 1893
Father*Archibald Floyd b. c 1844, d. 1905
Mother*Mary (?)
Death* Mattie Lou Floyd died date unknown. 
Birth*September 1893 She was born in September 1893. 
 She was the daughter of Archibald Floyd and Mary (?) 
MARRIAGE*circa 1910 She married Cecil Smith circa 1910. 
Census*1900 She appeared on the census of 1900 at Pulaski County, GA.1 
Married Namecirca 1910  As of circa 1910,her married name was Smith. 


Cecil Smith d. 15 December 1933
Last Edited14 Apr 2006


  1. [S153] Unknown subject unknown repository.

Mattie Viola Floyd

F, #1413, b. 6 June 1892, d. 2 June 1929
Father*James Everette Floyd b. 10 Aug 1861, d. 30 Jun 1918
Mother*Mary Victoria (Mollie) Young b. Apr 1866, d. b 1920
ChartsZachariah Davis
Birth*6 June 1892 Mattie Viola Floyd was born on 6 June 1892 According to her tombstone she was born in 1893. 
 She was the daughter of James Everette Floyd and Mary Victoria (Mollie) Young
MARRIAGE*24 December 1911  According to Morgan Floyd Mattie married Alfred Davis. Her tombstone shows John A. Davis as husband. 
Death*2 June 1929 She died on 2 June 1929 at Jacksonville, Duval, FL, at age 36. 
Burial*5 June 1929 She was buried on 5 June 1929 at Bowers Cemetery, Empire, Dodge County, GA, Picture of tombstone in file. Sent by Bob Bridger [] in 2002. 
Married Name Her married name was Davis. 
Note*2003  Note to Annette from Bob Margot and I have been corresponding for some time on the above and she suggested I drop you a line.
My GGGF was Zacharias Davis, GGF was John Davis and my GF was John Alfred 'Staff' Davis. On the Floyd side, my GGGF was Amos K. Floyd, GGF was James Evertte Floyd, GM was Mattie Viola Floyd. All this on my Mothers side.Most of my Davis information has come from Anita Kimberly Prince of Lithia Springs. Her mother was Alice D. Davis, daughter of 'Big John' Davis and wife of Dandy Gerome Kimberly. At one point in time, Anita and her parents lived with Nancy Jane Buchan Davis and helped raise her 10 children after the untimely death of her husband, 'Big John' Davis in 1896.
A question for you. In 1882, a Christopher Bloodworth married Zacharias Davis' daughter Elafair Davis and seem to have dropped off the face of the earth. Any thoughts? Thanks for your help.Bob Bridger. 


John Alfred (Staff) Davis b. 11 May 1890, d. 30 January 1950
MARRIAGE*24 December 1911  According to Morgan Floyd Mattie married Alfred Davis. Her tombstone shows John A. Davis as husband. 
Last Edited26 Apr 2006

Maud A. Floyd

F, #1505, b. February 1890
Father*Stephen F. Floyd b. Oct 1862
Mother*Elizabeth (Lizzie) (?) b. Mar 1855
Birth*February 1890 Maud A. Floyd was born in February 1890. 
 She was the daughter of Stephen F. Floyd and Elizabeth (Lizzie) (?) 
CENSUS1910*1910 She appeared on the census in 1910 at Pulaski County, GA..1 
Last Edited12 Aug 2003


  1. [S60] 1910 Census;, Shown living single age 19 with parents in the Trippville area.

Maud Elizabeth Floyd1

F, #3929, b. 17 December 1892
Father*George Washington Floyd1 b. 4 Jul 1840, d. 14 Feb 1912
Mother*Amanda Louise McLemore1 b. Apr 1871, d. 5 Dec 1947
Birth*17 December 1892 Maud Elizabeth Floyd was born on 17 December 1892.1 
 She was the daughter of George Washington Floyd and Amanda Louise McLemore.1 
Last Edited2 Mar 2004


  1. [S550] Rikke Love, "Rikki Love," e-mail to Margot Woodrough, Feb 2004.