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Wicked hangover good tradeoff for easy-to-remember anniversary date


There’s a good chance I’ll never forget my wedding anniversary, although there is an equally good chance I’m condemned to forever celebrate it with a wicked hangover: Debi and I were married on New Year’s Day 1999, and we’ve grown accustomed to celebrating on New Year’s Eve and nursing the after effects with hopping’ john, pork and collard greens.

In fact, that’s what we served at our reception, the capper for a wedding that set us back a whopping $250. We rented the community center at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island for $25 and enlisted friends and family to help prepare food for the reception. My former boss, Richard Brooks, is a notary public (and now a judge) and performed the ceremony in return for a six-pack of beer. Our photographer was another friend, Sue Jarrett, who provided pictures as a wedding gift.


Our pending anniversary got me thinking about life events that coincide with other important dates. I dug around through my genealogical database and found that by getting hitched on or near a holiday, we followed suit of a few relatives. For instance, the clergyman and farmer Davis W. Kidd — my second cousin once removed — married Myrtle Mae Lambert on Christmas Eve 1927. My first cousin three times removed, Samuel Leedy, married his second wife, Susannah Pennington, on Christmas Day 1875. (That's Samuel on the left with his first wife, Mary Pauline Adeline Repass Leedy.)

Several relatives were married on days that didn’t gain wider significance until much later. For instance, my wife’s grandparents, Clarence and Ruth Ray, were married on Sept. 11, 1936. George Washington Hall married Nancy Abigail Quesenbery — my great-great grandparents — were wed July 20, 1887, the same date as the first moon landing, 82 years later. Of course, the guests most likely arrived on horseback or by wagon, and the nuptials were exchanged even before the invention of the airplane.

Not all such coincidences are happy ones. As I recently wrote, Christmas Eve 1952 marked the unexpected passing of my great-grandfather, Andrew Jackson Williams, at age 65. He was stricken by a coronary occlusion.

Another sad event that overlapped with an important date — in this case, a date that was itself a sad occasion — was the death of Thomas Marion Brinson, Debi’s great-great-uncle. He died Nov. 22, 1963 — the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

George Washington Hall was one of several relatives with the first name George and the middle name Washington. One of them — George Washington Wilson, born Feb. 22, 1840 — shares a birthday with the first president, too. I’m not sure if that explains why he was named for the father of our country.


That's me and Debi, with Tommy and Ande at our wedding in 1999.

At any rate, Debi and I will celebrate our 16th anniversary on a day marked by several big events throughout my family history. I’ve documented a whopping nine New Year’s babies. With a little more than 1,800 people recorded in my family tree, there should be an average of just more than five birthdays on any given day, accounting for leap years.

What follows is a list of holidays and historically significant dates that coincide with weddings, deaths and births. Interestingly, a few people double up. For example, Abigail Wilson was born on the Fourth of July and died on New Year's Eve — so she came in and went out with fireworks.

Enjoy. And if you’re reading this on Jan. 1, keep the noise down. My head is probably pounding.

Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day

Debi and Jeff married in 1999

Sidnia Lucinda Wells born 1834

Mahala Slusher born in 1841

Eli Franklin “Frank” Prather born 1848

Eliza Jane Hall born 1858

Nancy Ellen Caudill born 1887

Nella Kidd born 1908

Jerry K. Brooks born 1932

Vera Viola Ray born 1952

Hazel Binion died in 1992

Feb. 22 (1732) — Washington’s Birthday

George Washington Wilson born in 1840

John Benjamin Lewis born in 1876

Cordela Lewis born in 1878

Francis Hopkins Lewis died in 1874

Margaret A. Prugh died in 1884 (and was born on the start of the War of Northern Aggression)

Dr. Burwell Clifford Wilson died in 1946, while attending a conference in Louisville, Ky.

April 12 (1861) — Declaration starts War of Northern Aggression

Margaret A. Prugh born 1837

Lily B. Lewis born 1870

William Henry Elliott born in 1878

Mary Hopkins Lewis born in 1895

Edna Kidd born in 1930

Sarah Perry died in 1862

John William Lyinks died in 1904

Lee Wilson died in 1936

Lula Lewis died in 1963 (and born on what would become Pearl Harbor Day)

June 6 (1944) — D-Day

Berry Brinson died in 1916

Florence Ruth Porter died in 1991

June 21 — Summer solstice, first day of summer

Jeff Kidd born in 1969

Deloise Kidd born in 1933

John Sullivan Foster born in 1895

Myrtle Hall died in 1958

Samuel Williams died in 1965

July 4 — Independence Day

Lucina Lewis born 1813

Abijian B. Wilson born 1857

William Henry Hall born 1896

Lucille Ray born 1920

Inez Brinson Tiller born 1925

Gladys Ray born 1930

Walter Thomas Fisher born 1956

John Boggs died in 1942

William Tolliver died in 1970

July 20 (1969) — Moon landing

Susanna Kidd born in 1875

Harold M. Brinson born in 1929

Edgar Vernon Hall died in 1936

George Washington Hall married Nancy Abigail Quesenbery in 1887

Roy Brooks married Cassie Mae Pillion in 1924

Sept. 11 (2001) — Terrorist attacks on New York/Pentagon

Earl Wilson born 1867

Laura Deliliah Lambert born 1885

Clarence Richard Ray married Ruth Augusta Brinson in 1936

Elmer Kidd born 1902

Nov. 11 (1918) — Armistice Day/Veterans Day

Cynthia Ann Hall born 1850

Wardie Taylor Brooks born 1908

Foster John Brooks born 1927 (brother of Wardie Brooks. It's strange that they were born on the same day; it’s possible I’ve gotten bad information through a genealogical source)

Myrtle Stidham died in 1997

Jerry Brooks died in 1944

Andrew Alfrey died in 1959

Cell Ted Gregory died in 1963

Nov. 22 (1963) — Kennedy assassination

Archibald Kidd born in 1855

James Nelson Caudill born in 1917

George Martin Hall died in 1900

Ed Luster Barker died in 1947

Thomas Marion Brinson died in 1963

Dec. 7 (1941) — Pearl Harbor Day

Lula Lewis born in 1875

Lester Gregory born in 1920

Frances Shehorn died in 1923

William Wilson died in 1923

Fred Caudill died in 1985

James Carroll married Jane Ervin Hamilton in 1842

Dec. 24 — Christmas Eve

Clell Ted Gregory born 1914

Sarah Anna day died in 1908

Alex Wallace died in 1969

Davis W. Kidd married Myrtle Mae Lambert in 1927

Dec. 25 — Christmas Day

Dennis Downing born 1801

Earl Dean Headrick born 1924

Allie Jewell Kidd died in 2007

Samuel Leedy married Susannah Pennington in 1875

Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve

Daisy Rice born in 1900

Kimberly Susan Walters born in 1971

Melvin DeHart died in 1993

Dudley Boone Wilson died in 1906

Abigail B. Wilson died in 1928 (and was born on Independence Day)

Peter Thornsberry died in 1977

Luster Boone Kidd died in 1988

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