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  • Writer's picturethatsbug2u

Fondly remembered 2nd cousin and his mother among those with birthdays week of Aug. 31

Birthdays from my family tree for the week of Aug. 31:

Aug. 31

Clarence Wills, (my second cousin three times removed on my mother's side), b. 1900 in Kentucky; d. Oct. 27, 1988, in Montgomery County, Ky. Clarence was the son of James Monroe Wills and Leonora Sanders Wilson Wills. Our common ancestors were Isaac Wilson and Theodocia Lee Wilson, my 4G grandparents and Clarence's 2G grandparents. Theodocia, incidentally, was the daughter of Major Burwell Lee of the prominent Lee family of Virginia, which includes Robert E. Lee, a fifth cousin.

Thomas Marion Brinson, (my wife Deborah Renee Ray's 2G uncle on her father's side), b. 1901 in Bonneau, Berkeley, S.C.; d. Nov. 22, 1963, in Bonneau, Berkeley, S.C. Thomas was an uncle of Debi's paternal grandmother, Ruth Augusta Brinson Ray.

Berry Kidd, (my first cousin twice removed on my father's side), b. 1919 in Elliott County, Ky.; d. Jan. 30, 2002, in Morehead, Rowan County, Ky. Berry was the son of Saul Kidd and Alafare Winkleman Kidd. He also was the grandson of Peter Fannin-Kidd, my grandfather's uncle.

Sept. 1

Solomon Perry, (husband of Mary Wilson, my first cousin three times removed on my father's side), b. 1823 in Pennsylvania; d. Nov. 17, 1905, in Rushville, Ohio. Solomon's wife, Mary, is the granddaughter of Jacob Wilson (1759-1813), my 5G grandfather. Jacob was born in Virginia, but moved his family to Kentucky, then to Ohio, where he settled on the headwaters of Beaver Creek, near present-day Fairfield. Many of his decendants remained in Ohio, including Mary's father, James P. Wilson, who was born when Jacob still lived in Virginia. I don't know much about Solomon's background, except that he, too, was born in Virginia. By 1860, he was living in Ohio, according to census records.

William Boone, (my wife Deborah Renee Ray's first cousin three times removed on her father's side), b. 1905 in South Carolina; d. June 25, 1962. William was the grandson of Jonn Daniel Boone and Frances Shehorn Boone. He was one of 10 children of Aaron Boone (no, not the former Yankee third baseman) and Isabelle Melton Boone.

Sept. 2

Thomas Augustus Mitchum Sr., (my wife Deborah Renee Ray's 3G grandfather on her father's side), b. 1932 in Berthea, Berkeley, S.C.; d. April 9, 1906, in Berthea, Berkeley, S.C. Thomas' daughter, Elizabeth Rachel Mitchum, married John James Brinson, my wife's great grandfather. (They also were the parents of the aforementioned Thomas Marion Brinson, who celebrated a birthday Aug. 31.) I have few details of Thomas' life, but records indicate he fought in the Civil War with the 5th S.C. Cavalry.

Sept. 3

Raymond "Whitey" Jennings, (my first cousin once removed on my mother's side, my fourth cousin on my mother's side and my third cousin on my father's side), b. 1930 in Kentucky; d. Nov. 13, 2000, in Morehead, Rowan County, Ky. Whitey was the oldest of my Great Aunt Vada Mae Wilson Jennings' four sons. (One of those sons, Carl, was either stillborn or died shortly after birth.) He was only 12 years younger than his only maternal uncle, my grandfather Oliver Wilson, and he was close to both Oliver and his family.

Whitey was always one of my favorite people because of his sense of humor and gift for storytelling. He also was an avid fisherman and accomplished woodworker. He gave away hundreds of pieces of furniture. His wife, Rhea Crisp Jennings, tells me he was a bit of a perfectionist, often discarding nearly completed pieces because of barely perceptible flaws.

Whitey was one of several diabetics in my family, and Rhea always cooked to accomodate his disease. They brought nothing into the house that Whitey couldn't eat. Guests ate what the couple ate, and often didn't know the difference. Rhea said she often sent Whitey to work with sweets — made with artificial sweetener, Sprinkle Sweet — as gifts for his bosses. They liked them so much, they often asked Rhea to make more for them.

Whitey was also quite proud of his time in the military. He was a U.S. Army mess sergeant during the Korean Conflict.

Sept. 4

Vada Mae Wilson, (my great aunt on my mother's side), b. 1912 in Rowan County, Ky.; d. Nov. 24, 1996, in Wagoner, Rowan County, Ky. Aunt Vada was my grandfather's sister and Whitey's mother. In the accompanying photo, she poses with her husband, Jesse Franklin Jennings (1908-1979) — a marriage that made Whitey a triple relative, for Jesse is related to me on my father's side. (Hang on to your hat; this gets complicated.)

Jesse's father, John Milt Jennings, was the son of David Jennings Sr. and Mary "Polly" Kidd. Mary's parents were Edmund Kidd (1815-1880) and Amanda Ramey (1821-1857), my father's 2G grandparents.

But Jesse wasn't just an in-law on my mother's side — Jesse and Vada were second cousins once removed, since Jesse's maternal grandfather, Joseph Slusher Jr., was a brother of Vada's great-grandmother Mahala Slusher.

Kenneth Lee Wilson, (my first cousin on my mother's side). Happy birthday, Ken. Hope it's an awesome one.

Sept. 5

Meghan Sybrina Thomas, (my second cousin). Happy birthday, Meghan. Hope you have a great day.

Sept. 6

Harlan Hall, (my 2G uncle on my mother's side), b. 1911 in Morehead, Rowan County, Ky.; d. May 9, 2005, in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Ind. Harlan was one of 11 siblings of my great grandmother, Mahala Susan Hall Wilson. His wife, Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" Jennings Hall, was the sister of Jesse Franklin Jennings, whose wife Vada Mae Wilson Jennings celebrated a birthday Sept. 4. Incidentally, Harlan and Lizzie were second cousins on the Slusher side.

William Leslie Caudill, (my second cousin twice removed on my mother's side), b. 1922 in Raysville, Henry County, Ind.; d. Aug. 18, 2004, in Greenfield, Hancock County, Ind. The Caudill family was sprawling — several generations included a dozen or more siblings. They are related to my mom on both her maternal Williams side and her paternal side Hall side. In addition, my mom's sister, Vada Louise Wilson, married LeRoy Caudill, who belongs to this family, as well, although you have to go back a ways to establish the connection. Matthew Caudill (1760-1840) had several children, among them Stephen Caudill (1794-1857) and Samuel Caudill (1804-1883). Leroy was among Stephen's descendants, and the Caudills on both sides of my mom's family were among Samuel's descendants.

Matthew was born in Virginia, moved to North Carolina and then to Letcher County, Ky.

Samuel was born in Wise County, Va., moved to Letcher County with his family and eventually wound up in Rowan County, where my mother and father were both born. Leroy and Vada also met in Rowan County, but Leroy's ancestors moved from Letcher to Greenup County, Ky., and then to Ohio. Leroy's father, Osbal (also spelled Oswald in some sources), grew up in Greenup, wound up in Rowan County and made a stop in California in between.

Which brings us back to William Leslie — a 2G grandson of Samuel Caudill, he was born in Rowan County, but his father William B. Caudill, moved the family to Indiana.

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