500 miles apart at birth. 175 miles apart when they raised children. Ida Smith Reynolds and Lorena Susan Dickens were 6th cousins, once removed.
Each was my grandmother.
Ida was my Grandmother Kyzer, my maternal grandmother. She was born and raised in Dooly County, Georgia. A school teacher, she met my Grandaddy through teaching and they eventually moved to Hamlet, N.C., for his job. They raised two girls in Hamlet. She died there in 1956.
Lorena was my Mimi, my paternal Grandmother. Mimi was born, lived and died in Halifax County, N.C. Mimi also was a school teacher. The story is that Mimi went to town one day and came back married to my grandfather, Didi. They raised three boys. She died in 1969.
Two women who never knew they were related, met once at my parents’ wedding. Dementia had it’s tight grips on my Grandmother Kyzer at the time. My Mimi had worried about what to wear and if the family could get to the wedding.
Roll back 250 years……
Indentured servitude brought the parents of Charles Sledge to America around 1680. Richard and Ann Sledge traveled from Bristol, England to Jamestown, VA aboard the ship, Alithea. There are different variations of passenger lists but it appears Richard was an indentured servant to John Longworth for 5 years, Ann to Thomas Howell for 4. Both were in their late 40’s. No occupation was listed for Richard. Ann’s occupation is listed as “spinster”. She was joined from her hometown with another woman, Elizabeth Moir, also listed as a “spinster”. At this time in the 17th century the term “spinster” could mean single, older woman or married woman who spun yarn. Charles was in his 20’s when his parents made the trip. He may have made the trip with them or arrived a few years later. A bit more research is needed.
And so it begins…..Bear with me on this relationship ride. Charles meets and marries Mary Clarke in the Isle of Wright, Va. They become my 7th and 8th great grandparents depending on maternal or paternal route. Two of their children, Martha and John are the progenitors of this connection 250 years later.
Martha begins the maternal route.
Charles and Mary’s daughter, Martha, born in 1700, married Peter Hayes in Virginia in 1726. Their daughter, Winnie, born in 1735, married Francis Hilliard in 1753. They all moved south to Halifax County, N.C…….ahhhh…the Halifax connection you say. Nope, only a brief stop over by the maternal line in this fair county.
Winnie and Francis had a son named, Major Henry Francis Hilliard in 1755. There are a couple questions about Major yet to answer. It appears his name was Major….and he was not a military Major. Records vary as to where he was born….VA or NC. Records also vary as to his wife. Mary Daniel is the best guess right now as to who married Major Hilliard.
Major did have a daughter, Celia, born in 1783, in North Carolina. She married James Powell, also from North Carolina. Another southern migration took place…onward to Georgia. Mary Powell was born in 1821, in Laurens, Georgia, to Celia and James.
Mary Powell, my 2nd great grandmother, married Fielding Reynolds in 1844, in Dooly County, GA. Their son, Charles, born in 1849, married Melvina Smith. They had 9 children. The youngest, Ida and her twin, were born in 1893. It is presumed that Ida’s twin died at birth. There is no official record or headstone for Ida’s twin, just notes and word of mouth from children and cousins. Melvina died when Ida was 9 months old. Ida’s father remarried to Melvina’s sister, Paulina. Ida referred to her Aunt as Mother.
Ida, my Grandmother Kyzer, married Hubert Malcolm Kyzer at her Mother’s home in Pinehurst, Ga in 1922. They migrated back north to North Carolina.
Back to the 1600’s……..Charles and Mary’s son, John, born in 1698, begin the paternal connection. This Sledge line migrated slowly and moved just one state. As stated in Charles’ will above, John inherited 100 areas of land, thus keeping his ties in Virginia. John married Mary Ivey in 1720. Their son, Charles, married Elizabeth Sammons in 1745. They all remained in Virginia. Charles’ sons fought in the Revolutionary War. His son, Augustine, married Cecila Peterson in 1781. Again, continuing to live in Virginia.
Augustine and Cecila’s son, Henry, married Sarah Ivey in 1806, in Southampton, VA. At some point during their marriage they moved south into North Carolina. My paternal line continued in Halifax County, N.C. at this point through my father.
Henry’s son, William Henry Sledge, born in 1816, married Judith Peebles. Martha Susan Sledge, my 2nd great grandmother was born to William and Judith in 1844. At 17 years old, Martha married John Hamill.
Martha and John’s oldest daughter, Sarah, married Jacob Dickens in 1879. Lorena, my Mimi, was born in 1895. She was youngest of 5 children and the only girl. When Mimi was 6 years old her mother died. Her father, Jacob, remarried within a year, having no additional children.
Mimi married Enoch Marvin Carter, my Didi. (and this is for another day…..Mimi and Didi were 4th cousins once removed.) Earlier I mentioned the story that is told about Mimi going to town and coming back married. Well, another avenue to investigate…..no marriage record is turning up for these two…..hmmmm……
Leaves one to wonder if Grandmother Kyzer and Mimi had had more time together, would they have figured out their relationship.
Lots of interesting progenitors along both of these routes to explore.
Ha! I guess I’ll have to travel to learn more about all these generations…..Virginia, Georgia, ……England…..