Sunday, July 9, 2017

Love Letters to Margaret Abrams


After 60 years, found love letters still mesmerizing
By F.T. Norton
Fran.Norton@StarNewsOnline.com
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 12:48 p.m. 
Catherine Britt thumbs through old letters that she found in her home many years ago and has held on to them in hopes of finding the family of Margarette Abrams, who they are written to and return them. 
Margarette Abrams was stunned in early January when her past came rushing back in a phone call from a stranger. 
"You have what?" she squealed upon hearing the news. 
Love letters found buried for nearly six decades beneath attic insulation in Wilmington stirred memories long forgotten. The words on the dusty, crumbling papers – penned by a beau named Roger – were mesmerizing. 
Dec. 3, 1946: "The radio is on, and right now, ‘You Keep Coming Back Like a Song,' is playing. It doesn't take music to remind me of you, though, since you are in my mind every minute of the day. I go to sleep thinking of you and wondering if you are thinking of me. I wake up wondering if I am going to get a letter from you that day..." 
Roger's heartsong was enchanting. He spoke to and of Margarette with such a whispering gentle love, an innocence that seems foreign in the modern world. 
He wrote nearly every day of songs on the radio, classes he was taking, the view from his University of South Carolina dorm window - all to his muse, a precious high school girl in the Port City. 
March 25, 1947: "Dearest, did I ever tell you how wonderful you are? Did I ever tell you how very, very much I love you? Or why it is that I love you so very much? Sometime when you have about a week to do nothing but listen to me talk I will tell you all of these things. It may take longer than a week..." 
Catherine Britt found the letters in the attic of their Glendale Drive rental home in 2003, and she and her husband Jeremy toted the brittle correspondence around for a decade, wondering who the lovers were. 
The mystery drove the Britts to the library where they were able to find Margarette's class picture in the 1948 New Hanover High School yearbook. 
But beyond that, Margarette was an enigma. Sixty-six years later, the odds of finding her seemed insurmountable. There was no way to know if she or Roger were even still alive. 
"We kept the letters because we felt her or her family would like a part of her history," Catherine said. "When we moved from that house we had packed them up and had forgotten about them until I came across them going through some old totes." 
Each letter ends almost the same, "Yours and yours alone, Roger." 
And as abruptly as the letters began, they ended. Nothing was resolved. In addition to wondering who the people were, the outcome of their relationship also was a mystery. 
The letters from Roger begin in 1945. 
Dec. 28, 1945: "I had wonderful Christmas but there was still one thing missing -- we'll discuss that when I see you again." 
The last indication of contact between the two was an empty envelope postmarked March 1948. 
There were no public records in Wilmington, outside of the yearbook, that listed Margarette Abrams. And property records for the house where the letters were found proved useless. Short of driving to Florence, S.C., records for Roger proved fairly elusive too. But elusive and impossible are two different things. 
The Past Meets the Present 
The Internet, which has made almost obsolete hand-written love letters like Margarette's, helped unlock the mystery. 
Through obituaries, birth records and newspaper clippings, Margarette and Roger were found. 
"I can't believe it," Margarette, 84, sighed from her home in Asheboro when she learned her love letters were still around. The last she knew she'd left them with her sister in Wilmington when she moved away. She'd been meaning to ask Martha what happened to them, but never got around to it. And now Martha is gone. Margarette's best guess is that Martha put them in the attic to store them, and the proclamations of enduring love were accidentally left behind. 
Roger, 86, married and retired, was also surprised that the letters existed. 
"I've often thought of Margarette," he said. 
He said a mutual friend would occasionally mention speaking with her, but the two had no contact since 1948. 
Beyond that, he was uninterested in rehashing the past. Margarette, a private person by nature, was also initially reluctant to speak publicly. But after giving it some thought, she said, she had a change of heart. 
"I was really hoping that this could be something beautiful. People are clamoring for something from the old times. And that's the reason why I will talk about it," she said. 
Margarette was 3 years old in 1932 when her mother died following the birth of the last of her six children. Seven years later, when she was 10, she lost her father and the Abrams children were parceled out to family. 
In 1944, after Margarette's sister Martha married and moved to Wilmington, Margarette joined her. The letters in the attic cache proved other suitors courted the beautiful Margarette through post, but Roger, a school mate she left behind in Florence, was the most prolific and lasting. 
"He said the most wonderful things," she recalled. "I think the reason why I never forgot him is because he treated me like a lady. He was the most gentlemanly human being I'd ever met." 
Oct. 15, 1947: "I love you darling. You are always uppermost in my conscious mind. You are the most important thing in my whole life, and always will be. You are my inspiration and my spirit and I am thoroughly convinced that you are the only one in the world who could handle that position... I'm looking forward to the time when I can give you a big promotion." 
Courtship in the 1940s was unlike the modern era. Most girls didn't do anything more than hold hands and snuggle, Margarette said, and she was no exception. 
"Now if a person dates for two months, the guy expects you to go to bed with them. It would be so good for the young people to see how it used to be," she said. 
For Roger and Margarette, marriage seemed in the cards. But she was still in high school in Wilmington and he was in college 127 miles away. 
Then something happened that was not explained in the letters. 
Even to this day, Margette didn't need a letter to remind her. 
"His friend told him I was unfaithful," she said with a growl. 
At first Margarette pleaded with Roger to believe her, but he cut off all communication. 
"I was miserable," she said. 
After three weeks of silence, her brother-in-law arrived with a letter for her. It was from Roger. 
In it, Roger apologized for disbelieving Margarette, she said. 
"He said that he just couldn't stand it anymore and he was sorry and that he would just like me to forgive his jealous rage," she said. 
Margarette's reply - she is convinced - changed her life forever. 
"I wrote him back and said, ‘You should have thought about that three weeks ago,'" she recalled, her voice catching in her throat. "I've regretted it ever since." 
Life Goes On 
Shortly after the devastating break up, Margarette met and married a dashing and equally smitten boy she worked with at the Walgreens in Winston-Salem, where she lived after graduation. From that union came two boys, Jody and Scott. 
Margarette is now a grandmother of three. Her husband, David, died in 1998 after 49 years of marriage. Four years later, she lost her Jody to cancer. She's been around the world and not strayed far from home. She's welcomed dozens of babies and said goodbye to some. She's lost everything to a hurricane and has rebuilt her life. 
She's happy, and funny, and active and kind. 
In her immaculate home Monday, with her face nearly touching the yellowed pages so she could see, Margarette held the letters in her hands for the first time this millennium. The news of their discovery brought back memories of a time gone by. 
"I feel 15 years old all over again. I look in the mirror and I'm trying to see myself as I was then," she said. 
She's still beautiful, but her strawberry blond hair is white now and her bright blue eyes are failing. 
She began to read aloud one of Roger's letters, then stopped and hid her tears behind the page. Even the countless moons that have passed since she first received the letters have done nothing to dull her love for the boy who adored her so. 
"I was so awful to him," she said. "I never got to explain. I was so angry that he didn't believe me and I cut off my nose to spite my face. 
"I wouldn't want to see him again, because I want him to remember me as I was, but if I could talk to him on the phone to explain..." 
Some things time doesn't heal, she said. 
A broken heart is one. 
"He was my first love. And you never forget your first love." 
F.T. Norton: 343-2070
On Twitter: @FTNorton
Copyright © 2013 StarNewsOnline.com — All rights reserved. Restricted use only. Wilmington, NC
Reprinted in The Daily Advance, Wilmington, NC, Sat. Mar 30, 2013


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Robert Thomas Abrams, Sr.

Robert Thomas Abrams married (1) Florence Maybell "Minnie" Grier and (2) Carrie Louise Abrams.

This is a photo of Robert Thomas Abrams, Sr.--back row, 3rd from right, holding stick.

If anyone knows anything about the date, location, and others in the photo, please let me know. I think this may be when he was working on the railroad. Could be SC, NC, or FL.



All Rights Reserved
July 5, 2017
Teresa McVeigh

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dora Icie (Warwick) Ivie Monograph (26 April 1961, Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia)

Dora Icie Warwick Ivie Monograph

Written by her daughter Luna Ivie Long as told by Dora Icie Warwick Ivie 26 April 1961 at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA when Dora a patient for duodenal cancer

Mrs. Dora Icie Warwick Ivie b. Jan. 10, 1890 in White Co. about 5 miles from Cleveland. Name after Nora Robinson who stayed with her mother Mary Hannah Potts Warwick during this birth. Dr. (Uncle) Dick Jarrett delivered, who lived near Mossy Creek Church.

Mother had a baby who died of whooping cough. Also was given a baby of Aunt Jane Warwick (sister-in-law). Aunt Jane died when the baby was about 3 weeks old, so her baby was given to Hannah Warwick. So both babies were about the same age and boys. Both caught the whooping cough and died.

When Aunt Bertie was born, Dora and Mamie went to spend the night with Uncle John Nix. When Bernice was born, Dora, Bertie and the other children went down in the "bottoms" to plant corn. John Wesley Warwick (husband) when to Cleveland--he rode a horse about 5 miles--to get a doctor. When they returned, Baby Bernice was already born. Aunt Calley, sister of John Wesley, was holding the baby.

Dora went first to Chattahoochee School until it burned. Then to Macedonia Church while the school was being built. First teacher was David Autry. He had real long hair. The children would pull his hair and jump out the window. He would jump out after them. He was fired--could not keep order. Next teacher was a woman named Leila Brownlow. Schoolhouse was rebuilt. At first it was one room with a big stove. Grades 1 through 7. Mother went through 7th. Sister Mamie went to school one year in Cornelia High School--rented a room from Mr. Sellers to live in.

The house was on about 75 acres and had 8 rooms. The living room was wallpapered. Had 4 head horses. Went to Gainesville one time, paid $500 for 2 work mules. Kept 1 buggy horse, 4 or 5 cows, a few sheep, raised pigs and hogs, chickens, geese and ducks.

Belonged to Zion Methodist church--went every Sunday. Carried dinner and spread tablecloths on ground to Quarterly meetings. Dora would recite poetry or special talks at Sunday School programs. (Dora went with Lester Irvin--or rather he walked home from church with her--her first boyfriend.) Preachers were always coming to the house. Daddy (John Wesley) was a Stewart in the church. Preachers came mostly for Sunday dinner. Have all day singings on Sunday. Always had Saturday meetings once a month at Church. Mother (Hannah) would go on Saturday as she stayed home with John W. Warwick's mother, Mary Ann, on Sunday. She lived with them for 13 years. John W. Warwick's mother and daddy lived in a log house, a big house and backroom through porch to kitchen. Kept milk and butter in the springhouse. Asbury and Mary Ann were moved in because their house was cold and they were getting old. Mary Ann was about 77 and lived to be 90. Asbury lived there about 5 years, then died of pneumonia.

John Wesley would go to Habersham to the Mills to get cloth. Hannah did weave cloth, bedspread. Knitted all stockings (up above knee), dye white stockings with green walnut hulls. Hannah made a suit for father-in-law Asbury Warwick.

Hannah's Mother and Daddy--Melinda (would sit in the corner and smoke a pipe made of clay) and Posey Potts lived at Mossy Creek. Several of their boys lived in Texas so they sold out and moved to Mart, Texas. Hannah's sister Ellie Potts married Jim Hamp Ivie.

Met W. D. Ivie in 1913. W.D. Ivie had gone to work for Floyd Kenimer. John Kenimer brought W.D. to house meet. Met him one Sunday morning--he was wearing a red tie and straw hat.  Walked to Macedonia Church with him and John K. Married 1 year later--Feb. 1, 1914, first day and first Sunday in Feb. Married by Preacher Patterson in home. Made an altar of honeysuckle. Went to church at Zion after a 10:00 wedding. Back home for dinner. Went to W. D. Ivie's home for supper and night.

Brother Wylie and brother Charlie had supper there too but returned home. The third day Dora and Dallas got a two horse wagon to come to Cornelia to buy a bedroom suit, wood range (stove), rocking chair. Also rode in first car that day--belonged to Ed Barr. Next day to Dora's home to get a bed, can stuff, lard, flour. Her daddy gave her $5 and a cow.

Moved to Cornelia--Hill's Mill Road--and lived there 5 years. Then to Cornelia 1 year--Henry was born. Back to Hill's Mill Road on the hill and lived there 5 years. House burned down. Dora and W.D. went to Florida--Vera Beach. W.D. went ahead and Dora came on the train with Henry (6 years) and Luna (18 months). Came back to Cornelia in March--moved to Galloway St.


Marriage license of Wiley Asbury Warwick and Mary Ann Pitchford (21 Jan 1842, Habersham County, Georgia)


Abstract of license:
Georgia, Habersham County
Wiley A. Warwick and Mary Ann Pitchford
21st Jan 1842
License by Lewis Levy, Ordinary.
Marriage same day by Wm. H. Dorsey, J. P.
Recorded 21st July 1842
Lewis Levy, C C O

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Is Francisco Juan Espineta the same person and John Pinholster? Part 2

In an effort to determine if Francisco Juan Espineta is the same person as “Juan Espinosa,” John Spinholster, and John Pinholster, this is a summary of the documentation I have found up to this point (22 April 2017).

From the following we can determine that Francisco Juan Espineta was born in 18 Mar 1773 in New Smyrna, Mosquitos, East Florida and christened the next day. About 1777 the family fled to Saint Augustine. Francisco’s father Josef  was a sailor with his own boat and Francisco also became a sailor serving on the ships San Pedro and San Agustin. In September of 1794 Francisco became too ill to work and requested his position on the San Augustin be filled. By September 1795, Francisco’s father requested part of his son’s wages to pay for Francisco’s mother’s (Maria Triay) funeral. In 1796 Francisco’s ship had delivered documents to Savannah, Georgia. When his father wrote his will in 1820, Josef Espineta stated: “Son Juan Francisco left St Augustine more than 25 years ago and believed dead.” These seem to indicate that Francisco Espineta left Saint Augustine about 1796. If he fled to Savannah, he could have travelled up the Savannah River as far as it allowed (Augusta, Georgia and across the river in Edgefield County, South Carolina).  The earliest record found for John Pinholster is the 1820 Census in Liberty County, Georgia. John and Delilah Pinholster’s oldest son, David, was born in 1797 in South Carolina, so the timeline does match up for Francisco Espineta to be John Pinholster.   

Francisco Juan Espineta was born about 6 in the evening on 18 Mar 1773 in New Smyrna, Mosquitos, East Florida, the son of Jose Espineta and Maria Triay, a married couple. Pedro Camps was the priest at his christening on 19 Mar 1773 at Saint Pedro’s Parish Church, New Smyrna. His godparents were Rafael Arnandez and Margarita Arnandez. The events were recorded by Father Camps in what is now known as Father Pedro Camps’ Golden Book of the Minorcans.

Francisco’s father was Josefa Jose Espineta, born about 1748 in Mahon, Minorca, to Juan Francisco Espineta and Juanta Cintas. Francisco’s mother was Maria Triay, daughter of Sebastian Triay and Magdalena del Pozo, who was born about 1739 in Ciudadela, Minorca. Josefa was married in Minorca about 1767 to Elizabet Henandez, who probably died on the voyage to New Florida or in the early years of the colony. Josefa and Maria married about 1771 in New Smyrna.

Josefa and Maria had come to New Smyrna, in Spanish East Florida, in 1768 with more than 1200 immigrants who were indentured under the Englishman Andrew Turnbull to work in future indigo plantations, for which they would be given land. They were to serve for 6 to 8 years, after which each family would receive 50 acres, and each child 5 acres. By 1777 Turnbull had not made the transfers and many had died. The survivors were sick and starving, and over 600 fled to Saint Augustine.

After they arrived in Saint Augustine, many of the survivors testified as to their experiences in Turnbull’s colony. The below depositions of Pietro Musquetto mention Josef Spinata, who is probably Josef Espineta, and Mathew Trei (Triay),  who may be related to Maria Triay.

10 May 1777: Deposition of Pietro Musquetto
Grievances against Doctor Andrew Turnbull
Deponent 15
" Pietro Musquetto being duly sworn saith that about seven years since this Dept.'s father Anthony Musquetto being a very old man and not able to do his work was always very much beaten and abused by Nichola Moveritte a corporal, but more especially one day when the said Anthony Musquetto was sick in his bed the said Nichola Moveritte came there and beat him very severely with a large stick and this Dept. says that the said Anthony Musquitto died within two hours after and believes that the beating he received, together with being put on half allowance was the cause of his death, and this Dept. further saith that he hath been always badly used and severely beat by the said Nichola Moveritte and always told this Dept. that he would kill him as well as he killed his father and this Dept says he was afraid the said Nichola Moveritte would kill him and therefore he came away.
Pietro Musquetto (his mark)
Sworn the 7 th day of May 1777 before Spencer Man
Pietro Musquetto being duly sworn saith that he was present when Mathew Trei a servant of Dr. Turnbulls was in the field at work when Nichola Moveritte the Corporal was quarrelling with Joseph Spinata who was standing close by the said Mathew Trei and saw the said Nichola Moveritte lift up an ax, and throw at the said Josefa Spinata, but missed him, and hit the said Mathew Trei in the head & killed him.
Pietro Musquetto (his mark)
Sworn the 10 th day of May 1777 before Spencer Man
20.C05/557:465 East Florida

In 1783 Josefa Espineta is listed on the St. Augustine Census. The 1783 Treaty of Paris gave Florida back to the Spanish and Josefa had to swear a loyalty oath:
Josef Espieta Nat. de Mahon C.A.R. tiene mujer y un hijo Oficio Marinero tiene una Canta en sola del junto al hornaugue tien un acre de tierra y solita mas.
Translation: Josef Espieta Nat. De Mahon C.A.R. has a wife and a son. Occupation Sailor. Has a cottage near the hornaugue (ironworks?). Has an acre of land and a bit more.
 
1784 Census St. Augustine, Florida Index:
Joseph Espinosa [Espinera?] native of Minorca, Catholic
Abides by the Memorial [swearing loyalty to the Spanish Crown and Catholic Church]
Wife and two sons live with him [another translation says wife and 4 children]
Fisherman by trade, owns his own boat.
Lives near the Gate of the Virgin of La Leche on almost an acre. Owns the house but pays an Englishman ? Duros, 5 reales for the land.
[This location is part of the defenses north of the fort.]

1786 Hassett's Census, Saint Augustine, Florida, Thomas Hassett. Parish Priest, Vicar Ecclesiastical Judge. 19 Dec 1786.
House No. 73
Joseph Espinete, age 40, Minorcan, Fisherman
Wife Maria Treal [Triay], Minorcan, age 48
Son Francisco, age 13, born Mosquitos

1787 Census, Saint Augustine, Florida
Josef Espineta, Native of Mahon, Minorca, Catholic
Wife and son live with him
Mariner by trade
Cottage on acre plot of the King next to hornworks.
[This location is part of the defenses north of the fort.]

In December 1789 Josef de Espineta witnessed the license for the marriage of Juan Gianopoly.
December 29, 1789 Juan Gianopoly requests license to marry Geronima Peso de Burgo
6p Francisco Peso de Burgo and Maria Lucia (Geronima's parents); witnesses: Juan Genovar, Josef de Espineta.

In 1793 Francisco was listed with his parents on the Census:
Joseph Espineta, age 45, the son of Juan Espineta and Jauna Cintas.  Wife Marie Trual (Triay), age 54, daughter of Sebastian and Magdalena del Pozo. Son Francisco, age 20, single.

On November 30, 1793 Francisco and Miguel Diaz requested permission to change ships, Francisco to serve on the San Agustin moving from the San Pablo.
Sailors Miguel Diaz and Francisco Espineta to Governor of Florida
1p. request permission to exchange positions on respective ships; Manuel Bernal; SAN PABLO; SAN AGUSTIN

On September 4, 1794, Francisco was a witness to the wedding of Miguel Seguy and Maria Elesa:
Miguel Seguy and Maria Elesa request license to marry
9p Juan B. Collins; witnesses: Rafael Hernandez, Francisco Salord and Francisco Espineta.

On September 9, 1794 Francisco requested permission to nominate a replacement, since he was ill.
Francisco Espineta to Governor of Florida, 9 Sep 1794: 
1p. requests permission to nominate replacement because of inability to serve resulting from illness; St. Johns River; SAN AGUSTIN; Francisco de Entralgo.

On September 18, 1794 the Captain of the ship San Agustin requested that Francisco Espineta’s vacated position as a sailor on his ship be filled.
Juan Pons to Governor of Florida
1p. requests appointment to position vacated by sailor Francisco Espineta; Francisco de Entralgo; SAN AGUSTIN; St. Johns River.

On 9 Sep 1795 Josefa petitioned the governor of Florida for his son’s wages:
Jose Espineta to Governor of Florida
5p. requests that his son, sailor Francisco Espineta, receive part of wages to pay for mother's funeral and for debts; Juan Sapia; SAN AGUSTIN [Francisco’s ship]; Maria Espineta [Francisco's sister].

On January 30, 1796 the ship San Agustin was reported as having delivered documents to Savannah, Georgia. Francisco Espineta is mentioned. Details of this abstract might provide important information about Francisco. It does indicate that Francisco could have gone to Savannah.  
Sailor Manuel de Ben to Governor of Florida:
4p. requests payment of costs incurred delivering documents to Savannah; SAN AGUSTIN; LTC Carlos Howard; Bernardino Sanchez; San Vicente Ferrer; Guillermo O'Neille; Francisco Espineta.

The will of Francisco Espineta’s father, Josef Espineta, is dated 24 November, 1820.
Nov 24, 1820 Will of Joseph, son of Francisco & Juana Sintas. Wife Maria long dead. Son Juan Francisco left St Augustine more than 25 years ago and believed dead.
[Joseph was the son of Juan Francisco Espineta and Juanta Cintas]

Sources:
Father Pedro Camps' Golden Book of the Minorcans, Translation and Index: Baptisms, 1768-1784, Marriages, 1776-1784 : Roman Catholic Church Records, St. Pedro's Parish Church, New Smyrna (Mosquito) and St. Augustine, East Florida, Leonard Joe McCown; Location: Irving, Texas; Date: 2003;


Spanish Colonial Records at the University of Florida [website], P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2010

Florida History Online [website], Schafer, Daniel L., Department of History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

All rights reserved
Teresa McVeigh
22 April 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Alternative McVeagh-Gordon marriage 1785

An alternative date of the marriage of  Thomas Gordon and Letitia McVeigh has also been found in the LDS records. I think the earlier one may be the civil marriage, a Presbyterian marriage or the license and the second is the official Anglican church marriage.


Name Thomas Gordon
Spouse's Name Letitia Mcveigh
Event Date 06 Apr 1785
Event Place Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, Aberdeen,Scotland                


Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910              

Indexing Project (Batch) Number M11168-4
System Origin Scotland-ODM
GS Film number 991139


Citation:
"Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTJD-GXK : 8 December 2014), Thomas Gordon and Letitia Mcveigh, 06 Apr 1785; citing Saint Nicholas,Aberdeen,Aberdeen,Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 991,139

Earliest Recorded McVeagh (McVeigh) Marriage

The earliest recorded marriage of a McVeigh so far found is the marriage of Letitia McVeagh, daughter of Hugh McVeagh, to Thomas Gordon

Name: Leticia McVeagh
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 1 Apr 1785
Marriage Place: Edinburgh Parish,Edinburgh,Midlothian,Scotland
Father: Hugh McVeagh 
Spouse: Thomas Gordon 
Source: LDS FHL Film Number: 993527
McVeagh-Gordon marriage 1785


Leticia and and Thomas Gordon subsequently had the following known children: Catharine Margaret b. 1787, Anne Brodie b. 1791, Henry b. 1793, Letitia Mary b. 1796, Evelyn Meadows (1798-1868), Thomasina b. 1799, and Sophia b. 1802