Memories of my mom came to me today. And memories of this pitcher – not my memories, but from those who are no longer with us. Memories that if not written down and handed on, will be forgotten forever.
This pitcher was on the table at my great-grandparents house at every meal. Mom loved spending time with her maternal grandparents – Robert E. Lee and Frances Barber Linton Montgomery. They lived on a dairy farm and owned a large home – with two staircases – one in the front of the house for the girls to use to go up to their bedrooms at night, and one in the kitchen for the boys. Evidently this was not unusual in those days.
Fresh milk was always found in this pitcher and Granddaddy Robert always poured milk in each glass for the young people in his home. My mother adored her grandad. She would sit out on the porch with him, for hours, watching the cars go by. And in the 1940’s on a rural road in Washington County, they were few and far between! She would follow him around the farm and pat him on the cheek. But she would not drink her milk!
Whenever possible she would pour the milk out of her glass, and if there was no way around it she left her glass full. I’m not sure how she managed this under such watchful eyes, but evidently she was well-known as anti-milk. Her dear Aunt Lilly even told mom she would buy her a beautiful doll if she would just drink her milk. I suppose, as any normal child, mom drank that milk until she got her doll. Then, it was back on strike.
This pitcher became one of mom’s favorite possessions many years before her death – its home on the top shelf in her china cabinet. She loved to show it off. But there are serious cracks in several places and it was never used for liquids. Now I am the keeper of the milk pitcher. I don’t like milk either. But I smile every time I see it. Those lovely memories of mom being a stinker about her milk, and great-grandparents who I never met, but know quite well. What memories do you need to write down today?
This is an old newspaper clipping from a 1941 Springfield Sun – the local newspaper for Washington County, Kentucky. I’m sure this was one my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, saved, since it was a few years before she died – and because her mother’s death, thirty-one years previous, was listed as part of the news for June of 1910. Other interesting tidbits were a couple of marriages, finding of the body of a missing woman, and the dedication of the capital in Frankfort!
How many times in your research have you searched and searched for that one piece of the puzzle? If you knew that little bit of information relationships would fall into place, questions would be answered and all would be right in the genealogy world. I know you have! I am sharing with you today that ‘Aha!’ moment from about 40 years ago.
My dear great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, as I have mentioned many times, was the genealogist in the family during the first 40 decades of the twentieth century. She wrote letters to cousins, had information handed down for generations, old tax receipts, etc. But the biggest mistake she made was in Captain John Linton’s father and grandfather. According to Frances, William de Linton I and II were these persons. In the respect of William II, he married Susannah Monroe, who, after William II’s death, married Charles Tyler, then Benjamin Grayson. In those first years of research I found nothing about William de Linton – I or II! There was a William Linton who married Susannah Monroe, then Charles Tyler and Benjamin Grayson, but this William Linton’s son, named John, was born in 1730 and died in 1775 – couldn’t be my Captain John.
In the Release of Rights dated January 30, 1775, in Loudoun County (earlier Prince William and Stafford counties), Virginia, John Linton releases any rights to his father’s estate (Moses Linton), or the right of any estate from his mother Susanna, to his stepfather, John Berkeley, for the sum of 300 pounds current money of Virginia. The estate was given up ‘in consideration of my education and maintenance by John Berkeley’. Okay, this information gives the name of Captain John’s father – Moses. The William Linton mentioned above was the son of John Linton and Ann Barton. In addition to son William, sons Moses and John are listed in his will. The only other Moses Linton listed in Prince William or the surrounding counties at that time was the elder John Linton’s brother – who married Margaret Barton, sister to Ann. This led me to conclude that Moses Linton, son of John Linton and Ann Barton, was father to my Captain John. How about his mother?
Moses Linton was married twice – first to Susanna Harrison, with whom he had at least two sons, William and Thomas Linton. After the death of Moses, these sons were given to the guardianship of their uncle, Burr Harrison. Unfortunately nothing further is heard of the two boys, and it is assumed they died before 1775, the date of release of rights by Captain John Linton, since he is considered ‘the only surviving son and heir at law to my father, Moses Linton.’
Moses Linton married as his second wife Susannah, with whom he had three children – Catharine Jennings Linton, my John Linton and Moses Linton. Moses, who was quite a bit older than Susannah, died in 1752, just after the birth of his son Moses. Susannah, a young widow of about 22 years, quickly married John Berkeley, he being a widower (his first wife was Elizabeth Longworth) and also the father of young children, John Longworth Berkeley and George Berkeley.
But who was Susannah, mother of Captain John Linton? In my wonderful correspondence with Dorothy Thrawley in the years before my marriage, and afterwards, she gave me that important piece of the puzzle – the one that made everything fit together. Dorothy’s ancestor was Catherine Jennings Linton – Captain John Linton’s sister. Catherine married William Joseph Lewis, the son of Vincent Lewis and Ann Longworth – hm, that name sounds familiar – as in sister to Elizabeth Longworth, first wife of John Berkeley? Shall I just say this is a tangled family? Anyway, Catherine Linton and Joseph Lewis had a daughter Susan Lewis, who married her cousin, Daniel Lewis. Susan Lewis had the wonderful foresight to purchase a bible and write down not only the information for the children she had with hubby Daniel Lewis, but information about her ancestors. And in that bible is a note that reads, ‘Catherine Linton’s mother before marriage, Susan Hancock.’ Finally, finally we know the name of Captain John Linton’s mother – Susannah Hancock, second wife of Moses Linton. In the photo this information is underlined in red. Sorry the copy is not the best.
And the final question – who is Susannah Hancock? Moses Linton owned land adjoining his friend Scarlett Hancock. Scarlett died at the young age of thirty in 1740. He was the son of John Hancock and Catherine Smith. He was given the name Scarlett for his step-great-grandfather, Martin Scarlett, who married his widowed great-grandmother, Ann, Mrs. William Green. His grandmother was Lettice Green who married Edward Smith. Susannah Hancock is his younger sister, who lived with Scarlett after the death of her parents, John Hancock and Catherine Smith.
Ann Barton, wife of the elder John Linton, parents of Moses Linton, was the daughter of Edward Barton and Ann Green – sister to Lettice Green who married Edward Smith. We have come complete circle. Moses Linton and Susannah Hancock both descend from William and Ann Green, coming down the line from different daughters.
Is anyone confused? It’s certainly a crazy patchwork quilt of genealogy, with intermarrying families and more than one marriage on most lines. But it has been a fascinating ride – and I will always be indebted to my dear friend Dorothy Thrawley, without whose help I could not have come to this conclusion. This is why it is so important to share genealogy information, and my purpose exactly for this blog! Have a wonderful day!
A good friend, Garwood Linton, entrusted some of the Linton information from his family into my keeping for awhile. This is the information gathered by Adelaide Linton Cartier, daughter of Hugh Walter Linton and Eliza Belfield Garnett. You have heard me speak of the letters written by my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, to Hugh Linton. They loved genealogy and family!
In the files in my possession I found a poem written by Maurice Ragland Linton, Sr. Maurice was the son of Benjamin Linton and Florence Vitula Ragland, born in 1898 and died in 1980 at the age of 82. The older I get, the more I realize life is indeed short. This isn’t meant to be a sorrowful post, but one to incite us to live life to the fullest and enjoy our family members while they are here!
This is a great photo of my Aunt Lil and her nursing staff at the Goodrich Nursing Home in Lexington, Kentucky. Aunt Lil, actually my great-aunt, was born Lillian Catherine Montgomery, March 11, 1900 – always easy to remember old she was – in Washington County, the daughter of Robert E. Lee Montgomery and Frances Barber Linton. She married Guy Goodrich in 1933. They had no children, but Aunt Lil devoted her time as a registered nurse, a graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Lexington. She began Goodrich Nursing Home and ran it with an iron fist. Patients always came first. She was a stickler for cleanliness and demanded superior work from her staff. She was well known in this field, and well loved by those who worked for her.
I have very vague memories of visiting Aunt Lil and Uncle Guy’s home in Lexington – I always thought it very fancy! I particularly remember her plates with pink flowers and green leaves in her china hutch. In later years, after Uncle Guy passed on and she sold the nursing home, she returned to Springfield, in Washington County, and lived near her sister – my grandmother. It was at this point our relationship grew, since the genealogy bug had been handed down to her, from her mother – and also handed down to me from the same, my great-grandmother. As far as I know, we were the only two in the family so obsessed! I would visit her for lunch and we would pore over all the delicate pieces of paper of our ancestors, handed down through the years, and look at those faces in photographs of so long ago. Sometimes I miss her so!
Aunt Lil was rather a roving senior citizen. She would move to Springfield, be there several years; miss Lexington; move there for several years, miss Springfield, and move back. Torn between two worlds. In her last years she lived in a nursing home in Springfield, but acted like she was the one taking care of things. I suppose once a nurse, always a nurse!
Well this is one for the record books – in all the old documents and pieces of paper saved by my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, I would never have thought about finding a candling certificate in the bunch! This belonged to her brother, John Edgar Linton, who lived with their older sister, Alice Linton, as bachelor and spinster, until their death.
And you may ask, what is a candling certificate? Even though I knew what it was, I did research to give you a good answer. Eggs were candled for two reasons. One was to check to see if the egg was fertilized, to keep it in the incubator so it will eventually turn into a chicken! In the 1918 edition of the Fannie Farmer The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, she recommends to ‘Hold in front of candle flame in dark room, and the centre should look clear.‘
The other reason is more in the opposite vein – to make sure the egg isn’t fertilized, to be used for eating – and to make sure the eggs were not bad. The first picture above is a good egg – you can see why you wouldn’t want to eat the last one!
Above you will see an 1918 poster of the breeds of poultry raised by farmers during that time period. I cannot say if my great-grand uncle kept one of these breeds or not.
But he must have had pretty good eggs since out of the fifty he took to Washington County Produce Company on August 17, 1918, only two were refused. Interesting to note that they also purchased butter, hides and furs from local farmers.
My beautiful grandmother, Alice Montgomery Carrico, was a strong presence in my life. I’m sure most of you have felt this way about a grandparent, a special aunt, or another person involved in your life. She was raised with a silver spoon in her mouth, as they say, the oldest child of Robert E. Lee Montgomery and Frances Barber Linton. They lived on a dairy farm outside of Springfield, Kentucky. Her father, my great-grandfather, was the typical southern gentleman. In almost every photo he is wearing a thin bow tie and white, or light linen suit. Great-grandmother Frances was the gracious southern hostess, inviting even a passing salesman to lunch with the family.
Grandmother went to St. Catharine Academy, a school of the Dominican sisters, during her high school years. I believe she must have boarded there since I now have her silver napkin ring, with her initials – A. M. – in beautiful script. My aunt said she used the napkin ring while there, when giving it to me as a gift several years ago. While there, Alice took piano lessons, but the dear sister told my great-grandmother she was wasting her money, there was no musical ability in her daughter.
The next link I have with my grandmother is a photo taken about 1915 – at 22 she looks to be a suave and sophisticated woman, ready to take on the world. Isn’t she quite a dish?
At the age of 27, in 1920, she married my grandfather, Joseph Reuben Carrico. It must have been a love match since it was rather like the princess marrying the church mouse. Alice and Rue lived on a small farm near St. Rose Church. Their family began with a baby boy, Joseph Robert (named for both grandfathers) born in 1921. Life was hard, especially, when the depression hit. They had five children by that time – Robert, Reuben, Beulah, Paul, Ann – with Catherine (my mother) and Mary Alice coming along in 1931 and 1933. Life was hard for everyone, but at least living on a farm gave garden vegetables and pork from their hogs, fruit trees gave an abundant bounty, and blackberries and raspberries were loaded on the vines. My mother pictured her life on the farm as wonderful, filled with adventure and always having plenty to eat. But is this the depression seen through the eyes of a child? Did Grandmother and Granddaddy have more worries than what she remembers? I have the leftover war ration book that was in my mother’s name – stamps for sugar, coffee, gas and other things that were rationed due to the war that followed the depression.
How did my grandmother react? Like any sensible woman! She rolled up her sleeves and got on with life. She sold eggs, butter and cream to the grocery in town for extra money. Her butter was special since she made little curves, flowers and designs on top. Grandmother herself drove the buggy into town, driving her horse, Nipsey. Evidently there was a very special bond between grandmother and her horse. When he fell ill, she held his head in her lap, gently rubbing him until the end – I’m not sure how many days he lasted. So strong, but yet so gentle.
The family didn’t have electricity for many years. Grandmother carefully cleaned the chimneys and filled the oil lamps for the family. She walked into the kitchen and slipped while holding one of these lamps, but had the foresight to hold the lamp high during the fall. Not a drop of oil was spilled, no lamp crashed and hit the floor, spreading oil and flame over the room. She kept her family safe.
In 1930 son Reuben became ill with appendicitis and died at a hospital in Louisville. This began a number of years of giving up some of those she loved. Robert entered the army during World War II and died a hero in 1943. Her mother, Frances, died in 1945, and her father, Robert, in 1954.
Through all these deaths I’m sure my grandmother shed many tears. But in 1961 my grandfather passed away. I helped cause some of her tears during this time. At only four years of age I didn’t understand the concept of death – I was positive granddaddy was coming back. When we visited and I heard a noise I would always ask if that was granddaddy. Which always produced a great deal of weeping from both my grandmother and my mother.
By this point in her life, at the age of 68, grandmother lived in town. There was no farm to run, no garden to hoe, no butter to churn. She turned to the enjoyment of friends and family. Grandmother and friends, one I remember as named Crokie, played canasta and ucker. They would visit at each others house and enjoy the afternoon. I can’t speak for the other ladies, but grandmother never left the house without her jewelry – brooch and earrings, sometimes necklace, – hat and matching gloves.
Grandmother was still the best cook – her baked chicken and dressing was always the best. I can still taste it – the most tender, succulent chicken with moist dressing that always included raisins! It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Anything she fixed was good, I suppose this was just my favorite.
As my grandmother aged, and it became harder to visit her friends – and as they went to meet their Maker – she loved playing cards with her children and grandchildren. Her faith was very important to her, and she prayed while sitting on the porch every day – her favorite spot for time with the Lord.
Grandmother loved her family, and I suppose she was a genealogist, too, but she wasn’t that involved with finding names and dates and records. She was more interested in people. One of her last involvements in life was trying to ensure that the Linton Cemetery was not forgotten, or, worse still, erased from history. She called the local newspaper, The Springfield Sun, and brought this to their attention. A huge article was devoted to this, complete with a wonderful photo of my grandmother in her 89th year!
My grandmother was in the hospital only twice during her life – once in the 1960’s when she had pneumonia, and at the end. My mother visited her the night before she died. Grandmother was eating dinner, and had taken the oxygen from her nose. Mom scolded her when she went in. Feisty as always, Grandmother said she couldn’t enjoy her food with the oxygen. She was going to the nursing home the next day. She died later that night, at age 92, taking matters into her own hands, as she always had.