Thursday, November 19, 2020

Canady Family: Ruth Mae Canady

Ruth Mae Canady b:1909 d: 2000
Bailey's - Paternal g-grandmother

Ruth Mae Canady was born on June 24, 1909, in La Grange, Tennessee. Her father was Charles Alfred Canady and her mother was Martha Alma Watkins.

Ruth's Siblings:

  • Myrtle Lee Canady - b:1906 d:After 1933
  • Wiley Olen Canady - b:1914 d:2005
  • Winfred Canady - b:1917 d:1919
  • Ida Louise Canady - b:1921 d:1936
  • John Canady - b:unknown d:unknown

Half Sibling:

  • Mary Lou Canady - b:1933 d:1995

The following is a photo of Ruth as a little girl with her sister, mother, and grandmother. Her mother, Martha Alma, passed away in 1922 from tuberculosis. Ruth was 13 years old.

L-R: Myrtle Canady, Martha Alma Watkins Canady,
Ruth Canady, Elizabeth Stafford Watkins

Ruth was 18 years old, living in Tennessee, when the great Mississippi River flooded and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. When the 1930 census was taken, she was listed as a boarder in a private household in Memphis, Shelby, TN. She was 21 years old and listed as the housekeeper. I remember Ruth telling me that she left home and went to Memphis where she worked for a family and lived in their home. The census was taken in April before she married Boyd.

Ruth and Boyd Bernero: About April, 1974
Aboard the USS Alabama in Mobile, Alabama

Ruth married Boyd Eugene Bernero on July 18, 1930 in Crittenden, Arkansas. They lived in Memphis, TN and raised five children.  Bailey's Paw Paw, Robert, is the baby of the family.

 Ruth And Two Of Her Sisters-In-Law
Front: L-R: Ruth Mae Canady, Frankie Eldridge Bernero
Standing: Gertrude Pearl Bernero

L to R: Gertrude and Ruth - Downtown Memphis
Robert remembers she would always take the city bus, once a week, for downtown Memphis. Usually she would go with one of her sisters-in-law.  They would make a day of it, shopping and paying bills. 
Ruth - 1955 In Her Working Uniform

About 1955 Ruth went to work part-time, in the snack bar, at the Bellevue drive-in theater. The theater was within walking distance and she was thrilled the day she was hired. Her love of people made this a prefect job for her.

She often told the story of one night in particular. The movie was in full swing and the snack bar was full of customers. A young handsome man entered the snack bar. He bought a candy bar and was visiting with Ruth and her co-workers, as he unwrapped it, and began eating his purchase. Out of no where the snack bar began filling up with young girls not buying anything. The young man threw the candy wrapper on the floor and a mad rush ensued to retrieve the wrapper. One of the girls sustained a injury when her head came in contact with a pole as she was diving for the wrapper. The young man picked her up and kissed her forehead........ELVIS PRESLEY......... was in the building.

Ruth-back row-2nd from Right
Monthly Bunco Club

Ruth's Bunco club would meet once a month. Members would take turns hosting, providing snacks, and refreshments. Standing next to Ruth on the end is Ruth's sister-in-law, Dorothy Sailor Bernero.

Ruth died on September 5, 2000, at the age of 91 , and was buried in Virginia Beach, VA.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Dove Family: Mary Jane (Arona) Dove


Mary Jane (Arona) Dove: b:1852 d:1922
Bailey's - Paternal 3rd great-grandaunt

Update of my prior post: Dove Family: James Henry Dove

Note To Bailey: This is one of the most interesting discoveries I have made. 

I contacted the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Dallas Province Archives, at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, MS.  The good sisters provided me with a big chunk of this family puzzle.  Mary Jane’s religious name was Sister Mary Arona.  She died 7 Mar 1922……her final resting place……School Sisters of Notre Dame Motherhouse Cemetery, St. Louis, MO 

The good sisters, so graciously, emailed me her obituary. 

Obituary of Sister Mary Arona Dove: 

"For the grace of God our Savior hath appeared to all men." St. Paul. 

Among our dear Sisters who departed life in the year of the Lord 1922, three were born of Protestant parents. One of them was our beloved: 

Sister Mary Arona Dove whose father was a Methodist and the mother a Baptist. The family lived in Barbour County, Alabama, where Mary, our late Sister Arona, was born in the month of May 1853.  Mr. and Mrs. Dove were religious in their own way and endeavored, as well as they knew, to instill the fear of God into the hearts of their children. The mother was a very industrious woman and skillful in handling the needle and spinning wheel. At an early age Mary was taught to spin, and each day a certain amount of work was assigned her, and the little spinner knew that not until the work was finished and well done, would she be permitted to run out for play. Thus, our dear Sister Arona acquired in early life that steady application and real love for work which we all admired in her. For a short time, she attended the public school, but when the Civil War broke out, and her teacher was called to arms, her books were laid aside. Her father, too, was compelled to enter the army, and the mother, in the hope of saving her sons from being drafted, moved to New Orleans. This was evidently a kind dispensation of Divine Providence, for it brought little Mary into the Fold of the true Church.  Shortly after her arrival in New Orleans good Mrs. Dove, worn out by worries, died a peaceful death. Charitable neighbors took charge of the children. Mary was then brought to our St. Joseph Orphan Home.
St. Joseph's German Orphan Asylum
1860 - 1870

A new life now unfolded itself to Mary - "The grace of God our Savior" drew the innocent heart to Himself, and although only ten years old she pleaded to be made a Catholic. She was instructed and successively the holy sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and Holy Eucharist were administered unto her. At the age of twelve years- Mary was unusually strong for her age·- she began to assist the Sisters with the work in the Home where all hands were overtaxed on account of the ever-increasing number of orphans. Having completed her sixteenth year, she manifested a desire to spend her life as a religious and received the candidate's bonnet. While a candidate Mary was taught shoemaking, an occupation for which she entertained a special liking all through life. 

In 1878 we find Mary in the Motherhouse at Milwaukee preparing herself for the reception into the novitiate which she entered on August twenty-second. She loved the Motherhouse and in later years often recalled the happy days she spent there.  As novice she returned to her first convent home, St. Joseph Orphanage, New Orleans. A smile flitted over her countenance when she learned that her old friend, the shoemaker's bench, was awaiting her return.  Having filled this post for twenty years, she was summoned to Louisville.  After two years her health failed, and it was necessary to send her back to the South. This time obedience assigned her to Chinchuba. Ten years Sister plied the needle and awl in behalf of the deaf-mutes and when a few moments of leisure were hers, she lent a helping hand to her companion Sisters. Her next mission was Chatawa, a place for which she soon conceived a strong attachment. Here in company with two other Sisters she took charge of the convent dairy. 

The obituary of our dear Sister Arona would not be complete if the following incident remained unrecorded. During her years of labor at the Pines, Sister and two of her companions built a little house in honor of St. Joseph. They constructed it of lumber taken from discarded cracker boxes. Sister's purpose in doing this was to spread devotion to Saint Joseph and to provide a shelter for those engaged in the field, for often their labor was intercepted by sudden rains. While waiting for the rain to cease, fervent prayers were offered to St. Joseph whose statue occupied a prominent place amid ferns and woodland flowers. Dear St. Joseph was not unmindful of his client's attention. He manifested his pleasure singularly in her last moments. 

In 1897 Sister Arona was called to the Motherhouse, Sancta Maria in Ripa, in the hope that a change would relieve her from an obstinate cough which annoyed and weakened her. While at the Motherhouse she made herself useful in the Sister's refectory. 

Although transferred to the northern clime Sister Arona's heart and mind seemed ever to be in the southland. She was often heard to express her wish to return, but God did not direct her steps that way, for He knew that "the day was far spent."  In the month of March 1922, some of the community were stricken with a mild form of the grippe and good Sister Arona was one of them. Apparently, her condition was not serious or alarming, and therefore she continued to occupy her cell in the community dormitory. The third night of her illness one of the Sisters heard her breathing heavily and she inquired whether she could be of any assistance. On closer investigation she saw a decided change in her features; having awakened some of the other Sisters, she hastened to summon the Sister infirmarian and Mother Provincial. After a hurried preparation the Reverend Chaplain came, heard Sister Arona's confession, anointed her and then hastened to the chapel for the "Bread of Life". She received her divine Spouse and future judge with full consciousness and peacefulness. After praying for some time all retired with the exception of one Sister. About 4:45 A.M. the infirmarian, Mother Provincial, and the Reverend Chaplain were again called; the prayers for the dying were recited and as the bell summoned the Sisters for their morning prayers the soul of our dear Sister Arona went to whisper its first Matins in the eternal mansion. St. Joseph did not forsake his client. He provided for her in her last hour which came in his own month. Sister died March seventh. 

Although her death was a shock to all, it, nevertheless, called forth in every heart the desire to be as well prepared as she was. May our dear Sister petition dear St. Joseph for many spiritual and temporal favors for our loved Order.,,,,, R.I.P

Thanks to all the good Sisters of Notre Dame for your assistance with my research of Sister Mary Jane (Arona) Dove.  I will be forever grateful. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Dove Family: James Henry Dove

James Henry Dove in Civil War Uniform 1862
James Henry Dove - b: 1822
Bailey's - Paternal 4th great-grandfather

I have been fortunate to establish contact with a descendant that shares the same 2nd great-grandfather.  He passed on some information he had uncovered that helps piece this family together.  The story goes…….James Henry Dove enlisted with the Confederate 32nd Alabama Infantry Regiment April 1862 in Grove Hill, Clarke, Alabama. Before leaving he moved his wife, Nancy McDonald Dove and children, to New Orleans, LA. He thought they would be safer there .He returned to find his wife had died of  yellow fever. The children, William J., Mary Jane, Julian Ellen, and John Wesley, had been placed in a Catholic Orphanage in New Orleans, LA. It was believed his daughter, Mary Jane, had remained in the Orphanage and became a Nun. 

I was so fascinated with this story I immediately pointed my research in the direction of finding Mary Jane Dove. I am not sure when her mother died.  She was only about 10 years old when her father left so she could not have been much older when she was placed in the orphanage. 

I first found her in the 1880 census in New Orleans listed as Sr.(sister) Mary Dove.  The last page of the census listed the name of the orphanage as St. Joseph’s German Orphan Asylum and the street was Laurel St. in the Orleans Parish.  I was so excited to now have a name of the facility.  My next search was to find out where she was in 1870.  I searched the Orleans Parish enumeration districts line by line and……bingo…..I found her.  The information is not completely accurate because her birth place is listed as Texas ……but ….I know it is her.  I also found her sister,  Ellen Dove, listed in this same facility……….another tiny piece of the puzzle!

I’ve researched St. Joseph’s German Orphan Asylum and found that it was run by the Sister’s of Notre Dame. I was able to make contact with one of the sisters in charge of the archives……….hopefully we can find out when she became a nun, when she died, and where she is buried.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Wilson Family: Hughey Dent Wilson

Hughey Dent Wilson
b: 17 Mar 1910 d: 25 Jun 1953
Bailey's - Paternal 2nd great-granduncle

My research on Hughey has taken a lot of twists and turns and there are still a lot of blanks to fill in. The mystery is what intrigues me and brings me back to re-examine his file, hoping a new clue will jump out and reveal the answers.

Hughey Dent Wilson and his twin brother Samuel Mallory were born on March 17, 1910, in Conecuh County, Alabama. His father, William LeGrande Wilson, was born in 1863. His mother, Lenora Elizabeth Blair, was born 07 Mar 1875.

Hughey married Lenora Lea Fields and they had two children together.  Lenora Lea was born 21 Jul 1912 in Conecuh County, Alabama.  She died 18 Dec 1979 in Pensacola, Escambia, Florida.

Hughey also had one daughter with Louise Carol DeCarlo. Louise Carol was born 24 Jun 1927 and died 08 Mar 1983 in Riverside, California.

Hughey died on June 25, 1953, in Whistler, Alabama, at the age of 43. Place of burial listed on the death certificate is New Hope Cemetery, Wheelerville, AL. Several people have searched for his grave without any success.

Hughey Wilson 1930 US Federal Census

 In the 1930 Federal Census Hughey is in his Aunt's household. He is listed as 20 years old, married, and nephew to the head of the household. The location of the census is Mobile, Alabama. I have not found documentation of his marriage to Lenora Lee Fields. Hughey and Lenora's marriage should be sometime in 1929. I have been searching in the Mobile and Conecuh, County, Alabama area.

Lenora Lee (Nora) Fields Wilson: 1930 and 1940 US Federal Census

The 1930 Federal Census for Lenora Lee has her listed in the household with her mother. She is listed as Nora Wilson ,16 years old, and married. Her marriage age is listed as 15 years old. The location of the census is listed as Centerville, Conecuh, Alabama.

The 1940 US Federal Census from Centerville, Conecuh, Alabama also has Nora and three children in the household with her mother. All three children are listed as "Wilson's".  The children are Burton, Charles, and Shirley. We only knew of Burton and Charles as Hughey's children.  The third child.....Shirley..... is one year old.  Is this Hughey's child? Next question.....where was Hughey? I have not found a 1940 census for him. Strange.....I have never found Hughey and Lenora (Nora) in the same household.

I located Hughey's US World War II draft card dated 16 Oct 1940. He was in Akron, Summit, Ohio and listed his sister, Mrs. Buress May McPherson, as person who would always know his address. Buress May was living in Akron, Ohio at the time. I found her 1940 census but Hughey was not listed. We know he was in Ohio at the time so I will keep searching. Why was he in Ohio ...... Lenora (Nora) and the children were in Alabama in her mom's household?

Hughey Dent Wilson: US World War II Draft Card

Hughey and Louise Carol DeCarlo's daughter was born in Georgia.  They were together in Whistler, Al when he died in 1953.......I will keep searching.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Trantham Family: The Belle Of The Civil War - Great Grandmother Eliza

Elizabeth Ann Trantham b:1842 d:1930
Bailey's - Paternal 3rd great-grandmother

Note from Robert: This is a follow up to my prior post.....The Northern Italy Connection

Welcome to the second installment of the "Bernero's" of the mid south. As you can see I have dedicated this narrative to Eliza, the matriarch of the clan.

In the first story I wrote of reports of Eliza's heroics during the civil war. Her story had been passed down thru the generations, mostly told on front porches during hot summers.

Good news! Louise has discovered Eliza's obituary printed in the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper. The headline of the obit reads, BELLE OF CIVIL WAR DAYS. This document validates her bravery crossing Union lines to "smuggle quinine and other medicines to retreating Confederate forces". "Aunt Ann",  as she was known by family, vividly details the events of those times. Her destination, south of Memphis, was Nonconnah Creek. A place I fished as a boy.

"Aunt Ann", along with Frank, raised a family of nine children. By all accounts she was a driving force and admired by all that knew her. ...... by: Robert Bernero

Eliza Trantham Bernero: Obituary in Memphis, TN Commercial Appeal 1930

Note from Louse: Thanks to Cecil Vaden, Jr. for forwarding a copy of this article he found in a family members documents .

Transcription of this article: 

Belle Of Civil War Days Dies, Aged 90 - Mrs. Bernero Witnessed the Capture of Memphis

"Aunt Ann" Bernero, 90, who risked capture by Union troops to smuggle quinine and other medicines to the retreating Confederate forces, as did many other brave southern women, died at the home of her son, F.W. Bernero, 221 South Driver Street, at 6:50 o'clock last night.

The end came quietly as family members were seated around her bedside. For over two years she has been in ill health and has been bed-ridden one year.

Her name was Mrs. Eliza Ann Bernero, but she was "Aunt Ann" to the hundreds who knew her. Her husband, Frank Bernero, who was in the grocery business during Civil War days with the late Louis Vaccaro, died 30 years ago.

Born In Weakley County.

Mrs. Bernero was born May 31, 1840, in Weakley County, Tennessee, but spent most of her life in Memphis. Her father, John Trantham, operated a livery stable in Memphis.

She was the mother of five children, F.W., L.E. and T.E. Bernero of Memphis; Mrs. L.F.Taylor, Haskell, Texas, and Mrs. D.E. Johnson, Mexia, Texas.

Mrs. Johnson came to visit her mother two weeks ago and was at her bedside last night.

Mrs. Taylor will not be able to attend the funeral, her husband, a physician, wired. The shock proved too great for Mrs. Taylor, who has been in ill health herself for the last several months.

Burial Today.

"Aunt Ann" often spoke of her wartime experiences, her son, F.W. Bernero, recalled last night.

"Memphis was captured by the Federal forces and their outposts were as far out as Nonconnah. The Confederate soldiers had retreated to near the Mississippi line and Federal officers forbade medicines or money to be sent them." 

"Mother, though, would conceal quinine and other medicines and money in her hair, mount a horse and go right on through the Federal lines. They never did bother her. Sometimes she would make the trip in a rig."

McDowell & Monteverde are in charge of funeral arrangements. Burial will be in the family lot at Bethel, Mississippi, with services at the Bethel Cemetery, at 3:30 o'clock this afternoon.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Bernero Family: The Northern Italy Connection

Frank Bernero b:1840 d:1898
Bailey's - Paternal 3rd great-grandfather

The beginning of our limb of the West Tennessee/Northwest Mississippi Bernero's tree can be blamed on Great Granddaddy Frank Bernero.

The story goes……he left his native Genoa, Italy at the ripe old age of 10 or 14 years old and paid his passage to the new world via New Orleans, Louisiana. The New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 has F. Bernero arriving, on the ship Silenzio, from Genoa, Italy 6 Mar 1854.

New Orleans, Passenger Lists, 1820-1945

His journey led him to the port city of Louisville, Kentucky where according to the 1860 census he listed his occupation as a “Riverman”. Speculation has it on one of his many adventures on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers he landed at Memphis, Tennessee. There he met and married a Civil War heroine name Elizabeth (Eliza) Ann Trantham. They were married April 24, 186l………. 12 days after the outbreak of the Civil War.

Frank and Eliza Marriage License, TN, Marriage Records, 1780-2002.
 Eliza's last name is incorrect on the document.

According to a family story, a Memphis newspaper published an article about Eliza's Civil War experiences. She told of smuggling much-needed medicines, hidden in her clothes, through the Union lines around Memphis to the Confederate forces south of the city. We have not found this article, if it exist, yet.....but we are searching.

Frank and Eliza settled in Desoto County, Mississippi where they farmed and operated a family owned country store. As time went by they had 9 children. One of the boys, Tony, was my grandpa. The 1900 census lists Eliza as mother of 9 children………5 living. Frank died in 1898 and Eliza in 1929.

For the most part Frank can be proud of his descendants. Some died defending his new country, others prospered and led productive lives and one played drums for Elvis……..another story for another time!………….What a legacy!………written by: Robert L. Bernero

Note From Louise: This was one of the first ancestors I started researching. I was fascinated by the story of a young child traveling to New Orleans from Genoa, Italy in 1854. His parents were not with him. Perhaps someone on the ship was related. I am still searching for clues.