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.