Thursday, April 30, 2015
(Left) Aunt Ila with her first child, daughter Eula Mae.
Ila was my grandmother's sister. Her full name was Ila Margaret McNeil Vannoy (1898-1983). She married Isaac Ransom Vannoy (1894-1979). They operated a country store in Wilkes County.
Eula Mae became a cosmetologist. In February 1943, Eula Mae enlisted in the Womens' Army Corps as a private in the inactive reserve. Later in 1943, she married Atwell Sharpe (1922-1986). Atwell worked at Southern Bell for 41 years. He also was a veteran of World War II. They never had children.
(Right) Unknown child. If you have any ideas about who this is, please let me know!
Saturday, April 25, 2015
(Left) My grandfather training for World War I. He is in the middle; I have no idea who the other men are. He was Wiley Thomas Snyder (1892-1988), called Tom or W.T. He was drafted in 1917 and sent to Camp Jackson (now Fort Jackson) near Columbia, S.C. I believe this photo was probably taken at Camp Jackson where he was assigned for about 8 months. He wrote several letters from here to his future wife Nora:
27 Sep 1917 .. I am liking it all right. It is quite a sight to see 10,000 soldiers drilling....I get the blues sometimes and get with some of the boys and get to singing and I am all right...
2 Mar 1918 ...I am having a good time tonight making music. ..I am going to try to get a pass to come home next week... You know it's bad to be away from home especially in the camp in war times. I did want to see old John before he went away but guess he will be gone before I get to come home though... I sent one of my pictures home. They cost $10 a dozen... I am going to have one half dozen more printed and I will send you one.... Mechanic, W. T. Snyder
16 Mar 1918 ..Miss Nora, I am coming up next week and will bring my Kodak box and we will have some pictures made and I can get one of yours that way. Ha! ... Wish you was down here to go to the moving picture shows with me ever week. And Sat. nights they are good and something new every night...I and my church went to Columbia Park last Sat. Eve. And believe me we sure did have some more fun. We taken some pictures. I will send you one when they get back if they are good. I wish you could see that Park believe me they sure is something in there to see. Ostrich - about the size of a mule with feathers on them and wings too. I never saw such things in all day of my life. Their neck are 'bout long as you are 5' long or 5 1/2'...
7 April 1918 -- I saw John Sunday and was with him nearly all day...John and I are going into town next Saturday if he gets his uniform...
25 April 1918 ... I have got a new house and lot in Winston-Salem, but I had to go off and leave it but if I ever get back in civilian life I am going to get married and live right the rest of my life .. I like Army life very well so far if they wasn't any war...
5 May 1918...I am coming the first of July to stay 15 days. My Father got me a furlow ...We are going to be in Greenville first of June...John says he is going to France real soon. Well I will go in about three months I heard and we may go sooner. It's hard to tell. We can't tell from now on where we will stay at for the orders change so fast in the Army...
(Right) The two older children of my grandfather's brother, William Eugene Snyder ((1890-1969). He moved to Winston-Salem and worked for 40 years (1911-1951) at R.J. Reynolds' Tobacco Company. He was an Elder in the Reddies River Primitive Baptist Church in Wilkes County. Uncle Will married Myrtle Stewart (1897-1972) in 1913. They had 3 children. This photo is their two older children. Their third child, Nick, is still living.
The boy is William Eugene Snyder Jr (1917-1991). The girl is Ruth Mae Snyder (1920-1995). Based on their birth dates, I guess this photo was taken about 1922.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
My cousin David and I circa1960. I was about 5 and David was about 2 years old. We're standing on my front porch in Winston-Salem, N.C. We sure are all dressed up! My outfit was all white. David's suit was light blue. Too bad this photo is black and white -- the red brick would make a nice contrast. It's easy to see why my mother always made me change into play clothes as soon as I got home from church or school.
This page is in the part of the album that my grandmother didn't tell me about. I should have sat down with her another day to get the rest of the names, but it's too late now!
(Left) This child is possibly my grandmother's niece, Mildred Catherine Vannoy Steelman (1928-2005). She was called "Cat" and was a biology teacher at R.J. Reynolds' High School in Winston-Salem, N.C., for many years. In fact, she was my biology teacher one year! I never mentioned it to my friends, and since her last name was different, who would know? She was an excellent teacher and very fair (no preferential treatment for me!). Actually, I had a couple of teachers over the years who were relatives. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Sloan, was a cousin on my father's side. I guess that's pretty common really.
Cat's mother was Lacy Florence McNeil (1902-1998), my grandmother's sister. Cat's dad was William Raynor Vannoy (1898-1947). Cat was briefly married to a Mr. Steelman. I never met him or knew anything about him. She never had any children.
Cat lived with her mother in Winston-Salem. Cat's mother rented out rooms and also worked as a clerk in various stores, including a dry cleaners. My mother rented a room there in the early 1950's, and that's how my parents met. My father was dating Cat, and he met my mother through her. I don't know how Cat felt about that! I don't recall seeing Cat while my father was alive, but after he died, I remember Cat coming to our house, we all went out to dinner, etc. She and my mother kept in touch until my mother's death.
(Right) Unknown man. I showed this photo at a family reunion, and several people commented that he looks like a Snyder, but no one knew which one. So I guess he's somehow a descendant of our oldest known ancestor, Peter Snider (born about 1750 in what's now Germany; died about 1809 in Carter County, Tenn.). The Snyder features are a long face, high cheekbones, and a tall, thin frame.