I created this blog to share stories and information about my maternal ancestors from Wilkes County, North Carolina. My mother, grandmother, and other relatives shared many family stories with me. As I recall these stories, I will share my journey to find the truth, as well as genealogy tips I learn.
My grandparents, Wiley Thomas Snyder and Nora Bessie McNeil Snyder, lived for a few years in Winston-Salem. Tom bought this house on October 2, 1916, with a mortgage, for $1,415. He wrote Nora that he had “a mighty grand house” with a “fine location, city water, and electric lights.” In this photograph of the house, Nora is on the right, with Tom and their sister-in-law, Myrtle Snyder (Will’s wife). Tom bought 721, while Will and Myrtle lived next door at 719 Devonshire Street.
While serving in the U.S. Army in WWI, he rented out the house. Six weeks after his discharge in 1919, he married Nora and they moved into the house. The house still exists today! The street was renumbered so it's no longer 721.
Forsyth County, NC,
deeds, 1849-1927, 148: 143, H. A. Pfohl et al to W. T. Snider, 2 Oct 1916;
NC state archives microfilm C.038.40067.
Here is the newspaper article about their wedding, followed by the photo taken on their wedding day.
[Wedding announcement in the Hustler newspaper in North Wilkesboro, April 18, 1919, page 1,
home wedding was solemnized at the home of the bride's father, Mr. G. T.
McNeil, April 16th, 1919.Miss Nora
McNeil became the bride of Mr. W. T. Snider, son of Mr. and Mrs. N. G. Snyder
of Millers Creek, one of Winston's mechanics just returned from France, of the
81st Division.The bride is one of
Millers Creek's most beautiful and esteemed young ladies.
present were Rev. and Mrs. R. F. Jarvis, of Adley, Mr. and Mrs I. R. Vannoy, of
Wilbar, Messrs. J. B. and Jess Snyder, brothers of the groom.After the ceremony by Rev. R. F. Jarvis they
were ushered into the dining room where a most luxurious dinner was served.
couple left by auto for Wilkesboro to leave on the two-thirty train for his
beautiful new home in Winston-Salem.
good wishes from their friends of Millers Creek.
Nora sewed her dress by hand. Her maternal grandfather, Rev. Richard Franklin Jarvis, conducted the service at his home in Wilkes County. I'm sure his wife, Nora's grandmother, Martha Ann Pardue Jarvis, was there too. Other people mentioned in the article:
G.T. McNeil was George Thomas McNeil, Nora's father. I'm sure his wife, Nora's mother, Clara Eva Hettie Ellen Jarvis McNeil attended too!
Mr. and Mrs. N.G. Snyder were Nicholas Grindstaff Snyder and his wife, Louise Jane Whittington Snyder..
Mr. and Mrs. I.R. Vannoy were Isaac Ransom Vannoy and his wife, Ila Margaret McNeil Vannoy, his wife (Nora's oldest sister).
Mr. J.B. Snyder was John B. Snyder, Tom's brother, who had just been discharged from the Army after serving in France.
Mr. Jess Snyder was Tom's younger brother (too young to serve in the Army).
Tom is now back at his home on Devonshire Street in Winston-Salem. He is very
excited about his upcoming wedding.Tom
father, George Thomas McNeil, was sickly but survived until 1930.
Jess was one
of Tom’s younger brothers.
maternal grandfather, Rev. Richard Franklin Jarvis, would conduct the service.
Mr. Fisher rented
Tom’s house in Winston-Salem while Tom was in the Army.
brother Will and his wife Myrtle lived right next door.
The job Tom
would return to was at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem.
Devonshire St, Winston-Salem, N.C.
landed ok but I am not satisfied without you. Certainly do hope you are well
and all.The rest of your people hope
your father is better by now.I was over
town today and picked out our stuff and will get it now or wait until you come
either way.I much rather you would see
it first before we get it.Anyway you
say suits me you know. Did Jess give you your ring?I hope he did. You wear it every day
for it is
solid gold. Now you be sure and let your Grandpaw know what time to come over
to marry us and don't you fix up no large amount for dinner unless you want to for
it is too much trouble. Listen, I've got more stamps than I knew and I am going
to send you some and don't think hard of me. I've already told Mr. Fisher to
move out of our house. He did hate to get out so bad I felt sorry for them but
we have got to have it. So happy will we
be.No one can tell my two bands now
that we have on hand would now cost $100.00 dollars.
Will is so glad I am going to get married. Don't be uneasy about me going with
the girls down here for I won't go with any one [of] them for I think too much
of you to do that and besides all of my
love is for you and all ways will be and no one else.I am
going to work Monday at 38₵ an hour at my same job I left behind go to France. I
don't know how I am going to stay down here until Easter without you but I will
tough it out some way maybe. Ha"I
will put in one of them pictures but they are not good ones.
Are we going
to stick to what we said about writing such long letters.That will just suit me for I am no and to
write letters anyway, long ones specially. I couldn't get my letter off in time
for you to get it Sat. [I] don't think, for I don't know how the mail is
running.Now [I] hope you will get this
one Sat. morn.You ought to so if you go
to the box supper think of me. So I will stop this time.Hoping to hear from you soon. Remember the
16th day of April and write me soon as you can.
Tom hasn't gotten any mail from home since he left the U.S. on July 31, 1918, over 6 months ago. He doesn't know if his brother John (also serving in the U.S. AEF in Europe) is safe or not. He sent this postcard to Nora from the Army hospital at Camp Lee, N.J.
[Postmark: Feb 9, 1919]
Miss Nora MeNiell, Millers Creek, N.C.
Hello Nora, Am now at Camp Lee, Va. Base Hospital Ward 26. Write me soon. Haven’t heard from you since I left the States. Am real anxious to hear from you. Mech W. T. S.
Tom’s service record shows he served overseas from July 31, 1918 to January 25, 1919. That means he boarded a ship to Europe on July 31 and returned to American soil on January 25, which is 5 months and 25 days. He sent this postcard on the very day he returned.
Miss Nora McNeill, Millers Creek, N.C.
Well I am glad to say I am in N.Y. City at the present time and going to Camp Merritt N.J. Will write you soon. Sweet
Wiley Thomas Snyder was
honorably discharged on March 3, 1919 at Camp Lee, N.J.He was a Mechanic in Co. D, 321st Infantry. Tom’s total
service from induction to discharge was one year, 5 months, 13 days.Below are his discharge papers (one paper,
front and back).