Saturday, August 31, 2013

Grandma's Photo Album Page 20 - Snyders and Bumgarners in Wilkes County, NC

(Left) The Greene Bumgarner Family, about 1923, probably taken in Wilkes County, N.C.
Greene's full name was Richard Greene Bumgarner (1890-1976), son of Daniel Bumgarner and Elizabeth Elvira McNeil.
His wife was Mary Snyder (1885-1984), oldest child and only daughter of Nicholas Grindstaff Snyder and Louise Jane Whittington.  Mary was very tall - almost 6 feet.
Greene and Mary had 2 children:
  1. Agnes Hazel Bumgarner Douthit Fearrington (1919-2003)
  2. Elva Elizabeth Bumgarner Golden (1924-2007)
Elva appears to be about 2 years old in this photo.

(Middle) Four Snyder Brothers, sons of Nick and Lou in the photo on the right.  I believe this photo was taken at Tom's homeplace in Millers Creek, Wilkes County, N.C., which he bought in 1925.
Left to right:
  1. Roby Brown Snyder (1887-1980).
  2. John B. Snyder (1894-1969).  John served in the U.S. Army in WWI.
  3. Wiley Thomas "Tom" Snyder (1892-1988) in his WWI U.S. Army uniform.
  4. Russell Jess Snyder (1896-1984).
Five of Nick and Lou's nine children appear in these photos.  The missing children are:
  1. William Eugene "Willie" Snyder (1890-1969) lived in Winston-Salem, N.C., and worked for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
  2. Donald Vance Snyder (1903-1986) lived in Millers Creek, Wilkes County, N.C. 
  3. Dewey (1900-1906) died of appendicitis.
  4. An unnamed son died at birth in 1905.

(Right) Nick and Lou, parents of the Snyder brothers in the middle photo and Mary Snyder Bumgarner in the left photo.

Nicholas Grindstaff Snyder (1863-1944) was the son of Noah Snider and Sarah "Sallie" Stout.
Louise Jane Whittington (1863-1933) was the daughter of Thomas C.B. Whittington and Elizabeth Jane "Kate" Faw.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Grandma's Photo Album - Page 19 - Jenie Sebastian, Eula and Ila Vannoy, Tom and Neil Snyder

(Left) Mary Lougenie "Genie" McNeil Sebastian (1908-1966).  She looks young, so I'm guessing this photo was taken in the 1920's in Wilkes County, N.C.

Genie was my grandmother Nora's sister.  Genie was the twin sister of Mattie Lodemie "Demie" McNeil Snyder (1908-1997).  The twins married in a double ceremony on December 23, 1928.(1,2,3)  (Demie married Donald Vance Snyder (1903-1986), my grandfather's brother.)

Genie and Paul had 3 children.  Genie died at age 58 of cancer.(4)  I'm sure I met her, but I really don't remember her.

(Middle)  Eula Mae Vannoy Sharpe (1920-1993) and her mother, Ila Margaret McNeil Vannoy (1898-1983).  Eula was Ila and Isaac Vannoy's oldest child.  Ila was my grandmother's oldest sister.  Eula was born in August 1920, so this photo was probably taken in late 1920 or 1921.

(Right) My grandfather, Wiley Thomas Snyder, with his son James Neil Snyder (1922-1993).  This photo was taken at Waughtown Cemetery, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, N.C., about 1923.  They are at the grave of Tom's first child, Wiley Thomas Snyder, Jr. who died at the age of six weeks in 1921 (5).  See his Find-a-Grave memorial here.  Wiley was "found dead in bed." 

(1) Wilkes County, North Carolina, Marriage Registers, 1870-1965, 4: n.p., Sebastian-McNeil; NC
Archives microfilm C.104.63001.

(2) Wilkes County, North Carolina, Marriage Registers, 1870-1965, 4: n.p., Snyder-McNeil; NC Archives microfilm C.104.63001.
(3) Carrie Disher (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) to Barbara McGeachy, letter, 27 Dec 1999; privately held by McGeachy.
(4) Wilkes County, North Carolina, death certificate no. 31405 (1966), Mary Lougenie [McNeil] Sebastian; digital image, Operations Inc, "North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975," ( : accessed 15 Jun 2011). 
(5) Forsyth County,  North Carolina, death certificate no. 142 (1921), Wiley T. Snyder, Jr; digital image, Operations, Inc., "North Carolina Death Certificates 1909 - 1975," ( : accessed 01 Feb 2012).

Grandma's Photo Album - Page 18 - Rev. and Mrs. Eller, Tom & Nora Snyder, Nora's Brother Lawrence Bud Mac McNeill

(Top left) Dolphus Eller is seated on the left, with his wife behind him.  Tom Snyder is seated on the right, with his wife Nora behind him.  I believe this photo was taken in Millers Creek, Wilkes County, N.C., probably in the 1930s.

Tom and Nora were my grandparents.  They were Wiley Thomas Snyder (1892-1988) and Nora Bessie McNeil Snyder (1900-1992).  Dolphus was Rev. Adolphus Worth Eller (1898-1966).  Mrs. Eller was born Ethel Elnora Wells (1899-1979).  Dolphus was Nora's 2nd cousin.

It must be a Sunday, since Tom is wearing a dress shirt and slacks, instead of the overalls he wore Monday through Saturday for farm work.  My guess is that the Snyders invited the Ellers to Sunday dinner (right after church).  Actually, I just learned that this is a photo of the A.W. Eller homeplace, so maybe the Snyders went to lunch at the Ellers'.  Tom and Nora's daughter Carrie (my mother) said whenever they had guests, Nora fried chickens.  They gave the breast pieces to the guests, then the other adults chose the next best pieces, so the kids got the least favorite pieces (the neck being the worst).  Carrie always ordered fried chicken breast!

Dolphus and Ethel are buried in Arbor Grove Methodist Cemetery, whereas Tom and Nora were lifelong Baptists, so Dolphus wasn't their preacher, but was a neighbor and relative.

Dolphus and Ethel were the parents of the triplets, Billie J., Betty Jo, and Bobby Jean, whose sad story I told in this blog post.

(Top right) Tom and Nora with their 3 oldest surviving children.  Left to right: Tom, Mozelle, Carrie in front, Nora, Neil.

This photo was taken about 1931 (from the ages of the children) on Tom and Nora's farm in Millers Creek.  I recognize their barn in the background, along with the garage and chicken coop.

Along with Tom and Nora, Carrie Mae Snyder Disher (1926-2001) and James Neil Snyder (1922-1993) have passed on.

(Bottom left)  Photo taken on 25 Aug 1933 in Wilkes County, North Carolina, at the Reddies River Primitive Baptist Church (near Wilbar).  This is the grave of Louise Jane Whittington Snyder (1863-1933) on the day of her funeral.  She was Tom's mother.

(Bottom right) "Lawrence at the homeplace that burned."  This is Nora's brother John Richard Lawrence McNeil (1911-1974).  She called him Lawrence, but others called him Bud or Mac. Lawrence is wearing the overalls that Wilkes County men wore to do farm work.  I belied this phot was taken in the late 1920's (or early 1930's) in Wilkes County, N.C.

Lawrence led an interesting life.  Unlike most of my family, he left Wilkes County.  But before leaving, he married Alma Adelaide Adams (1910-1998) in 1929 and they had 3 children:
  1. Billie Jeanette McNeil Millen (1930-2013)
  2. Jewel Dean McNeil Brown (1933-2007)
  3. Richard Jerry McNeil (1935-2012)
They were divorced in 1942.  Alma remained in Wilkes County with the kids, and Lawrence moved to California.  He lived in San Francisco the rest of his life, marrying two more times.  He changed the spelling of his last name to McNeill.
He married Vera Mae Wheeler Trahan (1916-1953) in 1944.  She was a divorcee from Texas with a son and daughter.   Lawrence married Esther Marie Cassady Stewart (1917-2000) in 1956.  He did not have any children with his second and third wives.

I don't remember the story of the burned homeplace.  Since Nora said it was the "homeplace," I believe it was the home of her parents, George Thomas McNeil (1870-1930) and Clara Eva Hettie Ellen Jarvis McNeil (1873-1959), in Millers Creek.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Grandma's Photo Album - Page 17 - Tom Snyder family, Horse & buggy days, Nick Snyder 1933

(Top left) Tom and Nora Snyder's five children who lived beyond infancy.  Tom (Wiley Thomas Snyder 1892-1988) and Nora (Nora Bessie McNeil Snyder 1900-1992) were my grandparents. 

I'm sure Tom took this photo in front of their farm house in Millers Creek, Wilkes County, N.C.  Since the youngest is a baby, I'm guessing this photo was taken about 1935.  Nora is at the back, but you can only see her from the neck down! 

The kids in the back row are, left to right:
  • James Neil Snyder (1922-1993), with his dog
  • Carrie Mae Snyder Disher (1926-2001).  She is hold the baby.
  • Mozelle Snyder (living)
In the front row, left to right:  Ralph Lewis Snyder (1932-1996) and the baby is Betty Snyder (living).

Carrie told me that about 1936, she was walking home from school when a neighbor lady called out:  "Carrie Mae, you better hurry on home!  Your mama and daddy got a big surprise waitin' for you!" 
Carrie's heart sank.  She walked home as slowly as she could because the last time the neighbor lady said that, there was a new baby at home that Carrie had to take care of.  But this time, the surprise was a radio!  What a wonderful treat!  All the neighbors came over to hear it.  Tom told the neighbors it didn't work at night, so they'd all go home and not hang around for supper!

(Top right) Tom would never let Nora drive a car, but she could drive a buggy!  Left to right:  Nora and her sisters Lacy McNeil Vannoy (1902-1990) and Ila McNeil Vannoy (1898-1983).  This photo was probably taken in Wilkes County, N.C. about 1920.

(Bottom left) This photo was missing in 1981 when my grandmother Nora told me who was in each photo.

(Bottom right) Another photo taken on the day of the funeral of my great-grandmother, Tom's mother, Louise Jane Whittington Snyder (1863-1933).  The funeral was August 25, 1933.  On the left is Granny Lou's son, Russell Jess Snyder (1896-1984), called Jess.  On the right is Louise's husband Nick (Nicholas Grindstaff Snyder 1863-1944). 

This photo was taken at Reddies River Primitive Baptist Church in Wilkes County, N.C.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Grandma's Photo Album - Page 16 - Snyders, McNeils, and Ellers in Wilkes County, NC

(Upper left) Photo taken 25 Aug 1933 in Wilkes County, North Carolina, at the Reddies River Primitive Baptist Church (near Wilbar).  This is Nicholas Grindstaff Snyder (1863-1944) at the funeral of his wife, Louise Jane Whittington Snyder (1863-1933).

(Upper right) Photo taken about 1924.  This is Toyce Etta McNeil Snyder (1905-1969) and her nephew, James Neil Snyder (1922-1993).  This photo was taken at the farm in Winston-Salem that Jimmy's parents (Tom and Nora, who was Toyce's sister) bought in 1924 and sold in 1925.  The car belonged to Tom Snyder - it was a 1924 Ford -- at least, that's what Nora, my grandmother, told me in 1981!

Toyce later married Tom's brother John Snyder.

(Lower left)  This is the Don Snyder family, about 1930.  This photo was taken in the front yard of my grandparent's farm in Millers Creek, Wilkes County, NC.
Donald Vance Snyder (1903-1986)
Mattie Lodemia "Demie" McNeil Snyder (1908-1997)
Clara Louise Snyder Church (1930-1998)

Don was grandfather's brother (my grandfather was Wiley Thomas "Tom" Snyder (1892-1988).)
Demie was my grandmother's sister (my grandmother was Nora Bessie McNeil Snyder (1900-1992).
So Clara was the double-first cousin of my mother and her siblings.

(Lower right)  The Eller twins with the three youngest children of Tom and Nora Snyder.  This photo was taken about 1940 in the front yard of my grandparents farmhouse the A.W. Eller homeplace in Millers Creek.
Left to right:  An Eller twin, Ralph Lewis Snyder (1932-1966), Kathy, Bette, Eller twin.

I believe these Eller twins are Betty Jo and Bobby Jean Eller, born 19 Aug 1930 in Wilkes County to Rev. Adolphus Worth Eller and Edith Wells Eller.  If so, these girls died on the same day -- 12 Apr 1962, in Morganton, Burke, North Carolina, at Broughton Hospital.  That was the state mental hospital for the western counties.  They were diagnosed with schizophrenia; cause of death undetermined after an autopsy.  They actually were triplets -- their brother Billie J. Eller was stillborn.  What tragedy this family suffered!

References: North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Betty Jo Eller, died 12 Apr 1962, Morganton, Burke, N.C.  Death Certificate No. 13725.
Bobbie Jean Eller, died 12 Apr 1962, Morganton, Burke, N.C.  Death Certificate No. 13726.
Billie J. Eller, died 19 Aug 1930, Wilkes County, N.C.  Death Certificate No. 596.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Grandma's Photo Album - Page 15 - Three Generations: James Neil Snyder, Wiley Thomas Snyder, and Louise Whittington Snyder

(Left)  James Neil Snyder (1922-1993), called Neil by his parents, and Jimmy by most other people.  He was a toddler, so I'm guessing this snapshot was taken about 1924.  He and his parents, Tom and Nora Snyder, were living in Winston-Salem at this time (until they moved to Wilkes County in 1925).  Jimmy grew up and joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939 and made a career of it.

(Middle)  Wiley Thomas "Tom" Snyder (1892-1988) and his mother, Louise Jane Whittington Snyder (1863-1933).  They were both born and died in Wilkes County, N.C.  Tom was about 5'8" tall, and Granny Lou was 4'9".  Tom is very dressed up with a bow tie and a fancy hat, with his pocket watch.

This photo is difficult to date.  Tom was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from September 1917 to March 1919.  Then he got married in April 1919.  I cannot see a wedding ring on his left hand.  He was wounded and lost weight during the war, so I don't think the photo was taken in March/April 1919.  I think this photo was taken before his Army induction in September 1917, but I cannot date it more specifically.

(Right) Photo was missing in 1981 when I interviewed my grandmother and wrote down all the names.