Saturday, November 7, 2020

Grandma's Kelvinator

My grandparents built a new kitchen in 1950 and got their first refrigerator.  It was a Kelvinator brand.  It said "Kelvinator" right on the front, so that's what they called it.  They called EVERY refrigerator the Kelvinator.  As a kid, I had to learn their lingo!

Here's my grandmother, Nora Bessie McNeil Snyder (1900 - 1992) of Millers Creek, Wilkes County, NC with a Kelvinator. She was surprised to have her photo taken! 

I love these old photos showing everyday life instead of everyone always in their Sunday best.  She's wearing a house dress which was her normal attire Monday through Saturday.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Tom in his pith helmet and wearing overalls

Sorting through family photos, I found a couple of gems.  Here's a photo of my grandfather wearing his pith helmet and another in which he's wearing overalls.

He always wore these items around the farm, but he dressed up on Sundays and almost all our photos were taken on Sunday.  He taught Sunday school at Pleasant Home Baptist Church.  Family often visited on Sundays.

This is Wiley Thomas Snyder (1892 - 1988) of Millers Creek, Wilkes County, NC.

Abt. 1950. Back: Tom, Nora, Carrie. Front: Ralph, Kathy, Bette

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Last Civil War Pensioner - Irene Triplett in Wilkes County

Headlines in major newspapers and genealogy blogs shared the obituary of the last person who was collecting a pension from the U.S. Civil War.  She was Irene Triplett (1930 - 2020) of Wilkes County, N.C.

I'm related to many people in Wilkes.  Am I related to Irene?  I added her to my tree, traced her ancestors, and found that she was the 2nd great-niece of the wife of my 1st cousin 5x removed.  So not a close relative, but still connected. 

You can read more about Irene at Judy G. Russell, “RIP Irene Triplett,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 3 June 2020).

Irene's father, Moses Triplett (1846 - 1938), served in several companies in both the Confederate and Union armies.  His pension was for the Union, but he started out in Company K of the 53rd N.C. Infantry, C.S.A. - the same company my great-great-grandfather Thomas C.B. Whittington served in.  So they clearly knew each other.  Many men from Wilkes served in that company.

Reference: Weymouth T. Jordan Jr., editor, North Carolina Troops 1861-1865 A Roster, Vol. XIII  (1993; reprint, Raleigh, N.C.: North Carolina Office of Archives and History, 2004), 168, entry for Moses Triplett. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Share a Childhood Memory

Randy Seaver's "Genea-Musings" mission for us this week is:

Your Mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

Have you written your memoirs yet? If so, please share with us one story from your childhood. If not, then start your memoirs! The story could be a memory of your family life, your schoolwork, your neighborhood, etc. It doesn't have to be a certain length-- just something you recall.

Here's my story:

Kindergarten 1960
As an only child, I stayed at home with my mother all day, every day.  Daddy went to work, the neighbor children went to school, but I had to stay at home.  When I was only four, my mother decided I was ready for kindergarten.  Or maybe she just wanted to get me out from underfoot!   

In 1960, there was no public kindergarten in North Carolina.  My mother figured that if I had to drop out or repeat the class in private school, it wouldn’t be on my permanent record.  I was born in late October, so I had just missed the cut-off.  I wasn’t that much younger than some of the other children.

So in the fall of 1960, I started kindergarten at First Presbyterian Church School in Winston-Salem.  I loved every single thing about kindergarten!

I loved going somewhere every day.
I loved being around other children, who wanted to play and be silly like I did.
I loved singing songs and listening to stories.
I loved playing outside and racing around.
I loved learning colors and letters and numbers.

For nap time, we had to bring a bath towel from home and lay on it on the floor.  We didn’t have to go to sleep, but we had to lie down and be quiet.  I distinctly remember lying there thinking what fun I was having at kindergarten!

The only problem was that I was very envious of another little girl’s hair.  I had short blond wavy hair.  She had very long, smooth, dark brown hair.  And she sometimes wore it plaited into two pigtails.  I was so envious, my little 5-year-old self couldn’t stand it!  So one day, I dipped her pigtails in paint.  She swung her head, the pigtails went flying, and so did the paint!

Despite that incident, the next year, I started first grade.  School was not nearly as much fun.  It was work!
I'm seated in the front row, 5th from left. The girl with the pigtails is 2 seats to my right.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

1950 Mardi Gras - Krewe of Adonis Float - Carrie Snyder

70 years ago, Mardi Gras 1950, my mother rode on the Krewe of Adonis float! She was a nurse in Charity Hospital, New Orleans, in the polio ward from July 1949 to April 1950. The debutantes who were supposed to ride on the float were worried about the polio epidemic, so the leaders asked nurses to ride the floats.  This is the telegram she received with the news.

She worked extra shifts and sent enough money home so that her father was able to build a kitchen and bathroom on the back of the farm house. He and his brothers did the construction and carpentry. Carrie’s money paid for the materials, the plumber, and the electrician.  The polio outbreak created an opportunity, and she risked her health to help her family. Here is a photo of her in her nurse's uniform.