52 Ancestors: #1 Laura Cecile Donald

My 52 Ancestors posts are going to focus on the women in my family tree.  Just to try something different.  I’ve discussed both of my grandmothers so I will start with my great grandmothers.

blog image

Granny Laura and her Dog, about 1950.  Granny was 73 years old.  This looks like it was taken at 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia.

Granny Laura and her Dog, about 1950. Granny was 73 years old. This looks like it was taken at 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia.

Great Granny Laura.  My father’s paternal grandmother.  One of my favorite pictures of her is the one with her dog which I think was taken around 1950.

She lived a good long life (1877-1964), 87 years all in Lexington, Virgina.1

Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald ca. 1894. I suspect that this is their wedding photo.

Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald ca. 1894. I suspect that this is their wedding photo.

She was married to Wyatt Paul Gillespie, merely 16 when they were married on January 24, 1894, in Lexington, Virginia.2 They were married for 47 years until his death 1941.She lived on her own for another 23 years.

She had 8 children: Minnie, Ashby, Eva, Clinton, Louise, Fred, Gilbert and Helen.4

The family lived at 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia from early in the 1900′s and it remained in the family until 2003.

She was the daughter of a Civil War Veteran who spent part of the war as part of Stonewall Jackson’s troops.  They are all buried within sight of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s grave.  I imagine she worked hard all her life, raising her children, keeping her husband’s house.  She lived through Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era.  She couldn’t vote until she was 42 years old when women were given the vote in 1920. She lived through Prohibition, survived the Great Depression.

And she was remembered fondly by everyone in the family who talked about her.

Footnotes

1. Find A Grave, digital images, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 2 Jan 2014), memorial page for Laura Cecile Donald Gillespie, Find A Grave Memorial no. 56061683, citing Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.
2. Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, Certification of Vital Records, Marriage Certificate, Wyatt Paul Gillespie, Laura Cecil (sic) Donald, 24 Jan 1894, Rockbridge, Virginia; Department of Health – Division of Vital Records, Richmond, Virginia.
3. Find A Grave, digital images, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 2 Jan 2014), memorial page for Wyatt Paul Gillespie, Find A Grave Memorial no. 56048050, citing Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.
4. Rockbridge, Virginia, Will Book 54:417-418, Wyatt Paul Gillespie Will, recorded 21 Feb 1941; Clerk of County Court, Lexington.

Tagged: , , , ,

6 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #1 Laura Cecile Donald

  1. Schalene Dagutis January 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm Reply

    I also love the photograph of your great grandmother on the porch. Who says it’s a “man and his dog.” ;) Can be a lovely woman, too.

    • Anne Gillespie Mitchell January 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm Reply

      And the women in my family have always been very attached to their canine friends. I’d be lost without mine!

  2. currentdescendent January 7, 2014 at 7:35 am Reply

    What a great idea!

  3. […] – “#1 Laura Cecile Donald” by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on Finding Forgotten […]

  4. Bernita Allen January 9, 2014 at 3:44 am Reply

    Great pictures, really enjoyed your story.

  5. The 52 Ancestors Challenge January 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm Reply

    […] “Laura Cecile Donald” by our own Ancestry Anne, Anne Gillespie Mitchell, on her blog “Finding Forgotten Stories.” Anne is taking the challenge one step farther and aims to focus solely on the females in her family tree. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,154 other followers

%d bloggers like this: