Wisdom Wednesday — Wyatt and Laura

Wyatt Paul Gillespie, son of Jeremiah Gillespie and Mary E Gillespie,  was born on July 15, 1865 in Amherst County, Virginia.

Laura Cecil Donald, daughter of James Calvin Donald and Elizabeth Jane Wallace, was born on February 13, 1877 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

They were married January 24, 1894 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.  How they met is not known, at least to me.  Wyatt was 28 and Laura was almost 17 when they married. 1 I suspect the picture below was taken around the time of there wedding.

Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald ca. 1894

They had 8 children, all born in Lexington, Virginia:

  • Minnie Maude Gillespie (1897 – 1958 )
  • Ashby Paul Gillespie (1899 – 1967)
  • Eva Dold Gillespie (1901 – 1992)
  • Clinton Clifton Gillespie (1904 – 1990)
  • Louise Graham Gillespie (1907 – 1997)
  • Fred Douglas Gillespie (1910 – 1974)
  • Gilbert McClung Gillespie (1914 – 2003)
  • Helen Mae Gillespie (1918 – 2002)
Family of Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald Gillespie ca. 1925-1930

They purchased the land at 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia in 1907 and built the house on it in 1908.  The house was owned by someone in the family until Gilbert’s death in 2003.  The house was sold and moved.  The land is now occupied by medical offices. 2

Wyatt died on July 15, 1941 at the age of 75.  Laura lived for another 23 years and died at the age of 87 on August 23, 1964.  They are both buried in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery in Lexington Virginia.  Minnie, Eva, Fred and Gilbert are buried there as well. 3

Gravestone of Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Donald Gillespie; Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia

Footnotes

1. Virginia, Virginia Department of Health, Certification of Vital Records, Marriage Certificate, Wyatt Paul Gillespie, Laura Cecil Donald, 24 Jan 1894, Rockbridge, Virginia
2. Anne Gillespie Mitchell, “108 Houston Street,” Finding Forgotten Stories blog (http://www.finding-forgotten-stories.com  accessed : 1 Aug 2012); published deed of land purchase.
3. Findagrave.com, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 6 Aug 2010), memorial page for Wyatt Paul Gillespie, Find A Grave Memorial no. 56048050, citing Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.

Treasure Chest Thursday — One Document Defines Them All

Some documents are like a really great Christmas, they just have everything in them that you need.  This Deed of Conveyance 1 defines quite nicely Wyatt Paul and Laura Donald Gillespie’s children, their children’s spouses and Wyatt and Laura’s death.

In Wyatt’s will he left the house at 108 Houston Street to his wife, and upon her death to his two single daughters, Minnie Maude and Eva Dold.

Wyatt died, testate, February 19, 1941 and his wife Laura, died, intestate, August 23, 1964. 2 He states in his will, which is quoted in the Deed, that upon the death of his wife he leaves the property and house at 108 Houston Street to his two daughters Minnie M Gillespie and Eva D Gillespie. 3. Minnie died on Apr 1, 1958 4 leaving Eva as the only heir for the property.

The deed then instructs that his property, other than the land and house, should be sold off upon the death of his wife and that $25 should be given to his daughter Louise Montgomery and the rest be divided between his three daughters Misses Eva D, Minnie M, and Helen and his four sons, Clinton, Ashby P, Fred and Gilbert. 5

The rest of the deed is the release from the remaining brothers and sisters, their respective spouses, and their residences in 1965, who are as follows:

  • Ashby P Gillespie and his wife Margaret M of Newport News, Virginia,
  • Clinton C Gillespie and his wife Ernestine of Portsmouth, Virginia,
  • Fred D Gillespie and his wife Eleanor K of Rockbridge County, Virginia,
  • Gilbert M Gillespie and his wife Ann Irene, of Graham County, North Carolina,
  • Louise Montgomery (widow) of Shelby County, Tennessee, and
  • Helen Gillespie Keezel and her husband John Calvin Keezel, of Rockbridge County, Virginia.6

So we’ve learned a bit about Wyatt and Laura and their family:

  • They had at least eight children, and the eight listed were alive when Wyatt wrote his will,
  • If there were other children, then they died without any living heirs,
  • When Wyatt wrote his will, Louise was married and by 1965 she was a widow,
  • Helen was married between the time her father wrote his will and her mother’s death she married John Calvin Keezel,
  • Minnie died between the time her father wrote his will and 1965 (she died in 1958),
  • Wyatt wrote a will; Laura did not,
  • The deed for the property on which the 108 Houston Street House was built is recorded in Deed Book 102, page 467,
  • Wyatt’s will is recorded in Will Book 54, page 517,
  • In Wyatt’s will he specified that the “farm consisting of forty seven (47) acres, more or less, located at Poplar Hills one and one half miles southeast of Lexington, Va be sold at my death” and the proceeds be used to pay for his just debts and funeral expenses, the rest going to his wife,7
  • That when Minnie died, she left her mother as her sole and only heir, and
  • None of the property at 108 Houston Street had been sold at that time.8

So there are a few obvious things to do. Finding Wyatt’s will and more information about the property at Poplar Hills comes to mind.

And in one legal document we have learned and documented Wyatt’s family and some of their relationships.

Footnotes

1. Children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie, to Eva D Gillespie, Deed of Conveyance, March 15, 1965, copy, privately held by Anne Gillespie Mitchell, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], California, 2012; copy was handed down from my father, Gilbert M Gillespie, who probably received it from his father, who was one of the children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie.
2. Children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie to Eva Dold Gillespie, Deed of Conveyance, 1965, pp. 1 and 3.
3. Children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie to Eva Dold Gillespie, Deed of Conveyance, 1965, p. 2.
4. Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 25 Jul 2012), memorial page for Minnie Maude Gillespie, Find A Grave Memorial no. 94194861, citing Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.
5. Children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie to Eva Dold Gillespie, Deed of Conveyance, 1965, p. 3.
6. Children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie to Eva Dold Gillespie, Deed of Conveyance, 1965.
7. Children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie to Eva Dold Gillespie, Deed of Conveyance, 1965, p. 2.
8. Children of Wyatt Paul Gillespie to Eva Dold Gillespie, Deed of Conveyance, 1965, p. 3.

Tombstone Tuesday — I found my missing Stonewall Jackson Cemetery pics!

I could not remember where I had stashed these.  Eureka they have been found!

These are the tombstones for my previous entries on my Maiden Aunts:

Harriet Ann Gillespie, daughter of Jeremiah Gillespie and Mary E Gillespie, born Jun 14, 1853, Amherst, Virgina, died October 5, 1920, Lexington, Virginia.

Harriet Ann Gillespie’s tombstone, Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.

Minnie Maud Gillespie, daughter of Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald, born Jan 29, 1897, Lexington, Virginia, died March 1, 1958, Lexington, Virginia.

Minnie Maude Gillespie, Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia

Eva Dold Gillespie, daughter of Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald, born July 15, 1901, Lexington, Virginia, died April 13, 1992, Lexington, Virginia.

Eva Dold Gillespie, Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia

Treasure Chest Thursday — A Summer Day in 1944 at 108 Houston Street

This picture was found in some of my dad’s things:

Eva Gillespie and grandchildren of Wyatt and Laura Gillespie, about 1944

But who are these people and when was it taken?

The boy holding the dog is my father. The woman standing in the photo is my great aunt, Eva Gillespie.  The girl on her left is my Aunt Madeline, my father’s sister.

I talk to my cousins, and the adorable girl sitting on bench looking at the dog is my Aunt Martha, my father’s sister.  My cousin tells me she has a variation of this picture and on the back it says that Aunt Martha is 18 months old.

Martha Gillespie was born in December of 1942.  This means this picture was taken in 1944, most likely in June.   My father would have been almost 4 years old, and my Aunt Madeline would have been 7.  My Great Aunt Eva, would have been almost 43.

I would guess that the other two girls are about 3, and 5 or 6, meaning that they were born in 1941 and 1939.  They may be the youngest two girls of my Great Aunt Louis who married Milton Montgomery.

The children looked dressed up.  Easter was in April 9th that year.  Maybe it was just a Sunday.  Maybe they just always dressed nicely; after all, my Great Aunt appears to be wearing a house dress.

Another cousin has identified this as the house at 108 Houston Street.  It appears to be a lovely summer day in Lexington.

Sunday’s Obituary: Maiden Aunts and Bachelor Uncles — Eva Dold Gillespie

We called her Aunt Bebe.  My cousin tells me that someone from our parents generation could not pronounce Eva and it came  out as “bebe” and that’s how we knew her.

Eva Gillespie (1901 – 1992)

When my parents divorced she spent time with my Dad, sister and me making sure someone was there to take care of us.  She sewed clothes for us and our baby dolls.  And she taught in public schools for all her life.

She was born at the turn of the century on July 15, 1901, the third child of Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald.  She never married and stayed at home taking care of her parents and older sister Minnie who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.

Her parents bought their house on 108 Houston Street, Lexington, Virginia in 1907 when she was six and she lived there for the rest of her life.  Her brothers and sisters gave her the house in 1964 when her mother died.

She died on April 13, 1992 and was buried in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery  next to her parents.