Tag Archives: ann irene feazell

Sorting Saturday — Fun with Names using Wolfram

I was named for my two grandmothers, Ann Irene Feazell and Jennie Elizabeth Payne.  The name Ann seems to have no family connection that I can find, so I’m also curious as to why she was named Ann.  I found an app on my iPad that added some possible illumination: Wolfram styles itself as a Genealogy & History Research Assistant.

I choose Names History, and then First Name and enter my first name Anne

And then I “Compute”

My first name was chosen for my paternal grandmother, Ann Irene (no idea why mine is spelled with an ‘e’).  She was born in 1917. You’ll notice the name Anne had a surge in popularity at that time.  Is that why my great grandparents chose that name that was handed down to me? There is no known person that my grandmother was named for, so this is a likely possibility.

You can also find variations on names, which as we all know is incredibly useful to those  of us who are searching for those elusive ancestors.

Name Variatons

It doesn’t do all known name variations, but it gives you some good possibilities.

Fun little app.  Give it a try.  Inspiration comes from all sorts of places.

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.


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.

Sorting Saturday: Starting a Narrative Lineage

I am prepping for my first CG attempt, which I hope to start sometime this year.  One of the requirements is to write Narrative Lineage.  I’m going to practice writing one for my paternal paternal line.

Today, I’m going to write some informative paragraphs and a intro and end.  I’m quite sure I’ll rewrite them but it’s time to start. I’ve got a lot more detail to fill in the middle here. but what I am realizing is how much of this is what I know I do not have sources.  I need my grandfather’s birth certificate and marriage certificate, at the very least

So here goes.


Gilbert McClung Gillespie (1914 – 2003)

My paternal grandfather, Gilbert McClung GILLESPIE, was born on March 20, 1914 in Lexington, Virginia.1  He was the seventh of eight children born to Wyatt Paul GILLESPIE and Laura Cecile DONALD2 His father was born at the end of the Civil War in 1865 3; his mother was the daughter of veteran of the Stonewall Brigade.4 Lexington, his hometown, was the burial place of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E Lee.   He is buried in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia.

Over his lifetime he lived through WWI and II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. The Civil Rights movement and 9/11.  He raised 4 children and lived to see all 8 of his grandchildren. He had 12 great grandchildren, but he died in 2003 before most of them were born.

Family Photo of Wyatt Paul and Laura Cecile Donald Gillespie’s family

He died on November 21, 2003 at the age of 89 in Huddleston, Bedford, Virginia.  His youngest son, Paul, was with him when he died.  He was buried next to his wife, Ann Irene FEAZELL who had died twenty years earlier. 5



1. Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Jul 2012), entry for Gilbert M Gillespie, SS no. 224-03-0395.
2. I need my grandfather’s birth certificate to document this.
3. Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 6 Aug 2010), memorial page for Wyatt Paul Gillespie (1865 – 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56048050, citing Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia; the tombstone is for Wyatt Paul Gillespie and his wife Laura Cecile Donald.
4. This is actually a complicated footnote; leaving for later.
5. Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 6 Aug 2010), memorial page for Gilbert McClung Gillespie (1914 – 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56069420, citing Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia; the tombstone is for Gilbert McClung and his wife Ann Irene Feazell.

Treasures in a Box: Adam Franklin Feazell

This picture was buried in a box.  It’s the only picture I’ve ever seen of my great grandfather, Adam Franklin Feazell.  My cousin confirmed his identity.

This was a very good genealogy day.

Adam Franklin Feazell (1887 – 1947)

Adam Franklin Feazell was the son of John Draper FEAZELL and Idella Josephine SNAVELY.   He was born in Smyth County, Virginia on September 27, 1887 and die in Buena Vista, Virginia in 1947.

He married Clara Ellen HASH, and they had six children: Sarah Josephine FEAZELL, Ann Irene FEAZELL, Carl Vance FEAZELL, Maude Helen FEAZELL, Charles Edgar FEAZELL and Harry Louis FEAZELL.

Returned not used: How I Almost Wasn’t

Wyatt Paul GILLESPIE was born at the end of the Civil War; his wife to be, Laura Cecile DONALD was born 11 years later.  He grew up during Reconstruction and they lived their married life in Lexington, Virginia in the Jim Crow south. In 1907, for $400, they bought a home at 108 Houston Street from which you could see Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery and they were buried there, Wyatt in 1941 and Laura in 1964.

My father’s paternal grandparents were married on January 24th, 1894 in Lexington, Virginia.

Wyatt was 28, single, born in Amherst County, Virginia, son of Jerry (Jeremiah) and Mary E GILLESPIE. (Jeremiah and Mary E were first cousins. My family tree twists twice.  Don’t judge. 1)

Laura was 17, single, born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, daughter of James Calvin DONALD and Elizabeth WALLACE.2

Two people, single, get married and lived, happily or some variation of that, ever after. But, and isn’t there always a but, those who are truly experienced in the art of genealogy know to do an exhaustive search to find the entire story.  Wyatt actually has two marriage licenses.  One was used, one was not.

The mystery of Lillian M Hatcher

On January 16, 1893, in Buena Vista, Virginia which is an independent city in Virginia right outside of Lexington, Wyatt and Lillian M Hatcher, ages 27 and 21, respectively, he born in Amherst Co, she born in Bedford Co., applied for a marriage license.  It is marked as being returned on January 16, 1893.   But way over there on the right hand side of the page, it states “Returned not used.”  Why?  I will probably never know.3

Marriage application for Wyatt Gillespie and Lillian Hatcher; Returned not used.

Lillian gets married on November 7, 1898 in Bedford County, Virginia to Paul G Tankersley who was a widower. 4 So there was no tragic accident that prevented Lillian from marrying Wyatt. Why they didn’t marry is probably a mystery for the ages.

But what I do know is this, if Wyatt had married Lillian, he wouldn’t have married Laura. And then there would not have been a Gilbert Gillespie to marry Ann Feazell and my father would not have been born. And I would not be.

So whatever happened, I have to say I’m glad it did. And now we know another forgotten story.


1. Eva Gillespie, daughter of Wyatt Paul and Laura Cecile Donald Gillespie, deceased, interview by Gilbert Gillespie, 2000; notes privately held by Anne Gillespie [address withheld], California, 2009.
2. Rockbridge County, Virginia, page 364, line 10 (1894), Wyatt Paul Gillespie, Laura Cecile Donald; Virginia Department of Health, Richmond.
3. Buena Vista, Virginia, Register of Marriages (1939), p. 6-A (penned), Wyatt P Gillespie; “Marriage register v. 1-2 1854-1909”, FHL, microfilm 30597.
4. “Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XRJ1-GG4 : accessed 14 June 2012), Lillie Maude Hatcher, 1898.

The Summer of 1942

My great grandfather Wyatt Paul Gillespie died on February 19, 1941.

The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.

Gilbert Gillespie was 27; his wife was 24.

They had a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son.  What were the thoughts that ran through their heads on that morning when they heard the news?  What was it like to live through those days when the outcome was not known?  What did you think when you picked up the paper or listened to the radio?

My dad who was almost 5 by the end of the war had memories of black outs.  And his first memory was standing at a meat counter listening to his Dad talk to the butcher and saying that they shouldn’t change horses in midstream, talking about reelecting FDR.

Gilbert and Judy Gillespie - 1942

Gilbert and Judy sitting on the porch, possibly their rented home on 532 Taylor Street in Lexington, Virginia. They year is 1942, and looks to be summer.

They look happy enough.  But what was life like that summer of 42?