Saturday, June 12, 2010
Last June 2009 we cleaned out an apartment that my Dad, bless his heart, had been using as a storage place. If you knew my dad you would know that he never has enough storage places. While my mom was alive she sort of kept things under control but she has been gone 20 years now and he doesn't have the foggiest idea how to sort, choose the best, and get rid of the rest. To him it is all the best.
Anyway it had been a long hot morning of sorting and tossing stuff to go to Goodwill, stuff to sell, stuff to throw away. My sister in law said, "Have you looked in that box, I think I saw your mother's scriptures in there" My response, "Yes, I have looked in there! I agonized over throwing my mother's scriptures away but I think I got everything out of them and I already have 3 sets of my own at home that I need to get rid of. So I don't want to ......" As I am saying all this she is shaking the book over the container and out falls this piece of paper with a black "ribbon" woven through it. I remember seeing this as a child in one of the bibles my father brought back from the funeral of his parents (future blog story). I was seven at the time and over the years as I became interested in Family History my mother allowed me to peruse those bibles. I remember it as a book mark but at the time did not recognize it's significance.
Yes, it really is what it says it is. An "announcement" of a funeral service in 1865. Do the math folks! This is 144 years old. It is hand written and as you can see William died at 2:30 am and this was going out to neighbors and relatives probably as soon as they could reasonably knock on someones door to give it to them. Notice the date, April 18th, 1865. Nine days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. These were all (we don't know how many there were) hand written and probably went by horse back because the area was rural. It was on the path of the Union Army's march to the sea in 1864 and most of the outlying farms and plantations suffered significantly by Sherman's "scorched earth" policy. Both sides raided these folks for food over about a 6 month period. The Ware's had been well off before the Civil War but now some of the families began to disintegrate. William's family was completely broken up less than ten years latter, scattered from Rome to Texas and in between. Those are stories for later posts.
I heard one story of William death from my father who heard it from William's daughter Sarah Emma Ware, dad's grandmother. She would have been seven or eight years old when this happened because she was born in 1858. However, recently I have been contacted by a descendant of Emma's brother, George Harrison Ware (about 2 years older than Emma) and he has a completely different story from his family. These stories are not in any sense similar, in fact they are so different we would be hard pressed to figure out how the "legends" became so different. I looked several years ago at microfilm of newspapers in Rome to see if I could find any mention of this death to no avail. But, things are different now and maybe I need to revisit the newspapers because both stories would have been spectacular for the day. I will post the stories later on. If and when I can figure out my new picture program I will try to get the pictures up of who we consider must be William and his wife Martha Gee Ford.