It’s Sentimental Sunday and this daily blogging prompt allows genealogy bloggers a chance to focus on a sentimental story or memory about an ancestor, or a wonderful family tradition.
Carrie Blanton was born February 28, 1883 in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas to Carey and Alice Bailey Blanton. Like her parents and eleven siblings, she grew up as a farm laborer. In addition to farming, Carrie was known as an excellent cook. I found her in the 1900 United States Federal Census working as a cook and servant for a lawyer and his wife, who ran a Boarding House, on Austin Street in Houston, Texas.
On June 2, 1902, Carrie gave birth to her first son, Joseph Chapple. On October 19, 1910, her second son, Lewis was born, but he died a month later from lung complications. I lost track of Carrie for a while, but by the mid-1920’s Carrie is listed as a widow living with her son, his wife Estella, and their children (Ella Louise, Joseph, Estella, and Carrie) in the greater 5th Ward community.
My mother, Carrie, wasn’t two years old when her mother died from Tuberculosis. On her death bed, Estella gave her four little children to her mother-in-law to raise as her own. So when Estella closed her eyes for the last time, she was able to do so knowing that her children were in the loving care of their grandmother. To better meet the needs of her grand babies, Carrie stopped working as a servant and cook and became a laundress which allowed her to work out of the home.
Carrie was a woman of high moral character who lived what she believed. She was a longtime member of Canaan Baptist Church and was the secretary that recorded the minutes when this church began at 2500 Altoona Street in Houston’s 5th Ward Community. She was highly respected by young and old, and was a true confidant and listener to those who needed someone to talk to. Folks loved talking to her because they didn’t have to worry that what they told her, would ever be repeated to anyone.
I never got a chance to know my Great-Grandmother Carrie, for she died on December 16, 1944 from heart failure, long before I was born. But, whenever I ask my mother about her, she smiles and proudly talks about what a great lady she was. But what I like hearing most from my mom was how she and her siblings thought Great-Grandmother Carrie needed a boyfriend — LOL! Whenever they would ask her why she didn’t have a boyfriend, she would take one look at them and say, “you stinky little heifers, go sit down and leave me alone!” The term “heifer” was about the extent of Carrie’s cursing. But, that didn’t deter them one bit because they took it upon themselves to find her a boyfriend anyway. The man they chose for her was — the traveling Charcoal Man — who traveled by wagon throughout the community selling charcoal. Visions of my great-grandmother dating the neighborhood “Charcoal Man” makes me chuckle! But what I respect most about her decision NOT to have a man around them while they were growing up was when she told them, “I don’t want your first experience with a man, to be a man that isn’t my husband or your grandfather.” Now those are the words of a great lady indeed!
If you have a — Carrie Blanton — falling out your family tree (especially if she’s a native Texan and lived in Houston) let me hear from you because – I’m Claiming Kin!