Broken Branch – 52 Ancestors

One branch of my ancestral tree that I have been unable to develop is the family of my paternal great-grandmother, Sarah Reddick.

Sarah Reddick was born about 1881 in Georgia, United States. She married Daniel Ridley (1870-1936), on 16 June 1898 in Early County, Georgia.1 The known surviving child from this marriage was my paternal grandmother Anna Ridley (1902-1947).

The only two records found for Sarah Reddick are a marriage record and her enumeration in the 1910 U.S. Census.

Early County, Georgia, marriage register, Colored: page 16, Dan Ridley-Sarah Reddick, 1898.

Very little information can be gleaned from the entry in the marriage book. The marriage record provides confirmation of names, race and date of marriage.

As respects the census records, it appears that Sarah was born after the 1880 U.S. Census. She would have been approximately nine years old at the time of the 1890 U.S. Census. When fire destroyed the majority of the Eleventh Census of the United States, any clues regarding Sarah Reddick’s family in the population schedule went up in smoke.

Sarah (Reddick) Ridley does not appear by name in the 1900 U.S. Census. Her husband, Dan Ridley is enumerated living in the 1435 Militia District (Arlington), Early County, Georgia. Also enumerated is his wife of one year, “Laura” age twenty, with a date of birth recorded as “Dec 1874”.2 Even without the benefit of my trusty little calculator I could tell that there was a discrepancy between the age and the birth date. Did the census taker make another error regarding the name of Dan Ridley’s wife? Could “Laura” Ridley and Sarah Ridley be one and the same person?

The last appearance of Sarah (Reddick) Ridley in an official record comes in the thirteenth census. In 1910 Sarah was living on Colquitt Road in Militia District 866 (Blakely), Early County, Georgia. The other members of the household were her husband Dan Ridley, age thirty-three, and their seven year old daughter Anna. Dan and Sarah had been married eleven years. Sarah was twenty-nine years old and the mother of two children, one living. Dan was a farmer and Sarah is listed as a farm laborer on the home farm.3

Sarah died between the 1910 US Census and 12 September 1918, when Dan Ridley listed his second wife, Precious Ridley, as his nearest relative on his World War I Draft Registration card.4 A search for Sarah’s death certificate had negative results. Georgia did not begin statewide death registration until 1919.

I have not been able to find any additional records for Sarah (Reddick) Ridley. Nor have I discovered any clues to connect her to one of the Reddick families in Early County, Georgia. Hopefully through information obtained from DNA and more records becoming available on-line the broken Reddick bough can be mended.


Sources

  1. Early County, Georgia, Marriage Records, 1828-1978, Colored: page 16, Dan Ridley-Sarah Reddick, 1898; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 September 2017) Early > Marriages, 1897-1908 > image 38 of 266.
  2. 1900 U.S. census, Early County, Georgia, population schedule, 1435 Militia District, Arlington, enumeration district (ED) 53, sheet 14B, dwelling 279, family 279, Dan Ridley household; digital images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.com : accessed 9 September 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623; FHL microfilm 1240193.
  3. 1910 U.S. census, Early County, Georgia, population schedule, Militia District 866, Blakely, enumeration district (ED) 81, sheet 8B, dwelling 158, family 156, Dan Ridley household; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 September 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 184.
  4. “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 September 2012), Dan Ridley, serial no. 1265, order no. 1607, Draft Board, Blakely, Early County, Georgia; citing “United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.”

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Grandmother Memories

The mission this week, set forth by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings, is from Facebook: “If you were blessed to know your Grandma…what was the one thing that you remember most about her?”

My paternal grandmother, Anna (Ridley) Salter (1902-1947) died before I was born. The only grandmother that I knew was my maternal grandmother, Arnita (Harris) Willis Jackson (1889-1980).

The one main thing that I remember about my grandmother was her sense of humor and her laugh. One day I was shocked when I started laughing uproariously and my grandmother’s guffaw came out of my mouth. Grandmother’s laugh reminded me of Santa’s “ho, ho, ho” but more up-tempo and in a higher vocal register. It was a truly infectious belly laugh. Sometimes Grandmother would try unsuccessfully to hold her laughter in and that would make her laugh harder. Just seeing and hearing her could draw you into her fit of laughter, even if you missed the initial cause.

One of Grandmother’s favorite verses was “This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein.” (Psalm 118:24, Douay-Rheims). It does not happen often, but I am thankful when I “channel” my grandmother’s laughter to rejoice and be glad.

A Popular Name in the Guice Family Tree

Aaron A. Guice was born an enslaved person in May 1835 in Talbot County, Georgia. Upon being emancipated, Aaron adopted the Guice surname of his last enslaver, Thomas Guice, and founded the African American Guice family in Barbour County, Alabama. After leading a long and productive life, Aaron A. Guice died on 30 June 1917 in Barbour County, Alabama, and was buried in Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Barbour County, Alabama. 1-3

The following is a listing of some of the people in the Guice family who have been named Aaron to honor their ancestor: 

Aaron Frank GUICE, Sr. (Aaron1) was born on 17 April 1891 in Mount Andrew, Barbour County, Alabama, died on 4 March 1948 in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, and was buried in Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Cemetery, Barbour County, Alabama. 3

Aaron Arnold GUICE, Sr. (Chapel E.2, Aaron1) was born on 29 August 1899 in Mount Andrew, Barbour County, Alabama, died on 9 July 1972 in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, United States, and was buried on 12 July 1972 in Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama. 4-6

Aaron Frank GUICE (Chapel E.2, Aaron1) was born on 8 April 1888 in Mount Andrew, Barbour County, Alabama, died on 4 March 1948 in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, and was buried in Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Barbour County, Alabama. 3, 7

Aaron Frank GUICE, Jr. (Aaron Frank Sr.2, Aaron1) was born on 21 March 1919 in Mount Andrew, Barbour County, Alabama, died on 28 July 1983 in Brooklyn, New York, and was buried on 2 August 1983 in Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama. 8

Aaron Arnold GUICE, Jr. (Aaron Arnold Sr.3, Chapel E.2, Aaron1) was born on 13 June 1922, died on 24 January 1943 in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, and was buried on 28 January 1943 in Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama. 6, 9

Herman Aaron GUICE (Joe Tanzy3, William (Rev.)2, Aaron1) was born on 23 May 1947, died on 20 November 2013 in Union Springs, Bullock County, Alabama, and was buried on 23 November 2013 in Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Barbour County, Alabama. 3, 10

[Living] Aaron GUICE, Sr. (Valencia GUICE4, Aaron Arnold Sr.3, Chapel E.2, Aaron1)

For more about Aaron A. Guice please see my 2021 blog post Aaron Guice ( -1917) of Mt. Andrew, Alabama


Sources

  1. 1900 U.S. census, Barbour, Alabama, population schedule, Mount Andrew, enumeration district (ED) 4, sheet 12, p. 56A, dwelling 224, family 224, household of Aaron Guice; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1.
  2. Mignonette Nunn Keller, “The Guice Family Reunion, Midway, Alabama, July 2-4, 1982”. From the collection of Valencia Guice Byers (1927-2002). Privately held.
  3. Find a Grave, database and images ( https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2179820/memorial-search: accessed 14 June 2022), Guice memorials, citing Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Barbour County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by J. B. Chrismond (contributor 47684041).
  4. “U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947,” database and images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Dec 2017), Aaron Guice, serial no. 744, order no. 10119, Draft Board 19, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama; citing Draft Registration Cards for Alabama, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947. 310 boxes. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926–1975, Record Group 147. National Archives and Records Administration, St Louis, Missouri.
  5. The Associated Press, “Fifteen Alabamians die in weekend accidents,” The Anniston (Alabama) Star, 10 Jul 1972, p. 7, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/101040531/aaron-guice-death/ : accessed 22 Nov 2014); Aaron Guice.
  6. Birmingham Public Library Archives, “Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery Interments,” database, Birmingham Public Library (http://bpldb.bplonline.org/db/shadowlawn : accessed 30 Nov 2021). Guice surname search.
  7. “World War I Draft Registration Cards  1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Apr 2020), Aron Frank Guice, no. 43, Draft Board, Precinct 1, Barbour County, Alabama; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
  8. “Service of Triumph for Mr. Aaron Frank Guice, 1919-1983”, program distributed at the final service on 2 August 1983, Birmingham, Alabama. From the collection of Valencia Guice Byers (1927-2002). Privately held.
  9. “U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947,” database and images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Apr 2020), Aaron Guice, serial no. 144, order no. 12591, Draft Board 17, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama; citing Draft Registration Cards for Alabama, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947. 310 boxes. NAI: 7644720. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926–1975, Record Group 147. National Archives and Records Administration, St Louis, Missouri; Card is marked in red “Cancelled.  Deceased Jan 24, 1943.” 
  10.  “Mr. Herman Aaron Guice,” Union Springs (Alabama) Herald, 27 Nov 2013, online archives (http://www.unionspringsherald.com/obituaries/article_66710356-55fd-11e3-83f3-001a4bcf6878.html : accessed 30 May 2015), p. 7, col. 1. 

SNGF: Last Week’s Genealogy Search/Research

Our mission this week from the intrepid Randy Seaver’s blog Genea-Musings is to spill the beans on our genealogy search/research this past week. As usual, my only “research goal” was to work on Ancestry hints.

I also worked on my WikiTree this week. Unlike Randy, I do not have the intestinal fortitude to upload and work from a GEDCOM. This is more of a mini-do-over project for me, so I have been adding people manually. This requires me to review and revise the sources in my genealogy software (Legacy Family Tree 9), as needed, before cutting and pasting to WikiTree. This week I added two direct ancestors and nine collaterals to WikiTree, with sources. I also edited the profiles of five direct ancestors to add the African-American sticker which indicates they are part of the WikiTree US Black Heritage Project.

One of my Facebook groups has an Ancestor Project on GEDmatch, so I decided to re-join GEDmatch. I uploaded my AncestryDNA test results and joined the Our Black Ancestry project. After uploading a GEDCOM from my Legacy 9 file, I also linked my WikiTree to GEDmatch. So far I have six matches ranging from 8.2 – 14.7 cM in the Ancestor Project. That was a disappointing result. I also ran an Autosomal One-to-One on the kit of my third highest AncestryDNA match.

I wrote a blog post, Mistakes, for the 52 Ancestors prompt. I also did a Google search “Salter in Early County Georgia”. This netted several obituaries on people who may be related. These were input into my Legacy Family Tree software as unlinked individuals with sources documented. I also added them as unlinked individuals to my Ancestry tree, with TreeTags for “Unverified” and “Hypothesis”. Placing the warning emoji in the suffix field enables me to see at a glance that they are unverified.

Last, but not least, I scanned several pages of family photos from an old magnetic album. The originals are being labeled using a Stabilo-All pencil and put into archival quality sleeves or envelopes. I am working on a project to index the photos, so I am putting a file ID on each original photo and digital image.

That just about sums up my week.

Mistakes | 52 Ancestors

I am guilty of many mistakes that, in retrospect, made my family history journey difficult. Most of the mistakes have been recoverable. However, several unforced errors resulted in the loss of priceless family information and artifacts. If it were possible to hop into a time machine and have a do-over I would:

  • Take photographs of my maternal grandfather’s portrait which hung in my grandmother’s bedroom.
  • Appropriate my aunt’s photo album when I had the opportunity.
  • Make an organized effort to capture various stories from family elders on tape.
  • Get Y-DNA and autosomal DNA tests on my father before he died.

Daniel R. Salter: the WWII conflict

My father, Daniel R. Salter, was a college student at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Tuskegee, Alabama when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Five days earlier, he celebrated his twenty-first birthday. On 14 February 1942 Daniel registered with the Macon County, Alabama draft board.

Daniel enlisted with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Enlisted Reserve Corps on 12 October 1942. He entered active duty on 21 March 1943 at Tuskegee Institute and was sent to Camp Blanding, active duty training center, in Jacksonville, Florida. From there three squadrons were shipped to Camp Croft Infantry Replacement Training Center in Spartanburg, North Carolina for basic training. Daniel, a classmate from Tuskegee Institute and four or five men from Howard College (now Howard University) were identified through the Air Corps screening as candidates for aviation cadet training. The prospects were shipped to Kessler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi. Daniel passed all of the training to be accepted into the Tuskegee Airmen except the physical, due to high blood pressure. After spending three days in the infirmary his blood pressure was still higher than the acceptable limit, so when the air training squad was sent on to Tuskegee he was not with them.

For the next nineteen months, Daniel spent his service in the continental United States. Initially he was transferred to Augusta, Georgia, as part of an Army Air Force squadron, for advanced training. The training took place at Daniel Field, which was used by the USAAF Warner Robins Air Service Command as a maintenance and supply airfield. From Georgia Daniel was shipped to Hill Field, a major maintenance and supply base for the USAAF, in Ogden, Utah.

When Daniel was stationed in Utah he did not see any army personnel except for his squadron of Air Corp — the other personnel were Navy and Marines. While in Ogden, Daniel and two other buddies took a bus trip to Salt Lake City to have some fun on their weekend pass.  Upon reaching the city they each bought a fifth of liquor.  The last thing Daniel remembers is being at the bus station in Salt Lake City and deep snow.  He was later told that a group of WAVES saw him lying in the snow and rescued him.  The WAVES smuggled him onto their bus back to Ogden.  They got the driver to stop at his barracks where they rolled him out of the bus into the snow and blew a whistle.  When his squad heard the whistle blow they came out and found him, still in a stupor, but safely returned to base. 

During the summer of 1944 the United States recaptured Guam from the Japanese. In November 1944 Daniel’s squadron was shipped to Seattle, Washington and transported by ship to San Francisco where the ship joined a convoy. The convoy sailed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and from there to Guam. Two days out of Pearl Harbor Daniel was standing at the ship rail and saw two torpedoes coming at the ship. The ship went full throttle and maneuvered to avoid the torpedo. Two supply ships were sunk and a United States destroyer came and sank the subs. The transport ship arrived at Guam on 12 December 1944.

Daniel’s USAAF squad was stationed at Naval Base Guam and assigned to search the surrounding jungle for stray Japanese soldiers. On their first day the squad did not see anything. On the second day, being a little more relaxed, the squad went to the middle of the jungle and took a long rest break. They had put their weapons down and were sitting around laughing and joking when someone looked up and saw two fully dressed Japanese soldiers in close proximity. The squad scrambled for their weapons but fortunately the Japanese soldiers were determined to surrender. The squad “captured” the enemy soldiers, brought them in, fed them, and called Navy command. They all got battle stars for the capture. Approximately a month later Daniel’s squad captured several other Japanese soldiers and took them to Agana. The squad members received another battle star.

Whereas Daniel and his USAAF squad were stationed on a naval base, the Twentieth Air Force was headquartered on Guam. Under the leadership of General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold (Commanding General of the USAAF and a member of both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined Chiefs of Staff) their mission was strategic aerial bombardment of Japan. In late 1944 and 1945 the USAAF built and maintained three airfields on Guam: Depot Field, a B-29 aircraft depot and maintenance base; Northwest Field, a combined B-29 and fighter base; and North Field, a B-29 facility. The 314th Bombardment Wing was stationed at North Field. The 315th Bombardment Wing, equipped totally with B-29B, was stationed at Northwest Field.

Daniel was stationed on Guam until General MacArthur signed the peace treaty with the Japanese in September 1945. At some point during the demobilization period of Operation Magic Carpet Daniel hopped a navy transport boat and went to Saipan. Due to his record of “high” blood pressure he was unable to take an army flight to Japan, so he stayed on Saipan until being shipped back to the states. While on Saipan Daniel became pals with a white soldier from Mississippi. They stuck together and were shipped home at the end of January 1946. The two soldiers, one black, one white, traveled together until the army train got to Fort Worth, Texas. At the station in Fort Worth, everyone was told to exit the train. When they re-boarded the troops were segregated — white soldiers in the front cars, black soldiers in the rear cars.

After serving three years, four months and thirteen days in the Army Air Corp during World War II, Corporal Daniel R. Salter received an Honorable Discharge on 24 February 1946 at Camp Blanding, Jacksonville, Florida. His record shows that he received two battle stars, and two marksman badges (“Expert” on the M1 carbine rifle, and “Sharpshooter” on the Browning automatic). Corporal Salter also was the recipient of the Asian Theater of Operations (ATO) Medal, the Asian Philippines Theater of Operations (APTO) Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.


Sources

Daniel R. Salter, interview by A. Pearl Byers, ca. 2001-2002.

Honorable Discharge for Daniel R. Salter 14 117 637 Corporal, 459th Aviation Squadron, Army of the United States, 24 February 1946; privately held by the Salter Family Collection.

Wikipedia contributors, “Twentieth Air Force,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Twentieth_Air_Force&oldid=1089055169 : accessed June 3, 2022).

“’Home Alive By ‘45’: Operation Magic Carpet.”, The National WWII Museum | New Orleans (https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/operation-magic-carpet-1945: accessed June 4, 2022).

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