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To Tweet or Not to Tweet: In Search of Ceph Jr.

David Farenthold, a reporter with The Washington Post turned to Twitter as he worked through Donald J. Trump's charitable contribution story. It's wonderful research. Photo source: The Washington Post

David Farenthold, a reporter with The Washington Post turned to Twitter as he worked through Donald J. Trump’s charitable contribution story. It’s wonderful research. Photo source: The Washington Post

I believe that a major information source is still out there — and I have to turn this over to the Internet. Or, maybe the Twitterverse. I’m in search of any living descendant of Emmett’s older brother, confidante, law partner, and executor Cephas Love Wilson.

I’ve seen examples where colleagues and reporters with blogs and Twitter accounts have turned questions and searches that stumped them over to their followers and readers. Check out David Farenthold’s work on Donald Trump’s story on charitable contributions — he did his research much like I’m doing, except he used Twitter on a few occasions, with great results. This is inspiring me to do the same. I’ve been reluctant to embrace Twitter. Maybe it is time to think differently about using social media as a part of research.
Emmett’s brother, Cephas Love Wilson Sr., had two children:
I shared Kathleen and Cephas Love Wilson Jr.’s stories earlier this year.
Based on what I’ve heard from the Martin descendants (via email exchange), Kathleen deserted her first husband Ira Martin, and their sons, and Ira remarried within a few years of his divorce from Kathleen. The Martin descendants said that they did not know anything about the Wilson ancestors; I doubt Ira and his new wife kept any artifacts, letters, or information about Kathleen as the divorce was acrimonious.

John D. Grether, Lula Wiselogel Wilson’s second husband. Source: The Grand Chapter of Florida Order of the Eastern Star

Cephas Love Wilson Sr. died in 1925; his widow, Lula Wiselogel Wilson, remarried several years later, to John D. Grether, a widower of Jacksonville. Lula’s children were grown, married, and out of the house, as were the Grether children. If Lula had any journals, letters, artifacts, and keepsakes from Cephas Love Wilson, Sr., it seems likely she would have given them to Cephas Love Wilson, Jr.

The only descendant of Cephas Love Wilson, Jr. and his wife, Mamie/Mary, was a daughter, Shirley, who was born in 1925 in Washington, D.C.
In 1930, Cephas and Shirley moved in temporarily with Lula and her husband, in Jacksonville.
In 1933, Cephas is in Jacksonville, as a professional photographer.
In 1936, Cephas remarried; her name is Louise Adelside Hughes. They live in Jacksonville. He is a professional photographer.
In 1940, Cephas, Louise, and Shirley are living in Jacksonville.
In 1942, the daughter Shirley B. Wilson is listed as a nurse in Jacksonville, and that’s where the trail goes cold.
In the 1945 Florida Census, Cephas is a photographer and Louise is a teacher. It doesn’t look like they ever had children of their own.
Cephas Love Wilson, Jr., died in Sumter, Florida, in 1985.
Louise died in 1972. She was buried in Jacksonville National Cemetery, and is listed on the cemetery record as the wife of Cephas L. Wilson, USA. I found that information from
There’s no listing for Cephas Jr. in Find-A-Grave, but only 34 percent of that cemetery is photographed/cataloged to date. I would guess that is where Cephas Jr. is buried.
So — I toss this out there again, in the hopes that Wilson or Grether family descendants are doing a search of their families, and might stumble across this blog — and I think I’ll start a Twitter account for Emmett’s research, too.

Categories: Congressman Family Research Status The Writing Life

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Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
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2 replies

    1. I will check that out; because Louisa’s headstone says “wife of Cephas Wilson, USA”, I am pretty sure he did. I found a notation of his enlistment in the Florida Memory archive.

      Because I’m so distantly related, I’m not sure how easy it will be to find info out about him via WWI or WWII archives, but I’m going to try, no matter what! Thanks for the Fold3 tip!

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