What could be

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If you haven’t read this story from yesterday’s edition of The Washington Post, please do.

Source: Library of Virginia, as published with the story in The Washington Post, November 5, 2016.

Source: Library of Virginia, as published with the story in The Washington Post, November 5, 2016.

Lucky man, historian James I. Robertson, Jr., surrounded by artifacts. So blessed. So privileged! Out of the 1,600 pieces of information, he used 140 to write his book — all of it precious. What was his criteria in choosing one letter over another, when all of the information is rare and precious?

The State Library of Virginia has the scanned information on their website. Emmett’s father, Dr. Francis C. Wilson, was at The Battle of the Crater, and at Petersburg, and his family is from Lunenburg County, Virginia — I’m wondering if letters from him, or his brothers are in that treasure trove.


When I read articles such as this one, I am always hopeful that once the first part of Emmett’s book is published, perhaps someone will come forward with letters, or perhaps, the long-lost elusive scrapbooks.

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All in the Family

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See you at your neighborhood precinct!

See you Tuesday at your neighborhood precinct!

I’m taking a break this week from the Emmett Wilson writing marathon to follow in the Wilson family traditions of being politically involved.

On Tuesday, I will be an Election Judge in my precinct. I’ve been assigned a 6 am to 3 pm shift to run the poll books (in the morning), and whatever other duties the Chief Judge assigns on Election Day.

Emmett’s brother (and my distant cousin) Meade Wilson minded the polls, as did Francis Wilson, Jr., in Pensacola for several different elections. I don’t think Emmett ever worked the polls, or served in any similar capacity. The first time he voted was in the 1904 elections, and he was a Senior at Stetson University. Within two years, he was the Assistant District Attorney, then, States’ Attorney — so he wouldn’t have served any voting assistance capacity.

Meade Wilson was an election judge, at least up until the point he ran for office in 1909. Source: The Pensacola Journal, April 1909.

Meade Wilson was an election judge, at least up until the point he ran for office in 1909. Source: The Pensacola Journal, April 1909.

I decided to sign up right after I voted in the primary. There was sign-up sheet at the exit for those interested in helping out at the general election. I signed up; three weeks later I was invited to apply to work the general election.

After my application passed review, I was given an Election Judge manual to read, then I took three tests (they weren’t that easy). After I passed the tests, I was invited to attend the training sessions. The training was rather involved, including setting up the electronic poll booths, the ballot collecting devices, and the electronic voting assistance for voters who are hearing and/or sight impaired.

What’s more involved is the paper-trail: You wouldn’t believe all the sign-offs required at just about every step of the voting process — almost every form requires the signatures of election judges of both parties. And talk about bipartisanship in action — for instance, if a voter is blind and needs assistance, then an election judge from both the Democratic and Republican parties have to assist the voter together.

 

Minnie Kehoe, a woman ahead of her time. Source: TJCE, Vol. 24, No. 5, p. 278.

Minnie Kehoe, lawyer, businesswoman, suffragette and trailblazer.

I’ve enjoyed learning how the voting process actually works:

  • It is completely citizen-run, and that is a great opportunity to do one’s part in something so important as an election.
  • It is particularly important to me, after having learned so much about suffrage during Emmett’s lifetime, to support and protect this precious privilege.

I don’t know if you read this article from October about some women who supported repealing the 19th Amendment. I gotta say, geez, women. READ HISTORY. Do you have ANY idea what Minnie Kehoe and her colleagues went through just for us to have the privilege to choose our leadership? Gah.

I’m looking forward to Tuesday. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Also — in Emmett Wilson Book news, I am down to the last 35 pages of the last chapter. Once I finish — I’m still not done!

I will do heavy editing, then construct the reference and notes pages. I still plan to hit the December 31 deadline. That’s my cousin — and Emmett’s niece’s — 99th birthday! I hope to have a draft to send to her soon.

 

 

 

Brotherly Confirmation

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This is a deposition signed by Frank C. Wilson, Jr., witnessed by his wife, Mae, in 1945. This document is in in the possession of Katie Wilson Meade's granddaughter, Elizabeth, in Charlottesville. There is a lot of useful detail about Emmett's family in it.

This is a deposition signed by Frank C. Wilson, Jr., witnessed by his wife, May, in 1943. This document is in in the possession of Katie Wilson Meade’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, in Charlottesville. There is a lot of useful detail about Emmett’s family in it.

This is a document that was shared with me by Katie Wilson Meade’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, during my visit to Charlottesville in January.

The story behind this document is that Elizabeth’s father, Everard Wilson Meade, wanted to join the Navy during World War II, and the lack of an official birth certificate was an issue.

This document was notarized in Florida, probably in Marianna, as that is where Frank and May Wilson were living in 1943. There is a lot of great family background information in this one, concise document.

 

An Update on Cephas, Jr.

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In case you are just tuning in, I’m trying to locate the Wilson family Bible. I’m betting that it is in the hands of the descendants of Cephas Love Wilson, Jr. (1894-1985). I haven’t found the descendant…yet.

But I’ve found something else: The Jackson County enlistment record for soldiers and sailors during World War I. (Thanks, Cindy Sloan!)

Source: Jackson County (Florida) Genealogical Society

Source: Jackson County (Florida) Genealogical Society

Here’s a close-up of the information on that page:
Cephas Jr.'s enlistment information.

Cephas Jr.’s enlistment information.

Here is the information on the other side of the page:
This information appears to be current as of the end of World War I, because Ceph Jr. was in D.C. until around the late 1920s.

This information appears to be current as of the end of World War I, because Ceph Jr. was in D.C. until the late 1920s.

Isn’t that a great find?

I still haven’t found Cephas Jr., by the way.
However, this afternoon, I found a great database, the National Cemetery Administration’s Nationwide Gravesite Locator, which is run by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
I figured that since Cephas Jr. was a veteran, and, that Louise’s headstone reads “Wife of Cephas Love Wilson, Jr., USA”, that Ceph would be there, too.
So, I put Cephas Love Wilson’s name in the search engine, and it turned up a Cephas Love Wilson, Jr., but not the one I need (the Cephas I’m looking for was born in 1894).
Arlington National Cemetery's search engine. It's nice. Check it out. Source: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/#/

Arlington National Cemetery’s search engine. It’s nice. Check it out. Source: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/#/

This tells me that Cephas Love Wilson Jr. might not have been buried with his wife, Louise Hughes Wilson (who is buried in the Jacksonville National Cemetery).

Curious.

He’s also not at Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington has its own database, by the way. And yeah, I looked there, as well as for Cephas Jr.’s first wife, Mary/Mamie. Nothing.
The trek to locate the descendants of this Wilson family branch continues!