MySource:Samples 59/Transcribed Letters of Correspondence from Azalia Thomas to Patrick Hogue (Samples) - 1996

MySource Transcribed Letters of Correspondence from Azalia Thomas to Patrick Hogue (Samples) - 1996
Author Azalia McGranahan Thomas
Place Bibb, Alabama, United States
Chilton, Alabama, United States
Lawrence, Mississippi, United States
Greer, Oklahoma, United States
Year range 1996 -
Surname Rasberry
Azalia McGranahan Thomas. Transcribed Letters of Correspondence from Azalia Thomas to Patrick Hogue (Samples) - 1996.
image:Azalia McGranahan Thomas.jpg
Azalia McGranahan Thomas


17th January 1996

Dear Pat,
Received your letter yesterday, and yes, it does look as if we have a Rasberry connection. I added your Susan Rasberry Davenport's family to my database. I’m sending you all I have in my files on my descendancy from Benjamin and Sarah Rasberry. Apparently Benjamin died in Georgia about 1810. Your Thomas was the oldest son. The dates we have for his birth differ, I feel sure we are referring to the same person. I do not know the name of his wife, but have a list of his children obtained from another descendant Mitchelene Shaddix of Cullman, Alabama. I’m pretty sure her information is correct – as she has THREE Rasberry lineages in her ancestry! I’ll go into her lineage later.
After the death of Benjamin, the family moved west. Apparently your Thomas Rasberry – and I believe his widowed mother, Sarah (or Sally) settled in Alabama while the other brothers and sisters went to Mississippi. “My” Green Rasberry, who was the youngest married Mary Mullins in 1818 in Lawrence Co., Mississippi. Their three (at least) older children were born in Mississippi. Then, apparently they moved to Alabama and settled near his older brother, Thomas.
I have done a descendancy chart from Benjamin and Sarah (I haven’t found any maiden name for her or learned anything of her yet) with all the descendants of whom I’ve learned. Some of the brothers who remained in Mississippi have been researched by their descendants, (Bennie White's ancestors), but one, I believe it was John Rasberry, seems to have disappeared from records and nobody knows what happened to him. I haven’t really looked very far into those brances of the family since only the Alabama ones are closely related to me (now to us.)
If you’d like to approach Mitchelene, she might be of more help to you than I am since she was actually in personal contact with people who knew about the Alabama Rasberrys. When I began this pursuit of elusive ancestors about six years ago, I didn’t know anything much – although my son did sit my mother down before she died and got the names of all her grandparents – and even some grandparents – beyond that I knew nothing. At any rate, here’s the address of the lady who has been of such enormous help to me. She was even helpful to me in providing me with a name I hadn’t been able to find up until that time of an ancestor of mine to whom she was not related at all! She just remembered who he was! That clue she gave me enabled me to find a book and then someone else’s family group sheets that took me back for many generations into those branches of my family. "My" Martha "Patsy" Glascock Campbell’s father, whose name Mitchelene furnished to me was John Milton Glascock. The book this led me to took the Glascock line back to the arrival in Virginia in 1638 of Thomas Glascock. That book also told of the connection between the Glascocks and the Ball family of Virginia (George Washington’s mother’s maiden name was Ball.) Then, I found in the LDS Library a collection of Ball family group sheets that went back to one who died in England in 1480!! I think I’d have eventually found out who Patsy Campbell’s father was – but Mitchelene’s knowing that fact shortened my research by months, if not years.
Back to our Rasberry’s. So far, no one that I know of who has researched the family, has pinned down with any certainty who Benjamin Rasberry's parents were. It is thought that he might have come from North Carolina to Georgia where he died. But no one that I know of has managed to get back any further than that with the Rasberry line, although the name has been found in various places in the American colonies, and even Enlgand.
Now, I notice that you have two more children of Madison "Major" Rasberry and Elizabeth Hubbard listed than I had: Militis and Sara. It also appears that the one you show as Newton, I have as Nicholson. Somehow, Newton, sounds more as if it belongs in the Rasberry family than Nicholson does – but I’ve also wondered where the name of Paschal came from.
In looking over your information, we may have another – very tenuous connection. My great grandmother, Malona Astoria Campbell, who married William Green Rasberry, a son of Green Rasberry, had a sister who married into the Davenport family – to a Wilson Davenport. Although this doesn’t give us any real connection, it is interesting to see how it all intertwines. Since this Elmina Campbell that married Wilson Davenport was only connected to me in a collateral line, I haven’t done any Davenport research, but am enclosing what information I have on Elmina and Wilson since I feel the Davenport connection would be of interest to you.
I hope I have given you enough to help you and not merely confuse you further. I had no idea of what I was getting into when I began all this. I actually had thought of doing some research “when I got older” to leave for my children and grandchildren – but it was a very vague thing which I’d probably never would have followed up on if I hadn’t found myself here in the Salt Lake Valley again. We had been here for two years in the mid 1980’s because of my husband’s work – and I cordially hated it here. The country is beautiful, but I felt very alien in the dominant culture of the area – and I’m not a fan of snow – especially when it’s on my walks and driveway. When we left here never expecting to come back, I rejoiced. After a year in Alaska (talk about snow – but I loved it there in spite of the snow. However, at the end of our time in Alaska, we were sent right back here!! I decided then that I had to take myself in hand and find something positive about being here and not just sit around feeling out of place and grumpy about it. I lucked out in meeting the wife of one of the men my husband worked with who had been doing genealogy research for some years and volunteered to show me how to get started. So I began a year or two of pretty intensive research down at the LDS Family History Library which has the largest collection of genealogical research material in the world. I don’t do much research these days – I guess I have reached a point of diminishing returns – many hours and days can be spent without finding a single new thing now. I know there are still things to be found – but I find it hard to keep enthusiasm at high pitch unless a nugget can be found now and then.
Let me know if I can be of any more help to you. I have had so much generous help from people whose addresses were given to me by somebody elst – and really the only way I feel I can repay that generosity is by helping someone else when I can. I’m not the most meticulous record-keeper or documenter of where I’ve found information, but I always try to make a note of things when I’m not very sure of things. And, of course, even the best genealogists have to change their information from time to time when additional facts are learned. Still, I try not to jump to far-fetched conclusions – and if I do speculate, I always try to identify the speculation as such.
Hoping to hear from you – Blessings – Signed, Azalia Thomas

14th February 1996

Dear Pat,
This letter is going to consist in the beginning of a couple of apologies. I have delayed answering your very kind letter of 25 January because I wanted to get a couple of pictures developed from negatives I have – but, only today am I hoping to get to a photo place to get the prints made. Meanwhile, I am sending a rather poor Xerox copy of a picture of the family of my grandparents, James Lawson Rasberry son of William Green Rasberry, grandson of Green Rasberry, and great-grandson of Benjamin Rasberry). Since this is only a Xerox copy and I’ll be sending you a better print as soon as I get it made, I’m labeling the people in this picture directly on the front of the copy. My cousin, Maud Broyles (the baby in this picture sitting on her mother’s lap) says she was born in 1906 – so this picture was made in 1906 or 1907 in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
I have a picture of my Grandpa, Lawson (as he was called) taken on his 80th birthday atop his beloved mare, Daisy Bill, that I also want to get reproduced for you. He continued to ride Daisy Bill for a couple of years, but while riding one day turned her directly in front of a car (going slowly, thankfully) – he was quite deaf and not always aware of the necessity to check things visually since he couldn’t hear. The horse got a cut, but was not seriously hurt. Grandpa got a couple of broken ribs and my mother caught him a day or two later having our housekeeper hold the reins while he climbed on top of our cement-topped storm cellar and prepared to mount Daisy Bill from that perch. my mother had a fit and forbade him to ride anymore. As I remember, I was quite small and wasn’t there for the actual clash of wills, there was a very spirited argument. I wouldn’t put it past my mother to employing a little emotional blackmail since my grandmother was already confined to bed from the illness that took her life several months later. At any rate, my mother prevailed and Grandpa very reluctantly sold Daisy Bill. She had one colt after I was old enough to remember but he had already sold Rounder, her colt. I feel for him now, he did love horses so – I haven’t been around horses that much, but I have loved dogs and one special cat som much that I can be empathetic at what he must have felt at having to give up riding and having his mare.
Now, for my other apology – I’m Really embarrassed to have to own up to this – proof of my good intentions but nearly criminal disorganization. I’m in possession of your letter referred to above with the information about the Davenport family – and, of course, of the letter received yesterday with the pictures of Susan Rasberry Davenport and her family and of Alice Rasberry. What I have to ‘fess’ up to is that I cannot find your first letter and your Rasberry group sheets and pedigree. I remember that you are a descendant of Madison "Major" Rasberry, son of Thomas (who was the oldest brother of my Green) – and I always keep all letters and a copy of my replies – but they have all disappeared somewhere into the mess that I euphemistically call my files. I’m sure I have them here somewhere – but I cannot find them. Would sending me your Rasberry info. Again be a terrible chore? I hope I sent you everthing I had that would be helpful to you. I do know I sent you Mitchelene Shaddix’s address.
About the picture of the little girl, Alice Rasberry – no, I don’t know what the connection could be – although it’s obvious there is one. I’m returning the picture to you so that you’ll have it if you want to inquire of someone else who might be able to identify her. I have a first cousin, Alice (Rasberry) Welliver, but I have a picture of “my” Alice with her sister, Becky, that my mother had – and these are not the same two little girls. It may be that you’ll run across someone else in your correspondence that will be able to tell you just who she is. I’ll return the picture of Susan Rasberry Davenport if you want or need it – otherwise I’ll keep it (better than I filed away your original letter and information) with my Rasberry pictures and memorabilia. Let me know.
I wasn’t well all through Christmas and for a few weeks thereafter with asthma brought on by some virus I contacted. The asthma, from which I suffered as a child but did not have all my adult life until the past few years and which even now stays under control most of the time, hits aggressively if I get a cold or some other respiratory virus. I just began getting over it, when a killer headache struck. I never had anything like that before (and I hope never again). It was first diagnosed tentatively as a migraine since it acted like one and the Dr.’s in the emergency room could find nothing amiss from a C.T. scan or a spinal tap – but it continued for two weeks only partially kept at bay by pain-killers. Then, just as mysteriously as it came, it went. I’m feeling O.K. now – but fell behind in all my correspondences and many other things and I’m still playing catch up.
I found it very interesting that you are a former California Police Officer. You, who have, or have had such a career are owed a great debt of gratitude by all the rest of us. It’s good that you “got” the bad guy – and lucky that his shot didn’t kill you as he thought he had – but it is too bad that it cut your service short and that you had to retire on disability. I do hope your disability hasn’t entailed too much complication’s to your life.
Pat, it isn’t necessary to reimburse me for anything I send you. I do this from the joy of being able to help others as I’ve been helped – and the reward from learning about more and more new cousins – such as you. We’re not wealthy, but I don’t do more that I can afford to do – so don’t worry about sending money – just knowing you appreciate anything I can help you with is payment in plenty.
I must get this finished, round up those negatives and take to the photo store, and do a few other chores. You’ll be hearing from me again soon. I promise not to lose anything more you send. Signed, Cheers – Azalia.

22nd February 1996

Dear Pat,
Well, I finally got these prints from the photo finishing place. I’m just sending small ones – since they aren’t your immediate family, I didn’t think you’d want them taking up too much room – or if you have a Rasberry album going, you can add these easier than if they were large. If you want or need larger ones, let me know.
I’ve already told you about the people in the family picture – but I wrote a very abbreviated family identity on the back. In addition to this photo of my grandpa – which, by the way, is a very good likeness; I have a studio picture of him made about 1942. The only copy I have is quite small and I’ve been thinking about getting a new negative made and a larger portrait of myself. If, for any reason, you’d want a small print of this later picture of him, I’ll have one made for you at the same time I have a larger one made for myself. I like this one because he has a small smile and his eyes are smiling. I guess he was photogenic because it, too, is a very good likeness and the photographer caught an expression on his fact that is still familiar to me after all these years – it was a look he often got when telling a story of “the old days” – one of those stories that my first cousins and I are all wishing we had paid more attention to and could recall. He was a great story teller, but we were young and dumb and so now those stories are all lost to us.
No news since my last letter to you, but I did want to get these prints in the mail to you before I fooled around and lost them. I’ve been known to do such feckless thinkgs.
What part of California is your town in? My husband was on a project in northern California – at the Geysers in Sonoma County. However while he was on that job, we lived in Lake County. We liked it there so much that Ed has had fantasies about going there when (and if) he ever retires. However, if that time ever comes, we’ll probably settle in some town in New Mexico within driving distance of our son. I feel that we’re getting to an age when it might be nice to be within “reach” of at least one of our kids. Since I’m not sure any of our three girls is settled anyplace permanently, looks like our son is the one we might settle near, but not sure. Besides, New Mexico will always be “home” to me, even though we lived in several different parts of New Mexico. Nonetheless, our children were raised in New Mexcio and I suppose that’s why it’s still home…
Still, Ed continues to drive 37 miles each way every day and works a full eight hours – and they keep wanting him to “consult” on another project before the one he’s currently working on gets completely finished – and so far, he’s more than willing. I know he gets more tired now than he used to and has no energy for much of anything else – but he never misses a day of work. He has only taken a few days off the past five or six years to attend a reunion of his Navy squadron from World War II. No real vacation for even as long as a week – don’t think he’s had a real vacation in about 15 years. He always had a two to three week vacation coming from the company for which he worked – but always said he “just couldn’t get away right now” that “the project was at a critical time and he had to be there.” So as long as he was in a salaried job, it turned out that he took the extra two to three weeks worth of wages at the end of the year because he hadn’t taken the two or three week vacation to which he was entitled. Does the term workaholic come to mind?
I was working too, for most of those years (until we went to Alaska in 1988 – I haven’t worked – for wages, at least, since then). So his not taking a vacation didn’t bother me too much – but it would have been nice to be able to do a little travelling these past few years before we get too old to do even that. I may already be getting there.
Well, I’ve got to get this ended and get something rustled up for our supper (that still sounds better to my ear than “dinner”. Dinner is when you get all dressed and go out someplace to eat.
Hope your quest for Rasberry information is meeting with some success. Let me know how it’s coming along. I’d surely like to find out the maiden name of the Sarah or Sally who was your Thomas Rasberry and my Green’s mother and who was married to Benjamin Rasberry. I have never been able to get anything very definite about the family before their time. Signed, Your cuzzin, Azalia

24th February 1996

Dear Pat,
Got your descendancy charts for our Rasberry’s yesterday, but only this morning sat down to figure out the best way to compare what we had – item by item. I finally decided that the easiest thing was to print out MY descendancy data on the Rasberry lines we share. The program I have been using (PAF) asks when you are doing descendancy chart if you want to print out the family group sheets for people contained. I had never done this before, so decided I’d say yes this time and see what I got. Well! It turned out to be more than I expected – which is O.K., except that it printed the group sheets out in a strange order. But, I got the descendancy charts out side by side and started comparing. First of all in the first couple or three pages, the omissions seemed to be mostly mine. I’ve written in on the copy I’m sending you the things I needed to add or change IN PENCIL (I have now made those changes and additions in my records.)
Then, I highlighted everything that I seemed to have in my records that yours don’t show. Now, I’m not claiming infallibility, so don’t add or change any of your stuff unless you’re convinced that you should. Notes to you are written in blue ink and the name(s) in question are highlighted. One thing I found that I’m pretty sure I’m right about. Your #354 Jackson Green Rasberry on your Page 2 has the wife and daughters of my Uncle Jack – who I show on the chart I’m sending you on my Page 3. This Jackson Green Rasberry is your #138 (my #27). Wife Fama and daughters Alice, and Rebecca belong to his Jackson Green born in 1882 (see bottom of my Page 3) while neither of us seems to have nothing on the Jackson Green, son of Green R, except for his name and came from a family where several of his siblings were born in the 1830s.
My uncle, Jackson Green Rasberry who was married to Fama Betts is at the right of the top row in the family picture I sent of James Lawson Rasberry's family. This Fama (who was said to be quite beautiful) were married and had two little girls – Becky, the younger, was still just a baby. It was during the flu epidemic of 1918 and my Uncle Jack came home from work (he was a fireman at that time) and found Fama lying down saying that she really didn’t feel very well. She didn’t seem too sick – just a little under the weather. Uncle Jack sat down in a rocker beside the bed to read the daily paper. After a few minutes he heard Fama give a big sigh. He put the paper down – and she was Dead! The flu that was widespread at that time could apparently be lethal in a very short time. His mother, my grandmother Mary Alice Woolley Rasberry took the little girls and kept them for a couple of years. He married for the second time Betty STARR – of a prominent Cherokee family. Her sister married a VANN – another prominent Cherokee family in the early days. My mother was never crazy about her “Indian sister-in-law” but Uncle Jack always seemed to be content with her. As with everyone else, the depression years were not easy for them – but not as hard as they were for some of us. As they grew older the became quite prosperous from oil wells that were drilled on land my Uncle had bought over the years. Alice and Becky are two of my dearest cousins – both having the same intense dark eyes that their father and my mother had. Alice was the family beauty in her youth – a strawberry blond (almost a true light red) with those snapping dark eyes and dimples (!) – Becky was pretty too – but not in the same league with Alice. Becky had dark hair and eyes, looked more like her father, and was always so sweet. I saw them both about ten years ago – Alice was still lovely and Becky still had a bubbling personality and that inherent kindness she has shown Anyway – I’m sure about this family.
Speaking of Alice’s almost-red hair, my grandfather, James Lawson Rasberry was a redhead who said he got into a lot of fights as a boy when he was called "Peckerwood". None of his children had red hair. Alice was the only grandchild who did. But he had several great grandchildren with red hair.
My, I do tend to get off the subject and tell long stories in which you probably have little or no interest. Sorry about that.
There’s on remark you made that leads me to think you (or Mitchelene) may have the story of my great-grandfather, William Green Rasberry (your #123), attributed to William R. Rasberry "Uncle Bill" (your #66). Either that or they had similar stories. My great-grandfather died at home in 1862 – and I wouldn’t have known much more than that except that my mother had told me the story that her father had told her. "Our" William Green ("Senior") had enlisted on the same day as his two nephews (sons of James whose wife was Arena/Irena Hayes and I have found proof of this). The two nephews, William Green Rasberry "Junior", and Enoch J., both died within months of disease contracted in camp The story goes that William Green "Senior" also contracted some disease and was sent home – or went home – to recuperate. After regaining his health, he was preparing to go back to the Confederate Army and rode his horse over to a relative’s (his Uncle James, perhaps) to say goodbye before reporting for duty again. On his way home from his farewell visit, his horse shied at a snake and threw him against a tree which caused fatal injuries. If you can find his family group sheets among these that printed out in such confusing order, you’ll find the story. I also have the C. S. A. units for the two nephews and their death dates on the family group sheet of James and Arena/Irena. Years later my great-grandmother did get a Confederate Pension.
Other than that I just highlighted names of people I have in my records that you didn’t show in yours. You may not want to get all James Lawson Rasberry's descendants in your program since it gets progressively more removed from your line with each generation – but I went on and printed all I have so far just in case you want it. There are some more cousins and second cousins whose children I don’t have any information about – but I have quite a whole lot.
I’m going to try to put these family group sheets in some kind of logical order – but I may not manage it – I can’t figure out the process by which my program printed them out in different order from the descendancy chart. If I’ve only served to confuse you further, I’m sorry and jst write and tell me where I have you mixed up.
Oh yes, while I’m on the Civil War business. I believe that wo sisters of "my" William Green Rasberry "Senior" lost husbands during the Civil War – whether by disease or wounds I don’t know. Mary Jane Rasberry (your number 126) lost her husband, McDonald Odem, and Celia Rasberry (your number 127) lost her husband, Jackson Garner. Celia remarried Calvin Lenoir. I don’t have definite proof of these, but found a reference in a church record of families who had lost members during the Civil War and saw the information about the two husbands lost in the war in that account – and have seen elsewhere that Celia was later married to Calvin Lenior. I didn’t follow up on this information to check it out for more facts and accuracy: that is one of those loose ends that dangle that I’d like to get back to one of these days.
Hope you can make heads or tails of this stuff I’m sending you. What I need from you is your part of the family from your mother forward. Your Davenport descendancy gets as far as Margaret Josephine Davenport – but what about her descendants (of which you are one)? By the way, thanks for the Davenport descendants, too, since one of my Campbell collateral lines is also one of your Davenport collateral lines. I haven’t checked my family groups yet from my Campbell files – but I thing the information you have on Wilson Davenport and Elmina Campbell gives me more information about their children than I had before. So, I’m feeling blessed to have made contact with you for several reasons.
More later, Cheers, A Rasberry Cuzzin, Azalia (P.S. I’m enclosing a picture of myself, so you can see with whom you’re corresponding with.)

28th March 1996

Dear Pat,
Talk about coincidence! How remarkable that my Aunt Mattie (Rasberry) Bennett (later Meadows) and your great-grandmother, Susan Rasberry Davenport lived close to each other in 1910 – and neither of them apparently knew of the other. You noticed in all that stuff I sent that Dorothy Bennett was married in Mangum in the early 30’s. Another cousin of mine (Dorothy died a few years ago) lived in Mangum for quite a few years after her marriage, then they lived in north Texas for some time – and about ten years ago moved back to Mangum! Maxine wasn’t happy about leaving her friends in Texas, but her husband owned land near Mangum and after retirement wanted to live there. Her husband, Vernon Sparkman, died about five or six years ago and she decided at her age to stay where she was. So che’s still in Mangum. Maxine Hopkins Sparkman is the daughter of my mother's twin. NOW – for more coincidence – Dorothy’s son, Dee Wells, is an Oklahoma State Policeman and lives in Altus which is not far from Mangum. Since his mother’s death, he has been keeping tabs on Maxine. He and his wife have her over for holiday dinners and do nice things for her – they came over and put up her tree and decorated for her at Christmas so the house would look festive when Lee (Maxine's son) and his wife came for the holidays from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.
Maxine is ten year older than I and has some medical condition which makes her very unsteady on her feet. She seems well except for that, but we all worry about her getting a bad fall – especially since she’s living alone. But having Dee nearby to check up on her frequently relieves our minds. Maxine and Dorothy were both teachers. Maxine told me recently that she reminded Dee that she had him in a class when her was bout Jr. High age – he said that yes, and it got even worse when he got to high school – then he was in a class his mother taught!
You might be interested in contacting Dee since you have a profession in common as well as some family history. His address is…
I even remember my mother telling of the whole family going to visit Mattie after the family had moved to Oklahoma. It was a journey from Chickasha to Tipton where Aunt Mattie lived. Tipton is about as far on the Southeast of Altus as Mangum is Northwest. I feel sure that Grandpa Lawson Rasberry never knew he had "kinfolks" living anywhere in that area except for his immediate relatives.
Speaking of my creaking old back – my primary care doctor is referring me to a pain management clinic to see if they can help to keep me going – or even help me to go a little better. I have no idea of what I might learn – but I’m more than willing to give it a try if it will enable me to get back to my former level of activity without having to undergo surgical intervention. It is so frustrating not to be able to do all the things I’ve always done and want to do – guess that says I’m not growing older gracefully. I still maintain that the person I see when I look in the mirror isn’t ME – it’s some old lady!
Well, my husband just came home from work and I have to prepare the billing for his work for the month of March so he can take it tomorrow, I can’t believe that a big outfit like Kennecott can’t seem to get the reports about what he was paid last year correct! First what they sent showed him making a great deal less than he really made. When I called this to their attention – they sent “corrected” reports that showed him making "way too much"! They finally agreed that my figures were right (on the phone) – but I still don’t have all the information to send to our accountant. He was paid from three different accounts since he was working under three different contracts – I finally have received two of the three that are correct. Now if they’ll just get the other one here before the tax filing deadline!
Write when you can. I got out my "cousinhood" chart, and if I figured it right, we would be 4th cousins, 2 times removed. You and dee would be 5th cousins, once removed. (I think)
Let me know if there is information you need that I neglected to send you. I’ll check to see if I have anthing more and be happy to send anything I have.
Your cuzzin, Azalia

The Elusive Aline, or Alice Rasberry

Image:Aline Rasberry.jpg

Azalia writes: About the picture of the little girl, Alice Rasberry – no, I don’t know what the connection could be – although it’s obvious there is one. I’m returning the picture to you so that you’ll have it if you want to inquire of someone else who might be able to identify her. I have a first cousin, Alice (Rasberry) Welliver, but I have a picture of “my” Alice with her sister, Becky, that my mother had – and these are not the same two little girls. It may be that you’ll run across someone else in your correspondence that will be able to tell you just who she is. I’ll return the picture of Susan Rasberry Davenport if you want or need it – otherwise I’ll keep it (better than I filed away your original letter and information) with my Rasberry pictures and memorabilia. Let me know.