Saturday, June 16, 2012

More About the Family of Nora Castellaw Hilburn

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Source: Peggy Anderson

l to r: Children of John and Nora Castellaw Hilburn; Edith, age three,
Thomas, less than one, and Carrye, age seven.

After doing a little research for the blog entry I wrote a while back about the siblings of my great grandfather, Bob Castellaw, I was able to connect with a descendant of his sister, Nora Castellaw Hilburn. Peggy Anderson, who is Nora's great granddaughter was able to correct some information and provide some family photos of Nora's family. She was also able to let me know that her limb of the family tree has always been certain my great grandmother's middle name was "Miranda" rather than "Marianna" as it appears in some places.

Above is a photo of Nora's children.

Nora Castellaw was born 12 Nov 1878 to Thomas Jefferson Castellaw and Nancy Miranda Johnson Castellaw. She was the last of nine children born (six lived beyond infancy) to my second great grandparents. My great grandfather, Bob, was ten years old when she was born. Nora's father, Thomas, died when she was just four months old.

In 1897, Nora married John T. Hilburn who was from Atlanta. Their first child was a boy, Benjamin Franklin Hilburn, who did not live beyond birth. The following year, the couple had a daughter, Mable Lorine Hilburn. Eventually, they had seven children in addition to Mable; Dora Belle, Herman Lawrence, Carrie Loise, Edith Katheryn, James A. and Thomas Jefferson, who was obviously named after Nora's father.

By 1920, the family was living in Bartlett which is a community just outside of Memphis.

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l to r: Bob and Zula Castellaw, John and Nora Castellaw Hilburn
and Zach Fletcher Castellaw

Nora died tragically on 29 Nov 1941. Nora's daughter, Edith, and her husband, Howard Beloate were Christmas shopping and returned to find Nora being carried away in an ambulance.  She had been burning leaves or garbage and her dress caught fire.

The neighbors reported to the family that, even though she was burned all over her body, Nora stood up and insisted on walking to the ambulance.  She only lived about six hours after arriving at the hospital.

All her children were in Memphis at the time except her youngest son, Thomas Jefferson Hilburn. He was in the military and was unable to return home until one week after her burial in the cemetery at Holly Grove Baptist Church in Haywood County. His older sisters, Dora Belle and Edith, took him from Memphis to Holly Grove to see her grave and, according to them, it was raining and he knelt in the mud of her fresh grave and cried inconsolably.

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Source: Peggy Anderson

Herman Lawrence Hilburn, WWII (Son of John and Nora)

According to military records, John and Nora's son, Herman, enlisted in the Army on 30 Sept 1942 at Ft. Oglethorpe, GA when he was 38. At the time, he was a resident of Arkansas, single with no dependents and was working as a shipping and receiving clerk.

After the war, Herman returned to Bartlett, TN and lived in a small house on his sister Dora Belle's property which was also next door to their other sister, Edith. Herman smoked a pipe, worked for the Fruehauf Trailer Company and never married.

Peggy remembers him watching TV each night with her grandparents after eating his meals with Dora Belle and her family. He was also referred to as the "candy man" because he always kept candy on hand to share with the children of the family.

He died 25 March 1985 in Shelby County, TN at the age of 85 a short time after having a stroke.

Click to Enlarge

Source: Peggy Anderson

Edith Hilburn Beloate (daughter of John and Nora) with children
Nora and James Howard Beloate taken around 1940

To me, Nora Castellaw's daughter, Edith, looks a lot like an RKO studio movie star in the above photo. Edith married Howard M. Beloate and they raised their children in Bartlett, living next door to her sister Dora Belle.

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Source: Peggy Anderson

Nora Joy Beloate Williams (the little girl in the white dress above) and children,
David, Kathy in Nora's lap, Peggy and Ann on Easter Sunday, 1959

Edith and Howard's daughter, Nora married a Williams and they had four children. This looks a lot like my own Easter Sunday morning photos.

So Peggy (sitting in the chair playing with her sister in the photo above) and I share the same second great grandparents and our great grandparents were siblings. It's funny because you think of your own sibling and you assume that your great grandchildren will know each other when its much more likely, especially today, they will never even meet.

Fortunately, thanks to social networking, those with mutual descendants like Peggy and I can connect online and share genealogy information with each other and help connect with others from the same family lines.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or my Haywood County Line Genealogy Page.

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