I am continually amazed at the instant bonding that happens as cousins connect via electronic means across the miles. I generally feel a real kinship and a connection despite the fact that we have never met face to face. In my mind, I can almost see our ancestors smiling from beyond, glad to know that against all odds, distant cousins have managed to find each other across the miles and join together in a quest to know them better.
Addison R. Ganus was “my” John Monroe Ganus’s youngest brother and my second great granduncle. He was born Jun 1847, likely in Fayetteville, Georgia. While there are no known pictures of Addison, thanks to information shared by descendants of Addison’s siblings, I feel that I can almost picture him. One thing I know for sure, he had that ole Ganus spunk.
|Typical Shotgun style house|
Addison married Sarah Bowen on 20 September 1866 in nearby Coweta, Georgia where Sarah had lived in the home of her parents, Richard Bowen and Annie Carr. For a few years after they were married, Addison and Sarah, or Sally as she was called, lived in the Fayette County area, but by 1900 they had moved to Carrollton, Carroll County, Georgia. There they lived in a three room shotgun style house, had a little farm with chickens and cows and there they lived out the rest of their life. It is said that Sally loved the cows and that the cows ran away when anyone else tried to milk them. I’m not so sure that Addison felt that same affection for the cows. Apparently nothing riled him more than finding that his cows had gone home with someone else’s cows in the evening and were now in their barn. At that point Ad’s well known “high temper” flared and everyone in the area could hear Ad yelling at his cows to get them back to his barn.
Ad and Sally were never able to have children, but according to the family stories, they adopted two Chance boys. On the 1900 census, Robert Chance is shown living in their household, but I could find no other Chance boy ever living with them. I did find it very interesting that when Addison died on 3 Dec 1927, that listed on his death certificate was his informant, I.C. Chance of Ashville, North Carolina. Although Sally, his wife was still living at that time, she was not the informant, as was often the case. It would seem that I.C. had come a considerable distance to be there, leading me to believe that Addison was important to him and that possibly he was the other “Chance boy.” I will need to do further research to see if I can’t determine for sure what the relationship was between I.C. Chance and Addison. Addison is recorded as having been 83 years old at the time of his death and so he had those good ole long Ganus genes passed down from his father and grandfather. Sally followed Addison about six months later, dying 7 June 1928 at the age of 85. Their death certificates both indicate that they were buried at the Tallapoosa Church cemetery, yet there are no headstones in that cemetery for them.
A funny story was recorded by those that knew Addison. The story pertains to a grandnephew of Addison’s and obviously a name sake, Ad Lee who lived nearby. Apparently he had some white overalls that Ad Ganus just hated and Ad Ganus made it known. One day when Ad Lee’s overalls were hung on the clothesline to dry, they disappeared. Look as they might, no one could find them. The following spring when the stables were cleaned out and the manure taken from the barn and spread out on the fields for fertilizer, there the overalls were, buried deep in the manure in the barn. Apparently there was no question in anyone’s mind how they got there.
Ad and Sally grew and cured their own tobacco and then smoked it in corncob pipes. Those that visited noted that Sally liked to smoke a pipe with a long thin cane stem and some recalled that they had never seen a woman smoke a pipe before. Friends and family liked to visit Ad and Sally in the evenings. I can just envision them sitting on their porch, smoking their pipes and visiting until bedtime at which point Ad and Sally would retire to their rope bed..
I feel so much gratitude for those that thought to record the “small” details of Addison and Sally’s lives and even more grateful that they freely shared those details with me, a distant cousin, living many miles away. Some times I feel a little cheated that I live a life so distant from my southern roots and that consequently so many details of my ancestor’s lives are so foreign to me. But I will be forever grateful for my generous southern cousins that have reached out, pulled me in and included me in a way that helps me feel a connection to my southern heritage.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2012
4 thoughts on “Those wonderful Southern roots”
That is just too funny about the white overalls! What a character the elder Addison must have been!
It's so wonderful to be able to connect with distant relatives and be able to share what's been discovered about different branches of the family. Glad you were able to benefit from that–and, I'm sure, to share some material with others, too.
Love the details of the rope bed, the corncob pipes, the overalls buried in manure, and Ad yelling at the cows. Not to mention the two adopted Chances (fitting names!). I appreciate what you're saying–you and I come from the same neck of the woods, or close. I also have Southern roots, as well as generous cousins who have pulled me in — both very early and my life and now in recent years when I was researching my new family history memoir. They have been so "gracious" — that's the Southern word, I think. I've tried to pay them back becoming unofficially the family genealogist. Nothing like family, nothing like roots.
Yes, it's been a wonderful exchange. Those cousins were a "forum find" though that we've all discussed. Found a cousin on a surname forum and while the cousin I initially found didn't have really anything to share, she knew who did! She provided me with a mailing address of a person who does not own a computer, so then I had to write them snail mail.It turned out to be a wonderful lead and we shared back and forth. But it was the forum that led me to her. I am a big fan of mailing lists and forums.
Yes, gracious certainly is the right word. Thanks for your comments. It does seem that we are having similar adventures as we research our Southern roots and I am loving every minute as I am sure you are.