Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Two Mothers

Faithie Lyons Wheeler and Gladys Wheeler Starks ~

Over the summer of 2012, I went on a genealogy research trip to the region of Tennessee where most of my family originated.  It was not my first trip to Tennessee, but it was my first research trip.  My itinerary started with a very personal visit to Highland Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Highland is one of the first "colored cemeteries" in Chattanooga. 

I made contact with the cemetery staff in advance and had gotten the burial sites to coordinate someone showing me the locations.  I met with the grave diggers, as they called themselves, at the cemetery gates at 10 a.m.  They guided me to six family graves.  Only two, my grandmother and great-grandmother had tombstones to mark their burial site.  I later asked my dad why were my grandmothers the only ones with tombstones and he said, "Because they were the Mothers".  I didn't have to ask him what he meant, I knew.  I had only brought flowers to place on the graves of the two Mothers.

Highland Memorial Garden Cemetery - mapped

                                                        Faithie wife of Dave Wheeler
                                                        Sept 13, 1884 - June 10, 1936

My paternal great-grandmother is Fathie Lyons Wheeler.  She was born 13 Sep 1884 in Tennessee.  Her mother died when she was very young so she was raised by her aunt Mary Lyons.  She married David Isaac Wheeler on 13 Dec 1903 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They had three daughters Lovie, Gladys and Daisy Wheeler.  Lovie preceded her mother in death.  Fathie died 10 Jun 1936 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

My paternal grandmother is Gladys Wheeler Starks.  She was born 20 May 1908 (not 8 May) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Her parents were David Isaac and Faithie Lyons Wheeler.  She married LaGrant Starks on 23 Jun 1930 in Rossville, Walker, Georgia.  They had nine children.  Two children preceded her in death.  Gladys died 22 Sep 1988 (not 24 Sep) in Chattanooga on her husband's 83rd birthday.

Please visit GeneaBloggers to learn more about Tombstone Tuesday.

See Fathie Lyons Wheeler's tombstone on Pinterest.