Friday, April 27, 2018

52 Ancestors #17: Effie (Beard) Jennings (1871-1906): A Brief Life

Ancestor: Effie (Beard) Jennings, great grandmother

The first time I wrote about my great grandmother, Effie (Beard) Jennings, I titled the post, The Mother Nobody Knew, because she died when her children were still quite young, very few source documents referenced her, and my father had just learned her maiden name shortly before his health no longer permitted him to research his family tree.

A second cousin and friend emailed a photograph of Effie after reading that post.

Effie (Beard) Jennings; courtesy of Janie Darby

She was born on 1 October 1871 in Bedford County to David Fleming Beard, Sr., and his second wife, Barbara Ann Mitchell. She was their second child although her father had one or two surviving adult children from his first marriage. Dad believed Effie's middle name was Davis though I have not seen that name on any document.

Effie's father was nearly 30 years older than his second wife and he died when Effie was soon to turn seven years old. She and her three siblings grew up on their father, David's 210-acre farm with their widowed mother but I have not been able to find them in the 1870 or 1880 census. Her mother, Barbara Ann (Mitchell) Beard, died on 28 September 1890, two days before Effie's 19th birthday. After her death, Effie and her sister, "Berta," and brother, David, Jr., went to live with relatives.

In 1891 she and her other minor siblings became defendants in a bill of complaint filed with the Bedford County Chancery Court. The plaintiffs were Effie's half sister, Martha, and Martha's husband Burwell David Mitchell[1], and an E. M. Beard, who may have been a half-brother or perhaps her brother, Albert. The plainiffs sued them in order to force the sale of their father's farm so the proceeds could be distributed among his heirs. The land was eventually sold for $441.00. The final decree in the case was not filed with the court clerk until 1901.

Albert, her older brother got a job with Norfolk & Western Railway, moved to Roanoke and married. He became the administrator of his father's estate and sold off his father's personal property. The list of sales filed with the county stated the sale netted $52.00.

According, to my second cousin, her grandmother (and Effie's only daughter), found a marriage license for Effie and Charles Edward Jennings dated June 1895. In an echo of her mother's life, Effie married a widower with children who was 28 years her senior. He had recently moved from Amherst County, Virginia, to Roanoke and started a grocery business. I'm not really sure how Effie and Charles met. Perhaps she lived with her brother in Roanoke and shopped in Charles' grocery store?

In 1900 the population of the city was just over 21,000 and had grown 33% in 10 years. The cotton mills, railroads, and coal industries were major reasons for Roanoke's growth. When the census was enumerated Effie and Charles lived at 1203 -- 3rd Avenue NW. They told the census taker they were married in 1896. Four of Charles' children by his first wife lived with them and Effie had two children named Daisy and Leo. She had my grandfather, Marvin Edward, in 1901 or 1902[2]. In December 1905 she had a fourth child they named Clyde Graham Jennings. Effie died on 4 May 1906 at the age of 34 of heart disease in Roanoke. She was interred in Fair View Cemetery. Her infant son, Clyde died the following June and was buried beside his mother.

Graves of Charles, Effie and Clyde Jennings; photograph courtesy of John

By 1911 Effie's widower could no longer care for their children. Daisy was sent to live with Effie's sister, Berta (Beard) Mays; Leo was sent to live with his half-sister, Leta (Jennings) Womack in Tennessee; and Marvin was placed in the Lutheran Orphanage in Salem, Virginia. In 1913 Charles Jennings joined his son Leo in Tennessee and lived with his daughter until his death in 1917. He was interred beside his wife at Fair View Cemetery in Roanoke.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. The theme for this week was "Cemetery." If not for the Find A Grave memorial and photograph, I would not know the birth or death dates of my great grandmother.

Using the Ancestral Reference Numbering System, Effie (Beard) Jennings is Ancestor number 9 on my family tree:

9 Effie Beard, born 1 October 1871 in Bedford County, Virginia, daughter of David Fleming Beard, Sr. and Barbara Ann Mitchell; died 4 May 1906 in Roanoke, Virginia; married Charles Edward Jennings about 1895 in Virginia, his second wife.

9.1 Daisy Birdelle Jennings, born 14 November 1896 in Roanoke; died 28 April 1947 in Statesville, North Carolina; married William Luckey Moore, Sr., son of Jay Luckey Moore and Jane Elisabeth Steele, on 20 September 1916 in Johnson City, Tennessee.

9.2 Leo James Jennings, born 31 October 1898 in Roanoke; died 3 October 1973 in Pacific Palisades, California; married three times: 1) Bonnie Sue Wolfe, daughter of James H. Wolfe and Mollie Jane Shell, on 27 November 1919 in Iredell County, North Carolina, 2) Kathleen O'Gorman, daughter of William and Margaret O'Gorman on 14 March 1933 in Yuma County, Arizona; and 3) Marcella G. (maiden name unknown) sometime before 1958.

4 Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr., born 16 November 1901 in Roanoke; died 1 May 1961 in Arlington County, Virginia; married Alice Muir, daughter of Robert Muir and Ida Mae Riggin, on 13 May 1924 in East St. Louis, Illinois. (See Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr. (1901-1961): A Railroad Man)

9.3 Clyde Graham Jennings, born 29 December 1905 in Roanoke; died 12 June 1906 in Roanoke.

[1] Burwell David Mitchell was the brother of Effie's mother; so he was her uncle and her half brother-in-law.
[2] Marvin Edward Jennings' delayed birth certificated listed 1902 as his birth year but he used 1901 throughout his life.


1900 US Census (database and images), FamilySearch, Etha B Jennings in household of Charles E Jennings, Roanoke city Ward 5, Roanoke, Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 102, sheet 7B, family 135, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972); FHL microfilm 1241739 (accessed 17 Dec 2012).
Charles Edward Jennings (1843-1917): First to Leave the Farm, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 20 Mar 2018).
David Fleming Beard, Sr. (1812-1878): A Man of His Times, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 20 Apr 2018).
Discover Roanoke History and Heritage: 1900-1925, The Roanoke Times (accessed 25 Apr 2018).
Jennings, Daniel, Letter and application to Lutheran Orphanage, Salem, Virginia, 12 Aug 1911
Lutheran Orphanage in Salem, Virginia, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
Marvin Edward Jennings (1901-1961), Robert Muir Family Blog (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
My Grandfather and the Orphanage, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 12 Feb 2018)
Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr. (1901-1961): A Railroad Man, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 20 Mar 2018).
North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975 (database and images), Ancestry, Effie Beard mother of Mrs. Daisy Jennings Moore, citing North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Registration District 49-8, Certificate 105 (accessed Mar 16 2013).
North Carolina Marriage Records, 1741-2011 (database and images), Ancestry, E B Jennings mother of Leo James Jennings groom, Iredell County, 15 Nov 1919 (accessed 3 Jun 2016).
Roanoke, Virginia, Wikipedia (accessed (25 Apr 2018).
The Court Doth Adjudge, Order and Decree, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 20 Mar 2018).
The Mother Nobody Knew, Tangled Roots and Trees (accessed 20 Mar 2018).
US Find A Grave (database and images), Find A Grave, Effie Beard Jennings, Memorial 55849385 (accessed 17 Dec 2012).
US Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (database), Ancestry, Effie Beard mother of Daisy Jennings Moore (accessed 29 Nov 2015).
Virginia Birth Records, 1864-1999 (database and images), Ancestry, Effie Beard Jennings mother of Leo James Jennings; citing Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate 2793 (accessed 3 Jan 2015).
Virginia Chancery Court Records, 1761-1969, (database and images), Library of Virginia, E M Beard, B D Mitchell and wife v. Effie Beard, etc., 1901-117 (accessed 15 Nov 2014).
Virginia Death Records, 1912-2014 (database and images), Ancestry, Effie Beard mother of Marvin E Jennings Sr; citing Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Registration Area 106, Certificate 285 (accessed 3 Jan 2015).

Did These Beard Brothers Die in the Civil War?
David Fleming Beard, Sr. (1812-1878): A Man of His Times
Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Land
Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church Petition
The Elizabeth Beard First Cousins: Which Is Which?
Samuel Beard (1750-1814): Revolutionary War Veteran
The Several Elizabeth Beards
Adam Beard (c1727-1777): Constable of Bedford County
John Beard (c1705-1780): A Man of Means
Marvin Edward Jennings, Sr. (1901-1961): A Railroad Man
Who's Your Daddy, Adam Beard?
Beard and Jennings: More Interconnected than I Thought
The Court Case Regarding the Slaves of Mary (Mitchell) Beard
Proving James Harvey Beard's Father
Slaves of John Beard (1705-1780) of Bedford County, Virginia
The Court Doth Adjudge, Order and Decree
The Mother Nobody Knew
George Washington Spoke to Him
Ancestry DNA and Finding a New Cousin

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