One of the delights of the Internet has been to discover distant cousins and relatives of my grand and great grandparents; stories that would have been lost otherwise. Thanks to cousin Shirley Sorrell, an avid family historian, we are able to continue to post photographs and biographical data about shared relatives.
Shirley and I are both great great grandchildren of Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson, whose Civil War stories reverberate through our various family branches. Shirley's ancestor was John Wilson, a son of Isaac and Caroline. My great grandmother was Frances Caroline Wilson Osborne, a sister of John.
So Shirley's grandmother, Mayme Wilson Donnelly (1892-1975), was a first cousin to my grandmother, ironically of the same first name, Mayme Torrence Osborne Stansbery (1896-1943).
As with my branch of the Greer/Wilson/Osborne families, Shirley's moved from rural areas to the technology employment opportunities of urban centers. My great uncles, at least three sons and son-in-laws of Frankie and G.W. Osborne, also left family farms and in their careers, became automobile mechanics and salesmen in the early 20th Century.
Below in the late 1930s, Rebekah Sue Donnelly Sutherland (September 28, 1921 - August 8, 1999) , Mayme Wilson Donnelly and Roger Gus Donnelly at their home in Sutherland, North Carolina. Becky was Shirley's aunt, and Roger, her uncle. Mayme's other child, Deronda Donnelly, the father of Shirley, is not in these first photographs.
Below perhaps a decade older, are the same three persons, same home in Sutherland.
Below, at the same house in Sutherland, Becky holds Nancy, her only child. Right is Barbara McCall Donnelly, another daughter-in-law of Mayme Wilson Donnelly, and wife of Deronda Donnelly, Shirley Sorrell's father. Barbara is holding young Shirley. The date is approximately 1951.
Above, Deronda Donnelly, Shirley Sorrell's father and husband of Barbara McCall. This picture was taken at Lee McCrae College in the 1930s, when 'Ronda' was a student in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
Below, Becky Donnelly, obviously on a special occasion! She married John Thomas Sutherland (April 25, 1918- July 9, 1991) on November 20, 1942. They had one daughter, Nancy Leigh Sutherland Broyles. Becky graduated from Appalachian State College and taught school before her marriage to John, a Greyhound Bus driver. The family moved from the North Carolina highlands, which their ancestors had settled in the late 1700s to Raleigh, North Carolina in the mid 20th Century.
The lives of Becky and John illustrate the increasing education levels of the family, and the need to relocate to a major city for employment opportunities. Families were leaving the mountains and migrating to urban areas. And if Becky is an example, also becoming snappy dressers!