As observed in early posts, the majority of the 20th Century descendants of Isaac (1822-1864) and Caroline Greer Wilson (1828-1911), left family farms and pursued occupations in the communities and cities usually far from ancestral roots in Sutherland, Ashe County, North Carolina.
In the United States, the number of persons employed in agriculture fell constantly from the Civil War to 1950 as agricultural mechanization and specialization increased, and as jobs in the growing industrial and manufacturing sectors proved more lucrative and attractive than subsistence farming. Such was the case with the ancestors of Shirley Sorrell who kindly shares these photographs.
Above at the Wilson-Greer and Families Seminar in 2014 in Boone, North Carolina, left Shirley Sorrell and right, distant cousin Jeanette Suggs.
The lineage of Shirley Sorrell
Her parents: Deronda (1918-1966) and Barbara McCall Donnelly (1922-1965)
Her parental grandparents: Thomas Earl (1892-1964) and Mayme Wilson Donnelly (1892-1975)
Her great grandparents: John (1855-1928) and Rebecca Wilson Wilson (1862-1954)
Her great great grandparents: Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson (the same as this writer)
Below, Shirley's father, Ronda Donnelly who served in India and Panama during World War II. Ronda and wife, Barbara McCall, lived in Boone, North Carolina (where Shirley was born) and later moved to Richmond, Virginia. Shirley's mother also served in World War II. She joined the WACs as a secretary during the war and lived in Washington, DC when in Army. Sadly, both Shirley's parents died young.
Below, left to right in the 1940s, Roger Donnelly, his mother, Mayme Donnelly, John Sutherland and his wife, Mayme's daughter, Becky Donnelly Sutherland.
Roger (1928-2011) moved to West Virginia, married Pauline Wilson Roark, who had one son from a previous marriage. Later, Roger worked in coal mines and road construction in Tennessee and owned a place in Shady Valley, Tennessee. He served in the Korean War.John Thomas Sutherland of Sutherland was a descendant of the family that founded the community along the North Fork of the New River in Ashe County. Neighbors married neighbors. John (1918-1991) moved to Raleigh when he and Becky Donnelly wed, and drove a Greyhound bus until his retirement. Becky graduated from Appalachian College in Boone and taught school a few years before marriage.
The Grandchilden and Great Grandchildren
of Rebecca Wilson Wilson, 1940 ca
Extreme back: Verd Wilson
Back row: Marie Wilson Marsh, Boyd Wilson, Don Wilson in hat, Roger Donnelly, Argus Wilson
2nd row: ?, Shirley Marsh, Virginia Hurt, Becky Donnelly, Ernest Wilson, Meredith Duncan, Shirley Hurt, Joe Donnelly
Front row: Bill Wilson, Marie Wilson, Rebecca Wilson, Robert Wilson, (in chair) Anna Bell Wilson, Becky Wilson, Becky Hurt, Betty Wilson
Readers are invited to help with identification of persons in this picture, and please send along any memories or information on any relatives.
All are invited to join in building the family tree at Wilson-Greer-Osborne-Forrester-Donnelly and Associated Families of Western NC at Ancestry.com. Just write to email@example.com for an invitation or to provide information on the reunion photograph. Thanks!