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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Her Birthday is Forget-Me-Not Day (for real!)

On an undated page in Berta Mary's autograph album are penned the following words :- 

Dear Berta :-
Think of me when you are happy
Keep for me one little spot
In the depths of thine affection
Plant a sweet forget me not. 

Your loving friend,

The 10th day of November is often designated as Forget-Me-Not Day on various online calendars and websites . . . so here's wishing a Happy Forget-Me-Not Day to all of y'all! And . . .

Happy Birthday to my maternal great-grandma,
Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp (1873-1955).

On this date in our family history . . . the 10th day of November . . . in the year 1873 . . . on the Hall Plantation in Houston County, Texas . . . a baby girl is born to Sam Houston Sharp (1839-1885) and his wife, Mary Alexandrien "Nellie" Sharp nee Lemaire (1843-1876). Given the name Berta Mary, this baby is the 6th of the seven children known to have been born to this couple.

  • 1876 :: Death. Houston Co. TX. Little Berta's mother, Nellie, dies exactly one month before Berta's 3rd birthday. Age 33. Is Nellie's mother -- Elizabeth A. Lemaire Beale nee Waring (born ca. 1824 in Maryland) -- still living at this time? 

  • 1878 :: Death. Houston Co. TX. Berta's paternal aunt and mother-figure -- Margaret Hall Stewart nee Sharp -- dies when Berta is 5. Age 38.

  • 1880 :: Census. Houston Co. TX. Berta Sharp is enumerated as a 5-year-old [sic] living in the household of her paternal grandma, Mahaley Hall -- aka Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885) -- along with her widowed father and all living siblings.

  • 1882 :: Marriage. Houston Co. TX. Berta's paternal half-uncle, Horace Oscar Hall (1854-1934), marries Florine Annie Kirkpatrick (1861-1900). Is he now managing the Hall Plantation, or co-managing it with his half-brother (and Berta's father), Sam Sharp?

  • 1885 :: Death. Houston Co. TX. It is around this time when Berta Mary loses her father, Sam, and her baby sister, Willie (1876-1885), as well as her paternal grandma, Mahala. Berta is only 12 at the time, and is the baby of the family. Is the Hall Plantation still intact and operating? If so, is H.O. Hall running it? Who does Berta Mary live with now?

  • 1889 :: Marriage. Milam Co. TX. Berta's brother, Sam Sharp, Jr. (1867-1921) marries Emma Henry (1872-1944). Emma is the twin sister of Berta's future husband. Berta is 15.

  • 1890 :: Marriage. Houston Co. TX. Berta's sister, Margaret Elizabeth "Maggie" Sharp (1869-1935), marries John Henry McCann (1870-1907).

  • 1893 :: Autograph. Berta's sister, Ida Mae Sharp (1871-1964), signs Berta's autograph book on Christmas Day.

  • 1893 :: Autographs. Daly's TX. Alice Chiles and John Chiles sign Berta's autograph book on the 28th of December.

  • 1894 :: Autograph. Daly's TX. Frank Meriwether signs Berta's autograph book in January.

  • 1894 :: Autographs. Elkhart TX. Berta's autograph book is signed on the 4th day of January by Annie Hughes, Ella Hughes, George W. Hughes, Robert A. Hughes, and Etta Weisinger.

  • 1894 :: Autographs. Daly's TX. Gail Clinton and G.B. Kent write in Berta's autograph book on January 16th. Mention is made of Berta's pending move to Rockdale TX.

  • 1894 :: Autograph. Daly's TX. Ella Kent writes in Berta's autograph book on January 17th.

  • 1894 :: Autograph. Rockdale TX. Berta's brothers-in-law, Edgar Henry (1872-1950) and J.B. Henry (1870-1956) write in her autograph book on the 11th day of March. Edgar is Berta's future husband, and is the twin brother of the wife of Berta's brother, Sam Sharp, Jr.

  • 1894 :: Photograph. Rockdale TX. In a numbered series of photos taken by John Scott of Rockdale, Berta's portrait is #3985. #3986 is Berta Mary and an unknown woman, perhaps her sister, Maggie. #3987 is Berta's future mother-in-law, Josephine. #3988 is Berta's sister-in-law, Ella, who marries in December of this year. The two photos of Berta mentioned here are featured in the collage shown above (click to enlarge).

  • 1894 :: Autograph. Rockdale TX. Berta's sister-in-law, Ella Henry (1875-1967), writes a birthday message in Berta's autograph book on the 10th of November. Berta is 21 years old. This page from the autograph album is also visible in the collage.

  • 1894 :: Autographs. Rockdale TX. Berta's brother, S.H. Sharp, and her cousin. L.O. Stewart, write in her autograph book on November 12th.

  • 1895 :: Wedding. Houston Co. TX. Berta Mary Sharp becomes the bride of Edgar Henry on January 2nd. Why do they marry in Houston County? Did they marry at the Hall Plantation? Wonder if there might be a write-up in a Crockett newspaper?

  • 1895 :: Birth. Milam Co. TX. Berta Mary's first child, Rubie May (1895-1978), is born on the 18th of October.

  • 1897 :: Birth. Milam Co. TX. Berta's 2nd child, George Rettig (1897-1977), is born on the 21st of August.

  • 1899 :: Group Photo. Milam Co. TX. Berta is present in a Henry family photo presumed to have been taken during the winter of 1898-1899.

  • 1899 :: Birth. Milam Co. TX. Berta's 3rd child, Frank (1899-1952), is born on July 10th.

  • 1899 :: Death. Milam Co. TX. Berta's mother-in-law, Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899), is dragged to her death by the hair of her head on the 28th day of October.

Berta's marriage will continue until her husband's death in 1950 . . . and her life, which began shortly before the start of the last quarter of the 19th century, will go on to span more than half of the 20th century . . . the next quarter century of this timeline . . . including the birth of my maternal grandpa, Robert E. Henry (1905-1976) . . . will pick up at a later date . . . 

For more information on Forget Me Not Day, go > HERE < and then click on the link to Shades of the Departed to read the article entitled simply forget me not.


Beth Niquette said...

Well, happy birthday to Berta! (grin) What an interesting blog you have here!

Yaya' s Home said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate your ancestor. Happy Birthday to Berta and may you get to greet her in the hereafter when the time is right. ~ Yaya

Yaya's Home

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