The Yeldell Family (Through My Eyes)

{April 23, 2012}   Hey!!! What About Us?

I seem to have become a tiny bit obsessed with my great great grandmother Martha that I have forgotten about my maternal grandmother side of the family.  Mama Lula and her family have shouted at me this weekend.  First by contacting me thru a new found relative about her father Enoch’s brother Joshua.  Then by the same relative contacting me about her daughter Aunt Essie.  They want recognition.  They have a voice and dog gone it will  be heard!!! Ok Ok Mama Lula attention is now being paid to you.  So here we are.

Lula Peterson Senior a.k.a Mama Lula was born in 1867 in the Blocker Township of Edgefield County SC.  I saw Mama Lula on the 1870 census and she was described as a mulatto.  You must remember mulatto is mixed with something not necessarily white.  Looking at the only picture that we have of her I think it was Indian.  However, after that census was taken other census records marked her as black/negro/colored.  She married Johnie Senior and they had at least 10 children.   I say at least because there are two I am not sure about and one that died when he was 12 years old.  Our aunts and uncles may not have even known about him.  In 1940 they lived on a farm off of highway 25.  Mama Lula and Papa Johnie were 68 and 63 years old (Papa Johnie being the oldest) and they had four grandchildren living with them.  They were James – 14 (believed to be Aunt Jennie’s son) Letha – 14 (Aunt Essie’s daughter) Jimmie – 12 (Aunt Essie’s son) and Eddie – 10 (Aunt Essie’s adopted son).  I only say adopted because this is what was said in the census.  My personal belief if you are legally adopted you are family the word adoption goes away.  Anyway Mama Lula didn’t live far from her daughter Essie.  At this point and time Essie was married to Willie “Buster” Ryans and they had four children together.  They were Willie Jr. – 8, Annie Lou – 6, Thomas – 4 and Jennie B – who was 6 months.  My mother said Jennie B was very sickly and did not live long but she was the only one my mother played with when they went to visit the farm.  She may have made it to the double digits. 

When I told mommy about what I had found.  It seemed to be unfair they had four teenagers living with them when at least one of their mother’s lived up the road.  Mommy said Papa Johnie wanted it that way.  I say mommy was to young to really know.  Papa Johnie died 4 years after this census was taken in 1944 suddenly he had a cerebral hemorrhage.  I am also thinking there was another relative in the area by the name of Ras Peterson.  Ras Peterson was the son to Mama Lula’s brother Enoch Jr.  He stayed between Aunt Essie and Mama Lula.  Ras definitely kept the family tradition of having a good number of children by having 6.  They are Annie – 14, Mattie – 13, Thomas – 10, Geneivieve – 9, Bernice – 8 and Robert Lee – 6.

The good thing about living on a farm is your family could be right next door without being right next door. All three families stayed like two doors away from each other.  It makes you wonder though.  My mom knew Essie’s children (both the one’s that stayed with Mama Lula and the ones that did not) but I never heard her mention Mama Lula’s nephew’s children.  Were they estranged?  Did they even know each other existed?  I was told by a possible relative that Mama Lula’s parents had enough children that it was possible for the younger ones to not know the older ones if they left early.  More that I need to look into.  Ok well that’s all for now Until Next Time…


I love how you freely speak to your blog readers!! The old days seemed to be better for families to be together and live in close proximity. Great Point!!!

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