Jan 06 2009

Buried in dead relatives

Posted by J. Craig Canada in canada

I’m only writing this because I vowed to make at least one entry per month, preferably one per week, and I made only one entry in December. This is partly because I was very depressed pretty much throughout the holidays. Heather, who knows of me from my rantings on the local newspaper’s forum, stopped by and brought me a couple of quarts of a delicious gumbo, and a pair of slippers, and some cash. It was very nice. They’ve had a hard time themselves, lost their house.

My mother was also kind. She sent some of the deeds from my great-grandfather’s estate and so I spent some time with Google Earth plotting his estate and it’s divisions. The deeds mother sent documented 700 acres, and I think there was probably more.

I spent the holidays very homesick, for a time and a place that I not only fled time and again but that I literally gave up everything to get away from. Particularly those 20 acres and money enough for a house my father left me. It does seem to me people aren’t really any different here, and things aren’t really any better here. But then again, I’m not in jail.

I’m told my father was a gambler. Hell, his brothers found boxes of stubs from the race track. My mother said her sister saw him picking up stubs in the parking lot. Now, why would he do that? He won a jackpot it seems, in a Mississippi casino. And when he died, even after spending considerably on a young woman and medical procedures for himself (I’m told) there was enough left to make sure I knew I could always come home.

That was the one thing he wanted me to know, that I could always come home.

I spent the holidays mulling over the past, something I’ve never my whole life long had time to do before.

When my mother lived at Blue Ridge Summit they learned that one of the famous past residents was Wallis Simpson. When someone on the local forum posted Obama’s genealogy I came to learn Wallis (Bessie Warfield) was my 6th cousin 3 times removed. She married Edward VIII of England who abdicated in order to marry her.

So my mother sent me the book she had for many years now about Wallis, and it turns out that Wallis was friends with Benjamin Thaw who was ½ nephew of Harry Thaw. And Wallis lived with Harry Thaw’s mother. Delphin Delmas, husband of my 4th cousin 4 times removed Pauline Hoge, successfully defended Harry Thaw for murder in the Trial of the Century.

My connection to Harry is that Benjamin married Consuelo Morgan who was sister of Gloria Morgan who married Reginald Vanderbilt (having daughter Gloria Vanderbilt). Reginald’s brother Cornelius was the father of Grace Vanderbilt who married my 7th cousin twice removed Henry Gassaway Davis.

Gloria Vanderbilt, daughter of Reginald, married Howard Hughes, among others. Leo states on his Genealogics site:

Aged twenty-three her son Carter Cooper fell to his death, on 22 July 1988, before her eyes. He jumped from the 14th floor terrace of her New York City penthouse apartment. Gloria Vanderbilt later wrote about her son’s death in her book _A Mother’s Story,_ in which she expresses her belief that the suicide was caused by a psychotic episode induced by an allergy to the medical prescription drug _Proventil._ ‘After Carter died, I really didn’t think I was going to go on living and I did. And the way I did is, you do it moment to moment,’ she said in a TV interview. ‘I mean, there is never closure on anything like that’.

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