If you have read this far, you are truly a glutton for punishment. LOL!! Here let me feed you some more.
THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!!!
[insert music here, cue up Rodney Atkins]
Below – Uncle_Jess_02 – THOMAS JESSE VANZANDT (My Great Uncle), CHILD OF DELPHIA ANN JONES AND ULYSSES GRANT WELCH (VANZANDT).
[cue in whiny Peggy.] Sometimes when you are as heavily into genealogy as I am, you really do feel like you are chasing ghosts. When there is very little to no information out there to bring our folks to life, I at least, get sad. I want to know *my* people, they are where I come from and it is they who make me who I am. I’d often heard my grandmother (maternal) talk about her big brother, Jess (Thomas Jess VanZandt). There was real love and admiration there. Of course, I didn’t know by the time I was around he was gone. And all I had for the longest time was just the memories of hearing grandma talk about him. Which is why you feel like you are chasing ghosts….if they lived where are the records?? Today (March 14, 2015 Just after Uncle Tom’s Birthday, Thank You, Uncle Tommy], I finally found a couple of newspaper articles. My mom’s brother had told me that Uncle Jess was a hero when he died. That he’d saved a couple of other coal miners. Not sure it’s true, but don’t think my uncle would intentionally lie either. It’s pretty silly being so happy to find ‘proof’ of a person I never even met. But, I finally have found something. I’m really thankful. An educated guess that the man in the photo below is my Great Uncle Jess. My Aunt Mabel on the left, my great grandmother in the middle: Delphia Ann Jones (VanZandt, York, Stewart) (NOTE: POSTED TO FACEBOOK: 3/14/2016)
SIDENOTE: COUSIN, HILLOUS YORK, You were so prophetic, 12 years later, I am putting it on the internet. Not to spite you, or anyone in the family. Instead because I want to find more of my people, and know more about my people, the same thing I asked for originally when a few stories about great grandma and a few pictures of great grandma would have sufficed. Thank you, to my Uncle Tom Coop, for lending me my grandmother’s photo albums before handing them over to my mother, and for telling me a couple of stories. None of which I am sure is accurate, but are great stories anyhow.
My mother’s brother, Uncle Tom (Named probably for Thomas Jess VanZandt, who was named for Jesse Franklin Jones & after, Thomas Williard Coop, my maternal grandfather’s father) Uncle Tom told me that Delphia Ann Jones was probably married at least 5-6 times. I’ve found evidence of three marriages, with absolute proof of NONE.
Delphia Ann Jones was ‘orphaned’ when she was a girl. Her parents died very young, first Jesse Jones, and then Susan Jones. Turns out she was ‘orphaned’ at damn near 20 years old. Her neighbors, the VanZandt’s took her in. She’s found in the census of 1920, in their household as a ‘servant’. Ulysses Grant VanZandt was a widower (first wife, Etta Davis), and well into his 30’s at the time, and it wasn’t long before the babies started coming. Marriage must have seemed pretty inevitable at some point. Only those intimately involved will truly know if love existed, but, man what a story!! At this point, it has to be enough for someone, maybe even me! Except that I really want that paper trail to catch up with the DNA evidence.
Delphia murdered at least a couple people. These are the best stories. One I’d remembered over hearing as a kid, so I know something happened, we’ll probably never
know the exact truth. But murder #1: Was a drunk man trying to enter her house uninvited. I can see it, I’ve been known to hurt people for inviting themselves in drunk. I kicked her a** right out my door!!!
Murder #2: Delphia was a cook, and my grandmother (Hazel Lorine VanZandt) a waitress at a restaurant somewhere there in Illinois. A truck driver came in to eat and decided he liked the looks of my grandmother (seems pretty typical of the male species). Apparently he couldn’t keep his hands off. My great grandmother warned him off. He tested, and lost. Being a mother of four kids, three of them girls. Oh yea, I can see this, specially considering the times that they lived in!
The above article tells about my Uncle Jess, but not really near enough. He died very young, at 35 years old. He was a veteran of WWII, and a Sea Bee. He died in 1951 in Old Ben #8. It seems to me the 50’s must have been a horrible decade for my grandmother and her family. In that decade several family members died.
Oren Ervin VanZandt was my grandmother’s 1/2 older brother. His parents Ulysses Grant Welch (VanZandt) and Etta Davis. Oren hit a soft spot on the shoulder and lost control of his car. He killed a woman in the process of the whole thing. He ended up with a broken neck. I’ve yet to find his obit, but, he died just about 14 months later, aged 55. And way too young. Photo from the Southern Illinoisan Newspaper, March 29, 1952.
Soon, more to come! Now to add just tidbits of this to FindAGrave. A girl’s job is NEVER done!! 😈 😆 Oh, um, could you pass me some of that sweet potato pie? I think I should probably try it after all! Thank ya! 😉