Location: Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama, United States
Surnames/tags: Tate Weir Johnson
Memories of Isaac Leroy Tate
Isaac Lee Roy Tate wrote down his memories of his family tree in a document dated December 28th, 1964. A copy of the document is in the possession of Ramona Pope, and a scanned version is held by M. Pope.
- Source Example:
- <span id='Tate'></span>Tate, Isaac Leroy. ''[[Space:Memories_of_Isaac_Lee_Roy_Tate%2C_28_Dec._1964|Memories of Isaac Leroy Tate]],'' Birmingham, Alabama 1964.
- Inline Citation Example:
Transcription of Document
Note. Spelling is transcribed verbatim; corrections and additions to encourage cousin bait are in [brackets].
Birmingham Ala - 12 - 28 th - 1964.
To the Grandchildren of Isaac Leroy, and Mamie Lee Weir Tate.
This is A family Tree, and a Diary of your ancestors of the Tate's and Weirs. Your Great-Great Grandfather Harvey Tate, when a young man lived in Spartonburg [Spartanburg] Southcarolina [South Carolina], he had ten brothers but had no sisters, there was a wagon train of people planning to go west, some eight or ten familys encludeing three of his brothers familys. They traveled in covered wagons just like the program on T V called wagon-train. This wagon train left Spartonburg in the fall of 1854, Your Great grandfather was four years old at that time, they came to Georgia the first winter and stayed in that state four years, your Great grandfather's name was Henry G. Tate, after spending four years in Georgia, they decided to moove on farther west, Mabie one reason for that moove was, your Great-Great grandfather had made contact with people in Lamar county Ala, and wer employed to teach School. He had been a cripple from the time he was five years old, He had at that time what is now know as Infantile Peralliasses [paralysis], his body had all developed except for one of his legs, it was small, it never grew like his other leg, he could get around on crutches, and was fortunate enough to get an education, he was a good School teacher and could write the prettyest hand I thank I have ever seen, This moove happened back in slavery time, He owned twelve slaves, but when he left Georgia, he left ten of them with his brothers that stayed in georgia, Two of them went with the family and remained with them after they wer freed by the Sivil [Civil] War they wer getting old, Just the handy man and the Cook. of course they soon passed away, and was burried by the family.
At this time Your GreatGrandfather Henry G. Tate was about twelve years old, the war had ended, but there were hard times for the people in the Southern States. Your Great grand father at this time was the only one around the farm that could do the chores and tend the land since his dad was a cripple, I could tell you about many a hardship that came his way, as he told it to me, for instance, there were no matches to be bought in the south at that time, people had to keep fire burning in or around the place all the time, if they let the fire go out, one of the family would have to go to the nearest neighbors house and borrow what they called then, a chunk of fire, he would have to hurry home with it, and believe me, they tryed not to let the fire go out again soon. Soon Henry G. Tate was a grown man, and Married the Daughter [ Emily Johnson ] of one Bill Johnson. Insidently, this Bill Johnson was the Grear-Great grandfather of the famous Johnson singing sisters.
Your Great grandad reared a large family by the first marriage, infact there wer nine children, one died while an infant, but there were eight who lived to be grown and married, his first wife passed away leaveing children from three months old up to grown and married, well one of his daughters had children older than I was, you see I was the second child of his second marriage. He married my mother pretty soon after the death of the first wife, you see his two oldest daughters got married about this time and it left him without a cook. So he goes over to church where A man named Isaac Thomas Nabors wer pastor and meets his daughter Martha Ann Nabors, they had a short cort-ship he asked the old man for his daughter and they were married. Isaac T Nabors was your great Great grandfather on my mothers side. Henry G. Tate and Martha Ann Nabors reared a family, there wer seven children of the last family of Henry, makeing the number of his children sixteen.
The seven children of Henry G. Tate and Martha Ann Nabors wer as follows, Harvey the second, Isaac Leroy, The second, both he and I being named after our Grandfathers, then came Velma, Elma, John, Katie, and last Willie Austin (Bill). Bill was seven years of age when our mother Martha passed away, two months later our father also passed away, The oldest boy of the seven had married and that left the Six of us at home, I was nineteen years old at that time, and the breadwinner of those Brothers and Sisters. Infact, I had been the breadwinner for the family for about three years prior to this time because our father was disable to work, and at that time there were no pension's or socialsecurity money for the aged. I never regretted spending what I earned for them. I had been courting as was called then, A young Lady, Mamie Lee Weir, who now is your Grandmother Tate. known to all of you as MaMa Tate. Mamie Lee Weir and Isaac Leroy Tate were married Febuary eighth nineteen hundred and twenty. there were four sons borned to her and I, the first, James Edward Tate, then Cecil Alexander Tate, Willie Harold Tate, Roy Lee Tate. Now lets go back and tell you about MaMa Tates Ansestors, as far back as I know them is her Grand-parents, Her Grandfather on the Weir side was named G. G. Weir, he was a yankey I supose? for he had been an officer in the Northern army in the war between the states, he reared a large family was verry consertive with his money, infact he had acumilated much wealth, He had a large steel safe in his private room that none of the family wer allowed to go in, it was known for afact that he kept large sums of money in his safe, includeing Gold, he was getting old and had decided to visit his Sons and Daughters that lived in Birmingham at the time, before he left Lamar County Ala for B'ham, he got one of his somes to carry him to Columbus Miss, He had a yankee friend in Columbus that he put his trust in rather than eny of his family. he had been known to say that none of his people would ever get eny of his Money.
And they didn't, When he made the trip to Columbus, he cleaned out his big Safe, filled two large suitcases with the contents and his Son carried him to Columbus where he said he was leaveing his valuables with his Yankie friend, he came back home and boarded a train for B;ham. He stayed a few days with his Sons and Daughters, then one day one of his duaghters found him on a cot, She thought Asleep, but instead he had passed away without a sound. he had a little cash on his person, mabie enough to bury him. Afew days after the funeral, one of his sons and a Suninlaw [son-in-law] employed a lawyer and a locksmith and went down to the old home to try and see what they could finde that he had left behinde, when the safe was opened by the locksmith there was nothing in it except land deeds, he did have a lot af land and had already given all his children ten of them forty acres of land, Then the Boys went with the Lawyer to Columbus Miss to see the old mans Yankey Friend, they were told there that he had onley left papers with him, they asked him what did those two heavy suitcases contain that were left with him? He contended that there was nothing of Value in them. Of course they couldnt proove there was. The Lawyer went with them to every Bank in town and Checked, He had not deposited eny mony in eny of them. The Boys wer pretty sure he had not put his money in eny bank, because he didn't trust the Banks, that's why he kept the big safe. Your Great Grandfather, George Alexander Weir had already Married one Essie Vaughn, her Mother was Nina Vaughn, your great great Grandmother, Allof Mama Weir Tates children called her littl Mama, and called your Great grandmother Big Mama. Little Mama Vaughn made her home with George and Essie Weir for the rest of her life. George And Essie was in the Grocery Business the last several years of their lives, and had made pretty good at it.
Your Great Grandfather George Weir, and Essie Vaughn Weir had five children borned to them, two of them died while Infants, Mamie Lee was the oldest, Sylvester the next one Annie Mae the last one. George And Essie lived to raise the three children mentioned above, But their Mother Essie passed away at the age of fifty eight, their father George lived several years after the death of his wife Essie, then after a year or more he married another woman, one just thirty years younger than he was, they seamed to get along verry well, and had tow children borned to them. The oldest was a Girl names Georgia mae Weir, The next was a boy named G A JR, Weir.
Now that brings you up to the present time which is January second nineteen hundred sixty five.
Now I have went to some trouble gathering this much Infermation of your Ansesters, It is my desire that you keep these notes, and when you have Children and mabie Grand Chidlren they will know a little about their people back mabie to the seventh Generation. I have often thought that if some of my people had have made notes of our forefathers I could tell you more about them, but all I know if what some of the older ones told me, and it has been a long time ago since I was told those things, I might have forgotton some things that you should know.
Sincerily Your Grandfather,
ISAAC LEE ROY TATE, JANUARY SECOND, NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE.