Thursday, April 30, 2015

Betty Leverett: Tale of Unwed Mothers

Tale of Unwed Mothers

Mount Plesant Cemetery 

Betty Leverett

Sarah Elizabeth (Betty) Leverett is our third great grandmother. She was born in 1848 to twenty-three year old William and his twenty year old wife, Ellen (Bryan) Leverett.

Her mother's sister, her aunt Elizabeth (Bryan Musgrove) Collins, is our also our third great grandmother.

Grandma Betty Leverett had epilepsy during a time when  'fits' (convulsions) were evidence of insanity.  There were laws against 'lunatics' (as the mentally ill were labelled) marrying; she never wed. She did, however, bear four children; three boys and a girl who died in childhood.


John Leverett and Lucy Williams

John W Leverett

Grandma Leverett's oldest child, born of wedlock on May 17, 1869, in Pierce County, Georgia, was our second great grandfather by marriage, John W Leverett. He married our second great grandmother Lucy Williams, an unwed mother, on March 22, 1894. 

Four years earlier, on Christmas Day of 1889, she had given birth to our great grandmother, Macie Carol Williams. When great grandma Macie was thirteen years old she married our great grandfather, Edward Columbus Musgrove.


Samuel and Lula
(Dials) Leverett 

Samuel L Leverett

It's ironic that Samuel, grandma Leverett's second child, was born Christmas Day of 1873 and buried on Easter Day of 1955, according to a book written by a descendant of Samuel Leverett..

Sam married twice; first to Sallie Gunter, born 1893 in Pierce County, Georgia. Years after they separated she died when her long night gown burst aflame from the fireplace.

He married his second wife, Lula Dials, on December 2nd, 1900. Of their five children, two sons and one daughter survived to marry and have children. The firstborn, a son, died of typhoid fever at twelve. Their youngest, a daughter, died of meningitis at two years old.

In 1877 grandma Leverett gave birth to Ida B Leverett, her only daughter. Ida died in childhood.


Charlie and Dolly (Strickland) 
with baby Sarah Elizabeth Leverett

Charlie Gueto Leverett

Her last child was Charlie Gueto Leverett. Born on the 1st of March, 1881, in Pierce County, Georgia, he married Dolly Strickland.

Interestingly enough, Strickland was long thought our great grandma Macie William's surname. She never used that name but rumors were her father was 'a Strickland boy'.

Grandma Macie's mother, grandma Lucy Williams, was married to Charlie Leverett's oldest bother, our grandpa Leverett. 

Our third great grandmother Betty Leverett was over thirty when Charlie was born. Her epilepsy was getting worse, years of convulsions and heavy drinking took their toll on her, mentally. She was committed to Milledgeville State Hospital where she died. Her boys lived with her aunt (also our third great grandmother), Elizabeth (Bryan Musgrove) and uncle, John Collins.

Challenge. Calculate all the relationships this post. 

Hint: Don't spend a lot of time. The next post will substantially complicate matters. ...

This family page represents the most current state of our research. It will be updated as new or conflicting information becomes known. If you have any information on this family, please contact me or add a comment to this page.


NoteRelationships are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove. 

*Terms of relationship - grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.  - are used here generically to include  relatives such as fourth great grandfathers, great grand uncles, second cousins twice removed, etc.

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