Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: How Decisions Shape Our Lives

Here I sit in the wee hours of the morning at the computer.  I was awakened in the dead of night with this Hero story going through my head, knowing I have to write it now. There is only one other person alive who knows this story besides myself. 
The Hero and I were deeply in love. We had our lives planned out. I was on the brink of becoming a Registered Nurse with a degree and he was attending school to finish his degree in Business and working at the same time.  A dilemma came into our well planned out future, or so we thought.  I was pregnant.  We talked with our enlightened friends about this and they were adamant that we should have an abortion, that it (they didn't use the word child) would ruin our careers and future.  I will digress here and remind you, the Hero was agnostic; I was the only believer in Christ in the group.
I found myself in the middle of our queen size bed hugging myself, crying and praying while the Hero went to talk with a friend who was a nurse to find out where to go to have an abortion.  This was before Planned Parenthood.  I did not want this, but the peer pressure was so great, I did not feel the strength to go against so many who were positive this was right.  I reached out to the only understanding friend I could.   I prayed to Christ to not let this happen.  He had the strength I did not.  “Please don’t let this happen.”  Tears streamed down my face as I hugged myself into a ball rocking back and forth and pleading this over and over.  I felt an unexplained peace in my heart that it would not happen, but could not quit pleading. 
I heard the key in the door.  The Hero paused at the doorway.  I looked up. He had the most compassionate loving look on his face.  He came over and took me in his arms, and said “We are not doing this. I don’t want you to hate me.  We can overcome the challenges.”  My heart exploded with love for him, and I thanked God that He had spared me and my child. 
Years later, as a Public Health Nurse, I found myself across a desk from many young women who were discussing having an abortion.  Most were acting on the advice of friends, and many did not have a faith to fall back on.  My advice to them was to talk with their parents or ministers who cared about them and their well being.  I told them not to rely on people who had no investment in them or their future.  I don’t know how many listened, but I tried, because I had knowledge of what that choice meant.
I know without a doubt, had my sweet, beautiful daughter not been born, our family would not have been.  The Hero would not have made the step to find Christ back in his life, and I would not have survived.  Such a thin thread, but so very strong.  I continue daily to Thank God for his tender mercies and his being mindful of my needs. 

I am not sure why the urgency to write this came tonight, but I hope if someone who might be thinking of having an abortion reads this, it will help.  You may not want a child, but that child is wanted by others who, for reasons beyond their control, may not be able to have a child.  I personally wanted my funny face and love her deeply and for always.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Finding and Proving who was the son of Charles Gildon Jr

I received this request made by John T Gildon, great, great grandson of Charles Rawles Gildon II. 
“I was wondering if you have any records of what happened to U.M. Gildon, first son of Charles Gildon and Elizabeth Massey?  One record by you states that he was a medical doctor in Henderson County, Texas. Also, Georgia death records state that his twin brother died at birth.  Is this correct?”

Only known published information on U. M. Gilden connecting him to Charles Gildon was by Judy Self Yegee[1].  “Now, again little nuggets, on the 1870 Henderson County Texas census I found U. M. Gilden, 28 years old, physician, born Georgia in 1842.  In the same household there was an A.P. Gilden born Georgia 1851, a retail grocer.”  In an addendum to the book she concludes this was the son of Charles Gildon left in Georgia. 

John T Gildon wants to know if there are any records of what happened to U. M. Gildon. 
The problem no research had been done confirming the relationship.

Limitations of the research many records are not online. 

The following records were found online on,, and Fold3:

Census Records:  Ancestry and Fold3

Confederate Soldier Records:  FamilySearch and Fold3

Death Records:  FamilySearch.

Based on the census records, marriage records, and death records which are all written as Gilder and the location of J. P. Gilder, born 1817 Georgia, head of household in 1850 and 1860, it is unlikely this person is related to Charles Gildon born Connecticut, lived Chatham, Jones, and Twiggs counties. 
There are no early marriages listed for Twiggs County, Georgia on the records start at 1845 too late for Charles Gildon and Frances Elizabeth Massey.
An excerpt in the Southern Recorder gives this:  Mrs. Frances Gildon consort of Charles Gildon died September 27, 1841 in Twiggs County at her father’s, Daniel Massey, residence. 

From an article in the Macon Weekly: In Feb 15 1842, Mr. Gildon was reported as a missing man form Macon Georgia.  The article says he had been married, but his wife died shortly after giving birth to a son, for whom he continued to express the warmest attachment to.  This lets us know he did have a son before 27 September 1841, and he was still living 15 February 1842.  Research has not found this child in the 1850 census.  The family did not have knowledge of this marriage or birth until research in newspapers uncovered it. 

There isn't any evidence to link Uriah Mitchell (U.M.); born July 1841 Georgia as the son of Charles Gildon.  It would appear that Judy Yegee assumed they had misspelled Gildon as Gilden, thinking that the r was an n.  The name was always spelled Gilder.

The first search was be made to confirm the assertion of Ms Yegge that U. M. was in Henderson, Texas in 1870.  Once this fact is confirmed, the next step was to find him in previous and subsequent United States Federal Censuses, and other pertinent documents.

U. M. Gilden was found on the Texas 1870 United States Federal Census in Rusk, Precinct 5,
P. O. Box Henderson.  It is difficult to make out the spelling of the last of the name here.  His last name was indexed as Gilder. He was a physician and does have A.P. Gilder with him.

U. M. Gilden was on the Texas 1860 United States Federal Census in Tyler, Smith County with a J. P. Gilder as head of the household.  They were from Georgia, and A.P. Gilder was in the household. They were indexed as Gilder.  U.M. is 17 years of age and born in Georgia.

In the Civil War Soldier Service Records on Fold3 there are 14 records of U. M. Gilder as a Confederate Soldier in Texas with the 1st Texas Infantry from 1861 to 1864. The 14th card is the record of an injury in battle in Georgia, ‘minnie ball passed through the forearm between the bones’.  This caused paralysis.

U. M. Gilden was on the Georgia 1850 United States Federal Census in Fayette County, the 29th District with J. P. Gilder as head of the household. U. M. is recorded as Uriah M. age 9 years of age born in Georgia.

J.P. Gilder could be the Jacob P. Guilder who married Aletha A. L. Ponder in Monroe County Georgia. Found on  This would match the J. P. and L.A.L. Gilder of the 1860 census in Texas.  L could be for Letha, she is also enumerated as Lucinda.  Jacob P. Gilder is on the 1840 census in Fayette County, Capt. Simmons District, Georgia.  They have a daughter, and are near U. M. Gilder in Fayette.  U.M. is also in the 1860 census in Tyler County Texas. He is the same age as Jacob.

Found on, Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002
Name: Dr. U. M. Gilder, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 21 Dec 1871, Spouse: Mrs. Mattie E. Deston, Marriage City: Rusk, Marriage State: Texas, Source: Texas Marriages, 1851-1900

Uriah M Gilder is found on the 1880 United States Federal Census in Coryell County, Gatesville page 423. Uriah is married to a Martha.

There is a Uriah M Gilder was on the 1900 United States Federal Census in Ellis County, 0023 Justice Precinct 3 (northwest part), image 2.  He is head of household, born July 1841, married 17 years, wife Eva, they have 1 child. The other child with them would be from Martha. He is listed as a farmer.

Death Certificate found on did not yield parents, name. He had committed suicide with a gun.  Data on the certificate was sparse.

Found on, Directory of Deceased American Physicians, Birth Date: 1841, Death Date: 6 Nov 1916, Death Place: Gatesville, TX Type Practice: Allopath, Practice Specialties: Gatesville, TX, Feb 16, 1915, Practice Dates Places: Gatesville, TX, Feb 16, 1915, Medical School: New Orleans School of Medicine, 1869, (G)

Found on, U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006: Name: Uriah Mitchell Gilder, Service: Confederate States Army, Birth Date: 16 Jul 1841, Death Date: 6 Mar 1916, Cemetery: Odd Fellows Cemetery, Cemetery Address: Gatesville, TX 76528
There are some trees on that take his line back to Jacob Gilder in Fayette, Georgia.

My Conclusion was U M Glidner is not the son of Charles Gildon, however, further information was needed.

Once again, an old newspaper held the answer.  
Searching on Twiggs County, Ga. American History and Genealogy Project , I came across what I thought, at first, was repeat of the obituary for Charles wife, Frances Massey Gildon.  Instead,  it was the obituary of Charles's 9 month old son, Francis Massey Gildon. He died 4 months after Charles arrived in Nacogdoches, Texas.

The long mystery of what happened to Charles Gildon Jr.'s son has been laid to rest.  I am glad that we have the correct child with Charles and Frances Gildon.

1840 Census: Year: 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Citation: 1840; Census Place: Capt Simmons District, Fayette, Georgia; Roll: 41; Page: 231; Image: 486; Family History Library Film: 0007043.

1850 Census:  "U.S. Census Population Schedule, 1850” ([]accessed July 2011) entry for U.M. Gilder, age 9; citing Census Records, Georgia; from United States Census Office. 7th Census. National Archives, Washington, D.C... FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. Film number: 7065
1860 Census:  "Unites States Census, 1860." index and images,  FamilySearch(]: accessed July 2011). entry for U.M. Gilder, age 17; citing Census Records, Texas; United States Census Office, National Archives, Washington, D.C. FHL microfilm 805306. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

1870 Census:  Year: 1870; Census Place: Precinct 5, Rusk, Texas; Roll: M593_1603; Page: 481B; Image: 382; Family History Library Film: 553102. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
1880 Census:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Coryell, Texas; Roll: 1298; Family History Film: 1255298; Page: 423C; Enumeration District: 23; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.
1900 Census: Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 3, Ellis, Texas; Roll: T623_1630; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 23. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.
Civil War Service:  "Texas, Civil War Service Record of Confederate Soldiers,1861-1865: index and images, FamilySearch ( entry for U. M. Gilder age 20; citing Civil War Records, NARA publication M323, NARA roll 10-10; War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Orem, Utah, United States.
Marriage: Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.
Burial:  National Cemetery Administration. U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: National Cemetery Administration. Nationwide Gravesite Locator Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929 [database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2004. Original data: Hafner, Arthur Wayne, ed. Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929: a genealogical guide to over 149,000 medical practitioners providing brief biographical sketches drawn from the American Medical Association's Deceased Physician Masterfile. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1993.

Death of Frances Elizabeth Massey connecting as wife of Charles Gildon:, “Mortuary Notice”, Macon Weekly Telegraph, Oct. 26, 1841, page 3
“The Missing Man” giving gender for Charles and Frances Gildon child:, “The Missing Man”, News Article, Macon Weekly Telegraph, Feb. 15, 1842, page 2.

Death of Francis Massey Gildon connecting as son of Charles Gildon, Twiggs County, Georgia, American History and Genealogy Project, Excerpt extracted from Federal Union newspaper.

[1] Judy Self Yegge, Our Deep Roots and Tangled Branches, n.d.,  self published and printed as