begin the begats
Last week exchanging emails with my second cousin Carol about our mutual great-grandfather R.H.Weller, who was rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, Florida in the late 19th century, I wandered, as is so easy exploring the genealogical, into my relationship with the Reverend Mathews Weller (1926-1996), one of my predecessors at St.Thomas by the Sea Episcopal Church, Laguna Beach, Florida. I knew we were related, but couldn’t recall how. Turns out Matt, of Jacksonville, was a son of George Heber Weller (1859-1939) and Violetta Mathews Weller. Matt's father was a son of my grandfather A.D. Weller’s brother Horace Look Weller, son of Reginald Heber Weller. Though I’ll go back and double-check that count, I think we’re second cousins, both 7th generation from Andreas Wäller who in the 1700s emigrated from Germany and worked in the shipbuilding industry in Broadbay, Massachusetts that later became Waldoboro, Maine.
Last week sheer coincidence, friend and brother in spirit, both of us having lived at and our families owned 2308 W. Beach Drive, Mike McKenzie, of the Panama City pioneer McKenzie family, retired dentist in Atlanta, emailed me a copy of a page from Florida Archives, auto registrations for 1912. There is a car owned by Geo. H. Weller of Jacksonville. George, named elsewhere in archives as quartermaster Major-General of the Florida national guard, registered a Stoddard-Dayton motorcar, “2-passenger.” This intrigues me.
Made in Dayton, Ohio from 1905 to 1913 by father and son John and Charles Stoddard, Stoddard-Dayton was later United States Motor Company, later Maxwell, later Chrysler. From the brass-era, George’s car would have looked like one of these.
Bearing in mind that in those early years
luxuries like windshield, maybe top, would have been optional accessories.
Looking for more Weller listings, and remembering that some members of both Weller and Gentry ancestor families had lived in Bluff Springs, Florida north of Pensacola, and some buried in cemeteries there, I went to the same archives and searched Gentry, my mother’s maiden name. Found my great-grandmother Exeline P. Gentry’s application to the State of Florida for Confederate widow’s pension,
Exie and her husband Gilbert M. Gentry, my great-grandfather on that side, were married September 16, 1866, and he died in 1920. Online grave record for Gilbert M. Gentry reads “Gilbert was buried at Pleasent Hill Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida and was a veteran of Confederate States.”
Life: born, live, love, beget, die. It is what it is.