Sometime around 1885, when Bettie was 4 years old, her life changed dramatically. Her parents, John and Elizabeth Dollarhide, were killed in a wagon accident. The family tradition further says that she was taken to live with the Reverend Boles (Bolls, Bowles, Bolles) family and though she was never adopted by them she did use their surname as her own.
Bettie said she was born on August 16, 1881 in Hope, Hempstead, Arkansas. In response to census takers Bettie said her parents were both born in Arkansas. I am unsure whether she was thinking of her biological parents or those who raised her.
On the marriage record it indicates that both Bettie and Lonnie were from Cove, Polk, Arkansas. W. A. Martin provided the surety for the marriage and I wonder if he was family or friend of Bettie or Lonnie.
Bettie and Lonnie were able to read and write and she had an 8th grade education. By 1900, Bettie and Lonnie were farming on land that was mortgage free and near her in-law’s place. In February 1901, when Bettie was 19, their first child was born. They had another child in 1902 and a third child in March 1904. The following month, in April 1904, when Bettie was 22 years old, their first born child died. Bettie and Lonnie had a total of 10 children with their last child born in 1919 when Bettie was 38 years old. In 1923, when Bettie was 42 and her youngest child was 4, her husband died. Five years later, in 1928, another child died and that same year the first of her many grandchildren was born.
By 1931 several of her children began moving to California or Oklahoma. Bettie remained in or near Cove. In 1961 4 miles from Cove in Hatfield, Arkansas, Bettie died at the age of 79. She was laid to rest in Cove in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
In the process of preparing this post, I discovered that Reunion 10, the genealogy database software I use, can create an obituary report that is “very similar to what you would read in a typical newspaper or online obituary… The references to other people in the obituary report are worded as if the report was written on the death date of the source person.” Below is how the obituary reads based on what I know today.
Mary Elizabeth “Bettie” Little nee Boles was my biological great grandmother on my father’s side. One day I hope to have some photos of her and learn more about her and her parents. Do you have stories, photos or information to help fill in the gaps of Bettie’s life?
No Story Too Small offered a challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree. Each of my posts for this challenge will include in the title “52 Ancestors Challenge” and will have the tag of 52Ancestors.