Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bill finds out who his great -great -great grandchildren are

Compton Genealogy


Book 2 Living Dead in Dallas

I let myself into Bill's house and found the Bible exactly where he'd said.

Bill opened the book with gentle fingers and turned a page. He was looking at a family page, with entries infaded ink, made in several different handwritings.
"I made these," he said in a whisper. "These here." He pointed at a few lines of writing.

William Thomas Compton,his mother had written, or perhaps his father.Born April 9, 1840. Another hand had writtenDied November 25, 1868.
"You have a birthday," I said, of all the stupid things to say. I'd never thought of Bill having a birthday.

"I was the second son," Bill said. "The only son who grew up."
I remembered that Robert, Bill's older brother, had died when he was twelve or so, and two other babies had died in infancy.

"Sarah, my sister, died childless." I remembered that. "Her young man died in the war. All the young men died in the war. But I survived, only to die later. This is the date of my death, as far as my family is concerned. It's in Sarah's handwriting."

"Here is the name of my wife," he said, his voice quieter and quieter.
I bent over again to read,Caroline Isabelle Holliday. For one second, the room swung sideways, until I realized it just could not be.
"And we had children," he said. "We had three children."

Their names were there, too.Thomas Charles Compton, b. 1859. She'd gotten pregnant right after they'd married, then.

Sarah Isabelle Compton, b. 1861.Named after her aunt (Bill's sister) and her mother. She'd been born around the time Bill had left for the war.Lee Davis Compton, b. 1866. A homecoming baby.Died 1867,a different hand had added.

"The other two children?" I asked.

"They lived," he said, the tension in his face easing a little. "I had left then, of course. Tom was only nine when I died, and Sarah was seven.

"My descendant Jessie Compton, from whom I received my house, was the last of my direct line," Bill told me. "My mother's line, too, has thinned down, until the remaining Loudermilks are only distantly related to me.
But Jessie did descend from my son Tom, and apparently, my daughter Sarah married in 1881. She had a baby in—Sarah had a baby! She had four babies! But one of them was born dead."

"Look, Sookie," Bill said, pointing. "Look! My Sarah's daughter, named Caroline for her grandmother, married a cousin of hers, Matthew Phillips Holliday. And her second child was Caroline Holliday." His face was glowing.

"So old Mrs. Bellefleur is your great-granddaughter."

"So Andy," I continued, before I could think twice about it, "is your, ah, great-great-great-grandson.And Portia . . ."