Thursday, March 26, 2015

52 Ancestors:Week 12~A Mother's Heart

   While doing some research and thinking about the Week 12 Topic "Same" for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2105 Edition I came across the obituary for my maternal Great Great Grandmother, Frances Virginia (McRady) McManus (1856-1903).

Obituary of Frances Virginia (McRady) McManus

  Why did this obituary lead me to use Fannie as my Week 12 Ancestor? The description of her children. The blending of biological and adopted children. Like my great great Grandmother, my family is made up of biological and adopted children.
 She and I are the same.
   I wonder how Fannie would feel about this distinction between her children. If we are truly the same, she would let people know that she wouldn't place her children into biological and adopted categories. Wanting people to know that your children are forever in your heart no matter how or why they come to you.
   Fannie was born in Sumter County, South Carolina on 2 October 1856 to Thomas McCrady (1821-1896) and Mary Jane (Brown) McCrady (1821-1894). She was the third of five daughters.
  Francis Virginia McCrady married William A. McManus on 11 December 1872 in Sumter County. It was a double wedding as her sister Rosalie A. McCrady (1853-1899) married Robert J. Watson (1850-1924) on the same day.
   The first record of children comes with twins Lula McManus and Hattie Palmer McManus being born on 11 Oct. 1876. Hattie died just a little over two months later on the day after Christmas, 26 December 1876 followed two weeks later by sister Lula on 10 January 1877. William and Fannie buried their daughters in St. John's Methodist Cemetery in Spring Hill, Sumter, South Carolina.
  Son George Washington McManus (1878-1940) was born a year and a half after the death of his twin sisters and then another daughter Effie Vida (McManus) Burkett (1882-1896), joined the family. Tragedy struck the family again with Effie's death in 1896. Her story can be found here.
  My great-grandmother, Loretta (McManus) Daughrity (1894-1936) is said to be an adopted daughter of the McManus family. Still alive at the time of her mother's death, she would have been one of the "several adoptive" children mentioned in Fannie's obituary.
 Children Lula, Hattie, George, and Loretta are recorded in the Family Bible. They were the only children known at the time of a visit to Pisgah Baptist Church Cemetery where William, Fannie, Effie, George and other family members are buried. A surprise came when the headstone of another child was found. Buried not far from the parents who were raising her was the grave of Bessie McManus (1887-1892). Carved on the headstone are these words: "Adopted Daughter of W.A. and Fannie McManus".
 Were there more children taken in and raised by this family as the obituary indicates? Besides leaving George and Loretta behind, who were the others indicated as "several adopted children"? No records have been found to answer this question.
   In whatever way Fannie became a mother to each of her children, one thing remains the same throughout time.
 A mother's heart knows no difference.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,



  1. Were the children "officially" adopted? My 2X great-grandfather has an adopted son in a couple census records, but the boy's parents lived next door. I suspect the "adopted" designation was not official and that the parents just didn't have the means to feed all their children so various neighbors helped out by taking in some of the kids.

    1. Wendy, I am not sure if any were officially adopted. So far, the records that I have checked have not included anything about the family. I will keep digging though to see what I can find. Thanks!

  2. Cheri, Fannie had too many tragedies to endure but despite that it sounds like she had a loving heart. It is great that you found the obituary. Notice, in those times, that Fannie's first name is not mentioned in her obituary. Only her husband and father's first names are worth mentioning.

    1. I read once that it wasn't considered "Lady like" to have a woman's name printed in the newspaper. I have seen some, but not many. That may be why. Thanks, Colleen!