Since I have been interviewing my grandfather's first cousins I am learning so much about my 2nd great grandmother Ella. After all she is their grandmother. It just amazes me at how her grandchildren all in their 80's and 90's can still vividly recall her. Just recently I was speaking with Audrey McLaughlin Harris, my grandfathers 1st cousin, and I asked her to tell me some Grandma Ella stories that actually were related to me. She started to tell me stories of my great grandfather James Ollie Luck, Sr. (1/6/1892 - 3/1965) and my great grandmother Maude Elliott Luck (abt. 1901 - 3/11/1928). My great grandfather, Uncle Teetney to Audrey, said that he was always a lovable man that always seemed to carry the weight of the world upon his shoulders.
In my initial post about Grandma Ella I told you about her relationship with Ben Luck and how they had a white and black set of children. My great grandfather James was one of the darker ones so he didn't have a close relationship with his mother Ella like some of the lighter children had. To add fuel to the fire, my 2nd great grandfather Ben, James father had a few outside relationships. One of those relationships was with my 2nd great grandmother Martha Ann Elliott. They both were married. Martha Ann to my 2nd great grandfather Grant Elliott (1837- abt 1925) and Ben of course to Ella. They had a child together, Edna Elliott Tiller(1895-1983).
When my great grandfather James married my great grandmother Maude Elliott, his mother Ella disowned him. She said, you and yo pappy must love them "Elliott" women....yo pappy done ran off and done had a baby with Martha Ann and now you taking up with Martha Ann's daughter. That really strained their relationship. So as it stands, and I am hoping not to confuse you all, but my grandfathers's grandpa on his dad side had an affair with his grandma on his mother's side and they had a child. So Aunt Edna was my double aunt.
Aunt Edna always knew she was a Luck even though she called Grant Elliott dad. My cousin Audrey said the whole family knew it too. She recalled a story that happened when she was a little girl. She said that Aunt Edna would visit her mom almost everyday and they would laugh and talk. She said her mother Ruby never acknowledged her as her half sister but one day Aunt Edna started laughing, and Ruby said, Edna don't you know when you throw your head back like that you look just like Papa. That was her way of letting her know that she knew their connection. From that moment Audrey called her Aunt Edna instead of Ms Edna. My Aunt Edna is my double great great aunt and although she passed away when I was a little girl I remember her sitting on the porch. I expressed interest in her old home in the Camp Grove community because of sentimental value. My mother purchased it for $3,000. My Aunt Edna was the first black midwife in Danville, VA.
My Grandma Ella didn't fool with my grandfather and his siblings, partly because they were dark, and secondly they were also the grandchildren of the woman she despised most Martha Ann Elliott. Funny how they ended up being grandparents to the same set of children. My great grandmother Maude, Martha Ann's daughter died when she was 27 years old. She passed away 11 days after giving birth to my grandfather Bedford. My great grandfather James went into deep depression having lost his wife and having to raise four young boys alone. He eventually had to go to the insane asylum. Audrey said her grandmother shed a tear or two but didn't have much reaction. Those tears were probably shed because of how she had treated her son, simply because of whom he chose to marry. As I said before, I am really starting to understand her. However this lady was a piece of work. How she was as a person had a lot of influence on her offspring through out their lives. For example, when I was born my grandfather hollered out, I finally got me one, a pretty red baby. As I am the lightest grandchild. So as some things change, some things remain the same ~
I found this link to an old wanted ad published in 1950, Aunt Edna Tiller posted ads in the paper for her services: http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/45732612/
Attached is a photo of James "teetney" Luck my great grandfather and the taller light skin man is his brother my great great Uncle Frank. Take note one is darkskin and the other is light...children of Ella:)