Friday, October 14, 2016

Faces from the Past

More about the Eley Siblings:  Gladys Inez Eley

Gladys Inez Eley Copes holding
youngest son Clifton. 
Gladys Inez Eley was the youngest of the Eley siblings. The memories that I have of Aunt Gladys were fond memories of her old farm house and yard with the animals in back. There usually was an electric fence around the area where the animals were kept to keep them from roaming on or near the road.  When we went to visit her it seemed like it took hours to get to her house. She lived in the village of Pioneer in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

I think back now of those trips when I was ten or eleven years old, and actually it wasn’t that far from Concord Community to the village of Pioneer. The roads were rough and it made the ride uncomfortable, but it was only about twenty miles.  Aunt Gladys had four children, and when we would arrive for our visit on Sunday afternoon, two of the children were “at church.”   My sisters, brother and I would play outside and keep ourselves entertained with various things. Children were not allowed to sit around with the adults while they were visiting. Those visits to Aunt Gladys’s were fun even though her other two children were not there to play with me. 

The picture of Aunt Gladys is one of two pictures that I have of her. She always wore her hair in braids and on top of her head. She was of the Pentecostal faith. 

Gladys Inez Eley was born 4 Feb 1922 in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana to Alice Lee Eley. Gladys Inez died 2 Jun 2006 in Pioneer, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. I visited Aunt Gladys four years before she died. She was the last living child of Granny and Granddaddy Eley. It was vital that I talk to her before she passed away.  That visit was the first time that I had seen Aunt Gladys in about fifty years. The purpose in my visit was to ask her family history questions; however, she was very little help in answering questions and her lips were sealed on giving out family information. So, when she died a library of information was gone forever. I have always felt there were “family secrets” that she wasn’t sharing and letting go of.

As you know family historians are very persistent and take their hobby very seriously. We don’t give up easily when we don’t get the information from a family member. We look for other ways of getting information. So I made a trip to the West Carroll Parish Courthouse, and researched the records there. I was looking for marriage records on all family members who possibly were married in West Carroll Parish; and I was looking for land records and court records of any kind. The trip to the West Carroll Parish Courthouse was a valuable trip, and I found a treasure trove of records. I found marriage records for sisters, aunts, cousins, grandparents, parents, and land records, and court record for a family member.  

Gladys married Tommy Tinker Copes 11 Dec 1937 in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. One of the notes on their marriage license was, "Former wife?" Well, one of the secrets was revealed by the information on the record; Uncle Tinker had been married before he married Aunt Gladys. He had a former wife and was divorced. His former wife’s name is Daisy Rainwater. Family secrets are always uncovered. However, I haven't found a divorce record, but will continue to search for one. This is the age of information, and they will be uncovered.    

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