One of the delights of genealogy is meeting distant cousins whose research adds to the tapestry of one's family story. Last April 2016 at our Isle of Wight, Virginia Hollyman Gathering, I met Susan Gallier White, a serious student of her Holleman and Faison ancestors. She offers this insightful tribute on her ancestral grandmothers who all pursued higher education in a time in which women were not encouraged to do so. - GNH
by Susan Gallier White
This past spring as I was gathering information about William Henry Holleman, provided by Denise Keeter (an intrepid Holleman researcher and contributor to the Hollyman FamilyTree on ancestry.com) suggested I write about his three daughters' educations. She and I had marveled that the girls were well educated for the time. William was wealthy (confirmed by his itemized estate) and the two guardians of the surviving five children made payment for clothes, education, room and board that suggest the value they put on on a girl's education. Rent from William's land and the hiring out of his seventeen slaves provided income.
Left, tintype of Elizabeth Faison (1842-1898), daughter of Sally Holleman Faison. She looks to be in her early twenties, so this picture was made in about 1860. I know nothing of her education. She was born in Sussex County, VA. She and her sister married brothers, Jacob and James Heath, who were from Duplin County, NC. All 4 moved to Duplin County, and lived there all their lives. My mother once told me that this picture was made at her wedding. I don’t know how she knew that.
Joel Holleman (1799-1844), a brother of William, and uncle to these children was their first guardian. Joel was a Virginia congressman and later a U.S. Senator. Joel’s guardian accounts revealed frequent entries of payments to “Mrs.White.” for tuition. He also bought books, paper, new clothes, both store bought and home sewn by Rebecca Gwaltney, the girls’ aunt. They were regularly outfitted with shoes, bonnets, and mention is even made of a “corded skirt” for two of the girls, which was a petticoat of the times. Margaret Amanda and Sally were boarded out with various friends and family while they went to school.
(One can learn more about Joel Holleman and his families in the spring 2014 issues of this blog. - GNH)
Bettie Florence Heath (1871 -1959) daughter of Elizabeth Faison Heath, my great grandmother. She married Jordan Horne, and they had 4 living children, 3 sons and one daughter. The family lived in the town of Magnolia, Duplin County, NC. One son, Ralph, went to jewelers school in Philadelphia, PA. Another, Herbert, graduated from Blackstone Military Academy in Blackstone, VA. Her daughter, Bettie Florence, graduated from Stuart Hall Girls School in Virginia, and then from East Carolina Teachers College.
Joel Holleman died in 1844, and Joseph Pretlow, from neighboring Southampton County, and possibly a family friend, became guardian to the two youngest children, Mary Agnes and John Randolph Holleman. Joseph is mention several times in Thomas C. Parramore's book, Southampton County, Virginia. He was a Quaker by faith, taught school, and learned of a Quaker school for young ladies in Philadelphia, run by Harriet Mickle Whitall and her sister Sally.
The Oak Grove Academy in Smithfield, Virginia
Want to know more about your Hollyman and associated families? Check out the growing virtual archive at www.bholliman.com/ . This storage unit now has over 700 manuscripts and grows monthly.