Saturday, February 28, 2015

My Immediate Ancestors

             Back row (left to right): Lola Wickliffe, William Ezra Ford, Daisy Ruth Ford
         Front row (left to right): Ethel Wickliffe Ford, Clay Franklin Ford, Arthur Elisha Ford

Arthur Elisha Ford (my grandfather) was born in 1896, the 5th of 6 children. His father, William Preston Ford, died in Arkansas when he was 12 years old. He moved to Quinlan, Texas with his mother, Sarah Elizabeth (Dodd) Ford and younger sister, Mary, when he was about 17 years old. There he met, and fell in love with, Ethel Wickliffe. They married on 14 Mar 1920 in Quinlan, Hunt County, Texas.

Ethel Wickliffe, born in 1903 in Mountain View, Arkansas, was the oldest child of Richard Franklin Wickliffe and Estelle Lynn.  She had 4 younger sisters and a young brother who died when he was about four years old.
Ethel and Elisha had four children. William Ezra (1922-1950), Daisy Ruth (1925-2012), and identical twin boys Clay Franklin (1934-2010) and Clayton Richard (1934-1941). After Clayton died in 1941, Ethel struggled to overcome the depression. She would sit at the cemetery every day and cry. In order to help his wife, Elisha decided to move his family to south Texas to his sisters' ranch. They eventually settled in Corpus Christi, Texas.
As part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Elisha dug ditches for the government, and Ethel worked in a sewing room. They became members of the Pentecostal Church of God, 501 Cheyenne Street, Rev. CC Hurst, in Corpus Christi. Elisha started having numbness in his feet and eventually was paralyzed from the waist down. Ethel would put him in his wheelchair before she left for work, and he would wheel about the house, cooking, sweeping, and cleaning. Many different doctors checked him out, but couldn't come up with a medical diagnosis for him. He died two years later on 19 Oct 1946.

They are all gone now. I miss them all so much. I never knew my grandfather or my uncle, as they died before I was born. My grandmother’s stories about them and her life are what got me interested in doing genealogy. I never tire of searching for an elusive ancestor and I have several of those.