Bettie Craddock Ally Collection
Bettie Craddock Ally
Being raised in Bassett and living in a company house until I was five years old, I always had a special bond with my grandparents, great grandparents, uncles and aunts living in Patrick County, Virginia. I have special memories of visiting Patrick County. There is something special about the people of Patrick County - their beliefs in hard work, family, and God. Church was important to some but all believed in God, who was looking over them. Their lives and work was guided by the seasons, day and night and the weather.
I graduated from Bassett High School in 1952 and went to Bridgewater College for two years. I went to Elgin, Illinois to work and met my husband, Syed R.W.Ally. We had two children, Ronald and Phyllis. During our many visits to Bassett, I spent as much time as I could in Patrick County. I wanted the children to breathe the air in the hills, to see sunsets and sunrises over the mountains as well as to get to know their relatives.
Moving to Illinois, I was able to obtain a BA from Judson College and a Masters of Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. I worked 25 years as a school social worker in Elgin, Illinois public schools. It reinforced my belief that we are influenced not only by our parents but the generations before us. This inspired me to look more into my family history.
My parents, George and Geneva Cannaday Craddock came to live with me in Illinois for over two years. They passed away in 1989. We talked about relatives in Patrick County, the way of life, the values and beliefs.
After my parents passed away, I went through all their little pieces of paper, much of it written on old envelopes and corners of newspaper. They had names and dates of births, deaths and marriages. I realized that I had the beginnings of researching my family.
When I put these papers in order, my next step was the U.S. Census. As the census was studied, I realized that I was related in one way or the other to most people in Patrick County.
I started with the 1850 U.S. Census of Patrick County and added each 10 year period through 1940. I intended to find out where each person was every 10 years. Adding birth dates, marriage dates and death gave me a better picture of the families.
I was not able to finish the project but found what I did was helpful in understanding the people. There are omissions and errors which I hope can be corrected. I hope this project can help others find out more about their families.
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