Monday, April 7, 2014

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks John "Carroll" Cal Week 14

John Cal

I label him "John Cal" for other than the 1900 US Census, Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama, he is always listed that way.  John is my great grandfather and one of Henry Carroll/Cal's  and Celia's (Sherrod) older sons.

John Carroll/Cal was born in Leighton, Colbert, Alabama, on 12 Jan 1885 (according to some records). His draft registration card of 1918 states he was born 12 January 1881.  So he may be the first or the third child of Henry Carroll/Cal Sr. (May 1858) and Celia Sherrod (October 1864). Dallas Carroll (07 May 1883), Charles Carroll/Cal (07 January 1884), Sielas Carroll (06 March 1886), Robert Carroll (August 1891) 5, Henry Jr. Carroll/Cal (15 June 1892), Earnest Lee Sr. Carroll/Cal (15 July 1893) 6, Berta Estell Carroll (November 1896) 4, Percy Carroll/Cal (25 November 1899) and Otis/Odis Carroll/Cal (1 Apr 1900) 1,7 are his siblings. He shows up on the1900 US Census in Leighton, Colbert, AL, USA.  John was one of ten children of this marriage.

On 3 Dec 1905 he married Sally Copeland (1887) in Town Creek, Lawrence, AL.  Rev. Sherren, Minister of the Gospel married John Cal and Sally Copeland.   John was twenty and Sallie was eighteen years old (born in 1887 in Alabama).  She is the daughter of Julius and Praline may be Pearline (Burt) Copeland of Creek, Alabama.  Julius Copeland was a member of the United States Colored Troops and joined in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1863 before his marriage to Pearline.  John and Sally lost their first child between 1904 and 1907. No name or sex of this child was found.   Their first surviving child was Minnie Pearl in 1908.  John was twenty-three when his brother, Silas died on the 13 of November in 1908 at the young age of 21. He went on to have four children with Sally Copeland (1887).   Minnie Pearl Carroll/Cal (24 May 1908), Richard C. Carroll/Cal (1909), Henry Howard Carroll/Cal (12 May 1910) and George Alvin Carroll/Cal (15 May 1912).  John and Sally lived with her parents while they were married.   When John Carroll/Cal was 25 years old, his mother Celia Sherrod died on 26 December 1910 and this was prior to him leaving Alabama.  About 1911, before the birth of George "Alvin", John found himself in a situation due to a struggle or death of a white male in the area.  John had to leave the area, end up in jail or face some other penalty for the situation.  He left Alabama for Virginia and West Virginia finally settling in Marting, Fayette, WV working as a coal miner.  Conditions of working as a coal miner could have been and most likely a rough lifestyle.

According to legal documents, Sally filed a complaint stating that John left the area with Alberta Bowling in 1915.  While she expressed this in a legal complaint, no proof of her statement could be found and Sally amended her complaint in 1917.  John was in Marting, Fayette County, West Virginia on September 12, 1918 according to his WWI Draft Registration Card. He listed Sallie Cal of Town Creek as his nearest relative. However, on 14 Nov 1921, Sally Copeland Cal divorced Johnnie Cal in Moulton, Lawrence, AL, when he was 36 years old.   She had satisfied the requirements of placing a newspaper notice and posting an announcement on the Moulton courthouse.  Johnnie Cal did not reply or show up at court to answer the filed complaint.

Whatever the mystery of John's Alabama departure was significant enough to keep him away until his   later years.  John suffered with diabetes, lost one leg while in West Virginia and the other one after family member brought him back to Town Creek, Alabama.  Rumor was that his wife (ex) waited for him the rest of her life and she died in 1962.  John never remarried but had lived with another woman, Rena, that was a widow with one daughter from her previous marriage.  She went by Rena Cal and died in 1945.  John was the informant on her certificate yet did not list himself as her husband.  John died in 1975 and is buried in the Cal Family Cemetery that his father started in early 1900's.  He is buried next to his daughter, Minnie Pearl Cal without a headstone.

The journey of this family historian is sometimes sad yet at the same time worth the journey to find and document the stories.

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