All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Friday, May 27, 2016

Art Saturday and Great Uncle John Webb

John Singer Sargent (American, Impressionism, 1856–1925): Scuola di San Rocco, 1903. Created in Venice, Italy. Watercolor on paper, 35.6 x 50.8 cm. Private Collection. Image: Pragmatic Romanticist.
I wonder if museum quality art which is posted on Facebook is allowed for Sepia Saturday Here?
If it's not, this painting will disappear quickly.
The meme is ...

John Leroy Webb

In honor of my eldest son's birthday tomorrow, I am also sharing a photo of his Great Great Uncle John Webb (1880-1938)  What do you read from this photo? At least a dashing student. I have no idea when it was taken.

My mother's father was his brother...Albert Bud Webb (1891-1919).  They were 2 of the 8 children born in Huisache (or the Anglicized version that is now on maps) Weesatche, Texas, in Goliad County.

Albert Bud Webb (my grandfather)

Here's Bud's draft card from June, 1917, when my mother was 2 months old.  It was apparently enough to keep him from going to the war.

Registering for the Draft in World War I
(Source: - not my relations!)

But unfortunately Grandfather Bud was killed by an electrical accident (bad wiring and being electrocuted) in 1919.  My mother remember it as being Christmas lights, but it happened in September, so it must have been some other wiring in the home. His business listing on his draft card said Restaurant, self employed. His death certificate said he was a restaurant proprietor, and the electrical accident was not occupational.

But back to Uncle John. He was older by 11 years than Bud.  His draft card in September,1918 states he was a Postmaster and Clerk, for a mercantile business, partly owned by the Webb family. But he was already 39 by the time he registered for the draft.

Uncle John and Aunt Lizzy Webb, 1901

 His wife was Elizabeth (Lizzie) Hohn Webb (1883-1960) born in NY perhaps, and had parents born in France.  They had 3 daughters, Anne Lorraine Webb Cross (1902-1949), Hazel Marguerite Webb Doughty Hinds (1908-1970), and Pearl Adelle Webb Hammerle (1918-2005).

In the 1900 Census, John was living with his 2-years-older brother, James, and listed himself as a salesman, while his brother was a bookkeeper. They lived next door (or perhaps in a building separately built on the same property) as their parents in Goliad County, TX. By the 1910 census he was living with a wife and his first 2 daughters, lists himself as a Postmaster, again in the same area of Goliad County, TX.

Between 1918 and 1920 his family had moved to San Antonio, TX, and he gave his occupation on the census as a traveling salesman of dry goods. By 1930 the census gives his sales as hosiery. He was living with his wife, now listed as born in Texas, and 2 daughters.  At this time the census tells us Aunt Lizzy's father had been born in Alcase-Lorraine, and her mother in NY.

I take the census' birth places with a grain of sand these days.  It's a big maybe.

So why go through all these details?  Well, my son might like to know these 2 Webb men were both listed as tall on their draft cards, and having blue eyes, and light hair.  Granddad Webb had slightly balding hair in his 20s, while his older brother at 39 had light hair.

And since these are the genes which come from great grandfathers and uncles, it's nice to see that they could have lived a fairly long life for that generation.   Great Great Uncle John did die from stomach hemorrhage, at age 58.  With new medicines which treat ulcers, he probably could have lived much longer.  And working with electricity is much safer these days, as my son well knows!

Thanks for reading through all these family details.  I love pursuing the census and draft cards to find what the actual interviewer put down, even if it is different sometimes than it was on another one.  That's what makes genealogy fun for me.

And as suggested in a comment, I've now added the following photo of my son when in his 30s (holding his son, Will)


  1. Interesting read. Life was so different back then.
    I like the work of John Singer Sargent. The Boston MFA has great collection of his portraits. I always enjoyed seeing them.

  2. Love the picture!! and interesting read on John Webb. He and Lizzie made quite a cute couple. Also, I too am a fan of draft registrations and the like. Written in their own hand, and I always find new details that I dinna have before.

  3. We need a photo of your son to determine if he shares any physical characteristic with either Bud or John.

    1. I see the added photo now, and Yes, I think your son does look a bit lke his great grandfather. Hard to tell whether his son does as well or not, but maybe :-)

  4. Your post has sparked an idea for me. My kids are not particularly interested in genealogy, but it would be fun to write about an ancestor that they favor. I have a photo of their great grandmother's older sister and I can see my older daughter in her. My younger daughter looks much like one of my grandaunts and has a lot of her personality too. I should write about that on their birthdays.

  5. I'm a great fan of John Singer Sargent's portrait paintings in particular. And your Great Uncle John certainly did fancy less common poses for the photographer. Kind of fun. He strikes me as having been somewhat outstanding in all facets of his life.

  6. Terrific post! Your great uncle's photo shows such character that it's a real prize winner of the cabinet card era.
    Records of birthplaces are indeed often inconsistent. In the case of the Alsace-Lorraine, it was part of Germany from 1871 until 1918. And Russia once included most of Poland and Ukraine. Before 1918 Austrians might be Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, etc.


Looking forward to hearing from you! Since I didn't know the 1000+ people who supposedly looked at my blog the other day, I'm back to moderating comments. If that doesn't help, I don't know why blogger doesn't have a filter that stops this hacking...