Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
100 years ago today, February 10, 2010, my great-grandparents, John Elbert Adams and Rosie Lee Winkles, stood before an official in Huntsville, Alabama, and exchanged their wedding vows. John was seventeen years old and Rosie was all of thirteen years old, contrary to family history that she was only twelve at the time. Per the 1900 US Federal Census, Rosie was born in September of 1896 – NOT 1897, as reflected on her tombstone. Ages and birth years were often confused in this era; and Rosie’s was further complicated in the fact that she was orphaned at a very young age. Regardless – she was VERY young at the time!
How could she marry at age thirteen? She had written consent. Having personally examined their marriage license in the Madison County Courthouse, I found still attached to the license a small handwritten note from John’s father, James Thomas Adams, giving permission for John and Rosie to marry. I also found it odd that it was John’s guardian granting permission for the marriage, rather than Rosie’s; but by 1910, both Rosie’s mother and father were dead.
Regardless of the circumstances of that day, the marriage produced thirteen children over the next eighteen years – only nine of whom lived past infancy. John Elbert Adams died December 17, 1935, following complications from surgery to remove a kidney. More than twenty years later, Rosie Lee Winkles Adams, passed away on March 15, 1959, from complications with diabetes and heart disease. Both are laid to rest in the Moon Cemetery in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama.