One-hundred years ago today, Saturday, November 11, 1911, my great-grandparents, Wiley Virgil Bird and Willie Ann Josephine Hunter, were married in Huntsville, Alabama. Wiley, the son of John William Bird and M. Canzada Pierce, was an eighteen year old native of Walker County, Georgia, who had been orphaned at a young age and left in the care of his grandfather, who settled in the Big Cove Community in 1904. Josie was a seventeen year old native of Grundy County, Tennessee, who had settled in the Big Cove Community sometime around 1900, with her parents, Alton Elmor Hunter and Rachel Elisabeth Bass.
Wiley and Josie, who shared the same birthday – May 21, Wiley in 1893 and Josie in 1894 – became the parents of ten children – Walter Lee*, Isaac Daniel, Thomas Ozro*, Edna Rocine, Leonard Nolen*, Virgil Odell*, Opal Estelle, James Willard, Rachel Louise*, and Lester Glenn. (* = deceased)
Wiley Virgil Bird passed away on June 9, 1947, at the age of fifty-three. Willie Ann Josephine Hunter Bird survived her husband by more than thirty years, having never remaired. She died on September 4, 1977. Both are laid to rest in the Neal's Chapel Cemetery in Big Cove, Alabama.
One hundred-years after their marriage, the family is numbered in the hundreds – with forty-two grandchildren, eighty great-grandchildren, and an ever growing number of great-great-grandchildren and so on.
Today we honor the good name of our ancestors and the hard work and dedication they made to their family, which has helped shape us into who we are today.