My great-grandmother, Lizzie (West) Kendrick, lived from 1886 to 1973 in Murray County, Georgia. I never knew her, even though she died after I was born. This timeline reveals what I’ve learned about her life, so far.
1875– Lizzie’s parents, William M. West (1832-1928) and Leaty Caroline Lankford (1848-1937) moved across the Tennessee-Georgia state line from Polk County, Tennessee to Murray County, Georgia in about 1875.
1880– William and Leaty lived in the Alaculsa Valley in the northeast corner of Murray County. They remained in this part of the county for many years and this is almost certainly where Lizzie was born.
1886 – Lizzie was born on the third day of September in 1886, the seventh of eight children and the youngest daughter.
1889– When Lizzie was three, The Coca-Cola Company (then known as Pemberton Medicine Company) was incorporated in Atlanta. I wonder when she tasted her first Coke?
1900– Lizzie was 15 when her family was enumerated on the 1900 census in the Doogan District. They lived on a farm, which her father owned, free and clear. Her uncle, Wyatt Lankford, and his family lived next door.
1910– Lizzie, single and reported as age 23, was still living at home with her parents and her older brother in the Doogan District. Their farm is now reported as being rented, so they’ve either lost the land, or there was an error in the 1900 or 1910 census. Lizzie’s future husband lived in the Alaculsa District, which is the same enumeration district (she appears on p. 6B of the census; he is on p. 4B).
1917 – Lizzie was married on October 20 at the age of 31. This is old for a first marriage in those days, especially for a female; it’s possible that she had a prior marriage, sometime between 1910 and 1917, but I don’t think it is likely, since she had no children. She became the second wife of Francis Taylor Kendrick (1876-1966). France’s first wife died in May 1917, leaving him with three children aged about three to thirteen.
1919 – Lizzie gave birth to her first child, a boy named Roy Edward Kendrick.
1920– Lizzie’s first daughter was born – Frances Lucille Kendrick. The family was living on a rented farm in the Alaculsa District, near France’s parents, Francis M. Kendrick and Barbara Baxter. Lizzie’s parents still lived in nearby Doogan. (France’s children from his first marriage do not live with them; where are they?)
1922 – Lizzie’s second daughter, Ruby V. Kendrick, was born.
1923 – Lizzie gave birth to her last child.
1924 – When Lizzie was 38, Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, was born in Plains, GA.
1928 – Lizzie’s father, William West, died of old age in May. He was 98. He is buried at Mt. Sumach Cemetery in Cisco.
1930– Lizzie, now age 43, lived with her family (including all four of her own children as well as her step-daughter) in the Tenth District, which is in the upper northwest corner of Murray County. She was the homemaker for her household. They owned a radio, and I picture them sitting around listening to it in the evenings (very much like The Waltons).
1937– Lizzie’s mother died in February and is buried near her husband at Mt. Sumach Cemetery.
1939 – Lizzie was 53 when the movie Gone With the Wind had its world premiere in Atlanta. I wonder if she saw it in a nearby theater?
1945 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, died in Warm Springs, Georgia.
1966 – Lizzie became a widow at the age of 79, when France died of pneumonia in May.
1973 – Lizzie died of heart disease in June, a few months shy of her 87thbirthday. Before her death, she was living with her oldest daughter, Lucille, in Chatsworth. She is buried at Chatsworth Heights Cemetery.
At this point, this is all I know about Lizzie. The map below shows the places where she lived.
Next steps for research include:
- Locate her grave at the cemetery and take a photo of the headstone.
- Talk to my dad about his memories (I know, I know, I should have done this already).
- Talk to my grandfather and see if he has any photos, documents, mementos, etc.
- Look for her obituary in The Chatsworth Times on microfilm at the Murray County library.
- Look for other articles in The Chatsworth Times, particularly Social News.
- See if I can get birth certificates for her children; birth records from the 20’s in Georgia are sparse, but one never knows.
- Wait for 2012 and the release of the 1940 census!
To read other articles in the Women’s Timeline Series, click here.