Oma Hazel (Edwards) Yeoman: Mom Yeoman
Stella Blanche (Bryan) Edwards: Mom Yeoman’s Mother
Hanging in a dark hallway of a great, great aunts house, that was where I first saw this photo. It scared the crap out of me. The eyes followed you and it was a pretty big picture, easily intimidating to a little girl. Fast forward to present day, the photo now hangs on a wall in a well lit hallway in the home of the late Oma Hazel Yeoman. That photo was her mother, my great great grandmother Stella Blanch Edwards. I never heard too many stories about great great grandma Stella, the only information that I had about her was that she died when my great grandmother was very young.
Stella Blanche Edwards (Bryan) 8 Feb 1888 – 16 Feb 1920
With the exception of the no longer existing 1890 US Census I’ve been able to track her entire life, albeit entirely too short through census records and research. Stella Blanche Bryan born February 8, 1888 married her husband Wiley Henry Edwards on October 16, 1904 at the age of 20. Making a home with him and their children she lived until her untimely death on February 16, 1920. Eight days after her 37th birthday.
I got his name from my great grandmothers obituary and then continued confirming his name through censuses over the years. Wiley Henry Edwards, I thought it was a strong and powerful name and it was one that stuck in my head. He was born on Christmas (my second favorite holiday – my first is Thanksgiving because that is the holiday that I was born on). I never heard any stories about him.
A cousin of mine posted a photo on Facebook of guess who? You got it! My 2X great grandfather Wiley Henry Edwards!
OUR CHANCE MEETING:
I drove two friends of mine to a small church lot on Asbury road in Churchville, MD. I knew where we were going and I didn’t mind because I had a car and they didn’t. I wasn’t going to get out of the car but I felt it would be rude to stay, little did I know that it wasn’t just my friends pointing me in the direction of the cemetery. As they lay their flowers and said silent prayers I walked along and read the names of the headstones behind us. My heart stopped, there was no way that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. I’m sure that my friends thought that it was the cemetery that was sending me into an almost panic attack like state but it wasn’t. I had accidentally stumbled across the burial site of my 2X great grandfather Wiley Henry Edwards. I couldn’t get to my ancestry.com app on my iPhone fast enough where I confirmed the dates December 25th (as if I could forget!) and for that moment I felt peace, a divine connection to a family member that had been there all along, one that I had passed by for years and never knew was there.
Henry Edwards (Wiley Edwards Father)
Eliza Edwards (Wiley Edwards Mother)