My name is Joseph Stevens and Iím a sixty-five year old retired person living in eastern San Luis Obispo County in California. My wife, my sister and I will be visiting western North Carolina next month (August 10-18, 2001). We plan to spend some time there, delving into the mystery of my Father and his siblings.
My Fatherís name was Harry Joe Stevens, and his biological Motherís name was Margaret (Stuart) Justus. He was born in Buncombe County on May 17, 1909. He was adopted by David Foster Stevens and his wife, Joseph Bedford (Freeman) Stevens, as an eighteen-month old child in September of 1910. They lived in Black Mountain on Pipers Drive (which doesnít seem to exist today). My Father lived there with the Stevens until sometime in the mid to late 1920ís.
My Fatherís Mother was born in about 1873, and married John D Justus on July 16, 1896 in Crab Creek, Henderson County North Carolina. She was listed as a widow in the 1900 Census, so Iíve concluded that John D Justus died before 1900. Before his death, he seems to have fathered three children. Their names were Claude H, born in 1895 (sic), Carl Z, born in 1897, and Waneter, born in 1899. Claude seems to have been ďadoptedĒ by his maternal grandparents; they were Thomas M Stuart and his wife Martha M (McBrayer) Stuart.
My Fatherís Mother was not married at the time my Father was conceived, (in mid-1908) and therein lies the great Stevens family mystery. Who was my Fatherís Father??
In the 1910 Census, the story takes a new twistÖ My Grandmother (Margaret) was living in the home of a William W Goldsmith at 143 Broad Street, Asheville. She was accompanied by my Father, then eleven months old. The home was owned by William W Goldsmith, also the owner of a jewelry shop in Asheville. Mr. Goldsmith, 8 years into his present marriage (which was not otherwise mentioned in the census) lived there with his son Carles, age 14, Margaret, still listed as a widow, age 36, and my Father.
After that, we lost track of Margaret. It may be that she met up with a Mr. Burlingame, and moved out of the area. We think perhaps her daughter; Waneter (Juanita?) married a Mr. Gaddy and moved to Raleigh.
We donít know what name she was using in 1920, and therefore canít locate her. I remember hearing that she passed away in 1923, but I am not even certain where I heard that.
We have no idea where she might be buried. We would, during our trip, at least like to visit her gravesite.
Any one who has any information regarding any of foregoing, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank You, Joe
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