Several people have asked about the cover picture. The picture was taken in 1897 at a gathering of the family of my paternal great-grandparents, James Madison Sylvester, Jr. and Rachel Helms Sylvester. Not only does this picture include three generations of people, it also includes the two major mode of transportation for the family. On the right is a horse of one of the family members. Horseback riding and buggies were the major mode of transportation. On the left side is a bicycle which was also used by several family members. Many years ago, I received a copy of the picture and asked my father to identify everyone. Although he was not born until several years later, he knew everyone with the exception of one family which is thought to be the photographer and his family. The three generations include my paternal great-grandparents, my paternal grandparents, an aunt, and several great-uncles and great-aunts.
Having someone identify the persons in an ancestoral picture is a great contribution to ones genealogical research. I have found that this is made easier by photo-copying a photograph and placing numbers on each person in the picture. Then it easy for a relative to say that “number one is your great-uncle, Abner Smith”. This is much easier than attempting to write, “The fourth person from the left.” Later, it is much easier to create a listing of all of those in the picture.
In the cover picture, my great-grandfather, James Madison Sylvester, Jr., is seated at the far right. Seated immediately to the left is his wife, my great-grandmother, Rachel Helms Sylvester. My grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Wampler, is standing directly behind my great-grandfather. My grandfather, Forest Edward Sylvester, is the man standing in the back fourth from the left. My aunt, Clara Belle Sylvester Hazel, is the little girl seated on the ground second from the right.
Seated on the ground are three unknown children thought to be those of the photographer. As stated earlier, the girl second from the right is Clara Belle Sylvester Hazel. Seated in chairs are Rosetta Helms Burkhart with Jeptha Nobel Burkhart standing by her, Jane Helms Fox holding Jimmy Fox, Phoebe Cuthrell Fox, Rachel Helms Sylvester, and James Madison Sylvester, Jr. Standing are Mary Eliza Sylvester Humphrey Clay, Unknown photographer’s wife, Nanna Wampler Humphrey, Ada Sylvester Clark, Nettie Burkhart Barrett, Cora Sylvester Fox, Sarah Elizabeth Wampler Sylvester. Standing in the back are Foris Sylvester, Absolom Humphrey, Walker Burkhart, Forest Edward Sylvester, John Fox, Emma Sparks Sylvester, and Charles Sylvester.