Grandmaw Stacy–a Family Story

GrandmawStacyRecently, a relative sent me a box of mostly unlabeled photos. I’m frustrated when I don’t know who the people were or when or where the shots were taken. And for days after receiving such a  package, I encourage (badger!) friends, family, readers, innocent folks in the post office line to always, always label their pictures.

But this long-ago group made me smile because I recognized the woman standing to the far right as my great-grandmother, Mintie Collins Farley, whom I remember. And the man surely was one of her sons, perhaps Floyd. The back of the photo has  one name: Minerva Fields Collins Stacy. Suddenly I realized I was looking at my great-great grandmother who was the heroine of a family story.

During the Civil War, men in Grandmaw Stacy’s area were on battlefields, leaving their wives and children alone on hillside farms. Both Union and Confederate armies were throughout Kentucky, so first one army and then another had stolen everything eatable. Grandmaw had begged to keep one milk cow and a couple of chickens for the sake of her children, but soldiers merely laughed. Then one afternoon more men stormed in, demanding the food they were convinced was hidden. Grandmaw Stacy squared her shoulders and said everything was gone. But the officer pointed his pistol at her head and said it would be a shame to kill her in front of the children. Of course, she gave the soldiers the last of the food. How did she and her children survive after that? On boiled weeds and small critters she captured with homemade traps.

I’m pleased to have this photo. But now I have another question as I study Grandmaw Stacy’s two last names: What happened to her first husband and father of my great-grandmother? I wish those details had been added. But I suppose I should be happy the labeled photo at least has her name. Sigh.

About sandrapaldrich

Sandra P. Aldrich, author and popular speaker, loves the Lord, family and all things Appalachian. Isaiah 41:9-10
This entry was posted in ancestors, Appalachia, Civil War families, courage, photos, War Between the States families. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Grandmaw Stacy–a Family Story

  1. Scott Frye says:

    I “think” great great great grandma Stacy was married (11/7/1858 in Clay Kentucky) to Benjamin Collins (born 1829). 1870 Census shows they had kids Doctor Collins (age 13), Sylvania Collins (age 10), George Collins (age 8), Howard Collins (age 5), Mintie Collins (age 3) , and Abraham Collins (age 10 months). 1920 Census shows they had kids Howard Collins (age 54), Jane Collins (age 54), Mellie Collins (age 18), and Master Collins (age 13).

    I’m trying to track all this stuff…


    • Thank you for this info, Scott. I appreciate your investigation and look forward to what you discover. I asked Mother–born in 1927–about the last name, and she said she had always known her only as Grandmaw Stacy.


      • Pat Saylor Goins says:

        I was so excited to find we are related. Minerva and Benjamin Collins are my Gr.-Gr. Grandparents. My Gr.-Grandparents are Howard Collins (1865-1927) and Jane Farley. I have been searching for more information on them. I found several sites that said Benjamin died in 1870. When I found a Benjamin in 1900 with 2 more children, Duncan and Felix, I thought the information was about another Benjamin. Then I discovered on Find a Grave that Mintie Collins Farley had two brothers with those names. She had Minerva listed as her mother but no father’s name. I believe Minerva married a Granville Stacy. She was living with my Gr-Grandparents when she passed. If you have any information that would help with the search I would appreciate having it.



  2. As I look at the old photos I’ve inherited, I wonder how many photos on our iPads and phones will be passed down?


  3. Diane Kronmeyer says:

    I worry that photos I have stored —and labeled— on CDs won’t be accessible when my children are old and I’m gone! 🙂


  4. Tammy Bovee says:

    What an interesting blog… thank you for sharing.


  5. Betty Jo lykins says:

    Sandra, I love this blog. Keep writing!


    • Thank you for your gracious comments, Betty Jo. Our families are filled with treasured stories that have been lost throughout the years. Sigh. Hugs to you and JT–and all whom you love!


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