What Did Georgia Anne Peters Look Like? – Ancestor #1 Update

Peters1924-1

1924 Annual WV State University

 In my last post A Name Remembered-Georgia Anne Peters-52 Ancestors #1, I mentioned that I would contact one of the schools that she either attended or taught at.  So I decided to contact West Virginia State University which was established in 1891 as the West Virginia Colored Institute, under the second Morrill Act, that provided land grants institutions for black students.

I contacted the Historically black university that is now diversified and spoke to Janice Young who works in the archives of the university.  She was most helpful with my request.  She took my information and let me know she would email me if she came across anything that would identify my Great Aunt Georgia Peters. About a week later, I received the photo to the left.

The photo is of the P.O.N Club at the University.  It was taken from the 1924 school Annual.  Ms. Young stated that she did not know which one was Georgia.  I am not sure which one.  It could be a few of them.  I am still hoping that I will get more answers as to which one is her.  I will continue to pursue a photo as there are other places that she attended and taught.

Here is a closer up photo.  

gpeters1924

Georgia A Peters, [Possibly far Left upper row], West Virginia State University,1924 Annual

Here are a few photos that I used to attempt to identify Georgia in the photo above. One is of my mother Betty Mae Peters and the other is of Charles I Peters, Georgia’s brother [My grandfather]. Which one do you think is Georgia?

Charles Irving Peters

Charles Irving Peters 1918 Army 1897-1980

Betty Mae Peters 17 years old George Washington H.S.

Betty Mae Peters
17 years old
George Washington H.S. 1926-2004

A Name Remembered-Georgia Anne Peters-52 Ancestors #1

I have finally decided to take the 52 Ancestors Challenge where no story is too small.  This challenge was originated by Amy Johnson Crow over at ‘No Story Too Small.’  It is not too late to begin, however, I will probably do two to three posts a week to catch up.

Georgia Anne Peters

Georgia Anne Peters is my maternal great-aunt.  I remember my mother talking about her when I was growing up.  I am not sure if I ever saw a picture of her, because I know I would have remembered it. After my grandfather Charles I. Peters died, Aunt Georgia contacted my mother to let her know that there was some Sterling Silverware and a house that  my mother inherited. My mother told me that she had not seen her aunt in years, but stated that she was very pretty and well-educated.  I had warm feelings towards Aunt Georgia as  my mother always spoke kindly of her.

Georgia was born on November 24, 1899 to Betty Mae Wilson Peters and George W. Peters in Henry County, Martinsville, Virginia.  Georgia was named after her father and was the youngest of six children of which two died before she was born.  Georgia’s father had died according to the 1900 Census, leaving her mother a widow to raise four children by herself. According to the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census, Georgia resided in Sistersville, Tyler, West Virginia with her mother and siblings.

I had believed that Georgia never married as she always went by her maiden name.  However, on November 17, 1925, Aunt Georgia married an Abraham Mitchell in Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia.  By 1930, Georgia had already been divorced.  I get the sense that she was a very independent woman and decided to stay single for the rest of her life. I had known for years that Georgia was a WAAC, served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in March 24, 1943 and had been an educator, according to the 1930 U.S. Census.

Aunt Georgia peaked my interest, and I wanted to know more.  I know that the Ancestors guided me to start searching in old newspapers online. I was extremely excited to find a couple of articles on Georgia.  The one I have chosen to share gave a fuller picture of who she was. [Newspapers.com]

The New York Age New York, New York 19 June 1943 Page 4

The New York Age
New York, New York
19 June 1943
Page 4

 

It became clear to me that Aunt Georgia had mentored my mom.  There were many similarities in the paths they took.  My mother had been a girl scout for many years, she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and she was an educator.  My mother majored in English and Journalism at NYU.

Georgia Peters had some affiliation with the Episcopal Diocese of New York as the St. Phillips Parish House was under the direction of the Diocese.  I took note of this because when my mother moved to Los Angeles in 1953, she had the Director of the Episcopal Diocese of New York to write her a letter of recommendation for a position as a social worker.  I am beginning to believe that it is possible that Aunt Georgia had been the one to help my mother to get a job at the Diocese of New York as the Administrative Assistant.

I found Aunt Georgia to be a woman ahead of her time as she was a Negro woman, and very well-educated in the late 1920’s and 1930’s during a time of racism.  Georgia Peters died on June 18, 1985 in Silver Spring, Montgomery, Maryland. Aunt Georgia did not have any children, however, I hope that one of the descendants of her siblings recognize her name and description and contact me.

My next steps are to contact the Universities she worked for and attended in hopes of locating photos of her.