By Don Taylor
Names fascinate me. When I was a child, I had a pastor whose name was Joyce. Since then, I’ve encountered other men with names that were unusual for men to have, such as Nancy and Shirley. While I was researching Ruby Foster Wilmoth, I encountered a very unusual name for a male – Jewell. From other records, I learned Ruby’s older brother went by “J. T.” often, but the “J” really stood for Jewell. Jewell had a son he named Jewell. Masculine names such as Joyce, Nancy, and Jewell remind me to never assume the sex of an individual based solely upon their name.
Rittenberry 2019 – Ancestor RS-15
List of Grandparents
- Grandmother: Ruby Jean Shoemake
- 1st Great-grandmother: Ruby Foster Wilmoth
- 2nd Great-grandfather: Jubie Collins Wilmoth
- 3rd Great-grandfather: John Thomas Wilmoth
Ruby Foster Wilmoth (1912-1966)
Ruby Foster Wilmoth was born on 24 August 1912 in Overton County, Tennessee. She was the second of eight children born to Jubie and Rachel (Petty) Wilmoth.
Children of Jubie and Rachel (Petty) Wilmoth
|Jewel T. Wilmoth||1910||1968|
|Ruby Foster Wilmoth||1912||1966|
|Brison F. Wilmoth||1913||1985|
|Roxie Ann Wilmoth||1916||1988|
|Charles Dennis Wilmoth||1923||2001|
|Austin Collins Wilmoth||1925||1927|
In Overton County, she grew up surrounded by family. The 1920 Census saw Ruby living with her parents and four of her siblings. She and her older brother, Jewel, are attending school. Her father, Jubie, is a farmer who owns his farm and is working on his own account. On the same census page was the farm of John T. Wilmoth and included his wife and six children. In Total there are 5 Wilmoth heads of households on the same page of the Census Record. Altogether there were 10 Wilmoth families in the county, 8 in District 1. Looking back in history, there were six Wilmoth family “Heads” enumerated during the 1910 Census, and three in 1900. There were 22 individuals with the surname Wilmoth (or Wilmouth) during the 1880 Census. The 1810 Census records suggest that the Wilmoth’s have deep roots in Overtown County and have been there since it was formed out of Jackson County and Indian Lands in 1806.[i]
In 1928, when Ruby was 14, her mother died. As the oldest girl in the household, I’m certain much of managing the house fell to Ruby. The 1930 Census reflects that life, with the 17-year-old Ruby identified in the census as the person who provided the information to the census taker. She identified her farmer father as a widower who had been married 19 years. With Ruby and her dad are six of her siblings. (Little Austin died as an infant in 1927.)
In November 1930, her father, Jubie Wilmoth married Maggie Goodwin. Jubie and Maggie would go on to have three children (half siblings to Ruby).
In 1933 Ruby married the widower, Willie Hayes Shoemake. Willie and his first wife, Berchie A. Bryant had two children (Gladys & James) before Berchie died in 1932.
Children of Willie Hayes and Ruby Foster (Wilmoth) Shoemake
|Ruby Jean Shoemake||1934||1964|
|Robert Jere Shoemake||1940||2015|
|Willie Paul Shoemake||1943||1943[ii]|
The 1940 Census, finds Willie & Ruby living in the First Civil District, Putnam County. Living with them is James, Willie’s son from his previous marriage. Willie’s 15-year-old daughter, Gladys, appears to be elsewhere. Willie is a painter and Ruby is keeping house.
Death & Burial
Ruby died on 9 August 1966. She was buried in Wilmoth Cemetery, Poplar Springs, Overton County, Tennessee.
- “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNP3-QWB : accessed 31 March 2019), Ruby Wilmoth in household of Julie C Wilmoth, Civil District 1, Overton, Tennessee, United States; citing ED 56, sheet 2A, line 23, family 28, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1759; FHL microfilm 1,821,759.
- “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SPQG-V5G : accessed 31 March 2019), Ruby Wilmoth in household of Jubie C Wilmoth, District 01, Overton, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1, sheet 6A, line 23, family 105, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2268; FHL microfilm 2,342,002.
- “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4ZJ-BXM : accessed 8 March 2018), Willie Shoemake, Civil District 1, Putnam, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 71-5, sheet 1A, line 19, family 5, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3928.
- Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 31 March 2019), memorial page for Ruby Wilmoth Shoemake Tucker (24 Aug 1912–9 Aug 1966), Find A Grave Memorial no. 77439952, citing Wilmoth Cemetery, Poplar Springs, Overton County, Tennessee, USA; Maintained by imagal49 (contributor 47223808).
- “Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963,” database with images, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NSTM-N43 : 25 May 2014), Willie H. Shoemake in the entry for Willie Paul Shoemake, 28 Nov 1943; citing Judd Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam, Tennessee, 24298, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 2,137,340.
————– Disclaimer ————–
[i] Internet: Wikipedia – List of counties in Tennessee. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_counties_in_Tennessee
[ii] Died at the age of 8 months.