Veterans’ Day – Dedicated to the Cause of World Peace

Norman Charles WAccording to Military.com, Veterans Day (November 11th) was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day – the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. Established by Congress in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’ The declared holiday honored the veterans of World War I. Then in 1954, following both World War II and the Korean War, the Act of 1938 was amended by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Today I think of all the those within my family that sacrificed so much to serve America in wars that have been critical for world peace.  They were dedicated to the preservation of freedoms and liberties of our Nation and throughout the world.  For over 235 years, members of my family have defended and fought for the sacred values held within their hearts, many of the same are written within the Bible and the documents of our Nation’s foundation.  They have  served and fought for freedom not only because they felt it was their duty, but because they knew it was a call of honor.  Today I enjoy many liberties and freedom in America because of those who served and sacrificed for all.   Thank you to many family members, particularly the following:

  • Thanks to my husband for serving in the Persian Gulf War, including service in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
  • Thanks to my dad, Charles W. Norman (1932-1979), for serving in the Korean War, as a member of the U.S. Army.   He entered into active service on February 20, 1953 in Nashville, Tennessee as a Private – 2nd Class.  He was promoted to Corporal (T) June 29, 1954.  He was transferred to the US Army Reserves on December 18, 1954 through Fort Knox, Kentucky.  He remained in the US Army Reserves, in standby mode, until he was fully released and honorably discharged on February 24, 1961. He received several metals for his service, including National Defense Service Metal (NDSM), United Nations Service Metal (UNSM), Korean Service Metal (KSM) and Good Conduct Metal (GCM).
  • Thanks to my great uncle William “Bill” Cole (1923-2002), a pilot serving in World War II.   He enlisted in the Army  on the 29th December of 1942, serving until October 17, 1945 as a Private.
  • Thanks to my granddad, Floyd M. Mills (1913-1981), for serving during World War II.  My grandfather served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army.   He was enlisted on April 8, 1944 in Camp Shelby, Mississippi as a Private.  I know from stories by my mom and grandmother that at some point my grandfather was stationed in Texas and later served in Germany.
  • Thanks to my great-grandfather George W. Gibson (1844-1923) for serving during the Civil War.  He was wounded at Ramond, Mississippi in 1863 with a mini ball in his left shoulder. A small  Bible in his pocket deflected the bullet away from his heart. He was a prisoner in Yankee Camps at Fort Donelson in Nashville, Tn in 1864.
  • Thanks to my great-grandfather John M. Tucker (1840-1888), for serving during the Civil War.  He was captured, imprisoned and traded several times during his service.  He was hit by a riffle ball in the hip, and although he was crippled from the shot, he continued to serve.   Continuing problems with this crippling wound lead to his early death.
  • Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, James Gilliam (1733-1794), who served in military operations of the American Revolutionary War with the Colonial soldiers of Lunenburg County, Virginia, including rangers and militia.
  • Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Lafayette Norman (1750-1809), who is believed to have served during the American Revolutionary War, possibly within the North Carolina militia.

Thank you to all of the men and women who have served and do serve in defending America, the values of life, liberty and freedom, and the hope of world peace.

John Francis Gilliam

John Francis Gilliam was born on July 16, 1863 in Maury County, Tennessee.  He is the son of Stephen M. (1828-1902)  and Nancy Niles Campbell Gilliam (1829-), both of Maury County, Tennessee.   He was the youngest of the five (5) children of Stephen and Nancy Gilliam.    John’s older siblings included Amanda J. (born January 9, 1847), James Riley (born October 13, 1848, Sarah C. (born September 10, 1854) and Delaware (born August 18, 1861).

John is my great-great grandfather.  My mom, Dalsie Mills Norman, fondly referred to John as “Pa John”.  She said that she remembered him, although he died when she was four (4) years old.  She said that he was a very kind and loving man.

1880 US Census for John F GIlliamJohn appears in the 1880 US Census for Maury County, Tennessee, District 3.  He is listed with his parents.  No other children are reported as living in their home at the time.  They are reported as 52 years old and he is 17 years old.   Both Stephen (dad) and John are listed as a farmer and Nancy (mom) as keeping house.  Stephen reported that he was born in Tennessee; while his parents (John’s grandparents) were both born in Virginia.

On December 23, 1883, John married Mildred Gertrude Neathery (daughter of William and Mary C Braden Neathery) in Maury County, Tennessee.   Mildred (also called Maggie or Meg) was born on June 4, 1867 and died in 1901 (probably in Marshall County, Tennessee).  Mildred is buried in Lewisburg, Marshall County, Tennessee at the Bethlehem Cemetery. John and Maggie had four children:  Eunice Ada (born October 8, 1884) and brother Willis G (born June 24, 1887), Lunie Mae (born August 23, 1890) and William Leslie (born February 18, 1894).  (Click here for marriage record)

John married Rachel Catherine Lovett on October 23, 1904.  They did not have children together.  Rachel Catherine was the daughter of Thomas Davis Lovett and Mary Palestine Derryberry.  She died in 1928 (probably in Marshall County, Tennessee) and is buried at the Bethlehem Cemetery, Lewisburg, Tennessee. (Click here for marriage record)

1910 census

 John and Rachel C., along with Lunie M. and William L. are listed in the 1910 US Census, District 4, Maury County, Tennessee.  John is reported as 47 years old and a general farmer.  The Census states that he is renting the property that he is farming.  Catherine is reported as 47 years old, Lunie as 20 years old and WIlliam as 16 years old.

1920 US Census for JohnGilliam

John and Catherine are listed in the 1920 US Census, District 4, Maury County, Tennessee.  John and Catherine are both listed as 56 years old.  John is listed as owning his own home/farm without a mortgage.  His occupation in listed as a general farmer.  Listed in the 1920 US Census, living in household with John and Catherine is  Willis (son to John and Mildred).  He is reported as 33 years old and widowed.  His children, Gertrude (daughter, age 10) and Neuion (son, age 5), are living in the house also.  Willis’ occupation is listed as a teamster at the sawmill.

!930 US Census John F Gilliam

John is listed alone and “widowed” in the 1930 US Census, District 4, Maury County Tennessee.  He is reported to be 66 years old and a general farmer that owns his own home/farm.    

John died on December 9,  1936 , in District 4, Maury County, Tennessee,  of labor pneumonia, according to his death certificate.  Information for the death certificate was provided by Mrs. M.E. Mills (Lunie Gilliam Mills).  The certificate also reports that John is buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery, Lewisburg, Marshall County, Tennessee, on December 10, 1936.

John F Gilliam Death Certificate