Saturday, December 06, 2014

About Isaac Lorenzo Givens


I first became interested in Isaac L. Givens when I was looking at the Pensacola (Florida) City Directory for 1934 and 1938.  I was at the West Florida Regional Library, at that time located on Gregory Street in Pensacola.  They used to keep all the genealogical stuff upstairs, then.

Isaac is my first cousin twice removed.  I believe that we have in common my second great grandfather, John Witherspoon Givens.

In the 1934 City Directory, Isaac appears to be doing carpentry for a living; later in 1938, he is listed as a "laborer".  At some period of time, in that 4 year span, he moved to a new residence.  The directories give the street address, so I should be able to use Google Earth and get the GPS coordinates.  Since I don't ever remember having met Isaac and/or his family, there are, I'm sure, some of the cousins who may remember visiting with the family.

Family members are also included in the city directories.  Stella Camille [nee Collins] is identified as his wife.  Isaac, Jr. and John Thomas Givens were the two sons living with the family at that time.  There was also a daughter Veronica.

In the 1931 City Directory for Pensacola, I found an "Ivy" L. Givens, who I suspect might be Isaac Lorenzo Givens.  He is a laborer and living at 715 E. Gregory.  His wife is identified as Stella, also, which leads me to believe he is the same person that I saw in the later directories as "Isaac".

I am not sure how the information is collected on the City Directory source; is it by personal interview of the individual or of his neighbors, or what?  I'll have to find that out before I can classify it as reliable, first hand info, or secondary or whatever.


On the Internet at, I found Isaac's registration (Escambia County, Florida), for the First World War.  This is what we call a primary source because Isaac was the one giving the information as he sat or stood across from the Selective Service/Draft Board person.  He gives his date of birth as 7 Feb 1887 in Pensacola.  You can find an image of this document at,, and in the regional National Archives in Morrow, Georgia.  These civilian draft registrations were done in 1917 and 1918.


I don't remember and didn't note exactly how I viewed this census, but it is readily available in several formats and places.  Keep in mind that this census gives us a snapshot of Isaac and his family as they were living in 1930, just a few years earlier than the city directory and several years later than the draft registration form.  Also keep in mind that the census enumerator's information is obtained from whoever was home at the time and possibly from a neighbor, also.

In 1930, Isaac Lorenzo Givens was age 43, according to the census.  His marriage was performed when he was age 19 and when Stella was just 16, not unusual for that time and day.  Isaac is reported to have been born in Florida and his mother and father were born in Alabama.  Stella is age 39 in 1930.  They have a daughter, Marguerite, age 13, born in Florida; a daughter Veronica L., age 8, also born in Florida.  Isaac, Jr. is the only son listed at this point in time and he is age 6.  "H" is given as his middle initial.  Another daughter, Louise is age 2 years and 9 months old.  Also shown as living with the family is Clementine Gainey, age 60, a widow, who was born in Alabama.  She is listed as the mother of Isaac Lorenzo Givens.  Her maiden name may have been "Kersey"; she was the first wife of John Hezekiah Givens, Isaac's father.  I know that she married a second time to Mr. Gainey, but have no info on him. 

In this census, Issac is listed as the "bridge comptroller" for the Railroad.  It seems to me that I remember someone, perhaps my mother or grandmother, telling me something about that when I was very young.  It shouldn't be too hard to locate another historical document on that--another project for me to take on!


Someone sent me a photo of both Isaac and Stella Givens.  Either that or I copied it out of Sandi's book.  On the photo for Stella is part of her obituary (not sure where the other part is) and I quote:
Mrs. Stella Givens, 47, died at her residence, 601 East Salamanca Street, Monday morning following a long illness.  She has been a life long resident of this city and was a member of the Christ Episcopal Church.  Mrs. Givens is survived by her husband, J. L. Givens [should be Isaac L Givens]; four daughters, Mrs. E.B. Pfeiffer, Mrs. M Burkett, Beromia Givens and Mary Givens; two sons, Isaac Harold and John Thomas Givens; one sister, Mrs. Maggie Crossman, all of this city; two grandsons, Eugene and William Pfeiffer. 
 It's also possible that Monette Hartley emailed those photos to me.  Monette Pfeiffer Hartley is now deceased.


I have corresponded via email with at least two of the descendants of Isaac L. Givens.  One was Monette Hartley who wrote:

Isaac Lorenzo Givens was born 7 Feb 1887 in Pensacola, Florida.  He married Stella Camellia Collins on the 28 May 1907 in Christ Episcopal Church in Pensacola.  They had the following children:
  •  Aline Ettoil Givens [m. Pfeiffer], born 24 Apr 1909; died 20 Sep 1980
  • Margaret Busby, born 7 Sep 1916
  • Isaac Harold Givens, born 12 Dec 1923; died 28 Nov 1992
  • Veronica Cardenas
  • Mary Trahan, born 7 Jan 1927; died 12 Dec 1998
  • John Thomas Givens, born 13 Oct 1931; died 23 Mar 1996
All of their children are deceased.  My  grandfather, (remember this is Monette talking), Isaac Lorenzo died 15 Oct 1964.  Stella Collins Givens died Oct 1938.  Isaac later married Cora Sherman.  [Monette's mother was Aline, the oldest child].

There's more that I learned about Isaac and his family, but the evening is getting late and I have to get up for church tomorrow!  LOOK FOR PART 2, SOON.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Minutes of a County Commissioner Meeting, Pages 46 and 47

Place: DeFuniak Springs Courthouse, Walton County, Florida
Date: 14 Oct 1908
Purpose: To revise the voters' registration list to reflect the deaths of certain citizens.
Precinct # 18 (Laurel Hill).

1.   Gavin, Charles, Sr., dead.
2.   Givens, Elisha, dead
3.   Givens, J. W. [John Witherspoon], dead
4.   Givens, J.A. [James Alexander], removed

Monday, March 03, 2014

Descendants of: Robert Givens (1810-aft1860) and Sarah Rebecca Stewart (Allen) (1812-aft 1860)

DATE: Saturday, March 15, 2014
TIME: 9:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.

PLACE: Warriors Hall
201 Stillwell Boulevard
Crestview, Florida

COST: $15.00 per person (Price includes lunch and rental for Warriors Hall). A donation may be needed to cover additional costs. Finger food for morning snack would be appreciated.

SILENT AUCTION: Craft items, paintings, white elephant items, plants (live or artificial arrangements), etc. The proceeds will be used to cover reunion expenses and upkeep for the Almarante Cemetery where many of our relatives are buried.

For further information, you may contact Foye Gramley at 850-892-7069 or 850-685-9966 or send email to; or Margaret Harris at 850-533-6710 or send email to
Send your reservation to Foye Gramley , 190 Meadowbrook Lane; DeFuniak Springs, Fl 32435 by March 1st. That will give me time to give a count to the caterer.

Cordially yours,

Margaret Harris
Foye Givens Gramley