Letter from William Walker May

The following letter in the papers of William Walker May (1908-1983) explains a connection among the May-Abernathy-Harris-Westmoreland families of Giles County. William W. May was the son of Dr. J.P. May and the grandson of the J.P. May mentioned in the letter through his first wife, Susannah Harris Abernathy, daughter of Charles Clayton Abernathy and Susannah Waddy Harris Abernathy.

August 26, 1955

Dear Mr May:

Mrs. Charles M. Abernathy of Pulaski, Tennessee (Cousin Haywood), was kind enough to let me have her "papers," and I am sifting for Westmoreland, Harris, and Davis data,

I note that your grandfather was Julius Pinckney May, but I do not know which of his wives you were descended from. However, from either of them you would have a Harris ancestor, would you not?

You stated the line of the first wife in your letter of November 24, 1947, and the line of his second wife, Marietta Westmoreland-she was the daughter of Fisher Ames Westmoreland and Susannah Davis Tarpley (the widow Tarpley). Susannah Davis was daughter of Mary Harris and Samuel Davis. This Mary Harris was the sister of Susannah Waddy Harris. Their father was Tyree Harris. This is a fine Harris line, and I have been working on it for about six months and have about completed it with proof of every generation except one. I haven't found a marriage bond of Samuel Davis and Mary Harris, but I am looking and have some "good leads."

I'll be glad to send you any information that I have. My great-grandfather was the brother of Marietta Westmoreland (Mrs. Julius Pinckney May) and his name was William. My grandmother May Westmoreland married John T. Slaton. My mother Moneta Slaton married Arthur W. Allison, and I, Moneta May Allison married Richard Y. Thorpe. Incidentally, the May in my name was for "Aunt Mollie" May-Marietta.

I do hope that you are still interested in tracing ancestors. It is such a fascinating hobby. Am hoping to hear from you.

Moneta Allison Thorpe
3612 Hampton Avenue
Nashville 12, Tennessee

Submitted by: Patricia May Touw