I thought that it would be appropriate to post about the person that inspired my love of genealogy.
Saford Henry Landreth born July 20, 1920, I believe in Pulaski County, Virginia (I’ve been hard pressed to find his family in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, although I have found city directories that show there is a possibility that he lived in Bellview, Florida in 1935) to William Henry Landreth (1890-1985) and Bergie (Bergia, Birgia) Reece (1895-1969). He was the third of 4 children.
He married Ethel Lila Smythers (1921-2008) (they actually shared the same birthday a year apart) on Jan 7, 1939. In 1940 they had their first of 3 children.
On January 2, 1945 he enlisted in the army in Roanoke, Virginia. While he was in the military he lived in Joplin, Missouri.
After leaving the military he and his family moved to Cleveland, Tennessee while he was attending
The Church of God’s Pentecostal Theological Seminary.
He and his family lived in Charlottesville, Virginia in the 1950’s and 60’s. He was the pastor of Covenant Church of God, when it was on Altavista Avenue.
He eventually moved back to southern/ south western Virginia.
Saford Henry Landreth passed away on February 16th 2003 in Salem, Virginia and is buried at Chestnut Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, along with his wife, in Earlysville, Albemarle County, Virginia.
I barely knew Saford. I mean that. He was my great grand uncle. I was 18 when he passed away and I had met him only once, at a funeral in 1998. I did talk to him once on the phone several years before that. I remember he was really nice to me on the phone, but I cannot remember the conversation. Interestingly enough, my 8 year old son talks about him like he knew him, but was born 3 years after Saford passed.
I started to learn about Saford long before I talked to him. In a drawer next to her dining room table my grandmother kept very basic, spiral bound books that he had put together about our ancestors.
I know now that the information in them was very basic, names and years of birth and death. Some had prefaces with a little more information on some people or appendices with unlabeled pictures of pictures of people I didn’t know.
The histories I know he put together were:
*Reece Forebears and descendants
*Hopkins Forebears and descendants
*Wickham Forebears and descendants
*Ayers Forebears and descendants
*Quesenberry Forebears and descendants
*Smythers Forebears and descendants
*Sowers Forebears and descendants
I also know now, through research of my own, that some of the information in these books is wrong or unproven. But, I am forever thankful for the glimpse he gave me into a family I never knew existed.