The David Sherwood Auld Family
(with an emphasis on Otis Dyson Auld)
By HB “Sonny” Auld, Jr.
This is an attempt to identify the people pictured in the top photograph. I know that it contains a picture of my grandfather, Otis Dyson Auld, when he was a young man. Some of the following information will be purely speculation, but I have tried to identify the people, based on their birth order, as outlined in the genealogy chart above.
Based on the years of each person’s birth and who is pictured in the photograph, I believe this photograph was taken around 1892. This is based on the fact that Mary Eolian Auld who was born in 1892 is not pictured, but George David Auld who was born in 1889 is pictured as a toddler.
The parents of Otis Dyson and his siblings are David Sherwood Auld who was born June 6, 1844 (exactly 100 years before D-Day in World War II), and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Hester, born in 1852. David Sherwood Auld would have been around 48 years old when this photograph was taken and Mary Elizabeth would have been about 40 years old if it was taken, as I believe, sometime in early 1892. David Sherwood Auld died in 1910 at about 66 years old and Mary Elizabeth died in 1922 at about age 70. From separate parish records I have been able to find, I believe they both may be buried in either Farmersville Cemetery in Union Parish near Simsboro, Louisiana, or possibly in Lincoln Parish Cemetery, which is also located near Simsboro. They were married in 1868 in Union Parish, Louisiana. David Sherwood was about 24 and Mary Elizabeth was about 16 when they married. These two are seated in the front (David has a heavy, long beard and Mary holds her hands in her lap.) Their first child of 12 children, Elijah Thompson Auld, was born the following year in 1869.
Seated to David’s right is either Hester Auld or Regina Elizabeth Auld. They are twin girls, born sometime in 1884. Their date of death is listed as 1913. This is a mistake, due to some cataloging of the birth dates. I am speculating on this, based on common sense (it is unlikely that both twins died in the same year, and the death date of several others is also listed as 1913, hence, I believe it to be a cataloging mistake. Either Regina or Hester (the other twin) is standing wearing a dark dress (the other one is seated and wears a white dress) to their mother’s left. The twins would have been around eight years old in this photograph. Regina Elizabeth carries the same middle name as her mother (Mary Elizabeth Hester). Her twin sister, Hester Auld, carries her mother’s maiden name as her first name. It is impossible at this late date to tell which twin is which.
Based on birth order, I believe that the man with the mustache seated on the left of Mary Elizabeth is their eldest son, Elijah Thompson Auld, who was born in 1869 and died in 1957, at about age 88. His wife was named Susie (maiden name unknown). In addition to speculation, I based this on three factors: he looks the oldest of all of the male children and it is believed that sitting down with his parents would be a position in the photograph of respect, reserved for the eldest child. Also, as the first born of David Sherwood Auld and Mary Elizabeth (Hester) Auld, it would be natural for him to be named after his paternal grandfather, Elijah Michael Auld. Elijah Thompson Auld would have been around 23 years old in this photograph.
Moving from left to right and standing in the rear, I believe the younger boy is Douglas Auld, who was born in 1880. The date of his death is unknown. Douglas would have been about 12 years old in this photograph.
The next person to Douglas’ left I believe is Jessie V. Auld. At first, I thought that Jessie might be one of the boys (it being both a boy’s and a girl’s name), but now I believe Jessie is a female because none of the other names and birth order dates fit her. She was born in 1874. Her year of death in my copy of the genealogical chart above is unclear and I cannot see her exact year of death. Jessie would have been about 18 years old in this photograph.
I believe the tall man in the center back row holding the small child is Sherwood Cavassa Auld, who was born in 1876 and died in 1920 at about the age of 44. Sherwood is, of course, his father’s middle name, and perhaps a family name, since we do not know the names of David Sherwood Auld’s uncles (the brothers of his father, Elijah Michael Auld.). Sherwood Cavassa Auld would have been about 16 years old in this photograph.
I believe the young child he is holding is George David Auld (I believe he went by “Georgie,” if my memory is correct. He was born in 1889 and died in 1974 at the age of about 85. I was grown by the time he died and I seem to recall there being a Georgie that my dad spoke about as his uncle.). George would have been about three years old in this photograph.
I believe the man standing second from the right (fourth from the left) is my grandfather, Otis Dyson Auld (Granddaddy). He was born February 14, 1879, and died April 1, 1951, of a stroke at a nursing home in Jacksonville, Texas. My mother addressed him as “Mr. Auld” and his wife (my dad’s mom) as “Mrs. Auld” my entire life. He and my grandmother, Annie Love (Oden) Auld (Gram), are both buried in Arcadia Cemetery in Arcadia, Louisiana. When Granddaddy died in 1951, I was five years old and I was not allowed to attend his funeral, it being deemed by the adults as too upsetting for a five-year old. I had to wait outside with my aunt. Otis Dyson Auld was a dry cleaner and tailor by trade, which he passed on to my dad, HB Auld, Sr. His dry cleaning shop was on main street of Arcadia, Louisiana, where my dad was born. He went by Dyson instead of Otis, but his first-born son was named Otis. Granddaddy Otis Dyson Auld would have been about 13 years old in this photograph.
The man standing to Otis Dyson’s left (far right in the picture), I believe is Edgar Ward Auld, who was the second oldest of the Auld children and was born in 1872. He died in 1925 at the age of about 53. Edgar’s grandfather, Elijah Michael Auld, was married to Margaret Jane Ward, hence Edgar’s middle name comes from his paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Apparently naming children after ancestors was a common practice back then, especially in large families, since there are other instances of this in the David Sherwood Auld family. Edgar Ward Auld would have been about 20 years old in this photograph.
I am basing all of the above estimates of the ages of everyone and when the photograph was taken on the fact that three of the 12 children (listed below) are not in the photograph. I am assuming none of these three were born at the time of the photograph and the youngest in the photograph, George David Auld, was born in 1889. The next child born after George David Auld was Mary Eolian Auld, who was born in 1892. Of course, it is very possible that Mary Eolian Auld and the next two children that I am assuming had not been born yet were already born and not present for this photograph, but I don’t think that is likely. Since Mary Elizabeth (Hester) Auld was 40 years old when Mary Eolian was born in 1892, she would have been 46 years old when her last child was born in 1898, certainly not past child-bearing age.
The three children in the genealogical chart, but not pictured in the photograph above (and therefore probably not born, yet) are:
Mary Eolian Auld, was born in 1892. The date of her death is unknown, but she was still living long after I was born in 1945. I recall visiting her often because I remember she was called Aunt Eolian (pronounced “ee-OH-lee-un”). She apparently went by her middle name, to distinguish her from her mother, who was also named Mary.
Edith V. Auld, was born in 1895. The date of her death is unknown. Edith V. Auld would have been my grandfather’s youngest sister.
Earl Maurice Auld, was born in 1898 and the youngest of the 12 children born to David Sherwood Auld and Mary Elizabeth (Hester) Auld. The date of his death and his place of burial is unknown.
The Five Auld brothers: John Jordan Auld (10-15-1831 to 01-03-1905), James Washington Auld (02-05-1833 to 02-20-1900), Elisha M. Auld (1837 to 1870), Henry Harrison Auld (10-10-1839 to 12-21-1912), and David Sherwood Auld, my great-grandfather, (06-06-1844 to 12-04-1910) all served in the Confederacy in the Civil War. They all fought together at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou (12-26 to 12-29-1862) and were all captured at the Battle of Vicksburg (05-18 to 07-04-1863).