Who is Cousin Josie?

Last week my mother, who is 82 drove down from Richmond VA to visit us in Greensboro, NC.  On Friday, she and I made a visit to her brother Norwood Hugh Powell, who lives in Danville, VA, about 45 miles north of Greensboro. He’s been a great source to confirm names and connections among the relatives in my Powell and Hubbard family trees.

He got out some of his oldest photos and let me bring them home to scan. The prize possession of course, is the oldest relative, known only as Cousin Josie. Neither my mother nor my uncle can recall who cousin Josie was, they just remember that she was very old and visited the family in Richmond VA when they were children. My uncle was born in 1931 and my mother was born in 1933.  Based on their ages, my guess is that this picture of cousin Josie was taken between 1935 and 1940.


My mother was very young but remembers a very old woman that everyone called Cousin Josie holding a birthday cake. Mom “thinks” it was for her 100th birthday and also recalls that Cousin Josie lived to be 109.

If this was taken around 1937 and if it was for Josie’s 100th birthday, she would have been born in 1837. The problem is that I don’t have anyone in my family tree around that time named Josephine or Josie or anything close. I’m not even sure how to go about figuring out who she is. But it is such a great picture and there’s always a chance that someone will see it and have a similar one in their family collection so I thought I’d use it for my post today.

The people cousin Josie visited were Thomas Greenwood Powell and his wife, Mary Alice (Mamie) Hubbard Powell. So I’m not even sure if Josie was a Hubbard or a Powell or something else.  Tom Powell was born in Chesterfield County, VA in 1885 to James A Powell and Mary Creed Morrissette. James Powell (who had 8 brothers and 4 sisters) was born in Albemarle County, VA in 1825. Mamie was born in Cumberland County or Manchester City in 1887 to Robert Hugh Hubbard and Sarah Elizabeth (Betty) Jenkins Hubbard. The Hubbard family was from Prince Edward County, VA and the Jenkins were from Cumberland County,VA.

Any suggestions on who Cousin Josie is or how I might figure it out are appreciated. But even if she just remains a mystery, it’s a great picture that I wanted to share.



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