Lynchburg, Virginia's Aunt Berta; A Half-Breed's Story of a Few Golden Years, 1857-1964


This true story recounts the trials, tribulations and the times of the authors’ ancestor, Roberta Reed Edwards, better known as Aunt Berta. In her time, people in the Lynchburg, Virginia area called a charismatic and well-respected person Aunt. She earned that title, as she was warm-hearted and so skillful at midwifing and doctoring people and animals in that area.

Born in Amherst County, Virginia in 1857, she lived to be 106, experiencing much Americana (horse and buggy, farming, weaving baskets, winning blue ribbons), seeing multifaceted U.S. history from Lincoln to Kennedy, witnessing social upheavals and changes, and observing the advent of the technological age. Braving Virginia’s ethnicity system, which designated her as a mixed blood person (part Cherokee and part Irish), she judged that system as inconsequential, not allowing it to humiliate or demean her. Her choice of husband further exemplifies her courage. The extraordinary Aunt Berta used her abundant inner strength and wisdom to cope with and overcome many tragedies pelting her life. They included removal of her Cherokee father from his family when she was seven, family deaths, and more. Remarkably, she studied and received her midwife license in her fifties and she finger-knitted while blind. Also, the book gives data on genealogical sources, Cherokee/Colored/Irish history, Colored and Indian Medal of Honor winners, Buffalo Bill, Buffalo Soldiers, Lynchburg in the Civil War, Indian code talkers, Pearl Harbor, Nuremberg trials, Rough Riders, and more.

Vera M. White and Kenneth Downing

2007, 5½x8½, paper, index, 226 pp.

ISBN: 9780788443329