Martha Ford Priddy
My name is Martha Ford Priddy. I was born in Pass Christian,Miss.(the Pass) to George Dewey Ford ) and Martha Helen Nelson . We lived at 110 W.Beach in a two story stucco house on the Gulf, opposite the harbor. There were lots of us in that house-John Chadwick Liversedge, his wife Agnes Nelson Liversedge, their daughter Anna Louise and cousin Ellie Dale. My mother's parents, Paul Nelson and Martha Wasson Nelson died when she was very young. She was raised by the Liversedges. Agnes was her aunt, sister of Paul. Ann was like a sister.
Agnes was known as Aunt Ag but I called her Grandmother because I never knew any of mine. J.C. was Uncle Jack. He's the one who read me the funnies every Sunday. He was born in England and could not renounce the monarchy so he never became an American citizen. Ellie Dale, I called her Cuzzie, played solitaire on her cedar chest in her room. She taught me lots of games that I still play today.
The Pass was a great town in which to grow up. A small town and I had lots of friends who knew me as Sugar Ford and still do. But it's been cut to just Sug. Mostly we hung around the Yacht Club and sailed whenever we could. There are 5 cent matinees on Saturday and a soda shop next door
and games of Kick the Can and Capture the Flag.
At St. Joseph's school there were 2 classes to a room, taught by the Sisters of Mercy. Two of Agnes's sisters were Mercy nuns-.Sister Borgia (Catherine) and Sister Ursula (Mette).
During WW11 we had an observation post on our flat roof, We spotted airplanes and called information directly to a secret location in New Orleans,La. where the sightings were plotted. Uncle Jack was our Chief Observer and in charge. We started with a large umbrella for shelter until the city built us a "little house". It was strictly volunteer and lots of the town people took 4-6 hour shifts. People were in and out of our house from 6AM til dark.
I graduated in 1948 from Sacred Heart Academy in New Orleans then went on to Maryville College in St Louis,Mo,also a Sacred Heart school, graduating in 1952.
In August 1952 I traveled with Uncle Jack and his daughter,Ann, to England and then to Sejero,Denmark,home of John Nelson (Jorgen Nielson),born Dec.17,1819. He left Denmark at age 14 and came to America. He married Jane Elizabeth Marmion and among their children were Agnes and Paul Nelson.
We stayed at the home of Karl Pedersen,a very distant relative, and the only house with indoor plumbing at that time. Almost everyone on the island,which is 1 mile wide and 7 miles long, keeps a family lineage book beginning in 1613. I was fortunate to obtain a copy thanks to Mr. Pedersen.
In March 1955 I married John (Jack) Newton Priddy at St. Paul's Church in the Pass. Our son Jeffrey  is married to Marcia White. They have 3 sons-Gabe, Luke and Paul. Our daughter, Kelly Ann is divorced and has no children. Jack died in 2003 after a 5 month battle with cancer.
After Hurricane Katrina on Aug.29,2005 80% of the Pass is reported gone. My cousin, Nelson Lang, age 76, and his wife Helen stayed and were drowned. They weren't found for 2 months. My old house at 110 still stands but had some damage. I am glad my son Jeff and I visited there in April 2004. The Pass will never be the same.
It's strange that it was Katrina that brought me together with the Marmion family, a large part of my family tree. I thank them and especially Brigitte for all of her help.
WWII Plane Spotting on the roof of the Liversedge Home in Pass Christian
in the center with the binoculars is John Liversedge and girl on the phone is Martha