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Social media post leads volunteer to research family ties to Facebook commenter

On May 3, 2021, we posted on our Facebook page an image taken shortly after the Great Fire of 1901, noting the rapid rebuild of a barbershop on Bay Street. A commenter replied that her great-grandfather, Arthur Oliver Gandy (A.O.) also lost a business on Bay Street during the Great Fire. Her great-grandmother, Edith Pacetti Gandy, had just died in April, leaving him with an infant and two toddlers.

This comment piqued the interest of JHS Lead Docent Nancy Gandy, who had worked for years on the Gandy genealogy but was not sure how Arthur Gandy was related. What Nancy discovered was the relationship of Arthur Gandy to her family and reminder of their fascinating history.

  By digging deep into the Gandy family history, Nancy found that Edith Pacetti Gandy had a sister, Dita Pacetti McAloon, whose daughter Claire was the third wife of actor Richard Boone, who was the second cousin of singer Pat Boone, a Jacksonville native.

Nancy also found that Arthur Oliver Gandy was the brother of her great-grandfather, James Timothy Gandy (1869-1933). James and Arthur were the sons of Private Charles Thomas Gandy, Sr., who was in the 50th Georgia Infantry, Company E, and was wounded and lost his left arm at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863. He was later the coroner of Thomas County, GA. 

Arthur Gandy’s brother, James Timothy Gandy, had a son named Matthew Alvin Gandy who lost his right arm in a farming accident. Matthew Gandy owned Gandy’s Grocery Store on Lem Turner Road in the Lake Forest Shopping Center and later Gandy’s New & Used Furniture Store on Gandy Street. A brother of Matthew Gandy lost his leg. Matthew Gandy’s son was Carl Gandy, Sr., Nancy’s father-in-law, who served in the Marines in World War II. Following his military service, Carl worked for the railroad as a switchman and lost his left arm and left leg from a train accident. He later worked with his father at his store. He died in 1964 at age 42.

Nancy and her children – through all those permutations – are distantly related to the woman who originally posted the comment about Arthur and Edith Gandy and the Great Fire of 1901!

Kate A. Hallock, Marketing & Communications Director

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