Friday, August 31, 2012

Seven Brave Women

Hearne, Betsy. Seven Brave Women. Ill. by Bethanne Andersen. New York: Greenwillow, 1997.  (ages 4-8)
A young girl tells the story of her female ancestors. They did not fight in wars like the men did, but they all had some achievement of which she could be proud. The stories are told in a manner in which a child would enjoy. The biggest problem that I have is with the timeline for the ancestors. For a young girl reading this book in 1997, it is more likely that a female ancestor living in the Revolutionary War era would have been a 5 or 6 great grandmother rather than a 3 great grandmother. It is more likely that the female ancestor living during the War of 1812 would have been a 4 or 5 great grandmother rather than a 2 great grandmother. The 20th century generations are closer to reality in terms of their relationship to the child. Some of the illustrations were better than others in the story. My favorite illustration is probably the one of the Mennonite ancestor crossing the Atlantic with her children. It is perhaps not a very realistic illustration and glamorized the trip, but it was a beautiful one. This is a book that could be used with children to show that although there are fewer records for female ancestors, they still played important roles in the family. If the child is old enough to understand the problems with the timeline, I would discuss that problem with the child. It might be a useful book for discussing how some published trees sometimes leave out a generation or two.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

In the Kiamichis, What a Wonderful Time . . .

Today would have been my mom's 88th birthday. I offer this post in her memory.

When I was growing up, one of the family vacations we took was the same each year. We would go to a little town in southeastern Oklahoma called Honobia that most people don't know exists. Why in the world would anyone ever go there? We attended a family camp there each year sponsored by the Kiamichi Mountain Christian Mission. It was always held the first full week of August. (When school didn't start until after Labor Day, you could do this.) There were lots of other families who did the same thing. It was a pretty cheap vacation when you thought about it. You could park free on the grounds. While there were hookups available, you had to make sure you were near them.

On the way to family camp, we would go through Hot Springs, Arkansas. I loved looking at the beautiful hotels on "bathhouse row" in that city. We'd venture a little further down the road and have a picnic lunch at one of those little roadside parks beside a creek. Something out of a can like SPAM or Vienna sausages was usually on the menu. We'd make a stop at Lum and Abner's Jot-em-down store.

The first year that we went camping, we had a tent. We were also glad that my dad had been thoughtful enough to purchase cots for the tent. When it began raining and the water was coming down that hill, we didn't get wet, unlike my newly found friends the Simmons who were camping with their grandparents, the Van Zyles, who were missionaries for the mission. The oldest daughter Robin was my age. Her sister Karen was a year or two younger. There was a younger brother named Bucky, but I don't think he was there the first year.

Many of the families ate in the "dining hall", but we had purchased a Coleman stove and brought a grill. We always stopped in Mena, Arkansas to do our grocery shopping before heading in to the campground. During the week, we usually went into the town of Talahina to do laundry and to do additional grocery shopping. (Food only kept so long in a cooler.)  You could buy ice at the campground which was called "Christ's 40 Acres" (although I was told it had grown to more like 100 acres). There was a little store in Honobia, that in later years we called "the Mall."

In the mornings, the kids went to sessions especially designed for them. These were held in a building called the Memorial Chapel, but it was a big white building with a dorm above it. I don't remember the names of all the faithful ladies who worked with us, but I do remember Janet Hudson would always lead the singing. I believe she taught one of the elementary groups also. She came from Ohio and later on Kentucky to do this each year. Mark Layman, the son of one of the missionaries, usually did the sessions for the teens. The teen sessions moved around the campground over the years, but there was a big metal building where they were held for most of the years. The adults had two morning sessions -- Devotions and a "Faith and Freedom" session. The adult sessions were held under the "Big Steel Tent" which was a steel framed building with canvas sides in places to allow air to flow. (You needed to stock up on those funeral home fans before you went.)

We had the afternoons free to do whatever we liked. There was usually horseback riding available in a little ring up by the old post office which was on the grounds of the mission. There was a donkey wheel for the younger ones. Some people went swimming in one of the nearby creeks. I don't remember what the name of the one we usually swam in was. We called it the "Honobia swimming hole" or the "Honobia Municipal Swimming Pool" if we were trying to be cute. It was about a mile down a dirt and rock road behind "the mall". Some people went swimming in Cucumber Creek, but it was much shallower, and the rocks were pretty sharp. I remember one of my friends cut herself on the rocks there one year. They had to take her all the way to Mena, since it was the closest hospital. As a teen, I walked a long time to get there with the Godfreys from Florida and some other friends on our "Honobia Platform Shoes" (which were cola cans that fit under the heels of our shoes). (Needless to say, this was back when cola cans were a bit heavier than they are now.) Of course, one day would be taken up with the laundry and other duties. We'd sometimes take a scenic drive. Then there were softball games on a field near the canteen and an 18-hole hand golf course. The balls were more or less the size of croquet balls, and you would throw them. One of the missionaries, Paul Cook, always had a game going, but a lot of us joined in the fun and got our own games together. They had balls available in the office that you could check out. Dad would nearly always beat me and Mom, but I got better as the years went on.  There was one other thing to do. Some of us decided to go sliding down the red clay hill next to the bathhouse. I didn't realize this was the red clay hill that mom had told me not to slide down. You see, it wasn't really big enough to be called a hill. To me, a hill was much larger. This was more like a "ditch" with sloping sides. Needless to say, all of us got in trouble that first year because we didn't think that was a hill. We would always take a few watermelons with us to cut throughout the week. We'd share them with all our friends.

In the evenings, there would be an hour of music or a program put on by one of the mission churches followed by an evening service complete with preaching and a choir of campers. The choir practiced at 2:00 in the afternoon, and I began participating in it when I was a teen.These were all held under the "Big Steel Tent."

The second or third year, we had a small pop-up trailer. It really only slept 4 people and had room for nothing else. It basically kept you a little higher off the ground than the tent, but offered no real amenities. We only had that one for a year, I think. Then we got a Starcraft pop-up. It slept 6 (because the table folded down). It had a little sink which made it easier for mom than always trying to lug water up a hill to wash dishes. We still used the Coleman stove. We always parked in about the same place. The Crowe family from Memphis, the Smith family from Arkansas, the Daniel from Memphis, the Kingsley family from Kansas, and the Godfrey family from Florida were always camped nearby. There were kids close to my age in each of these families so we did a lot of things together. After the evening service, we would all gather around a campfire. Mr. Daniel would get out his guitar, and we would sing. It was a fun way to end the evening.

Eventually we got a Coachman travel trailer that could be pulled behind our vehicles. We'd take along my nephews when they got to an age they could enjoy camping. I think some of the older nieces may have gone in the mid-1980s when I was no longer home.

Oddly enough, when I was in college, one of the college musical groups with which I traveled was assigned to the Kiamichis to work in one of the youth camps. I was already very familiar with the place.

There was a song which I still remember as being #50 in the Kiamichi songbook which was written by the founder of the mission that was sung a few times throughout the week.

In the Kiamichis, what a wonderful time
On Christ's Forty Acres beneath the pines.
God sends down blessings for you and me.
We'll love and serve him eternally.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Removed Cousins

Happy Birthday to my distant cousin Jacob Yoder who was born 29 Aug 1841. Now, I'm at a loss to tell you what degree of kinship we share.  That's the way it is with my Amish families. I seem to be related in multiple ways to many of them.  This Jacob Yoder is the son of Jonathan Yoder and his wife Catherine Yoder (and, yes, that is supposed to have been her maiden name also). I guess she could be called Catherine Yoder Yoder (or Yoder squared - with apologies to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak for the use of the squared terminology).

My relationship calculator in my RootsMagic software tells me that Jacob is my:
1st cousin 3 times removed through Jacob Yoder & Mary Keim
3rd cousin 3 times removed through John (Hans) Reichenbach & Anna Rupp
4th cousin 3 times removed through Heinrich "Henry" Reichenbach & Barbara Thommen

The first one is, of course, the closest connection. His father Jonathan Yoder and my great great grandmother Barbara Yoder Lantz were siblings. Their parents were Jacob Yoder and Mary Keim.

Now, I'll try to explain the two through the Reichenbachs. I am descended through three different children of of Heinrich "Henry" Reichenbach and his wife Barbara. I suspect that this Jacob Yoder had multiple connections to the ancestor as well. That's why it is showing up multiple times and skips the generation of John Yoder and Barbara Reichenbach (the parents of Jacob Yoder, spouse of Mary Keim). We ended up having multiple relationships through some of these individuals.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum (Book Review)

Fossum, Karin. Don't Look Back. trans. by Felicity David. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt, 2003.

This book opens with what appears to be a case of child abduction. Inspector Sejer is called to investigate. The reader will soon discover, however, that the book is more about what the child saw during the hours she was gone. This book is not quite as tense of an atmosphere as many Scandinavian crime novels, but there are some literary elements in the puzzle, particularly in reflecting on the past of the characters, that will keep readers pondering the book. I enjoyed the mystery, but I did miss the darker atmosphere that I've come to expect in Scandinavian mysteries. 3.5 stars.

Monday, August 27, 2012

An Alabama Ancestor

Since I will be heading to Birmingham for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference this week, it is fitting that I should blog about an Alabama ancestor at some point during the week. Since James M. Thornton died 99 years ago today, I picked him.

Many of my readers are familiar with him since my cousin Terry often blogged about James and his family in his "Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi" blog.

James M. Thornton was born 16 March 1825 in Jefferson County, Alabama. (That's the actual county in which Birmingham is located.) My grandfather is descended from his first marriage to Lucinda Aldridge. The marriage probably took place about 1853, although we cannot be sure because the records were lost to fire. It is believed that Lucinda died in childbirth and that my great grandfather Cape Thornton was reared by his maternal grandparents. James married Nancy Lay about 1857. This couple had seven children. James M. Thornton served in the Civil War. You might think that he served for the Confederacy since he lived in the South, but you would be wrong. The area in which he lived had very strong sympathies with the Union. Although many men from the area were forced to fight for the Confederate army, many of them made their escape from the Confederacy and enlisted with the Union as soon as possible. He was a member of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USA. His pension file contains 200 pages of information, affadavits, etc. He lived in Fayette County, Alabama, but he was very close to the Winston and Walker County lines. I guess you might say he was a resident of the Free State of Winston (even if he didn't reside exactly inside the county lines). James moved around some. We know he resided for awhile in Glen Allen because of the affadavits in his pension file. He and Nancy spent most of their time in Franklin County, Alabama in the community of Spruce Pine. Spruce Pine is near Phil Campbell which is one of the towns nearly destroyed by the tornadoes of 27 April 2011. It is also near Russellville. Sometime between 1900 and 1910, he moved to Monroe County, Mississippi. (His son John purchased land in Monroe County in 1906 and 1909; his son Thomas R. "Bud" purchased some in 1909. John is supposed to have gone to Oklahoma about 1907 although he did not stay there long.) James M. Thornton died 27 August 2011 and is buried in the Lann Cemetery.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Sermon

One of my ancestors is the Rev. Nathan Ward who preached in Plymouth, New Hampshire at the Congregational Church. He was the son of Joseph Ward and Esther Kenrick and was born in Newton, Massachusetts 11 April 1781. (Martyn, p. 94) This same source mentions that he was heavily influenced by George Whitefield's preaching and that he became a part of the "New Light" sect. (p. 95) It also states that he was ordained 11 July 1765 and then went to preach in Plymouth. (p. 95) There seems to be a discrepancy in the date of his arrival in Plymouth. One source states that he was hired 16 April 1764. (Town Register, p. 25) I have seen at least one which implied (although not expressly stating) that he arrived in 1766. Ward did hold other pastorates (in Newton, Massachusetts and in Maine) before going to Plymouth. (Manual, p. 6) The Manual gives his ordination date as 10 July 1765 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It also says that he was hired on a trial basis at first and was officially called as pastor 9 July 1764. (p. 6)

I have to confess that I am one of those people who wished that they had some of today's modern technologies which would have preserved his sermons so I could hear what he had to say to his congregation. It would be nice if we could just "click to listen." However, that type of technology just didn't exist back then. We are fortunate that we are able to read sermons that were penned back in this country's earlier years. Jonathan Edwards' famed "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" gets re-read by me every once in awhile just so that I can get a feel for what my ancestors were hearing from their religious leaders. While I don't have the sermon he preached on his first Sunday in the pulpit, I do know the texts from which he preached his first couple of sermons. They were supposedly preached 19 May 1764 in Plymouth. The texts were Isaiah 1:19 and Luke 15:24. (Town Register, p. 25)

I decided to look up the verses in the New King James Version, a fairly modern translation.

Isaiah 1:19 - If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;

Luke 15:24 - "for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.

I find it strange that the first text stopped before the sentence began and that the second text started after the sentence began. I do wonder what his applications were for the first text. When I look at Isaiah 1:19 in its context, it is talking about the wickedness of Judah. He is urging them to forsake their sins and become obedient to God. Verse 19 tells what will happen if they are obedient. Verse 20 tells what will happen if they continue in their wickedness. It's a pretty interesting text, and it makes you wonder what direction he took with the sermon. Manual of the Congregational Church, Plymouth, N.H. states that verse 20 was included in this first sermon. (p.6)

Luke 15 is the familiar parable of the prodigal son. It is usually preached to describe how God rejoices when a sinner returns to Him.

The Manual makes a curious comment about the construction of the first church building (meeting-house) in 1767:

A meeting-house was erected in 1767. It was of logs, 40 feet by 50, and stood facing south, a few rods south of the present road, at the foot of Meeting-house hill, having the stocks and whipping-post in the rear. (p. 6)

I can't help but wonder how church attendance would be affected today if  stocks and whipping posts were on the church grounds.


Manual of the Congregational Church, Plymouth, N.H. Concord, N.H.: Republican Press, 1892.

Martyn, Charles. The William Ward Genealogy: The History of the Descendents of William Ward of Sudbury, Mass., 1638-1925. New York: Artemus Ward, 1925.

The Town Register: Ashland, Plymouth, Sandwich, Campton, Holderness, Center Harbor, Moultonboro, 1908. Augusta, Me.: Mitchell-Cony, 1908; available online at; accessed 13 August 2012.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

LibraryThing Tagging Tips

When I first joined LibraryThing, one of the things that frustrated me about tagging was their use of the comma as a delimiter in the tags field. That meant that anytime I entered a subject heading that included a comma, I ended up with not one heading, but two. That means my entry of "Monroe County, Mississippi" had the tags "Monroe County" and "Mississippi", but not my desired combined tag. You can still use those two tags and search for the tag mash of the two terms, but the searches take longer. I learned a trick from fellow genealogist Jeff Haines. He was using a two letter abbreviation for the state followed by a colon and then the county name. In other words, I could enter "ms:monroe" or "MS:Monroe" (for those of you who want to preserve capitalization) as my tag. I had my tag mash ready made so that searching didn't take as long, and it shortened the entire phrase. I liked this manner of entering my genealogical resources that were specific to one county.

Another thing I learned from Jeff's tagging was that he was tagging family names in a similar manner. Instead of using "Perkins family", he used "family:Perkins". I actually often use both tags now. Why? I am so accustomed to the official Library of Congress Subject Headings format for names, that I tend to use it automatically, but there is an advantage to the other form. If I look at a list of tags, I can quickly see all of the works I have on various families all in one place.

Librarians have know for years the value of using "controlled vocabulary" to help locate things. That's why we have that options in our catalogs through our subject headings. It's important that you consistently tag things the same way so that you know how to search for the item. Every now and then, it pays to go take a look at your tags. You may find things that you need to change. You may have accidentally misspelled something. You may have entered it as "periodicals" most of the time. However, leaving off the "s" just once may make something unfindable for you. You can correct these little problems as you see them. 

Tagging is a very personal thing. Find something that works for you. Just be consistent!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?: Be A Family Tree Detective

Waddell, Dan. Who Do You Think You Are?: Be a Family Tree Detective. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2011. (ages 7-12)

This book introduces children to some of the first steps to be taken in genealogical research. There are several flaps which children lift to read tips or to pull out activities to be completed as they are reading the book. There is too much information in this book for a child to digest at one sitting. It's a book that will need to be worked out a little at a time. The author used note cards to record family information. I would have preferred to see the child introduced to more conventional forms in a children's version for that information. The note cards are sure to be lost. The author has included some things that probably should have been left for a later age when the child gained a bit more experience. For example, there is information on family coats of arms. They are really not well-explained, but I think the author included it just so the child could make up his own coats of arms in the coloring activity in one of the pockets. The book opened with information about genealogy once being for the rich only and how many bogus genealogies were created. I'm not sure that was the correct place in the book for such information although it was told in a manner in which children can understand the problem. This book is somewhat useful, but it does have problems. I think the strength of the book lies in the encouragement to ask family members for information. I'm not certain that the forms and "memory book" give the child enough space to complete the activities, but it is a place to start. Hopefully children who are interested enough to continue to pursue genealogy will explore additional guides to further their genealogical education.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Recently I was eating lunch at Buddy's BarBQ. Some of you who were at FGS in Knoxville will remember the great barbecue that was catered at our event at the Museum of Appalachia which came from Buddy's. From where I was seated, I could see the Fazoli's next door. I noticed an orange sign with lettering on it that said "CLOSED" and then had something in too small of print to read from where I was seated. When I went back to my car, I decided to drive to the other side of Buddy's parking lot so I could have a clearer view of the sign. I was curious why Fazoli's was closed. I thought it was just for the day or something, but then I could see that the smaller print said, "Thank you for 20 years of business." I was quite surprised that it had closed down. I remember seeing cars in the parking lot fairly recently so I knew it had not been closed long. I googled and found that the rumor is that a Backyard Burgers will be taking its place. (Personally, I'd rather have a Five Guys.)

However, I began to think about the nearby town of Jefferson City where I work. There are several long time restaurants that have closed their doors forever in the time that I have been working there: Pops (which was a big hangout for teens), Kay's Ice Cream (an institution that had one of those old signs that you just love), the Cookhouse (which had been there a long time and served homestyle food), and even the Krystal (which always did great business with the college students because of those low cost square burgers on rolls). On the road to Knoxville, Helma's (another one of those roadside diners of a bygone era) closed, reopened under different management, closed again, was renamed, etc.

Then I thought back to the town in which I grew up (Amory, Mississippi). I'm happy to say that most of the restaurants I remembered most are still around -- Bill's Hamburgers (which has been around since the early part of the 20th century), Knight's Drive Inn, the Dairy Kream, Pickle's, Stanford's, the County Barn, Country Boy Hamburgers, the Pizza Inn, Sonic (although it's at a new location). There are a couple of places that are gone. The Fountain Grill was actually torn down to make room for a shopping center with a grocery store even before I graduated from high school. There was a lunch counter in the back of G & Y Drug Store that I loved going to when I was a kid, but it disappeared before I graduated too, I think. The Park Hotel had a restaurant. It closed for a few years, but it's back open again (unless it has closed, and I haven't heard). There were always a few short-lived restaurants, but they didn't stay around long enough to gain a following. Amory's first Kentucky Fried Chicken bit the dust early on because someone battered the chicken in detergent on the opening weekend. There is a new KFC in another location now. There used to be a Coleman's Barbecue in Amory, but it was also gone, possibly before I even entered high school.

Restaurants come and go. It's sad to see some of the hometown ones that have been around for a long time go out of business though.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Retro Thinking

We've all seen those images on Facebook that are so popular these days that encourage us to click on like if we remember the item and share it. If you are like me, you click on some of them and don't click on others, even if you do remember them. I'll have to admit that I've only seen one of those things that I didn't remember. It's making me feel OLD (even if I don't feel old at all).

The other day someone posted a photo of an old hair dryer. I got to thinking about the one we had in our house, and I wondered what had ever become of that hair dryer. I have decided that I'm going to have to look in that master bath at my dad's house the next time I'm down there or in the back corner of a closet because I just cannot imagine that my mom sold that thing in a garage sale.

It took forever (or so it seemed) when you sat under that stretchy cap with those old rollers for your hair to dry. Then there was that hose attachment through which the air was piped that you had to wrap around the dryer when you stored it in its case. Those of us who remember that type of dryer are grateful that blow dryers made drying one's hair a much faster process.

However, I also remember thinking back to the times I would go to Gladys' Beauty Shop with my mother and grandmother. Mom and I basically only went for haircuts, but there were ladies who were always there who were having their hair "blued" or streaked (which was popular back in the 1960s). On one occasion, I had taken one of my dolls with me to the beauty shop. I had a habit of making a handle out of the doll's hair at that time in my life. (I was definitely a preschooler.) On this occasion, Gladys had some leftover color from a streaking job that she had done. Before I knew it, she had taken my doll (that I called "Cindy") and put some of that streaked color which was some shade of silver in my doll's hair. I was very upset about it, and, of course, the color would not come out. I don't think I ever played with that doll as much after Gladys had ruined her hair.

I do, however, remember that we would almost always get a Coke at Glady's Beauty Shop. The small 6 1/2 oz. bottles cost 6 cents. The larger 10 oz. bottles were a dime. You put your money in an old timey coke machine to get your bottle. (Yes, the machine took pennies.) My family always said that the Cokes always tasted better in those smaller bottles. They thought that the smaller bottle was actually a different formula than what was in the larger bottle. However, for me, the real thrill of purchasing a Coke in one of those bottles was seeing where it had been bottled. You see, on the bottom of each Coke bottle, there was a town's name. We always wanted to see whose bottle had come from the most distant location. If I didn't know the location, I would want to see where it was on a map.

Readings maps was pretty much always a part of my life. We always had a map around, and we'd often pick them up at the Gulf Station when we were going to go on a trip. Gas stations in those days were usually full service, and they had a wide selection of maps for people who were traveling. I loved maps. When Mom and Dad would get a new one, I'd usually get the old one for my own. Then they could have a map in the front seat, and I'd have one for myself in the backseat on trips, but I'd also have one that I could study at home.

I remember when gas was about 30 cents a gallon for regular. That was before they took the lead out. Unleaded and Premium gasolines were priced higher back in those days. I think Premium was about 34 cents a gallon (and it was the most expensive). Of course, gas prices gradually rose. It was at record highs back when I was in high school, but it came back down during the Reagan era. Gas prices today are ridiculously overinflated!

It's strange how thinking about one thing from your past can lead you to another thing and then to another and then to another. Who would have thought that a hair dryer could lead to gasoline prices? I may not want that old hair dryer back, but I'd sure take that 30 cent per gallon gas!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Death, Bones, and Stately Homes by Valerie S. Malmont

Malmont, Valerie S. Death, Bones, and Stately Homes. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003.

Tori Miracle and her friend Alice-Ann stumble upon some bones in the springhouse for a home that will be on the historic tour for the first time this year. Alice-Ann convinces Tori, against Tori's better judgment, to keep quiet about the bones until the tour is over since the springhouse will be closed to visitors anyway. I have very mixed feelings about this mystery. The characters are developed enough. There were some I liked better than others. I'm just not convinced that the outcome could have happened nor am I convinced that the deputy acting as chief while the chief was out of the country had the intelligence to resolve the murder. He certainly did not display aptitude at anytime in the investigation itself. He kind of reminded me of Barney Fife. There are frequent references to what happened in earlier installments of the series, so it is probably a series that should be read in order, although I did not do so. My biggest criticism of the book, however, has to do with the series labeling as "A Tori Miracle Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery." There are no horse-drawn buggies; there is no lack of power lines; there are no Yoders, Keims, or Schrocks. There are dolls dressed as Amish sitting on a shelf of a hardware store. If that's as Amish as one can get, it's very misleading. I realize that the Pennsylvania Dutch country is overly commercialized now, but one still sees parts of that culture if one knows where to go. If these mysteries are going to call themselves Pennsylvania Dutch, they need to reflect that culture a bit more.  (2.5 stars out of 5)

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 1882

One hundred thirty years ago today, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuted in Moscow. It's a piece of music that almost everyone recognizes. I wonder which of my ancestors may have heard the tune first? It was, of course, written in honor of Russia's defeat of Napoleon. It is one of my favorite pieces of orchestral music.

Today, I get to hear it played by the Boston Pops on every 4th of July. I leave you with a YouTube clip of the 2009 performance.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tracking Down Cornelius

As I was looking for something associated with today's date about which to blog, I saw that there was a death of a Cornelius Taylor in 1849 in the Gulf of Mexico near Mazatlan, Mexico. At first I was thrilled to discover an item that sounded quite interesting, but then I read my notes on it. It was something I didn't completely trust.  The information on that person came from a cousin who had received the data from another cousin. It did not have sources that I could trust. When I had looked up that individual in online family trees, I found this death date attributed to several different Cornelius Taylors. Not all of them could possibly be correct.  I suspected that the person my cousin was trying to identify as the brother of my Stephen Taylor was actually someone else. It was something that I had on a to do list, but I had not been to the repositories in which I needed to do further research to try to locate this alleged third great grand-uncle in records. Indeed, I had what was a non-story because I had not taken the time to solve this problem that I had identified. 

What I know about my family who is that Stephen Taylor was born about 1780 in New York. Stephen's sister Debora was born in New York in 1782. Their father was Isaac Taylor and his wife Elizabeth.  Both Stephen and his sister Debora married members of the Rathbone family. Stephen's wife was Lovica; Debora's husband was Gideon. Cornelius is attributed as a brother to them. I have not found a great deal of information on Cornelius, but then I don't know how much I had really looked.  I had really focused my attention on Stephen's family and Debora's because of the double connection there with both the Rathbone and Taylor families.  When I went to Ohio in 2011 to research, the Taylor question on which I was focused had more to do with Lovica's second marriage and the whereabouts of the family after Stephen's death. I was also looking for additional corroboration of Stephen's death in the War of 1812. (I'm descended through their son Stephen who married Betsey Dearborn.

What I did have documented on Cornelius was this: There is a Cornelius Taylor in the 1820 Crawford County, Illinois census. A quick summary of the information is:

3 males under 10
1 male 10-15
3 males 16-26
3 males 26-45
2 females under 10
1 female 16-25
1 female 26-45
7 employed in agriculture

It's a rather strange age distribution. If Cornelius was born in 1784 as has been said, then he would have been about 35 or 36 in the 1820 census, making him one of the 3 males 26-45. One point in favor of this being our Cornelius is that Edmund and Debora Rathbone are also living in Crawford County, Illinois in 1820.

I decided to do a bit of additional searching today to find more about the Cornelius Rathbone in Crawford County, Illinois. I found out that he was a quite notorious individual. has the full text of History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois which was published in Chicago in 1883.

Here's a brief summary of what I learned from that source:

  1. Cornelius was an early settler of Crawford County.
  2. Cornelius owned a tavern but was not permitted to serve alcohol to Indians. Because of this, the Indians murdered surveyor Thomas McCall.
  3. Cornelius had his own share of legal problems. He was indicted on charges of larceny, assault and battery, and rape. He was accused of stealing horses and hogs, etc.
A transcription of the 1818 Crawford County census shows both a Cornelious and a Cornelius Taylor listed. The former had 1 free white male age 21 and above and 12 additional white inhabitants. The latter had 9 free white males age 21 and above and 11 other white inhabitants. Again, these show a rather strange age distribution, just as the 1820 census a couple of years later did.

There is a rather curious indictment against Cornelius recorded on this page:  The indictment (a federal charge) was for "bringing home a hog without the ears." That's a new one for me!

There is a book entitled Lawrence County, IL published by Turner Publishing for the Lawrence County (Iliinois) Historical Society in 1995 which also turns up a biographical sketch for Cornelius. According to this article, he was in the northwest Territory by 1815 (after serving in the War of 1812 from Ohio). Debora and Edmund came to Illinois in 1817. Cornelius helped construct the jail in Lawrence County in 1822. By 1826, Cornelius was residing in Pablo, East Florida. It then goes on to tell that he died in 1849 in a hurricane as he was heading for the California Gold Rush. Quite a story!

Perhaps the most interesting account I found of Cornelius Taylor is the one found in the (Robinson, Illinois) Daily News in an article dated 1 October 2008. I have tried to locate the second of the two part article without any success. If any of my readers have better luck, please post a link in the comments. I would really love to "finish the story." I'll eventually try to get a photocopy of the article if I'm unable to gain electronic access. This article shows that he lived briefly in Kentucky before heading to Florida. The second part of the article picks up his life story in Florida.

Obviously, heading for the California Gold Rush sounds like something this Cornelius would do, so maybe there is a story. I just have a lot more research to do on this individual. He's certainly an interesting character as portrayed. However, I have a lot of clues to help me find more about him. Bring on those court records!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tips for Cataloging Your Books on LibraryThing

Before you skip reading this post because you don't use LibraryThing to catalog your books, some of it has implications for citing your sources as well. 

I prefer using LibraryThing to GoodReads for cataloging my genealogical collection (and other books) because I can be very specific about which edition of a book I own in my own data. I love being able to go into the exhibit hall at one of our genealogy conferences and being able away if I own a copy of a certain book. At this year's NGS Conference, there was a book available at one of the exhibitors that I was pretty sure was a newer edition than I had, but I wasn't sure if the edition I owned was one or two older. I was able to quickly check and discover that I owned the previous edition. I decided to hold off on the purchase until I read reviews that discussed how different the two were. If my copy had been two editions back, I would likely have purchased it on the spot. I've since read a few reviews that have convinced me that I need to purchase the newer edition so it's on my list for the FGS Conference.

Actually, the upcoming FGS Conference is the occasion for this post. I wanted to check to see which volumes of the NGS Research in the States Series that I owned and which I didn't. When I began searching, very few came up by series in my personal catalog, so I knew that I needed to search for each title individually. I began with the first state available alphabetically--Arkansas. I knew that the title for each begins "Research in" and then has the state's name. I did my first search: "Research in Arkansas." I didn't think I had this one yet because my direct line ancestors did not live there. I have done some research there though because siblings of ancestors and cousins have moved there. I was surprised to see that there were not more people who had the book listed in their libraries. I decided to click on the author's name to see if someone had entered the book differently. I had already spotted one misspelling of the author's name in another entry which needed to be combined into the correct form of the name. What I discovered is that people do not know what those of us who are library catalogers know! People were entering the book under what they saw on the cover rather than from the title page as all catalogers know is correct. I found entries under "NGS Research in the States Series: Arkansas" and under "Arkansas" (from those who had figured out that the first part was a series and should be entered differently). The proper title on all these titles begins "Research In . . ." so the correct form was Research in Arkansas.

Tip 1: Always enter your title information from the title page of the source rather than the cover (unless there is no title page).

Obviously I wanted to be able to locate my book by series so that I could quickly find which ones in the series I had and which I was lacking. The problem came from quickly entering things on my part and not doing a step that I should have done when I cataloged my books. For those titles I had imported from, the series sometimes imported in parentheses at the end of the title field. These came up for me on the quick search. However, there were some that I had imported from libraries. The series field did not import to the place in LibraryThing to designate the series. I had just quickly imported these records, probably because I was entering all the books I'd purchased at the conference at once and was in a hurry. I had also not taken the time to clean up the records and move the series to the field for series which is located in "Common Knowledge." In "Common Knowledge" you will find places to include various information, but series is the first field there. Be sure to enter the series there if you know that the title is part of a series. If you know the number within the series (for series that use that designation), include that as well, usually after a semi-colon. For this series, I just entered NGS Research in the States as the series.

Tip 2: Enter series names in the "Common Knowledge" field designated for series. If there is enumeration in the series, put a semi-colon and the number at the end.

Speaking of data sources, LibraryThing offers over 700 sources from which to import your data. Most of us who are librarians like to get our data from library catalogs because generally the information is more correct. We only use when we are unable to locate a library source that has the title. I think a lot of us wish that Allen County Public Library was one of the data sources offered, but it is not. It would make life a lot simpler in tracking records for genealogy books. Obviously I don't have time to check each of the 700+ sources to determine which has a record, but there is a shortcut to determining this. I use WorldCat to locate libraries that own a title. I simply type in the title and/or author of the book and see which libraries hold an item. Last night I discovered that I had a couple of books in the series on my shelves which were not in my LibraryThing catalog. I needed to add them. They were the books for South Carolina and Georgia. I searched by title in WorldCat for Research in South Carolina. I discovered that they had the older edition by Hendrix and the newer one by Gilmore. I chose the Gilmore edition and found that 6 libraries had copies of the title: Saint Louis County Library, Wisconsin Historical Society, Tulsa City-County Library, High Plains Library District, Lincoln County Library District, and Seattle Public Library. I knew that Seattle Public Library was one of LibraryThing's sources, so I used that and was able to get the library record for the title. I then went in and added the series. You can search LibraryThing by ISBN number to be more specific. When you get to the page for the record, click on the link which will allow you to limit it to libraries with "just this edition." This comes in handy for the ones where the same author wrote both editions. You can also limit your search results by year and then to libraries with just that edition. One more tip about sources, some of the sources are catalogs that include more than one library. If you are looking for an academic library in Ohio, try Ohiolink. If you are looking for a public library in Pennsylvania, try Access Pennsylvania. There are several other consortial or statewide catalogs, so don't forget about these.

Tip 3: Use library records rather than as the source whenever possible. Use WorldCat to help identify libraries that own a particular book and compare these to the sources.

When you use as a data source, be sure to clean up the record. Move the series to the Common Knowledge. Make sure the author is spelled and entered correctly. Make sure the title does not contain a typographical error.

I was able to use Canonical Title field in Common Knowledge to help combine the variant forms of the title. If you ever run across things which need to be combined and do not know how to do it yourself, you can always post a message to the Combiners! group. There is always a current thread where you can post things which need to be combined. It's usually done within a few minutes. I combine some things, but there are some errors which would require me to add it to my library in order to fix it. I usually post those to the group so that they can fix them.

One of the things that I ran into when I was entering Research in Georgia was a problem with the way multiple authors were entered. The book was co-authored by Linda Woodward Geiger and Paul Graham. Some people tried to enter both authors on the author line. The correct form is to enter only the first author in the author line and to use the "other authors" field which appears after the Review field and before the publication date field in the manual entry form under "edit your book" for the additional authors.

Tip 4: Only enter the first author in the author field. Enter the second and subsequent authors, editors, illustrators, etc. in "Other Authors" (one per line, of course).

Next week, I'll try to offer tips on tagging your genealogy books.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Genealogy for Children

I've decided to try a new concept here. On each Friday (at least for awhile), I'm going to review a book that can be used with children to get them interested in genealogy or which may teach them methods or other things useful in their genealogical research. I'm actually working on a new lecture on this topic and thought it would be fun to include a few of these on my blog. If I don't like something, I will make comments about the problems I see. If I think something is well-done, I'll try to include that also. I will also make some comments about how I would use the book with children.

The very first book to be included in this feature is:

O’Connor, Jane. My Family History. (Fancy Nancy, I Can Read; Beginning Reading 1). Ill. by Robin Preiss Glasser. New York: Harper, 2010. (ages 4-8)

Fancy Nancy's class has been given an assignment to write about an ancestor and report on it in class. Fancy Nancy learns the value of sticking to the facts instead of embellishing her story with things which she might think are more interesting. I guess the moral of the story is the old proverb: Honestry is the best policy. This simple children's book introduces children to the concept of genealogy and ancestors while introducing and explaining a few vocabulary words. The illustrations are pretty typical of the Fancy Nancy series of books. I like their whimsical nature, but some people might think they are a little frilly. If I were using this book with children who want to learn more about their ancestors, I would make sure that part of the discussion focused on sticking to the facts in genealogical research.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

6th Great Grandaunt

In honor of her 325th birthday, I decided to blog about my sixth great grandaunt today, mostly to see what I could uncover about her in a short time. Susanna Andrews was born 16 August 1687 to Joseph Andrews and Sally Ring/Rindge in Chebacco Parish, Essex County, Massachusetts. (1) This is all that I really knew about her besides the fact that she married someone with the surname Foster before 1725 which was also mentioned in the article. She married Benjamin Foster on 23 August 1711 in Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts. (2)

This same source lists five children: Thomas, Hannah, Rachel, Benjamin, and Susanna. (2) One tree at the Wainwright Family of Essex County, Massachusetts site lists a total of 9 children. (It even has sources.)

I did not quickly spot a death date or additional information, but I now have some information which may help me gather additional documentation on this family. I also discovered an alternate spelling for the surname Andrews ("Andross") which I might not have found in an online search and could possibly have found in a printed index if Andross followed Andrews or was near it alphabetically.

(1) "Descendants of John Andrews of Ipswich" (Essex Antiquarian, vol. 3, no. 7 (July 1899): 97-103; available online at by subscription.), p. 98.
(2) Benjamin Foster-Susanna Andross marriage, Massachusetts, Town Vital Records Collections, 1620-1988, digital image,, : 7 August 2012.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 145th Anniversary!

To Thomas Duke and his wife, Nancy Malinda Allred -- my great-great grandparents. They were married 15 August 1867 in Monroe County, Mississippi.

Little is known about Thomas' early life. He was born in 1828 in Virginia. His father was Benjamin Duke and his mother's surname was Parker.  Family tradition says that he was orphaned and came to Mississippi with a Knowles family. This connection has not really yielded a great deal of help in resolving Thomas' mysterious past, although it has been quite a while since I've done additional exploration and there may be additional records which are more easily accessible to assist in the search. There are Dukes and Parkers living in close proximity in Nansemond County, Virginia, and I've found a potential match through an autosomal DNA test that has Parker roots in that county. There is also some oral tradition in the family that says Thomas worked in the tobacco industry in North Carolina at one point, but without better documentation, I'm not willing to accept this since someone may have made that up to be related to the famous Duke family of North Carolina. There is also no tradition of our being related to the famous Duke family of which I'm aware.

Nancy was the daughter of James H. M. Allred and his wife Louisa. She was born in Tennessee in 1843. James and Louisa had six children. The family is enumerated in the 1850 Shelby County, Tennessee census. Louisa died shortly thereafter, and James married Mary Elizabeth Goodman in 1852 in Shelby County. They had six children additional children. They were in Fayette County, Alabama before the 1860 census enumeration. According to that census, the children born prior to the census, including a 6 month old child, were born in Mississippi. Nancy Malinda, from the first marriage, is in Monroe County, Mississippi in 1860, enumerated with the Benson Tubb household. Her sister, Martha, had recently married Charles Marion Tubb, Benson's son. Mary Elizabeth died in 1883, and James married a third time in 1889 to Hester J. Herron in Fayette County, Alabama.

Thomas and Malinda lived in the Cotton Gin Port area in Monroe County where they were members of the Christian Church. This town became a ghost town about 1887 when residents moved to the newly established railroad town of Amory, just down the road. Thomas died in 1894. Son James Parker "Jim" Duke is listed as the head of household in 1900. Malinda married John Wesley Rogers, sheriff of Itawamba County, in 1906 and moved to Itawamba County. By 1910, son Joseph Thomas "Joe" is running a grocery store in Amory. The Rogers were back in the Becker area of Monroe County by 1920. Malinda died in 1926.  Thomas and Malinda are buried in the Greenbrier Cemetery in Becker.  The original marker reads "Thomas Duke & wife." Some well-intentioned, but misinformed cousin, has added a second marker that gives her name as "Nora Malinda Allred Duke Rogers." I have never seen a document that identifies her as "Nora." The 1910 census, however, gives her name as Nancy M. Rogers. The 1920 census does as well. I have tried to contact the cousin that I believe erected the marker and have had no response. I fear that future generations will be misled by that marker to believe her name was Nora when it was not. Maybe we need a third marker with source citations?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Remembering Aunt Rae

Rae Dulaney Lantz on left; Gillie Mae Hester Lantz in Middle; Irving Hester Lantz on right
Today would have been Aunt Rae's 88th birthday. She was born as Rae Dulaney in Fulton, Mississippi. She married my mother's brother, Irving Hester "Bud" Lantz, in 1944 in Mobile, Alabama. After my uncle retired from his work at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, they moved back to Mississippi where I was able to really get to know them and their dog, Dutch! I always loved going to Aunt Rae's because she always had some kind of cookie and a Coke on hand that I would enjoy. We would go out and visit them at their home just outside the "city limits" of Greenwood Springs, Mississippi probably at least three times a month. (The sign was between their entrance to the semi-circular drive and the neighbor's entrance.) I would almost always play with Dutch and his "Squeaky" toy, which was some kind of rubber worm dog toy. My nephew Mike (although we called him Michael back in those days) enjoyed playing with "Dutch Dog" too. We'd play a geography game out there. Someone would go, "I'm thinking of an "M" in Arkansas." People would guess - "Mountain Home." Wrong! "Marvell." No! "Murfreesboro." Wrong again! "Mt. Ida." Yes! It's your turn. We'd play and play. I'd study maps between visits so that I could learn some more little towns on which I hoped to be able to stump my well-travelled Uncle Bud (or even to learn some of the places he might use; I just hoped he didn't get around to trying any of those places in Germany on us.) She was a special aunt. The photo above was taken on my grandmother's 96th birthday, just a little over two weeks before she died.

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber

Macomber, Debbie. The Inn at Rose Harbor: A Novel. New York: Ballantine Books, 2012.

Jo Marie Rose leaves her promising career as a Seattle banker and purchases a bed and breakfast in nearby Cedar Cove with insurance monies left by her late military husband. Her first guest is Josh Weaver, a former resident of Cedar Cove, who left town after being kicked out of the house by his step-father weeks before his high school graduation. A former neighbor has called him and told him his step-father is dying. He wants to recover a few things which had belonged to his mother as well as a few personal items he had been unable to take when he left the house. Her second guest is Abby Kincaid, who has been carrying a load of guilt around since being the driver of the car that killed her best friend during her freshmen year of college on a road just outside Cedar Grove where they had grown up. The occasion of her visit is her brother's wedding. Both had been avoiding Cedar Cove for years. Both guests as well as Jo Marie are in need of healing. It's a lovely story with some budding romances. Readers are certain to shed a tear or two before the end of the book. This is the first in a series of novels to be set at this inn.  Apparently readers were not happy that she had concluded her Cedar Cove series. In an opening letter to readers, she explained her reasons for concluding it and expressed hope that this new series set in Cedar Cove would make readers happy. In the advance reader's edition, there are a few spelling errors which appear to be words which spell-check did not catch because they are real words. It is hoped that an editor will have caught and corrected those errors before it went to mass publication. There was a space for a knitting pattern and acknowledgements in the back, but these sections were blank in the advance reader's edition. This review is based on an uncorrected proof received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with an expectation that a review would be written.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Louisa and the Missing Heiress by Anna Maclean

Maclean, Anna. Louisa and the Missing Heiress. New York: Signet Books, 2004.

I'm always hesitant to try series featuring well-known authors such as Jane Austen or their characters involved in detection. In the case of this mystery featuring Louisa May Alcott, it turns out to be a well-founded hesitancy. Maclean's characters were somewhat two-dimensional and they mystery itself was not all that captivating. A friend of Louisa's returns from her honeymoon only to be found dead in the harbor a short time later. When the inquest reveals murder, the husband is the immediate suspect. While the author imitates Alcott's style of writing to some degree, it fails to measure up to Alcott's standard and required a stretch of the imagination to believe they would act in such a manner. I do not plan to continue with the series. 2.5 stars/5

Sunday, August 12, 2012

An Innovation That Revolutionized Our Female Ancestors' Lives

On August 12, 1851, Isaac Singer received a patent for his improvements on a sewing machine. This was the first commercially successful sewing machine and revolutionized needlework for our female ancestors. Here is the actual drawing that accompanied the patent. Older machines were difficult to operate, and production was also difficult. There were quite a few patent infringement charges among various manufacturers, including Singer, shortly after his claim. They were able to mass produce Singer's machine. Only a little over 2500 machines were produced in 1856; however, by 1860, there were 13,000 produced in a single year. There's a great article at History Today about this innovation. They also have a great article on whether or not this was a positive thing for women.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Plylar-Thornton Wedding of 1895

My great-great grandfather, James M. Thornton, lost his first wife (my great-great grandmother) early in their marriage. He married Nancy J. Lay, daughter of Thomas and Martha after that and had seven additional children, half-siblings to my great grandfather "Cape." Cape was reared by his maternal grandparents and really did not know his father, stepmother, or half-siblings until later in life.

One of these half-siblings, Emma, married Thomas C. "Tom" Plylar 11 Aug 1895 in Franklin County, Alabama.

Emma was born 12 Nov 1872 and died 4 April 1966 in Franklin County, Alabama.

The couple had four children: Claude, Maud, Clyde, and Fred.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Joseph Fowlkes Probably Died 173 Years Ago Today

Joseph Fowlkes, my third great grandfather, was born 25 December 1787 in Lunenburg County, Virginia to Thompson B. Fowlkes and his wife Elizabeth Robertson Fowlkes. His paternal grandparents were Col. Gabriel and Ursula Fowlkes. His maternal grandparents were Nathaniel and Anne Elizabeth Robertson. He married about 1811 in Virginia. (This is an estimation.) His earliest land patents in Monroe County, Mississippi are dated 1 October 1825. They are to township 13 south, range 18W, section 18 for the eastern half of the northwest quarter and the eastern half of the southwest quarter. In 1835, he obtained the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter. He and his wife Elizabeth had seven known children: Joseph (b. abt 1813; d. 1 Aug 1840); Mary Jane (b. abt 1815; d. bef 1859; wife of John H. Henry); Elizabeth Ann (b. abt 1817; d. bef 1859; wife of Velias P. Parish); John E. (b. 3 Nov 1818; d. 21 Aug 1862); Catherine Malinda (b. 6 Apr 1823; d. 9 Sep 1891; wife of William Hulon Parr); Gabriel Glenn (b. 1823; d. bef 1855); Sarah B. (b. abt 1826; wife of Thomas Carter). He probably died 10 August 1840 although I've seen one source state that he died in 1851. He is not present in the 1850 Monroe County census so I lean toward the earlier and more specific date. It comes from a published genealogy though which does not give a source, but it is the type of date which quite possibly came from a family Bible or other family source which has somehow been lost to the current generation.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Olympic Fever - 1936 style

Here in recent days, we've had Olympics fever as we've watched the summer games of the 30th Olympiad. In 1936, our ancestors did not have a television set on which to watch the games. They probably relied on the newspaper and radio to bring them news. Something very significant, however, happened on this day at the summer games of the XI Olympiad in Berlin. Jesse Owens won his 4th gold medal at the games. In doing so, he became the first American to win 4 gold medals in a single Olympiad.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Enumerated on this Day in 1860

Most of us know that the date census information is collected is often not the date of the actual census. Such was the case in 1860 for my ancestor and relatives living in Windsor Township, Morgan Co., Ohio. The official date was 1 June 1860, but the date they were actually enumerated was 8 August 1860. Which relatives were living there at that time?

Lucy Perkins Dearborn (b. 1791 in New Hampshire; d. 1870 in Morgan Co., Ohio; widow of Nathan Dearborn)
Her daughter, Margaret Ann Dearborn Mann (b. 8 July 1822)
Her son-in-law, Rufus Putnam Mann (b. 10 Dec 1816; d. 14 Apr 1865)
Her grandchildren: Henry Mann (b. 18 Oct 1843); Lucy Mann (b. 30 Aug 1846); Nathan Dearborn Mann (b. 7 Jan 1849); and Clara Mann (b. 1 Feb 1860)

There is also a Betsy J. Mann, age 20 in the household, who may have been a sister or niece to Rufus. (I guess that is one of those things that I need to go back and check.)

The family had lost 3 children earlier in the year to scarlet fever:  George B. Mann (b. 11 Nov 1851; d. 19 Apr 1860); Lydia Augusta Mann (b. 9 Feb 1854; d. 16 Apr 1860), and Alice Eliza Mann (b. 25 Mar 1857; d. 3 May 1860).*

Selected Sources:

1860 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule, Rufus P. Mann household, Windsor Township, Morgan County, Ohio, dwelling 251, family 250, p. 268; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 1096.

 * Davis, George L. Samuel Davis, of Oxford, Mass., and Joseph Davis, of Dudley, Mass., and Their Descendants. North Andover, Mass.: George L. Davis, 1884, pp. 311-312.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

75th Anniversary of Death of Mary Ann Harris Hester

Mary Ann Harris Hester on left; her sister-in-law Dollie Hester Tartt on right.
75 years ago today, my mother lost her maternal grandmother. Mary Ann Harris was born 24 June 1860 in Itawamba County, Mississippi to Walton A. Harris and Margaret Mosely Harris. Her paternal grandparents are believed to be Charles Harris and his wife Dicey Davis Harris. (There is no negative evidence, but it's a case that I built before I was quite as experienced that probably needs to be revisited when I have time.) Her maternal grandparents were Caleb Turner Mosely and Elizabeth "Betsy" Murry Mosely. She married Dock Hans Hester on 20 November 1877 in Lee County, Mississippi. They lived in Monroe County, Mississippi where they had 10 children--Georgia, Mattie Lou, Charles, Boyd, Freddie, Pearl, Beldon, Gillie, Lillie, and an infant who died young that my grandmother always referred to as "Little Baby." The land they owned was in what is called the Black Cat Bottom near Amory. Her obituary states that she was a member of Pine Grove Methodist Church. She died 7 August 1937 in Amory and is buried at the Hester Cemetery in the Cason Community of Monroe County.