REFLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD CHRISTMAS
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REFLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD CHRISTMAS
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YOU WOULD THINK FRANCE, BUT, YOU WOULD BE WRONG!
It has been a while since I have posted….lack of inspiration I guess. But, I do still have several adventures I need to share. This summer and into fall, I went on several two to three day trips. And on all of them, I tried to find out some history, not my own family necessarily, just family history.
I had the pleasure of traveling with my mother-in-law to her home of Cottage Grove Tennessee. Right next to Paris. Paris Tennessee that is. Home to Allegro Marinade, McCartney Produce, Clifty Farms ( ham ) and Paris Winery . We did manage to go to the winery, of course!
My mother-in-law has three sisters and we were able to spend time with all of them. We all five went to Jones Family cemetery to visit many relatives.
Patrick once visited the cemetery with his grandmother. He said to her ” I’m scared ” she replied ” I don’t know why, they’re all family ” .
It was agreed when James Jones married his second wife, Mary Summers, that the cemetery would have both Jones and Summers families buried there. There is a distinct division in the cemetery. Jones Mill is an area nearby where there was a general store. James Jones and wife were the proprietors. Everyone knows everybody in this quaint small town.
The same day of the cemetery visit, we went to an Amish store, yummy!!! Oh my gosh, they had everything!! I bought Jerky, candy and pickled beets!
Here are some additional pics of the Paris Winery, I did the tasting, although, it may look like Mary had her fill!!! Ruggeros Best was absolutely delicious!!
Ruben and Blanche lived in Franklin Pennsylvania, where my mother Louise was born.When I was about 13, my other and I started visiting over the summer. Some of the best memories were going to their house on Myrtle St. Baking with her, and walking around the town.
Harvey and Mamie first lived in Tampa, where I was born, and my father Hershel. We lived close to them, then we later moved to Bradenton, they soon followed. My memories are always of the beautiful lawn they had, cooking with Nana , in the vegetable garden with Papa picking the things he grew.Even later, even as I was a teen, visiting them was a joy. Most young people can not see the benefit of spending time with grandparents, I certainly did.
I WAS OUT ON A SEARCH YESTERDAY.TO PHOTOGRAPH SOME HEADSTONES FOR FINDAGRAVE…..THIS IS WHAT I FOUND.
I had plotted my path in a large square. It went from Athens Browns Ferry Road up to north of downtown Athens. I had a plan. I HAD a plan. You know what they say about the best laid plans….I got slightly off track. I pulled up GPS on my iPhone, and started out to the first one. Now, I only had three on my list, I went to seven, and attempted two more that were inaccessible. When I say inaccessible, I mean, I can’t see it directly from the road, or there is no ” good” access. Before I even got to the first one, I went to three others. When I use my phone, I also go to maps and search cemeteries. Little red dots appear and I’m off!!! Hot on the trail! The first one I spotted that sounded interesting was Polly Malone cemetery. Off a fairly well-travelled road, although, between corn fields and soy beans.
It was only about a half mile off the main road, on dirt and large gravel. I went. It was pretty old and broken. The earliest burial was 1815, no Polly though, but, it appeared most of the Malone family was there. A blend of old and new. Polly and husband Henry were listed in the 1870 census for that area as being farm laborers, probably for Dr. J W Proctor, who also had a farm. Several others in the census were listed as domestic servants.
I then went on the Anderson cemetery, I figured, it’s just down the road, why not? This was easy to get to, behind a farm, on a road that leads to county property. It said “private drive”. I went. The Findagrave site only listed six burials. The cemetery was full, and I took 79 photos. This will take some time. There were a lot of ” homemade headstones.
I stopped for gas on the way to the next one. It was another Anderson cemetery with just two burials listed. It was in a small clump of trees among fields of corn. Corn that didn’t have much life in it either. We had a drought and it showed. This Anderson was listed as Madison county, but, it was still in Limestone. It was not quite as far as the county line road.
I finally got to the cemetery on my list, but, not before I found Collier, but, could not get to it! So, I went on to Cambridge Church cemetery. It was no longer a church. The marker for it was down the road about 1/4 mile. There was a request here, so I was able to fulfill it.
Success!! I was on the road again! Now to ONeal, not on my list , but, on my way!! Sometimes, I also see if there are any graves listed on Findagrave that have no pictures attached. I figure, eventually someone may be looking for them. So, I did find seven here. I was disappointed I could not find the request, but, took 9 photos that were not listed. At this point, I am asking myself if I will ever get the the cemetery next on my list??? It was just up the road. I did, and was glad I did. Round Island…now, it did appear to be round in form, but, behind a church. There were 3 requests, I was able to get one, really old one!!
Again, there were several not photographed, so, I did my best! I am done, that was the last one on my list!! But, am I? On my map I saw another as I was looking for a way out of Limestone county. Sunny Hill, it just sounds nice, right? There were about a dozen not photographed, I was able to get all but one. I felt like this was a successful venture. And worth going to that last one.
Have you ever looked in the distance and saw a clump of trees in the middle of a field of corn, soybeans or whatever grows in your area? Check your map, it just may be an old cemetery. I have found, at least locally, there is not mush out there on the history of our cemeteries. You almost must have someone famous buried there. So many of these I have found were on farms, perhaps the owners, or maybe workers, or earlier, slaves. It would be interesting to know who they were.
I left on Thursday, August 9, 2012. I had planned my trip to go south, and to make stops at specific places along the way. My first stop after Montgomery , was Hayneville, Alabama. This is a very small town, but, everyone was so nice, and answered all my questions. I was looking for a marriage record for my 3rd great-grandparents that married there in February 1841. I knew it was a long shot, but, it was worth a try. No records were kept there. The young lady suggested the archives in Montgomery. She also recommended I visit the library across the street. I did, and there was a book on the History of Lowndes county. I searched through to find the main names of Pickens and Kirkpatrick. Many mentions of those names, but, not particular to those in which I was searching. However, it did mention that both names were prominent members of Little Sandy Ridge Presbyterian church, just south of there, near Fort Deposit. I did know already that Samuel Pickens was buried there, so off I went.
When I got back on Interstate 65, I saw that the town of Fort Deposit was west of the interstate and the church was east. I had time. I headed to the town of Fort Deposit. It too, was a small town, worn from the years, like Hayneville. But, it had character. Above the buildings that were abandoned, I saw spires. I followed them along a side street and saw a beautiful church. Fort Deposit United Methodist stood strong against the older structures that did not survive as well as she. I took some photos, and off I went again.
The cemetery was easy to find. I just followed hwy 185 to hwy 79, headed south for a few minutes, and there it was. My goal was to take my own photo of Samuel’s headstone, and, hopefully find a few more relatives. Dead relatives that is. There were also several photo requests here as well, and wanted to help those looking for photos too. It was not too large, only about 500 burials. I started walking…..I saw large headstones with Pickens, these were not the ones. They were too new. I looked further back, and I saw some Kirkpatrick headstones. BAM!! There he was next to them. He married a Kirkpatrick, Eleanor Kirkpatrick, daughter of Valentine Kirkpatrick. There it was, I was excited! After I had seen all I could of my family, I proceeded to search for the requests. Then, I saw a car pull along the fence and turn around. It stopped at the main gate. An older gentleman got out, came into the cemetery, and introduced himself as Joseph Cates. And he knew all about this cemetery. In fact, later in the day, I would find he documented all he could about it in 1963. He spoke to descendants of those buried there, got stories and information on them. He put it all in a binder. Yep, he knew all about this cemetery. He asked me which names I was looking to find, and I told him. He helped me find some others, and told me of his family Cates.
He said he had something I would be interested in seeing if I had time. Not too far was an old homestead of Kirkpatrick. I told him I did have time. He went to get in the car with is wife Nancy. He could not get his car started, so I gave them a ride about 500 yards to their home.
” I live just down the road, I’m sorry to trouble you”. It was most assuredly no trouble to take them, he had helped me a great deal already. ” I live on the old Lloyd Pickens property”. WHAT????? Lloyd was the son of Samuel, and bother to my 3rd great-grandfather, William H. Pickens. I could not believe this. He was definitely the right person to come along. He then told me the homestead was only a mile or so down the road, if I would follow them. I did, and he stopped on the side of the road. I didn’t see anything at first. The, I got out, he pointed to a sign. And said, ” You take as long as you like, then I will tell you what I know”.
He remembered the old home, that had been gone several years. He described it as if it was still there. The area was know as Kirklville. I told him he made my day! We went back to the cemetery, because, I had one last photo request I could not locate. He got his book and told me where to look. He told me young people are never seen in cemeteries. They don’t appreciate it. This is one person, although, not exactly young, who can truly appreciate the history and reverence that should be given to our ancestors. I thanked him, he gave me his contact info, and I hope to be in touch with him.
A FEW YEARS AGO, MY MOTHER PUT DOWN ON PAPER, STORIES OF HER AND BROTHER ALBERT’S CHILDHOOD.
I am going to write these in her words. She has told me some of these stories, and some I am reading for the first time. My mother and family did not have much growing up in a small town, but, they did have loving parents, good times and stories that will endure.
It has been awhile since I posted anything else from my mom’s stories she wrote. The last was finding her and grandmother in the 1940 census, along with the man who wold later become my mom’s father.
When we got older, Granddad ( Albert Ross Ewing ) would come pick us up. He had a 1931 Ford with a rumble seat. Al and I would sit back there. He would stop at Joe Guyton’s store, which was at the corner of 13th and Buffalo in Franklin,and he would buy us a candy bar. We never told Grandmother, and she never knew, or smelled it on us. On Saturday afternoon, he would take us back home. We didn’t go there a lot. Granddad always seemed to have a garden, and shared what he grew with us. Next to my grandparents home was a one room school that my mom ( Blanch Ewing ) attended. My grandfather was very strict with the girls, but, no so much with the boys, Uncle Chuck, Wesley and Tom. They al lived in a small house with the three boys and five girls. It was on Congress Hill in the Sandycreek township. It happens to be that the very land they lived on while my grandmother was being raised, was the land all the male children divided to farm themselves. My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Tom lived in the old barn until they built a home of their own. And, he also farmed with a smaller garden, because, he had a regular job. The main road going there is Pone Lane to Congress Hill now there is a Ewing Lane….the name lives on in the land.
Daddy’s father, lived in Canonsburg Pennsylvania. He was blind, and married to a lady that cooked food we didn’t like. This would be Charles W. Dean, on which I can’t find much information. He married Mary Vinton, that is about al the information that I have. We did care a lot for our grandfather. One day our grandmother fried up Buckwheat pancakes and we did not like them. She told us if we didn’t eat them, we couldn’t go outside. When she left the room, uncle Frank came in and got the pancakes and fed them to the pigs. I bet they didn’t like them either. That was the longest week of our life Uncle Frank played the fiddle really good, which helped pass the time. Daddy had other relatives in Canonsburg too. Willard and his wife, McElheney and some others. I guess we went to visit on the bus. Daddy never drove, and we had no car. So, if we ever went on vacation, we would take the bus.
I am currently trying to find the census records from this time frame now that the 1940 census is available. I have located a census from 1920 that have the McElheney family next door as well as the last name Cherry, I have heard this name mentioned before, Willard was a McElheney. I just found a Mary Vinton, in Warren county Pennsylvania. I have some family research that states bothe Mary and Charles W were born in Warren county. Now, to find him in a census. Mary Vinton’s father was Riley, it’s starting to add up ,right? I can’t tell you exactly who is who in the group photographs, only that they are Deans.
Still on the search for the rest so I can find siblings of Ruben, somewhere in Pennsylvania.
On a recent trip to Nashville, to cross something off my Bucket List…….
One thing I wanted to do before I could no longer remember the songs, was to see, Crosby, Stills and Nash. It was great by the way. And no better venue than the Ryman Auditorium. My husband also wanted to check out the National cemetery north of Nashville, and try to locate his great grand-uncle. Success!!
We were actually in search of this particular one. My husband had an uncle that fought in the Civil War, Benjamin Franklin Black. He is forever in the Nashville National Cemetery. There are 150 nationally important National cemeteries in the United States. Mostly with burials of veterans and military personnel, but, not always exclusively. Sometimes buried with spouses.
Upon entering the cemetery, as with any National cemetery, you are speechless. It is overwhelming. Perfectly aligned white monuments, curving, straight and across hills. It is an experience to be certain. It will bring tears to your eyes thinking of all those who have died in service who lay beneath the well-manicured grass, others who bravely served and were able to have lives, families and careers.
Here is my husband, Patrick beside the headstone of Pvt. Benjamin Franklin Black, his great grand-uncle. Here is Benjamin’s bio. and service record. Benjamin never married, he died at the age of twenty-three, serving the north in the Civil War.
Enlisted on 7/21/1861 at Camp Joe Holt as a Private.
On 9/9/1861 he mustered into “A” Co. KY 6th Infantry
He died of wounds on 10/30/1863
He was listed as: Wounded 9/19/1863 Chickamauga, GA (Severe wound in right leg, amputated)
Benjamin Franklin Black was born near Visalia, Kenton County, Kentucky in 1840. He was the son of Elmore Black and Rosannah Abercrombie. He was the grandson of William Abercrombie, killed in the War of 1812 at the Siege of Ft. Meigs, Ohio in 1813. Ben had two brothers that also served in the Union Army during the Civil War. They were: Pvt. Samuel G. Black, Co.B, 53rd Ky.Mounted Inf. and Cpl. William H. Black, 82nd Indiana Vol. Inf.
Benjamin enlisted in the 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry at Camp Joe Holt, Indiana on July 21, 1861. He was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee on April 7, 1862. Captured near Laverne, Tennssee in December 1862. Paroled in March 1863 and returned to his regiment. Wounded in right knee on September 19, 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. Sent to Army hospital #12, Nashville, Tennessee. Died from shock after amputation of right leg on October 13, 1863.
I didn’t even know there was an antique car show today. We had gone to the farmer’s market in downtown Decatur. Which was having their corn festival. Unfortunately, it has been so dry, the corn was not local. This did not stop my husband from chomping on an ear. On our way home, we passed several antique cars, that seemed to be going in the direction of Point Mallard. Once we got home, I checked the Decatur website, and , sure enough….Antique Car Show! We have been going to Third Friday in downtown Decatur, which features mainly local cars. A nice thing to do on a Friday night.
I was going walking anyway, so I made my way in the direction of the cars. That is, in the direction of all the card entering Point Mallard park. It was quite busy! The park has quite a few events throughout the year. This was one event that I did not know was coming. Good thing I caught it! It was a free event for spectators, and a $25.00 registration fee. Quite a few really cool cars. I will remember this one for next year. Here is a link to the North Alabama Car Show events.
Apparently, I like red cars! Who doesn’t. It makes the car go faster!!!!
I just received a death certificate in the mail. I had requested one of my great-grandmother, Alice Lindell Davidson Pickens. She is buried in Myrtle Hill cemetery , Tampa Florida. I had taken a trip to Tampa, several years ago, in hopes of finding her headstone. I knew she was in Myrtle Hill, I had found the record in the Plant City Archives. It is actually names for an aunt by marriage, Quintilla Geer Bruton. Located in the old Plant City high school, where my grandmother graduated in 1928…….sorry.
Anyway, when I was in Tampa, back in 2008, I visited the old house in which I grew up. Well, I drove by it, of course, it was not the same. Also, my grandparents old house, which was not a pale pink. I turned on the GPS to find Myrtle Hill cemetery. And I set out to find the headstone of my ancestor. It is a beautiful cemetery, large oaks with draping moss. Old on the left, new on the right. I chose old. I was not a cemetery expert at this time. I did not have a plot to go by, so I was driving, walking and looking around. At the north side of the cemetery is the mausoleum. Fifties design, and it looked very familiar. I got a rather weird deja vu feeling. The mausoleum did not seem unknown to me. I would later ask both my parents about this. I knew I had been there. The entrance was eerily familiar. A large headstone with the name ” Savage” was what stopped me in my tracks.Both my parents said they never took me there. I was not in attendance at my uncle Jimmy Pickens funeral, who is buried with his mother Alice. And they also told me that Nana would never have taken me there. Sometime later, a nice man volunteered to take a photo of Alice’s headstone, I was very close to it when I had visited. I found a plot of the cemetery later to confirm this.
So, now, I have another mystery to solve. On Alice’s death certificate, it lists her parents. Thank Goodness, my information was correct. But, it also has a last name of Cearley. I had seen this before. Texas is wonderful about posting death certificates on FamilySearch. I had found one on Alice’s mother, and it listed her name as Mary Lumley ( Davidson ) Cearley. This is a question, because, she is buried with her husband, Hiram Isaac Davidson. Now, I am off to see if there was indeed a marriage to a Cearley. Mary Lumley Sullivan Davidson is buried in Sanger cemetery, Denton county Texas.
I think this is a mystery that can only be solved in Texas. Most of that side of the Pickens/ Davidson family lived in the northern part of Texas….in Denton, Cooke and Wichita counties.
MYSTERY PHOTOGRAPHS FROM BRUIN, BUTLER COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA
THESE ARE FROM A COLLECTION WE BELIEVE ARE FROM THE AARON EWING FAMILY. PERHAPS LIZZIE EWING AND A SISTER. NO IDEA WHO THE PEOPLE ARE AT THE HOUSE . IN MAPPY MONDAY POST, I MENTIONED LIZZIE EWING. SHE LIVED IN BRUIN WITH A BROTHER. I HAVE SENT THESE PICS TO THE BUTLER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR HELP IN IDENTIFICATION.
It is always difficult for those of us who are so interested in Genealogy, those photos of people to whom we are related, but, have no writing on the back of the photos. These are all on postcards. There was an era from 1900-1920′s that these types of print were used.