Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - 9/30/09

Wild West "bad boy", James Thomas Clements [1843-1897], and first cousin to Wild West gunman, John Wesley Hardin.

"Jim" was my husband's great-great-grandfather.

Jim rode with John Wesley Hardin for quite some time. He was reported to have abused his wife, Annie Caroline Tennille, which resulted in a rather sudden, and unsolved mysterious disappearance of Jim from the hill country of Texas. [His body, nor proof of his murder was ever proven in a court of law. Annie was considered a suspect for a while, as were her brothers. None were indicted.]

John Wesley Hardin also died a gruesome death in 1895, just two years before Jim's disappearance, in El Paso. Sheriff John Selman walked into a saloon and shot him in the back of the head.

Annie lived to the age of 78, dying in 1936 in San Antonio. Her daughter Laura May was my husband's great-grandmother, whom he knew quite well. He listened to stories of the famed gunfighter and her father from the time he was a toddler. Laura May died in 1969.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Down Under With The Genealogy Guys

I just got around to watching this awesome video on Roots Television, with the Genealogy Guys, George Morgan and Drew Smith.

Here is the story of William Ashley and Nancy Ashley. You'll never look at a tombstone in the same way again!

Tombstone Tuesday

Okay, I don't have a picture of my own for Tombstone Tuesday, today. But I came across this tombstone last week while "cruising" the Internet. And I couldn't resist adding it to my repertoire!

I found this stone on F---- Yeah, Strange Finds. The site doesn't show the man's name, nor where this stone is located. But I thought it might bring a smile to some faces!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Madness Monday - September 28, 2009

Elizabeth Bonderant/Bondurant has become my problem child. And at times drives me literally "mad" from the ineffective efforts made to locate further information on her.

First of all, I haven't even been able to prove that Elizabeth's last name was indeed Bonderant or Bondurant. It is the name given me by many other's who have researched before. But no one can tell me where the name came from. They, too, are resting her name upon the laurels of other researchers.

However, it is believed that Elizabeth was the daughter of Joseph August Bondurant and Agnes Elizabeth Radford. Again, this information has just been passed from researcher to researcher without proof.

I do know for a fact that Joseph August Bondurant did exist, and his wife was indeed, Agnes Elizabeth Radford. Joseph was the son of Jean Bondurant, a Hugenot, who settled in the middle-Virginia colony. The couple did, indeed, have a daughter, Elizabeth. But did she in fact marry James Perkins in Washington County, Virginia?

If so, the marriage would have taken place about 1768-1770.

James did marry a woman named Elizabeth. But as to what her last name was? I am still at a loss.

James' will names his beloved wife, Elizabeth. And their children. And that is all that we are certain of.

Perhaps one day, the veil will part and I will at last be able to provide proof of Elizabeth's maiden name!!! Until then, I continue to go "mad" in search of the answers!

Elizabeth and James are my great-great-great grandparents and lived between 1741 and 1832.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Black Sheep Sunday

I don't really have a "Black Sheep" in the family that I am aware of. A few naughty individuals, perhaps, no one that I can call a black sheep.

The following letter was written to a distant cousin in 1923, while he was away at school. It seems the poor fella had a penchant for spending more than his fair share of his allowance. Squandering it on frivolities and fun. Finally Mama and Papa had had enough, and this is his Mama's letter admonishing him.

"Waiteville, W.Va.
July 6th, 1923

Dearest Dwight,
Rec’d your letter yesterday evening (Thurs.) and was glad to hear from you, but you put it off quite a while to write. Well, I hope you are getting along O.K. spending holidays.
Your papa came back from his trip with Winfred, and he got another bunch of Summons’s [sic] and had to go to the Cove. He took it horse back this morning. He couldn’t get any one to run the car, for every body is so busy – no one to get. It is so hard on him. He had to go to Laurel Branch yesterday – he went there horse back too - & hes [sic] to go back tomorrow, and has to go the same way. He is just about worn out.
Well, when I got your letter asking for $40.00 more, he just simply walked the floor. It just tore him all to pieces. He said if you kept on at that rate, spending money, that you would be a beggar some day walking the streets begging.

Page 2 –
I Can’t tell you all he said, for I never saw him in such a shape. It is surely hard on me.
Well, Dwight, I said nothing to him – just let him alone – but I’m going to tell you, what I think. There is no use of spending money like you do. I’m ashamed for any one to know how much you have spent. It’s just a perfect shame.
We’re poor people, and will have to act accordingly. You spend money like a millionaire’s son. I’m so ashamed of it. Cary Mc. – only spent about $100.00 in Huntington last year, and that is a city – now you need never expect to buy popularity by spending – popularity will all be gone when your money is gone.
How are you going to get through college if you are going to spend at the rate you have been? There is no use of taking these splurdges [sic] on the train, that you have been taking – and perhaps hiring cars & taking drives – it takes money for that kind business and it will end in poverty. The Bible says “We shall reap what we sow”, and I have been observing it from all points of life – it surely holds good religiously, politically, socially and in fact in every line of life – even in business.

Page 3 –
I have gotten to an age that I can see it now. I see it now in so many homes and even in individuals, for I know the seed they have sown.
So now Dwight remember you have lived an awful fast life, to be no older than you are, and it grieves my heart to the very depth knowing that some day this spending will be felt. You can’t see it as I see it. Your eyes are blinded to the situation. You must remember that your papa and I are neither one able to work, and it has been an awful sacrifice to do without you, but we did for your own benefit. For you have to face the tide of life - & we did not want you to be without an education but we don’t want you to be so extravagant for we surely will reap it, and then the “hissers” will stand off and say, when hard times comes, that we wasted our living. I want to mention a case, but

Page 4 –
I know you’ll “hiss & hiss” at it, but I want to see the difference in 15 yrs. from now.
There is Charles Clarkson riding to Ronceverte to the normal there, starting at 6 o’clock every morning. His mother says they have no money to spend on him, for they are not able, he is determined to go through & he is getting along fine and he helps out through the section where he lives surely commends him for his perserverance. Now I would like to see which one you boys have an undependent living when you are 30 yrs. You spend & Charley saves. You say he does not get anything out of life. Perhaps he’ll get more than we think.
Well, I have written enough about this & if you don’t heed from what I have written, you won’t heed, if I write more. Now please take care of your money and don’t take these splurdges [sic] to the Coal fields & other places, you never tld me anything about these things but others have. Now dear! Don’t spend your money foolishly. You surely have spent a lot this week, for you told me when you left, you had $10.00 – My! My! Where does it go to? Now I’m sending you a check on the Farmers Bank you papa did not have it in the Bank of Monroe. Now make this go as far as you can. Surely $25.00, counting the ten dollars in, should be enough to run you. It surely seems to that $15.00 more should run you.

{Note in margin at top of page 5}
Don’t you think $15.00 more will run you? Your board is payed [sic] up to the ed of the term, and I don’t see why you need to spend so much.

Page 5 –
Now I know you’ll not like this letter, but I have written it for your own personal benefit. And I want you to treasure my advice as a “Pearl of great price”, for I know it is worth something to you. I have known so many boys that lived a fast life to the Tide finally went against them. I saw an estimate of how many boys out of every hundred had an independent living and it surprised me – only, from four to six. I think that is awful, and this number, doubtless may have been called “tight wads” as you term it, but I would rather be a Tight Wad than pauper. Your papa said please, please, save your money and don’t taking these splurdges [sic]. I see in the Watchman where Irma Mc. Of Union & Miss Vanstavern were both hurt – now this is the way a fast life ends. Since I read this I have been so uneasy about you, for I know how well you like to run a car,

Page 6 –
& how you like to have a good time with the girls. Now I warn you again not to be spending your money splurdging [sic]. Please, O please, take my advice. I don’t want you to call this a fussy letter. Please listen to a loving mother, the best friend you have ever had on earth, or ever will have in this world. I would spend my life for you, and willing to go in rags for you [sic] benefit. Now listen to my counsel, & take my advice. I have not been feeling so well this week. If I am not better when you come home, I’m going to the springs – I’ll have to do some thing. Now try to make your money go as far as you can. Your papa says he wont [sic] borrow any more money, but he is giving you this. We want you to have a little bit after your school is out in the spring – if all works well & you keep your health. Now please, please be a good boy – I have always had so much confidence in you, and have had to take a many of an abuse for it – nevertheless I couldn’t help but have the utmost confidence in your being an upright – good moral boy. I only wish you were a Christian boy – am going to write you about last named sometime.
I always write too much – but when I’m give you about get such long letters [sic] , as old mother write – I enjoy writing to you so much.
Be good.
Bye, Bye.
Mamma "

The letter was written to Dwight McCormick [1904-1977] by his mother, Josie Anne Williams McCormick [1868-1953]. Dwight's father was Leonidas Wellington McCormick [1867-1944] [also known as "Bud".]

Bud was the son of Joseph Preston McCormick [1842-1915] and Martha Caroline Bean [1836-1893]. Martha was the daughter of my great-great grandparents. Therefore Bud and my grandfather were first cousins. So, Dwight and my father were second cousins, making him my second cousin - once removed [I think!].

We recently had the opportunity to read through a huge collection of old letters found in his family's old home. What a treat it was! And this particular letter caught my eye.

This is a wonderful lesson for young people today, as well as the lesson you would hope young Dwight received from it!

Saturday Night Challenge - Sunday Morning

Here's Randy Seaver's latest Saturday Night Challenge:

It's Saturday Night - time for some Genealogy, and Family History, Fun!

Here is your assignment for the evening - if you wish to participate in the Fun (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1. What is your all-time favorite song? Yep, number 1. It's hard to choose sometimes. If you made your favorite all-time Top 40 music selections, what would be #1?

2. Tell us about it. Why is it a favorite? Do you have special memories attached to this song?

3. Write your own blog post about it, or make a comment on this post or on the Facebook entry.

With that in mind, I sat down to contemplate what would be my absolute number one song of all time. Hmmm.

What is that song that comes to mind before any other? The first one that comes out when I'm singing around the house?

While it may not be the most popular of choices, my number one song of all time is actually a hymn. It was written between 1760 and 1770, and is by John Newton.

Have you guessed it?

My number one favorite song of all time is the hymn, "Amazing Grace".

Why is it my favorite song?

None other has ever put into words how I feel about what my Lord has done for me. Taking me from a sinner lost, with a soul damned for eternal hell, and washed me clean with His blood and grace, that I might have eternal life.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see."

Such simplicity of text, but such truth!

"Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved,
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed."

"When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise, than when we first begun."

Yep, that's the song that sets my heart to soaring! Makes my face glow! Makes tingles run up and down my spine! Makes me happy!!!

My second favorite?

Rascal Flatt's "God Bless The Broken Road". It's the story of my dear hubby and I. We both went through so much in our past, with previous relationships and just the stuff of life in general. But it was all God's way of guiding us down a road that led us to each other.

"Bless The Broken Road"

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true


Now I'm just rolling home
Into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Following The Trail

I married a wonderful guy in 1998. At the time, we were both divorced, and had children. His were grown. Mine soon to be, were all teenagers.

My husband had come from a home much like the one he married into with me. His mother had seven children [I had 5], blended from three separate marriages [mine were all from the same previous marriage].

When my husband was an adolscent, his mother married Edwin Custer [1933-1974]. This wonderful man took on the responsibility of four children from previous marriages, and then the couple went on to have three of their own. My husband says he owes his attitude about taking on such a responsibility as he did with my family all from his step-father, Eddie.

For my husband's three youngest siblings, we have been trying to work on Eddie's family history. It's been really hard to do. His own parents were divorced when he was still a child. [I've had more luck with his mother's family than with his father's.]

Eddie was born in Dunlo, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. And I may have to actually make a trip there to get some of our questions answered. The family moved to FLorida when Eddie was a boy. But it's to his Pennsylvania roots that we are searching.

Eddie's father, William, states in the 1930 Census that his father was born in Belgium and his mother in France. So far, I've had no luck in locating the couple. But the search continues.

I don't want to give out all of my information here, for the sake of putting this all together for my in-laws!

But the project is moving along! And progress is slowly being made.

I can't wait until we can put it all together and give it to the family as a gift of our love to them all.

This is what keeps me going! Knowing I will make someone very happy. Knowing I can make a difference.

For everyone who is working on their own quest, keep on keeping on! You WILL make a difference for someone!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - 9/23/09

This photo was taken Thanksgiving 1984. This is a photo of my mother, my sister and my neice.

The Three Velleda's.

From left to right:

Velleda "Eydie" Kaye Beane Dunbar

Velleda "VV" Maria Dunbar

Lois Velleda Dreher Beane

This is a photo that I treasure dearly. My sister and I were the only children in our family until I was 16 when my parents adopted two brothers. So, Eydie and I are especially close. Her daughter, VV, is just like one of my own! And isn't my Mom pretty?

Happy Wednesday all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Benzel Family Marker

John Benzel
John Benzel was born 11 January 1835 in Prussia. We do not know who his parents were. And at present we do not know for certain when he was married. We do know that he married Willhelmina Lambrecht sometime around 1860 in Prussia before coming to the United States.
John was a stone mason. He and Willhelmina went on to have at least eight children: William, August, John, Louie, Minnie, Matilda, Amelia and Josephine Sophie [b. 1865].
It was Josephine Sophie who married Henry Dreher, Sr. in 1884. And this couple had ten children. One of whome was Henry Dreher, Jr., my grandfather.
John Benzel is buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Bedford, Lawrence County, Indiana.
I know very little about John Benzel. And in this coming year, it has become my goal to learn much, much more about this great-great-grandfather!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday Night Challenge - on Sunday Morning!

Last nights genealogy challenge by Randy Seaver was as follows:

"1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!"


My Dad is 72 years of age now. So, dividing that number by 4, I was left with 18.

Well, it took me a few minutes to find #18 on my ahnentafel. [I had to find #18! He seemed to be hiding at first! Hmmmmm!]

When I finally saw that #18, low and behold, it is my great-great-grandfather, Reverend Samuel Perkins.

I've written about Rev. Perkins on this blog once before, but for this exercise, I will tell about him once more.

Samuel Perkins was born in 1778 to James Perkins and Elizabeth Bonderant in Virginia [we believe somewhere close to current Greenbrier County, West Virginia].

In 1809 he married Margaret Smith, who died within the following year.

In January of 1811 he married Rebekkah Hanley. She, too, died, in August of that same year.

In September of 1812 he married Elizabeth Tuckwiller in Greenbrier County, she was from a very prominent family in the area. They went on to have 9 children.

Samuel became a prominent Methodist minister in the area. And in 1845, beginning with services in his own log home, he founded Mount Vernon United Methodist Church. A year later, on land donated by the community, a church building was erected. Samuel was the minister there until his death in 1854. He was, in fact, the very first individual buried in its cemetery.

Samuel's 8th born child was a girl, whom he and Elizabeth named after his first wife, Margaret Smith Perkins. She was born in 1826. In 1852 Margaret married William McHarvey Bean. She and William had 8 children. Their 6th-born child was John Monroe Bean, Sr. My grandfather, who was born in 1866.

Each spring, on Memorial Day, my Dad and I journey to the little community of Fort Spring, where Mount Vernon United Methodist Church sits. And we pay tribute to the man who founded that church. My Great-great-grandfather, Reverend Samuel Perkins.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

99 Year Old Dies - Leaves 1,400 Descendants

Grandmother, Rachel Krishevsky, died last Saturday, September 12th, 2009, and left behind no less than 1,400 descendants [children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren].

Rachel married her cousin, Yitzhak, just before her 19th birthday. They went on to have 11 children - seven sons and four daughters. These 11 went on to produce 150 of their own children.

These 150 children continued in the same vein and had no less than 1000 children. At the time of her death, Rachel was blessed with a few hundred great-great-grandchildren.

Rachel lived her whole life next to Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open air market.

One of Rachel's grandchildren commented, "She knew the entire book of Psalms by heart, and participated in all the family events, happy and sad, up until two years ago. She knew all of her descendants. We are sad about her death, but proud of what she achieved in her life and her righteousness and compassion."

The Jerusalem community has 2 more individuals with even greater generational descendants. A Hassidic family in the Mea Shearim community has great-great-great-grandchildren. And Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, a leader of the Lithuanian branch of haredi Judaism greeted great-great-grandson's first born child recently.

We should all be so blessed!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Private Lois Dreher - 1958
Yep folks, that's my beautiful mother in 1958, at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. She was just 20 years old. She entered the Women's Army Corps [WAC's] in 1958. Took her training at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and then went on to the Presidio at San Francisco as a clerk.
In the fall of that year, she met a Navy sailor, also stationed at San Francisco. They dated for a very few months, and were married in December.
Just a couple of months later, she was discharged from the military as she was expecting her first child, [at that time, if you were expecting it was an automatic discharge]. That child was none other than the Texicanwife. So, I guess you could say I cut short my mother's military career!
Any way, isn't she a beauty???

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Located in the Crosier Cemetery, near Zenith, Monroe County, WV.

Unfortunately, there are several stones like this within this cemetery. Chipped away by time, weather, storms, and vandals. Nothing left to identify who is buried in this spot, but this broken stone. [Here you can see brush and and a fallen tree behind the stone.]

These sitings always leave me saddened. This spot holds someone who was once loved and revered by their family. Now, no one even knows who lies here.

Rest well. Peace be with you now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday Night Challenge - Monday Evening

Should have known! Last Saturday I managed to read my challenge on time! However, this weekend, the old Texicanwife was feeling a bit low [have a nasty sinus infection], so I didn't even look at my computer until this evening late.

On Saturday, Randy gave us the following challenge:
"1) Make your own Trading Card(s) on . It's easy to do, but you need a head shot photo of your subject.

2) Post your Trading Card on your web site, your blog, or on your Facebook account (or some other account where you can upload a JPG file).

3) Can you think of other uses for these trading cards? If so, tell us about it!"

With that, here's my trading card!

Other uses for my trading card?

Just to make me [and everyone else] laugh!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not Fair! No Fair!

The Carnival of Genealogy offers its newest postings! The prompt was as follows:

"Research an event your ancestor may have attended. Did your ancestor live within a few blocks of the parade route for the annual Fourth of July parade in the town where they lived? If you family lived in a rural area perhaps they attended a county or state fair. If they lived in a big city, perhaps they attended a play or movie opening. Was there an amusement park or traveling carnival near the area your family was from? How much do you know about the types of entertainment your ancestors might have enjoyed? Check into it and then write it up!"

My main research on my family tree consists of locating the details of my Dad's ancestors in what is now southern West Virginia. We can trace our roots back here to the 1790's.

This is a rural area. And for just a little over 100 years the major entertainment in this area is the annual Farmers Day Parade, usually heralded on the second Saturday of June. This little parade consists of "floats" contrived of farm wagons pulled by pickup trucks or tractors, covered in tissue paper and attendants on the wagon portraying a yearly varying theme. This event has always been a big source of pride for the county. It begins with a huge dance on Saturday evening, the parade and lunch on Saturday with singing following, and then farm games [tractor pulls, horse pulls, etc.], and church services on Sunday morning wind it all down.

Prior to this event, the entertainment was local, within the individual communities. My family lived in the tiny hamlet of Waiteville, a small community exiled from the rest of West Virginia by a mountain that separated it. This community was more closely related to Virginia, but fell within the West Virginia boundaries.

Here, on Saturday nights, the community gathered at the local general store to make their purchases. Women mingled together inside, while "men-folk" gathered outside with their tobacco chewing and gossip. Children played and frolicked in the grass nearby. Sundays found them all gathered again for worship.

However, once in a while, six to eight times a year, the community gathered on a Saturday night at the school house. Here, a few of the men-folk would pick a banjo, a guitar, and play a fiddle, and a dance would be held. A "caller" would liven things up a bit every few dances with a square dance! Mounds of food were brought in by the women. And children of every age attended the dance, as well as the very old. It was a time for coming together in a community of farmers.

In the 1930's and 1940's, due to the close proximity, singers and entertainers from the Grand Ol' Opry would wind their way through the gap to this remote area of mountain folk, and bring "real entertainment"! The Carter Family was one of the community favorites.

In the cold of winter, when the snow covered the ground, groups would gather at different homes. The children would play inside or just outside in the snow, while the young folks would build huge bonfires and go "sledding" with toboggan sleds down the steep slopes. The "old folks" gathered in the home for a time of fellowship. And the women always made sure there was plenty to eat and drink when the young folks came from their outdoor fun!

In the 1950's, the county did have a movie theater. But that was gone before 1972. And at one time there was even a bowling alley and a skating rink! All from the 1960's.

Today, there isn't much for entertainment in the small county. But with the advent of modern transportation, everyone travels either into Virginia, or over into the neighboring counties.

Farmers Day is still a huge event on the Monroe County calendar.

Ah, but those community and family gatherings have become a thing of the past! Occasionally a local church will hold an event reminiscent of the time, but it lacks that personal feeling.

Perhaps I was born a century too late! How I would have enjoyed those gatherings!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday

While this isn't a "treasure" from my ancestors, it is a treasure nonetheless.

I was a geriatric nurse for thirteen years, and this poem has touched me more times than I care to think about.


When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem . Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . . . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . . . ... with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . .. . . . . and makes no reply ..
When you say in a loud voice .. . . . .. 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . . the things that you do ..
And forever is losing . . . . .. . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . . .. . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you're not looking at me ..

I'll tell you who I am. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . . . . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . . . . . who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . . . a lover he'll meet..
A groom soon at Twenty . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . . . .. My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons .. . have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . . . . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . . . . . .. shudder with dread..
For my young are all rearing . . . . . .. young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. . . and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . .. . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . .. .. . . . . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . .. . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . . . . . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man. Look closer . . .. . see ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . . . we will all, one day, be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.

God Bless All who read this Poem
and send it to those on
"YOUR" mailing list"


Many years ago, as I cared for an elderly woman in the nursing home where I worked, she grabbed my hand and put it to her chest.

"What do you see?", she asked me. "What do you see when you look at me?"

I kind of hemmed and hawed, and eventually I said "I see a very lovely woman."

"Do you know that when I look in the mirror I see this old, wrinkled body staring back at me. And each time I look," she said, "I am amazed. For in here" [at this point she touched my hand to her chest, indicating her heart], "in here, I am a girl of sixteen still! I long for my beau to come and take my hand, and go for a long walk with me! In here, I still have hopes and dreams!!!"

I have never forgotten that.

Please, if you have an elderly person in your life, never forget, regardless their disposition or abilities today, inside is the person they used to be. That young man, or young woman, who once was.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Or rather, my "not So Wordless Wednesday" [I have never learned when to keep my mouth shut, or my keyboard still!]

This is one of my favorite photos of all those I have of my family.

The woman in the middle is my dear grandmother, Mary Faudree Bean. On either side of her are two of her sisters, and their husbands.

1968, Bumpass, Virginia
Clyde Baker [1895-1980]; Zenna Zane Faudree Baker [1900-1971]; Mary Faudree Bean [1897-1975]; Veda Faudree Carter [1903-1993]; Melvin Carter [1910-1990] with grandson "Dickie" Carter
Mary Faudree was the eighth born, of ten children to Stephen Faudree and Eliza Carnefix. She was born on 03 June 1897 in Monroe County, WV. She married John M. Bean, Sr. on 01 Dec. 1935. The couple had three sons: Walter [b. 1937]; Edsel [b. 1939]; and Roy [1943-1946].

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

William Lawson Duncan - b. 1821 - d. 1926 is buried in New Zion Union Church Cemetery, in Waiteville, Monroe County, West Virginia.
His tombstone is a square monument.
William was married three times. He is buried to the front of his name on the monument. His first wife Susan is listed on the right side of the stone. She is buried precisely in front of her name.

Susan Miller Duncan - b. 1824 - d. 1857

Directly behind William on the stone is his second wife, Jane. Who is also buried directly infront of her name on the stone.
Jane Wiseman Duncan - b. 1837 - d. 1859

To William's right, on the stone, is his third wife, Mary. She, like the others, is buried directly in front of her name on the stone. Mary Tompkins Thurmond Duncan - b. 1824 - d. 1903.
The odd shared burial grounds is layed out something as follows:
[Facing the graves] Mary - William - Susanna . The tombstone itself sits at the head of William's grave. Jane is buried directly above it. _ l _ .
This family arrangement has always fascinated me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Night Challenge - Actually Done on Saturday!

Woo-hoo!!! I actually got to my blog reading early this week!

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Challenge this week is to:

1] Identify three of your favorite genealogy blogs to nominate for the Family Tree 40 list, and fill out the nomination form for them.

2] Tell us which three you choose, and a reason why you chose it, in a blog post on your own blog, in comments to this post, or in a Note or comments to this post on Facebook.

That being said, Randy has asked us to not include Genea-Musings , his own excellent blog site, to the list. So, while I won't include it in my three, I do want my readers aware that Randy's blog is one that I never miss. He's informative, and his writing is easy and down-to-earth. Neither too technical, nor too simplistic. He has the "just right" factor down perfect! If you don't currently read his blog, I do encourage you to check it out!

Now for my three nominations:

1] EOGN [Eastman's Online Genealogical Newsletter]: Dick Eastman writes this newsletter. It's one that I have to place as number one on my list. It was also the very first genealogical newsletter I ever received!
Dick's EOGN arrives daily in your email box, with multiple posts each delivery. And it's FREE!!! He also has a subscription newsletter which contains all of the daily posts, PLUS articles that you won't find any place else! The subscription is a low, low cost amount, and I wouldn't miss it!!!
Dick covers technical issues and products, genealogy news and reviews, as well as video interviews and guest writers.
I warn you!!! You won't want to print out his numerous newsletters! One Plus Edition I was particularly interested in cost me over 70 pages of paper! Much easier to save it as a digital copy! Which can be done to pdf!
I highly recommend EOGN.

2] Footnote Maven: This delightful blog is educational, as well as wonderfully entertaining! The Footnote Maven's posts are always a pleasure to read, and are often a haven in a busy day!

3] Blog: The good folks at Ancestry promise this at the their blog : "Here you will find informational, and sometimes fun, posts from the folks behind the scenes here at Ancestry. We hope you’ll notice just how passionate we are about family history and about the products we're building to help connect families over distance and time."
I can vouch that they don't let you down! They live up to every word!

And these are three of my favorites! But they're by far not all! I absolutely, positively enjoy about 30 genealogy blogs. And I wouldn't miss a single one of them!

Now, what's your favorites???

Civil War Photos

The following link is a compendium of Civil War photographs posted online.

Some are quite graphic and may not be suitable for the very young.

Each photograph is clearly labeled with a description of the location, circumstance, etc.

These are awesome!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday

This post is duo-fold. It is my post for "Not So Wordless Wednesday", and also in response to the GeneaBloggers Week #35 challenge: Share a photo that conjures mixed emotions in you. Explain why this is the case as you detail the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter.
And so, with those two projects in mind, let me introduce you to Annie Caroline Tennille.
Annie Tennille was born 11 November 1858 in Texas. She was only 13 years old when she was wed to James Thomas Clements. "Jim", as everyone calls him, went down in history as the first cousin, and best buddy. of old west outlaw, John Wesley Hardin.
Annie's grandfather, George Culver Tennille, Sr. was born in Pennsylvania, and was among the original group of white settlers brought into Texas by Stephen Austin. He received a Mexican Land Grant.
Annie should have had a life of relative ease with position having been attained by her grandfather. But that was not to be.
Annie and Jim had 11 children between 1875 and 1896.
All the while, Jim either ran with Hardin, or ran from the Law. When he was home, he was there long enough to get Annie with child, yet once more, or to physically abuse her.
In 1897, just 2 years after the gunning down of his cousin, Wes Hardin, Jim abused Annie for the last time.
There is alot of controversy over the actual events. And even when the local officials held an inquisition to determine what happened to Jim, the truth was never brought to light.
It seems Annie had finally had enough and asked for refuge from Jim. Her family readily gave it. Jim, wild with rage, went looking for his family.
From here, we have only speculation, and family lore to depend upon. But it appears that either family members stepped in and Jim was killed, or Annie shot Jim herself defending her daughter, whom Jim threatened to harm. [Family lore says that the daughter became pregnant while Jim was gone on a cattle drive. When he found out who the baby's father was, he threatened to stomp the baby from the girl.]
Some say Jim's body was buried in a riverbank that later washed away. Still another account stated that Jim's body was buried away from all other graveyards, and covered with rocks. The men in the family would take the new sons-in-law to visit the grave to warn them that this is what happened to men who abused the family's women.
Annie lived to the age of 77. She lived to see modernity come to the Lone Star State. She died in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas on 14 October 1936, just one month shy of her birthday, at the home of her daughter.
Annie was the mother of Virginia, Viola, Crawford, Emma, James, Ella, William, Laura May, Lela, Nancy and Bessie.
Laura May married William Jacob Sparks, another long-standing Texas family. They had a daughter, Ora Lee. Ora Lee married John Rotge. And to them was born Betty.
Betty was my sweet hubby's mother. Betty was born in 1930 and passed away in 2003.
Alot has been written around the events surrounding the death of Annie's husband, Jim. Perhaps, because I had been married to an abusive husband years ago, I find myself strangely attracted to Annie. And therefore attracted to the idea that perhaps Annie was a woman who had finally had enough, and stood up to the bully she was married to. My personal speculation is that Annie made sure she protected her children, and herself, with everything that was in her.
What a woman!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

This stone is located in the Bean Family Cemetery located on Potts Creek, near the tiny hamlet of Waiteville, in Monroe County, West Virginia.

You can clearly see the old "C" carved into the stone marking the beginning of the name. And there appears to be a curved letter at the end of the line that may be an "S".

We are positive of 8 individuals who are buried here. But recently when I visited the little cemetery in the woods, I located 10 stones. None of which appear to have any markings on them.

Or so we thought. Until the camera caught more than the naked eye! As you can see above, the letter "C" is definitely there!

The problem is that of the 8 known individuals buried here, none of them have a "C" beginning their name!

I've searched through local burial records and death records, trying to locate who this individual may have been. But I have been unable to find who this is, so far.

This tiny little cemetery has not had a burial since 1889.