Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vatican Secret Archives On Display...

Galileo's heresy trial and Henry VIII's divorce plea: Vatican Secret Archives on display

Vatican throws light on history as it opens secret archives
The papers are kept on 50 miles of shelves at the Vatican Photo: ARCHIVO SEGRETO VATICANO

Parchment documents relating to Galileo's heresy trial, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots and Henry VIII's divorce will go on display today in an unprecedented exhibition of 100 documents from the Vatican Secret Archives.

Read more at The Telegraph here.

Wordles Wednesday - More of Those Wedding Day Pics!

27 Feb 1998

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Donald Keith Beane

AUG 23  1925    NOV 24  1961
[photo courtesy Find A Grave Memorial# 19351945]

Donald Keith Beane was born to Golden Servetis Beane and Corda Pearl Thomas. He was one of six children born to the couple.

On 21 Jan 1949 he married Doris Lee Sisson in Sissoville. The couple had two children together.

Don was a member of the US Navy Reserves in WWII.

He is buried at the John Beane Cemetery in Sissonville, Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm An Ambassador - Are You?

I signed up last night to help to index the 1940 Census!
Although I'm not in it, my parents and grandparents are!

I've started with doing a few marriage licenses [indexing for Kentucky]. And my preference is for an intermediate difficulty. That means there some real "hum-dinger" handwriting going on! But you can choose to simply index those records with a better handwriting, which helps if you have difficulty interpreting some pretty sloppy writing!

Have you signed up yet? If not, head on over to the project site and sign up!

Matrimonial Monday - Beane & Henry Are Hitched!

Two old farts, finding love the second time around!
Johnnie Lee Henry and Cynthia Ann Beane
27 Feb 1998
Lone Star Baptist Church
Covington, Allegheny, Virginia

Happy 14th Anniversary!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - All Those Orphan Photos

I am sure I am not alone when I say I collect the photographs of my family. I have, literally, thousands. And, of course, along the way, there have been those photographs which were unidentifiable. Oh, they came from numerous sources. They were, perhaps, found in a box of grandmother's old photographs; or Uncle's tobacco box after he passed away; or tucked in some distant cousins Bible.

I cannot bear to part with any of them, thinking that perhaps one day I will find the identity of these individuals. And so, for the next few weeks, I will be posting some of this collection on Sentimental Sunday's. I can't think of a more appropriate title!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surname Saturday - Bean

1. Cynthia Ann BEANE was born in New Albany, Floyd Co., IN. She was the daughter of 2. Walter Maxwell BEANE and 3. Lois Velleda DREHER. She married Johnnie Lee HENRY in Covington, Alleghany Co., VA, son of Joseph Wright HENRY and Betty Louise Rotge. He was born in San Antonio, Bexar Co, TX.

2. Walter M. BEANE was born in Waiteville, Monroe County, WV. He was the son of 4. John Monroe BEAN and 5. Mary Elizabeth FAUDREE. He married Lois Velleda DREHER in Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

3. Lois Velleda DREHER was born in Georgetown, FLoyd Co., IN. She was the daughter of 6. Henry Condar DREHER Jr. and 7. Irene Caroline BANET.
    Children of Walter and Lois:  Cynthia Ann, Velleda Kaye, David Lawrence, Jeffrey Scott.

4. John Monroe BEAN was born on 15 Dec 1866 in Cincinatti, Ohio. He died on 10 Apr 1954 in
Waiteville, Monroe Co., WV. He was the son of 8. William McHarvey BEAN and 9. Margaret Smith
PERKINS. He married Mary Elizabeth FAUDREE on 01 Dec 1935 in Allegheny County, Virginia.
5. Mary Elizabeth FAUDREE was born 03 Jun 1897 in Monroe County, West Virginia. She died 01 Jan
1975 in Clifton Forge, Allegheny, Virginia. She was the daughter of Stephen Ledford FAUDREE and Elizabeth CARNEFIX.
      Children of John and Mary were: Walter Maxwell, Edsel Ford and Roy Edwin.


8. William McHarvey BEAN was born on 26 Aug 1832 in Dropping Lick, Near Zenith, Monroe Co, VA.
He died on 14 May 1890 in Gap Mills, Monroe Co, WV. He was the son of 16. William M. BEAN and
17. Rachel WISEMAN. He married Margaret Smith PERKINS on 26 Aug 1852 in Monroe County,
9. Margaret Smith PERKINS was born 03 Mar 1826 in Greenbrier County, Virginia. She died 11 Jun
1891 in Monroe County, West Virginia. She was the daughter of 18. Samuel PERKINS and 19.
Children of William McHarvey BEAN and Margaret Smith PERKINS are:
i. Infant BEAN was born 06 Jun 1853 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 06 Jun 1853.
ii. Viranda C. BEAN was born 03 May 1854 in Near Waiteville, Monroe Co, VA, died 21 Jan
1857 in Waiteville, Monroe, Virginia.
iii. Samuel Waite BEAN was born 31 Jan 1857 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 01 Mar 1913
in Fauquier County, Virginia, married Martha Jane CROSIER 19 Oct 1882 in Monroe
County, West Virginia.
iv. William Ballard Preston BEAN was born 06 Jun 1859 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 23
Jul 1893 in Waiteville, Monroe Co., WV, married Roena Ann PORTERFIELD 1881 in
Monroe County, WV.
v. Viranda Elizabeth BEAN was born 25 Jun 1862 in Waiteville, Monroe, West Virginia, died
20 Sep 1952 in Organ Cave, Greenbrier, West Virginia, married James Joseph HEDRICK
01 Jun 1879 in Monroe County, West Virginia.
+ 4. vi. John Monroe BEAN was born 15 Dec 1866 in Cincinatti, Ohio, died 10 Apr 1954 in
Waiteville, Monroe Co., WV, married Blanche Uremia CROSIER 26 Jun 1895 in Monroe
County, West Virginia; married Ada L. BURDETTE 04 Mar 1907 in Organ Cave,
Greenbrier County, WV; married Mary Elizabeth FAUDREE 01 Dec 1935 in M.E. Church,
Covington, Alleghany Co., VA.
vii. Alice F. BEAN was born 10 Apr 1870 in Waiteville, Monroe, West Virginia, died 02 Nov
1960 in Gap Mills, Monroe, West Virginia, married William A. EPLING 21 Oct 1894 in
Waiteville, Monroe County, West Virginia.
viii. Nancy Malinda M. BEAN was born 20 Jun 1872 in Waiteville, Monroe, West Virginia, died

22 Dec 1945 in Waiteville, Monroe, West Virginia, married Andrew Jack McCORMICK 15

Nov 1893 in Waiteville, Monroe, West Virginia.


16. William M. BEAN was born on 18 Sep 1792 in Baltimore, Maryland. He died on 01 Jan 1864 in

Wiseman's Hollow, Potts Creek, Monroe County, WV. He was the son of 32. William McBEAN and

33. Sarah BANE. He married Rachel WISEMAN on 20 Nov 1813 in Monroe County, VA.

17. Rachel WISEMAN was born 23 Apr 1790 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. She died 07 Nov 1856 in

Potts Creek, Monroe County, WV. She was the daughter of 34. Joseph WISEMAN and 35. Elizabeth


Children of William M. BEAN and Rachel WISEMAN are:

i. Emily BEAN was born 1814 in Dropping Lick, Near Zenith, Monroe Co, VA, died 15 Apr

1889 in Dropping Lick, Near Zenith, Monroe Co, VA, married Thomas J. LONG 03 Sep

1833 in Monroe County, VA.

ii. Nancy BEAN was born Mar 1815 in Dropping Lick Creek, Monroe County, VA, died 11 Oct

1856 in Potts Creek, Monroe Co, VA.

iii. Lucinda BEAN was born 03 Jul 1817 in Monroe County, VA, died 28 Aug 1869 in

Sissonville, Kanawha, West Virginia, married Samuel Sams HONAKER 17 Oct 1836 in

Monroe County, VA.

iv. Elizabeth BEAN was born 22 Dec 1818 in Dropping Lick Creek, Monroe County, Virginia,

died 14 Jul 1886 in Fisher's Ridge, Jackson County, West Virginia, married Charles

CARNEY 12 Oct 1868 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.

v. Sarah BEAN was born 25 Apr 1819 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 26 Oct 1894 in

Burnsville, West Virginia, married Wilson KESINGER 16 Nov 1840 in Monroe County, VA.

vi. John Jackson BEANE was born 24 Mar 1821 in Indian Creek, Monroe County, Virginia,

died 26 Jun 1890 in Sissonville, Kanawha County, West Virginia, married Mary A.

SUMMERS 23 Oct 1849 in Winfield, Putnam County, Virginia.

vii. Thomas Nelson BEAN was born 09 Jan 1823 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 10 Apr

1911 in Walton, Boone County, Kentucky, married Eliza Jane HANKS 07 May 1845 in

Monroe County, Virginia.

viii. Margaret Jane BEAN was born Abt. 1825 in Monroe County, Virginia, died Aft. 1880,
ix. Archibald Marmaduke BEANE was born 06 Oct 1826 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 31

Aug 1899 in Kanawha County, West Virginia, married Margaret Ann DUNBAR 08 Dec

1853 in Monroe County, Virginia; married Amanda SHIRES 01 Jan 1849 in Monroe

County, Virginia.

x. Joseph Floyd BEANE was born 06 Apr 1828 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 11 May 1873

in Boyd County, Kentucky, married Martha Elizabeth GOBLE 03 Sep 1860 in Grayson,

Carter, Kentucky.

xi. James Franklin BEAN was born 20 Feb 1830 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 29 Oct

1899, married Anna D. DUDLEY 17 Oct 1860 in Monroe County, Virginia.

+ 8. xii. William McHarvey BEAN was born 26 Aug 1832 in Dropping Lick, Near Zenith, Monroe

Co, VA, died 14 May 1890 in Gap Mills, Monroe Co, WV, married Margaret Smith

PERKINS 26 Aug 1852 in Monroe County, Virginia.

xiii. Martha Caroline BEAN was born 06 Jan 1836 in Monroe County, Virginia, died 03 Jun

1893, married Joseph Preston McCORMACK 08 Jan 1867 in Gap Mills, Monroe, West

Virginia; married Thomas B. STEELE 06 Dec 1853.


32. William McBEAN. He died about 1804 in Monroe County, Virginia. He married Sarah BANE in 1780

in Augusta County, Virginia.

33. Sarah BANE was born 1756 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She died Aft. 1805. She was the

daughter of 66. James BANE and 67. Rebecca McDONALD. [There is much debate over the validity of these parents for this Sarah.]

Children of William McBEAN and Sarah BANE are:

i. John BEAN was born Aug 1790 in Greenbrier County,Virginia, died Sep 1872 in

Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

+ 16. ii. William M. BEAN was born 18 Sep 1792 in Baltimore, Maryland, died 01 Jan 1864 in

Wiseman's Hollow, Potts Creek, Monroe County, WV, married Rachel WISEMAN 20 Nov

1813 in Monroe County, VA.

***There may have been a third son, Roy, who is unaccounted for in records.

Friday, February 24, 2012

WDYTYA - Blair Underwood

****SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet watched the Who Do You Think You Are  episode with Blair Underwood, then you might want to wait to read the following synopsis of the show. - cbh

Actor, Golden Globe Nominee, Director Blair Underwood has roots that run deep in Virginia. And tonight he comes face to face with those roots, and his African heritage.

Throughout Blair's twenty-five year career, his performances have been highlighted by his African-American image. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Desiree DeCosta and their children.

Blair has a strong pride in the heritage given him by his father, a 27-year Army veteran, who retired as a Colonel; and his grandfather, Ernest Underwood, Sr. who was a police officer.

"I'd love to find out the Underwood lineage, but I want to know about the maternal line as well," Underwood states.

So he started at his parents house in Petersburg, Virginia.

Blair's brother and mother could shed some light on his ancestry for him.

His maternal grandmother was Bessie, and her mother, Ada died when she was only 8-years old.

His grandfather, Harry Royal grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Blair's brother tells him, "Very few records are found for the African-American once you get to the Civil War, so once you hit that 150 year mark, the records are gone. They disappear."

Blair has performed a DNA test [I was never sure whether he did the test, or if he had his father to do it], and they would have to wait for those results for his patrilineal ancestry markers.

Blair's maternal great grandfather, Harry Royal and his great grandmother, Ada Belle White were the starting point. So he was off to the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Here he met with genealogist Joseph Shumway.

Shumway found a marriage record located in Lynchburg for his great-grandparents which showed their parents as Ben and Fanny Royal and Thomas and Annie White.

Next he found a marriage record for Ben Royal and Fanny Early. Fanny's parents were listed asd Maria and Sauney Early.

Shumway locates Sauney Early in the 1900 Census as an inpatient in the Central State Hospital, which was a mental institution. This was an all black institution established just after the Civil War ended.

Attempting to determine what had caused Sauney to be a patient in the mental hospital, they located Sauney in the 1880 Census, where he is a farm laborer, and in the 1870 Census where he is listed as a blacksmith. He is not located in the 1860 Census, and it is presumed he was a slave. And here they hit the proverbial "Wall" on Sauney.

So, Shumway and Blair determine to locate what caused such a significant decline in Sauney's mental capacity over the 30-year period noted, that he would go from being a blacksmith, to a patient in a mental hospital.

So, Underwood is now off to Lynchburg and the Jones Memorial Library where he meets with historian Dan Fountain.

In newspaper microfilm reels they locate on 12 Jan 1876 an article titled, "Sawney Early in Limbo". The article tells the account of Sauney Early stealing a cow, skinning it, and "salting" the beef, from a Mr. Chambers. Chambers went after Early, and shot at him. The load of shot hitting Early in the face. The account mocks Early as proclaiming himself the "Second Jesus" .

In another article, dated 23 Jan 1884, a man named Tardy shoots Early twice over cutting timber in Campbell County where both parties lived. The Campbell County Magistrate dismissed the case, and local blacks threaten violence over the event.

Fountain states he sees Early  as a conjurer . This was someone who according to African culture, negotiated the boundaries between the Spirit world and that of the living. They often wore ostentatious clothing, and Early was described as wearing such in the first article that he and Underwood read.

Later, a record written as a testimony regarding Early was written by a Mr. Moore  who stated that Sauney killed Chambers cow because Chambers cow kept wandering into his corn patch and eating his corn.

It seemed from this that the conclusion could be reached that Sauney Early's neighbor's, when not able to force, or shoot, him to give up his property and his rights to such, found it easier when he became an old man to simply have him committed to the state mental hospital.

Blair stated that Sauney was "...a man that could not be broken."

"I find great solace in that," he stated.

And now they went on to the White's.

Ada's parents were Thomas and Harriet White.

So back to Lynchburg and meeting with Joseph Shumway,

Shumway located Ada White's mother's death certificate. It listed her father as Delaware Scott .

So they visited     and located the Campbell County 1860 Census. There they found Delaware Scott listed as a mulatto. He was a "Cooper" by trade [barrel maker], and had personal property valued at $800. There was also a woman listed  in the household named Judith and was 67 years of age. This was possibly his mother.

So, Underwood headed back to the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Here he met with historian Eva Sheppard Wolfe. She found in 1849 that Delaware Scott was listed as the son of Judith and he was born free in 1823 [his mother also was born free].

Wolfe found a statement from a neighbor in Amherst County in 1852 that stated he knew the Scott's for over 60-years and that they were free since before the 1806 law went into effect. [If freed after 1806, a free black had to leave the state within a year, until proclaimed the Emancipation Proclamation Act.]

Judith had married Samuel Scott . Samuel and his mother, Amy, had been born free, in Lynchburg.

So, back to Lynchburg Underwood went. To the Court Street Baptist Church, which was the first Black Church in the area.

Records were found in the church where Samuel Scott had bought land. He had purchased 200 acres. Tax records also showed this purchase.

Samuel Scott is shown in the 1850 Census as owning 2 slaves.

In the 1840 Census he had 1 male slave 55-100 years of age. Wolfe explains to Underwood that statistically most free blacks bought family members. So it was very possible that these 2 slaves were his parents.

Underwood stated, "It's empowering to know Samuel Scott took care of his parents, he took care of his own."

And the Scott trail ends here.

But on to Underwood's Dad's line, and the DNA results are in. Blair met with Dr. Ken Chahine, who explains that the test showed that Underwood's lineage was 74% African, as expected, and 26% European, which is usual for most people of African descent. The greatest amounts shown from France, Switzerland and Germany. Underwood was pleasantly surprised because he states he has always had an affinity and love for all things from France. He got engaged to his wife in Paris, and even named his daughter, Paris.

Chahine goes on to tell Underwood that they have located a "cousin", and that they share a common ancestor from about 1690 to 1700. The match is with Eric Sonjowoh, from Babungoo, Cameroon.

And so it was on to Africa with his father.

On seeing the people to meet them in Babungoo, Underwood stated, "Staggering, that's how this is, staggering!"

Blair and his father met Eric and his father.

"You make that connection for us," Underwood stated.

Eric stated that he had taken the DNA test in 2005, and didn't think there would ever be a match.

Blair gave Eric a photograph of all of the Underwood family in the US, and invited his Babungoo family to come and visit them.

"I will share with my children", stated Blair, all these values and of "the family coming full circle."

"I am African, not because I was born in Africa; but because Africa is born in us."

A profound statement. A profound feeling.

This was one of those WDYTYA episodes that I can enjoy again, and again!

Keep 'em coming NBC!

Be watching next Friday when singer/actress Reba McIntire discovers her family roots!

Friends of Friends Friday - John Bean's Indenture

John Bean was born August 1790 and died September 1872. Although his death record, which used a friend for informant, [O. Bobbett] does not give his parents names, nor his birth date, it does list his age as 73, which is incorrect. We know by the below transcribed document, that he was actually born in 1790.

What follows is a transcript for a 13-year-old boy's indenture. We know of at least one other brother, and possibly two, that were indentured around this time. We believe that John's father was named William Bean [and may have been shortened from McBean], and his mother was named Sarah.

It is believed that William [Mc]Bean died shortly before John's indenture, and his mother, unable to care for her children, placed them for indenture. In 1805 Sarah Bean appears on the Monroe County [West] Virginia Tax Rolls as owning "only her spinning wheel and her clothes", and owing "nothing atall".

Here is the transcript of John's indenture:

Dated: "20 Feb 1804

Monroe County, VA

This Indenture made this 20th of February one thousand eight hundred and four Between James Christy Robert Johnson Henry McDaniel and Owen Neel of the one part over seers of the poor for Monroe County and John Neel of the other part witnesseth that the S'd overseers doth bind an orphan boy named John Bean aged thirteen years and six months to the S'd John Neel county aforesaid and State of Virginia to serve the S'd John Neel Until he arrives at the age of twenty-one years Dureing all which time the S'd John Bean Shall faithrully Serve his Master and all his lawful Commands obey he shall not Suffer any damage to be done to his S'd Masters goods without giving him notice thereof He shall not frequent Still houses or taverns he Shall not play at Cards Dice or any unlawful game or at any time abscond himself from his Masters business without his Masters leave he Shall not commit fornication nor contract matrimony during Said term; But as a true and faithful Servant Shall agree to have the S'd John Bean taught the art trade or mystery of a weaver and provide for him a sufficiency of everything that is requiset for an apprentice During the term of his apprenticeship likewise he is to have him taught to read the Holy Scriptures plainly to write a plain hand and arithmetic through the rule of three which Education he is to thoroughly acquainted with at the expieration of his time and also to give Such freedom dues as the law directs taking care to have Said apprentice Instructed in the principles and Duties of the Christian religion as far as Said Master is Capable In witnef whereof the partys have Interchangeable Set their hands and Seals the day and year above writen.

Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presents of

Sme JCabell John Neel (Seal)

John Neel Owen Neel (Seal)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WDYTYA - Blair Underwood - Friday on NBC

Treasure Chest Thursday - From My Godparents

On my 16th birthday, my dear godparents, Archie and Margaret Byrd, gave me this cameo...

...Archie had purchased it for me during his last visit to Italy.

Sadly, my godparents died, just a few years apart, both barely into their sixties. So... this is a gift which I cherish.

The cameo is made from alabaster, and real ivory. The chain broke a few years ago, and I tried to have it repaired, but the jeweler told me I would be better off purchasing a new chain. I've simply not had the heart since my godparent's deaths to do so.

But... every now and then... I pull it out of my jewelry box, and remember... what precious, precious people they were, and still are, to me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Archibald Beane

OCT. 6, 1826,
AUG. 31, 1899

Archibald Marmaduke Bean[e] was born on 06 October 1826. He was the 9th  [out of 13] child born to William M. Bean [1792-1864] and Rachel Wiseman Bean [1790-1856]. He was born along Dropping Lick, just south of Union, in Monroe County, [West] Virginia.

Married twice, his first marriage was to Amanda Shires [1826-1850]on 01 January 1849. Amanda was the daughter of John Shires.
The couple had two children: John William and Amanda Alafaire. [It is believed that Amanda Shires Bean died at the birth of Amanda Alafaire. However, records are not available to provide proof.]

After Amanda Shires Bean's death, Archibald then married Margaret Ann Dunbar [1832 - 1904] on 08 Dec 1853 in Monroe County.
Archibald and Amanda had nine children: Mary Virginia, Madorah "Dora" Wacoma, Alonzo F., Wellington Goheen, Augustus "Gus" Floyd, Laura "Belle" Arabella, Christine "Addy" Adaline, Charles Allen, and Bertha.

"Arch" migrated from Monroe Co, to Kanawha Co, around 1855 when he purchased 254 acres of land  in Poca District. He resided here until 1869 when he purchased 148 acres on Tackett's Creek at Coals Mouth. In 1870 he purchased another 100 acres in the same area.
In 1873 Archibald sold his 254 acres in Poca District to his brother, John Jackson Bean.
Archibald ran a store and lived on a houseboat located just below the St. Albans Westside bridge. Then moved to a small house just up the bank from the houseboat, where  Belle Beane, was born in 1865. It is possible that Archibald and his family were in St. Albans before he bought the land in 1869.
Most of the land on Tackett's Creek apparently was divided or sold to the children as most of them seem to have lived on the Creek at sometime or another.

Arch died on 31 Aug 1899 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Arch is buried at Teays Hill Cemetery, located in Saint Albans, Kanawha County, West Virginia. His first wife, Amanda, was buried in the Bean Cemetery, located on Potts Creek, near present day Waiteville, in Monroe County. His second wife, Margaret, is also buried at Teays Hill Cemetery.

Teays Hill Cemetery
St. Albans, Kanawha, West Virginia

Monday, February 20, 2012

Amaneunsis Monday - Archibald Beane to Amanda Shires

Know all men by these presents, That we
Archibald Bean and George Shires
_________________are held and firmly bound unto
______________________the Commonwealth of Virginia,
in the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars, to which payment well and
truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, &c. jointly and severally firmly
by these presents. Sealed with our seals, and dated this 1st day of
January 1849.

      The conditions of the above obligations is such, That whereas the above
bound Archibald Bean ______ hath this day obtained
from the Clerk of the County Court of Monroe, a Licence
for his marriage with Amanda Shires ______daughter
of John Shires ______ of said county. If therefore
there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage, then the above obligation
to be void.

Geo.W.Hutchinson DC                          Archibal M Been (sic) [SEAL]
                                                               George W. Shiers (sic) [SEAL]


The signatures for both Archibald Bean and George Shires appear to have been written by the same individual. And since both names have been mis-spelled, I feel it is safe to assume that neither of the two men wrote the signatures. [I have examples elewhere of the pairs signatures, and it is plain that both men knew how to spell and write their own names. Both were lieterate and intellectual. So, it remains unknown as to why neither applied their own signatures. Another mystery in this journey of uncovering our family history!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - All Those Orphan Photos

I am sure I am not alone when I say I collect the photographs of my family. I have, literally, thousands. And, of course, along the way, there have been those photographs which were unidentifiable. Oh, they came from numerous sources. They were, perhaps, found in a box of grandmother's old photographs; or Uncle's tobacco box after he passed away; or tucked in some distant cousins Bible.

I cannot bear to part with any of them, thinking that perhaps one day I will find the identity of these individuals. And so, for the next few weeks, I will be posting some of this collection on Sentimental Sunday's. I can't think of a more appropriate title!

SNGF - Ancestral Name Roulette

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun by Randy at Genea-Musings is:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) What year was your paternal grandfather born? Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”
 My paternal Grandfather was John Monroe Bean and he was born in 1866. So my roulette number is 18.66 or 19.
2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person?
 #19 in my ahnentafel is none other than Elizabeth Tuckwiller, my gr-gr-gr-grandmother.
3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”
      1] Elizabeth was the daughter of John Tuckwiller and Catherine Riffe and was born in Greenbrier County, [West] Virginia on 08 Nov 1779.
      2] Elizabeth was the mother of nine children [my gr-gr-grandmother among them!].
      3] Elizabeth was the wife of a minister, and often entertained well-known ministers of the time in her home.
4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.
Blogged here.
5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!
Success the first time!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Surname Saturday - Surber [Those "Other Surber's]

Last week we explored one line of family with the Surber surname. This week we will exlore that "other" line. [These are my husband's ancestor's. thus we begin with him.]


Johnnie Lee HENRY was born in San Antonio, Bexar Co, TX. He was the son of 2.

Joseph Wright HENRY and 3. Betty Louise Rotge. He married Cynthia Ann BEANE

in Covington, Alleghany Co., VA, daughter of Walter Maxwell BEANE and Lois Velleda DREHER. She

was born in New Albany, Floyd Co., IN.

Joseph Wright HENRY was born on 20 Sep 1927 in Fulton County, KY. He died on 16 Nov 1993 in

Batesville, Panola, Mississippi. He was the son of 4. William Lee HENRY and 5. Emma Louise

PETTIE. He married Betty Louise Rotge on 30 Jul 1947.

Betty Louise Rotge was born 30 Aug 1930 in Kerrville, Kerr, Texas. She died 05 Jul 2003 in

Jourdanton, Atascosa, Texas. She was the daughter of 6. John Cornelius ROTGE and 7. Ora Lee


John Cornelius ROTGE was born on 16 Jan 1910. He died on 09 Jun 1983 in Kerrville, Kerr, Texas.

He was the son of 12. Peter ROTGE and 13. Lillie Mae Surber. He married Ora Lee Sparks in 1930.

Ora Lee Sparks was born 26 Oct 1914 in Bandera, Edwards, Texas. She died Aug 1982 in San

Antonio, Bexar, Texas. She was the daughter of 14. William Jacob Sparks and 15. Laura May


Peter ROTGE was born on 25 Jun 1872 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He died on 15 Jul 1956 in San

Antonio, Bexar, Texas. He was the son of 24. Jean Rotge and 25. Anna Annette Martin. He married

Lillie Mae Surber on 15 Nov 1902.

Lillie Mae Surber was born 29 Jan 1881 in Texas. She died 26 Sep 1932. She was the daughter of

26. John W. SURBER and 27. Visa Ann SURBER [last week we followed John Surber's line - today we follow Visa Ann's line.]


John W. SURBER was born on 13 Sep 1854 in Kentucky. He died on 13 Nov 1931 in Center Point,

Kerr, Texas. He was the son of 52. Joseph S. SURBER and 53. Reuhama YOUNG. He married Visa


Visa Ann SURBER was born 1853 in Kentucky. She died 20 Apr 1941 in Kerrville, Kerr, Texas. She

was the daughter of 54. Alexander Campbell SURBER and 55. Emeline WEEKS.

Alexander Campbell SURBER was born on 20 Feb 1830 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. He died on

05 Jan 1892 in Center Point, Texas. He was the son of 108. Adam S. SURBER and 109. Louisa

Viletha McCLURE. He married Emeline WEEKS.

Emeline WEEKS was born 30 Oct 1828 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of 110.

Jessie WEEKS.

Adam S. SURBER was born on 29 Feb 1804 in Washington County, Virginia. He died on 03 Mar

1875 in Center Point, Kerr, Texas. He was the son of 216. Jacob Campbell SURBER and 217. Mary

WATKINS. He married Louisa Viletha McCLURE in 1827 in Washington County, Virginia.

Louisa Viletha McCLURE was born 13 Apr 1803 in Virginia. She died 1843 in Center Point, Kerr,

Texas. She was the daughter of 218. William McCLURE and 219. Mary SHIELDS.

Jacob Campbell SURBER was born in 1784 in Washington County, Virginia. He died 09 Mar 1844. He was the son of 432. Adam SURBER and 433. Margaret Unknown. He married Mary WATKINS.
Mary WATKINS was born 16 Oct 1786 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, died 17 Jun

1853 in Kentucky. She was the daughter of George WATKINS and Ann REED.

432. Adam SURBER  was born 1751 i Germantown, Pennsylvania. He died 10 Apr 1833 in Kentucky. He married Margaret UNKNOWN. He was the son of Henry SURBER.
Margaret UNKNOWN was born 1780 in Culpeper, Virginia. She died Oct 1822 in Virginia.

464. Henry SURBER was born 1710-1718 in Kanton, Aaignon, Switzerland. He died 28 Sep 1754 in FrederickCounty, Virginia.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Priscilla's Been Brought Full Circle

Taken from the BBC:

Using a rare and unbroken document trail, scholars have succeeded in tracing a 10-year old girl from her kidnap in Sierra Leone 249 years ago to her life on the plantation in the United States where she was taken, forced into slavery, and re-named Priscilla.

Thomalind Martin Polite in Sierra Leone
Thomalind Polite travelled to Sierra Leone, where her ancestor was kidnapped
Most amazing of all though, researchers have identified one of Priscilla's modern day descendants, great-great-great-great-great granddaughter, Thomalind Martin Polite, 31, who lives in South Carolina, not far from the plantation where her ancestor was a slave.

Priscilla's extraordinary story is featured in a major exhibition currently showing at the New York Historical Society, Finding Priscilla's Children: The Roots and Branches of Slavery, which can be seen until 5 March, 2006.

Earlier this year, Priscilla's descendant, Thomalind, a speech therapist, made an extraordinary "homecoming" journey to Sierra Leone at the invitation of that country's government.

She met President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and other top national leaders, and was given an African name in a moving seaside ceremony.

Sierra Leone's most popular music group wrote a song in Ms Polite's honour: "Rush with the message, go tell it to the people, open the gates, Priscilla's coming home."

Family Recipe Friday - Indian Corn Pudding

Our Family's Indian Corn Pudding

I wish I could even begin to tell you where this recipe originated in our family. I simply don't know. I do know that both of my grandmother's had copies of recipes called Indian Corn Pudding. Grandma Dreher's was much like this one, except she used more sugar and "canned cream" [evaporated milk] in hers.

This verion comes from a small piece of torn tabletpaper that my Grandma Bean had written the recipe on, and as written in pencil. I long ago lost the note paper [I'd give anything to have it today!], but I have this recipe, and knowing it was the one Grandma Bean used, makes me feel pretty happy!

I don't make this often. I usually save it for Thanksgiving Dinner, reminding everyone that it was Grandma's recipe, and how much I enjoyed hers. [Kind of like her custard! Savoring it at only special occasions!]

Here's the recipe. It's an excellent dish, and your family will love it!

Indian Corn Pudding

1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups fresh or frozen thawed whole kernel corn, cooked
4 large eggs  
4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly butter a casserole dish In a medium bowl whisk together & combine flour, salt, and sugar; mix in corn and melted butter. Beat eggs and add to milk. Stir into the corn mixture.
Place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and stir with long prong fork, disturbing the top as little as possible. [Stir lightly, using a long handled fork, run beneath the surface, and scrape the bottom of the casserole - disturbing the top as little as possible - thus the need for the long handle!]
Return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Repeat stirring procedure.
Return to oven for 10 more minutes. Repeat stirring procedure.
Return to oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Top should be lightly brown and pudding should be firm.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The 1940 Census - "I'm In It"

While I'm not in the 1940 Census, both of my parents, all of my aunts and uncles, and all of my grandparents are in it. By 1940, only 2 of my great-grandparents are in it. And none of my gr-gr-grandparents.

Are you in the 1940 Census? What ancestors from your family are in it?

Treasure Chest Thursday - Mommy's Pearls

My Mother grew up on the tail-end of the Great Depression. She recalled how hard things were, and how they often did without when she was very small. When she became a teen, things began to get easier. And a few extras were finding their way into the home.

On Mommy's Sweet 16, she rceived her very first "expensive", and adult, gift. A string of pearls, which had been fashioned into a choker...

...a black velvet ribbon was woven through the beads, and tied behind the neck.

Mother wore these often.

When I turned 16, Mother presented these to me. I wore them for Church and special occasions only.

I once had them appraised by a jeweler. He issued me a warning to be cautious, as I was holding a small fortune in my hand... later, Grandmother told me that Grandpa had worked two full weeks for a man so that he could purchase the string of pearls for Mother's birthday.

I love having these little pearls near me. I sometimes bring them out, and string a new ribbon on them, and wear them for some special occasion. I hope to pass them on to one of my granddaughters one day.

Do you have a piece of jewelry that you hope to pass on to your children or grandchildren one day? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Thoughts On The SSDI

While I fully understand the thinking behind making it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain full SS-5's from the Social Security Administration, in order to prevent identity fraud, I cannot understand eliminating the SSDI [Social Security Death Index].

The SSDI has already been changed to the point that social security numbers have been eliminated from the index when one is researching them online. And I can understand this, while I don't like it, I do understand it. However, part of the process in order to obtain an SS-5, was in providing the participant's social security number, thus making it almost impossible for an individual to obtain copies of this document.

I know for myself that in obtaining an unredacted copy of the SS-5 I have uncovered many, many clients information for their family studies. [I unfortunately lost $27 on the last record I ordered, as between the time I ordered it, and the time it was sent, only redacted copies were being sent back. A nice letter of apology came with the mucked over copy, but no refund!]

Isn't there a much more simpler way to prevent the identy fraud/ theft and still allow family members/ genealogy researchers to obtain necessary information?

I believe the simplest solution of all is simply making sure the individual who requests a copy is identifying themselves. A full copy of their picture ID AND birth certificate, along with a genealogical tree that connects them to the participant should eliminate alot of questions. I know that most states require this for obtaining a birth record today.

It would also help that when a number has been reported through death certificate that an individual is deceased, that when a request has been made, the number would be brought up as deceased when an individual attempts to use it illicitly.

I mean, come on... when the US Government has stopped SS benefits because an elderly person is deceased...why do they then reopen the file allowing someone new to claim the number????

Children's numbers being used by adults??? Come on... when a social security number is assigned at birth, and the deceased child is four or five years of age, how can someone who is an adult have use of it! That should bring up a red flag within the SSA.

I blame all of this nonsense on the SSA being mal-organized and its authority abused. A simple program written for red flagging birth years or dates that do not match could be added to the programming. When personnel don't find, let it be alerted through automaton.

Come on ... when the US Government can flag the Library system's use, listen in to your telephone conversation from space, or red flag your personal blog, why can't they keep track of a simple Social Security number?

Let's keep fighting for our FOIA rights. It is our right to know about our ancestors. Let's not allow ourselves to be denied access to information that should be ours.

And that's where I stand.

Two Civil War Pensions Still Being Paid Monthly

According to an article in US NEWS titled "U.S. Government Still Pays Two Civil War Pensions", by Lauren Fox, the following post is written.

Although the Civil War ended on 09 April 1865, records from Department of Veteran's Affairs show that the children of two Civil War Veterans, as of September, are receiving pensions from their father's service.

Affairs Spokesman Phil Budahn reports the Veteran's Administration last checked on these recipients in September 2011. At that time both were alive, but in poor health, giving one pause to believe the pensions won't last much longer.

As to why these two began receiving these pensions, one can only speculate. Perhaps physical incapacity kept them from ever becoming employable, thus enabling them to receive the pension their life entirety.

The last Civil War veteran, Albert Woolson,
...died in 1956 at 109 years of age. [Woolson had been a Union drummer boy at the age of 17.]

The last widow receiving a pension was Gertrude "Gertie" Grubb Janeway,

who died in 2003, at the age of 93. [Gertie was only 18 when she married 81 year old John Janeway. She became a widow at the age of 28.

The two individuals who are the children of Civil War veterans, and still receive their pensions, have asked for annonymity.

It is with awe that this country continues to pay pensions, on a war that ended almost 147 years ago!
God bless them!