This is my first attempt to combine two Friday features, Family Newsletter Friday and Follow Friday. Previously I have included a few notes on some items of interest from other blogs, but really wanted to have a regular feature for reviews and occasional “Best of” posts.
And this week the subject of “Follow Friday” has a connection to one of my two pieces of “good genealogy news”:
I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The Blind Pig and the Acorn, when a name jumped out at me: Bluford Dyer. Tipper, the author of the blog, had included a story (which I highly recommend reading) entitled “A Mother’s Love Defied the Bonds of Death (A Mountain Story),” by a lady named Ethelene Dyer Jones. In it Ethelene mentions her brother Bluford Dyer. Well, I have a 5xgreat-grandfather by that name. It is a rather unusual name. If it were Buford Dyer, perhaps it might just be a coincidence, but Bluford? I didn’t think so. I wrote an e-mail to Tipper, who put me in touch with Ethelene. We compared notes, and it turns out we are cousins. Moreover, we just may be cousins twice over, because the two Dyer siblings that we descend from married two Clarks (Bolin and Elizabeth) who appear to be siblings. This was not the only interesting information I learned. It turns out that Ethelene writes a wonderful column called Through Mountain Mists: Early Settlers of Union County, Georgia, for The Union Sentinel, a newspaper published in Blairsville, Georgia. The column deals with the stories of these people and their way of life, and the archives of this column can be found on GenWeb. And she is the first cousin of Watson Dyer, who wrote the Dyer Family History. It’s sort of like being related to genealogy royalty!
Readers of my blog will be aware that I am something of a cheerleader for the genea-blogging community, and I think this instance is strong evidence supporting my enthusiasm. Not only does writing the blogs help to put us in touch with other researchers, but reading them does, too! So if you are writing posts for your own blog or reading the blogs of others, don’t feel guilty for not doing “real research.” You never know where you may find a vital clue or the person who has a lot of information on your family.
I love having a “History Husband.” I finished transcribing and entering the information from the obituaries from The Greenville News dealing with descendants of Samuel Moore of Greenville (d. 1828). The very last obituary to be transcribed was that of Claude Bryant “Skip” Adair, the husband of Jeanette "Steve" Stephens, a second cousin once removed. His obituary noted that he had been a member of the Flying Tigers, aka the American Volunteer Group, a group of American pilots recruited to defend China against the Japanese during the early days of World War II. My husband found this exciting news and asked me what the fellow’s name was. When I told him, he said, “Oh, yeah,” as though the name was familiar and left the room for a few minutes. When he returned, he was carrying three books: Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and his American Volunteers, 1941-1942, by Daniel Ford; Ding Hao: America’s Air War in China, 1937-1945, by Wanda Cornelius and Thayne Short; and Sharks Over China: The 23rd Fighter Group in World War II, by Carl Molesworth. Trust my husband to be able to come up with a set of reference works on just about any military history subject.
I hope to post soon on the information provided in these books on “Skip” Adair; there is also a little bit in one of them on his wife (my relative), Mary Jeanette “Steve” Stephens Adair.
[Last-minute update as I was writing this post: My husband found a couple of wonderful websites with information on and pictures of Skip and Steve: http://www.flyingtigersavg.com/Bio's/bio-adair.htm and http://www.cnac.org/emilscott/adair01.htm. Fascinating!]
Follow Friday: The Blind Pig and the Acorn
I am sure quite a few of the people who read this blog are familiar with Tipper’s The Blind Pig and the Acorn: Bloggin’ About My Appalachian Heritage, but for those who are not, I’ll just say that it is one of the best blogs around. Tipper writes with wit and style about Appalachian history, heritage, and folk ways. It’s difficult to select my favorite subject, but I’d say Appalachian vocabulary and music are way up there. Of course, there are all the stories and descriptions of growing and preparing food, and Appalachian sayings, and… Let’s just say that every post is a gem. And, as a fantastic added bonus, there is a Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen (by Paul and Pap) playlist at the top to help create the proper atmosphere. Go give The Blind Pig and the Acorn a try - you’ll only need to read one post, and you’ll become an addict, uh, devotee, just as I am. And who knows, you might just meet your fourth cousin twice removed, just as I did.