Monday, June 29, 2009

Memory Monday: Television

I was born before color television, or at least before it was commonplace among commercial broadcasts. I still remember when prime-time TV fare was split between black-and-white shows and color shows.

TV was a huge part of my family’s life. We followed many of the popular shows of the late 50s and early 60s. I definitely watched more TV than was good for me. As my brother Don and I developed tastes that differed from that of our parents and from each other’s tastes, getting my own “program time” on our single (often unreliable) television set was often a problem for me, especially as the “baby” of the family (= low man on the totem pole). Sunday nights were a particular minefield, with many popular shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color competing with one another.

Saturday mornings, however, were mine. No one else wanted to wake up that early. At first this golden time was devoted to cartoons, but later my interest switched to adventure shows such as Robin Hood with Richard Greene and The Scarlet Pimpernel with Marius Goring. It has been interesting to “revisit” some of these old shows on a few occasions as an adult and see which have retained their interest. To take two old and popular Disney story lines as an example, my family and I watched Swamp Fox (Leslie Nielsen) and Scarecrow (Patrick McGoohan) and we thought that the former series seemed for more dated than the latter one.

One area of particular bad luck for me was that I often became a fan of shows that ran for only one or two seasons, such as The Travels of Jamie McPheeters (young Kurt Russell, anyone? – but even at a young age, I preferred Dan O’Herlihy and his Irish accent) and The Monroes, a story about orphans living on their own out West.

By early adolescence, my interest in TV shows had dwindled in quantity, but this was more than compensated for by an intensity that was mostly reserved for science fiction/speculative fiction, above all Star Trek. For my husband and me, and apparently for many of our contemporaries, the debut of Star Trek was something of a turning point in our lives. Reading had already given me a taste for science fiction, and Star Trek focused and developed that taste into a passion. It was a sad fact of life, however, that in the late 1960s television executives – who did not “get” science fiction or its potential for mass appeal and did not understand the importance of market demographics vs. sheer numbers of viewers – made one of the great blunders (some say one of the great crimes) of TV history and axed Star Trek after only three seasons. (Less than a decade later, during my college years, science fiction would come roaring back with the release of Star Wars.)

As has been the case with so many other aspects of my childhood, I have seen my youthful TV interests come full circle with my children. I watched the British SF series Dr. Who when I was in graduate school, and now my daughters and I watch the show together on BBC America. My daughters agree with me that David McCallum was, is, and always will be awesome. We all went together to see the new Star Trek movie and are absolutely thrilled to see it reinvigorate the franchise, though my husband and I – dutiful, geeky first-generation fans of the TV show – have a minor reservation or two regarding character development. As we have shared some of our old favorite television shows with our children, they occasionally invite us to share in watching some of their favorites, such as the reincarnation of Battlestar Galactica. I’m not sure if I’m ready to let them go off on their own to a science fiction convention, however.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Welcome to Greta’s Genealogy Blog

Greetings to attendees of the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree! California is one of my home states (born in Pennsylvania and lived in Texas during my high school years, but the rest of my childhood was spent in Southern California, mostly San Bernardino and Highland). My mother and many of her siblings moved out to Southern California in the 1940s and a great uncle’s family on my father’s side also moved out there around the same time, so I have a lot of family history there.

This blog started out mostly as a forum to share some of my research and a way to get in contact with “genealogy cousins,” but it has since evolved to include much more, and much of this has been through the influence and encouragement of fellow genea-bloggers (a number of whom are attending the Jamboree – I really wish I could be there with you all!). The genealogy carnival on New Year’s Resolutions got me started on a series called Memory Monday which appears in this blog most Mondays; it features stories from my life that I hope will be passed down in my family (Getting Married at Dr. Maiden’s House, Junk in Our Yard, Our Edsel). There are also a number of articles that fit the HOGS template as described in Terry Thornton’s Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi blog (History, Observations, Genealogy, and Stories). One of my favorite articles along these lines was The Language of Cats: An Illustrated Glossary. Some articles have dealt with exhilarating experiences I have had in research, such as Uncle, Uncle – William Henry Lewis: A Little Man Who Stood Tall and Getting Hooked on Genealogy.

The benefits I have derived from this blog have far surpassed what I originally aimed for or expected. The genea-blogging community is absolutely amazing; I am continually inspired by them and learn so much from them. Some of these benefits are outlined in my article Top Ten Reasons Why I Blog. One of my original aims that I mentioned, to get in touch with distant relatives also involved in family research, has met with great success – I have been contacted by about eight to ten cousins with whom I had not corresponded before and was even found by my younger half-brother, whom I had not seen since he was a baby.

As for the areas of research I focus on, the big geographic areas are South Carolina (Anderson and Greenville counties), Texas (Baylor, Dallas, Collin, Fannin, Hunt, and Grayson counties), Kentucky (Warren County and some others), Alabama (Talladega County), and Illinois (Greene and Jersey counties) (actually, most of the states of the South are included, with the exception of Mississippi, Florida, and Lousiana). Family names I am researching include Moore, Lewis, Brinlee, Norman, Sisson, Tarrant, McKinney, Smith (my brick wall, of course), Floyd, Matlock, and Finley on my side, and Koehl, Greenberg, D’Arco, Terrana, Fichtelmann, Davi, Terzo, and Lochner on my husband’s side. If any of these names rings a bell or you do research in any of these areas, I’d love to hear from you.

Featured Family Friday: Family of William Riley Cartee and Anna Jerusha Moore

William Riley Cartee
b. 18 Sep 1850, Anderson Co., South Carolina
d. 28 Sep 1918, Anderson Co., South Carolina
& Anna Jerusha Moore
b. 12 Jan 1854, Anderson Co., South Carolina
d. 17 Sep 1889
|--Telula E. Cartee
|----b. 16 Dec 1871, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 28 Mar 1944, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--& Stratton Carlisle Fowler
|----b. 14 Feb 1868
|----d. 19 Sep 1956
|--Fannie Ada Cartee
|----b. 11 Dec 1873, South Carolina
|----d. 20 Nov 1888, South Carolina
|--Ella Elizabeth “Lizzie” Cartee
|----b. 11 Apr 1878, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 1954, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--& William Walter “Doc” Harris
|----b. 14 Nov 1869, South Carolina
|----d. 17 Apr 1934, Garvin, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----m. 1895
|--Charles Hubbard “Charlie” Cartee*
|----b. 8 Feb 1880, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--& Sarah Lavinia Driver
|--Charles Hubbard “Charlie” Cartee*
|----b. 8 Feb 1880, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--& Lillian
|--Mae Edith Cartee
|----b. 7 Mar 1883, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 25 Jan 1967, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC
|--& Levi Newton Jolly
|----b. 20 Aug 1877, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 15 Apr 1967, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC
|--Nora Kate Cartee*
|----b. 4 Feb 1887, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 4 Jan 1968, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--& John Andrew Jolly
|----b. 26 Jun 1880, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 30 Jul 1910, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----m. 30 Mar 1904, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--Nora Kate Cartee*
|----b. 4 Feb 1887, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 4 Jan 1968, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--& Arthur Walton Dalrymple
|----b. 10 Jan 1882
|----d. 14 May 1968
|----m. 3 Aug 1938, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--Samuel Walton “Sam” Cartee
|----b. 4 Dec 1888, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|----d. 8 Feb 1941, Anderson Co., South Carolina
|--& Ruby Mae McAllister
|----b. 7 Jan 1896
|----d. Jun 1983
|----m. 13 Mar 1916, Anderson Co., South Carolina

This is the family of the sister of my great-grandfather Harlston Perrin Moore. Anna Jerusha Moore’s parents were William Spencer Moore and Emily Tarrant. William Riley Cartee’s parents were William F. Cartee and Sarah Fleming. You can see a picture of one of the children of this family, Nora Kate Cartee, in Smile for the Camera: Wedding Belles.

The expert on this family is my third cousin, Jo Ann S. As a matter of fact, she has done such thorough and careful work on this family, the only additional “basic information” I would like to find on this family would be more information on Charles Hubbard Cartee’s two wives. Jo Ann was the first “genealogy cousin” I met after getting started on genealogy and provided a wonderful research model to emulate. I have used her research as a guide for this family, although I have also pulled and transcribed census, cemetery, and obituary information on them since they are included in my “Descendants of Samuel Moore” project.

And I will make my usual plea for this family in my effort to contact fellow researchers: If you are reading this and believe that you are related to this family I would really like to hear from you (you can find my e-mail if you click on View my complete profile under the section at the left entitled “About Me”).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Please Keep These Things

Part 2 of the series “My Dear Daughters: When I am Dead and Gone, Please Keep These Things”

An old-fashioned hand beater. Why keep it?

Well, for one thing, it’s old. It belonged to my husband’s paternal grandmother, Rose Terrana Koehl. For people of our generation, with our 50+ years of life and perspective, our grandparents’ lives are not exactly ancient history (though it might have seemed that way when we were younger). For our children, however, this is their great-grandparents’ generation, and that does make it something more of a historical artifact as well as a cherished family possession. With the possible exception of photographs, this is probably as far back in history as my husband and I have any hopes of going in terms of passing on actual physical items to our children.

And this beater has a history. You see, it’s not actually a beater. It’s a helicopter. Or at least it was to my husband when he was very young. Perhaps it was the whirring noise it made? So when Grandma Rose died a few years ago, the beater was not disposed of; my husband’s parents wisely passed it on to my husband.

I have not placed the beater in any sort of protective covering or box or put it away in special storage. It is in one of the drawers in which we keep kitchen utensils. And who knows, if the other beater on my hand mixer fails or we do not replace our wheezing KitchenAid, it may still see some use.

By the way, the beater was not my husband’s only helicopter when he was little. The other one was at the home of his maternal grandmother, Julia D’Arco Greenberg. That helicopter was disguised as a sewing machine treadle.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Memory Monday: Flowers

I used to think that the origin of my love of gardening was a little vegetable garden that my father set up for me to tend when I was about 7 or 8 years old; it had a tomato plant or two and a pepper plant. The garden died; I had failed to water it.

The true inspiration for my love of plants, however, probably dated to a few years before this vegetable garden’s brief and pitiful existence. I believe it was my mother’s flower garden: not so much the cannas and geraniums bought at a nursery and carefully spaced in the beds in our front yard, but rather the flowers that grew all topsy-turvy, crawling over and around one another, in my mother’s “cutting” bed at the side of the house. Of these, the ones I remember best are the sweet peas my mother grew on a trellis. They seemed to run the entire gamut of pastel shades, and their fragrance was heavenly. It was the subtlety and delicacy of their fragrance which made it so wonderful. My mother would cut huge bouquets of sweet peas, and I still remember putting my entire face into a bouquet of these soft, delicious flowers. These flowers also played a role as part of the landscape of the imaginary world that our yard sometimes became, but at those times it was the curlicued tendrils of the vines that were the object of interest, because my playmates and I decided that they had magical powers.

After I grew up, home ownership was the final ingredient needed to reignite my love of plants and give it the space to develop. In the early years, our garden beds were almost equally divided between vegetables and flowers, minus a couple of beds devoted to herbs. As the trees grew and increased the proportion of our yard in shade, vegetable beds have mostly given way to flower beds. Most of the time, for all practical purposes, I was the sole gardener, though my husband would lend landscaping assistance. The exception was at Easter time, when my daughters’ Easter baskets would contain a couple of packets of seeds which we would plant when the weather would allow it. Forget-me-nots still pop up all over the yard as the lingering aftereffect of my younger daughter’s spectacular first experience with these tenacious little flowers.

However, it did not appear that my daughters’ love of plants went beyond admiration into the realm of the hard work and regular care that a successful garden requires. That is, until recently, when my older daughter returned from her freshman year of college. It turns out that she not only remembered our previously lush flower beds with great fondness, she had even bragged about them to her friends and, wonder of wonders, now wants to reclaim the former glory of our garden from the wilderness. For the past few weekends we have been cleaning up, pulling out, raking, sweeping, digging, and cutting. She has found all the old seed packets that still remain and has thrown these seeds into a couple of sunny beds that we have cleared out; patches of zinnia and cosmos sprouts testify that some of these venerable seeds are still viable.

The perimeter of a more orderly beauty gets pushed out a little farther each weekend and the tangled swamp on the other side gets a little smaller. On Saturday mornings we head out to the local farmers’ market to buy a handful of plants to put in beds or in pots on our deck. Among the Easter basket remains and retired toys in our basement there were also four bird feeders. Two are wooden ones made by my daughters in the Girl Scouts; one bop by a squirrel and most of the seeds spill out onto the ground. The other two are plastic tube feeders bought at the dollar store, and these are functioning spectacularly well so far.

It’s too bad that I cannot introduce my daughter to the mysterious allure of sweet peas, but Virginia is a swamp and cultivated sweet peas do not do well here. I’ll just have to consider adding some wild sweet pea vines to the many other weed vines that constantly threaten to reclaim our little patch in the wilderness.

Some of our daylilies

Deck plants

Monday, June 15, 2009

74th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Annual Swimsuit Edition

Why should Sports Illustrated have all the fun? This is your chance to show off the bathing beauties in your family. Pull out the old photos of Grandma Moses in her seaside bloomers, Auntie Mae in her pin-up girl suit from the 1940s or 50s, cousin Paula in her psychedelic bikini from the 1970s, or even yourself in your Speedo! Let's have some fun here! Memorial Weekend is behind us and that means the start of the summer sun, sand, and lakeside season so let's get in the mood with summer fun photos.

In my post for the latest Smile for the Camera, I whined about having so few pictures of weddings. Well, for the Annual Swimsuit Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, the case is even worse. I only have one old beach picture. There are some pictures of my daughters frolicking in the water, but I have been told that posting these is a no-no.

The two lovely ladies in my sole “beach” picture are my Aunt Johnny Ruth Moore and her mother, Mrs. (Katherine) Peek. This picture must have been taken somewhere in Southern California; my mother and most of her siblings moved there from Baylor County, Texas in the 1940s. Baylor County is miles and miles from any beach.

Aunt Johnny and Mrs. Peek were proper Baptist ladies from the South. They are dressed modestly but also appropriately for the summer; I especially like Mrs. Peek’s white shoes.

Submitted for the 74th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, hosted at Creative Gene.

Memory Monday: Favorite Books from Childhood

In kindergarten I had to go to “speech class” to learn how to speak. My vocabulary had tested out below my age level and I had a slight stutter. These may have been the result of extreme shyness or of overexposure to TV and underexposure to books and conversation.

In first grade I learned how to read. Reading was the beginning. That is, for me, it was the beginning of everything – curiosity, imagination, discovery, engagement with the wider world. The more I read, the more self-confident I became. Moreover, reading wasn’t just entertaining during the actual act of reading, it was an inexhaustible source of entertainment that could be drawn upon at any time for a story line and a cast of characters to propel and populate the imaginary play script that I could run in my head to ward off boredom when the world around did not offer enough amusement, excitement, or interest. TV shows were good for a few plots and characters, but they didn’t seem to have the flexibility or versatility of the plots and characters encountered in books.

While first grade was mostly phonics, mechanics, and Fun with Dick and Jane, in second grade we dove into stories in a big way. Story time, when our teachers would read to us, was magical. But there was also a sense of power and opportunity in the knowledge that we could also dip into the rich world of books on our own.

By third grade, we could send in book orders; I am guessing that even so many years ago it must have been Scholastic Book Club. Though the books were inexpensive, I knew I still had to limit myself, because our family was not “made of money.” Still, I remember one fabulous order that netted me a large stack of books for $3.50; perhaps some of those were “bonus” books.

Most of my favorite books fell into three categories: adventure, science fiction, and stories about families. An early favorite that I remember making a huge impression on me was Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins, read by a teacher in summer school gifted class. It was the first book I remember that presented tragedy without happy endings. People died, animals died, life was often cruel. And yet the story was extremely compelling – survival in a lone struggle against tremendous odds. In one of our favorite play scenarios, my playmates and I pretended to be the wild dogs.

The idea of being resourceful with limited means was a recurring motif in our play. Swiss Family Robinson truly delivered the goods on this score. Being stranded on an island, fighting the occasional band of marauding pirates, creating a comfortable and interesting home and life with only the materials at hand, and taming wild animals who would work and play with us: this was the stuff dreams (or at least those of an 8- or 9-year-old) were made of.

By sixth grade, I remember scouring the school library for interesting books to read. We had some sort of program or contest for piling up credits for each book we read; we had to write a brief report on each book with the title, author, and a summary. I discovered science fiction and fantasy and was particularly fond of Zenna Henderson’s stories about the People. Another book from the sixth grade that made a big impression on me told of the life of a family who I believe were immigrants, or at least the parents were, from Sweden (or possibly Norway). I cannot remember the title of the book or the name of the author and would appreciate any help from anyone who may have read this book and remembers more than I do. As far as I can remember, it starts out describing how the parents met and got married. The father had been unlucky in love in his youth and was a confirmed bachelor in his 40s when he met the mother, who was much younger and had come to work for him either as a housekeeper or secretary. I think they had eight children. The second of these, a daughter nicknamed Button, who was a bit of a flibbertigibbet, was the most memorable; she was probably the author’s alter ego. This story grabbed me a little bit like Island of the Blue Dolphins had; the writing and viewpoint were somewhat more “grown-up” than what I was used to reading, and the inclusion of small and large tragedies made it a more faithful mirror of real life.

In addition to good writing and strong characters and plot, I thought that there must be something in common among the books that I read in childhood that stand out in my memory. However, the “added ingredient" seems to have been divided into two categories. For stories that tended more toward science fiction/fantasy (sometimes referred to as “speculative fiction”), the extra element seems to be the “compelling idea” that sparks the imagination. For stories that were closer to the other end of the spectrum, that is, nonfiction/based on real life, the extra component seems to be the element of shocked fascination accompanying a deeper awareness of the tragic side of life, which is one of the milestones of growing up.

My husband and I have read many books to our daughters; this was done on a regular basis up to the age of 11 or 12 and thereafter for every new Harry Potter book. (Not trusting one another to keep mum about new plot twists, we made the rule that the first reading of each new book had to be done together as a family. To preempt any overly eager family friends who are fast readers from spilling the beans to us, we would engage in a virtual marathon from morning to bedtime, stopping for meals, and shutting out most of the outside world for a few days.)

Some of the books we have read together with our children are classics and/or old favorites, and some are more recent books that we discovered together with out children. The process of discovery and rediscovery with them has been one of the most enjoyable parts of being a parent. In a few more years, when both of my daughters are well out of childhood, I’ll have to ask them which books they remember best.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Three Things I Learned Today

Randy Seaver's assignment for this weekend's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is as follows:

1) Think of three things that you learned about Genealogy or Family History today.

2) Tell us about them in a blog post or a comment to this post.

I have been transcribing obituaries from The Greenville News for my Descendants of Samuel Moore (d. 1828) of Greenville project. Three items I learned today:

1. In addition to having three sons with his first wife, Ruby Ann Smith, William Manning Baldwin had three daughters with his second wife (Lydia Holliday): Nellie Mae, Mildred Joyce, and Shirley Ann.

2. Ruby Alton Baldwin was a man.

3. The name of the only son of August Bennett Forrester and Ethel Mae Baldwin was Milford, not Milton.

Pretty humdrum, but all the little pieces of information are adding up.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Featured Feline Friday: R.B. Koehl

This is my Blogger and Facebook alter ego, R. B. Koehl. Below are the other photos in the series from which my profile photograph (that is, a photograph not of me, but of R.B. trying to catch a ribbon attached to a floating balloon) was taken.

We got R.B. and his brother Boo-Boo back in October 1997. The last of our previous cats had died earlier that year and we had gone catless for about six months. We wanted to see if having no cats improved my husband’s and younger daughter’s asthma. It did not seem to make any difference whether we had cats or not. Moreover, all of us were showing the symptoms of extreme cat withdrawal, so when I saw an ad for kittens on the For Sale bulletin board at work, I pounced. The ad had been placed by Susan and Steve, coworkers famous for rescuing and finding homes for large numbers of cats and kittens abandoned near their country home (which is near a dairy farm). One of our previous four cats was Fred, a sweet orange and white cat (so wonderful that he converted at least two cat haters that I know of into cat lovers, or at least Fred lovers). That made me partial to orange and white cats, so R.B. was one of the two kittens we chose (the other was Boo-Boo, a tuxedo cat described by Susan as “the runt of the litter,” so of course my husband had to pick him).

R.B. is not the brightest bulb on the marquee. You can tell him not to do something a million times and he never learns. He is a good mouser, though (as was Fred). Several times he has escaped out the back door when it was left open by children or workmen. Then the outside frightens him so much he has to go hide under the deck and meow. He tries to act macho when he sees birds, squirrels, and other cats outside, but he can be pushed around, especially by Pipsqueak, his little sister.

R.B. is R.B.’s original name, that is, Steven and Susan named him that. They had named his mother Rene, so he was “Rene’s Baby,” or R.B. We always say it stands for “Really Bright.” We believe that R.B. illustrates a theory we have about why cats chase their tails. According to our theory, the remnant of a primitive brain – a single brain cell – remains in a cat’s tail. When this brain cell tries to have a thought, it makes the tail itch. The cat tries to catch the source of the itch, but its little walnut-sized brain does not have much more wattage than the single brain cell, so the cat is often unsuccessful at this endeavor. Everyone who has seen R.B. chase his tail (and chase it, and chase it…) agrees that this theory just might be true.

To make up for his intellectual shortcomings, R.B. is really photogenic.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Smile for the Camera: Wedding Belles

The word prompt for the 14th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Wedding Belles. Historically, couples married in the month of June to honor Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. Others did it to time conception so births wouldn't interfere with harvest work. And brides in the 15th century chose to marry in June because it coincided with their "annual bath" - that's right - ensuring a relatively sweet-smelling honeymoon. Show us a photograph of a wedding, a wedding party, a bride, a groom, the reception, or even the honeymoon. Bring them to the carnival and share. Admission is free with every photograph!

An embarrassing fact about my collection of old family photos – there are very few wedding pictures. The few exceptions are: some recent pictures of my husband’s niece’s wedding, a worn old (as in 58 years old) newspaper clipping with a picture of one of my cousins in her wedding dress, about a dozen pictures of my own wedding taken and assembled into a small photo album by my in-laws, and two scans of weddings of distant cousins taken in 1904 and 1905 and sent to me by “genealogy cousins.” I chose to feature for this edition of Smile for the Camera the pictures from the early 20th century weddings and a couple of the photographs from my own wedding.

This picture is owned by my third cousin JoAnn S., who generously scanned it and sent it to me. The bride is Nora Kate Cartee (1887-1968), daughter of Anna Jerusha Moore, sister of my great-grandfather Harlston Perrin Moore. The groom is John Andrew Jolly (1880-1910), son of James Albert Jolly and Mary Bolt. Nora Kate and John were married on 30 March 1904 in Anderson County, South Carolina. They had four children together before John’s tragic death in 1910. Many years later Nora Kate married Arthur Walton Dalrymple, who is also a distant relative of mine.

This photograph is owned by my second cousin Edna Rae S., who was kind enough to send me a scan of it. The bride and groom in this picture are Dovie Edna McDonald (1881-1970), daughter of John Jerman McDonald and Mary Elizabeth Wallace, and John Ewing Brinlee (b. 1875), son of Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr. and Eliza Caroline “Disey” Boone; he was one of my grandfather Lawrence Carroll Brinlee’s older half-brothers. Dovie and John were married on 24 September 1905.

And here are two pictures from the wedding described in Getting Married at Dr. Maiden’s House.

Gold wedding bands bought at W. Bell:

Wedding reception at a friend’s house:
-----Rental of premises-----$0
-----Delicious food cooked by friends-----$0

Bride’s duds:
-----Second-hand skirt bought at a Cambridge, MA thrift shop-----$15
-----Cossack-style blouse bought at Bloomingdale’s-----$30
-----Bridal bouquet and garland-----$29.98

Wedding at Dr. Maiden’s house:
-----Services of Dr. Maiden, 97-year old Methodist minister and JP-----$20
-----Rental of Dr. Maiden’s house-----$0

Marrying my honey of 7 years and staying with him for 27 more years (and counting)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Dear Daughters: When I Am Dead and Gone, Please Keep These Things

There have been several blog articles recently on ensuring that our genealogy research will live on after we’re gone. This is definitely a concern I share. I do intend to leave instructions on what is to be done with my research, and I also want the most precious family heirlooms to be kept in the family.

To help my daughters identify these items, I am taking pictures of them and adding them to a folder called “Keep These” in iPhoto on my computer. I would like to post some of these pictures here so that I can share the stories behind the items that make them so precious to me and my husband.

You see, most of these things are very ordinary looking. Some are old and worn, some are chipped, some are dull. And, I am embarrassed to admit, we have a lot of junk lying around this house. Add to that thousands of books, records, CDs, photo albums, and what may eventually be many boxes filled with genealogy files, that amounts to a lot of stuff that my two daughters will have to sort through. How will they be able to identify which items should be kept? Will they be able to remember an offhand remark I made about that little brown and blue coffee cup with the chip that my mother gave me one Christmas?

So here is the first item, the above-mentioned coffee cup. My mother gave it to me one Christmas when I was in college. It has a chip on the rim which my husband repaired many years ago. It is my favorite coffee cup for two reasons. The first is that I like the way the rim feels against my lips when I drink coffee from it; even with the chip, it is very, very smooth, and I am very particular about this. The second reason is that my mother had very little money with which to buy presents for people, so the things that she bought for me are especially dear. She bought me several practical items that were quite sturdy and have endured and had a lot of use through the years, including this cup.

My goodness, how did all that grime get between the tiles?

Wow, what a great talent

Caroline Pointer has. She made this beautiful thank you for me! And I echo Randy Seaver's praise for her article, "Does Time Reveal Mercy?" It's a must read. Thank you so much, Caroline.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Madness Monday: Moores

I love my Moore family. But why do they have to have such a common name? And sometimes they spelled it Moor. Which, when handwritten, often looks like Moon. Oh, and did I mention that there is a big family of Moons in the same area (Greenville District/County, South Carolina)?

Right now, in addition to putting together a list of descendants of Samuel Moore (d. 1828) of Greenville County, South Carolina, I’m trying to figure out some things about Samuel Moore: Who was his wife? Which other Moore families in this area are related to him? Thanks to the wonderful resources available online for Greenville County, I have lots of scraps of information to work with. Maybe too many scraps. I’ll start with his will:

GREENVILLE DISTRICT ) In the name of God Amen

I Samuel Moor being sound in mind that it is allotted for all men to die, do make and ordain this my Last will & testament hereby revoking all others heretofore maid by me.

Item 1st My will and desire is that my son Spencer Moore should have and Enjoy all my Land Lying on the East side of Stoney Creek and one Sorrell Mare

Item 2nd, My will and desire is that my Daughters Elisabeth and Susanna Should have Each of them a bed and furniture which they now claim.

Item 3d, My will and desire is that the Balance of my Land togeather with all the rest of my property Should be sold then first, all my Just debts to be paid then second My son Hanson [or Manson] to have fifty dollars paid to him and the balance to be Eaquily Divided betwixt my lawful Heirs this is my will – Assignd and Seald

this 29th day of January 1828

in the presence of –
Brasher Henderson) Samuel x Moore (L.S.)
Alfred Long ) mark
his )
George x Long )
mark )

Probated Jan. 2nd 1828

Recorded in Will Book B-Page 104

Apt. 5 – File No. 298

This is my transcript of the digital image of his will on the Greenville County Government Historical Records website, which is not, of course, the original copy of the will, but it is still a smidge more complete than the typescript provided by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

Next, I have an indexed abstract of Samuel Moore’s land purchase taken from Dr. A. B. Pruitt’s Abstract of Deeds: Greenville County, SC Books D & E (1795-1798):

1433. Dec. 8, 1798 Elizabeth Wedop (Greenville Co.) to Samuel Moor (same); for $100 sold 100 ac on both sides of Stony Cr; border: Thomas Long on SW, SE, & NE and vacant land on NW; granted Jan. 5, 1789 by Gov. Thomas Pinckney to James Seaborn. (signed) Elizabeth Wedop’s mark “X”; witness James Ashmore, Isaac Cox, & William Ashmore; wit. Oath by I. Cox before Horatio Griffin; rec. Apr. 24, 1799; book E p. 177.

Notice that two of the witnesses on the will are Longs (George and Alfred) and Thomas Long is Samuel Moore’s neighbor. In addition, one of the witnesses on the will of Samuel Moore’s son Spencer is a Long (W. B. Long). Perhaps there was a close relationship simply because they were neighbors or there may also be some ties of kinship.

More images have been added to the Greenville website in addition to wills. has Council of Commissioners minute books, Court of Common Pleas (calendars, index to judgments (defendant), index to judgments (plaintiff)), Court of General Sessions (Contingent Dockets, Dockets), Probate Court (Account Books, Estate Records, Guardian and Trustees Account Books, Index to Estate Books, Miscellaneous Administration and Guardianship Bond Books, Returns, Will Books), Register of Deeds (Conveyance Books, Grantee Index to Conveyances, Grantor Index to Conveyances, Plat Books, Real Estate Mortgage Books, Warrant for Surveys), Sheriff’s Office (Execution Books, Jail Books, Sale Books, Writ Books). has affidavits, deeds, historical maps, indexes, land grants, plats, and a tutorial on how to search the archives.

So now, in addition to an index of the land transactions covered by the deeds, there are images of these documents. I have located and downloaded the image of Samuel Moore’s land purchase but have not yet transcribed it.

The administrator for Samuel Moore’s estate is listed as John Moore; I am guessing that he was a relative, possibly a brother. It would be nice if his first name were a little less common. One of the other tools I am using for figuring out the Moores is, of course, the census. With the Moores, this leads to other problems, namely, too many Moores. On the 1800 census, there are three Samuel Moores and two John Moores. Oh, great. Two of the Samuels and one of the Johns live in another part of Greenville; in addition, the two Samuels, apparently father and son, left the area in 1806. To identify other neighbors, I will be using Mel Odom’s very helpful annotated 1800, 1810, and 1820 censuses on the Greenville County Genweb site. Still, every single Moore whom I believe to be connected has to be “vetted”: does his name appear in these documents in association with the same families that appear on documents with “my “ Moores: Long, Ashmore, Seaborn, Cox, Henderson, Bain, Brasher, Dacus and a few others. One piece of luck is that I have found a Jordan Moore in connection with a number of these names -- finally, a slightly less common first name!

Another find in the deed abstracts has provided a possible candidate for Samuel Moore’s wife: a Polly Richardson Moore, who appears on a deed of the widow Elizabeth Richardson in Dr. A. B. Pruitt’s Abstract of Deeds: Greenville County, SC Books N, O, & P (1823-1828):

4912. Apr. 26, 1823 Elizabeth Richardson, widow (Greenville Dist.) to my sons James Richardson, Joseph Richardson, & Harmon Richardson and daughter Elizabeth Richardson & heirs of Polly Moore deceased (same); for better support & maintenance of grantees after my decease gave Negro woman Silvey & her children Jeff, Nance, Hampton, Polly, Judith, & Shadrach and their increase, all household goods, implements & furniture; provided grantees permit me to keep & enjoy Silvey & her children and household goods & chattels for my natural life and “not otherwise”; grantees to have the property after my death. (signed) Elizabeth Richardson’s mark “X”; (witness) Brasher Henderson, Aquila Long, & Amos Richardson; wit. Oath Nov. 4, 1823 by Brasher Henderson before Benjamin Pollar JQ; Nov. 5, 1823 recorded; book N. p. 148.

Not only do the names Henderson and Long appear here, but this Polly Richardson Moore was deceased by 1823. I am guessing that Samuel Moore’s wife was still alive in 1820 (a woman of the correct age group is shown on in his household on the census) but was not alive in 1828 (she is not named in his will).

So basically all I have to do is sort out about half the families in the Greenville County area in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Where Were Your Ancestors in 1909?

Randy’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings this week is to do the following:

1) Which of your ancestors were alive in 1909?

2) Tell us where your ancestral families were living in 1909. What country, state, county, city/town, etc. Who was in the family at the time? Use the 1910 census as "close enough."

3) Have you found each of these families in the 1910 census?

4) Write a blog post about your response. Or write a comment to this post.

5) Have fun. Learn something!

Since I have my families entered in my genealogy program up to the great-great-grandparent level so far and have also included census information for them when I could find it, it did not take too long to do this one.

(1) All four of my grandparents were alive; my mother’s parents had been married for two years, but my father’s parents would not get married for another two years.

All of my great-grandparents were still alive with the exception of my maternal grandmother’s father, Charles Augustus Floyd, who died in 1894.

All of my known great-great-grandparents had died by this time, though I cannot be certain in the case of the parents of my great-grandmother Susan Elizabeth Smith Brinlee, because I do not know who her parents were. There are some indications that she may have been orphaned when she was a child, however.

(2-3) Maternal grandparents Kirby and Eula Floyd Moore were living in Justice Precinct 5 (the Lancaster-Hutchins area), Dallas County, Texas with their oldest son, my Uncle Howard, age 1.

My maternal grandmother’s mother, Angeline Matlock Floyd, was also living in Justice Precinct 5, Dallas County, Texas with son Finley and daughter Dona.

My maternal grandfather’s parents, Harlston Perrin and Martha Lewis Moore, were also living in Justice Precinct 5, Dallas County, Texas with sons Luther, Clyde, and Preston.

Paternal grandfather Lawrence Brinlee was living with his parents, Hiram and Lizzie Smith Brinlee, in Justice Precinct 2, Hunt County, Texas.

I have not been able to find my paternal grandmother Sallie Norman or her parents William Henry “Jack” and Sara Jane Sisson Norman on the 1910 census, yet. Jack and Sara Norman were in Grayson County, Texas on the 1900 census and in Fannin County on the 1930 census (have not been able to find them on the 1920 census, either!). However, Lawrence and Sallie got married in Greenville, Hunt County, Texas in 1911, so I am guessing that Hunt County may also be a good probability for the Normans in 1910.

You can see a map of the Hutchins area of Dallas County, Texas taken from Sam’s Street Map of Dallas County, 1900, located on Jim Wheat’s Dallas County Texas Archives. The Floyds and Moores would have been living on or around the area in the lower left corner marked “Geo. Floyd” (my great-great-grandfather, father of Charles Augustus Floyd). You can see the name “Mrs. A. Floyd.” The farm of great-grandparents H. P. and Martha Lewis Moore would be one of the triangles somewhere in that area which, according to the key, indicates “Houses, occupied by renters, names not given,” since H. P. Moore was a tenant farmer.

Thanks, Randy – as usual, this was a lot of fun, and it provides a nice snapshot of our ancestors 100 years ago.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Puckerbrush Award for Excellence

I was flabbergasted, flattered, and downright humbled and honored to be awarded the Puckerbrush Award for Excellence by one of my genea-blogging idols, Becky Jamison at Grace and Glory. I have a whole slew of role models in the genea-blogging world that I would love to give this award to; to narrow it down to 10, I selected some blogs from which I have recently learned something (facts, research methods, or just plain old models of good writing). (You all know that not only do I get inspiration from your blogs, I like to steal your ideas, too….). Since I will be continuing with the Blog Showcase series, I will describe how I have personally benefited from these blogs in that series of articles, and will simply list and link here:

Valerie Craft at Begin with Craft
Linda Hughes Hiser at Flipside
Cindy at They That go Down to the Sea
Caroline Pointer at Family Stories
Leah Kleylein at Random Notes
Diana R. at Random Relatives
Patti Browning at Consanguinity
Amy Crooks at Untangled Family Roots
TCasteel at Tangled Trees
Jennifer Trahan at Jennifer’s Genealogy Blog

(Notice that the words "random" and "tangled" appear twice in this list. That was not intentional. But it must reflect a common perception of genealogy as trying to introduce order where chaos exists.)

You can read about Terry Thornton’s inspiration for creating this award here.

And a big thank you to Becky, both for the award and for your wonderful contributions to the genea-blogging community.

Best Places for Research?

As I was working on another article this morning, this question occurred to me: What are the best places for doing genealogy research? By “places” I mean cities, counties, and states (or their equivalents in other countries) rather than individual institutions and repositories. However, “best” could be considered in terms of these institutions and repositories at these locations, either for doing on-site research (at the institution or repository) or on-website (online) research. I have not yet been able to take any “road trips” to do on-site research, but I do know which counties and states I have had the best luck with in finding wonderful online resources. For instance, I consider Greenville, South Carolina to be “genealogy heaven” for the tremendous resources made available by the Greenville County Library and Greenville county government, as well as the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. I have also found some great resources for Texas and for some of its counties. Vermont – not so much, at least as far as online resources are concerned, and it may be that a road trip there would be much more productive. (If anyone reading this has had more success with online resources for Vermont, I would love to hear about it.)

And for those who have done onsite research in various locations, which locations were the best and why: friendly and helpful people in courthouses and libraries, lots of local history and genealogy societies with scads of information and helpful volunteers, beautiful locations in which to spend time doing research? In which areas of the world has your genealogy research been most productive?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brickwall Workshops by the Fairfax Genealogical Society

The Fairfax Genealogical Society will be doing a series of brickwall panels, starting with the September 2009 genealogy education class. Each Society member who wishes to take advantage of this opportunity is asked to submit a Brickwall Submission Form in which the brickwall problem is state as a simple question; this is followed by the basic details known and an outline of previous research done. Here is a copy of the form I have written up (using two previous blog posts on this subject):

Brickwall question: Who are the parents of Susan Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smith, wife of Hiram C. Brinlee, Jr.?

Name: Susan Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smith (maiden name from two of her four children’s death certificates).

Date of birth: 4 April, estimated year 1868 based on claimed age (23) on her 1 December 1891 marriage license with second husband Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr. and on 1910 census (41) and 1920 census (50). A family Bible is said to give 4 April 1856, but her last child was born in 1908. Older ages are also given on her death certificate (date of birth given as 4 April 1860 by her son Cecil Odell Brinlee), July 1958 obituary (98), and 1930 census (73). On her Confederate Widow’s Pension Application, dated 27 July 1925, she gives her age as 68, and this is consistent with the 73 on the 1930 census. However, there is a note written by Lizzie that is appended to the application (the date is September 10th, and the year as written could be 1929 or 1924) in which she writes: “i have lost my correct age i am somewhere in 60 i am not 75.”

Place of birth of Lizzie and her parents: All three censuses on which Lizzie is known to appear indicate that she was born in Tennessee; that state also appears on her death certificate and obituary, as well as on the death certificate of her son Lawrence. Knoxville County has been cited as the county in which she was born, but I do not know what the source for this is. The 1910 and 1920 censuses give North Carolina as the state of her parents’ birth; 1930 gives Tennessee.

Early life: A daughter-in-law said that Lizzie “was from Tennessee and had lived with a family that had taken her in to help work, where she washed dishes by standing on a bucket. Therefore, she had to have been fairly young.” This might indicate that she had been orphaned.

First marriage: Lizzie was said to have been married to a man named Bonner before she married Hiram Brinlee. The 1910 census indicates that she has been married more than once, and the 1930 census indicates that she was 17 at the time of her first marriage. Her name does appear to be “Bonner” on the marriage license (her name is given as Mrs. S. L. Bonner), although it looks as though “Brinlee” was entered first and “Bonner” was then written over it. If Lizzie was born in 1868 and got married at age 17, her marriage to Mr. Bonner would have taken place in around 1885-1886, possibly in Tennessee. Since Lizzie was in Oklahoma when she met Hiram Brinlee, she and Mr. Bonner may have come to Oklahoma for the land rush in 1889 and he may have died there.

Second marriage: Hiram Brinlee and Lizzie were married at White Bead Hill, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Lizzie’s residence is also listed as White Bead Hill on 3 December 1891.

US Federal Census information: Lizzie does not appear with Hiram on the 1900 census (Britton Twp., Oklahoma Co., Oklahoma Territory). Hiram is shown only with his son from his previous marriage, Louis, and a hired hand. Perhaps Lizzie and the children were living elsewhere, but so far I have not been able to find them. 1910 (4 May) – Justice Precinct 2, Hunt Co., Texas. 1920 (30 Jan) – Farris Twp., Atoka Co., Oklahoma. 1930 – Justice Precinct 3, Fannin Co., Texas (living with son Austin). Another possible address is provided on an envelope addressed to Hiram Brinlee at Davis, I. T. (current Garvin and Murray Counties) from William Nelson, Clerk of the Court of the Indian Territory, Ardmore, Indian Territory (the date is not legible, but this information may help date it).

Children: According to the 1910 census, Lizzie had given birth to 7 children, of whom 4 were still living. Those four were all Hiram’s children, but it is not clear if any or all of the remaining three were Hiram’s or Mr. Bonner’s children. The dates and places of birth for the four surviving children are: Lawrence Carroll – 29 Jan 1893 (String Town, Atoka, Oklahoma or, as reported on his WWI Draft Registration Card, Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma), Cordelia Lee – 8 Jan 1895 (Oklahoma), Austin Franklin – 6 Apr 1904 (Farmersville, Collin Co., Texas), and Cecil Odell – 23 Sep 1908 (Collin Co., Texas).

Other items giving clues to location: 27 July 1925: Lizzie files her Confederate Widow’s Pension application from Collin County, Texas. 10 Sep 1929: Lizzie writes a letter requesting assistance with her Pension application; the location is given as Leonard, Texas (Leonard is in Fannin County). The year of Hiram and Lizzie’s move to Texas from Oklahoma may have been 1902, as reported by Lizzie on her Confederate Widow’s Pension Application.

Death: Lizzie Brinlee died on 29 July 1958 in Plano, Collin County, Texas (she was living with her youngest son Cecil Odell Brinlee at that time). Her death certificate indicates her stay in Plano as “several years.” She is buried in Restland Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.

Sources checked:

Certificates of Death of Lizzie and children Lawrence, Austin, and Cordelia
Obituary of Mrs. H. C. Brinlee from the Plano Star-Courier
1900-1930 US Federal Censuses
Marriage license with second husband, Hiram C. Brinlee
Certificate of marriage with second husband, Hiram C. Brinlee
Confederate Widow’s Pension Application
Still need to check: Social Security applications of sons Austin and Cecil Brinlee and death certificate of Cecil Brinlee

I am excited at the prospect of getting some pointers on working on this brickwall with some of the experts in the Fairfax Genealogical Society. I'll post what I learn here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordy Wednesday: More from The Language of Cats – An Illustrated Glossary

Since I find it so difficult to be “wordless” in my Wednesday contributions, I decided to start a new tradition, “Wordy Wednesday,” which still involves one or more pictures, but the pictures will illustrate a term or will otherwise be accompanied by a lot of explanation. I will still participate in Wordless Wednesday when possible.

For my first Wordy Wednesday, I would like to add an item to my Illustrated Glossary of Cat Language. There were many of our cat pictures that I didn’t use for that glossary and we are taking more all the time, plus many of our family terms describing cats were not included in the Glossary. I would also like to feature occasional Mystery Pictures on Wordy Wednesday. So here goes.

Perching – Assuming a cute or artistic pose atop a home appliance or some other item that you might not think of as cat furniture.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Memory Monday: Favorite Toys

As I thought over childhood Christmas and birthday presents (my stash of toys came almost exclusively from these two occasions – both in December – as my family could not afford anything but the smallest of toy purchases outside of these gift-giving events), I tried to recall which presents were the most memorable. It turned out that the most memorable included some toys which I did not end up playing with a whole lot and some which I played with endlessly. This made me stop to think: What was the difference? Sometimes the timing was off – I may have outgrown a particular type of toy or misjudged my interest on a new type of toy.

When it came to dolls, however, the difference came down to size, not so much large vs. small, but life-size vs. smaller than life. Smaller than life – paper dolls, their Colorform equivalents, Barbies, and a handful of hand-me-down 4” dolls from the remainders of someone’s long abandoned playset – won out every time as perennial favorites. The “losing” doll that stuck out in my mind – probably because I felt so guilty at having paid so little attention to her after her first Christmas at our house – was Saucy Walker, a toddler-sized walking doll for which my parents must have paid a small fortune. Tiny Tears, a near baby-sized doll that drank a bottle and afterwards wet her diaper, fared slightly better, probably because (a) we could do “scientific experiments” with her by changing the type and color of the liquid in her bottle (even the boys I played with could get on board with that), and (b) she came with her own suitcase and a couple of different outfits, always good for prolonging a doll’s play time by a few minutes.

But none of these came anywhere close to the hours and hours I would spend, alone and with friends, with smaller dolls and paper dolls. Moreover, I saw this phenomenon repeated with my daughters and their friends: Polly Pockets and Barbies beat out baby dolls, no contest. (For that matter, so did all sorts of animals, from small plastic ones to larger stuffed animals, no matter what size.)

I think the difference has something to do with the level and type of fantasy involved in imaginative play – are you a character within an imaginary scenario in an imaginary world or one of the “gods” outside that world who controls it and everything that happens within it – or at least this seems to be the case with girls. Boys seem to like life-sized toys as much as miniature replicas, and enjoy being both characters in their fantasy play as well as the outside “gods”. For the girls I have known, being a character is fine, too, but it has a limited life, especially when playing with others – it puts the (possibly delicate) egos of little girls on the line. The whole point of this kind of play is to be admired for how beautiful/brilliant/brave your character is and to put her in situations that show off these qualities, and this turns into a game of one-upsmanship that often ends up bruising those little egos. “Pretend I was a beautiful magic bird-girl who had wings and had hundreds of bird friends, and this is my baby who can turn into a bird.” “Pretend I was the queen of all the forest animals and was the most beautiful and magical and they all obeyed me and these were my two little girls who could combine their powers and make you do what they wanted.” “Pretend I got together with all the other animals and we our combined magical powers to kill all three of you.” That stuff usually doesn’t go on too long: half an hour or an hour tops. And if it’s tamer play, such as playing mommies with babies with no further dramatic plot twists, well, that his its limitations, too, mostly because it gets boring.

Little plastic dolls and animals and paper dolls, on the other hand, can be bad. You are there to create the melodrama and to observe it from your lofty heights of goddessdom. Nothing negative reflects back on you, it’s just that selfish/sneaky/skanky doll. “Pretend she was jealous of her friends’ clothes and stole them all.” “Yeah, pretend they found out, stole them back, and cut holes in her clothes.” “Ooh, and pretend she got dressed to go out with her boyfriend and didn’t notice the holes.” This can go on for hours.

Of course, there are levels of Pretend. This was beautifully and succinctly explained to us by the four-year-old son of friends of ours who came to visit. “Plain old Betend,” Payton explained patiently, “is when you have plastic eggs and you betend they’re real eggs. Betend-betend is when you don’t have any eggs at all and you betend that you have some real eggs.”

Well, this ended up being less about memories and more about theories, and all because I felt so bad about not playing with that Saucy Walker doll.

Tiny Tears and me

I don’t know if this doll was an alter ego or a lowly, fallible creature of mine