Thursday, February 25, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday Winnie's Glasses

These are the glasses of Winnie Haley Carr, my great grandmother. I was rather intrigued by these glasses when I found them among her things. These appear to be reading glasses.

Having worn glasses myself since I was a child, I couldn't help wondering what type of optometry services were around back then (i.e. the late 1800's/early 1900's). Where did one purchase glasses? Did children often receive glasses? What would life have been like if I had grown up in a time when glasses were not so common place?

I think my favorite part of the treasures I have received is the thought processes and questions they trigger for me. When I sit and ponder and blog about my ancestors' possessions, I get to know them better. I think a little deeper about their daily lives. I raise questions that lead to further discoveries in my research.

The best part: I get to tell their stories.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Branch Holt

Branch W Holt
Halifax County, VA

I received this photo (of a portrait) this past summer. Branch was the father of Clara Holt Haley and my great x3 grandfather. I have not formally researched my Holt family line, but have plans to do so in the future. In the meantime, I introduce you to Branch W Holt.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandmom! (Belatedly)

Cecile White Howard
My grandmother was Cecile White Howard born 18 Feb 1917. I'm a little late honoring her on her birthday as intended, but I know she would have forgiven me. She was the wife of James Lester Howard and the daughter of James Abe and Stella (Holyfield) White. Grandmom grew up in Dobson,Surry County, NC.

I am very fortunate to have grown up knowing my grandmother quite well. Visits to my grandparents Howard in the summers was always a highlight. Grandmom and Grandad would often take us on picnics, fishing trips and special day trips.

One favorite activity Grandmom and I would do was candy making. Candy making class was one of the things she did when she retired. I was a very willing taste tester! She taught me how to make chocolate covered cherries and molded mints among other treats. I particularly excelled at the mints and still have and use my grandmother's molds today.

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Grandmom!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday Button Hooks

These button hooks belonged to my great-grandmother Winnie Haley Carr (1891-1970) of Halifax County, VA. I believe these hooks were used for her shoes. Thank goodness for slip-ons!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Willliam and Clara Haley

William Henry Haley (1860-1948)
Clara Holt Haley (1867-1959)
Halifax and Charlotte Counties, VA

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Harwards Keep Beckoning

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will know that one of the main family lines that I research is my Howard (Harward) line. Many variations of the name exist, and it was not until the early 1900's that my direct line consistently used the spelling Howard. Harward and Harwood were the most common prior to this time. I find myself frequently using the spelling interchangeably much like my ancestors did.

I had recently taken a break from the Harward line. I had reached a brick wall and needed to step back from this family for a while so I could come back with a fresh approach. I'm back...again. Hopefully my time away from this line will give me that fresh approach and find me new answers to my questions. My first question: Where do I go from here?

Here is my Howard/Harward line in review:

My great grandfather was Connie M Howard
My great-great grandfather was Allen Suggs Howard (Harward)
My great x 3 grandfather was Caswell Suggs Harward
My great x 4 grandfather was George Harward
My great x 5 grandfather was James Harward
My great x 6 grandfather was William Harward (Howard)

It is at William that I get stuck. I have evidence of him buying land in Orange County, NC (now Wake County) in 1767. This is the earliest that I can place in Orange County, NC. Note: This area of land was on what became the Wake and Chatham County lines when those counties were formed in 1771.

There is another Harward/Harwood in the same area of NC that I have not mentioned before now. That is Absalom Harwood. He shows up in Chatham County, NC in 1772 and buys land in 1778 on the Wake and Chatham County lines next to my William. (Interestingly, both surnames are spelled Herrard in the document.)

Prior to being in Chatham and Wake Counties, Absalom was in Edgecomb Co, NC. He was the son of Joseph and Sarah Harwood. I have not been able to find any evidence of William having been in Edgecombe Co.

At this point, I have not been able to determine the relationship between William and Absalom, or if in fact there is one. It would seem that two men with such similar surnames living next to each other would be related in some way.

So, I believe I have now answered my own question:

Where do I go from here?

I need to research Absalom's line further. Both in Chatham and Wake Counties as well as back into Edgecombe Co.

So, fellow genealogists and readers, thanks for "listening" as I have begun work through my brick wall. I'll keep you posted.

PS I'm open to suggestions as well!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family Flag

I have seen other genealogy bloggers making and displaying their "family flags" representing their heritage. I decided to join in on the fun. The top of my flag is of course, the American flag. Many of my ancestors came to America in its infancy to live and raise the next generations. They were predominantly farmers settling in Virginia and later North Carolina. I am fortunate to have found many records including their personal correspondences that document their lives. Through public records, their photos, and letters, they have told me many of their stories.

The lower left hand flag is that of the United Kingdom. While I have yet to get many (make that any) of my family lines back across the Atlantic, based on their surnames and locations, it is generally believed they came from England and Scotland. ( I do have one line that is definitively back to Scotland based on another researcher's research.)

The bottom right hand flag is that of Ireland. My great-great grandmother Joanna Barrett White was an Irish immigrant in the 1800's. I have had little experience in immigrant research and look forward to learning more about that area of genealogy as I uncover her past.

I "fly" my flag proudly!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

By The Moonlight

And at night er'e we go to slumber so light,
We'll watch the moon rise and the stars shining bright.

It is time again to participate in another postcard carnival hosted by A Canadian Family . The theme this time is "light". I confess I had to look through many of my postcards to find one to fit the theme. I'm rather intrigued by the postcard I picked.

This card is addressed to Mr. Jonnie Boss Talbott of Jeffress, VA, my great grandfather. His given name was Johnny Hodias Talbott, but somewhere along the way he changed his name to Boss Henry or just Bossy. This card is the first time I have ever seen the combination of his old and new names used this this way.

The second thing I noticed about this card is that it was never mailed. There is no stamp or postmark. Perhaps it was delivered by it's writer or a friend. The translation is difficult as the writing is faded and with essentially no punctuation. Below is the best translation I have come up with so far.

Helow ahl Boss. How are you by this time O.K. I hope Received your card and was offal [?awful] to here from you and was so sorry that I was not down there to the dancing. You just aught to move here with us. Coming home that day we got home at 1 o'clock. Mr. J W Hopkin did not go home until new years day. From a friend _____L. Torry gave my love to all.

Lastly, I do not know the identity of the sender. In two places, the name ______ Torry appears. I have no Torry listed in my database. There is also a Mr. Hopkin mentioned in the text. Again, I do not know who this might be.

Hopefully one day the mystery of this card will be solved. In the meantime, enjoy the postcard!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentine Postcard

I thought February would be a good time to share some of the Valentine's Day postcards that I have. The above postcard was sent to my great grandmother Esther Lee Richardson prior to her marriage. It reads:
Round is the ring
that has no end.
So is my love for you, my friend.
Guess who?
Unfortunately the date on the postmark has faded, so I do not know the exact year Esther received this card. Nor do I know who sent it? Was "Guess who" Boss Henry Talbott, her future husband? Or was "Guess who" a suitor before Boss Henry came into the picture? (Personally I like to think the sender was my great grandfather Boss Henry.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Confederate Money

Confederate $20 bill (Front)

Confederate $20bill (Back)

One of the wonderful things about researching my family history is that I have become the keeper for many of the family heirlooms. The above confederate money was in a box of my great grandmother Winifred (Winnie) Haley Carr's things. Initially when going through the box I thought someone had dropped a $20 bill into it. I was rather stunned when I discovered that I was actually holding confederate money. I don't know who the original owner of the money was. Winnie (1891-1970) was certainly not the original owner. It could possibly be one of her grandparents. It could also have been from her husband Silas Baker Carr's (1878-1968) side of the family.

The original ownership will likely never be known, but civil war era history came alive in a way I had not yet experienced.

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