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Are You My Cousin?: May 2010

Are You My Cousin?

Discovering My Ancestors -- One Cousin at a Time

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

I tell the stories of my ancestors’ lives. Whether they lived 20 years ago or 200 years ago, they each have a story to tell. Some ancestors tell their stories willingly. Others must have their stories carefully teased from the records. Sometimes the stories are sad. Sometimes the stories are happy. Sometimes the stories are just funny. Regardless, my ancestors’ stories shaped their lives and the lives of those that followed. Come and share in the tales!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Marriage Certificate for J A White and Stella Holyfield

Bob Carter kindly sent me a copy of my great-grandparents marriage certificate this week. Bob researches Surry County, NC families. His Surry County Cousins website is here. Thanks, Bob!




It states that J A (James Abe) White , age 21, of Surry County, NC and Estella Holyfield, age 18, of Surry County, NC were married 6 Jul 1913 at the home of A D Marion in Eldora Township, Surry County, NC. I discovered that my great-grandmother's name was Estella and not just Stella. (I think that will surprise a few cousins.) Genealogically speaking, I've learned a very good lesson this week. Even when you know the family members and their dates, read the original documents. There just might be one more piece of information to learn.

I was fortunate to know my great-grandmother White when I was young. When we visited my grandparents and she was there also, she and I shared a bedroom. I was always fascinated by her long hair. I used to watch her brush it and braid it. She would then wrap the braid around her head -- all without looking in the mirror. Funny, the things a child will remember.

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Robert Noel Talbott

Robert Noel Talbott was the young son of John Robert "Bob" Talbott and Lottie Osborne of Halifax County, VA. Because young Robert was born and then died between census years, for many researchers this may be the only record of his life to be found. He is listed in the family Bible though who currently has the family Bible I do not know. He is buried next to his grandfather John B Talbott at Harmony Methodist Church in Alton, VA. Other members buried in this church cemetery include his parents as well as his brother Ammon Talbott and his family. (Ammon lived to adulthood and raised a family in the Alton, VA area.)

Besides telling me of the young Robert's existence, this tombstone also tells me more of the family's story and when they came to live in this area of Halifax County, VA. I already knew through federal census records that John Robert "Bob" Talbott lived with his parents from 1870 to at least 1910. This includes the time period after he was married in 1908. In 1910 the family was living in the Bannister district of Halifax County. Sarah Talbott, Bob's mother, is buried in the Pleasant Grove Christian Church cemetery. By 1914, Robert Noel Talbott was the first Talbott buried in the Harmony Methodist Church cemetery-20 miles away. So, sometime between 1910 and 1914, the family of John Robert Talbott which included included his father John B Talbott, moved to the Alton, Halifax, VA area. John B Talbott was buried there in 1924.

As I was studying my ancestors' graves in this church cemetery, an current church member stopped by to chat. You can imagine my excitement when he was able to tell me where the John Robert Talbott home place used to be -- approximately 3/4 mile from where we were standing! Today the property is gated private property, but I can at least pinpoint it on the map.

Amazing! All that from a child's tombstone.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Clara Haley

Clara Holt Haley (1867-1959) is sitting on the left getting ready to blow out some birthday candles. Okay, Haley cousins, can anyone tell me who the boy and the man are? Thanks!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday Walter "Jack" Talbott

Walter C Talbott
b. 6 Jul 1902
d. 20 Sep 1967
Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA

Walter C "Jack" Talbott was the eighth child of Joseph Merritt and Rosa (Bowen) Talbott. I shared his tombstone to show the Mason's insignia on it. Many of the tombstones in this family have this insignia. It played an important role in the lives of the Talbott men. I look forward to learning more about this organization and the role it played in my ancestors' lives.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

The Non-Population Census

I have a confession to make. I've ignored the non-population census schedules in my research. (Gasp!) But not anymore. I clicked on the "non-population" census prompt at ancestry.com one evening and a whole new level of insight about my ancestors appeared. Take a look at what I found.

John B Talbott was my great x 3 grandfather farming in Red Bank, Halifax Co, VA in 1880. According to the 1880 Agricultural Census, he owned his farm that consisted of 10 acres of tilled land, 1 acre of permanent meadow, 10 acres of woodland and 40 acres of "other". All totaled he owned about 61 acres of land valued at about 400 dollars. He owned about 125 dollars worth of live stock. He spent $25 dollars in building and repairing fences during the previous year (1879). Interestingly, he did not pay out wages to laborers. I assume his two sons Joseph Merritt and John Robert who were living with him at the time were working the farm as well.


I found the live stock section interesting. Grandaddy John ( as the family referred to him) owned 1 milk cow, 1 calf, 2 pigs, and 4 chickens. He sold 2 cows during 1879. His milk cow(s) produced 75 pounds of butter and chickens produced 20 dozen eggs.


The family grew 30 acres of corn (210 bushels), 2 acres of oats (10 bushels), 5 acres of wheat (21 bushels), 1/2 acre of potatoes (20 bushels), and 4 acres of tobacco (2000 pounds). The farm produced 10 bushels of apples and 20 cords of wood.


What a fascinating glimpse into the family farm. I can't wait to check the other census schedules and follow the family's farm life.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Mint Recipe


When my grandmother Cecile White Howard (1917-1983) retired she took a candy making class. Being a child with a sweet tooth, I was a willing taster and student. This is the recipe that she received in her class. After she passed away I continued to make mints with using her recipe and molds. I just tried to never think about the fat and calories in these little treats!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Mattie Haley

This stylish young lady is Mary Madaline (Mattie) Haley.
1909-2005
Daughter of William and Clara Haley
Wife of Lewis Mason

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Unusual Stone

I recently came across this unusual tombstone in Oak Ridge Cemetery in South Boston, VA. (Cousins, this is NOT one of our ancestors.) It is the grave of William Munford McCorkle who died in 1894. I found smaller and less elaborate stones in the image of trees with the insignia of Woodsmen of the Woods. This is by far the most elaborate I saw. Did you notice the Confederate Cross, too?

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday -- A Page From Aunt Elton's Scrapbook

Nancy Carol

This is a page from Elton Carr Dixon Finley's scrapbook that she began in about 1927. This is one of several magazine pictures of Nancy Carol she cut and pasted into her book. A little Internet research revealed that Nancy Carol starred in silent movies in the 1920's.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday C R Elliott


C R Elliott
Oct 16, 1861
June 22, 1915
Gone But Not Forgotten

This is the tombstone that stands next to my great x 3 grandmother Sarah Owen Talbott at Pleasant Grove Christian Church near Halifax, VA. As you can see, the stone appears to have been broken off its original base and repaired. I believe CR Elliott to have been the son-in-law of Sarah and John B Talbott, husband of their daughter Bettie. I also have clues that he may be related to me down another line as well.

What I found interesting was where his grave is located. He and his mother-in-law Sarah Talbott are side by side in a plot with no other apparent relatives. The plot is #28 and according to the cemetery directory is owned by a George Newcomb. In addition to Sarah Talbott and CR Elliott, there is a Solomon Clay and four graves marked by field stones. I know of no connection between my ancestors and these other two men. At least, not yet....

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Monday, May 3, 2010

A Few More Updates

I am attempting a few more pages to my blog. Things may come and go over the next few days, so bear with me. There is a learning curve that I am quite enjoying tackling! A big thanks to Thomas at Geneabloggers for very helpful posts and advice.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mounting Blocks

Mounting Block at Pleasant Grove Christian Church
Halifax, VA

On my recent genealogy "tour" of Halifax County, VA, I encountered these two structures I had never seen before. They are the mounting blocks for getting into and out of carriages. They are also referred to as carriage steps and common in the 19th century. Can't you just see ladies in their Sunday best mounting the steps to get into their carriage? Hmm....I wonder if my great x 3 grandmother Sarah Owen Talbott walked these steps (at Pleasant Grove). Have I placed my feet where hers were?
Mounting Block at Harmony United Methodist Church
Alton, VA


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