Monday, December 27, 2010

George Howard - An Update

I recently posted on my great x 4 grandfather George Howard (Harward) of Wake and Moore Counties, NC. (See that post here.) Since that time, I have been back to the NC Archives to gather more information on George and his family.

On this trip I focused on the tax records of Moore County, NC form 1852-1858. These are some of the few records that survived the Moore County courthouse fire of 1889. George is listed each year as owning land in Moore County tax district #4. In 1852 and 1853 George is listed as paying taxes on 446 acres of land. From 1854-1858, he paid taxes on 207 acres of land. During this time period, both his sons James C and Caswell begin to appear in the tax records living close. Likely, the brothers received land from their father.

One of the more exciting pieces of information I learned was approximately where George and his sons lived in Moore County. Given that the land records for the county were destroyed, this was the earlist record of my ancestors' location within the county I have found. On the tax records was listed a location for each person. In the case of George and his sons, this location was listed as Fall Creek. By 1854, Caswell Howard is listed with two locations: Fall Creek and Daniel [Daniley's] Creek. I found the location of these two creeks on a Moore County map for 1747-1847. Both creeks are off the northwest branch of the Cape Fear River in the northeast corner of Moore County just over the county line from Wake County. (This area would later become Lee County in 1907.) While George moved his family out of Wake County, he did not move that far from his Howard/Harward relatives of Wake and Chatham counties.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Pocket Tree - A Review

The Pocket Tree is a nifty little product I tried out recently. It is a 9 generation family tree chart that I filled out and carry with me in my purse. On the chart are spaces for my ancestors' names, and pertinent dates. Another nice feature of the Pocket Tree are the interview tips and questions to use when interviewing a family member about the family history. All folded up it only measures about 6 3/4" by 4". The perfect size to fit in my purse or research bag. When unfolded it measures approximately 27" x 8". You can learn more about the Pocket Tree here.

When my Pocket Tree arrived in the mail I began to fill it out. One of my first thoughts was how convenient to be able to see my family tree at a glance. When I research at the state archives or local libraries, I do not take my computer. I print the needed parts of my tree or family group sheets and take those with me. Needless to say, I find myself shuffling between too much paper. Yes, the computer would be easier, but I tend to move around when I research. I might be in the original records areas to start and move on to the microfilm room and back again. The Pocket Tree has lets me carry my family tree easily as I move through my research day.

I am very excited to take my Pocket Tree with me next month when I get to meet new cousins on a family line I have been researching. The Pocket Tree will let me show our ancestral line. I am hopeful it will also spark conversations on other less researched family lines. Over the holidays, I plan on keeping my Pocket Tree in my purse as I travel among family gatherings. I anticipate many opportunities to share our heritage.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Calendar - Christmas Cookies

Cookie dough + Lots of Flour + Lots of Red and Green Sprinkles = Delicious Christmas Cookies for Santa!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent Calendar - Santa Claus

Santa Claus....where do I begin? My earliest memory of Santa is one of fear. When I was little we would go to the annual holiday Christmas party put on by the company for which my dad worked. It was held at the local armory. I remember getting dressed up in my red dress and white tights. Christmas parties are fun, right? Something you look forward to? I was looking forward to the stocking filled with candy I would get. What I was not looking forward to was having to sit in the sleigh next to Santa Claus to get it. I was very afraid of that stranger who dressed funny, but to get the stocking with candy I did it. I climbed in the sleigh, got my picture taken, took the stocking and made a hasty retreat.

I am still not to crazy about the man (i.e. stranger) in red.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent Calendar - Christmas Cards

I thought I would share some of the Christmas cards my ancestors sent. All three postcards were sent to my great grandmother Esther Lee Richardson. The card above was sent to her from her cousin Atwood Gosney. The postmark is not readable, however, it would does date prior to Christmas 1915.

The second card was sent to Esther by J. H. The sender may have been her husband-to-be Bossy Talbott. Bossy was born Johnnie Hodias Talbott. No one in the family is quite sure when he decided to change his name to Boss Henry.

This last postcard was sent to Esther in 1914and is simply signed "Your friend".

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Calendar - Holiday Food

I daresay there are few other families who celebrate Christmas morning with this delicacy. After the presents are opened, we sit down to chocolate waffles with ice cream and chocolate syrup! We've even been known to add chocolate chips if we have any. You can imagine the sugar rush (and the "crash" that comes later!). Regardless, it is a delicious way to start the day.

I do not know how this tradition got started. We are generally a healthy eating family. Somewhere someone found a recipe that "looked good". We tried it once, and a tradition was born. It is quirky I know, but it's ours. Perhaps that's the most important thing.
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