Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Did It! (Mostly)

The month of November I have been participating in NaBloPoMo.  The goal was to post to my blog every day  for the month.

And I did.

Mostly......  The Thanksgiving holiday  got me off track a bit.  Maybe it was all the stuffing I ate (?).  Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I learned quite a bit from this exercise in blogging.

  • Planning is crucial.  I've never used an editorial calendar, but I can certainly see the advantages in one.
  • A "tickler file" is a great resource.  Mine is just a pad of paper sitting on my desk where I can write down an idea for a post. There is no need to be fancy or even high tech. I just need to be able to write my ideas down when I think of them to keep from forgetting them later.  
  • You "meet" lots of fun people with similar interests in the blogging world when you are tending to your blog consistently.
  • My enjoyment of telling my ancestors' stories was reinforced.  Telling their stories was why I started this blog  and why I continue to blog.  I can't not tell their stories.
December begins tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to participating in Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.  As I talk with my older relatives this Christmas season, I'm planning on talking about how they celebrated Christmas while growing up.  I'll let you know what I learn.

(PS - Don't look for a post every day.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Granddaddy!

Arthur Crafton Talbott
27 Nov 1916 - 27 Feb 1993

Arthur "Crafton" Talbott
Age 3 years

Crafton Talbott as a Young Man 

Crafton Talbott and his "million dollar smile".

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dobson High School Basketball Team

This is a photograph from my grandmother's photo album.  She (Cecile White) played on the girls' team in high school.  Unfortunately she did not include a picture of the girls' team in her album.

Surnames of the boys' team players include Collins, Long, Melton and White, Folger, Sims, Monday, Cockerham, and Phillips.

While none of these young men are directly related to me, I suspect a couple may be cousins on collateral lines.  I wanted to share this photograph in case there are other Surry County, NC researchers who might researching these surnames.  I just might have other photographs of your ancestor.  One never knows where a photograph of an ancestor might turn up.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Needing Help Deciphering A Name

This is an entry in the 1826 Surry County, North Carolina List of Taxables.  I am having a difficult time deciphering this entry and wondered if my genealogy blogging friends could help.  I have a few ideas, but don't want to mislead anyone.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Ancestors' Signatures

I have recently begun intensely researching my White family line of Surry County, NC.  I am working with another White family researcher and we are making some great discoveries.  (I'll share more about the that in future posts.)

One of the fun things I found this week is the signature of my GGGG grandfather John White as he wrote it in Feb 1833.  A White is Albert White, the son of John.  These signatures are at the bottom of a bond naming John White as executor of his uncle John Seagrove's estate.

The last signature is that of Pleasant Venable.  I'm not sure yet where he fits into things.

There is much work to be done to be done on this White family line.  There are MANY White families out there and MANY men named John White.  All are not our ancestors.

If you are a White family researcher with Surry County connections, I'd like to hear from you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

They're Here!

I posted about DH winning a pickle guessing contest at the NC State Fair recently.

What did he win?

Pickles, of course.

And they are here!

Mt. Olive Pickle Prize Pack

This is the stuff family stories and family history is made of - the little things.

(I'm partial to the Kosher Dills myself.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Genealogy Quote

One of my cousins sent me some genealogy cartoons and quotes this week.  (Isn't having cousins great?) I thought I would share one of my favorites.

Family faces are magic mirrors.  Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.
-Gail  Lumet Buckley

To see more fun cartoons and quotes, go here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Granddaddy and the CCC Part 3

Granddaddy (Lester Howard) was discharged from the Civilian Conservation Corps in June 1937.  I love how the Certificate of Discharge gives a description of his.  Brown Hair. Brown eyes.  Ruddy Complexion.  (Just what is a ruddy complexion?!) Five feet, 6 1/2 inches.  

The service record for my grandfather tells me much I already knew  from just having known him.  He was a good worker and  a great cook!   Granddaddy returned to his family in Sanford, NC.  Two years later he married Cecile White of Surry County, NC.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Comer Cousins

Tommie Sprinkle, Mary Comer, Webster Comer
Cecil White
Wordless Wednesday (with an explanation!)  This is a photograph from the teenage scrapbook of Cecile White Howard.  She's the tall girl in the back.  Mary and Webster Comer would have been her cousins, but I'm not so sure about Tommie Sprinkle.  I haven't found any other Sprinkles in the White family line.

I do have a number of photographs of my grandmother's friends and cousins taken in Surry County, NC.  If you are researching families in this area, let me know.  You never know.  I might have a photograph of your ancestor!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talented Tuesday - Music In The Carr Family

Winnie Haley Carr
I think these photographs tell the story of how important music was in the Carr (and Haley) family. When the extended family gathered there was always music and dancing.

 Above is Winnie Carr, my great grandmother.  Not only did she play the guitar, she also played the banjo.  Her banjo is still in the family today.  Below is her oldest son Lawrence.

Lawrence Baker Carr
Lawrence also played the guitar and sang.   He and his younger brother Ernest even performed on the local radio station.  I believe this was in Danville, VA.  [Cousins -Let me know if I have the wrong location.]  Ernest had a good singing voice and sang in worship services while serving in the navy during WWII.

Carr and Haley Cousins - Do you have photographs of other family members with musical instruments? I'd love to share them here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pickles, Books and John White

Last week was an exciting week around here.  It all started with.....

Pickles.  DH found out he won the "pickle guessing" contest at the NC state fair earlier this month.  You know the contest - the one where you guess how many baby pickles are in the enormous jar.  We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of his pickle prize pack. (Try saying that three times fast!)  I'm just hoping the prize pack does not arrive in an 18 wheeler delivery truck.

The excitement progressed onto....

Books.  I was notified later in the week that I had won a daily prize from BlogHer for participating in the NaBloPoMo.  This is the challenge I have taken to post to my blog every day for the month of November.  I am waiting for books from Penguin (Publishers) to arrive.  I love to read and am thrilled to have won books.

And then....

John White.  You knew there had to be some genealogy in here somewhere.  I was contacted by another White researcher who provided some wonderful clues to research regarding my ancestor John White of Surry County, NC.

Top all of this off with fall leaf color at its peak.  It truly was an exciting week!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Granddaddy and the CCC Part 3

CCC Buddies

My grandfather made a number of very good friends while serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.  This photograph of Lester with his CCC buddies was taken in High Point, NC.  (After serving at the camp in Old Fort, NC, Granddaddy was transferred to a camp in High Point, NC.) I love the hats!  I know that even years later, Granddaddy and Clay McIntosh continued their friendship.  The two men and their families visited back and forth.

When Granddaddy started in the CCC he made $30 a month.  Here is what he did with that money:

We would send 25 dollars to our family and we got five dollars.  I sent mine to Aunt Ammie.  She a widow living on the farm with Grandfather Howard [Suggy Howard] and helping to care for Jewel and Clayton [Lester's siblings]. This I did about three years.  The five dollars took care of my cigarettes, (I smoked at that time.) hair cuts and maybe a date or two.  A movie cost ten maybe five cents and sandwich ten cents hot dog five cents.

Lester eventually transferred to the CCC camp in Yanceyville, NC where he was promoted to first cook and made $45.00 per month.  While there he helped feed two hundred men a day for more than two years.  To supplement his monthly salary he began selling belt buckles and fancy pillow covers. I would like to know the story behind those fancy pillow covers.  Where did he get them and who bought them?  I have to assume a lot of young women received these as gifts.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Granddaddy and the CCC Part 2

Lester Howard recovering from pneumonia

Not long after arriving at the CCC camp in Old Fort, NC, Granddaddy became ill.  Quite ill, actually.  Here are his words:

...I did not get out of bed.  When I did not report the C.O. and the company Dr., a Captain Kerr, came to check.  After examining me I was sent to the hospital with pneumonia for five weeks.  I was very sick.  High fever and packed in ice for several days.  The doctors did not give me much chance.  After the hospital I did not have any duties for some time......

There is more to come.......

Friday, November 11, 2011

Follow Friday

Here are a few of the fun and interesting things I found on the web this week. Check them out.  I'm sure you will find them interesting!

The Chart Chick:  I have enjoyed following the Janet as she is striving to stir her children's interest in genealogy.   She is very creative and I look forward to trying to implementing some of her ideas.

(Mis)Adventures of a Genealogy:  Cinamon shared a great link to the American Meteorological Society where one can discover the weather of your ancestors. Want to know what the weather was like in the early 1900's?Go here to check it out.  I spent a little too much time playing exploring this website.

Pinterest:  Pinterest is essentially a visual bookmarking site. Instead of bookmarking a website, one bookmarks a visual image. Each image has a link back to the website it came from. These images can be organized into virtual bulletin boards. While not a genealogy website, if you type "family history" or "genealogy" into the search box, many related images (and ultimately links) result.  I enjoy displaying my family heritage as well as making family heritage crafts.  I found lots of good ideas on Pinterest.  I've also found a number of family history books I would like to read through this site.  One needs an "invite" to participate at Pinterest; however, I just clicked "Request and Invite" and one appeared in my e-mail inbox.  Quite simple, really!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

CCC Camp and my Grandfather

My grandfather James Lester Howard (Lester) was a good cook.  It was not unusual to wake up and find him in the kitchen making a full breakfast.  I was particularly fond of his cooked apples.  He told us he learned to cook when he served in the CCC camps as a young man.

It was many years later as I pursued my family history that I began to wonder exactly what was the CCC camp that Granddaddy talked about.  He occasionally talked about things he did at the camp.  He talked about being the cook.  He told us stories about how sick he got from pneumonia.  Granddaddy saw his first snowfall while serving in the CCC.  To a kid, it sounded a little like summer camp.

But then that changed.  

I came into possession of my grandfather's journal written in the 1990's.  The journal is fairly short, but much of his writing is about his experience in the CCC. Looking beneath the words the reader finds what Granddaddy did not say in words.  His experience with the CCC had a tremendous impact on his life.  He made life long friends there and for the first time was able to enjoy a little spending money.

I'll let Granddaddy tell most of his story, but first a little background on the CCC.

The CCC camp or Civilian Conservation Corps was a work relief program put in place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 during the Great Depression.  The program was designed for unmarried men ages 18-25.  Many of the men enrolled were from "relief families". These men worked to develop and restore federal, state and local natural resources.  In return, the men were provided with a small salary.  They were organized into companies and resided in  military type camps.  Examples of the projects they worked on were erecting fire towers, planting of trees in federal forests, building of fire roads and working on soil erosion projects.

(You can learn more about the CCC  here and here.  PBS aired an excellent documentary on the CCC entitled American Experience: Civilian Conservation Corps. ) 

Excerpted from journal of Lester Howard:

July 14-1994

A Mr. Cashier who came Down to fish and hunt told us about The CC Camps.  I had never heard about.  Had first started about six months before. Paying thirty dollars a month.  We would send 25 dollars to our family and we got five dollars.  ........

After signing we were sent to Fort Bragg for physicals about 3 weeks.  This was November 1933 [Granddaddy was 18 years old.] I choose to go to Old Fort from there.  So did Robert [Robert Johnston was the son of Cornie Maddox Johnston and first cousin to Lester.] I had never been to the mountains.  There were icles [icicles] hanging off those cliffs six feet long.  I began to wonder if I was in the right place.

The CCC provided my grandfather not only a way to financially assist his family, but also an opportunity to see a different part of the state.  I remember him talking about those icicles.  For a teenager from the Sandhills of NC, the cold was quite a shock!

Stayed tuned!  There is more to the story to share!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Stella and James Abe White

Stella (Holyfield) and James Abe White
of Surry County, NC
1963 - 50th Wedding Anniversary
My Great Grandparents

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Another Interesting Tombstone

This is a tombstone for Rachel Blythe, wife of A G Bauer.  She died in 1897 at the age of 26.  The stone is located in the Oakwood Cemetery in Wake County, NC.  Rachel's husband was an architect and erected this stone monument for his wife.   Her photograph is attached inside the columns.  It is damaged, but her image is still visible.  This is the first time I have seen a person's photograph on a tombstone.  Quite a lovely tribute to his young wife.

I did find interesting the fact that husband and wife had different surnames.  I wonder if Blythe was Rachel's maiden name?

(Cousins- Just in case you are wondering, this is not one of our ancestors.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Favorite Resource

For those of you who research in North Carolina, I wanted to share with you a resource I use regularly.  It is the 2009 edition of Guide to County Records in the North Carolina State Archives published by the North Carolina  Office of Archives and History.    This is a wonderful resource that lists the original and microfilmed records of each NC county that are housed at the NC Archives.  As I develop my research plans, I consult my copy to determine which records the archives have.  That way, I can be more efficient with my actual time in the archives.

For example, when I was researching the Howard/Harward family living in Moore County, NC in the mid-late 1800's, I consulted my guide.  I quickly learned that Moore County is a "burned" county. Land records and many court records prior to the courthouse fire in 1889 were mostly lost, so I knew not to spend time looking for these.  I did discover that one tax book from 1852-1860 survived the fire.  This surviving record was one of a few to survive the fire and fortunately I was able to place my ancestors in a specific location in the county for that time period.  I was able to complete this part of my research fairly quickly since I knew what to look for ahead of time.

Do any other NC researchers use this regularly?

(I ordered my copy from here.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Baby Care 1940's Style

Back in the summer I became the curator of sorts (if you will) of several generations worth of family history material.  Among my grandmother's things I found this large envelope.

I opened it to find this:

A Baby care manual published by The Parent's Institute, Inc. out of New York. (That really is a cute baby on the front cover!)

This is the table of contents of all the articles in the manual - articles that are not really that different from the magazines today.  For example there is Caring for you newborn infant, This is the Way a Baby Grows, and Guard Against Children's Diseases.  My favorite was the article on a new mother's schedule.  According to the article, after caring for the baby and the home a new mother should have an hour of "free time" in which to entertain friends or do something for herself.  Entertaining never crossed my mind in those "newborn days"!

Actually, this manual appears is in excellent condition.  Almost untouched. I wonder if my grandmother even used it.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Good Deed

These two photographs bring back some fun memories.  Not so much of the horse (maybe pony?), but the story behind how my grandfather Lester Howard came to own her.

First, let me introduce you to my grandfather:

He was the true Southern Gentleman.  The caretaker in the family.  He never met a stranger.  So, it was no surprise when he bought a raffle ticket to support the local boy scouts. 

The problem came when he won the raffle.  The prize?  A mare.  Did I mention that the mare was pregnant? You can just make out the baby behind its mother.

I personally was thrilled!  I was just a little girl and had visions of riding the pony through the pastures.  The pony and I would be best friends.  In reality, I was scared of it!

Just where does a man with no farm keep a pony?  On a friend's farm, of course. (I still remember Mr. McKinney and his small farm.  We used to fish in his pond.)

The following year my grandfather graciously donated the mare and her offspring back to the Boy Scouts to be raffled off.  

No, Granddaddy did not buy a raffle ticket!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Follow Friday

Here is another edition of Follow Friday featuring some of the interesting things I have found on the internet this week.

I'll start with NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month.  (I talked about this yesterday.) Head over to BlogHer to find out more about the challenge to bloggers to post every day the month of November.

I like Harriet's take on blogging this month over at Genealogy Fun.  She's blogging about things she is thankful for.  A great reminder to us all.  Thanks, Harriet!

Free Genealogy Resources provided some food for thought with the post Personal Feelings and Genealogy.  I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on how to handle information we find that can be painful to others in the family.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Family Interviews

I had FB message from a cousin last week telling me about an elderly cousin who was a teenager when my great grandmother Mattie Maddox Howard died.  She remembers Mattie.

How have I let this cousin slip off my "family history interview" radar? I'll be making plans shortly to interview this lovely lady.

I have come to realize there are many in the family lines that still need to be interviewed. Some for a first time. Some for a second (or third) time.   I recognize that I am fortunate to have so many relatives to interview.

It's time to step out of the archives and/or away from the computer databases.  It's time to tap into the family sources.  It's time to learn what the records cannot tell me.

Cousins- I'm going to need your help with this.  I've started a list, but let me know who you think I should interview about the family history.

I challenge my fellow genealogists to seek out family members to interview this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Blog Posting Month

November appears to be the National Blog Posting Month.  Participating bloggers post to their blog every day during the month.  Should I do it?  Can I do it?

Cinamon at (Mis)Adventures of  a Genealogist and Michelle at The Turning of Generations have inspired me to jump in with them.  It is a daunting task.  (I'm already behind a day!) Will I have enough ideas?  Geneabloggers and BlogHer  are both great places to find blogging prompts.  I don't usually use a lot of blogging prompts.  Mostly, I post on what is on my mind and that might account for the irregularity in my posting.

So, I'm taking the challenge.

Thanks Cinamon and Michelle for the inspiration!
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