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Are You My Cousin?: April 2012

Are You My Cousin?

Discovering My Ancestors -- One Cousin at a Time

My Photo
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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Prom Dress, Sewing Machines and Family History

I found myself last week needing to alter a prom dress.  I do know how to sew, but it is not something I do very often.  When I do sew, I tend to stick to simple projects with straight seams.  I actually feel more comfortable with hand sewing, but this project required taking in the bodice of dress.  For that I needed the sewing machine.

This was my mother's sewing machine acquired in the early 1960's. No programmable stitching features here. It usually sits in a very nice cabinet.  I needed more space and better lighting for this project, so I took it out of the cabinet for this project.  Fixing the bodice of the dress was a breeze (much to my relief!)  To fix the hem of the dress I went looking for the instruction book since I needed to use a special foot. 

Look what I found in the drawer: 

It was published in 1958-that's before I was born!

Below is my grandmother's (Cecile White Howard) sewing machine.  It is a White rotary sewing machine and still works, though it definitely needs servicing. It sits in a beautiful cabinet.

Sewing was definitely a large part of my female ancestors' lives.  Mostly out of necessity, I am sure. Sewing skills were also a source of pride. Though my great grandmothers Esther Richardson Talbott and Mattie Maddox Howard both as young mothers in the 1920's, oral history tells me  they were very talented seamstresses.

While I may not sew with the skills of my great grandmothers, the prom dress alterations turned out great.


Friday, April 27, 2012

If I Didn't Know Better....

Like many genealogists, I have been searching the 1940 census records for my family.  My first "find" was my paternal grandfather's family.  The Talbotts were exactly where I knew I would find them - Cluster Springs, VA.  That's outside of South Boston, VA in Halifax County.

My first thought was this record will greatly confuse Talbott family researchers in the future!

The head of household is listed as Boss H Talbott.  No problem there.  Boss (Bossy) was my great grandfather.  Crafton is listed next as Boss's son.  (That's my grandfather.) Again, no problem there.  Elma was Boss's daughter.

Would you recognize Boss's 2 year old grandson's name as Graham?  I fear his name will indexed incorrectly in the future.

Maugarite V is listed as Boss's daughter-in-law.  Since Bossy only had one son to live to adulthood, this would be Grandaddy's (Crafton's) wife.  The issue here?  Crafton's wife was Anita Carr, not Maugarite.

Who was Maugarite?  She was the teenage daughter of  Otis M Talbott, Boss's brother.  She is listed in Otis's household (correctly) and incorrectly in Boss's household in the same record.

Obviously the census taker made a mistake.  There were a lot of Talbotts in the area and I can imagine the names started to run together after a while.  Or maybe the census taker had eyes for the young Maugarite?!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

I've Got A New Look!

It felt like time for a new look!

I tried out a lot of new looks. It was sort of like buying a new dress.  I had to find the right size, the right color.....

Then I had to decide if my new look felt comfortable.

I like my new dress blog look.  Hope you do,too!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Old NC Education Building

NC Education Building Being Built

My great grandfather Connie M. Howard (1891-1995) worked in construction. He would often need to leave his family to travel to where he could find work.  One area he found work in was Raleigh, NC.  Above is a photograph of the (old) NC Education Building being built.  It is located in downtown Raleigh across from the old Capitol Building. The 1936 Raleigh directory lists my great grandfather as a "hoisting eng". I suspect the crane in the photograph is the one he operated.

Below is how the building looks today.

Old NC Education Building 2012


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - The Tuck Brothers

Bryan Tuck and Dewey Tuck
Jan 25, 1899 - Jan 5 1919

This double tombstone sits in the New Hope Methodist Church in Randolph, VA.  This is in the same cemetery where some of my Haley ancestors are buried. To my knowledge, I have no relationship to the Tuck brothers of Halifax County.  I just found their tombstone interesting.

It is a double tombstone and brothers were members of the Woodmen of the World.  Bryan and Dewey were the sons of Joseph A and Victoria Tuck.  At first glance the brothers appear to be twins with the same birth date of 25 Jan 1899.  

But then notice the death dates.  They are both listed as 5 Jan 1919.  Interesting and tragic.....twin brothers who died on the same day. But did they?

I did a quick search online for the Tuck brothers.  Several online Tuck family trees include both Bryan and Dewey Tuck.  These trees also have Dewey Tuck alive and living in Campbell County in 1930.  None of the trees have the brothers listed as twins.

So, Tuck family researchers, I hope the photograph is useful to you.  This stone certainly sparked my curiosity even though the brothers are not part of my ancestry.  I just might have to research their story further one day.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Old White Family Cemetery

*I was granted permission by the photographer and the webmaster of to post these photographs on my blog.

These are photographs of an Old White Cemetery in Surry County, NC.  The cemetery is located off Brindle Road near Dobson, NC.  It is on private property and considered abandoned According to, most of the stones are are field stones.  Other unmarked graves are thought to be there as well.

I do not know if this is my White family line I have been researching. (I am working with another White family researcher to untangle the Whites of Surry County, NC.) Given the area of the Surry County where this cemetery is located and its age, I would not be surprised if this is the site of some of the my earlier White generation(s). I admit, that could be wishful thinking!

If you are a White family researcher and know more about this abandoned cemetery or the Whites of Surry County, NC , please contact me. 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Clarkton Bridge

This is a photograph of the Clarkton Bridge that crosses the Staunton River Bridge.  The bridge was built in 1902 and connected Halifax County, VA  with Charlotte County, VA.  On the back of this photo is the name Percy Haley.  Percy (1890-1959) was the son of  Will and Clara Haley.  I'm not sure if the young man leaning on the railing of the bridge is actually Percy or not.

Here is a close-up.

 Cousins - does anyone know?

Today the bridge is open to foot traffic only.  You can read more about this bridge here and see current photos of the bridge here.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Updated My Website

This post is especially for my White family cousins.  I have added my(our) White family tree on my website Lisa's Genealogy.  This is a very basic family tree, but I am trying to share our tree without overwhelming anyone.  Not too many generations back, this White family history gets confusing.  Theories abound about the origin of the family, but facts are few. I'll continue to share new discoveries here on my blog.

Guess which White family member this young man is...

I have added photographs to the photo gallery.  As I did this, I realized I do not have a lot of photographs of my great grandparents James Abe and Stella (Holyfield) White.  I would love to see photographs of them in their younger years. Does anyone have any?


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm Three Today!

Three years ago I started this blog with the simple purpose of telling my ancestors' stories.  I had no idea of the people I would meet - both new friends and new cousins.  What fun it has been! Thank you for sharing your stories with me.  I look forward to sharing more with you.

My Third Birthday


Monday, April 2, 2012

Clarkton Schoolhouse

I grew up hearing stories from my grandmother about her early childhood in Clarkton, VA.  Her grandfather William Haley and her great grandfather Branch W. Holt  both served as overseers on the Clarkton Plantation in the northern part of Halifax County.  Clarkton still stands today.  You can read more about it here.

I found this photograph of the Clarkton schoolhouse among my grandmother's pictures.  Many of the Haley cousins of my grandmother's generation attended school here.

Cousins, does this bring back any memories or family stories?

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