Putting It All Together

FamilyI have been reading about the “Genealogy Do Over” that is currently in process. I think for a lot of people this is a great idea. Especially for those who, as a beginner genealogist, just added anything they found on Ancestry about their Ancestors without verifying the information or obtaining documentation.  About five years ago I did a “Do Over” only in a slightly different way.

I joined Ancestry.com when it first came out in 1997. I trusted that everything I found on there had been researched and documented. My excitement over this new way of finding my Ancestors clouded my judgment on so many of the lines I included in my tree.

In the “Genealogy Do Over” it is suggested that you totally start over by setting aside all of your research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files. Then start over from scratch, not looking at any of your former research. This is actually a great idea for those who, like me, made the mistake of adding undocumented information to my trees.

For those who just can’t bear to discard all their hard work, maybe you would like to do what I did. Ten years ago I decided

Dad and his horse

Dad and his horse

that I needed to clean up the mess I had made in my trees. I spent countless hours deleting files, doing research and making corrections. Then, five years ago I decided to totally start over but I did not disregard all of my files. After deleting anything that was erroneous, I started with my parents and spent the time gathering everything I knew about them, all the documents, research, stories etc. Then I verified it all. After this I wrote the story of their lives. Using all the information I had gathered I was able to put together a very accurate and interesting story.

I then followed my Dad’s line back as far as I could, doing the exact same thing.  Some of the stories were sparse in information, but I feel confident that each Ancestor was well researched, and documented. I included copies of all the documents at the end of the story so others can see where my information came from. I am now working on my Mother’s side.

Doing it this way, one Ancestor at a time, I will be able to take all the stories I have written about both sides of my family and make a book about each to pass on to my Grandchildren.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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52 Ancestors Week #8 – Rosa Lucille Hayes – Her Life of Service

Rosa Lucille Hayes

Rosa Lucille Hayes is my paternal Grand Aunt. She was born March 23, 1901 in Pleasant Hill Missouri to Hamilton and Elvira (Register) Hayes.  She was the youngest of 9 children. From a very young age she loved taking care of things, from the family pets, the farm animals and the others in her household. This desire began when she was 5 years old and helped nurse her ailing father who died later that year.

Rosie on horse

In 1920, at the age of 19 Rosie enrolled in Nursing School. This had been a lifelong dream. After graduation she began her career at Lexington Memorial Hospital in Lexington, Missouri.  Rosie was what was referred to as a “Modern” woman. She wasn’t interested in getting married and she never did. She enjoyed the dating and courting but she just wanted to live her life her way. She loved the outdoors and animals.

Rosie in lower right with her sisters

Rosie in lower right with her sisters

She dedicated her life to helping others. She took care of any relative that was ill and she sat by the bedside of her dying kin often being the last one to speak with them. She volunteered many hours taking care of children in the hospitals, and rescuing cats and dogs. She was a woman of great love and strength.

Rosies HS

Aunt Rosie died on May 9 1988 at the age of 87. Her Tombstone inscription says it all!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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52 Ancestors #7 -For the Love of his wife –John Parrott

Parrottsville TnMy 3rd Great Grandfather, John Parrott was born in 1740 in Toms Brook, Shenandoah, Virginia to Frederick and Barbara (Edwards) Parrott. He was the oldest of 11 children. In 1761 he married Catherine Meyers. He and Catherine had seven children. In 1769 they moved their family to Tennessee where he founded the town of Parrottsville. (It is currently the third oldest town in that State)

When the Revolutionary War broke out all of his younger brothers joined the fight. It wasn’t until July 4 1777 that John enlisted as a private in Colonel William Grayson’s Virginia Regiment. He would have been 37 at the time of his enlistment, comparatively old for a soldier in those days. His age probably accounts for why he did not enlist earlier when his brothers did. It was undoubtedly a sacrifice for him to serve, for he left a wife of 17 years and a large family behind.

John’s regiment was one of sixteen organized by a congressional resolution in Congress in December 1777. Four of the sixteen units were composed largely of Virginians. John’s commander, William Grayson, had been assistant secretary and aide-de-camp to George Washington at the time he was put in command of his regiment. John was assigned to Captain Thomas Triplett’s company. By April 1779, the regiment, significantly reduced in size due to a smallpox epidemic, merged with Colonel Nathaniel Gist’s regiment, where John served under the command of Captain Joseph Smith.

The entire Parrott family was very Patriotic. That is why it was a shock that on August 19, 1779 John deserted his regiment after serving only 14 months of his three-year commitment. It was not uncommon during the Revolutionary War for soldiers to leave their troops for family emergencies. John deserted because the love of his life was gravely ill. He cared for Catherine until her death in 1781. Within a few months John married Louisa Bean. Together they had 5 children, the youngest one being Catherine my 3rd Great Grandmother. Catherine was named for John’s first wife.

John Parrott DAR

John Parrott HSAlthough John deserted his responsibility to the War he was still honored with a commemorative marker at his gravesite by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The marker that was placed there in 1783 still remains today. It is speculated that this was because he only deserted for the love of his wife and not because he didn’t believe in the cause.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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52 Ancestors-Week 6 – Thomas Garnett – So Far Away

SO FAR AWAY

When I first saw the title for this week’s blog I thought of many ways to write about “So Far Away.” I chose far away in time because over 400 years is really “far away” from today.

JamestownFort

This particular Ancestor, Thomas Garnett came to America in 1609 aboard the “Swan” a ship that was in the fleet that brought Lord Delaware to the Virginia colony of Jamestown. He came as an “indentured servant” to one Captain William Powell.  Thomas Garnett is my maternal 9th Grandfather. The interesting part is that Captain William Powell is my paternal 9th Grandfather.  Thomas worked for 10 years to pay off his debt. Once he did this, he married Elizabeth Powell (no relation to William) who was among the very first women to arrive in the colony. Previously the settlers had almost all been men. In 1619 a boat load of young women arrived to become wives of the lonely settlers. Each settler gave the London Company 120 pounds of tobacco in payment for his wife’s passage. Thomas was given some land and tobacco at the time he was released from servant hood.

Pillory

William Powell was made Captain of the Governor’s Guard and Lieutenant Governor. He was also a representative in the First Assembly of Virginia. William was also a drunk and a thief. When Thomas Garnett accused him of these things Powell had Thomas publically flogged every day for 4 days and his ear nailed to the pillory.

In 1623, William Powell was killed by Indians when he led a raid against the Chickahominy tribe. Thomas Garnett went on to become a man of wealth and prestige.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Leaving Your Lessons Behind

TreeAs Genealogists we fully understand the importance of leaving behind as much information and documentation as possible for the next generations. Most of us have struggled to obtain what we have and may have already made a commitment to make it easier for our descendants. The problem is what SHOULD we leave for those coming behind us?

There are many Blogs out there that give us ideas of the some of the categories we may want to write about. Some are topics like writing about our own childhood, what was popular in our culture, writing about our religion and why we chose it, and much more. So I thought I would just throw one more idea into the mix.

Lessons Learned

As we grow older, hopefully we have learned a few lessons in life. We have had some good and bad experiences as a result of some decisions we have made. I believe that these are some of the things we should also write about. I mean most of us have told our own children about making right decisions and why, so why not share those with future generations? I would love to know why some of my Ancestors made the decision to move from one place to another, why they chose the occupation they had and so much more.

part 4If you have read my series about my Mom and her superstations back in October you would know why that when I got married and had children I decided then that I would NOT be anything like her.  There have been many times in my life when I have been faced with a decision and I have literally thought “What would Mom do?” and then I would do the exact opposite.  I becamequestion mark a widow at the age of 31, being left with 3 children; I learned a lot of lessons. My husband had committed suicide as a result of a pornography addiction so I had to learn how to deal with that. I started a ministry for women whose husbands, boyfriends or fathers had a porn addiction and as a result I have counseled thousands of women. My husband of 28 years, was diagnosed with vascular dementia seven years ago and believe me, I have learned a tremendous amount of lessons from that!

These are the lessons I want to leave for my grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all those who come after me. If I, by leaving behind a written documentation of what I have been through in life can write about the lessons I have learned while going through it all and those lessons can help future generations, then I will feel that it has all been worth it.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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#52 Ancestors – Week #5 – John Henry McGowan: He “Plowed Through” Tradition

farmer_with_plough_horsesWith this challenge I thought it would be easy to find someone to write about. After all the majority of my Ancestors were indeed farmers. So thinking of the term “Plowing Through” I thought about something to do with farming, viola! A match made in heaven. Then I started thinking of the other uses of this term and decided to go in a little different direction.

John Henry McGowan, my maternal Great Grandfather, was born May 10 1863 in the State of Missouri. His Great Grandfather, Francis McGowan had immigrated to this country from Dublin, Ireland when he was 13 years old and became a Naturalized Citizen in 1811 at the age of 17. Francis was a farmer and he owned a considerable amount of land in Tennessee. His son James D. McGowan was born in Tennessee but he moved his family to Missouri after the Civil War. He settled near the Missouri River where he too was a farmer. John was raised on that farm in Camden Missouri. He and his seven siblings worked the farm as was the custom of families in those days. He worked there until he was 24 years old.

Miners photo

In 1887 John married Asenath “Dolly” Walt in Wellington Missouri. He immediately went to work at Harris Coal Mine near Camden. His family had hoped he would be a farmer, but it just didn’t “suit” him. John and Dolly had eight children, one son and seven daughters. They never bought property; instead they lived in rented houses their entire married lives. His wife died in 1931 and he never John McGowan HSremarried. John worked in the Coal Mines for over 45 years. When he retired he bought a small home in Lexington Missouri and he lived there until his death in 1957 at the age of 93.

John “Plowed Through” the family tradition of farming. All of his siblings either continued farming or married a farmer.  He opened up new opportunities for his own family allowing them to decide for themselves what occupation they pursued.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available onAmazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Please Define Famous

FamousIn our search for our Ancestors we always experience that excited anticipation of possibly discovering that one famous person in our lineage. Finding someone who accomplished some great feat or invented something used by millions or who became President or who was an outlaw can bring color and excitement to our trees. When you gather together with other Genealogists you would now have something interesting to tell. Talking with family about these persons may peak their interest in their own history and of those who came before them.  I just wonder, How do we define “Famous”?

Webster’s dictionary defines it this way “known or recognized by very many people: having fame”.

In today’s society the term fame or being famous is applied to anyone who can get themselves in front of a TV camera, or across the internet regardless of the reason. Most are just famous for being famous, really not earning the “title” by doing anything worthwhile.  So I just wonder by what standard we measure those we deem famous in our own families.

Colby Rucker sign

To me, my 4th Great Grandfather Colby Rucker who fought in the Revolutionary war should be called famous. He volunteered to fight at the age of 17, defying his father in doing so and even after he was captured and imprisoned by the British, upon his escape he returned to fight till the end of the war. I JamestownFortconsider my 9th Great Grandfather  William Powell famous because he came to America, Jamestown Virginia to be exact, in 1609. He survived the massacre of 1622 but was killed in 1623. Regardless of how some may feel about what happened once immigrants came and forcibly took over this country, he was still brave to come to this strange land, far from all he knew. I believe my 4th Great Grandmother, Permelia Loving Permelia Loving Allen 2Allen was famous. At the age of 66 she became a widow, after 47 years of marriage.  4 years later after her husband’s estate was settled at the age of 70 she personally lead a group of settlers from Cole County Missouri to Tarrant County Texas. Included in this group were 8 of her 10 children and their families. She was one of the first women to own land in this county and she donated land for the Mount Gilead Baptist Church to be built. This remarkable woman witnessed the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War and she died in her 92nd year.

These ordinary people who did extraordinary things are more “famous” in my eyes than some of the other “famous” people in my trees.  These are the stories I want to tell, the ones I am most proud of. Maybe we should rethink our definition of “Famous”. My new definition would be: “Those ordinary individuals, who through their own convictions succeeded to accomplish remarkable things that very few others are aware of”.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available at Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Famous, Genealogy, Jamestown Colony, Revolutionary War, Texas