When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wordless Wednesday~Mystery Girl


Well...a few words~



Unknown Little Girl
Sumter, South Carolina
1939


This picture was in a scrapbook belonging to my maternal Grandmother Azile Juanita (Daughrity) Roberts Sullivan (1921-2009). No name was given and nothing was written on the back. Grandmom would have been 18 at the time this picture was taken so it's not a school friend of hers. 
 Neighbor or family member perhaps?  
I would love to get this picture back to her family.
Do you recognize this mystery girl?




Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!












Monday, November 28, 2016

Mailbox Monday~Letters from Mattie: Part 1

Kate and Jimmy Ryan
1940's
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Kathryn Louise (Baker) Ryan (1899-1987) was my paternal Great Grandmother's sister. Affectionately known as "Auntie Kate", she was the genealogist of her generation. Much of my early research on the Baker family comes from the information she collected and passed on to me. She kept many things belonging to the generations before her including pictures, bibles, obituaries, documents and personal items. 

When Auntie Kate died, my father rescued a box full of her treasures from the trash. Among these items were letters she received from her Mother, Martha "Mattie"Victoria (Bradford) Baker (1862-1947) which all seem to have been written about 1925. Kate and her husband were living in Wadesboro, North Carolina at the time these were sent to her. 

Letters from Mattie
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Only two envelopes were included with the 4 letters. They were both empty. None of the letters included a date, but some gave enough clues to narrow down a month in which it was probably written. Fortunately, one held enough information to determine which envelope it had been sent in. 

Mattie Baker
Before 1935
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Letter 1-
This letter is not dated and doesn't give any information as to when it was written, but the people Mattie writes about puts the letter in the 1925 time period. It possibly could be the letter that goes in the empty February 5, 1925, envelope.

Mattie is writing to daughter Kate about a trip taken to visit son James Alpheus Baker (1893-1974) who they called "Allie". 
Allie, wife Ethel Vivian (Ogg) Baker (1895-1979), and daughter Dorothy Alpheus (Baker) Billings (1915-1987) were living in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Her  granddaughter, Mary (Baker) Hudson (1920-2010) -my grandmother- is on the trip with her. 
It appears that she is writing the letter from the home of her daughter, my Great Grandmother, Emma Ruth (Baker) Early (1901-1993). She talks about riding in the car belonging to "Jube", my Great Grandfather Jubal Ransom Early (1888-1964). Mattie is having quite the time visiting her children and says that she will be going to the home of her daughter Ella"Bess" Fair (Baker) Wells (1889-1971) next. 
Mattie also talks about "Didy". This may be a nickname for Auntie Kate's husband James  "Jimmy" Patrick Ryan (1893-1950).
       
1  Tuesday, a.m.  
Mattie Baker Letter pg. 1
©Cheri Hudson Passey

 Well I am still among 
 the red hills not doing
one thing but eating
and sleeping and riding
 around having a good
time, but we can't ride
now for Jube had to go
off in the car and will
be gone all week
 but you know I am not
any crazy about a car
no way and I love to walk
 when I feel well. I intended
going to Besses [sic]Thursday
but Jube said if I would







2
stay until Sunday that  
Mattie Baker Letter pg.2
©Cheri Hudson Passey
they would take me to
Columbia in the car and 
I would so much rather
go that way than on the
train so I will stay until 
about Tuesday with Bess
and then go on home. I
made my stay at Charlotte
short and sweet for I
could not make myself at
 home they treated me all
right but oh my that                          
 Dorothy she was just to [sic]
much for me and she was










3
Mattie Baker Letter pg. 3
©Cheri Hudson Passey
so mean and cross to
Mary the poor little thing    
 look like she was
miserable the whole time we
was there when we got to
Ruth's she look like a
bird out of a cage and
I was all most as bad for
she fed me just about the
way she did you and you
know that did not suit
me at all and Allie was
not there at all only at
night and would leave'soon every morning so I
did not see much of him
and Ethel spent the evenings 
in bed reading so you see
I had a lively time not
knowing anybody





4
Mattie Baker Letter pg. 4
©Cheri Hudson Passey

but oh my I have been  
eating since I've been
here just like I did there
and enjoyed it they all have been so sweet to me
I speck [sic] I will be saying
I don't want to go home
why would love to see
the folks at home for I
know they need me at
home tell Didy I hope that
his business is still
improving since I left.
for Allie said I must
have brought him good
luck to his I think I
better come again. I have told all the news so I will close
so I will say by by [sic] for this time
love for you both from Mother




What fun to read about Mattie's adventures at her children's homes! From her irritation at her son's home to riding around in a car at her daughter's my Great Great Grandmother's personality comes through in these four pages. 
Letter number two will be posted in a couple of weeks as Mailbox Monday~Letters from Mattie continues.


Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
 Together we can find our people.
 Thanks so much for stopping by!







Sunday, November 27, 2016

This Week On My Family History Calendar


November 29~
   My paternal 6th Great Grandparents, Samuel Cook and Alice (Cook) Dargan (1753-?) were married on this day in 1771. They would be celebrating their 245th wedding anniversary. They were most likely married in the Sumter District area of South Carolina.

Nov. 30-
 Louvinia Blanche (Thames) Hudson (1886-1918), my paternal Great Grandmother, died 98 years ago. Blanche was 32 years old when she died a week after having her first child.  Her cause of death was due to "complications of childbirth". Blanche died at home in Clarendon County, South Carolina and was buried in Home Branch Cemetery.
Louvinia Blanche (Thames) Hudson
Headstone
Home Branch Cemetery
Clarendon County, South Carolina
©Cheri Hudson Passey
Blanche Hudson Tribute
The Manning Times
(Manning, South Carolina)
19 Dec. 1919 pg8


December 1~
    Beulah Mae (Price) Roberts (1897-1980), my maternal Great Grandmother, died 36 years ago in Camden, Kershaw, South Carolina at the age of 83. She is buried in Quaker Cemetery, Kershaw, South Carolina.


BeulahP. Roberts
Headstone
Quaker Cemetery
Camden, Kershaw, South Carolina
©Cheri Hudson Passey


Gold Star Mother
BeulahP. Roberts
Gold Star Mother
Quaker Cemetery
Camden, Kershaw, South Carolina
©Cheri Hudson Passey

December 2~
    This day marks the 217 anniversary of the birth of my paternal 4th Great Grandfather. John Milton Dargan (1799-1847). He was born in Sumter District, South Carolina and was the son of John Dargan (1749-1817) and Mary (Strother) Dargan (1772-1822).


Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.

 Together we can find our people.

 Thanks so much for stopping by!



Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance!



You know the dance. You know you've done it. The one every researcher does after finding something new. The one where you want to jump up and down and shout to everyone around that you found the document, contacted a cousin who has the family Bible, made a DNA connection or found a whole new branch to your tree. The one that is met with glazed stares and eye rolls.
                                                          Celebration Sunday is a place to share your discoveries. 
This is a weekly series to enable everyone to tell about their Genealogy Happy Dance moment. This can be done by scrolling down and adding your story to the comments section. You may also put a link to a blog post.



                                                                 
My Happy Dance This Week:  Being with family for Thanksgiving, sharing time together and making memories was worth doing that dance this week. Not all of my family could be together in one place, but I am so grateful for those who could join us. We spent the day at my parents home for Turkey and all the trimmings. Pictures were taken and we shared stories from the past. We took a few hours and cleaned out their shed for them and felt good about doing some service. It certainly helped to burn off some of those pies we had eaten! As per family tradition, we started the season by opening Christmas pajamas and all the children received a special ornament to hang on the tree that reflects what they had been doing over the past year. To end up the day we gathered to watch a Christmas movie.  Happy Dance moments to remember. What was yours this week?




                                                                                           Share your discovery!
                                                                                   Let the dancing commence!




Looking forward to reading about your Happy Dance moment!
Thanks so much for stopping by!




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgivings Past




Newspapers can give us a clue as to what was going on in our ancestor's lives.  A search of the word Thanksgiving in the historical newspapers of Sumter County, South Carolina gave some interesting results about the way the day may have been celebrated by my ancestors who lived in that area over the years.




The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Dec. 6, 1905, pg 5
Image from Newspapers.com


As much as things change, they stay the same. In this article from 1905, an opinion was given about stores being open on Thanksgiving Day. 
It was thought it showed a lack of being thankful. 
The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
9 Nov. 1887, pg. 6
Image from Newspapers.com



  This announcement in 1887 shows a list of those businesses who were committed to staying closed.


















Getting ready for the traditional turkey dinner was a little different years ago. For most, heading to the grocery store was not an option.
Most of my ancestors were farmers and would have gone out to hunt for their main course. They were given notice as to whether turkeys were plentiful or in short supply in a given year and in this case, where to find them.


The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 22, 1881 pg. 3
Image from Newspapers.com


My in town ancestors may have been lucky enough to order theirs.


The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 10, 1897 pg 3
Image from Newspapers.com


What about cooking and serving? Here's an add for those essentials.


The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
28 Nov. 1906 pg. 6
Image from Newspapers.com






The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 19, 1911 pg. 4
Image from Newspapers.com


Does your family dress up for the big 
day? Wearing your best is a tradition held in many families.                               



The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 23, 1912 pg. 2
Image from Newspapers.com































Did your ancestors travel to visit family on Thanksgiving Day?
The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 17, 1897 pg. 4
Image from Newspapers.com

What kind of celebrations were held in your ancestor's neighborhoods? Here's some reports from Bishopville and Sumter.


The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
30 Nov. 1886 pg.2
Image from Newspapers.com








The Sumter Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Dec. 1, 1920 pg. 3
Image from Newspapers.com















Pisgah Baptist Church Services


The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 13, 1909 pg. 4
Image from Newspapers.com

And a not so celebratory one
The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Dec. 2, 1884 pg. 3
Image from Newspapers.com



Then there were the football games!


The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 30, 1931 pg. 6
Image from Newspapers. com


You know that stuffed feeling we all get after eating too much Thanksgiving dinner? Our ancestor's felt it too.

The Sumter Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 26, 1902 pg. 2
Image from Newspapers.com


Finally, a holiday is always a good excuse for advertising business.

The Watchman and Southron
(Sumter, South Carolina)
Nov. 29, 1905 pg. 7
Image from Newspapers.com

What was Thanksgiving like for your ancestors? Take a look at the newspapers from their communities to get an idea. Most likely they celebrated in much the same way you do today. You may even discover traditions that have been passed down through the years. 


Happy Thanksgiving!



Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


                       


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesday's Tip~Gettin' By With Help From Our Friends-Melissa Corn Finlay


This time our Tuesday's Tip comes from Melissa Corn Finlay of www.finlayfamily.org and littlefamilytree.com.



After a quarter century of genealogical research, I have noticed there are a few fundamental activities that lead to more effective and thorough research with less backtracking or duplication. Now who doesn't want that? These aren't research tips, per se, but they are an important part of my research process.


1. Make note of all the clues in every document you find, even if they don't seem relevant at the time. Those clues may be key in future research! How many times has a census record listed a person in the household that "wasn't family"? Or a death record has an informant that you do not recognize? How many records contain addresses which we gloss over because they are not a vital detail? What may not seem pertinent to the current research question you are answering, may be incredibly important to unraveling a future question. I find that it is easier for me to recognize and note all the clues in a document if I take the time to transcribe it completely. Then I make notes below the transcription of the less-than-obvious clues the document provides, along with a list of questions these clues leave me with.

2. Review your previous notes on the person you are researching, and also their extended family members. (Remember those clues that might be key in future research?) I wish my memory was good enough to remember minute details of research I did a decade ago, but I have a hard time remembering those kinds of details on research I did last month. When reviving research from some time ago, or starting research on a person related to someone that has been researched before, it is helpful to revisit the previous research notes and refresh your memory about the clues therein.

3. Trace the siblings, additional spouses, half siblings, cousins, etc. They all have clues for your direct line ancestors. So many, many research questions are answered not through the individual person's records, but through their extended family members' combined records. For example, one man I researched left few detailed records of his own, but the story of his life became clear through his daughter's records and his second wife's records. (She lived to 105 and outlived three husbands!)

4. Write your ancestor's life story in narrative form. Once you have done fairly thorough research on an ancestor, take the time to write out a life sketch, or a non-fiction story about that person.  Some ancestors have a very apparent theme running through their life that can be the focus of the story, weaving in the life events along the way. For some ancestors, a simple but complete life sketch is adequate. For either type of narrative, I refer frequently to the person's life timeline and their extended family timeline, and a world event timeline. You will be surprised how this exercise reveals patterns, events, and gaping holes you wouldn't notice otherwise. Plus, after all the hard work of uncovering a person's life through documents, it really is the capstone activity of our genealogical work to write the story!

5. Put your family tree out there and share generously. Whether you call it Genealogy Karma, Genealogy Serendipity, or the Golden Rule of Genealogy, you will be rewarded with distant cousins sharing generously with you! I have hosted my full genealogy database (the actual one I am editing, adding to and working on) at my website since 2002. Because it is my working database, it is not perfect, in fact some parts of the tree are downright messy. Messy or not, it has been a great way to share. In that time I have been blessed to be contacted by dozens of distantly related cousins, as well as others who are researching associates of one of the individuals in the database. Not only has it been wonderful to make these personal connections, but I have been floored by the reciprocal giving that has occurred. When I share what I have, I gain a new friend and often new photos, new data, and sometimes new generations to add to my tree.


Melissa Corn Finlay is a genealogist, an entrepreneur, a gardener, a homeschooler, mama to 7 fantastic children, and wife to the love of her happily ever after. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family History-Genealogy from Brigham Young University. She has been researching her own family lines for over 25 years. Connect with her at www.finlayfamily.org  www.yellowforktech.com & www.homegrownhabitat.com








Thanks for the tips on the research process, Melissa. It's always good to see how others work!

Share your ideas and thoughts about how you research in the comments below!

Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!



Sunday, November 20, 2016

This Week On My Family History Calendar

November 20-November 26


Nov. 22~
    My paternal Grandfather, Benjamin Allen Hudson (1918-1976), was born 98 years ago in Clarendon County, South Carolina. He was the only child of John McSwain Hudson (1880-1961) and Louvinia Blanche Thames (1886-1918). 
Benjamin Allen Hudson
About 1920
Clarendon County, South Carolina
©Cheri Hudson Passey


 William Gordon Bonner Stukes (1745-?), my paternal 6th Great Grandfather, was born 271 years ago in Cambridge, England.

Nov. 23~
 Ellen Caroline (Martin) Early (1850-1926), my paternal Great Great Grandmother, died 90 years ago in Columbia, Richland, South Carolina. She was 76 years old. Ellen is buried in the Bethesda Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Statesville, Iredell, North Carolina.

 The 196th wedding anniversary of my paternal 4th Great Grandparents, John Milton Dargan (1799-1847) and Emily Elizabeth (Vaughn) Dargan (1897-1865). They were married in 1820 when John was 20 and Emily 23. Their marriage most likely took place in Sumter District, South Carolina.

Nov. 24~
  Frances Virginia (McRady) McManus (1836-1903), my maternal Great Great Grandmother, died 113 years ago in Sumter County, South Carolina at the age of 47. Fannie is buried in the Pisgah Baptist Church Cemetery, Pisgah Crossroads, Sumter, South Carolina.
Fannie McManus
Headstone
Pisgah Baptist Church Cemetery
Pisgah Crossroads, Sumter, South Carolina
©Cheri Hudson Passey


 My paternal 5th Great Grandfather, Philip Roberts (1763-1854) died 162 years ago in Harrison County, Kentucky.

This date also marks the 128th anniversary of the death of my paternal Great Great Grandfather, Ransom Taylor Early (1829-1888).  Ransom was 76 years old when he died in Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina. He is buried in the Bethesda Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Statesville.

Ransom Taylor Early
Headstone
Bethesda Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Statesville, Irdell, North Carolina
Photo Credit: Joy Steele-findagrave.com Contributor
Used with permission

Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
 Together we can find our people.

 Thanks so much for stopping by!







Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance



You know the dance. You know you've done it. The one every researcher does after finding something new. The one where you want to jump up and down and shout to everyone around that you found the document, contacted a cousin who has the family Bible, made a DNA connection or found a whole new branch to your tree. The one that is met with glazed stares and eye rolls.
                                                          Celebration Sunday is a place to share your discoveries. 
This is a weekly series to enable everyone to tell about their Genealogy Happy Dance moment. This can be done by scrolling down and adding your story to the comments section. You may also put a link to a blog post.




                                                                 
My Happy Dance This Week:  Another very unexpected surprise this week. I received an email letting me know that my entry was chosen as the winner of the SLIG Scholarship for First Time Attendees. For anyone who might not know, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is held every January and provides week-long classes in intermediate and advanced topics. The class that I have chosen to take is "Taking Your Research to the Next Level" taught by Paula Stewart- Warren.  I am beyond grateful to have been given this opportunity. First RootsTech and now SLIG. It's going to be a great two weeks in Salt Lake! Happy, Happy Dance!

                                                                                           Share your discovery!
                                                                                   Let the dancing commence!





Looking forward to reading about your Happy Dance moment!
Thanks so much for stopping by!



Friday, November 18, 2016

Funeral Card Friday~Pop


Although not an actual Funeral Card, this memorial page was dedicated to my paternal Grandfather, Benjamin Allen Hudson (1918-1976) after he passed away suddenly due to a heart attack while working in his backyard. It was Valentines Day. 

 Pop, as we called him was a WWII Veteran. He worked first as a butcher for Piggly Wiggly grocery stores and then as a representative for W. Lee Flowers and Co. where he was in charge of the meat departments for the area IGA grocery stores.   
Benjamin Allen Hudson
WWII Uniform

 My memories of him are of a fun-loving grandfather who was always joking around and letting me comb his hair. He was a good cook and I can remember seeing him in the kitchen and sitting in his recliner in the den.
Pop
Late 1960's

 Pop's death was the first of my close family members. We were out of the country living in England where my father was stationed with the Air Force. We were due to go back to the states in just 3 months and I was so looking forward to seeing Pop again.
 Dad flew home to South Carolina for the funeral and got home just in time to meet his family at the city cemetery in Sumter. 




Do you have a Funeral Card or other memento from an ancestor's funeral? 





Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me.
Together we can find our people.


Thanks so much for stopping by!