Here’s Your Sign #27 ~ Henry Leonidas Stevens Jr.

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Henry L. Stevens Jr. 1896-1971 Veterans Leader. National Commander of American Legion, 1931-32; Superior Court Judge, 1939-62. He lived 2 blocks North.

Henry is my paternal 3rd cousin 2 times removed. He lived his entire life in  Clinton, Sampson County, North Carolina. He was very involved in his community, winning many awards for his extraordinary service.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

This day at the Cemetery #49~ Cleveland Cemetery ~ Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina ~ Finale

I just discovered this small cemetery that is the final resting place of some of my Cleveland ancestors. It only has 27 graves on it, the first one was in 1732 and the last one was in 1981. That means it was in use for 249 years! It appears to be located on private land. The grounds are overrun with tall grass but the wrought iron fence that surrounds it is in good condition.

19 graves in this cemetery belong to my ancestors so I will be spending the next few weeks honoring those who are buried here.

Leander Carmickle Yates is my paternal 4th cousin 3 times removed. He was born on January 6, 1853, in Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the second of 10 children born to Jesse C. Yates (1817-1898) and Sarah Caroline Eller (1831-1919). He lived his entire life in the town of Purlear. He married Jeslin Martha Phipps (1874-1952) on March 3, 1890 in Ashe County, North Carolina. They had 7 children, 6 sons and 1 daughter. Leander was a farmer and he owned his own farm. He died on June 14, 1922, at the age of 69. No headstone has been found.

Jeslin Martha Phipps is the wife of my paternal 4th cousin 3 times removed. She was born on September 3, 1874, in Chestnut Hill, Ashe County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Robert Phipps (1850-1939) and Caroline Yates (1849-1923).She is listed on the Dawes Rolls as a Cherokee Indian. She married Leander Carmickle Yates(1853-1922) on March 3, 1890, in Ashe County, North Carolina. They had 7 children, 6 sons and 1 daughter. She died on November 7, 1952, at the age of 90. No headstone has been found.

Vannoy Cleveland Yates, is my paternal 5th cousin 2x removed. He was born on April 14, 1891, the oldest of 7 children born to Leander Carmickle Yates (1853-1922) and Jeslin Martha Phipps (1874-1952). He joined the army in 1914 and served until 1919. He married Lillie Barbara Shew (1893-1981) on February 6, 1825, and they had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughter. Vannoy owned a 300 acre farm in Stanton, Wilkes County, North Carolina where they had moved after they got married. Vannoy died September 9, 1968, in Wilkes County, North Carolina at the age of 77.

Lillie Barbara Shew, is the wife of my paternal 5th cousin 2x removed. She was born on March 2, 1893, to Simon Shew and Carolina Yates, She married Vannoy Cleveland Yates (1891-1968) on February 6, 1825, and they had 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughter. They moved to Stanton, Wilkes County, North Carolina after they got married. Lillie died January 1, 1981, in Wilkes County, North Carolina at the age of 88.

Robert Harrison Yates, is my paternal 5th cousin 2 times removed. He was born on June 11, 1899, in Purlear, Wilkes County, North Carolina, the 5th child born to Leander Carmickle Yates (1853-1922) and Jeslin Martha Phipps (1874-1952). Robert died on December 8, 1905, at the age of 6 from scarlet fever. No headstone has been found.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

Picture Perfect Saturday #27 ~ William Owen Medlin

I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

This week I am spotlighting William Owen Medlin, my maternal 1st cousin 4 times removed. He was born on August 31, 1838, in Cole County, Missouri. William was one of the true pioneers of Denton and Tarrant Counties in Texas. He came to Texas in 1848, at the age of 15, along with his parents and siblings. He served in the 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War. This photo was taken at the 35th reunion of the 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment in Dallas in January 1900. This is where this photo was taken. He died at his home just inside the northern boundary of Tarrant County in February 1900 at the age of 61.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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

The Overall Gang #6 ~ Sigal Wallace Hughes

A lot of time while writing about our ancestors, we focus on those who would be considered successful by current standards. After all, there is usually far more documentation and sources that we can draw from that makes developing the story of their lives much easier. Looking through photos I made a discovery! I have quite a few pictures of my ancestors wearing farmers overalls. The majority of my ancestors spent their whole lives making a home and raising a family on a farm. To them, wearing overalls was a sign of honor, and they were proud of what they did. So to honor these hard-working men I will highlight the life of one of the “overall gang” each week, including the photo and a brief biography of the legacy they left behind.

This week I am featuring my paternal second cousin, Sigal Wallace Hughes. He was born and raised in Missouri, a fifth generation farmer. He owned his own farm in the Sedalia, Pettis County. He also had lots of cows, pigs, chickens, and he raised bloodhound dogs. He grew a large variety if vegetables but his pride and joy where his peach orchards.

This photo is extra special to me because it was taken on his and his wife Betty’s 50th wedding anniversary. As you can see, Betty is all dressed up for the occasion and so is Sigal. He is sporting a brand new pair of dark overalls!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

The Overall Gang #5 ~ Oliver Bryan Register

A lot of time while writing about our ancestors, we focus on those who would be considered successful by current standards. After all, there is usually far more documentation and sources that we can draw from that makes developing the story of their lives much easier. Looking through photos I made a discovery! I have quite a few pictures of my ancestors wearing farmers overalls. The majority of my ancestors spent their whole lives making a home and raising a family on a farm. To them, wearing overalls was a sign of honor, and they were proud of what they did. So to honor these hard-working men I will highlight the life of one of the “overall gang” each week, including the photo and a brief biography of the legacy they left behind.

Oliver Bryan “Keggie” Register, my paternal 2nd cousin, was born on July 26, 1906, in Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri. Oliver was raised on the family farm outside of the city limits. This wasn’t his fathers only source of income because he also worked in the Freight Office on the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. When Oliver was growing up he refused to wear anything but overalls. He had several jobs, each one including working at the same Railroad as his Dad, allowed him to dress as he liked. I was told that the only few times that he did not wear them was the day he got married to Laura Buckner (1903-1979) and to funerals. When he died on December 20, 1993, he was even buried in his favorite pair.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

This Old House #3 ~ Marshall Anderson Hayes 1848-1885

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

Marshall Anderson Hayes, my paternal second cousin, was born in 1848, in Claiborne County, Tennessee. His family moved to Jackson County , Missouri when he was 12 years old. In 1873, he and his new wife moved to Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas. After securing a 160 acre claim by the Medicine Lodge River, he then built this house. This two-story house had 4 bedrooms and an inside kitchen. It was built in anticipation of the newlyweds having a lot of children. They each had come from very large families.

On February 8, 1885, Marshall was coming home from town. He had to cross the Medicine Lodge River and it had been cold and snowing for 2 days. He and his horse began crossing in the lowest point in the river when the horse lost his footing and threw Marshall off his back, into the icy, freezing river. The horse continued back to the homestead, but Marshall’s body wasn’t found for 2 days. He left behind his pregnant wife and 2-year-old son, Sterling. Mary Etta lived in this house until she died in 1910.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

Oops! ~ I Should Have Thought That Through ~ 52 Ancestors Week #49

This week’s prompt seems very fitting to me. I recently spoke with a cousin, “John”, I had connected with on Facebook. Although he had been on my friends list for several years the extent of our “relationship” had been responding to each other’s posts. I try not to overwhelm my family with information about our shared ancestry, but whenever asked about it I gladly share.

A few weeks ago I posted that if anyone had any stories about our mutual ancestors that I would love to hear them. John responded that he had a lot of stories and he wanted to call me so we could discuss them. I was elated! He was from a branch that I had not heard any stories from. We set up a time for the call and I awaited excitedly. We were on the phone for about and hour and I furiously too notes and asked questions. When the call ended, I got to work trying to verify some of the stories he told me about.

The first bit of information was one I had heard before. My Hughes line was related to Jessie James! I remembered doing a quick search about the possibility of Jessie being a relative, but I didn’t remember the outcome. I had already researched our connection to John Wesley Hardin and John Hardin Clements, the notorious Texas outlaws but I had never added Jessie to the tree. When I started researching I realized why. There was no way we were related, no matter how far back I went. So I put that possibility in the “no way” pile.

I moved on to the next story. It was about our ancestors, whom he named, that supposedly helped to dig up and rebury Civil War soldiers that had died and were buried on the grounds of The Anderson House in Lexington, Missouri. Again, I did some research and found nothing. I had been to this house and the museum that they had on the grounds, so I knew if I called the office, someone may be able to answer the question for me. The poor lady must have thought I was nuts! She was so nice though, and she told me they get calls all the time trying to prove some ancestors’ connection to the battle that was fought there or things happening on the grounds. She informed me that nothing like this ever happened here. My “no way” file just got bigger!

John spent about 15 minutes telling me all about his paternal heritage, how they were descendant from Irish Kings, and he told me outlandish stories about them. This line I wasn’t concerned with, nor did I even attempt to do any research of it because he and I aren’t connected through his fathers line.

Now John is bugging me about when I am going to write up the stories he told me and let the family know about Jessie James! I told him that we were not related to him, and he exclaimed “That’s what my Dad told me, and he’s not a liar!” I told him that maybe he was related to Jessie through his Dad’s line, and I told him I have never researched that line since I am not really connected to it. I tried to calm the situation down by telling him that when I have free time I may be able to look into it for him. I then told him the genealogy mantra: “Genealogy without documentation is mythology.” He understood and at least he didn’t unfriend me!

My oops moment was not thinking through the post about wanting stories. Maybe I should have just contacted a few cousins at a time and ask them if they had any information on the family. I could then, at least, give a few guidelines and explain about oral traditions. These stories can be wonderful and add a lot of character to your family history, as long as we state they are stories and are not proven facts. Lesson learned!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

Gratitude ~ Truly Thankful ~ 52 Ancestors #48

During this time of year that we pause to give thanks, I think it is very fitting that this weeks’ blog should be on Gratitude. We all have a lot to be grateful for, just sometimes we forget to stop and count our blessings and to express gratitude for what we do have.

I am grateful for Genealogy. I wasn’t raised around family since my parents moved us from Missouri to Arizona when I was 11 months old. I lived in Missouri from age 12-14 but because of my mothers mental illness we didn’t get to know many of the relatives. After my mother died in 1999, I had a great desire to know where I came from. And so my journey really began.

Over the last 21 years I have discovered so many amazing things about my ancestors. The most excited thing I have found is actual family! With the onset of social media I have been able to connect with hundreds of relatives. Most are more distant ones but I do have over 150 closer relatives, and only a handful were known to me before this. I have been able to meet a few in person, or talked with them by phone. I have had several who have mailed or emailed me photos and stories about our shared family.


Dad 1939

Mom 1941

Brother 1955


Sister 1986

As of two years ago I am the only living member of my family lines going to me. My Dad died in 1974, my mother who disowned me in 1986, died in 1999, my sister who did the same because of my mothers pressure, died in 2012 and my brother who my mother disowned in 1980, died in 2018. I have always felt disconnected from family because of my mother, however now I have a sense of family because of the blessing of finding so many wonderful cousins. I am full of Gratitude!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

Here’s Your Sign #12 ~ Arthur Lee

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Grave of Arthur Lee

 

Arthur Lee, my 2nd cousin 9 times removed, was a very political person. Here are a few of his accomplishments.

Delegate from Virginia; born at ‘‘Stratford,’’ in Westmoreland County, Va., December 20, 1740; attended Eton College, England; studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and was graduated in 1765; returned to London in 1766 and studied law at Temple Bar 1766-1770; was admitted to the bar and practiced in London 1770-1776; commissioned as an agent of Massachusetts in England and France in 1770; appointed correspondent of Congress in London in 1775; commissioner to France in 1776 and to Spain in 1777; returned to Virginia in 1780; member of the State house of delegates 1781-1783, 1785, and 1786; Member of the Continental Congress 1782-1784; member of the Treasury board 1785-1789; died in Urbanna, Middlesex County, Va., on December 12, 1792; interment in Lansdowne Garden, in the rear of ‘‘Lansdowne,’’ his home, at Urbanna

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.

 

 

Small ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks ~ Week #32

shortThis weeks prompt happens to be the opposite of last week. It took a little while to think of something large to write about. However, this week it was a lot easier. Small to me is me!

Growing up I was a lot shorter than my parents and my older sister. I always felt out of place when we went somewhere because people always thought I was a lot younger than I was. My Dad was 6 ft. 2 in. tall, my mother was 5 ft. 9 in. tall and my sister was 5 ft. 10 in. tall. Me? I measured a mere 5 ft. 5 ½ in. tall.

Even my 3 children grew up to be a lot taller than me. They alwaysadam 3 laughed when I told them I was the shortest person in my entire family. They thought I was making it up. I told them about the time when we moved to Missouri and I attended my first family reunion. Most of the family were over 6 feet tall. I was about 13 years old at the time and everyone thought I was about 10! They didn’t believe me.

Me as shortyIn 2010 my husband and I took a trip to Missouri to visit some cousins I hadn’t seen in 24 years. I also arranged to meet some new relatives that I had made contact with on social media. We had a wonderful time. I am the photographer in the family, and I am hardly ever in any of the photos that are taken when we go anywhere. Thankfully my husband insisted on me getting a photo with my first cousin and a few of his kids. I am so glad I did. When I returned home, I was able to prove that I am indeed the shortest one.

I can’t positively say that I don’t have a relative that is shorter than me, I just haven’t personally met one yet. Also, I have no proof that my ancestors were all very tall people, but I assume a few of them had to have been.

I received permission to use the two photos I included in this blog.  Can you guess which is my cousin in the first photo?  I am the short one in the second one.  As a final remark, “In light of the prompt this week I decided to keep it short!”

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on 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.