Category Archives: Farming

Mondays for Me #57 ~ In the Garden

When we moved from the desert of Arizona to the lush, green State of Missouri, I was what could be called “gardening ignorant”. It was difficult to learn much about growing fruits or vegetables in the extreme heat of the Southwestern summers. I was 12 years old and I had never grown anything except cactus.

My parents bought a small house in Independence that had ½ an acre for the backyard. To me it was enormous! My Dad was so excited to plant a garden, and I was anxious to help. That first summer it was a “small” garden, at least by my Dad’s perspective. He and I dug up the ground and made the rows for the various vegetables that we were going to plant. We sowed carrot, cucumber, lettuce, radish, peas, corn, and green bean seeds. We made a trip to the nursery, and we came back with tomato plants and some blackberry bushes. I really had fun with the entire process.

Over the summer I helped to hoe the garden and tie up the tomato, peas, and green bean plants. I can still remember how excited I was when I saw the first little vegetable growing on the vine. I was a little confused when my Dad took me to the grocery store and told me we needed to find a bag of potatoes with lots of “eyes” on them. We had always avoided that type before. When we got home he showed me how to cut the “eyes” off and plant them in the ground, and he told me we were going to grow new potatoes. Yeah, right! We also had three large, well established peach trees standing side by side in the yard. I was fascinated with their bright pink blooms that smelled so good. Everything was coming to life with very minimal effort. In Arizona my Dad planted two peach trees and one apricot tree. During the summer they had to be watered every day and fertilized often. In the twelve years we lived there, we only got six peaches and one apricot from the trees.

June came and the backyard was full of things to eat. The first things to ripen were the peaches! Each tree was hanging low with fruit in different stages of ripeness. We picked so many for us, and I probably ate the majority of them. I just loved them. We soon had some of our relatives come over and pick as many as they wanted. Then my Aunt Margaret came and helped me pick enough to can. I had never done this before so it was a treat. Finally, my Dad put a notice in the newspaper for “free peaches”, and after several people came and picked what they wanted, we still had fruit on the trees!

We also had an abundance of other vegetables that could be canned. Again, my aunt came and taught me about each requirement for the various ones. We spent several days canning and talking. It was a very special time. It also felt good to have contributed to food stored up for the winter.

The potatoes where the last crop we dealt with. I was amazed at how many had grown from those little “eyes”. It was fun to dig in the dirt and not get yelled at! My Dad loaded the potatoes into the bed of the truck, and we drove them into Kansas City to my aunts home, and we stored them in her basement covered in lye. We all had potatoes for the next 9 months. This was a good experience for me. I learned a lot about how to plant and grow anything I wanted and I learned both patience and hard work.

When Autumn came and the temperature got colder, I missed the excitement of gardening. One day I was waling in the yard and I noticed a lot of hard round balls laying under a very tall tree on the south side of our house. I really never paid attention to it, it was only a tree! I picked one up and brought it to my Dad. He told me the tree was a black walnut tree. He and I then went outside and picked up a few of the balls, and we used a knife to open the outer casing of the nut. Once that was done, we had a walnut in a shell like I had seen in the grocery stores. To be honest, I didn’t like the process. It seemed like too much trouble, especially since walnuts were not my favorite nut at the time. My Dad did enjoy sitting in his chair and coaxing the nut to come out!

The next year we did the same, only this time the blackberry bushes gave us an abundance of fruit. Because of this, and the above mentioned peaches, these two became my two favorite fruits.

When we had to sell our home and move to California I felt so bad for my Dad. He seemed to thrive in this environment and I knew he would miss it. When we left Missouri, we were able to leave a lot of the produce with our relatives. This two and a half years were some of the best of my childhood!

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Childhood, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Gardening, Genealogy, Independence, Missouri, Missouri, Monday's For Me, My Stories, Personal Stories, Uncategorized

The Overalls Gang #10 ~ Leonard Monroe 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”, including the photo and a brief biography of the legacy they left behind.

This is my paternal Uncle Leonard Monroe Hughes, born April 30, 1913, in Hughesville, Pettis County, Missouri, the 5th of 9 children born to Charley Hughes (1865-1944) and Virginia Belle Hayes (1880-1954). Leonard was raised on the family farm outside of Hughesville. His father not only grew crops, but he also raised and trained champion horses. Life was hectic as more children were added to the family every 2 years. At the age of 9, his family moved to Lexington, Lafayette County Missouri, once again buying a farm and working the land. Leonard Married Cornelia Turis (1908-1969) and they lived with her parents on a small farm outside of Lexington. In 1940 they moved to just inside the city limits where there was still plenty of land to grow their crops. They had 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters. Cornelia died in 1969 and soon after that Leonard sold his farm and moved to a home with a large yard in town. He then married Ruth E. Burgy (1917-2010) on May 22, 1971. They spent their years together raising a large variety of vegetables, and planting blackberry bushes and peach trees. Leonard died on September 8, 2003, in Lexington at the age of 90.

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Hughes, Lexington MO, The Overall Gang, Uncategorized, Uncle

Picture Perfect Saturday #35 ~ John Higgason Ogan

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 showcasing my 1st cousin 3 times removed, John Higgason Ogan. Johns was born in 1844, in Linn County, Missouri. He moved with his family to California in 1856. He was a rancher. This photo is just perfect! He is looking at his cow like it is his best friend. I like the way he is dressed, especially his hat. If has the look of a very kind man. He died on November 11, 1930, in Santa Barbara, California at the age of 86.

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, California, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Ogan Family, Photos, Picture Perfect, Picture Perfect Saturday, Uncategorized

The Overall Gang #9 ~ Robert Henry Divine

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”, including the photo and a brief biography of the legacy they left behind.

This week I am featuring Robert Henry Divine, my 3rd cousin 2 times removed. He was born on February 6, 1891, in Golden City, Barton County, Missouri. He was raised on the farm of his parent, John Bernard Divine (1863-1940) and Lucinda Charity Watson (1869-1906). His family moved to Miami, Ottawa County, Oklahoma when he was 6 years old, where his father continued to farm. In 1911, at the age of 20, he married Joda Shaffer (1891-1985), and they purchased a farm near his parents. Except for the 2 years he served in the Army during World War I, he spent his entire life raising corn, alfalfa, cowpeas, and milo maize (known as sorghum). They also raised 3 children, 1 son and 2 daughters. Robert died on September 23, 1959, at the age of 68.

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Divine Family, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Oklahoma, The Overall Gang

The Overall Gang #8 ~ Milton Carter Dalton

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.


Milton and Elizabeth

This week I am featuring Milton Carter Dalton, my paternal 1st cousin 2 times removed. He was born on December 20, 1880, in Tazewell, Claiborne County, Tennessee. He was raised on a farm just outside the town of Tazewell. He married Elizabeth Jane Owens (1881-1951) on April 6, 1898, in Grainger, Tennessee. They had 3 sons and 2 daughters. For the first few years after they got married, they lived with on of Milton’s brothers. By 1910, they were able to purchase a 250 acre plot of land near his mother and adult siblings. Here they grew mostly soybeans, and they also grew the necessary vegetables to feed their families. They had a self-sustaining farm with cows, hogs, and chickens. He also built and ran a saw mill on his property.

Milton died on May 15. 1966 at the age of 85.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing I 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Hayes Family, Tennessee, The Overall Gang, Uncategorized

The Overall Gang #7 ~ Benjamin Douglas 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 beloved Dad. He only used the name Benjamin for “legal” things. He was always called Doug or Dougie. He was born in Hughesville, Pettis County, Missouri, on August 18, 1915. He was raised on farms until he was 20 years old, first in Hughesville then outside of Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri. Not only did he work in all aspects of farming, he was also a horse trainer. He proudly wore overalls every day until he joined the Civil Conservation Corps in 1935. He was in the CCC for about a year, returning to farming in Missouri and his overalls.

He worked many other jobs while helping out at his parents farm. He was a coal miner, and a laborer on the railroad. He continued to wear his overalls in both of these jobs. He eventually moved into construction, using the skills he had learned in the CCC and in Missouri there was no problem with him wearing overalls to work. After he married my mother and my sister and I were born, we moved to Arizona. Here the temperatures were too hot to work outside in the heavy overalls, so he was forced to switch to jeans. However, he still wore his overalls when he worked in the yard on the weekends, even if that meant getting outside by 5am.

At his funeral, my Aunt made sure he had on a pair of overalls instead of the clothes my mother had sent along when she shipped him back to Missouri for burial. I was able to talk to several family members, and they told me that they couldn’t remember a time when he wore anything else.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing I 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Douglas Hughes, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Hughes, Missouri, The Overall Gang

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Hughes, Missouri, The Overall Gang, Uncategorized

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Missouri, Register Family, The Overall Gang, Uncategorized

My Ancestors Signature #37 ~ Alfred Divine

How many of you have searched for any kind of photo of an Ancestor and you weren’t able to find one? Especially for one who lived before photography was invented? Have you ever looked through documents like wills, or marriage licenses and you discover that your 3x Great Grandpa had signed it? This signature is a little piece of him that was left behind. By posting it online we can preserve it for future generations.

My 1st Cousin 4 Times Removed

Alfred Divine 1817-1900
From Pension Application dated 1891

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Divine Family, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Missouri, My Ancestors Signature, Signatures, Silhouette Signature, Uncategorized

The Overall Gang #3 ~ Charles McKay Blackwelder

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 highlighting my paternal 3rd cousin, Charles McKay Blackwelder. He was born on October 24, 1915 and was the oldest of the 2 children born to Whitson Blackwelder (1854-1930) and Beatrice Carter (1887-1922). Although he was raised in the town of Old Fort, McDowell County, North Carolina, he spent a lot of his childhood on the nearby farms of his Grandparents and several uncles. His father had become a blacksmith, so being on the farms was a treat for him.

In 1948, he married Blanche Hawley (1920-2004) and they moved out of town near his farming family and rented a farm. They had 2 children, 1 son, and 1 daughter. He tried his hand at farming but found he didn’t enjoy it , nor was he successful with it. At least he tried. He then got a job working on the railroad, and he worked for them until he retired. He died on April 1, 1993, at the age of 77.

I wanted to do this tribute because as I stated above, his love of the farm as a child prompted him to try farming, even though it didn’t work out. Also, I think the photo of him in his little overalls at the age of 2 was just too adorable not to share!

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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, North Carolina, The Overall Gang, Uncategorized