Tag Archives: Truth

Monday’s for Me ~ My Mother Had A Job!

cccA few years ago I wrote a blog about my Dad who had participated in the Civilian Conservation Corp at Lake Tahoe, California back in 1935. I have a lot of photos of him there, as well as many photos he took of his time there. It was interesting to research the camp and learn more about my Dad in doing so.

What does the above statement have to do with my mother, Emmajane1940 cen Smith Hughes? Let me tell you this first. My mother was a mentally ill woman who wreaked havoc in my Dad’s and my lives. As a result, I have neglected doing the same type of research on my mother’s side of the family as I have done on my Dad’s. That is until the last 7 months. As I was taking a second look at the 1940s Census for her I discovered something I hadn’t seen before.

mom & avis

Mother & Avis

In this Census my mother was 21 years old and living in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri. She had a roommate named Avis, however, there is no mention of her 4 years old son. It stated that she worked for the WPA (Work Projects Administration) at the County Courthouse. I was surprised because my mother had never worked! My Uncle once told me that even as a child she would pretend to be sick to get out of work. Also, she never once mentioned that she had worked during this time frame. Here is what I discovered about the WPA.

The Works Project Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of job-seekers to carry out public works projects. It was established on May 6, 1935, by Executive Order 7034.

The Historical Records Survey (HRS) was a project of the Works Projectusa_work_program Administration New Deal program in the United States. Originally part of the Federal Writers’ Project, it was devoted to surveying and indexing historically significant records in state, county, and local archives. The official mission statement was the “discovery, preservation, and listing of basic materials for research in the history of the United States.” It was organized on November 15, 1935, under the direction of Luther H. Evans with a budget of $1,195,800, the Survey began life under the Federal Writers’ Project. It became an independent division of Federal Project Number One in October 1936 within the Works Project Administration’s Women’s and Professional Division. In 1939, with more artistic federal programs under attack from Congress, partly because they employed suspected Communists, the less controversial HRS was moved to the Work Projects Administration Research and Records Program, Professional and Service Division. The program was shut down on February 1, 1943.

In 1939 the federal government handed off the program’s activities to willing state governments. Each state had its own supervisor coordinating the Survey’s activities. Other accomplishments included the Soundex indexes of the states for several of the late 19th-century U.S. Censuses (1880, 1900, 1910, 1920), indexes of vital statistics, book indexes, bibliographies, cemetery indexes, and newspaper indexes, the Atlas of Congressional Roll Calls Project, a historical index of American musicians, surveys of portraits in public buildings, maritime records, a history of grazing, a food history project called America Eats, and a necessary survey of the federal Archives—NARA itself had been established only in 1934. The Survey also innovated archival practice. For example, it made use of new microfilm technology, experimented with its use in archiving, and advanced on previously existing practices.

I am amazed that my mother participated in something that helps me today. Since a large number of my ancestors had lived in the State of Missouri with many of them migrating there before it was a state. Even my paternal grandparents ended up in Lexington in the early 1920s, so the indexing she helped with is vital to my research. Both the CCC and the WPA were vital to our country during the hard times of the great depression. It gives me a sense of pride that both of my parents took part in these programs.

 

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, Genealogy, History, Lafayette County Courthouse, Lexington MO, Missouri, Monday's For Me, Uncategorized, Work Project Administration

Freaky Fridays ~ Why I Hate The Month Of June

Freaky Fridays imageWhen you have lost someone that meant a lot to you, it is hard to pass the date of death without feeling sorrow or even depression. Also, when some traumatic events happen in your life, that date can bring up unpleasant memories. Well, this is why I hate the month of June. I have experienced both of these scenarios, both loss, and traumatic events during this month. Did I mention I hate June?

 

The first incident of loss was on June 25, 1968. The only Grandparent IJP Smith Sr Obit ever got to meet died on this day.  The event that caused his death happened 2 weeks before. My step-grandmother had purposely pushed him over the push mower he was using to cut the lawn. He had refused to take some medicine the doctor had prescribed so she struck out in anger and shoved him hard. He fell backward over the mower and broke his neck. He lived on life support for those two weeks and it was traumatic for a 12-year-old girl to see him lying there like that. He was 85 years old at the time. My aunt who witnessed the incident was too afraid to tell the police what happened so Nellie never had to pay for what she did.

 

Dad and SchoolThe second incident of loss happened on June 24, 1974. My beloved day died after a nine-month battle with lung cancer. How a person was treated for cancer back in those days was nothing like we have today. They literally fried his body with radiation and large doses of chemo. His right lung was removed. It was a horrible thing to watch a once strong man turn into a skeleton. He died at home in his bed. I can still visualize the events of that day. My mother happily came into my room and woke me from a deep sleep. She wanted me to come and see that my dad was dead. She was so happy (she was mentally ill). When I saw that he was indeed dead, I ran out of the room crying. That day is one I will never forget.

 

The third event was I got married on June 11, 1977. It turned out that this man I thought I knew had some dark secrets and he was extremely abusive to me and the children, After 9 years of marriage I told my pastor I couldn’t take it any longer. When he was confronted by the pastor, being told he had to choose between having his family and serving God, or being exposed for his abuses and pornography addiction, his response was to commit suicide.

 

Number four was the loss of my second Grandson. My daughter went Deshauninto labor too soon and we rushed her to the hospital. There we heard the heartbeat and we were both excited and scared. A little after midnight on June 9, 1997, DeShaun was born and died within minutes. We got to hold him and our daughter, we were the wounded trying to comfort the wounded.

 

mom & brotherEvent number five happened on June 16, 1999. My mother had fallen and broke a hip. She was sent to a nursing home and there she died. I hadn’t seen her nor heard from her in over 13 years as she had disowned me for marrying a Hispanic man (we have been married for 34 years now). I was just one person in a long line of family members my mother had disowned over the years. She had done the same to both her and my dad’s families and even my much older brother.

 

Event number six was actually an exceptionally good one. My youngest granddaughter, Pebbles, was born on June 25, 2006. She is beautiful and smart. She has brought us such joy. I am grateful for this one redeeming light that has helped me make it through June for the past 14 years.

 

Each June on each of these days I think about the people I have lost and the events that brought each one about. I try to remember the good times or find something good that has happened because of these circumstances and find a lesson that I can learn from them. Even though I feel less pain as the years go by, I still hate the month of June! Is that Freaky?

 

 

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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My Ancestors Signature #13 ~ Joseph Graves

Signature 3D Word

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 6x Removed

Man's Silhouette\

Joseph Graves sign 1774 will

Joseph Graves 1715-1774

From his wife’s’ Will dated 1772

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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Saturday’s Dilemma ~ What about My Own Story?

My-Story-This-is-my-storyObviously from the title, my dilemma is concerning how much I should disclose about my own life. I have been writing stories about my life to leave for my Grandchildren and my new Great Grandson, but they have mostly been funny stories. However, I like many others of my generation, have endured a lot of hardships in my life. Some of the things I have gone through I think #1, may teach a lesson and #2, be like one of those stories we get excited about finding when researching an ancestor! I would like them to know everyone goes through problems, it is a part of life.

I have two main stories I would like to write about, but I am unsure how much to disclose. I would really like some opinions concerning them. I will keep the stories short. Just consider how much you would want to know about something an ancestor went through and how they handled it.

Story #1. My mother had a severe mental illness. It got worse the older she got. She onlyMom 1966 loved two people in her life, my sister and my oldest son. Everyone else was treated badly. Everyone except my dad and I, we received the worst of it. When we lived in Missouri when I was 12-14 years old, she assaulted my dad and me on numerous occasions. She believed he was in the mafia, that our house was bugged, and someone lived under our house (we didn’t have a basement), spying on us through our TV. One time we spent a week going from motel to motel hiding from my dad and his “cronies”. I could tell you things that she did that you probably wouldn’t believe. When we moved to California, she literally rode in the back seat on her knees facing backward to make sure we weren’t followed. When we made it to CA her knees were bruised and bleeding. We lived there for 5 years and she only left the house 4 times, each time we moved. She disowned all of our relatives, my brother and eventually me.

me 1988Story #2.  My previous husband committed suicide, leaving me with 3 kids to raise. I had just turned 31. He had an unshakeable addiction to pornography, and this was his way out. My children knew about the addiction and why he did what he did so it isn’t a secret. Two years after the suicide I started a ministry for women who have been affected by pornography. I have been on national talk shows, radio, newspapers, magazines, a conference speaker and I wrote a book about my life with my husband. I have counseled thousands of women on this issue. I have even spoken to junior and senior high kids about the hazard of porn.  I have always used tact, wisdom, and I don’t go into graphic details. So, how should I approach this story?

Just to make it clear, these would be for my family. I appreciate any and all input. Thanks in advance.

 

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, Dilemma, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Memories, Mexican American War, My Stories, Saturday's Dilemma, Story telling, Truth, Uncategorized

My Ancestors Signature #5 ~ John Borrodil Dennison

Signature 3D Word

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 8th Great Grandfather

Man's SilhouetteJohn Dennison 8th GG 26 April 1698

1646-1698

From his Will dated April 26, 1698

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, Genealogy, My Ancestors Signature, Signatures, Silhouette Signature, Uncategorized

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Trying To Get It All Straight

gene check listI have started going through my trees with a checklist of documents I have or need for each ancestor. It has helped me to fill in a lot of blanks. When I am working on the tree, I usually just work on one line at a time. If it is the Hughes line. I will look at my dad, his dad, then his dad, etc. I don’t change the order by looking into their spouses as well. I do this after I finish the male line.  Everyone does their research in their own way and this is mine. It usually works well until I make a mistake.

 

A couple of days ago I was researching my 2x Great Grandpa George W. Hayes. As I was closing his page getting ready to go to the next Hayes in the line, I heard a loud thud and someone yelling! I told my husband it sounded like someone got hurt so we went outside. Our elderly neighbor had fallen so we helped her up and took her into her house and made sure she was okay. When I got back home, I was still a little frazzled by the incident so I thought I would just get back to filling in some missing pieces in the tree. I pulled up the tree and hit the button and then I pulled up the ancestor. When I looked at his wife’s name I was confused. It gave her name as Elizabeth Rucker. I could have sworn her name was supposed to be Sarah Rucker. When I took a second look at her husband’s name, I realized that I had hit Georges’ wife tree by mistake. When I looked at Georges’ parents his mom was listed as Sarah Rucker. If this was correct that made George and his wife, Elizabeth Coffey first cousins. So, the search was on!

 

 

 

The farther back I went the more confusing it got. It was confirmed that Sarah and Elizabeth’s father was Colby Rucker.  Sarah married John Coffey, the son of Benjamin cousin blocksCoffey. Elizabeth married Thomas Hayes whose mother was Mary “Polly” Hayes. Mary Hayes was married to Benjamin Coffey. If this isn’t confusing enough Benjamin Coffey’s brother Thomas married Elizabeth Smith. They had a daughter named Mary Coffey, who married William Coffey, who was the son of Benjamin Coffey!

headspin

OK, my head hurts from all this inter-marrying.  I am going to spend some time looking through the many, many children of the Hayes, Rucker and Coffey lines to see how many other cousins have married. I know this isn’t really that unusual, there are probably some like this in most trees. I know I have cousins in my mothers’ line who have married. However, not this many within 3 generations!

 

So, here is my dilemma. Actually 2 of them. First, what is the best way to make a chart linking all of these cousins together to get a better view of them and their relationships with each other? Second, what do you think about me putting the “extra” relationship in my trees so future generations don’t have to do what I have done?

 

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, Dilemma, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Hayes Family, Rucker's, Saturday's Dilemma, The Coffey Family, Uncategorized

Freaky Friday’s ~ I’m What?

Mary Lynn Elementary School Tucson AZ

Mary Lynn Elementary School

I was born in Missouri, but my parents moved our family to Arizona when I was 11 months old. They bought a house outside the Tucson City limits in a new sub-division just north of the Papago (Tohono O’odham) Indian Reservation. I attended the newly built Mary Lynn Elementary School that was about 3 blocks from our home. It was a very diverse school, as a matter of fact, White kids were the minority. I grew up with friends of Native American, Hispanic, African American, Chinese, and Anglo ethnicity. We all got along very well.

At least that was at school. At home, I experienced a totally different atmosphere. Both of my parents were born and raised in Missouri. I do not know what may have happened in their lives to make them this way, but they both were the most racist people I ever knew! Every joke told at home was racist. Remarks were made about people in the grocery store or at the gas station who was “different” from us. I was so confused. According to my parents, ¾ of my friends were sub-human, but according to my experiences, 100% of them were MY friends! It was very frustrating.

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A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation on my Authors’ Facebook page to join the “Gibson Genealogy Group”. My first thought was “How did they know I had Gibson’s in my trees?” then I realized I have had that page for over 6 years and I probably wrote something about my Gibson ancestors. So, I joined the group and responded to the survey of who my Gibson’s were. Walter Gibson (1718-1782), my 5x Great Grandfather is one of my brick walls.  Thanks to this group I now know why I couldn’t find information on Walter. He was a Melungeon! I know, my first thought was probably just like yours “a what?”. A Melungeon was considered by outsiders to have a mixture of European, Native American, and African ancestry. Researchers have referred to Melungeons and similar groups as “tri-racial isolates,” and Melungeons have faced discrimination, both legal and social because they did not fit into America’s accepted racial categories.  I can’t help thinking about how upset my parents would be to find out that my dad wasn’t all Anglo!

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I want to share these experiences with future generations because I believe I have learned a valuable lesson in having to make the decision to not accept my parent’s racists views. I understand that try as we might, we cannot legislate tolerance or acceptance. It has to be a change of the heart and a love for our fellow man, no matter what their ancestry is. This stance has not always gone over well, especially with my mother. 34 years ago, after I became a widow with 3 children, she disowned me because I married a Hispanic man. We are still married, and I do not regret the decision I made. I now have 9 beautiful grandchildren, 3 of them are white, 2 are half-black and 4 are half gypsy. We are one, very happy, loving family!

Now I will spend time researching my Melungeon roots, hoping to discover where this part of me comes from. I can’t wait to share this with my family. I can hear my youngest Grandson say “Grandma, that’s just FREAKY!”

 

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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Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Should a Christian do Genealogy?

Family_TreeA few years ago, a Pastor friend of ours told me I shouldn’t be working on my genealogy because the Bible speaks against it. He quoted a few scriptures that “proved” his statement. At this point in my life, I had been a Christian for 42 years and I had been a Genealogist for over 20 years. I never felt the two were in conflict with each other. Even so, his words bothered me.

I went home and got out my Bible and sure enough, that is basically what those scriptures stated. They inferred that taking on Genealogy endeavors were “unprofitable and vain”. Being a researcher at heart and having been misguided by others in the past because they pulled one verse out of an entire book in the Bible to prove their point, I did my own research on what those scriptures meant.

Here is what I discovered. Throughout the Old Testament being able to “prove” your lineage is what gave you a position in society and/or in the Temple. If you were from, let’s say, the line of Aaron who was the high priest of the wilderness tabernacle, then each high priest that came after him had to be from his line. This line assured their importance and position. Fast forward to the New Testament. Things had not changed. Each group of people fits into society according to their lineage. When Jesus began His ministry, He did not follow the “rules”.  He called some fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, a zealot, and several tradesmen to be His disciples.

in-gods-eyes-we-are-all-unique-and-equal-257x300

When the 2 verses (see verse references below) that had been quoted to me made the statement about “vain genealogies” it was referring to those who use their ancestors to put themself above others or who believes this makes them better than others. The bottom line is…..God created us all and we are equally valuable. I can comfortably reconcile my love of genealogy with my faith in Jesus!

SIDE NOTE: I have found through my research that there is a rich Religious Heritage that has been passed down through the generations to me. This comes from many different faiths and beliefs and I am thankful for this foundation.

 

Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9

 

cropped-blog-pic.jpgI 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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“Close to Home” ~ Another Chance Gone ~ #52Ancestors Week 4

Close_to_Home 2I was informed 5 days ago that one of my cousins had passed away. He was one of the 4 remaining 1st cousins on my Dad’s side.  That leaves me and 2 other ones left out of over a hundred. My Dad’s side was huge, he had 11 brothers and sisters and most of them had at least 10 children themselves. I was very saddened, not only for Leonard passing but also for the lost opportunity of learning more about my Grandparents.

This scenario has hit pretty Close to Home for me. I am the only person left in my Me and Brotherimmediate family. My Dad died in 1974, my mother died in 1999 and my sister died in 2012. I had a brother who was 18 years older than I. When I was 6 months old, he graduated High School and joined the Air Force. I had only seen him about 7 or 8 times in my life. The last time I saw him was in 1982 when he came for a visit. While he was there something happened between my mother and him. He abruptly left after a few days because my mother had disowned him. We were told we would never see nor hear from him again. This kind of behavior was common for my mother. A few years later she did the same thing to me.

Almost 2 years ago I finally found my brother after looking for him for over 35 years. By chance, I looked at one of those people finder sites and for the first time his name came up with enough information that I could verify that this was him. My husband and I were leaving for California for a week so I figured after we got back, I would pay for the subscription so I could get his information. When we returned, I put in his information and up popped his obituary! He had passed away 3 days before we got back. I was devastated.

ClocksUnfortunately, this is not the first time this has occurred because of putting off contacting relatives. Over the last 5 years, too many have passed on. I also have only one cousin on my mothers’ side left. SO, with renewed determination, I am going to contact the cousins I have left and ask questions. I will just have to get over the idea that I am being a bother. Time is ticking on and I have to march to that rhythm.

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 #52ancestors, Ancestry, Cousins, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Gordon Smith Wilson, History, Memories, Personal Stories, Research, Uncategorized

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up ~ Freaky Friday #2

J&J picSeveral years ago, my Son-in-law Jake, asked me to research his Genealogy and I quickly gathered all the information that he knew about his family and eagerly began. His paternal ancestors came from Missouri and places on the east coast.

 

During the research, I stumbled upon a very familiar last name…. Rucker. I know that Rucker is a very common German/Dutch name and that a lot of Rucker’s immigrated to America starting as far back as 1690. I was intrigued and began to dig deeper.

Following the line backward I discovered the name, John Rucker. John had been born thecousin quote FF2 oldest child of Peter Rucker and Elizabeth (Fielding) Rucker in 1680 in England. I became so excited I could hardly contain myself. Peter Rucker born in 1661 in Germany was my 7th times Great Grandfather! That meant he was my daughter’s 8th times Great Grandfather and he was also my son-in-laws 9th Great Grandfather. My daughter and son-in-law are 1st cousins 10 times removed! Jake descended from John Rucker and my daughter, Jerusha descended from Thomas Rucker the 2nd son of Peter and Elizabeth Rucker.

Oh, the fun I have had with this. I have relentlessly teased them about being kissing cousins.

Then it hit me. Jake was my 1st cousin 9 times removed. Sorry, but this kind of creeped me out. Then I felt the heat rush through my face and it dawned on me, if he is my cousin then so are my 2 grandsons!!! What do I do now, have the boys call me Grandma Cousin? This is truly Freaky.

 

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, Freaky, Genealogy, History, Hughes, Marriage, Missouri, Oddities, Peter Rucker, Research, Rucker's, Truth, Uncategorized