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Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Georgia Faye



Click > HERE < to read Georgia Faye's story . . . in her own words . . .


Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Uncle George



George Rettig Henry was born on this date . . . the 21st day of August . . . in the year 1897 . . . in Milam County, Texas. He was the 1st-born son of Edgar and Berta Mary (Sharp) Henry . . . the Keeper of this family history blog knew him as "Uncle George" but he was actually a grand-uncle aka older brother of maternal grandpa . . . Uncle George and Aunt Ruth lived sorta catty-cornered behind our house when we were growing up . . . we could walk through the pasture to get to their back door, which was always open . . . Aunt Ruth's coconut pie is frequently requested for family gatherings . . .

  • George Rettig Henry
    born 21 August 1897 in Milam County, Texas
    died 02 June 1977 (findagrave.com) in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas
  • Willie Ruth Henry nee Jennings
    born 05 March 1900 in Hill County, Texas
    died 26 February 1980 in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas

    Their children --

    • Weldon Lee Henry
    • Georgia Faye Kaseberg nee Henry

Wordless Wednesday :: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my niece, Lesley 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Aunt Nellie


On this date in our extended family history . . . the 20th day of August . . . in the year 1912 . . . Nellie Josephine Henry is born in Milam County, Texas. The lovely woman I knew as Aunt Nellie was actually my grand-aunt, i.e., she was the youngest sister of my maternal grandpa, Robert E. Henry (1905-1976). Nellie was the 8th of eight children known to have been born to my maternal great-grandparents, Edgar and Berta Mary (Sharp) Henry. She was named for both of her grandmothers -- Mary Alexandrien "Nellie" Sharp nee Lemaire (1843-1876) and Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899). In 1938, Nellie married Alton Brooks Peebles, who happened to be a 3rd cousin once removed to the man Nellie's niece, Roberta, would marry in 1950. (I do not believe they ever knew they were related!)

  • Nellie Josephine Peebles nee Henry
    born 20 August 1912 in Milam County, Texas
    died 02 November 1996 in Austin, Travis County, Texas
  • Alton Brooks Peebles
    born 17 August 1913 in Lexington, Lee County, Texas
    died 29 July 1991 in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Girls and their pearls


"After all," Anne had said to Marilla once,
"I believe the nicest and sweetest days
are not those on which anything
very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens,
but just those that bring simple little pleasures,
following one another softly,
like pearls off a string."

Anne of Avonlea
by
Lucy Maud Montgomery


Girls & their pearls -- Smile for the Camera 


The portrait of the ladies on the right . . . all wearing pearls . . . is of three of the daughters of William Thurston & Olive Jane Merrill . . . Phoebe (1848-ca. 1930) & Nell (1860-ca. 1950) & Lucy Emma (1855-1938) . . . the lady wearing pearls in the photo next to Phoebe is Phoebe's daughter, Eva Mae (1874-1936) . . . the young lady wearing pearls in the lower left corner is Eva's daughter, Elizabeth Marilla (1912-1932) . . . this Elizabeth is the maternal grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .


The Loves of the Angels

Then too the pearl from out its shell
Unsightly, in the sunless sea,
(As 'twere a spirit, forced to dwell
In form unlovely) was set free,
And round the neck of woman threw
A light it lent and borrowed too.

by Thomas Moore


This blogpost was originally composed in 2009 for . . .

Original Smile for the Camera artwork by footnoteMaven 

Wordless Wednesday :: Who is she?




Jerome Bonapart Henry (1870-1956)
& his wife, Susie Viola Henry nee Criswell (1881-1961)
& an unknown friend

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Homicide & suicide in the family tree

On this date in our extended family history . . . the 11th day of August . . . in the year 1947 . . . the body of William Harden Sharp is found under a bridge in Clermont County, Ohio. His Ohio death certificate indicates the cause of death as suicide by fire arms. Sharp reportedly chose to take his own life after causing the death (by strangulation) of his own wife and their 4-year-old daughter. His death certificate states that he was cremated, but there is no burial information indicated. At this time, I do not know if his ashes were ever claimed. I have not researched too deeply about this wife and child yet, but as of this date, I have not found their burial sites either, though their death certificates indicate they were buried at "Laurel Cemetery" with no town given. [There is a Laurel IOOF Cemetery in Hamilton County, Ohio, but the only listing I found online is for the veterans buried there.]

This William H. Sharp is a double first cousin to my maternal grandpa, which makes him a 1st cousin twice removed to the Keeper of this blog. The Ohio death certificates for all three victims of this sad story are available in the following photo album, along with photos of Wm. H. Sharp with my maternal grandpa, as well as photos of both sets of parents.

Sharp & Henry

This William is living with his parents in Houston County, Texas on the 1910 and 1920 census. I had suspected that our Wm. Sharp was the William H. Sharp enumerated on the 1930 Census in Cincinnati, Ohio -- listed as an automobile mechanic -- yet I was never sure. In 1930 he had a wife and two children (different family from the one in 1947). His father (brother to my maternal great-grandma) died in Texas in 1921. And his mother (twin sister to my maternal great-grandpa) is said to have died in 1944, presumably in Texas (she has a grave marker beside her husband in Houston County), but I have not yet been able to find her death certificate.

The little boy on the left in the above photo is the youngest of five children born to Sam and Emma (Henry) Sharp. One of William's sisters had died in 1914, but the other three siblings were still alive in 1947. The parents of both little boys must have been rather proud of their little ones who were so close to the same age as well as being double first cousins. William's aunt and uncle, Edgar and Berta Mary (Sharp) Henry (my maternal great-grandparents), were both still alive at the time of William's death, and my Mom would have been living with them in 1947, about to start her junior year in high school. My maternal grandpa (the little boy on the right in the photo) would have been back in Texas by then, having made his home in Massachusetts for almost two decades. Mom does not remember any stories about this event, and nobody seems to remember Grandpa mentioning anything about it -- the family lore came from other sources.

My grandpa (who had buried one young wife in 1932 -- my maternal grandma), was a kind and gentle man who was a gifted teller of tales and who loved to laugh, and who did not like to talk about painful times in his life. It is so hard to look at the sweet little boys in the photo, and to try to imagine such a tragic and painful ending for the other one . . .

Saturday, August 08, 2009

My Ahnentafel for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun


Randy Seaver's challenge for this evening is to List your 16 great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places. Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them. Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 - 6.25% for each. So . . .

When I get mine all figured out (see the chart and ahnentafel below) it does seem that my "dominant ethnicity or nationality" (based on my great-great-grandparents) is . . . American? . . . with a large helping of the South . . . and just a pinch of down Maine (via my maternal grandma and her ancestors).

One more generation back may take one branch across the big pond to France, but other than that, all known branches have been on American soil for several more generations, before connecting back mostly to England, with a few from France.

One line, Josephine #25, does appear (at this time) to connect waayyy back to the Kings and Queens of England and France and Ireland and Portugal and Scotland and Spain . . . and even if this potential royal connection winds up being untrue, it sure has been an interesting journey through history to look at these characters as potential ancestors, and real people, instead of just boring names on the pages of a history book.



State%
Alabama31.25
Georgia12.50
Kentucky6.25
Maine18.75
Mississippi6.25
Texas12.50
Unknown12.50

This 8.5 x 14 pale green Standard Pedigree Chart (generated by Family Tree Maker) hangs on the bookcase that sits one foot away from my computer perch (not actually a chair, but one of those ergonomic kneeling stool thingies) -- so this version of my ancestor list is always available as a quick reference. And my ahnentafel is on permanent display on one of my other sites (pre-blogspot days) -- gonetotexas.proboards.com. My great-great-grandparents from that ahnentafel (with their actual ahnentafel numbers) --

[16] Joseph W. POUNDERS (c.1822-bef.1880) married before 1867 in Alabama to
[17] Nancy Virilla QUINN (1847-1930)

  • Joseph & Nancy were both born & died in Alabama
  • Joseph's parents -- Lemuel Samuel Pounders & Mary Margery Holcomb -- were born in North Carolina
  • Nancy's father -- John Quinn -- was born in Tennessee & her mother -- Susannah -- in Alabama

[18] Unknown* unknown ? relationship ? in ? Alabama ? to
[19] Sushannah HOLLAND (1841-1930)

  • Sushannah was born in Alabama & died in Texas
  • her father -- Edward Holland -- was born in Tennessee & her mother -- Mary Annie Fretwell -- in Alabama
  • * Great-great-grandpa #18 will probably never be known. The purported father (Isaac Cain) of my great-grandma (the only daughter of Sushannah Holland) appears to have died during the war between the states . . . while "their" daughter appears to have been born in 1873 . . . about 10 years after he died . . . Sushannah drew a confederate pension on the man she claimed was the father of both of her children . . . and it stated that he died during the war (1861-1865).

[20] William Alexander MUSTON (1854-1936) married before 1880 in Texas to
[21] Mollie OLIVE (c. 1853-c. 1897)

  • William was born in Alabama & died in Texas
  • Mollie was born in Georgia & died in Texas
  • William's father -- William Thomas Muston -- was born in South Carolina & his mother -- Rebecca King -- in Alabama
  • Mollie's father -- Littleton Olive -- was born in Georgia & her mother -- Clementine Jordan -- in South Carolina

[22] Joseph Helidorah NETTLES (1832-1890) married 1871 in Texas to
[23] Mary Annie "Mollie" WEST (1852-1939)

  • Joseph was born in Alabama & died in Texas
  • Mollie was born in Mississippi & died in Texas
  • Joseph's parents are unidentified at this time
  • Mollie's father -- Richard C. West, Jr. -- was born in Kentucky & her mother -- Sarah Mildred Carter -- in Alabama


[24] William Pascal HENRY (1836-1912) married 1864 in Texas to
[25] Josephine Wingfield DAVIS (1842-1899)

  • William was born in Kentucky & died in Texas
  • Josephine was born in Georgia & died in Texas
  • William's parents -- Thomas Henry & Mary Kirtley -- were born & died in Kentucky
  • Josephine's parents -- Milton Grant Davis & America James Fears -- were born in Georgia, where her mother died while her father died in Texas

[26] Samuel Houston SHARP, Sr. (c.1839-c.1885) married 1861 in Texas to
[27] Mary Alexandrien LEMAIRE (1843-1876)

  • Samuel & Mary Alexandrien were born & died in Texas
  • Sam's father -- John M. Sharp -- may have come to Texas from Tennessee
  • Sam's mother -- Mahala Lee Roberts -- was born in Louisiana & died in Texas
  • Mary Alexandrien's mother -- Elizabeth A. Waring -- was born in Maryland & is presumed to have died in Texas
  • Mary Alexandrien's father is believed to have been born in France, & to have died at sea

[28] Atwood F. SMITH (1837-1907) married 1857 in Maine to
[29] Jerusha Marilla BARKER (1841-1899)

  • Atwood & Jerusha were born & died in Maine
  • Atwood's parents -- Hiram B. Smith & Betsey T. Ford -- were born & died in Maine
  • Jerusha's parents -- Timothy Barker & Jerusha Lakin Hobbs -- were born in Maine & are presumed to have died in Maine

[30] Unknown** unknown ? relationship ? in ? Maine ? to
[31] Phoebe MERRILL (1848-aft.1920)

  • Phoebe was born & is presumed to have died in Maine
  • both of Phoebe's parents -- William Thurston Merrill & Olive Jane [Goodwin or Mason] were born & died in Maine
  • ** Great-great-grandpa #30 will probably never be known. It does appear that Phoebe Merrill gave her baby girl, Eva Mae, to her older sister, Lizzie (Merrill) Brackett, to raise as her own.

See also -- Do you have ANY idea just how many ancestors you DO have?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: King Henry I of France

On (or about) this date in history . . . the 4th day of August . . . in the year 1060 . . . King Henry I of France dies in France, and is laid to rest at the basilica of Saint Denis, now located in a northern suburb of Paris. This King Henry is currently believed to be a 26th great-grandpa of our Josephine (1842-1899), who is a 2nd great-grandma to the Keeper of this blog.

St-Denis Basilica houses the remains of kings, queens and royal children, as well as those of leading personalities who served the French court. It is possible to date most monuments simply from their appearance, thus they serve as a chronological chart of French funeral art through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Up to the Renaissance, the only sculpture to adorn tombs was in the form of recumbent figures. . . . Around 1260 St. Louis commissioned a series of effigies of all the rulers who had preceded him since the 7th century. The figures were mere allegories but they provide a telling example of how royalty was portrayed towards the mid-13th century. . . .
P.S. If you have not read Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, I highly recommend it if you are interested in reading a historical novel that just happens to tell how the early Gothic cathedrals might have been constructed.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

1842 Wedding Date for Felix & Elizabeth



On this date in our extended family history . . . the 2nd day of August . . . in the year 1842 . . . Felix Grundy Roberts (1818-1901) marries Elizabeth K. Layton (1826-1894) in Kentucky. This Felix is the younger brother of my 3rd great-grandma, Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885). These photos of Felix and Elizabeth were shared by their 2nd great-grandson (and my 4th cousin once removed), Gary Rash, who received them from his mother, Margaret Ruth (Roberts) Rash.

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