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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

1833 :: The Night the Stars Fell



Texas is the finest portion of the Globe
that has ever blessed my vision.


The above poetic statement was penned by Sam Houston in an 1833 letter to a cousin, shortly after Sam had crossed the Red River and stepped onto Texas soil for the first time . . .

On December 2, 1832, an imposing figure stood on the north bank of Red River. His passport read: "General Sam Houston, a Citizen of the United States, thirty-eight years of age, six fee, two inches in stature, brown hair, and light complexion."

Sam would soon become a frequent visitor in the homes of some of the men later described by Alexander Horton as . . . some of the noblest men to be found in any county. They (were) generous, kind, honest and brave . . . Elisha Roberts* . . . Philip A. Sublett* . . . These were the most earliest settlers of East Texas. . . .

*This Elisha is a 4th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .
Sublett is married to Elisha's daughter, Easter Jane . . .

Before Sam left Tennessee, he served as a commander in the Tennessee volunteer militia of General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 . . . among those serving under Sam were the Parker brothers, Daniel and Isaac . . . by August of 1833, this Daniel and Isaac were members of a wagon train leaving Illinois, their destination being Texas . . . regarding the people on this wagon train (including a young girl known as Cynthia Ann), according to Glenn Frankel in his book, The Searchers, The Making of an American Legend . . .



In mid-November they reached the brown, placid Sabine River, bordered by pine trees as tall and erect as sentinels, and crossed over into Texas. They camped that first evening, November 12, 1833, near San Augustine, twenty miles deep inside their new promised land, just in time for one of the most awesome celestial events in human history.

On the Night the Stars Fell, the heavens blazed with shooting stars as large as moons trailing clouds of bluish light like divine afterthoughts. Although well past midnight, the bright burning sky illuminated the wide, awestruck faces of the pilgrims as if it were high noon. . . .



As it happens, during the year the stars rained all over the sky, Elisha Roberts and a large assortment of his kith 'n kin lived near San Augustine, just about Twenty miles deep inside their new promised land . . . i.e., just east of San Augustine and about 20 miles west of the Sabine River . . . so it is quite possible this group of travelers actually camped on land owned and / or occupied by some of our Roberts kith or kin . . .



Meanwhile, in another part of Texas in 1833 . . . a family by the name of O'Docharty is residing in San Patricio County during this year of the Plenty Stars Winter . . . as the years passed and their lives on this earth came to an end, many of these family members were laid to rest in the Old Cemetery on the Hill (FYI, it is believed by some that our Elisha's son-in-law, Bryant Daughtry, might be buried in the same cemetery) . . . the matriarch of the O'Docharty family was Susanna, who was tall and slender with a shock of red hair . . . it has been said of her that she accurately predicted her own death . . . the following is a portion of what is referred to as her epitaph . . . it is from a collection of stories handed down through generations by oral tradition . . .


And now I lie with them upon this hill
Mingling with Texas earth as seasons come and go.
Chilling northers bend grasses almost to the ground;
Low-hung clouds are misty blankets
Dropping days of rain upon the earth.

Then wild flowers make sweet the air in spring;
At dawn birds chirp and trill as if to wake us,
But we lie immutable, insensible to summer heat and winter cold . . .
While we lie here a segment of a forgotten colony.


Here I lie beside my own --
A hundred springs have come and gone
Since first I lay upon this lonely hill. . . .


This blogpost was researched and prepared specifically for The Fifth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge over at cousin Bill's blog which is known as . . . West in New England . . .


Monday, November 11, 2013

1686 :: Death of Richard E. Parrott


On this date in our family history . . . the 11th day of November . . . in the year 1686 . . . Richard E. Parrott dies in Middlesex County, Virginia . . . this Richard is a 10th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .



1791 :: Birth of Lucy Thurston


On this date in our family history . . . the 11th day of November . . . in the year 1791 . . . a baby girl is born in Cumberland County, Maine . . . her parents, Thomas Thurston and Lucy Fenderson, decide to call her Lucy . . . this Lucy is a 4th great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .



Sunday, November 03, 2013

Sentimental Sunday :: Dear Home Faces


Mrs. Silence J. Soule penned the following words . . . I have observed that old people live much in the past. As I grow older I find myself turning oftener to the days in the old home. I hear the patter and the prattle of childish feet and voice ; light step of youth and maid; sober footfall and serious word of man and matron; the slowing step and failing voice of age. All, all are gone! I alone am left of . . .

The dear home faces whereupon
The fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as I will,
The voices of that hearth are still.
How strange it seems with so much gone
Of life and love to still live on.


These few lines of poetry were adapted by cousin Silence from
Snow-Bound
by
John Greenleaf Whittier . . .

The version linked here is dedicated as follows . . .

To the Memory of the household it describes :


Happy Birthday to :: Mahala Lee & Maggie E. & Ida Mae & Berta Mary

On this date in our family history . . . the 3rd day of November . . . in the year 1816 . . . Mahala Lee Roberts is born in Washington Parish, Louisiana . . . she is the 7th of nine children known to have been born to Elisha Roberts and Patsy Gill . . .

By 1830, Mahala is living in San Augustine County, Texas with her parents and siblings . . . in 1833 her father signs his name to a document establishing the town of San Augustine . . . in 1836 Mahala marries John M. Sharp in San Augustine County . . . and at least two children will be born to them . . . Samuel Houston Sharp and Margaret Sharp . . . John Sharp is presumed to have died before 1846 . . .

In 1851, Mahala marries Joshua James Hall in San Augustine County . . . and they have at least two children . . . Roberta Hall and Toby Hall . . .

On Mahala's 53rd birthday . . . the 3rd day of November . . . in the year 1869 . . . Mahala's granddaughter, Margaret Elizabeth Sharp, is born in Liberty County, Texas . . . another two years later . . . on the 3rd day of November . . . in the year 1871 . . . another granddaughter, Ida Mae Sharp, is born in Houston County, Texas . . . Mahala would live to share another thirteen birthdays with these two granddaughters before her death in June of 1885 . . .

We are blessed to have access to a portrait of our Mahala . . . as well as photos of some of her grandchildren . . . the little one in the collage is a four-year-old version of the Keeper of this family history blog . . . in the arms of her great-grandma, Berta Mary . . . Mahala was grandma to Berta Mary . . . and is a 3rd great-grandma to the four-year-old in the photo . . .



A hundred-year-old photograph stares out from a frame.
And if you look real close you'll see our eyes are just the same.
I never met them face-to-face but I still know them well
From the stories my dear grandma would tell.




They're my Guardian Angels and I know they can see,
Every step I take they're watching over me.
I might not know where I'm going but I'm sure where I come from.
They're my Guardian Angels and I'm their special one.

A hundred-year-old photograph stares out from a frame.
And if you look real close you'll see our eyes are just the same.


This blogpost containing poetry as well as song lyrics was researched and prepared specifically for The Fifth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge over at cousin Bill's blog which is known as . . . West in New England . . .

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