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Friday, March 27, 2009

1836 :: Death of James Walker Fannin

Presidio La Bahia
Originally uploaded by
J. Stephen Conn

On this date . . . the 27th day of March . . . in the year 1836 . . . Colonel James Walker Fannin, Jr. dies in the Goliad Massacre in Texas . . . Colonel Fannin was born in Georgia . . . and is the half-brother of Eliza Walker nee Fannin . . . who is a 1st cousin five times removed to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

FANNIN JAMES W soldier and revolutionist b Georgia about 1800 d Goliad Texas March 27 1836 He removed to Texas in 1834 and in the Texas war of independence raised a company called the Brazos Volunteers In October 1835 at the head of ninety men he with Colonel Bowie defeated a superior Mexican force near Bexar and was soon . . .

Excerpt from The South in the building of the nation a history of the southern states designed to record the South's part in the making of the American nation; to portray the character and genius, to chronicle the achievements and progress and to illustrate the life and traditions of the southern people By Southern Historical Publication Society, Walter Lynwood Fleming

Thursday, March 26, 2009

1804 :: Will of William Gill

On this date in our family history . . . the 26th day of March . . . in the year 1804 . . . the will of William Gill is probated in Green County, Kentucky . . . this William Gill is the father of Martha (Patsy) Roberts nee Gill . . . who is the mother of Anna & Elizabeth & Esther & Matilda & William & Noel & MAHALA & Felix & Margaret . . . and Mahala Sharp Hall nee Roberts is the mother of Samuel Houston Sharp . . . who is the father of Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp (1873-1955) . . . who is a maternal great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

In the name of God Amen

I William Gill of the County of Green, being sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and Memory, thanks be given to Almighty God, calling to mind the Mortality of My body, knowing that it is appointed to all men once to die. make this my last will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say principally I recommend my soul to god who gave it, and my Body I commit to the dust to be Buried in a Christian like and decent manner at the discretion of my Executors. Now wishing such worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased god to Bless me with, I give desire and Bequeath it as follows. IMPRIMIS.

First I leave and Bequeath unto my Daughter Sally Robinson Thirteen Hundred and Fifty Acres of Land on Sandy By paying Two Hundred Dollars in property at its Real Value to my Daughter Peggy Gill out of Said Land, likewise I give my Daughter Sally a Negro Girl named Jane to her and her Heirs Forever.

Likewise my Daughter Patsy Roberts I Leave Two Hundred Acres of Land on Bays Fork of Big Barren joining the land he now lives on. Also one Negro man named Red to her and her Heirs Forever.

Likewise I give to my Daughter Peggy and Esther Gill the land I now live on to be divided equally in quality betwixt them Including the purchase made from Mr. John Abney.

Also one Negro Woman Sarah to my Daughter Peggy to her and her Heirs Forever.

Also one negro Girl named Poe to my Daughter Esther to her and her Heirs forever.

Also one Young man two years old to my Daughter Esther.

And as for my Stock and movable property to be sold at public sale to discharge my Lawful debts at twelve months Credit Likewise all my bonds and notes when Collected to be equally Divided among my Legatees.

I Likewise constitute make and ordain Allen Wakefield and William Brownlee Executors to this my Last will and Testament and I do hereby utterly revoke and disanul all and every other and former will Legacies, Bequeaths, and executors by me in any wise before named willed and Bequeath Ratifying and Confirming this to be my Last will and testiment.

In witness whereof I have hereunto Set my Hand and Seal this Thirteenth day of February one thousand Eight hundred and Four. The word (and Fifty) and (Sally) interlined Before signing.

Will. Gill

Will. McMurty
Will Brownlee

Copy Teste John Barnett D.C.G.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday :: Elizabeth

Elizabeth Marilla Henry nee Smith
my maternal grandma

On this date in our family history . . . the 25th day of March . . .

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: Springtime in Texas

I took these photos in the Hugh Wilson Cemetery in Tanglewood, Lee County, Texas. The wildflowers are bluebonnets and wild phlox, and indian paintbrush in the inset photo. The tombstones mark the burial sites of my 2nd great-grandparents, Joseph Helidorah NETTLES (1832-1890) and Mary Annie "Mollie" Nettles nee WEST (1852-1939). It was 177 years ago yesterday -- 23rd March 1832 -- when Joseph was born in Alabama.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

1838 :: Marriage of John & Mahala

On this date in our family history . . . the 22nd day of March . . . in the year 1838 . . . in San Augustine County, Texas . . . Mahala Lee Roberts becomes the bride of John M. Sharp . . . this Mahala and John are the grandparents of Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp (1873-1955) . . . who is a great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog . . . 

Other events on this date . . . the 22nd day of March . . .

Friday, March 20, 2009

Remembering Grandma Pounders

On Saturday, March 20th, 1999, the sun rose at 6:32 a.m. A short time later, as that sun continued to rise steadily over the fields of Texas wildflowers and peeked through the east-facing window of Room 203 at Richards Memorial Hospital in Rockdale, Ima Lois Pounders nee Muston breathed her final raspy breath here on this earth.

According to the UT-McDonald Observatory, the sun seldom rises precisely in the east or sets precisely in the west. But on this, the day of Grandma's final Homegoing, the sun rose due east and set due west, because this day was the vernal equinox ~ the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.

The following information was printed in the memorial bulletin which was distributed at Grandma's memorial service. It is downright impossible to condense nearly a century of living into a four-page leaflet, but this serves as a very brief summary of my Grandmother's life.

THE YEAR WAS 1906. And . . . the President of the United States was Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. O'Henry's The Gift of the Magi was published. School Days & Anchors Aweigh were popular songs. Shirtwaist dresses were in fashion. And . . . the second of seven daughters was born to Charlie and Emma Patience (Nettles) Muston at their home in rural Lee County, Texas. Charlie and Emma named their new baby girl Ima Lois. Over the next ten years, Ima and her big sister, Erma, would be joined by Mollie, Stella, Nona, Gladys and Pauline.

YOUTH. Charlie and Emma and their seven little girls were living in Wharton County, Texas in 1915 when Charlie died. Ima was nine years old at the time. Emma and her seven young daughters returned to Lee County to be near Emma's widowed mother, Mollie, at Cole Springs. They made that journey home in a wagon which was pulled by a gray mule named "Jack" and a gray horse named "Bill". A cousin would later state that, "...I can yet visualize the old log house down the slope and the house across the swale where the widowed Aunt Emma Muston resided with her daughters." When Ima spoke of her youth, she remembered the good times as well as the hard times. There were her Grandma Nettles' cookies, trips into town on Saturday, dances in the homes of friends and neighbors, church services under the brush arbor, Sunday dinners, and many, many more.

MARRIAGE. On 20 October 1926, Ima became the bride of Jacob Edmund Forrest Pounders (1902~1957). Their children were Forrest Lee Pounders (1927~1996), Dovie Louise (Pounders) Green (1929~1999), and Arlin Dee Pounders (1936~1988).

OTHER. Ima spent many hours crocheting while sitting in her favorite chair by the window in a corner of her kitchen. She enjoyed working with multicolored threads which were as varied as the colors of the flowers she delighted in growing in her yard. Five of Ima's crocheted doilies were incorporated as nosegays in the family spray which was placed on her casket. That same floral display also featured mock orange, english ivy and bridal wreath from Ima's yard.

As a young girl, Ima attended the Cole Springs Baptist Church in rural Lee County. After moving to Rockdale, she became a faithful supporter of the First Christian Church. Ima was employed by Linwood Mehaffey for over 50 years. Her friendship with the Mehaffey's continued until her death.

Bluebonnets and Wild Phlox in the Hugh Wilson Cemetery, Tanglewood, Lee County, Texas :: Photo by BeNotForgot

DEATH. Ima made her final journey "Home" on the first day of spring in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety-nine. Her earthly remains were laid to rest beside her husband and their two sons in the Hugh Wilson Cemetery in Tanglewood. On the day of Ima's funeral, the cemetery was covered with bluebonnets, wild phlox and Indian paintbrushes. It is the same country cemetery where Ima's mother, her maternal grandparents, as well as numerous other kith and kin are buried. Ima's Page at Find-a-Grave

Thursday, March 19, 2009

1872 :: Happy Birthday, Cousin Suzy

On this date in our extended collateral family history . . . the 19th day of March . . . in the year 1872 . . . Olivea Susan (Susy) Clemens is born in Elmira, New York . . . 

Susy Clemens was a daughter of Samuel Clemens . . . who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain . . . and his wife Olivia Langdon Clemens . . . and Susy is a 4th cousin once removed to Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899) . . . who is a 2nd great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . according to a letter written by Miss Daisy Warner, Susy Clemens enjoyed strawberries and ice cream and ladyfingers at her 15th birthday party on the 19th of March in 1887 . . . following Susy's death at the age of 24, her father had the following words engraved on her grave marker . . .

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind, blow softly here;
Green sod above, lie light, lie light-
Good-night, dear heart, good-night, good-night.

These lines were adapted from a poem by Robert Richardson . . . the original was found in a little book published in 1893 . . . Willow and Wattle . . .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Creative Gene: Carnival of Genealogy, 68th Edition

Thank you to Jasia at Creative Gene for hosting A Tribute to Women for Women's History Month. My submission, Ripples in the pool of life, was prepared in honor of my great-grandma, Eva, and the women in her life. Go visit Jasia's page to find links to other heartfelt stories of the women in our lives.

Creative Gene: Carnival of Genealogy, 68th Edition

Mom's Great-Grandmas

The prominent name in each of these four "wordles" are my great-great-grandmas on my Mother's side. 

The other names on each individual "wordle" are the surnames I currently have associated with each of these women. 

Our Josephine and Nellie (aka Mary Alexandrien) and Jerusha and Phoebe were all born in the 1840s.

Jerusha married Atwood F. Smith in York County, Maine in 1857. Their son, Thomas Warren Alonzo Smith, is my great-grandpa.

Phoebe's daughter, Eva, married the above mentioned T. W. A. Smith in 1894 in York County, Maine.

Josephine married William Paschal Henry in 1864 in Brazoria County, Texas. Their son, Edgar, is my great-grandpa.

Nellie married Samuel Houston Sharp in 1861 in Liberty County, Texas. Their daughter, Berta, married the above mentioned Edgar Henry in 1895.

P.S. The "wordles" in the above collages were created at [defunct]. Randy Seaver over at told us about this fun little word generator.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Irish Connections

Although I have yet to make any Irish connections for my maternal grandma Elizabeth, who is featured in this collage wearing her "Irish dancing costume," I have found a few connections to Ireland amongst the ancestors of the man that Elizabeth married -- Robert E. Henry (1905-1976) -- aka Grandpa Henry, e.g. . . . John Early . . . William Early . . . John Porter and Mary (Anthony) Porter . . . and, although he was not born in Ireland, our Sir Anthony St. Leger was involved in the history of Ireland. . . .

May the earth be soft under you
when you rest upon it,
tired at the end of the day.
May the earth rest so lightly over you
when at the last you lie under it
that your spirit may be
out from under it quickly
and up, and off,
and on its way to God.


Update 17 March 2022 :: Biddeford Daily Journal, Biddeford, Maine, Tuesday Evening, Apri 29, 1924, Page Six, 3rd column . . . "Juvenile Ball at Old Orchard Grand Success. Audience Taxed Capacity of Town Hall -- Fine Programme was Enjoyed. . . . ELIZABETH SMITH and Gladys Goodrich, charming in green and white costume, came next with an 'Irish Folk Dance' that made one think they were right from Erin. Their dancing was in perfect time and seemingly done with no effort, and they deserve much credit for their wonderful stage presence."

Monday, March 16, 2009

BeNotForgot ~*~ 1st Blogoversary ~*~

Today . . . March 16, 2009 . . . marks the one-year anniversary of the date on which I posted my very first item here on blogspot. This blog came about because I was searching for a convenient method of sharing our family history tidbits from Google Books, and this was the final choice. It was a good one!

And to celebrate my total enjoyment of this blogspot site, I set up another one over the weekend -- -- where I will strive to post from my family history files on a daily basis the anniversaries of that date -- whether they be birthdays or anniversaries of birth or marriage or death.

Thanks to the community members who stop by for a visit once in a while -- and y'all come back now, ya hear?

P.S. The "wordle" in the above collage was created at Randy Seaver over at told us about this fun little word generator. I'm still playing!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

~ Shades Of The Departed ~

My photo collage posted > HERE < was done for my first ever Carnival submission. I was inspired by the subject of the 11th Edition of Smile for the Camera ~ A Carnival of Images -- Brothers & Sisters -- which was hosted by ~ Shades Of The Departed ~. Go take a look-see at the wonderful entries. And special thanks to footnoteMaven for hosting this Carnival, and for all the work involved in assembling and displaying the many entries. She presents our work in a very professional and caring manner.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

1844 :: Our Elisha visits Adolphus Sterne

Sterne's Home
From 28 September 1840 to 18 November 1851, Nicholas Adolphus Sterne kept a diary of his daily activities, which is a valuable source of information on the period of the Republic of Texas . . . and the names of some of our kith 'n kin are scattered through these pages . . . regarding this date in our family history . . . the 14th day of March . . . here are the words Sterne penned in his diary in 1844 . . . 

Thursday the 14th very hard shower of rain last night Clear this morning, worked a little in the garden sold Dap a Poney I purchased of Dan. J. Toler to Mr Parsons to pay my debts Mr Barrett who had gone to San Augustin returned this Evening my old friend ELISHA ROBERTS stops with me to night from his place on Trinity, on his way home [to San Augustine].

This Elisha Roberts is a 4th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ripples in the pool of life

How long after you are gone
will ripples remain as evidence
that you were cast into the pool of life?
G.M. Bright

According to family tradition, 25-year-old Phoebe gave birth to a baby girl on the 17th day of January in the year 1874, presumably on the Merrill family home place in Maine . . . at that time, Phoebe had already been married and had a son, but for reasons we will probably never know, the new baby girl went home with Phoebe's older sister, to be raised by Lizzie* and Peter as their own daughter . . . that baby girl grew up to become the woman my Mom still refers to as her "Grammie Smith" -- Eva May Smith nee "Brackett" . . .

Eva was raised in the household of a veteran of the war between the states, who was himself a son of a Revolutionary soldier . . . as a result of her adoptive father's service in the Fifth Maine, Eva and her family had access to one of the sleeping rooms in the Queen Anne Style cottage built by the Fifth Maine as a reunion hall and summer cottage on Peaks Island . . . and there they went on frequent outings during the summers of Maine . . .

Eva married in 1894, and was partners with her husband in the family landscaping and florist business . . . Eva's "mother" (i.e., Aunt), Lizzie -- aka Elizabeth -- died in 1911, and in 1912 Eva gave birth to her 2nd surviving child, a baby girl she named Elizabeth Marilla . . . Eva continued to run the florist business following the 1920 death (at his own hand) of her husband . . . even after 1920, Eva would load up her widowed father and her children in the family car for a trip to Peaks Island . . . Eva's father, Peter Brackett, died in 1927 . . .

In July of 1929, a few months shy of her 17th birthday, Elizabeth married a handsome sailor from Texas . . . in 1930 their son was born in Lynn, Massachusetts . . . in 1931, following a 4-year stint in the U.S. Navy, her husband came "home" to the apartment they shared with Eva in Lynn . . . early in 1932 Elizabeth gave birth to her 2nd child, a baby girl named Roberta Mae . . . and three days later, Elizabeth was dead . . .

Roberta and her brother and father continued to make their home with "Grammie Smith" at least until the father remarried late in 1934 . . . Grammie Smith -- aka Eva May -- died in 1936 in Lynn . . . she was laid to rest beside her husband and daughter in Saco, Maine . . .

The ripples are still spreading, Eva . . .
Thanks for being a pebble in our family pool . . .

This blogography was prepared during National Women's History Month as A Tribute to Women for the Carnival of Genealogy which is being hosted over at Creative Gene.

Remembering . . . on this date in our family history . . . the 13th day of March . . . in the year 1821, Olive Jane Goodwin is born in Saco, Maine . . . she is the mother of Phoebe (Merrill) Morse Tripp who gave birth to Eva May [Brackett] Smith . . . and Olive is also the mother of Elizabeth (Merrill) Brackett who raised Eva May as her own child . . .

*P.S. . . . the image of the lady identified as "Lizzie" in the collage (above) was shared by a cousin in Maine . . . this woman was identified as "Lizzie Merrill" but the cousin is not sure if it is the Lizzie who married Peter Brackett . . . please do contact benotforgot if you are able to positively identify this woman . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They were there for each other

Other things may change us, but we start and end with family. 

This is an undated photo of my mother, Roberta, and her brother, Robert, Jr., who were born in Massachusetts in 1932 and 1930 respectively. 

Their 19-year-old mother, Elizabeth, died three days following Roberta's birth, and the children lived with their father, Robert, Sr., and maternal grandma, Eva, until their father remarried late in 1934. 

By 1940, Robert and Roberta were living in Texas with their paternal grandparents, Edgar and Berta Mary, and there they stayed until they finished school and went out into the world. 

Robert, Jr., like his father before him, joined the Navy, and then spent his entire life looking for something to fill the emptiness inside him. 

Roberta married her knight in shining armor -- whom she first spotted when he rode horseback by the home she shared with her grandparents -- and together they raised four children. 

Robert, Jr. returned to the state of his birth only once -- that being the year following the death of his father -- when he accompanied myself and my mom to New England. We took photos of the house in Massachusetts where Robert and Roberta were born, and where their Mother died. In Maine, we snapped shots of the family home where Elizabeth spent her childhood, and where her father took his own life in 1920. 

And tears were shed in the autumn of that year as we stood beside the unmarked grave of the eternally-19-year-old Elizabeth . . . on what would have been her 65th birthday . . . tears for Elizabeth, whose life was cut so short . . . and tears for the children who were deprived of their Mother's love . . .  

This "Brothers & Sisters" photo collage and story was prepared for the 11th edition of "Smile for the Camera."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Heidi Snow

Heidi Snow is founder and executive director of AirCraft Casualty Emotional Support Services . . . . and she is a 4th cousin to the keeper of this geneablog. Our common ancestors are William Thurston Merrill (1816-1898) and Olive Jane Goodwin (1821-1895).

The Buffalo News Updated: 03/01/09 1:47 PM Peer counselors can help those who lost loved ones By Heidi Snow Thirteen years ago, I lost my fiance aboard TWA Flight 800. After we exchanged our final “I love you’s” and he set off for Paris, I turned on the TV to find the Flight 800 debris burning on the dark Atlantic Ocean. . . .

Click > HERE < to read the rest of the story . . . and click > HERE < to read another recent story about Heidi and her family.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Women's History Month

Jasia over at Creative Gene blogged that, In keeping with the month of March being National Women's History Month, and March 8th being International Women's Day, the topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will once again be: A Tribute to Women. Write a tribute to a woman on your family tree . . . go to Creative Gene: Carnival of Genealogy, 67th Edition for more info.

FYI, previous entries may be found at the following links --

Sunday, March 01, 2009

1864 :: Marriage of Josephine and Wm. P.

HENRY - W P & Josephine
It is a winter's Tuesday in Civil War Texas when Josephine Wingfield Davis becomes the bride of William Paschal Henry, then a young Confederate soldier . . . the ceremony takes place on the 1st day of March 1864 . . . somewhere in Brazoria County on the Texas Gulf Coast . . .

The youngest of five children of Milton Grant Davis and America James Fears, Josephine was born the 10th of May 1842 in Morgan County, Georgia . . . sometime after the death of her Mother in 1857 . . . and before the 1860 Texas census . . . Josephine and all of her siblings, along with their widowed Father, join the westward movement to Texas . . .

According to an entry on a photocopy of Josephine's Family Bible . . . William Paschal Henry was born on the 19th of February 1836 . . . it has been said that he was born in Greensborough [sic], Kentucky . . . the handwriting for said Bible entry is the same as on their marriage record, which was found in Brazoria County by Pam (Pounders) Bryan . . .

In October of 1876, Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Henry and their five surviving children arrive in Milam County, Texas for a visit with Josephine's sister . . . Mrs. Milton G. (Margaret Davis) Antony . . . the Wm. P. Henry family soon move to Milam County, settling on land in the Bethlehem Community north of Rockdale . . .

Josephine dies tragically in October of 1899 . . . and William P. dies in February of 1912 . . . they are buried side-by-side in the Murray Cemetery north of Rockdale, Milam County, Texas . . . this Josephine and Wm. P. Henry are 2nd great-grandparents of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

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