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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Making Memories

In our immediate family, the month of January is full of significant dates, including the birthdays of my Mom as well as one of her great-grandsons. 

Those two particular events were celebrated in 2010 during a family gathering held the last weekend of January.

This collage (click to enlarge) incorporates some of the images I captured during that 2010 get-together (with most photos intentionally made small to protect the privacy of the living). That's my beautiful Mom and the birthday-boy in the center of this collection of memories. 

The quote I used in the collage . . . I won't forget you -- ever! . . . is adapted from the final chapter in The House at Pooh Corner . . . which tells the story of Christopher Robin as he leaves behind his childhood . . . and his best friends . . .

"Pooh, when I'm - you know - when I'm not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?"
"Just Me?"
"Yes, Pooh."
"Will you be here too?"
"Yes, Pooh, I will be really. I promise I will be, Pooh."
"That's good," said Pooh.
"Pooh, promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred."
"How old shall I be then?"
Pooh nodded."I promise," he said.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

1863 :: Birth of Major Sharp

On this date in our extended family history . . . the 25th day of January . . . in the year 1863 . . . James Hall Sharp is born in Houston County, Texas. The details of his birth were recorded by James Madison Hall (1819-1866) in one of a series of almost daily writings kept by him during the time period of the war between the states. The new parents -- Sam H. Sharp and his wife, Mary A. Sharp familiarly called Nellie -- are 2nd great-grandparents of the Keeper of this geneablog. Mahala aka Mother is the mother of Sam as well as of Hall's wife, Margaret aka the little woman, and is, therefore, my 3rd great-grandma.

Sunday, January 25, 1863. Today at 8 o'clock a.m. Sam H. Sharp's wife Mary A. Sharp familiarly called Nellie, was delivered of a male child, which weighed 7¾ lbs. which said child was by his parents named James Hall Sharp in honor of the writer of this journal, and at said delivery there was present Margaret A. Hall, Mahala L. Hall, Mrs. L. A. Bird, Sam H. Sharp & myself assisted by two negro women both by the name of Louisa. Nellie sustained herself very well under the circumstances and had rather an easy time than otherwise. The child aforesaid by way of nick name we dubbed & created "Major" ... in order to distinguish him from the little woman's child James, alias Jim. Mrs. Bird returned home on the evening, Mother however remained. Weather changeable and warm, with occasional showers of rain, rendering it very disagreeable.

January 2010 marked the sesquicentennial of the date in 1860 when J.M. Hall began the daily writing in his journal. In a project that is scheduled to be completed in 2016, and will cover the entire period of the sesquicentennial of the war between the states, Hall's writings are being posted on a daily basis at . . . . . .

1885 :: Death of Milton Antony M.D.

On this date in our extended family history . . . the 25th day of January . . . in the year 1885 . . . Dr. Milton Antony dies in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas.

Dr. Antony is my 1st cousin five times removed . . . and he is also the husband of the older sister of my 2nd great-grandma, Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899) . . . he is buried in the Old City Cemetery, which is just out of sight at the bottom edge of this postcard.

Dr. Milton Antony, Jr. was a Confederate Surgeon in Brazoria County, Texas during the years of the war between the states . . . then relocated to Milam County, Texas where he was the third Postmaster in Rockdale, serving 06 June 1876 to 26 April 1877 . . . which was one month after the entire wooden portion of Rockdale burned . . . he was a practicing physician in both Cameron and Rockdale . . . a Henry family reunion write-up in a 1931 edition of The Rockdale Reporter states that . . .

On Oct. 3, 1876, the Henrys [my 2nd great-grandparents] arrived in Rockdale to visit a sister and family of the Mrs. Henry's, it being Dr. and Mrs. M. F. Anthony, who at that time had the post office and drug store combined on the corner where the Wolf Hotel now stands.

That is the Wolf Hotel on the right corner of the Rockdale postcard. The Wolf sat on the northeast corner of the intersection of Main and Milam. According to a history of Rockdale published in 1936, a two-story stone and brick bank building was erected in 1875, which later became the Wolf Hotel, and then, ca. 1935, the American Legion Hall. An 1885 map of Rockdale does show a bank at that location, and on the corner across the street is a post office in the Mundine House.

A year before Josephine arrived in Rockdale to visit her sister, Margaret, the following item appeared in the 12 November 1875 issue of the Galveston Weekly News . . .

There are street fights occurring (in Rockdale) almost every day and the officers of the law seem to enjoy it, taking their fines, never giving offenders the least word of warning or lecture. Nothing better could be expected when they license women of ill fame for ten dollars a month and receive half of the fines and their compensation. The most disgusting of it is, when they choose, these officers step beyond their authority and utterly disregard the law at pleasure. Every day or two some very interesting scenes occur in the pettifoggeries of Rockdale.

And just a year before that 1875 report, the same paper, in the 09 November 1874 issue, described the brand new city of Rockdale as being . . .

delightfully located in a thriving section of the county. . . . there are two or three banks, fifty or sixty merchants, and plenty of saloons, and has generally all the appearances of a railroad town. . . . While all is new and in some degree crude, there are some fine stone and brick buildings. . . . Where a population of eighteen hundred now thrive, was ten months ago the home of the deer, and the pleasure ground of the black bear.

For more information about Dr. Antony and his family, see . . .

P.S. The handwritten paper in the background of the collage is a document from 1864, signed by Milton Antony, M.D. and three other doctors -- requesting the Confederate army to excuse the only druggist in Brazoria County, Texas from being conscripted into the army . . .

Saturday, January 23, 2010

An Ode to My Family History

The following poem was composed as an introduction to an imaginary book about the entire community of kith 'n kin that is buried in a certain little country cemetery in Central Texas ... many are connected to a particular group who were known as "Us Mississippians" during the latter part of the 19th century ... written as if talking to the descendants of my nieces & nephews, et al ...

May I share with you a little story
of a quiet resting place
tis a small country graveyard
home to those who have finished life's race.

Tis a lovely place in the springtime
bluebonnets & wild phlox abound
here & there a pink evening primrose
a lovely pallet amidst nature's sounds.

Allow me to introduce a few folks
who begat the who who begat you
for one of these days there will be a time
when I won't be here to walk with you.

Let's start here at the grave of my Father
a gentle humble man was he
he loved making little kids giggle
always enjoying the sound of their glee.

And over here, these are his parents
they were married for 31 years
Pa Jake died early, but Granny lived on
she outlived their two sons & her peers.

Jake's parents are next in this row of graves
of loved ones of which you're a mix
they left Belgreen, Alabama for Texas
in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-six.

And over yonder is Pa Jake's Grandma
she's buried a few rows away
the homemade marker just says Grandma Cain
with no mention of a birth or death day.

Now let's stroll a little bit farther
past the graves of our kith 'n kin
to the other end of the graveyard
where older markers are known to stand.

(Did you happen to bring your camera
you know there's always an image to save
like that tree standing there in the corner
like a guardian over each silent grave.

I have captured it during each season
in winter, spring, summer & fall
there just seems to be something about that old tree
that has spent years watching over us all.)

Now that grave belongs to my Dad's Grandma
the mother of seven was she
not a son did she have, all girls in the house
and a widow when the baby was wee.

Near to her are her own loving parents
the father who served with John Hood
& the young bride from Mississippi
who beside many a grave has stood.

Dear One . . .

These graves hold the dust of your history
for many years they have been gone
they lived & they died before you were born
these generations have all traveled on.

And when I have slipped the bonds of this earth
with this family is where I will be
& this ground is where my dust will rest
only rememberings will be left of me.

So when you come here to reminisce
& these old acquaintances to renew
may the memories never dim, let them be not forgot
'cause they begat the who who begat you.

~ The ancestors spoken of here ~

My Father
Forrest Lee Pounders (1927-1996)

His Parents
Jacob Edmund Forrest Pounders (1902-1957)
Ima Lois Pounders nee Muston (1906-1999)

Pa Jake's parents
James Madison Pounders (1867-1942)
Mary Susan Pounders nee [Cain] (1873-1950)

Grandma Cain
Sushannah Cain [?] nee Holland (1841-1930)

My Father's Maternal Grandma
Emma Patience Muston nee Nettles (1882-1964)

Her Parents
Joseph Helidorah Nettles (1832-1890)
Mary Annie "Mollie" Nettles nee West (1852-1939)

... plus a large number of assorted kith 'n kin,
many being the very people who were mentioned
in the family stories told by these ancestors ...

This poem was composed for -- and has been submitted for consideration to -- the 89th edition of Jasia's Carnival of Genealogy.
Special thanks to footnoteMaven for the delightful COG poster.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1843 Sterne visits our Kinfolk

From September 28, 1840, to November 18, 1851, Nicholas Adolphus Sterne kept a diary of his daily activities, which is a valuable source of information on the period of the republic. The names of some of our kith 'n kin are scattered through these pages. Below you will find what Sterne wrote about on this date in 1843. Mrs. Elisha Roberts is my 3rd great-grandma, Martha "Patsy" Roberts nee Gill (ca. 1781 - 18 Dec 1845) and Mrs. Sublett is one of her daughters, and my 3rd great-grand-aunt, Esther Jane Sublett nee Roberts (1808-1891).

Tuesday the 17th January [1843] weather still moderate-- Concluded not to go any further East, Sabine very high-- Mr Hoya went on with C. H. Gibson to Natchitochez [Louisiana]-- and myself returned to San Augustin [Texas], Stopped on the Road to see my old friend and acquaintance MRS ELISHA ROBERTS also MR AND MRS SUBLETT, arrived at San Augustin at 11 A. M. Dined with Deyoung. heard Miss Morange perform on the Piano-- herself and her Brother performed a Duet composed by Braham it was a treat indeed, such a one as I do not expect again in Texas-- left San Augustin at 2 oclock P. M, and stopped all night at Walter Murrays

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shades of the Departed

It's time to celebrate . . . 'cause the 3rd edition of Shades of the Departed, and the 1st of the New Year, is on the stands! Included in this issue are wonderful contributions by . . .

My contribution is an article which focuses on a journey back in time with James Madison Hall (1819-1866) and his kith 'n kin. And speaking of . . .

One hundred fifty years ago today . . . on this very date . . . the 16th day of January . . . in the year 1860 . . . James Madison Hall sat down, picked up his pen, and composed a few sentences about the events of his day. J.M. Hall would continue this practice on a daily basis until his death in September of 1866. Sooooo . . .

Beginning today, the sesquicentennial of the date when Hall began his Journal, I began posting . . . and will hopefully be able to continue to do so on a daily basis . . . the date-appropriate entries from the referenced Journal. These Journal excerpts are being given their very own blog . . . . . . which will automatically fead to my Twitter account (just in case you would like to follow me there). As time allows, I will add notes of interest about the people and places he mentions, as well as tidbits of information about world events of the same time period. But in the meantime . . .

Make sure you hop on over to Shades of the Departed to check out what fM put together to celebrate the beginning of a New Year.

P.S. FYI . . . I like to download each new issue of Shades as a PDF file and save a copy of it on both of my computers. That is easier for me (especially with my dial-up connection) for when I want to check back on something I remember reading. I have also saved copies on a flash-drive, which I will be taking to my Mom tomorrow, so she'll have her very own copies.

FYI . . . if you are unable to view Shades of the Departed while using Firefox (as is the case for the Keeper of this family history blog), please try viewing this page in Chrome . . .

Friday, January 15, 2010

1864 :: Grandpa Sam arrested by Confederates in Texas

On this date in our family history . . . the 15th day of January . . . in the year 1864 . . . Samuel Houston Sharp is imprisoned on suspicion of being liable for conscription . . . this Sam is a 2nd great-grandpa of the Keeper of this family history blog . . . and this part of our Sam's life was recorded as follows in the daily journal of James Madison Hall. . . .

15 Jan 1864 ... In the evening while Sam & I were running the mills a file of soldiers rode up and arrested us, and forthwith shut up my mills and marched us off to Crockett like common felons. when we reached Crockett we were imprisoned in the Court house and a guard mounted over us. We were not allowed any fire or food, neither were we permitted to converse with any person. So we were kept, without any charge against us but upon mere suspicion that we were liable for conscription.

So much for our boasted rights as Southren gentlemen and for the causes which led us to sever our connection with the old government. Had I been thus treated by the Yankees I could have borne it all without complaint for I could not have expected any thing else, but coming from those who ought to be our guardians instead of our oppressors comes exceedingly hard, and not well calculated to make good and true soldiers to the Confederacy. I predict that it is but the beginning of the reign of Military despotican? and will brake down our once happy land of freedom.

I was again discharged late in the night but how long before I am again arrested God only knows. Sam however was kept in close confinement all night. Weather clear & cold. J.M. Hall

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday :: Snow at Laurel Hill Cemetery

This is a snowy view of the Smith burial plot and the area surrounding it in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, Maine . . . the snow photos were taken in March of 1998 . . . click on the photo to enlarge it . . .

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Day 1861-1866

1861 NEW YEAR'S DAY 1866
as recorded by
James Madison Hall

Tuesday January 1st 1861. Today I am still in Galveston, and adjusted my matters of dispute with Nelson Clements. I left Galveston at 3.P.M. on the steamer Ruthven bound for Liberty in company with James Wrigley and had a very pleasant passage. expenses while at Galveston $20. weather clear & cold. [Galveston, Texas]

Wednesday January 1st 1862. To day I am busy in the Warehouse. I assisted however in placing five of the cannon, balls and carriages on the steamer Ruthven to be taken to Galveston. weather changeable & cool. [Liberty County, Texas]

Thursday January 1st 1863. Today Sam Sharp [i.e., Samuel Houston Sharp -- my 2nd great-grandpa] went to Crockett for the purpose of hiring a negro boy, but returned home without doing so. Mother [i.e., Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts -- my 3rd great-grandma] sent Louisa up to assist the little woman [i.e., Margaret A. Hall Stewart nee Sharp -- Sam's sister, & Hall's wife] in preparing and putting up her sausages. as I have now got the entire control and possession of my mill I contemplate jotting down her earnings and out lay for the current year. it is agreed however between Sam Sharp & I that he shall act as the miller, I attending only during his absence. Nellie [i.e., Mary Alexandrien Sharp nee Lemaire -- my 2nd great-grandma] is still sick but improving. I ground ten bushels of corn. weather cloudy & rather warm on my pork, with a shower of rain at night. [Houston County, Texas]

Friday January 1st 1864. This being the first day of the current year, I commence my notes of the events that take place immediately around me, and in which I have any interest. The boys are at work chopping and hauling wood, which is very essential during the present cold spell. Sam [Sharp] & I ground 17 bushels of corn and 10 bushels of wheat. Weather clear and bitter cold. I think some what colder than yesterday. I thought I would freeze at night although I kept a fire in my room the whole time. [Houston County, Texas]

In many ways, the events that made news in Galveston in 1864 were not that different from the events that make news today: weather, scandals involving those in authority, and a series of bizarre deaths and crimes. With military attention focused on campaigns and battles in other places, the civilian and military inhabitants of the city concentrated on making the most of their lives in the confines of an occupied city. It was not an easy task. The year started out with one of the coldest winters on record. The western part of Galveston Bay was covered with ice to a depth of as much as an inch-and-a-half in thickness. Snow fell and accumulated on the ground to a depth of one inch, an almost unheard of event in Galveston. The cold weather continued throughout the winter months, with one storm from the North following another. The weather caused much suffering for soldiers and civilians who were without sufficient firewood to keep warm or cook their meals. This problem became so acute that orders were issued allowing vacant houses and unused wharves to be torn apart and used as fuel. . . . from Battle on the Bay by Cotham . . .

Sunday January 1st 1865. Today I commence my notes of daily events that may happen immediately around me during the current year just began. Though they are of no interest to any one safe my own family. Nevertheless I cheerfully enter upon my task. We all left home and rode down to Mother's [Mahala] where we spent an agreeable day, returning home in the evening. A sick soldier stopped with us for the night. Weather clear and rather warm for the season of the year. [Houston County, Texas]

Monday January 1st 1866. Today I commence my notes of events that may daily happen immediately around me during the current year. This notes are not intended to be of any service to any one except myself as a book of reference and to my family as a faithful exposition of my daily transacting. I formed & entered into a copartnership with James Wrigley to carry on in the town of Liberty a general Commission and Warehouse business. The Steamer Kate & sloop Luna left for Galveston. The little woman had a fine new year's dinner, which reflected great credit upon her art as a house keeper. I entered into a contract with negro man Albert to work for the year at 15$ per month with board, he furnishing a negro woman to cook. I also employed my old servant Hicks for the year at 10$ per month. Weather cloudy & cold with incessant rain throughout the entire day. [Liberty County, Texas]

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