Yes, you read that correctly. A Thousand Worlds. That's sometimes how I feel about the life that my tree has taken on. Each segment being a different world for which I get to glimpse into for a few fleeting moments.
I recently received some photos and documents that I've never seen from a cousin. While I love documents, the old photos show me things and clues that I might possibly never figure out with a written word. My dad used to sit and watch movies with my mom and I. Mom would get so mad at him when he'd start talking about all the old cars and interrupting the movie. To him, the car told the story behind the story. Often, it told his story, or his dad's story.
What do you see in the worlds of each of your photos? Explore that question and enjoy your Adventures in Genealogy!
Tracking the family stories
It's always a wonder how stories get handed down from generation to generation. Years ago, even only 30 years ago, our parents would sit by campfires, or in the livingroom and share story after story about family and our roots.
But how do you track some long handed down lore? When ancestors who told the stories are long gone and you only have a small portion of a memory to go on with little details, where do you start?
Here are two stories I've recently learned. I share to see if someone may help out with it. Maybe one of you reading has heard the story too and knows another tidbit to add to the clues.
Twins Jasper Gerome Duke and Newton Monroe Duke were sons of James T Duke and Lizzie Judith Wilson Duke. Newton was at the Marion, Perry County, Courthouse sometime after 1870 and before 1872 when someone mistakenly shot him on the steps thinking he was Jasper.
Why was Newton at the Courthouse that day?
Who shot him?
Why did the shooter have a problem with twin Jasper?
Are there newspaper records of said shooting?
Robert Oneal Duke- grandson of Thomas J Duke who was brother to the above two mentioned Duke twins, told a story that one of "The Duke boys" was visiting in Tupelo, Mississippi when he got news that his only child in Arkansas had died of Diphtheria. He then boarded a train en route home and got off in Memphis, Tennessee, clearly distraught, he rented a hotel room and hanged himself.
Which Duke "boy" was this? Facts- quite a few of this family moved to Arkansas and also lived in Tupelo, but I'm not certain that any had only one child that I can tell. - could this be the elusive 'other brother' for which I've never found any valid information on? (James B Duke - brother to all of the above named Duke siblings.)
While I'm working on these stories, other little ones pop up and I take some side trips. If you are a Duke relative and you have heard a story, please feel free to leave me a message and let me know and perhaps we can have fun in our
Today's Wednesday Wonders what intrigues you? What part of your research do you find the MOST fascinating?
For me this would be the items they had and wondering if they were wishing they had something else in it's place. I'm sure they did. I have sat and looked at Estate files for hours and hours reading all about the items a family had, what they estimated their worth to be and what they sold them for. It's also very interesting to see how they named things differently than we do now.
There is a new program on a cable channel about young Amish leaving their families and travelling to New York. It was interesting to watch the reactions of the one young boys who had no idea what a microwave was and watched the hot water in the indoor plumbing in the shower - he'd never taken a shower before.
What hard times have you found your family lived through? Wars? Famine? Plague? Financial crisis?
While you are finding your vital facts for your family, take the time to look into the town around them. What is going on during their life in the local community, county, state or in the country.
Today I wondered what it would have been like for the women who were left behind during the Civil War in the south, particularly Alabama and Mississippi. The typical picture is Scarlet fleeing her burned plantation and rebuilding somewhere else waiting, toiling and worrying. Was this an accurate representation? I doubt it.
The majority of people who went to war, who owned farms, were not plantation owners, but regular farmers with families. So what did their wives, mothers and children do while they were away? What did they do when the soldiers came to their farms? When their city or town as over-run by Union soldiers, how did they deal with it? Did they cooperate, did they flee, were they killed or robbed?
While I have a pretty clear picture of the men in my Civil War project family, I don't know much of the women in that family during that time frame. There were no major census between 1861-1865 and particularly in Alabama, the state census didn't occur until 1866. I think the best way to come across information is to contact a local historian. My first step was to call the library of that area.
Unfortunately, I had gotten a back up person who only filled in occasionally, and she was not from the area. But, she did give me info that the person who usually works there is an elder in the community and a local historian. She let me know when to call back.
I'm sure she can point me in the direction of some research, and maybe even tell me something herself about the community I'm researching. I've had a great time trying to find these things out and I hope you too, have fun with your Adventures in Genealogy!
Names have been a topic of discussion for me lately. I think this only adds to my obsessing over doing more research. According to some genealogists and historians, naming children used to be part of tradition often times naming each child after a different relative. Quite often the first son named after the father's father, the second after the mother's father.
While I've found a couple instances of that practice myself, the majority of the time I have found that a fondness of a particular name is more common, as well as surnames used as middle or given names. Occasionally I have found names that are peculiar and not used before a certain time frame but used quite frequently after the first instance.
One example is a recent discovery on a distant branch of my tree. The Children of Henry Randolph - who died shortly before his twin son and daughter were born. Apparently distraught to an unmentionable degree, his wife Elizabeth named there son Grief and their daughter Mourning. These names then often repeated themselves throughout the next few generations. Mourning, died at a young age, but Grief lived on to marry and die well into his old age.
What naming practices have puzzled you about the in your family tree? Did you find a pattern in the names? What is the most interesting name you've found? Was a peculiar name passed on through generations?
Enjoy your Adv
What would you do if you could go back in time and talk to any ancestor you wanted to? I know this question is often posed in different forms, but since this is a genealogy blog, well hey, I'm using it too.
Who would you talk to? What would you ask them? If they were in another country, how would you communicate? What would you ask them to show you? What do you think they'd like you to remember when you left?
I think about these things sometimes. If I could go back and talk to an ancestor, I'd probably be the mother of my Civil War Family (see menu above). I would want to know what it was like trying to raise so many children after her husband died. I also would love to know how she felt about the war both before and after. I would love for her to show me whatever item it was that was the most important possession to her. I'm sure she'd want me to remember her children, the lives they lived and the legacy that is now long forgotten.
While you are out there researching, digging in those dusty books and papers, charting dates and names, remember to write a small story about the family you are working on. Just a few lines, thoughts and memories will leave a little jewel for future generations to come.
Your Wednesday Wonder challenge: Buy a notebook, journal or composition book and for one month, keep a daily journal. If all you write that day is, "I ate some salad." What would you like future generations to remember about you? What one possession do you want them to know about of yours? What legacy do you want to leave them?
and while you are at it, enjoy those Adventures in Genealogy!
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