Friday, December 15, 2017

Family Memories: The Christmas Tree

Here is a Christmas Tree Memory from my paternal grandmother,
Ivy R. (Mark) Brown, 1908 OH – 2003 NY,
daughter of Thomas K. & N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark.
In 1994 she talked to me about Christmas in Ohio when she was a little girl.

Some years it was kind of spare. Some years we had a tree and we had candles, wax candles. The night before we took the tree down Dad would get a couple buckets of water and put it by his chair and light all the candles. We would all sit around and sing Christmas Carols and look and watch the candles burn, Dad keeping a sharp eye on the tree.

Here I am, many years ago, in a new blue dress, in front of the Christmas tree.

Here is a Christmas Tree Memory of my own about my brothers and our mother, 
Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown, 1928 – 1992,
daughter of Nathaniel & Helen (Coyle) Gardner.

Our mother made Christmas a magical time for us. The tree, the presents, the candles in the windows, the cookies. Our mother did it all. The  tree. We’d usually buy a tree from a local farm. My brothers would slide it in back of the station wagon and we’d take it home to decorate. One year, my oldest brother, Lance, had a friend who told him about a place where we could cut down our own tree. It was south of us, in Rock City.  We decided to try it. We bundled up in warm clothes, my brothers got the saw and we piled into the big old station wagon. The tree nursery was on the side of a steep hill, covered in snow, ice and pine trees. Lance’s friend assured our mother it was safe to drive up the hill on the rustic ‘road’ which was nothing but a dirt path. She did. As we were selecting a tree, it began to snow, adding a new, thick layer to the snow already on the ground. My brothers, Lance and Del, laid in the snow and carefully cut down the tree. Our youngest brother, Mark, helped them to load it in the car. It was time to leave when we realized there was no place for Mom to turn the car around. Lance’s friend admitted that his parents had walked up the hill. He had never seen anyone drive up. Very slowly and cautiously Mom backed down that hill.  By then it seemed more like a mountain to all of us. The snow was coming down heavily. The tree blocked Mom’s rear view. She rolled down her window and put her head out to see where she was going. We children were all very quiet so she could concentrate. On the way down she backed over more than one small pine tree, which helped to slow our decent. When we were safely down we were all very happy!

I hope you make many new family memories this Christmas! 

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

William Dorten Smith in MS

William Dorten Smith
1818 - 1906
Son of: George N. Smith, Sr. & Clarissa Clara Dillon
[George N. Smith = my 4th great grand uncle]
Husband of: Lucretia Dykes 

I found these details about William's family from this Bible.

The William D. Smith Bible

WD Smith & Lucretta Dikes m 14 Nov 1839
WD Smith b 14 Jan 1818 – d 16 Oct 1906
Lucretta Dikes b 10 May 1825

George           b 6 Dec 1840
Clara Ann       b 11 Jan 1843
William L        b 6 Apr 1845
Henry J          b 24 May 1847
Jaratt R          b 2 June 1849
Newey            b 21 June 1852 – d 9 Aug 1854
Isaac F           b 30 May 1854
Cinderilla       b 12 July 1856
Jasper D        b 17 Dec 1858
Nancy C         b 5 Sept 1860
Lucretta          b 18 Feb 1863 – d 7 Nov 1896
Murray           b 3 May 1866
Wright            b 1 Nov 1871 – d 18 Mar 1873

Source: Mississippi Genealogical Society, Mississippi Cemetery and Bible Records, Vol. 7 (Jackson, MS, 1960) digital image, Genealogy Gophers ( accessed November 2017) 85.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sorting the Children of John Wilson Brumfield

John Wilson Brumfield
1811 LA - 1889 LA
Son of John B. Brumfield


Cinderella Lanier Brumfield
c1817 LA - 1884 LA

There are times when it is difficult to sort out the children in a family. Census reports are not always consistent. The handwriting of the census taker might not be clear. Unique names may be difficult to spell. In families with a long list of names they are sometimes confused. I find an excel spreadsheet helps me to make sense out of the confusion.

I also compared my research to various Ancestry Trees. I do not cite unsourced Trees but they can lend a bit of clarity to raw data.

The names for Candace & Claretta were a muddle until I looked at the big picture.

Are you related to this family? I'd like to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Presidential Relatives

I am not aware of any US Presidents in my family tree.
 However, that did not stop my family from naming their sons after our presidents.
Besides having several George Washingtons we have these famous names.

Thomas Jefferson
was the 3rd US President. He lived 1743 – 1826.

Thomas Jefferson Brumfield     1884- 1950   son of James Monroe Brumfield & Sarah Prescott

Thomas Jefferson Futch     1830 – 1914 husband of Mary Elizabeth Fortenberry

Thomas Jefferson Mark      1840 – 1863   son of Abraham Mark & Mary Isabella Heffelfinger.            Killed in the Civil War.

James Monroe
was the 5th US President. He lived 1758 – 1831.

James Monroe Brumfield     1843 – 1899 son of J. K. Brumfield & Hannah Youngblood.
          His brother was George Washington Brumfield.

James Monroe Brumfield     1854 – 1896 son of Isaac N. Brumfield & Sarah J Smith

James Monroe Fortenberry   b 1877     son of Thomas B Fortenberry & Gabriella Sanders

James Monroe Ott               1886 – 1951 son of William W. Ott & Sarah Euseba Ellzey

Andrew Jackson
was the 7th US President. He lived 1767 – 1845.

Andrew Jackson Alford        1866 – 1944 son of Jeptha J. Alford

Andrew Jackson Andrews     1837 – 1914 husband of Susan Lucinda Brumfield

Andrew Jackson Andrews     b 1876          son of Andrew Jackson Andrews

Andrew Jackson Brumfield    1830 – 1885 son of J K Brumfield & Hannah Brumfield

Andrew Jackson Fortenberry   1880 – 1956 son of William J Fortenberry & Canolia Simmons

Woodrow Wilson
was the 28th US President. He lived 1856 – 1924.

Woodrow Wilson Fortenberry                      son of William E. Fortenberry & Nora

Woodrow Wilson Simmons        1918 – 1996 son of William Archie Simmons & Lillian Alford

Do you have any presidents in your tree?

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Thanksgiving is spatulas & spices & the family china;
Tables pushed together, folding chairs & mismatched glassware.
Thanksgiving is answering the ringing doorbell;
Children chasing and hiding;
Hugs & surprises; Jokes & smiles.

Thanksgiving is aprons & appetizers & the family recipes;
Multicolored paper turkeys, crayoned pilgrims & pinecone centerpieces.
Thanksgiving is squeezing around the table;
Passing the mashed potatoes;
Candles & napkins; Gravy & cranberries.

Thanksgiving is cameras & cousins & the family traditions;
Posing in front of the fireplace, smiling on cue & laughter all around.
Thanksgiving is playing favorite board games;
Telling tall tales of holidays past;
Uncles & babies; Memories & plans.

Thanksgiving is family.

Colleen G. (Brown) Pasquale