About My Days

Whiteley Creek, Greene County, Pennsylvania

My mother and father were children of the Depression, growing up on family farms in Greene County, Pennsylvania and Mecklenburg County, Virginia.  Both sets of grandparents started married life in town, supporting growing families with jobs that were consumed by the economic crisis, and both families retreated to a “home farm.” How did they come to have this choice?  Who first owned those fields and how was it that my grandparents came to hold them?  This site seeks to answer these questions, and succeeds in mostly generating new, more complicated ones.

Nonetheless I fill my days with the research and wondering that comes with following these ancestors:

  • DODSON family of Mecklenburg County, Virginia
  • SAYLES family of Allegany County, New York/Mecklenburg County, Virginia
  • STRICKLAND family of Wake/Nash Counties, North Carolina
  • MINOR family of Greene County, Pennsylvania
  • BRADFORD family of Coshocton/Muskingum County, Ohio

The investigations don’t stop at genealogical connect-the-dots reports.  Family relationships, occupations and land transactions are interpreted in their larger context; in particular I am interested in the choices and decisions of my mid-nineteenth century folks.

  • How did the escalating conflict over slavery affect family dynamics?
  • What roles were women allowed to create during and after the Civil War?  Were these opportunities different for women in different regions?
  • How were the families touched by the conscription/enlistment of their men?
  • What positions did my ancestors hold regarding racial equality and how did they perceive reconstruction?
  • How did the families respond to the changing role of the federal government?

If you have family history to share or questions to ponder, I’d love to hear from you!  Please feel free to contact me at dkaysdays (at symbol) gmail (dot symbol) com. ;)

Recent Posts

This Side of the Cast: Tulips, Shadows, and Light

Some days ago, I slipped on my descent from a rock outcrop, and landed with enough force to break my leg. Damn the bear that knocked down the bird feeder that I ridiculously had to right before the dew-soaked lichen had dried.

On a positive note, a broken anything reduces your world to essentials and not having to make so many damn choices is almost liberating.  Almost.  I would prefer to have full locomotion, but I will settle for a schedule that insists that I live this side of the cast, to my fullest.

With that end in mind, I practice yoga with each hobbled step I take, and engage in laugh therapy regularly throughout the day. And take time to see. my. limited. world.

These images feature what I saw, felt, loved, from this side of the cast today.

Petals of love and encouragement, from my husband.

Petals of love and encouragement, from my husband.

Tulip Study.2.EH Tulip Study.3.EH

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