Grandma Serena Had A Cat

This week's #family history challenge--What's Your Favorite Discovery--from Amy Johnson Crow's #52Ancestors52Weeks sparked a vivid memory. In mid-January 2009 I discovered first hand what our nation's capital is like in winter. Washington, D.C.'s humid air wraps your body in a vise; a cold breeze off the river increases its grip. I walked briskly from the … Continue reading Grandma Serena Had A Cat

Amanuensis Day: The Last Will and Testament of Happy Stone

North Carolina, wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 for Happy Stone, Franklin County; accessed digitally on ancestry.com, 20 August 2021. On a Tuesday morning in March three springs before her death, Happy Stone sat with H. H. Davis and Robert Mannas and dictated the terms of what should happen to her farm and estate upon her … Continue reading Amanuensis Day: The Last Will and Testament of Happy Stone

Recipes and receipts: A 1970(ish) Texas Sheet of Chocolate Deliciousness

Our dinner table in southwest Virginia was always full. Mother and Daddy at either end, us four kids seated two across from two on each side. In the center, sat two vegetables, a starch, a meat dish or casserole, to be passed to the left until all were served. At each place was a glass … Continue reading Recipes and receipts: A 1970(ish) Texas Sheet of Chocolate Deliciousness

A Civil War Legacy Continues: Serena Sayles Makes A Claim

Ira Sayles died Friday, 15 June 1894, and was buried on the Sayles' Mecklenburg County farm before the sun hovered on the western horizon that evening. If you have ever served as executor of someone's last wishes, then you know how incongruous the days following a death can feel. There are all the emotions roiling … Continue reading A Civil War Legacy Continues: Serena Sayles Makes A Claim

Leaf Litter from the Family Tree

The leaves from our deciduous forests are turning yellow, or brown, and dropping with alacrity to the ground.  They carpet every surface--grass, water, rocks, moss, driveways. For years I have used the family tree metaphor to structure my genealogical research.  Only today did it strike me that leaf litter can also be an inspirational metaphor, … Continue reading Leaf Litter from the Family Tree