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

Transcript Tuesday: Neighbor’s Affidavit in the Pension Application of Ira Sayles, 1893

For the testimony of employers or near neighbors of soldier (other than relatives,) who have known him before his enlistment, or since his discharge and return from the army.  State of Virginia, County of Mecklenburg, In the matter of the application for pension of Ira Sayles on this 8 day of May, A.D., one thousand eight … Continue reading Transcript Tuesday: Neighbor’s Affidavit in the Pension Application of Ira Sayles, 1893

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

Reclaiming all the past

These thoughts are for all you white family historians out there.  Particularly the ones who are, like me, struggling to tell the unmentionable, the dishonorable chapters of our ancestors' lives.  The plot lines of which extend into our own days, leaving us uncomfortable with our race.  Our whiteness. I have been silent on this blog space, … Continue reading Reclaiming all the past

The Dodsons Cross County Lines: Surname Saturday

In the summer of 1772, Edward Dodson cast a shadow into my future as he set out from Amelia County, Virginia.  The young man crossed the Meherrin River and continued on into Mecklenburg County, passing the farms of Samuel Dedman, William Wills Green, and John Hyde to assess the red soil along the little fork … Continue reading The Dodsons Cross County Lines: Surname Saturday