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

The Tigerish Glare: part two

Notice of Sherman Sayles' suicide attempt appeared in newspapers throughout the country. It's hard to know if my great-grandfather, Clifton Sayles, subscribed to any of them. He may not have learned of his younger brother's peril until the Chase City, Virginia family was contacted by administrators at St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C. Sherman had traveled … Continue reading The Tigerish Glare: part two

Mourning: The Death of Ira Sayles

On Friday morning, the 15th day of June of 1894, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Ira Sayles was still but for the shallow movement of his chest. Outside, a mockingbird poured song into the sun-warmed house. His son Clifton and neighbor Joel E. Beales sat bedside by his wife, Serena. Anna, Clifton's wife, and their children, … Continue reading Mourning: The Death of Ira Sayles

Transcript Tuesday: General Affidavit in the Widow’s Pension Application of Serena C. Sayles, 1894

GENERAL AFFIDAVIT State of Virginia, County of Mecklenburg, ss: In the matter of the application for pension of Mrs. Serene (sic) C. Sayles Widow of the late Ira Sayles ON THIS 30thday of July , A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four, personally appeared before me, a Notary Public in and for the aforesaid County, … Continue reading Transcript Tuesday: General Affidavit in the Widow’s Pension Application of Serena C. Sayles, 1894

The Will of Thomas Rowlett: Spider Web in a Family Tree

I first came to know the Rowlett family through my 2nd great-grandmother, Sarah Jane, who married James Dodson in antebellum Mecklenburg County, Virginia. When Sarah was a young girl, Congress addressed the needs of its elderly war heroes by passing the Revolutionary War Pension Act of 1832. ┬áThis legislation provided full pay for any man, … Continue reading The Will of Thomas Rowlett: Spider Web in a Family Tree