Dewey Horne: Remembering the Grandfather I Never Met

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is I’D LIKE TO MEET.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


dewey horne at wedding
Dewey Horne, July 1970, at his son’s wedding, Boeuf River Baptist Church, Liddieville

If given an opportunity to meet any ancestor, I wouldn’t choose an immigrant who took a perilous journey.  I wouldn’t choose someone who lived hundreds of years ago whose life was so different without modern conveniences.  I wouldn’t even choose someone who participated in an important military battle.

I’d choose my grandfather Dewey Horne. Continue reading Dewey Horne: Remembering the Grandfather I Never Met

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Applewhite Richardson: Unusual Name Passed Down for Generations

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is UNUSUAL NAME.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


In a tree filled with common English names, one stands out — my 5x great-grandfather Applewhite Richardson.

Applewhite Richardson was born before 1756,¹ possibly in North Carolina to parents Thomas Richardson and Amy Applewhite.²  It appears he was named for his mother’s maiden name, Applewhite or Applewhaite — an English surname from the Old Norse words apaldr (“apple tree”) and þveit (“meadow”).³

Like many of my distant ancestors, I only know of Applewhite through the records he left behind.  He lived in very interesting times, coming of age in the days before the American Revolution.  Continue reading Applewhite Richardson: Unusual Name Passed Down for Generations

Georgia F. Smart: Research Challenge Who Faced Personal Challenges

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is CHALLENGE.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


Ask any genealogist, and they’ll have a story (or several) about their “brick walls” — those ancestors who are the most challenging to research.  We spend years, maybe even our entire genealogy career, searching for clues about these elusive family members.  My “brick wall” and greatest research challenge is my own great-grandmother, Georgia F. Smart. Continue reading Georgia F. Smart: Research Challenge Who Faced Personal Challenges

Owen Tucker: First Landowner of My Childhood Home

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is FIRST.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


I grew up in the small community of Liddieville in rural Franklin Parish, Louisiana.  My father bought a little wood-frame house on an acre of land in 1969.  He and my mother married the next year, and they worked throughout their marriage remodeling, adding on, and improving the property to make it their home.  They purchased the adjoining three acres in 1978, and started a Christmas tree farm.  My dad eventually replaced the Christmas trees with a pecan orchard, and we now enjoy the fruits of his labor with pecan pies every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As my childhood home, this property is tied to all my important memories, but our family wasn’t the first to live there.  I searched for the property in the First Landowners Project database at HistoryGeo when it was a new offering at my local genealogy library.  I learned a man named Owen Tucker was the original patent holder, so I took a screenshot, emailed it to my dad, and filed it away as an interesting tidbit.

About two years later, I stumbled across the name Owen Tucker again — this time in my maternal line research.  Owen Tucker is actually my 4x-great-grandfather, an ancestor of my grandmother Dorothy Hendry.  I lived on his property the first 22 years of my life and didn’t even realize it!  Any stories of Owen Tucker have faded from our family’s collective memory, but I have managed to learn a few things about Owen’s life from records. Continue reading Owen Tucker: First Landowner of My Childhood Home

17 Jan 1845: Alexander Hendry Writes to Cousin Ellen Harper

It’s a cold and wet new year as I write from Liddieville, perhaps similar to the weather my 4x-great-grandfather Alexander Hendry experienced as he wrote his cousin Ellen Harper on January 17, 1845. I’m still excited about finding this letter on eBay, and I spent the last few weeks of 2018 mining it for information and pursuing leads about its recipient. Continue reading 17 Jan 1845: Alexander Hendry Writes to Cousin Ellen Harper

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2019 Index

I’ve joined genealogist Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.  Each week in 2019, I’ll share a story, photo, or finding about one of my ancestors, inspired by a prompt.  I can interpret the prompt in any way I wish — which is likely to lead to some interesting stories as the year progresses!

Here’s an index of my posts in this series and the ancestors featured:

Family Artifacts on eBay: My First Find

Have you considered eBay as a genealogical resource?  Even though I’d read articles and listened to podcast episodes about others’ successes, I never imagined I’d find anything about my tiny hometown, much less my own family, on eBay.

Then I actually searched — and did! Continue reading Family Artifacts on eBay: My First Find