My mind is the perfect Buddha.

My speech is the perfect teaching.

My body is the perfect spiritual community

-Buddhist meditation

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mom the Dancer

Here is my first preservation of a family heirloom.  My mother loved to dance.  When she was a young girl she took lessons and had many recitals.  Her claim to fame was that she was asked to audition for the role that eventually given to Shirley Temple; but, her mother said no.  Of course this could be a family myth, a false memory on her part, but what gives the story some credulity is that my mother's uncle was Guinn "Big Boy" Williams.  He performed in numerous movies and was a great friend of Will Rogers.  With that said, there probably was some dancing part that Guinn suggested my mother could audition for but, as to whether there is a Shirley Temple connection, who knows.

This photo is from one of her recitals and she is about 5-8 years old.  She is no longer with us and I can't remember what she told me.  This is a 3 dimensional photo in that it is adhered to a piece of wood and cut to shape with a slotted stand.  We have had this on display for over 30 years in various places in the house.  Currently, I have wrapped it in acid-free tissue and placed in an archival box.

The next two photos are of a slip that she used to wear with one of her costumes. This is one of those discoveries that you forgot you knew about.  When my mother passed away, I cleaned out her (crowded) craft room and there it was on the stand tucked in a corner.  There is nothing else I can recall about this (which makes me sad).  With the slip, I have wrapped it in the same type of tissue as the photo; and, have stored it in the same box.

One of her last (non-lucid) moments was remembering a dance she went to with my father.  She was in bed but she had her arms up (as if waltzing) and I could all but hear the music. Her face was lit up and she was very happy lost in the dance.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

New Direction

Waaaaay back in August 2014, I read some other blogs that mentioned 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  So I revived my old FWPL blog to do that with a focus on ancestors that have had short histories that may not be heard otherwise - those who died young, never married, etc

Well I wasn't able to keep that up because I got a little depressed with that; and, more importantly it was becoming too stressful.  I was starting to miss posting because I was caught up in working on another aspect of my tree and family research then needing to stop to think of a post.  I was also having trouble picking an ancestor because I wanted to share from all sides of my family; and, I didn't have 'a grip' on my ancestors which was due to poor organization.  So, I started to read genealogy blogs and forums that led to my organizing system which is working great (but also took my focus away from blogging).  Then, on Friday, I watched a google hangout presentation, that DearMyrtle hosted (I watched via a Genea-musings post), about Organizing in 12 weeks.

In her presentation, one of her points was that we often forget to document ourselves.  For the new focus of my blog I thought I would document myself and share part of my system.  Another point she made was that we often spend time looking for records and documents of past generations and forget to document the ones closest to us.  So the new direction will be include my preservation/memorial efforts; documenting myself (a little); and showcasing my ancestors through photographs and broader topics than 1 person at a time.


I use as a great research tool and source for clues.  Amazingly, I never thought to make a memorial page for my own parents and brother.  Who better to do this than me?  Why did it take so long to think of it?  Thank you DearMyrtle.  Here is my first memorial and it is for my mother, Dixie Harris Heath.

Dixie Heath

Documenting Myself

For my filing management, trying to get a grip on my ancestors, I have chosen to use OneNote and, like I said, started looking on the web for ideas.  There are lots of ideas for organizing genealogy; lots for using Evernote; but hardly anything for OneNote - other than use it like a notebook.  Duh.  But every family researcher has a system that is as different as it is the same as everyone else.   I had seen some of DearMrytle's organizing information before which helped a lot with my system.  Below are my the The most important thing they did was get me to stop and think what I really wanted to do.

First, I want to be as digital with my information as possible.  Second, I use my flash drive a lot, and as a back up, so it needs to be mirrored with OneNote.  Third, and finally, I am not a certified genealogist - I want my research to be available for my family and accurate but I  to take the pressure off from having research logs, document numbers and the like.  So the most important thing I did was the one formal thing that every professional recommended - I made a numbered list of my family tree (ahnentafel).  The second was to create a master index of my system which OneNote lets me create link to the section from it.  So here is part one -

One binder, named History of Family, which has five notebooks that have a varied number of section groups and each has sections that are broken into pages.

The notebooks are:
0 Start Here
1 Paternal
2 Maternal
4 Ancestry working files/trees

So here is the first part of the index-
0 Start Here Section
Purpose is to be point from which research is decided; it is to have the Ahnentafel in groups and generations to help guide research; it is, also, to have basic tools, ideas, notes and resources

Section 1: Start Here - End Here
Page 1:  Master Index
Page 2:  To Do
Page 3:  Instructions - how I set up something so I don't re-invent wheels
Page 4:  Simple Ahnentafel - just the numbers and names
Page 5:  Ahnentafel + Family Groups - Generations 1-3
subpage 1:  Generation 4
subpage 2:  Generation 5
subpage 3:  Generation 6 - Paternal
subpage 4:  Generation 7 - Maternal
Page 6: Numbers
Page 7:  Completed To Do - not everyday things but large project to have for review
Page 8:  Jottings

Section 2: Timelines
Page 1:  How To make timeline using Microsoft Excel
Page 2:  Kathleen Heath timeline

Section 3:  Basic Tools
Page 1: First Steps
Page 2: Organization
Page 3: Source Documentation
Page 4: Toolbox
Page 5: Tree Template
Page 6: Family Template
Page 7: Checklist Template

Section 4:  Geographic
Page 1: Gibson county, TN
Page 2: Rutherford county, TN
Page 3: County Maps

Section 5:  Sources
Page 1: Notes
Page 2: Gibson, TN Census

Section 6: Working Ideas

Section 7: Blog:

Section 8: Preservation-Memorial

Group 2: Heather's Tree

As you can see the last sections still need some work but good filing system is able to be flexible.

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Remembrance of Those Who Died too Soon

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death. It is observed annually in the United States and Canada and, in recent years, in the United Kingdom and in the Australian States of Western Australia and New South Wales, and in Italy on behalf of a charity named Piccoli Angeli on October 15.

They say that anything you put on the internet is there forever.  Here's to my cousins that died at an early age at a time when conditions were hard and medical attention was scarce.  You were born to loving families and you are still thought of today, decades after you graced us.


Died on August 23, North Carolina - Robert Erskine Potts was born about September 14 1843 to Ann Rebecca (Cureton) and Robert Crockett Potts.  This child was my great grand uncle

Died on September 20, North Carolina - William T C Potts was born about January 19 1839 to Ann Rebecca (Cureton) and Robert Crockett Potts.  This child was my great grand uncle

Died on October 04, Tennessee - "Infant" Heath was born June 29 to Elizabeth (Cole) and Richard Heath. This child was my first cousin 3x removed.


Died on March 17, Tennessee -  Angeline E Heath was born November 16 1845 to Elizabeth (Cole) and Richard Heath. This child was my first cousin 3x removed.


Died on August 17, Tennessee - William Heath was born December 17 1851 to Elizabeth (Cole) and Richard Heath. This child was my first cousin 3x removed.


Died on March 16, Tennessee - Julia T Heath was born February 18 1856 to Elizabeth (Cole) and Richard Heath. This child was my first cousin 3x removed.


Died on August 27, South Carolina - Annie Jane Barnett was born November 21 1868 to Dorcas Lucinda (Potts) and David Franklin Barnett.  This child was my 2nd cousin 2x removed

Died on December 11, Tennessee - Son of BA and MD Taylor was born December 11 1872 to Mary Dionetia (Jones) and Banks A Taylor. This child was my 1st cousin 2x removed


Died on March 27, Tennessee - Cassie I Taylor was born September 28 1871 to Mary Dionetia (Jones) and Banks A Taylor. This child was my 1st cousin 2x removed


Died on February 03, Tennessee - Ruth E Taylor was born February 19 1874 to Mary Dionetia (Jones) and Banks A Taylor. This child was my 1st cousin 2x removed


Died on September 12,Tennessee - John Henry Holt was born April 13 1878 to Louranie Adkins (Heath) and Ezekial Hutson Holt.  This child was my 1st cousin 1x removed

Died on November 06, Tennessee - Maggie S Taylor was born August 14 1876 to Mary Dionetia (Jones) and Banks A Taylor. This child was my 1st cousin 2x removed


Died on October 05, Texas - William David Williams was born November 10 1873 to Minerva Jane (Thompson) and William Washington Williams.  This child is my great grand uncle


Died on May 19, South Carolina - Allie Louise Potts was born on November 28 1880 to Eva M (?) and Oscar Wrenn Potts.  This child was my 1st cousin 2x removed

Died on September 11, North Carolina - John Douglas Potts was born on August 19 1879 to Elizabeth Jane (Reid) and James Walter Potts.  This child was my 2nd cousin 2x removed


Died on June 18, Arkansas  - Nannie M Caviness was born June 9 1895 to Elizabeth Dora (Campbell) and William Thomas Caviness.  This child was my 2nd cousin 1x removed


Died on February 20, Tennessee - Kranford Blackmon Grace was born to Mary Helen (Cowan) and Thomas Murphy Grace.  This child was my 2nd cousin 2x removed


Died on August 22, South Carolina - William Wesley Rearden was born April 10 1855 to Aileen (Harris) and William Lawrence Rearden.  This child was my 1st cousin 1x removed

Unfortunately there are many more but their grave sites or death records have not been found, yet.  I suspect many were buried in small family plots on private land and, over the years, those places have been forgotten.  There are many children who appear on one census and are gone on the next one.  For some that do not appear on any documents the only clue we have is on the 1900 census where the mother was asked how many children were born to her and how many are presently living.  Often you will find a discrepancy with the known children and what she said.  For example:  My mother's grandmother by birth, Mabel Derrick, has indicated on the 1900 census that she has given birth to 3 children however only 2 of the children can be found.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Robert D. Campbell

(Sorry for not posting last week, I got embroiled in trying to figure out possible DNA matching -- slow process but some progress.)

He was born in 1842 in Gibson County, Tennessee, USA as the fifth child of Robert C Campbell Sr and Sarah T Lyon (or Lyons). He had six siblings, namely: Mary L, Sarah Elizabeth, Susan Adline, Almarinda Etna, Eliza Jane, and John Andrew. He died on 08 Jun 1862 at the age of 20.  He is my Great Grand Uncle on my father's side, brother to my great grandmother Eliza Jane Campbell.

There is little, actual, documentation for Robert.
     He appears on the 1850 census, age 8, with his family in Gibson county, Tennessee

     Then on the 1860 census, age 18, with his younger brother (John Andrew Campbell) and next door is his 2nd oldest sister (Sarah Elizabeth Lyons) in Magazine, Yell county, Arkansas.   These are the only two documents that I can tie directly to him because of his age and family group.

His parents are not showing up in the 1860 census - either by themselves or with family members. I presume that they have died, yet grave sites can not be located. The last record I have of his father, Robert C Campbell, is a land grant of 34 acres in Gibson, Tennessee on 1 January 1856.  And the last record of his mother is the 1850 census. So something happened between 1856 Tennessee and 1860 Arkansas that caused young Robert to take his 12 year old brother and move with, or take to, his sister in Arkansas.  And as I write this, I am reviewing the 1860 census and something is a little off.

On a census there is a column to number the family visited.  The next column lists the names of that family. Generally speaking, the head of the family is listed first followed by the spouse, their children and then any other family members, boarders or servants.  Now, census' are great documents but sometimes the enumerators were tired, bad spellers or just slack(ish) plus the head of the family may not want to be bothered with the time to do the census.  So sometimes the ages or names of the family members are off from census to census.  Then you have the indexers - a WONDERFUL bunch of volunteers through the years that have worked tirelessly to interpret the names and information on documents that were not kept in the best conditions and so on.  But there are errors and it takes looking at the specific census in the light of the whole family. And, many times, going back and looking at the census again.

Back to the 1860 census in Arkansas - I just noticed that Sarah's family is listed as family #341 with her husband's occupation as a Farmer with real estate valued at $1700.  Robert D (and John Andrew) is listed as family #342 whose occupation is Farm Laborer but with no real estate; and, with them is a family named Jones whose occupation is a Farmer with real estate valued at $2000.  That doesn't make sense for family #342 to have a property-less 18 year old listed first and then the landowner and his family.  I believe that Robert D Campbell and John Andrew are not next door but in the household with his sister, Sarah, who is taking care of them until they reach the age of majority.

Sadly, that is not going to be the case for Robert.  The only other mentions I found for him have to do with the Civil War.  As you can imagine the given name Robert and the surname Campbell are pretty common.  There is a young man, named Robert D, Campbell, that served in the Confederate Army, 1st Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Rifles, Company H (Yell county) as a Private who enlisted in 1861, this is more than likely him but there is not an age or birth date.  There is a grave marker for a young man named Robert Campbell who died 8th of June 1862, inscribed aged 20 years, in the Union Cemetery, Forest City, Missouri.

Looking at the history of 1st Regiment, they first saw battle in August 1861 at the Battle of Wilson's Creek near Springfield, Missouri and then moved northwestward to the Missouri border to help fight the pro-Union Cherokee soldiers, September through October 1861.  And then back to northwest Arkansas for the Battle of Pea Ridge in March of 1862.  I will have to do more research into the regiment but it looks like Robert may have been wounded or captured at one of these battles and then, consequently, died.

Interesting side note - I was born 100 years (and 1 day) after he died.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Etta Mae Derrick

Ancestor # 5

     Etta Mae Derrick was born in Nov 1890 in Texas, USA as the second child of John B. Derrick and Mabell Derrick. Her parents were first cousins. She had one sibling, John Cleo Derrick.

     She lived in Knox, Texas, USA on 01 Jun 1900.

     She lived in Austin, Travis, Texas, USA on 15 Apr 1910

     She lived in Harmony, Lea, New Mexico, USA on 01 Jan 1920.

     She died on 15 May 1924 in Tatum, Lea County, New Mexico, USA.

     The first 4 ancestor's of this blog, have been from each side of my lineage, two from mom and two from dad. Today's ancestor is from a third side of my lineage, my mother's biological mother. Etta Mae is my biological grandmother.

     If you're curious, the two from my mom's side were: Edward Franklin Harris, my mother's cousin, her adopted father's nephew; and, Junius Leatherwood, her grand uncle, her adopted mother's uncle.

     This is the story of how my brother and I pieced together who my mother's biological mother was. First a little history, obviously my mother was adopted but she was adopted to the same family with her fraternal twin brother (our uncle Ted), clue #1. In 2010, when my brother first started his tree he found a note from that twin that was written, on behalf of my mother, when she needed to obtain a birth certificate and passport for travel overseas.

     In the note, my uncle stated that mom's birth name was Betty Derrick, and that adoption papers had been lost in a fire at the courthouse in Wichita county where the adopted family lived and raised the twins, clue #2. My brother went online to several genealogy forums and asked for help. A fellow researcher finally replied that they had found an entry in the Texas Birth Index for an Etta Derrick that gave birth to twins on the date of my mom's birth, certificates 6495 and 6496, clue #3. Doing some research, my brother found the above Etta Mae Derrick. He also found that her grandparents (our alleged great grandparents) were, George Washington Derrick and Talitha Alabama Fry, clue #4.

     At this point, everything is still conjecture because there is nothing concrete - my mother and her twin brother adopted in Dallas county and born in January 1924 and having the alleged birth surname of Derrick; an Etta Derrick giving birth to twins on the same date but in Tarrant County (and no births on that date in Dallas to that surname). And now, this is when I come on the scene.

     Watching my brother have all this fun, I wanted to join in the hunt. No sibling rivalry here, but he took a Y-DNA test so I needed to take a DNA test also. I chose autosomnal testing through Ancestry because that is where my online tree is. Dramatic pause, cue music and lights - my first match on the list and, to date, my closest relative match on the list is a 3rd cousin whose great grandparents are.......George Washington Derrick and Talitha Alabama Fry. Gasp!!!! Could this be true????? I/We have to find more documentation...more clues. We have to have a better link between my mother and the above, Etta Mae Derrick

     From the time that my brother started looking into this line and I got the results of my test, Texas had digitized birth certificates and made them available online. So using many out of the box variations of given names, surnames, birth dates and locations, I stumbled across actual birth certificates for a girl and boy infant twins born to Etta Derrick (no father listed) in Tarrant county with the birth order of girl first then the boy, clue #5. I immediately saved the images to my computer and sent them off to my brother. He responded that's great but I sent him two copies of the same certificate, #6495. I opened the one I labeled #6496 and it was the same image as 6495. So the index that showed infant girl of Etta Derrick and infant boy of Etta Derrick were linked to the same image? Hmmmm. That caused me to retrace my steps (and of course I had not written down which combination had worked) to find them so that I could see if it truly showed results for two infants or if I made assumptions. Nope, there were two listings - one girl, one boy - but one image. Clue #6, and final clue: I brought up the image for the girl infant, #6495, and asked what would happen if, instead returning to the results page and following the link for infant boy, I stayed in the viewer actually clicked the arrow to show me the next image which should be certificate #6496....... what happened is I found my uncle's adopted information on that image, Texas birth certificate #6496 - his adopted name, being a twin and second born, his adopted parent's name and their address with the information of the correct county of the previous image.

Without actual adoption papers, I do not see how my brother and I can find further assurances that this is our biological line. With my DNA matches, the Derrick line continues to outweigh my matches to my father's side by almost 3 to 1.  Etta Mae is my biological grandmother.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Edward Franklin Harris

I chose Edward because of my brother, Ted Heath, and my mother's father, Theodore Harris. Ted first started researching the family about 2010 and, of course, started with his immediate family.  He found our mother on the 1920 and 1930 census in Texas with her parents and brothers.  Brothers?  She only had one brother, Ted Guinn Harris.  So....who was Edd Harris, age 21 and born in South Carolina?  My mother passed away in 2005 and there was no one else to ask.  Hmmmmmm?

My brother, being male and having y-DNA, got involved in tracing our father's line, Heath, as far back as he can.  He did work on the Harris side but basically names and dates of the primary ancestors.  Then here comes me and I realize how much fun this stuff is.  Ted points out the 1930 census to me and we decide that my grandfather, Theodore, couldn't be bothered with census takers and answered questions with the least resistance.  Edd? Son! Why not?  Since Ted was involved on the Heath side, I decided to concentrate my first efforts on the Harris side.  It took me months to work my way through but I finally found about Edd Harris.  He is my first cousin, once removed.

Edward Franklin Harris was born about 1908 in South Carolina, USA as the first child of Frederick Harris and Agnes M Taylor. He had three siblings, namely: Mary Brennan, Nancy C, and W Frederick. When he was 26, he married Dorothy May Kinnebrew, daughter of Thomas C Kinnebrew and Ethel S (maiden name unknown), on 02 Nov 1934 in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, USA.  He died sometime after 1955 but whether it was in Texas or Oklahoma I'm not sure.

Edward Franklin Harris lived in Fort Mill, York, South Carolina, USA on 18 Apr 1910, he was 2. His father is the manager of a hotel on Confederate Street in Fort Mill, SC; and his mother, Agnes, and baby sister, Mary . Sadly, his father dies 5 years later in 1915 of tuberculosis.

He lived in Fort Mill, York, South Carolina, USA on 07 Jan 1920, he was 11. Around 1918, his mother must have decided that she could not keep her children with her while providing an income.  She heads to Charlotte NC and gets a job as a clerk at Belk Bros and is living in rooms at the YWCA.  Her children are living with her in-laws, William Franklin Harris and Dixie Lillian Potts.

He lived in Wichita Falls, Wichita, Texas, USA on 11 Apr 1930 and he was 21. It is here that he is living with his uncle (my grandfather), Theodore Harris and family.  They have never appeared in the same document or household until this one and never do again.  I do not, nor does my brother, remember any talk of a brother-nephew-cousin Edd (though he was still alive when my brother was born).  My grandfather was an oilman and perhaps that is what enticed Edd to head west and leave his family in SC.

According to the 1940 census, he lived in Henderson, Rusk County, Texas in 1935 with his new wife, Dorothy May. In 1936, his daughter Charlotte Brennan was born and in 1937 his son, Edward Franklin, Jr was born.  Again, the 1940 census shows he was now 31 and lived in Altus, Jackson County, Oklahoma, USA on 01 Apr 1940.
Last time I find him is in a city directory and it shows he lived in Abilene, Texas, USA in 1955.

Edward Franklin Harris and Dorothy May Kinnebrew had the following children:

Charlotte Brennan Harris was born on 02 Feb 1936 in Rusk County, Texas, USA.
     She died on 08 Mar 1974 in Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA.
     She married James Bradley about 1955 in Texas, USA.
     It is unknown if they had any children

Edward Franklin Harris Jr was born on 01 Dec 1937 in Rusk County, Texas, USA.
     He died on 18 Dec 2008 in Coleman, Coleman County, Texas.
     He married Elma J Harris on 07 Jun 1958.
     He married Sharon K Berryhill on 26 Apr 1990 in Lee County, Texas, USA.
     He married Kerry R Hart on 01 Oct 1994 in Dallas County, Texas, USA.
     He had no children according to the divorce papers.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Willie A Parrish

When Willie A. Parrish was born on December 13, 1889, in Tennessee, her father, William, was 37 and her mother, Jennie, was 40. She had two brothers (Benjamin Herbert and Daniel Wilkes) and three sisters (Amanda M, Mary Tom, and Nancy Ruth) with her being the youngest of the six.  Mary Tom was my grandmother on my father's side which makes Willie A my grand aunt.  Willie had a short life and is on only one document that I can find.

The folklore of why this family of Parrishs left Tennessee has to do with false accusations of adultery and secret assignations involving her parents.  The damages to their trust and emotions was done so Willie's parents packed up and headed to Texas.  I do not have any dates for this story but the Texas Parrishs never went back to visit the Tennessee family. With the destruction of the 1890 census by fire there is no way of telling where Willie's father and mother, William and Jennie, took everyone.  There is a 1891 land grant in Arkansas of a William Parrish in Benton, AR; but, is this the correct William?  With land grants there are no ages or birth years, and this William Parrish did not use a middle name or initial. In Texas, our William rents his land, which means this is the wrong William or something happened, again, that sent the family further west with the loss of property and means.

In 1900, Willie A. Parish was 10 years old and lived  with her father, mother, 2 brothers, and 3 sisters.  The family is in Texas in the census district for the combined towns of Brookston and Ambia in Lamar County which borders Oklahoma across the Red River.  This census was taken in June and shows that the family rents a farm being worked by her father and older brother, Herbert.  Willie, Daniel and Nancy attended 4 months of school that year while Amanda and Mary Tom only attended for 3 months.  Perhaps this is a clue as to the family's arrival in this county, specifically, if not in Texas, generally.  Her parents have been married only once, to each other, for 25 years.  Her mother has had 7 children but only the 6 are sill living.

Having just turned 15, she died as a teenager on January 18, 1905, in Paris, Texas, and was buried there in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.  The US Census had stopped the mortality schedules in 1890 and Texas had not required death certificates until 1906.  There is no record of any epidemics or attacks (Oklahoma was still Indian territory) at that time for Lamar County so there's no way of saying what contributed to her death.  If I had to hazard a guess, since it is in the winter time perhaps she caught an infection, which was common,such as bronchopheumonia, that she couldn't shake off.

She lived during some interesting times though - the Spanish-America War in 1898; President William McKinley was assassinated in New York on September 6, 1901; and the Wright Brothers had taken the first flight in North Carolina on September 17, 1903.  I hope word of the Wright brothers had reached her small farm in Texas; and, she had the chance to think about the amazement of airplanes and travel by air.

There's nothing more to say, but I wanted her story to be told.  Hopefully, I will find further records or stories in the future and can fill in her life.