September Genealogy


This seems to be an ongoing Photo-A-Day over on Instagram.  A friend of mine shared it and since I was trying to go through and simply tidy up all of our genealogy paperwork, I thought I would do just this one. I skipped quite a few prompts and I don't know why she's got the wars out of order (1812 comes before Civil), but I only did half of the prompts, but I did find other interesting things which I'll also include. Day 01 - Surname / Day 02 - Maiden Name Roberts.  Nope, I didn't marry someone with my last name, I am simply still unmarried.  I'll probably always be a Roberts & I'm cool with that.  It is a Welsh name hailing from the German meaning Bright Fame.  Found in Wales, central England, & by Jewish people with an Americanized spelling form.  (As per Ancestry, Oxford Dictionary, & Wikipedia). Day 03 - Parents Paul Irvin & Rachel Dianne (aka Jill in her former life).  This is from their belated honeymoon to Acapulco, Mexico.  Dad worked at Wilson's department store, in the jewelry department and won the trip in about 1977.  They're the couple front and center.  Dad actually did go on a boat and catch a sail fish, but opted to let it go (he's a fisherman, he knew it would live) & these are sailfish other people caught, but a picture of you (& apparently your wife) with your catch was included. Day 04 - Sister Rebecca Dianne (aka The Sister or her entire name meaning: Divine Binder of Bright Fame).  That's Fluffy, whom my mom rescued from the shelter because they were going to kill him for some dumb reason.  He was The Sisters' Super BFF.  Her current fluffy faerie cat, Willow, is probably Fluffy reincarnated.  She's about three here, so it's 1977.  They're living in the house on Grace Avenue and it'd be another three years before we moved to our current house and then I was born. Day 05 - Brother Russell Allen Summers (aka Rusty & formerly a surname of Herbert).  Though not related to me by blood, nor my actual brother, my teenage mom claimed her older sisters baby son as hers & her teenage boyfriend (my dad) did as well.  He did live with us for a time & he considered The Sister & I his sisters just as we considered him our brother.  And I'm certain he considered our parents like parents.  Blood doesn't always make family & he'll always be immediate & close family even though he passed away almost 14 years ago. Day 06 - Cousins The lady is dad's maternal aunt (who is his age or only 2-3 years older?) - which makes her my Great Aunt, but that family doesn't play with fancy titles, so she's just my Aint Nina (Nigh-nuh) as well.  (Only this side of the family says "Aint" for Aunt.).  So, her children are my dad's cousins, making them my 2nd (?) cousin, but as I said nobody really keeps up with that.  They are Keith, Theresa, & Ted McDermott, as that's their dad, Floyd's, surname.   Day 08 - Lookalikes Those two kids in the back (same height towards the left) look exactly the same.  But I was surprised, to find in my parents' genealogy messa papers, a photo to go with the information!  So, The Adams' line (I knew I was an Addams! - kidding, but I sort wish I was that Addams) is via my paternal grandmother (her mother Bessie was an Adams).  One of those older guys (I'm guessing the one sitting to the left of the older lady or either the one standing in the back towards the right) is W.A. Adams, my grandmother Betty's grandfather.  This is his family before he would marry Susie who was my grandmother's grandma.  So, this guy along with a Susie who would come along later (hopefully after 1900) would have Bessie, who would later have Betty & then later my dad.  (I could have used this for step family as well, but I forgot what I'd taken a photo of and said one of the kids was Susie, but you can see up there that Susie will be a wife of this W.A. Adams, not a child.  Oops.) Non Prompt 1 So, Russell (Albert) Summers & Mary Katherine Case adopted my aunt and mom.  Their genealogy is mixed up in here and I count it to an extent, because she's my grandmother and namesake (Katherine) and I loved her.  I didn't know Mr. Summers, as he died before I was born, and it feels strange to call him "grandpa".  So, I only really count her, my aunt, & my cousin (read the brother section up there), but not their lineages.  

Anyways, this is paperwork for Russell Summers' family as you can see his signature at the bottom.  He's getting headstones made for his father and mother & adding a date of death for his maternal grandmothers' headstone.  These three people (among others in his family line) are buried in Lily Chapel, West Jefferson, Ohio.  He'd end up being buried here in Mississippi, but I collected all of his things and we sent them to the mayor of West Jefferson because they have a museum there for the area and gladly accepted the items.  It just felt right and correct to send him home in a way.

He and my grandmother were both Ohioans and married up there, before moving to Laurel, Mississippi in the early 1940s.  He took over a farming and garden business (Union Fork & Hoe - changing the name to Laurel Hoe Works) so he sold, obviously, hoe's, as well as garden rakes and other similar tools until he retired in the late 1960s.  He was 41 when he filled out this paperwork.  You think I'm joking (people always did my entire life), but the man was born 17. April. 1898.  My grandmother was born 30. June. 1909.  My mom wasn't born until 1948.  Yes, they could have been her grandparents and had very Victorian/Edwardian views (even though my grandmother was a flapper), but they were her parents. Non Prompt 2 This is my maternal grandmother.  Mary Katherine Case (who when she married dropped the Mary and just became Katherine Summers).  She was obsessed with the British royal family (but found no lineage), the Revolutionary War, & the Websters.  This letter is her trying to confirm her lineage to Noah and Daniel Webster.  She succeeded.  This is after she married Mr. Summers and before they moved to Mississippi. Non Prompt 3 This one was amusing.  I know the story, but it doesn't make it any more amusing for their assumption.  So, Dad became Mormon in the early 1970s (before that he was a non practicing Baptist).  Mom didn't like that, but they were married, and that's a whole different story.  She, however, converted to Catholicism (from Presbyterianism) on Halloween in 1978.  So, never a Mormon, still not one now.  But dad had access, through being a Mormon himself, to all the LDS genealogical materials, so mom utilized that to do her dad's genealogy for him, which is what this correspondence is all about.  But that's not what makes it amusing.

First off.  Letters of correspondence in the traditional way have one addressing things to the wife of the man.  So, Mrs. followed by the mans full name.  Only dad's full name is Paul Irvin or Paul I. Roberts.  Mom was still going by Jill and wouldn't change her name to Rachel for a few months or a year yet.  So, that Mrs. Paul J. Roberts up there is them really making a kerfuffle and saying Paul Jill Roberts.  See?

The other is that they assumed she was Mormon, hence the "Dear Sister Roberts" bit.  Having a dad and an aunt (his sister), & later that aunts son all convert to Mormanism and being dragged to dad's church with him or being dragged to his home missionary work, I know full well that everyone in the church is Brother or Sister so and so.  My dad is Brother Roberts and his sister is Sister Ackley.  However, Mormons never refer to people, not of the church, as Sister or Brother.  So, it's amusing that they made the assumption and denoted my mom as Sister.  See, it's a special title reserved only for members of the church and is never used for people not of the church.  These people have made a faux pas in using the title for my mother.

I've posted all of these via Instagram & this one received a comment.  My original post was much shorter and said it was amusing for the J. & the Sister.  Also said it was interesting that the letter was typed up on the day The Sister turned four.  

The response (from someone I know) was this:

"Both major genealogy (Ancestry & are owned by Mormons and associated with the Mormon Church."

What am I supposed to do with that comment?  

For one, this was pre-internet days and anyone knows that if you wanted to do genealogy work the library and records offices only offered up so much information and you must have permission to work through the Mormon church within their vast archives of knowledge if you wanted to get further back in your tree.  It's also telling that mom had to do correspondence with people in Salt Lake City (hello, it's Mormon-ville and everyone knows that).  This tells you she wasn't allowed to look at the information at the Hattiesburg or Natchez Wards where my dad and his sister were both members).  

Plus, he's heard before that our dad is a Mormon, so would one think that we would know all of what he said?  Because, duh, yeah, I already know that Mormons hold all the genealogical information.

And I'm not worried that she was researching genealogy through Mormons, I'm stating that I'm amused that they assumed she was Sister Roberts or that they cobbled together mom and dad's names.

Since I wasn't sure he understood and I didn't know what he was gaining or saying by his statement I just responded with:

"yes, but they only call you Sister or Brother if you're a member of the church... not if you're simply using their genealogy services."
Non Prompt 4 This is dad, before he was a dad (2nd from left) with his supervisor & fellow work mates in the Jewelry department of the now defunct Wilson's Department Store.  

If you are unfamiliar Wilson's was the pre-curson or Service Merchandise which also doesn't exist anymore.  The Sister would visit dad when he worked here, but then he left and started his own jewelry manufacturing and sales business out of the back shed at Grace Avenue then opened Roberts' MFG Jewelers in 1978 at an apartment complex turned retail spaces (which has since been demolished) - A lady came into his shop once and said, "I used to live here back when these were apartments.  And she meant right where my dad's shop was - which is weird and cool).  Sometime in there Wilson's sold to (or changed their name and game) to Service Merchandise and is what was here in town when I was born and growing up.  So we'd always shop there and I'd always hear about how dad worked sales at the jewelry counter when it was Wilson's.

I did not know these people, though my mom had met them.  The Sister knew dad's Super BFF and his wife, but doesn't remember as she was just a baby and then they moved away.  Dad's Super BFF is the man at the end on the left right beside him.  Kaisun.  I've looked for spellings of Korean names for him and his wife and have no idea.  Mom said she thinks they made it easy for them (my parents) by spelling them K-Soon & Song-O.  I've heard their names & of them my entire life, but never met them and I don't know how to spell their names.

When I showed mom I was going to take a photo of this picture she asked, "Do you know which one is K-Soon?"  Gee mom, no.  Besides the fact that I've looked through their old photo albums and seen dad and K-Soon goofing around together or mom and Song-O sitting and having coffee, or them trading their new babies where K-Soon is holding The Sister and dad is holding their baby daughter or vise versa where Song-O is holding The Sister and mom is holding their baby daughter; it's obviously the cute & adorable Asian looking man in the photo and not dad nor the goofy looking white guys to dad's right.

My parents were so sad when they moved away (I suppose Song-O was mom's Super BFF as well)(they went up north to the capital, Jackson to live and work).  And they were devastated to learn that Song-O was brutally murdered by a failed robbery attempt.  A fact that mom can't let go of and commented (though I was keeping this light on Instagram) with "K-Soon and his wife Song-O were great and loving friends. May she rest in peace."  Geeze mom, what a way to be a Debbie Downer!

There was also a second comment to this by an older friend of The Sister and I (seriously she's 61 now); "I once worked at a Wilson's", which The Sister & both thought was cool.
Non Prompt 5 This old piece of paper is, I'm guessing, from the 1930's, before they moved to Mississippi.  I like that it's old, but I especially like it because that's my grandmother's handwriting, which I'd know anywhere.  So, that's Mary Katherine Case (Katherine Summers) my maternal (adopted) grandmother.  I do say adopted in these, but really she's just my maternal grandmother because I don't count the birth one (we'll get to that later).  

O.B. Case is Owen Burr Case.  I never met him but my mom did (as well as my grandmothers mom).  He worked for the newspaper as a typesetter and so kept his job during the great depression (I interviewed her for the school project back in high school).  Maymie Bolinger was her mother.  My grandmother also had an older sister named Dorothy.  They were Reform Church of the Dutch, but the closest thing to that here in south Mississippi was Presbyterian.  

My grandmother had a great aunt Josephine (not sure which side, possibly her mothers side) and underneath her picture it simply said "Murdered in California." & from her period of dress it would have been the mid 1870s to mid 1880s (as the photo was taken in Ohio just before she apparently left for California).  
Day 14 - Twins This is my paternal grandfather's family.  He's the Merrell Herbert listed at point number 7.  (It's why I always got three family members mixed up.  My brother Rusty was Russell Allen Herbert, my grandfather was Merrell Herbert Roberts, & my maternal grandfather Mr. Summers was Russell Albert Summers.  Things were always too similar or the same.  Anyways moving on.)

I didn't do this research someone else in the family did and they did the death portion incorrectly,

It's about Carolyn Roberts who is featured in that birth certificate.  My dad's older sister likes to submerse herself in the genealogy of the family (the same one who is a Mormon).  I heard this story about Aunt Clarine's (twin) sister dying of epilepsy in a mental asylum.  It was paperwork my aunt had found.  Looking through paperwork she had sent dad is how I found the above birth certificate.  It's also how I found that my aunt isn't very good at genealogy.  

The death certificate:

Caline Roberts
Born: Portland, Arkansas - 28. February 1923
Father: Jim Roberts
Mother: Minnie Maden

The birth certificate:

Carolyn Roberts
Born: Wilburn, Conway, Arkansas - 28. February 1923
Father: JF Roberts
Mother: Nanie Garrett

Documents I have seen list James F. or JF Roberts for my great-grandfather James Franklin (who never went by Jim in life, only James).  While my great-grandmother went by Nanie Pat in life, documents show Nani Garrett or Nani Pat Garrett only.

There are similarities, but Roberts is an extremely common surname, in the 1920s as it is today, in all of the US and even just in Arkansas.  Just because it's a Roberts girl with a similar first name and the same date of birth means nothing.  The places are birth are markedly different and my great-grandparents never went by Jim or Minnie Maden.

I think these are the pitfalls that people talk about with genealogy research.  Unless you find documentation that James F sometimes went by Jim or that Nanie Pat sometimes went by Minnie Maden... then it's just not a match.

Anyways, so I do know that she died young.  She along with Edward, Marcus, Wilma, & Opal.  How do I know?  Because my grandfather was of the mind to no longer speak of a person once they had died & these were all family members who had died before my father was born.  None of them were ever talked about by my grandfather or his kids.  Marcus was talked about because his story was so scandalous  & my grandmother remembered it happening.  Only she had enough sense to talk about it quietly as opposed to my aunt who would talk loudly and it would agitate my grandfather (we'll get to Marcus in a bit).

Other people on the list were talked about because my dad and aunt had known them before they passed away.  But grandpa?  He wouldn't speak of them and got a sour face if either of them wanted to bring someone up.  Ruby was still alive when I was born and my grandfather went to see her and would talk about her.  When she died he never mentioned her again.  I guess it's just how that family rolled.

So, Carolyn & Clarine were twins.  Clarine ended up having twins (a boy and a girl) after she was married.  She didn't talk about her twin.  She also didn't talk about anyone else who had died (whether they died young or recently).  Her, Roma Lee, & my grandfather were the only people I remember (though there's photo evidence I met Ruby in my baby time).  Clarine's twin son was murdered in a hit and run accident in his forties.  Which is weird.  She has a non-twin child, but the Universe didn't do him in.

We didn't see the Roberts side of the family often (which makes sense because out of grandpa's parents and siblings there were only three left & I had met Aunt Clarine once.  However it had been in my early childhood.  On the day of my grandfather's funeral, I was taken aback by my zombie grandpa in bad old lady drag.  Turned out it was Clarine.  

So to wrap this section up, yes there are twins in the family on my dad's side through his dad.  Don't know of any other twins.
Day 16 - Stepfamily Day These are sort of members of my moms birth family.  That is my mom's birth mother and the young guy is mom's half brother.  That's not step, but it's close.  The man is not mom's birth father, but obviously her half brothers father.  My mom didn't find this family until she was in her forties.  

I was eight and mom was nearly a basket case about some people coming for a visit.  Her attitude made me not like the people before I'd even met them (if they made her act in this way, & they weren't even here yet, then I don't want to know them), so I took our cat Nuttmegg out on the deck and resolved for us to stay there and away from mom's crazy neurotic energy and these "new" people.  I get it now.  She was meeting her birth mother for the first time.  But I wouldn't know mom had been adopted for another five years.  I can see why she wanted the first meeting to be perfect.

I didn't like the woman from the get go.  She seemed wormy and not nice.  Moms brother who I thought was pretty old (as in my parents' age, though he was only in his late 20's or perhaps just 30) seemed OK, but also acted like he wanted nothing to do with me, so I was fine with that.  The man looked about like this (not in a suit), but scarier as he had emphysema and had an oxygen line in his nose.  And yet, he wasn't scary or creepy or not nice on the inside (unlike the woman).  He also came out on the deck specifically to get to know me (bonus points) and he liked Nuttmegg and Nuttmegg liked him (triple points if the cats like you.  They hated the woman.)

So, normally it would be weird for a forty year old woman to gain a stepfather.  But he was a really nice man and wanted to officially include her in the family as his daughter if she was keen on the idea.  So, in a way he was her stepdad, but just as she hates distinguishing that her brother is a half brother, he was just a dad; and she was a daughter to him.

The birth mother no one can say anything nice about her.  I get the idea of going through a rape and wanting to distance yourself from your attacker and the child it brought about, but the way she felt; her energy, and how she treated my mom was something else entirely.  You could tell that the rape thing was a factor, but only slightly really, but that woman was just mealy and wormy and pretty much evil and I'm not taking that back.
Day 18 - Immigrant Day My paternal grandmothers' maiden name is Abernathy.  She's whose family we'd always visit during reunions; her brothers and sisters and their families.  I did know her mom, my great-grandmother Bessie until her death when I was four.  They had no qualms talking about the dead and there was the first baby, Catherine, and then my great-grandfather Martin Boyd.  Both were always talked about.  No pictures though really, no one showed pictures, though I saw them later in life.  

When I was thirteen, my aunt had obtained a picture of my great-grandfather while old and then painted it in oil paints and gave it to my grandmother on Christmas.  When my grandmother pulled the brown paper away and turned it around to show us, my mouth dropped to the floor.  I'd never known him as he died before I was born, and I'd never seen a picture of him.  But I'd seen him before.  

At my great-grandmother Bessie's funeral I turned and saw a man walking across the field.  Then my great grandmother (who's supposed to be dead) is walking past me (but yards away, not close) towards the man.  He smiled, took her hand, they started walking back the way he'd come and then disappeared.  I tried to tell my mom that day of the funeral, but she waved me away.  Tried to tell her that Christmas, but again she waved me away.  Very peculiar.

Other than that all 9 million of those kids (I'm kidding it was... wait let me count them up... 10. The other ten kids survived.) so there were a lot of people at those reunions because those 10 kids got married and had their own kids and some had grandkids when I was growing up.  (It's because they had four kids, then time went by and they had six more - which is why Nina up there is about the same age as my dad).

I also know that my great-grandfathers family came from wealth, but by the time it was his turn for college, there was no money left so he had to be a share cropper, so my grandmother grew up poor.  Also that one of his ancestors was named Julian Rocket Abernathy.  Creepy looking dude, but that's a great name.  Also from my Scottish friend, there is no such person or place in Scotland as Abernathy.  It's only ever been Abernethy (much like that Sarah at the bottom of that photo of names).

So this is the side of the family that my aunt has researched the most with lots of help from my grandmothers' sisters.  I'm betting six people can't be wrong, so this (well all of these Robert Abernathy's are probably my ancestors, just naming their sons after themselves, but the important bit here is Immigrant.  That top Robert is the immigrant being born in Scotland and dying in Virginia in the 17th century.

There was a comment to this one as well, by the same guy who commented about Mormons and genealogy.

"I have Tillmons, Tilmon, Tilman, and Tillman's in my Tighlman line."  

I assumed at first it was because there were two spellings of Abernathy or that there were so many Robert's, but I'm pretty sure he was simply commenting on that Christian Tillmon/Susannah Tilmon bit up there, which I hadn't noticed before he said anything.
Non Prompt 6 When you have a fairy story of Indigenous ancestry... yet science proves you wrong.  So, the story was that, through my paternal grandfather's line (The Roberts) that there was Osage & Cherokee present.  It was all circled around this Angelica Powell relative.  It's why my grandfather was so dark and "strange" looking. (that's what people said).

And in 1996 apparently this relative some amount of times removed was in correspondence to my Aunt Roma Lee (my grandpa's baby sister); who as my paternal grandmother would always say, "who married an EYE-talyen" (don't know why her marrying an Italian man would bother my grandmother so much).  Then he wrote to my dad.  So he's name dropped Roma Lee, name dropped the Powells with all the Indigenous blood and name dropped Eliah Roberts (for the Civil War prompt).

And you can see up there that my parents purchased a book on some trip to the mountains (and for $12 back in 1991) about researching your Indigenous Ancestry (because mom too had heard she had Indigenous ancestry; a Choctaw princess in her line).  Even after The Sister and I met and befriended members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and they said, "We never had princesses."  (They do now, but it's more like Miss America, an honorary title of ambassadorship for the tribe, than some sort of royalty).  Their word was good enough for me, because if anyone should know, it's them.  Not so for my mom.  

Fast-forward to just a few years ago when my parents took DNA tests and there isn't a speck of Indigenous blood in them.  I found it weird and a little sad, because something I thought was my ancestry, that I'd linked to, wasn't really and kind of felt like I'd been playing pretend all those years.  However, I was elated to see everything that really was in our line (Moroccan, Greek, Scandinavian, Jewish, West Africa, Eastern & Western Europe, just to name a bit.)  My parents, though, were not thrilled.  I suppose they felt they'd been lied to and that it meant the people who continued the fairy stories were being called liars by science, "My daddy wasn't a liar!" was all dad could say.

But I don't think it works like that.  Perhaps someone back in history was trying to be deceatful by hiding something, but I think that 9 times out of 10 it was just ignorance and formulating some sort of explanation.  I gave my maternal aunt as an example to them; my aunt who is Armenian.  "Remember Aunt _____?  How in 1950's Mississippi people couldn't even fathom what she might be, and since she clearly wasn't white, they just assumed she was black?  I think it's like that."

Mom's person in question is a Lucy Moody.  But either her or Angelica have nothing surrounding them but WHITE on all the census records.  For their spouses, their spouses families, their children, their children's children and all the people between themselves and the home countries of Germany and England.  And simply because someone moves to "Indian Territory" (as is the case with Angelica's line) it doesn't mean they were Indigenous or married anyone Indigenous.  It was simply westward expansion and those places weren't "places" yet, but the one in question soon became what is not Arkansas

I don't know the why-for's of the fairy stories, but they've been going on so long that it wasn't a time when it was "en vogue" to be "an Indian".  It doesn't seem like anyone fell off the map, so to say.  It seems like everyone was living normal lives in one place with a lot of family members, and then one guy goes and moves somewhere else and then there's more family members joining him later and so on and so forth.  

So, I think, for whatever reason, someone just didn't look like the larger family or the other people in the town who all had an English line too and they just said it had to be the people they knew of that looked different from them.  In this case, Indigenous tribes.  It's just genetics y'all.  Just because someone looks different doesn't mean anyone had some secret daliance or that someone is close in your lineage.  There's no telling what genetic line that difference came from (or people too close in relation, or simply these people coming together their DNA's mixed oddly from their neighbours in their children).  

My paternal grandmother, one of her younger brothers and one of her younger sisters do not look like he rest of the family at all (OK, in face, because the body structure and Peanuts Gang arms are a strong gene from my great-grandmother).  They do look like their "real" father could have been Indigenous or Japanese.  It was a weird joke in the family that "If we didn't know mama/Mother Bessie as well as we did, we would swear she sneaked off to the Jap camp!" because there was a Japanese internment camp near where they lived and these kids were born in the early 1940s.

One of them has taken a DNA test, but regardless, it's so close that dad's DNA test would give some of the same results for the same time period.  They're just white.  Both of them.  Their darker complexion and facial features different from everyone else in that family are simply traced back to genetics from The Old World.  There's also no bit of the Asian continent in our line.  At all.  

So, dad being all upset that science was saying his father was a lier simply aren't true.  He's human.  You don't think that a story you've been told your entire life is fiction, whether malicious or not in intention, and you merely believe it.  It's why young children believe their parents.  The older ones are meant to look after you and you're meant to trust them, so it just continues into adulthood.  

My father never questioned whether it could be true or not, and neither did I.  I figured that it was probably true and just agreed that it was.  It didn't help that his older sister doing all that genealogy just weedled the truths to fit what she wanted them too.  Because I am Family Search, which is most definitely run by Mormons.  She's on there too and I can't change things without it changing on her end.  She'll still claim we're Indigenous through Angelica Powell, but I'm looking at the actual photocopies of census records (not anything written or typed out by another) and there's no proof that the people in question are anything other than White.  But when I was younger, I figured she knew what she was doing and she said she'd found the proof and it seemed good enough for me.  These past two years I'm finding that she's rubbish at research.

​Needless to say we're not keep that book up there.   Day 20 - Occupation / Day 21 - Farming We have a hand-written copy of the 1860 census, but I've no reason to doubt it as they didn't make anyone a different race or a billionaire or anything.  So, we have J.S. Adams up there with the occupation of farmer.  This is my paternal grandmothers' maternal line.  Elizabeth, aged 11 is my grandmother Betty's great-grandmother & making the J.S. father her great-great grandfather.  So that's my 3x great-grandmother and 4x great-grandfather.  Right?  I'm bad at maths and relations.

Interesting to note is the name Sephronia down there.  My mom has this in her line as well.  It was the daughter of Lucy Moody (the "Choctaw Princess", remember).  After she met her birth mother and that side of the family and learned all of this fairy story genealogy, it was always said, "Well, if anything proves she was Indian it's that name Sephronia!"  Which I always thought was ridiculous because it didn't sound anything of the Indigenous I'd ever studied.  Do you know what it is?  It's a Greek name (meaning sensible or prudent).  Doesn't mean they were Greek, because people use Jewish names all the time without being Jewish (because, ya know, The Bible and all).  

It just helped perpetrate the entire "Indian line" fairy story by sheer ignorance.  That side of the family, down the line (I'm sure when Lucy and her husband named their daughter they knew the reference - it's not a family name on either side as no one else seems to be named this), but later it was so alien to the rest of the family doing genealogy or hearing about their ancestors that it just fit in.  Sephronia was a name so far removed from anything English that to them it had to be Indian, since Indians were already on the brain.  I'm sure if someone had said they were Russian or Chinese, that's what they would have thought it was.  

And this proves it wasn't a "weird" one-off name.  Both Sephronia's in question lived in the mid 1800s.  One on my mom's side in south Mississippi.  This one on my dad's side in Arkansas.  It apparently wasn't that uncommon, because what would be the coincidence?   Day 25 - Revolutionary War My maternal (adopted) grandmother could trace her ancestry back to this war.  Not sure why we have this, except she must have made a mistake, because it wasn't signed or sent in.  But one was, because she was accepted into the DAR before she moved from Ohio to Mississippi.

There was a kerfuffle concerning this because it was at the same time my mom had found her birth mother and knew she was adopted, but wasn't telling us kids yet.  Also it wasn't to be spoken about in front of my grandmother.  My grandmother did not instigate "You should join the DAR, Sarah!"  No, that was my mom.  Why?  Why would she do that?  Knowing that this isn't our lineage and we have no documentation of anyone serving in this war on either blood line.  And knowing that I greatly enjoyed learning about this war... Why would she?

So, of course I jumped at that and excitedly exclaimed that I wanted to join.  My mother didn't seem pleased.  I kept begging her about it and she kept brushing me off until she said something.  It was some reason they wouldn't accept me, but put the blame on me instead of ancestry or her being adopted.  

It stung and then I didn't want anything to do with the DAR or the Revolutionary War after that.  I've since gotten over that and that memory doesn't really come up with I think about or read about this war.  However, if the DAR is anything like it's portrayed in Gilmore Girls then you can keep it.  I don't know what it would have been like.  More RPG?  More dressing up in actual period appropriate clothing and being all Williamsburg about it and having mock battles?  Like a way more badass version of Civil War re-enactments?  Because that's not what the DAR does.

Anyways, it's still cool to have this paperwork, it being so old from the 1930s and in my grandmothers hand.  That Thomas Webster that is referenced in the last photo.  The only story I heard about him is that after his service in the war, he made a chair.  A rocking chair (that's rather small) and he used no nails.  Shipping it down from Ohio, the moving company broke it, so it contains one nail now and my grandmother was upset about it, but also laughed about it (I suppose in a way of 'what can you do?').  We now have that rocking chair.  The only person who fits in it is The Sister because she's slim, however, at being only 5'1", her knees are in her chest practically.

It wasn't made for a child and how freaking small were these people?!  I toured a house once and the tour guide showed us the gloves for the time period (mid - late 1700s) and they were exceedingly tiny & for the lady of the house.  And she was telling us that people were practically miniscule back then.  I've also read that people were rather small until after the Industrial Revolution, so even during The Civil War people were smaller, but not as small as the 1700s and not as small as old war uniforms previous suggested (they thought the men were much smaller, but figured out that wool shrinks and the uniforms aren't the correct sizes anymore).

And I've read about the Witch of Jamaica, some white British lady who tormented everyone (think the Jamaican version of Madam Lalaurie of New Orleans, because it was mostly her slaves and the Jamaican people today still remember and hate her) and apparently she was tiny like the lady who owned those gloves (what's called into question is her sadism, not her size description).  It creeps me out, man.  I'm 5'2" and that's small.  I can't imagine most everyone being smaller than that with pencil thin fingers and delicate limbs and so alien like.  Like a 4'7" Disney cartoon Ichabod Crane.  That is a scary thing to think about. Day 26 - Civil War Both my moms birth line and my paternal line lived in the south since coming to the America's; either entering Virginia or the Carolina's (though there's a few people in Baltimore, Maryland).  I would find it odd if anyone from these lines fought for the Union (though Arkansas was disputed and some people fought for the North like in Kentucky).  But it could happen?  Anyways, I did find three brothers fighting for either the Mississippi or Alabama infantry during the Civil War on my mom's birth side, but no other records of people fighting in this war. (Though her birth mother was a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy and forced her son to be a Mason when he was growing up.  Yuck.  I won't get into it, but her birth mother's family was so creepy I would bet money that someone (if not most of them) were members of the KKK (or hell, even formed local chapters).  Gross, I know).

This, however, is from my dad's side.  It's just paperwork he apparently messed up on (because it's only filled out with what you see), then his inquiry as to the status of three relatives, but there's only official documentation concerning Eliah Roberts with proof of his Confederate Pension.  That's one thing I like about dad though.  He doesn't care about The Civil War as in a southern boy and the lost cause and all that nonsense.  He's just interested in war in general.  He just has his favourites (like any of us that find an interest in battles and wars) which is The Battle of Hastings, The Civil War, and World War II.  I, however, am more interested in The French & Indian War, The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, & The Great War (World War I).  One of those men could have fought for the Union and he'd be OK with that.  It would just be documented proof that his ancestor fought in a war he's interested in.

We've found nothing to warrant more investigation (like the above) into ancestors from The Revolutionary or 1812 wars, but I'm not sure if he would even pursue those lines because he has no interest in those wars.  I would though.

Now my maternal (adopted) grandparents.  Mr. Summers didn't care about genealogy so didn't pursue it.  My grandmother was only interested in three things.  Her link to Daniel & Noah Webster (I don't know why she cared so much, but OK), the Revolutionary War, and British Royalty.  There are probably people in her line who fought for the Union in the Civil War (& people who fought in the War of 1812), but she didn't care two hoots about those wars, so she never even cared to look, keep paperwork for, or document anything to do with it.  So, I have no idea. Day 27 - War of 1812 I don't know why the POA lady put the wars out of order.  Was she just being quirky or does she really not know the orders?  Because if you can't guess, The War of 1812 comes after The Revolutionary War and before The Civil War in history.  Oh well, whatever.

So, this is one of the wars I greatly like learning about.  It's also one where I don't know of a single person who fought in it, not having found any evidence of such.  I really should do what my dad did, where he focused solely on The Civil War, concentrating all of his efforts to find the ancestors who fought in it; instead of merely trying to focus on all of the genealogy at once.  

I think I shall endeavor to figure out ancestors who might have fought in The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, & The Civil War (I want to know if anyone fought for the Union), & if records can be found (though I'm not hopeful), The French & Indian War too.  Later we might also throw in The Spanish American War for extra measure.

This right here is at least a starting point.  I have no idea if any of these people fought in The War of 1812, but the dates are right for some of them to have fought in it.  I'm not exactly sure who Mary Eunice Garrett Craig was (except she sounds like a nun with that Mary Eunice bit.  Heh), but I do know that she is somehow related to my great-grandmother on my dad's paternal line; Nani Pat Garrett who was my grandfathers mom.  

I also don't know why the page is burnt, but it certainly makes it seem more interesting, n'est-ce pas?  
Day 30 - Newspaper Clippings I have copies of lots of newspaper clippings.  Well, probably not a lot, but it's more than I thought we'd have.  It's hard to tell, but there are four here.  From left to right they are:

Owen B. Case, Long a Gazette Foreman, Dies 

This was my maternal (adopted) grandmothers father.  He was 92 when he died.  And it actually gives me a lot of information that I didn't know, though some I did. 

*Resident of 243 W. Lincoln Avenue.  
*Former employee of The Delaware Gazette.  
*Worked there for more than 50 years.  
*Officially retired in 1947.
*Came back and worked 10 more years.
*Died at the Jane M. Case Hospital after extended illness.  
*A native of Ostrander.
*Member of the Zion United Church of Christ.
*50-years member of the Hiram Masonic Lodge.
*One of his last public appearances was on 11. April to the funeral home to pay respects to his long-time employer.
*Survived by two daughters; Mrs. Blake Bollinger of 36 Tarpy Lane & Mrs. Russell Summers of Laurel, Miss.  Four grandchildren & four great-grandchildren.  Two sisters; Mrs. Clarence Wilkinson of Cuyahoga Falls & Mrs. Frank Friend of Columbus.  One brother, Gerald, of Columbus.
*Burial in Oak Grove Cemetery.

So, if I wanted I have a starting place for finishing out grandma's paternal line.  As I knew of her sister and their two kids.  It's interesting that he's buried in Oak Grove cemetery (it's not uncommon of a name for places of cemeteries), but it's where I live and went to school; besides the fact that if I were in Ohio and wanted to visit his grave, I know where to start.  I didn't know he went back to the gazette after retiring, so that's cool.  Interesting they say "One of his last public appearances...".  It tells me that it was a small-ish place where he lived at the time (it might not be anymore) and that the illness was very long indeed.  There must have been a great number of Case's (apparently Swiss people ancestrally) to settle that area, as to my knowledge he wasn't related to whoever the hospital was named for (even if he was, it's still a lot of Case's, which is a name not found down here in the south).

I had always heard they were Reform Church of the Dutch, yet apparently he was Zion United Church of Christ, whatever that is.  And that he was a Mason is weird.  I'm sure southern Masons are different from Yankee ones.

However, with all of these newspaper copies, there is absolutely no context.  I have no idea which publications they came from, nor the dates.  So, I have no idea what year he died from this article.  If they (I'm thinking it was my mom with most of these) didn't want to make a copy of the front page, she should have noted the information. Zanesville Attorney Dies In Auto Crash

This is the brother of mom's adopted dad.  I get confused with the names but the article confirms it.  Because there was this man that was talked about because of how he died.  Then his son who was a drunk.  I actually met this man's grandson at my grandmothers funeral.  He seemed pretty cool and according to the rest of my family who knew Mr. Summers (my adopted grandfather) in life, they look very similar to each other - more so than he did to his own grandfather (the man pictured).

Again, I have no idea what year this happened, but from what I do know (there is a photo of the two of them as old men in the early 1970s hanging out together) that it has to be early - mid 1970s and before Mr. Summers died in 1977 because from what everyone says, he knew about his brothers death.  Or I could just be smart and do some maths.  70 + 1902 = 1972.  He died in 1972.  

*Donald Forest Summers aged 70.
*933 Adair Avenue
*Attorney & former superintendent of Zaneville City Schools
*Killed 4:25 pm, Thursday, in two-car collision on U.S. 22 just east of Columbus Cement Plant.
*Other driver survived.
*8th traffic accident in Muskingum County that year.
*Born in 1902 to Ryan Pearl and Eva Lilly Summers of Lilly Chapel, Madison County, Ohio.
*Member of Lafayette Lodge F&AM, Chapter 9, Council 12; Zavi Shrine.  Elks.  Ohio Superintendents Association Board.  Ohio Pupils & Teachers Reading Circle.  American Red Cross.
*Served as attorney until his death (except for the period served as superintendent).
*Survived by: Widow Dorothy McWilliams Summers.  Two Sons - Attorney Robert Lee Summers of Worthington & Major Donald Allen Summers (I believe the drunk and father of the guy I met) of Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.  Six grandchildren & two great grandchildren (Rusty is one of the great grandchildren noted).  One brother, Russell of Laurel, Miss. Rites Wednesday at Laurel for Russell Summers

This is mom's adopted dad and older brother of the Donald Summers above.  He died 07. July 1978, because my mom always talked about her dad.  The only thing she's mentioned twice now that she's in her 70's is that her father was murdered.  That he was recouperating from a stroke and was expected to make it but was suffocated with a pillow by a nurse who had murdered several other people that way before being caught.  

Is it true?  Or does she just want a different story for how her dad went out?  I can't be sure because she never seemed angry over her dad's death, just sad and sorrowful and I've never heard any mention or even a tiny whisp or hint that his death was something other that a stroke.  So, who can be sure?  It's really sad if it's true.

*Russell A. Summers - aged 80
​*223 E. Kingston Street
*Died Monday morning at Forrest General Hospital
*Interment at Lake Park Cemetery
*Retired owner of Laurel Hoe Manufacturers.  
*Member of First Presbyterian Church.
*Lived in Laurel since 1941.
*Native of Delaware, Ohio.
*Graduate of Ohio State University.
*Survivors are: Wife, Katherine.  Two Daughters - Mrs. Theodore Herbert of Akron, Ohio & Mrs. Paul Roberts of Hattiesburg.  Two grandchildren (Rusty & The Sister - there'd only be one more and that was me.  And one great-grandchild later in that entire family).

There's another write up for Mr. Summers on the backside which mentions the following:

*Died at Forrest General after brief illness.
*Retired owner of Laurel Hoe Works (that's the real name)
*Veteran of World War I
*Member of The American Legion.
*Survived by: Widow, Katherine Case Summers.  Two grandchildren - Russell Herbert of Akron, Ohio & Rebecca Roberts of Hattiesburg.
*Pallbearers will be: Paul Roberts, Dr. Theodor Herbert, Lt. Col. Don A Summers, Robert L. Summers, & Russell Herbert.

Interesting things to note here in this more thorough write up.  The pallbearers.  I had no idea that my dad or Uncle Terry (my aunts first husband and Rusty's birth father) were pallbearers.  Doesn't surprise me as dad and Mr. Summers were close and my aunt would have made her husband be a pallbearer whether he wanted to or not.  Or that his nephews were also pallbearers (those are the sons of the Attorney in the last article).  Or that they made my 8 year old brother be a pallbearer.  Especially since I always heard the story that his mom and I think my grandmother too blamed him for Mr. Summers' stroke in the first place.  That's just mean.

They name the grandchildren & Russell Herbert is my brother, Rusty, which I explained up there for Prompt 05 for Brother.  Besides it being interesting because they hardly ever name the grand children in obituaries, it's an amusing story.  

First let me preface by saying that Mr. Summers' death had a profound effect on my mom.  She mourned heavily I am told.  His death caused her so much stress that she miscarried the baby she was carrying.  Which is weird to think about because if he hadn't of died then I might have another older sibling.  Or if he'd died two years later it might be me she miscarried and someone else, two years older than me would have lived this life.

So, as a result, every single time we visited my grandmother in Laurel (which was a lot because it's not that far away), we'd make a trip to the cemetery to visit his grave.  That is every Mother's Day, every Easter, every Thanksgiving, every Christmas, every random weekend or day visit scattered through out the year for twenty-two years.  I had to visit the grave of a man I did not know and call him Grandpa.  

Y'all that is weird.  It would have felt the same as randomly picking a different old man in that cemetery and calling him grandpa.

Anyways, her purchased four plots; one for himself, my grandmother and both my mom and aunt.  So, when my grandmother died in January of 2005 her ashes are buried next to him.  Mom and my aunt don't want the plots, so when my brother unexpectedly died in December of 2005, his ashes were buried next to my grandmother.  There are headstones for each of them.

This is where the amusing bit comes in.  So, Mr. Summers was Russell Albert Summers.  My aunt named her son after him, so he was Russell Allan Herbert.  Both Russell's.  Both Russell A.'s to boot.  My aunt and uncle divorced in the 1980s and my aunt took back her maiden name.  In time, my brother chose the surname of Summers as well.  

So, in that cemetery you have three headstones in a neat row reading: Russell A Summers 1898 - 1978, then Katherine Summers 1909 - 2005, then Russell A Summers 1969 - 2005.  People that traipse through cemeteries are going to be shaking their heads about this one.  "Why are there two Russell A Summers'?"  "Is this one the kid?"  "No, they would have been in their 60s when he was born."  "Grandkid?"  "Maybe... but why is he buried here?"  "Why would he have the exact same name?"  "I don't know, people are weird."

​People are weird, as is this scenario, out of context.  Makes me chuckle though.
One of Soldiers Had Threatened To Commit Suicide

This one is from my dad's side.  It's the story about Marcus Roberts (my grandpa's older brother) that I said we'd get to later.  Well, here we go.  I'd heard the story my entire life as my aunt likes to regale anything genealogical, but also my grandmother was around when it happened.  She remembered Marcus and remembered when he died.  "He was gooood lookin', that Marcus.  Shame about him getting murdered."

Apparently he was too good looking to die?  haha.  I've never seen a photo of him, but my grandpa was pretty good looking in his twenties, so what must have Marcus looked like?

The story I always heard is that (besides being really, really good looking), he went to a bar and some guy gave him a drink laced with poison and murdered him.  

The two news articles that I have paint the story differently and more complexly.  Basically there was a house owned by Mrs. Linnie Bumpass and she opened her home to socializing for some reason.  According to her testimony a Private John L. Johnson had come in acting moody and weird and really wanted someone to drink with him.  Nobody wanted to.  He'd brought his own flask and poured out two drinks.  My uncle Marcus arrived and the guy asked him to drink with him.  "Roberts asked for a larger glass and poured the contents from both glasses & proceeded to take the drink.  The moment he swallowed the liquor, Roberts fell to the floor and went into convulsions."  Johnson called a cab & took Marcus to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.  (She also testified that Johnson gave his statement that he found Marcus unconscious on the street and wanted Mrs. Bumpass to corroborate that.  She would not.)

A Lieutenant Colonel Meister stated that Johnson had been despondent for sometime over troubles with his sweetheart and had threatened to commit suicide.  Several hours after Marcus died, Johnson was found dead in his quarters from drinking the same poison mixed in whisky.  

I have the death certificate for Marcus.  Cause of death was listed as "Poisoning acute, chemical (Hydro-cyanic acid).  It is highly toxic and will cause seizure, he stopped breathing, and had a heart attack.

You know this Johnson guy wanted to die, but didn't want to die alone, otherwise why would he keep pestering everyone to drink with him?  However, while I used to feel bad for this uncle of mine, now I see that he was arrogant.  Someone offers you a drink and you take yours as well as his and add it to a bigger glass?  What sort of behavior is that?  He still would have died with one glass (because they tested the contents of the flask and there was so much poison in there any amount would have been lethal.)  But it's like he was showing how important he was & stole that guys drink to basically mark his territory of supreme awesomeness?  Yep, super arrogant.  I don't feel that bad for him now.

Also, the death certificate is a match.  Marcus B. and the father was James F. (it's who they informed of the death), and Marcus would have been 21 by this date and they were living in England, Arkansas during this time & Marcus was in the army.  He died 14. May 1934.
This concludes my (long-winded) post about genealogy.  It's a weird family (as I'm sure everyone's is in their own right), it's just mine contains three branches.  One I want to claim, but can't, and one I should claim, but don't want to, with dad's being the one true constant throughout it all.  So you got all of it.   #Uncategorized

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