Saturday, October 31, 2009

Surname Saturday - Hussong

"Hussong is the Germanized spelling of the French name, Husson, from a pet form of the Old French personal name Hue or Hugh. Hugh is English: from the Old French personal name Hu(gh)e, introduced to Britain by the Normans. This is in origin a short form of any of the various Germanic compound names with the first element hug ‘heart’, ‘mind’, ‘spirit’... It was a popular personal name among the Normans in England, partly due to the fame of St. Hugh of Lincoln (1140–1200), who was born in Burgundy and who established the first Carthusian monastery in England."
So says Ancestry.com. This has been a difficult family branch to work on. I have a few hints, but nothing substantial. I wrote of Nora Hussong in a previous post. She is my husband's paternal Great-grandmother. I found her in each U.S. Federal Census, 1900 - 1930, and in the Kansas 1895 census. In the 1895 and 1900 census, she lived with George W. Hussong and Elizabeth Hussong, identified as their daughter in the 1900 census. In the 1910 census, she was the wife of George T. Roark, and in the 1920 census she was the wife of William T. Asbell. Her death certificate informant was her son, William T Asbell Jr., who listed her parents as George Husong and Elizabeth Gilbert. So, it would seem I have a positive ID on Nora's parents.

George and Elizabeth Hussong are listed together in the 1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census records. In every census, George's birthplace is listed as Illinois, his occupation is 'Miner' or 'Mining'. Elizabeth's birthplace is listed as Indiana, and by the 1910 Census, she indicated that she'd had 10 children, 5 of which were living, and they'd been married for 33 years .

I found Elizabeth Hussong's death certificate at the (wonderful) Missouri Digital Heritage website. Jane Hussong Land, Elizabeth's daughter, was the informant. She gave information that indicated Elizabeth's husband was George Hussong. Since Elizabeth Hussong was listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census as widowed, this would indicate that he died between 1920 and 1930. I can find George and Elizabeth in census records, but I can't find either one of them in records before they were married. Unfortunately, I can't find George's death certificate in this database. I believe I did say it wasn't a perfect website.

So, I'm having to wait until January and February to do some more sleuthing on this family. Looking for birth records in Galena, Kansas, and death records in either Joplin or Neosho, Missouri. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Follow Friday - Missouri Digital Heritage


Personally I don't have any relatives from Missouri; in fact, few of my relatives ever left North Carolina once they arrived, so before I started researching my husband's family, I knew very little of other state's resources. Soon enough, I found the Missouri Digital Heritage website, and fell in love. It isn't perfect, no website is. But it certainly made me wish more ancestors had lived and died there. It was the first online web site I found that provided a digital copy of the death certificate that I could actually read and interpret for myself. I'm not downplaying transcribed copies, but we all know that people make mistakes, especially if they're transcribing hundreds of records. The family records are my favorite part of the website, but there's much more that I haven't begun to explore. An introductory paragraph reads,
"Through the Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative, the Missouri State Archives and the Missouri State Library, in partnership with the State Historical Society of Missouri, are assisting institutions across the state in digitizing their records and placing them online for easy access. We invite you to explore our website and to join with us in celebrating our collective past.
If you have any family from this state, you shouldn't miss this gem of a website.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Photographs

Photographs. We take them for granted today. They're everywhere - and considering the many sources for them - digital cameras, cell phones, computers, 'spycams', security cameras, old fashioned film cameras - we're in danger of being overwhelmed with images. But in generations past, they were something special.

When I asked my husband, what he would consider a 'treasure', his first response was this portrait of Dudley Emerson Jones, his Great-great Grandfather.

I admit - I like this photo too. I see the picture of the man who joined the Third Regiment Iowa Volunteer Calvary September 20th, 1861 in Keokuk, Iowa, leaving his wife and two children, one of them less than a year old. I see a man who served his time honorably, appointed First Battalion Quartermaster on entrance to service, promoted First Lieutenant of Company L, May 2, 1862, and mustered out August 9th, 1865.

The war changed Dudley and his family, as it was during their Company's occupation of Little Rock, Arkansas, that showed him the opportunities for business, and convinced him to move there after the war.

This picture is a copy of the original that now is stored in the University of Arkansas Special Collections. Many other pictures and personal papers, were donated in 1995 for the purpose of preservation and research. Now anyone studying a relevant topic, can, with permission, access those papers. [This picture is David in 1995 at the University of Arkansas, behind the portrait of Dudley E. Jones, surrounded by the other pictures and papers.]

Unlike a lot of family members, Dudley wrote a lot about his life. And though I didn't come along in time to look through those papers and pictures before they were donated to the University, I'm still glad they're there, being preserved for future generations.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Reading


OK - I know - this picture has nothing to do with genealogy. Or does it? Before the next generation can take up our research, they've got to be able to read; and read well. This picture combines two of my greatest loves - reading and dogs. Enjoy the whole article at my hometown newspaper, The New Bern Sun Journal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Arthur Clifton Jones & Georgia Ann Jackson


Arthur Clifton Jones was the first son, and second child, of Dudley Emerson Jones and Caroline Peck. Born September 18, 1860 in Keokuk, Iowa. After the Civil War, Dudley moved his family, including Arthur, to Little Rock, Arkansas. We don't have many details of his life, but an a short biography that Aubrey F. Williams wrote in 1980 for the Masons lodge hall, included the following:
"He was raised to Master Mason in Western Star Lodge on March 5, 1890, and served as Worshipful Master in 1895and 1897. In 1900 he was High Priest of Union Chapter No. 2, R.A.M. He also was member of Knights of Pythias.

"The family lived at 814 Scott St., the house just south of First Presbyterian Church at 8th and Scott. His father owned Dudley E. Jones Co., a well known machinery and hardware business, where Arthur was employed s secretary and treasurer until the company went out of business in 1912. He died August 28, 1923.

"The obituary contains an interesting paragraph about Jones' life, as follows:
'In his youth and early manhood Mr. Jones took a lively interest in the activities of the time, and was a member of the Quapaw Guards, a drill team of the '80's, and he won a gold medal for being the best drilled man in the company. He also was a member of the first Boathouse Association here. Mr. Jones when a boy was the owner of a fine pony which took many prizes at the old state fairs held here.'"
Georgia Ann Jackson was born October 18, 1856 in Boone County, Missouri, the eldest child, and only daughter of William P. Jackson and Susan B. Johnson. The U.S. Federal Census lists Georgia's father as alternately a brick mason or a stonemason, and by 1880 he was listed as unemployed while his sons (who lived in his household) worked in the brick industry. On June 1st, 1875, Georgia graduated from high school, and nearly 12 years later married Arthur Clifton Jones, April 13, 1887. In the 1880 census she was listed "at home" - but family members remember her as a school teacher.

Arthur and Georgia's life together is a bit of a mystery. We have no photos of them together, and the only photo we have of Georgia herself is a portrait that we found buried among old family items labeled "Mrs. A.C. Jones". This seems odd to me, since there were quite a few pictures of her three sons, Edward Curtis, Dudley Emerson and Arthur Jackson Jones.

We know that they lived in Little Rock for the majority of their married life. Initially they must have lived in Sedalia, since both of the older boys were born there, in 1889 and 1892, but we have no records or information about that time (another instance of my 1890 U.S. Federal Census blues).

After his father's business closed, Arthur continued to work as a bookkeeper with another business, while his sons enlisted and were deployed to Europe in World War II. We have a book of letters written from Europe from the boys to their parents. One day soon I'll get those scanned in and write another entry on them.

After Arthur passed away, Georgia continued living at the Scott Street House, joined by her youngest son Arthur Jackson Jones and his new wife, Nell Marie Ingram. She welcomed Arthur and Nell's only child, her second grandchild, Carolyn Jones, just two months after Arthur Clifton passed away.

At Christmas 1928 she went to visit her oldest son, Edward Curtis Jones, his wife, Jessie M. Colcasure and her oldest grandson, Curtis Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. On December 29th, After less than a weeks visit, she died from pneumonia and influenza, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas, next to her husband.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival - Plan Your Epitaph Day


After reading Lance Hardie's website, and a few other epitaph 'assistance' sites, I decided I wanted something simple and succinct. C.S. Lewis wrote some of my favorite books, and one of my favorites is The Last Battle. Granted, the storyline is a bit awkward at times, but the ending is the best description of Heaven I've ever read. And when I leave this oh so human body behind, I'll be going "further up and further in."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Genealogy Site Trials

You know, those trial periods using the different internet sources are actually quite helpful. My current subscription to Ancestry.com started that way. I started it with the idea that I might be able to search out all I needed during the two week trial. A foolhardy idea, I know. Even though I spent almost every waking moment working at the searches, I quickly realized that even if I did find everything I searched for, each search inevitably ended in needing a new search.

This week I put the free 7 day trial at Footnote to good use. The Civil War Confederate records and the World War II Army Air Force records were of specific interest to me, having quite a few ancestors from North Carolina who fought for the Confederacy and a distant cousin who died in an airplane crash during World War II. After finding quite a few Civil War records, and even a few Revolutionary War records, last night, right before the trial was to end, I found a record of the Army Report submitted after our cousins aircraft was shot down. There were twenty-four pages of information, the first page of which confirmed that this was indeed our cousin. It was an exciting find, and certainly worth the efforts expended during the trial. However, after this find, I reviewed their currently holdings, and found little else that might be of use, so I let the trial lapse.

I also tried the 7 day trial at Genealogy Archives, but had very little luck there. I entered quite a few of our family names in the general search, and came up with only a few results, all of which I had already found at Ancestry.com. In my case, I didn't think it would be very useful, and let it lapse as well.

So if you're considering trying them, I'd say do it - especially if there's a free trial period.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Cycling Club

Now those were bicycles!
Arthur Clifton Jones (second from left), ca. 1885, Little Rock, Arkansas.
For history of this bicycle, see Peddling History.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Dudley & Caroline Jones


This is the gravestone for Dudley Emerson Jones and Caroline Peck Jones, located in the Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas. This is the couple that whetted all our appetite for more family history. From the family papers left, I'd say Dudley was the first known member of the family who was interested in his family's history. We have six or so pages of family groups with typed transcriptions, at least one letter from someone in New York that collected information for him, and multiple pictures from his generation. His own biography was written by his son-in-law, Philip Bernays, and published in the History of the University of Arkansas. Many of the pictures and letters were donated by his great-granddaughter, Carolyn Jones Deller, to the University of Arkansas Library, Special Collections. Dudley is considered one of the 'famous' people within the family, and I'll devote more entries to him at a later date.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Music Monday - 1904

I was still thinking about Nora today when I saw a meme entitled 'Music Monday', and wondered, "What kinds of music would Nora have heard in 1904, around Galena, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri?" That one question has taken me on a daylong internet search; some of it was for fun, some was very educational.

As soon as I thought, "Joplin", I thought, "Ragtime Music." In fact, Ragtime was popular between 1897 and 1918. And Scott Joplin was the most famous of the Ragtime composers. A Wikipedia article names Joseph Lamb and James Scott along with Joplin as the "three most sophisticated Ragtime composers." While its popularity waned after 1917, there have been revivals - I remember the one in the 70's when The Sting was released. I was hooked and spent many hours learning The Entertainer as well as The Maple Leaf Rag. That was great stuff.

Here's a YouTube recording of Valery Lloyd-Watts performing The Cascades, by Scott Joplin.



Wikipedia's article on the Music of Kansas, stated that Home on the Range was written there in 1870, and music from the area remained in a "similar folk, or old-time music style". Now I know what I mean when I say old-time music, but I wasn't sure it was the same thing. So I took a trip to YouTube and found a most extraordinary young woman, Ashley Hull, Old Time Fiddler. She talks about the old-time-fiddler, and how his primary purpose during those early days, was to provide music for dancing. She goes on, "To some it was the welcomed (and necessary) escape from the rigors of pioneer life." I don't think I would say 1904 was a 'pioneer' time, but the fact that Old-Music continued through to that time is undeniable. If you want a quick escape, here's a fine example of music that Nora might have heard.

Ashley Hull playing Salty River Reel at the Ozarks Heritage Festival



Wikipedia led me to Charlie Walden's web site, Missouri Old-Time Fiddling which has loads of historical information about the genre. At his other web site, CharlieWaldon.com, you can hear some of the tunes he's learned over the years at his Project page. Certainly worth the time, if you can spare it.

So life wasn't all dreary hard work; there were times to dance and listen to music too. You never know, Nora and George might have met at one of those Old-Time Music dances.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saints & Sinners Sunday - Elnora 'Nora' Hussong

Saints and Sinners. What do I mean by that? Well, I use the word 'Saint' as described by the Merriam Webster dictionary: "one eminent for piety or virtue, or an illustrious predecessor." And 'Sinner'? Well, the dictionary doesn't give much of a definition, just "one that sins." But the synonyms given are much more descriptive, "reprobate, scamp." So, I'd say the odds are better that an ancestor is more likely to be a combination of the two, since no one is ALL saint or sinner. But I'd have to say, that in the research I've done thus far, Nora is more saint than sinner.

Elnora Hussong, or Nora as she was known to her family, was born May Day [May 1st], 1888, in Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, the sixth child to George W. Hussong and Elizabeth A. Gilbert. George and Elizabeth probably married in Illinois, and then moved to Kansas early in their marriage where they had ten children. George made a living in the zinc mines, as did many others of his day; and although by the 1910 census he owned the home they lived in, we can still assume that life was difficult for them. Nora told one of her grandchildren, that when she was small, she was hired out to another family as a servant, and left with them when her family moved away.

Nora was listed as living with her parents in Galena, Kansas in the 1895 Kansas Census and in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. My husband and I only know the very basics of this family story, and if the census records are to be believed, I'm not sure how her story fits in with them. But whatever the case, Nora's story told of an unhappy childhood, and in 1904, at the age of 16, she lied about her age and married George Thomas Roark. Within 5 years, they'd had two children, Roy and Mable. And then in February, 1914, her young husband died. The cause of death was Pulmonary Tuberculosis, worsened by working in the mines.

In 1919 her son, Roy, died from influenza and pneumonia, and by 1920, Nora had married William 'Bill' Franklin Asbell, and delivered her third child, Bill Jr. Bill Sr. was not known to be a 'gentle' man, and it's generally understood that Nora was a long suffering wife. Records show that they lived in Coffeyville, Kansas and Neosho, Missouri; and when her daughter Mable divorced her husband, their child, Charles Deller, joined her in Neosho.

Nora outlived two husbands, raised three of her own children and a grandchild, and lived a long, full life. She died in Dallas, Texas, March 26, 1965 at the age of 76, while visiting with her daughter, and was buried by her second husband, Bill Sr., at Wichita Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas.

Update 10/6/2010:  Original picture was incorrectly assumed to be Nora; and replaced with correct picture. 

Top Photo:  Portrait of Elnora Hussong. Personal photo in collection of D. Bell, Forney, Texas.
Bottom Photo: Great-grandma Nora with M. Deller. Personal photo in collection of D. Deller, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Handpainted China


Nell Marie Ingram was born 13 July 1888 in Hempstead, Texas to William Edward Ingram [1859-1925] and Viola F. Taylor [1858-1937]. She was brought up as a lady, and developed the hobby of painting on pottery. An article on Hand Painted Porcelain at the Kansas State Historical Society describes it as a "sophisticated hobby", a "respectable occupation" and a "creative outlet for women artists." From the stories told by her daughter and grandchildren, I think this 'hobby' was all of the above for her. As a lady, she could express herself artistically, while maintaining her respectability. And then later in life, she used these skills to share them with another generation through Art Classes and at Gypsy Camp for Girls in Siloam Springs, Arkansas (which is another whole blog post in itself).

Nell created a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces, but this particular piece is one of my favorites. The signature on the bottom reads, "Nell Ingram, 1914."

If you're interested and want to learn more, there's another article at My Granny's Attic Antiques.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

L-R: unknown children (possibly Dellers, Hussongs, or Koehlhoffers), Mable Roark Deller holding Charles 'Charlie' Deller, & Charles Joseph Deller. Ca. 1927, probably in southeast Kansas.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday


It's "Tombstone Tuesday" - this is exciting - it's my first time participating! This isn't just an entry for the day - but yet another tribute for the Find A Grave website. This has to be one of the best sites ever. I'm sure there are loads of people who already know about this site - but it changed my life. More than just providing pictures for my eyes to feast on - it reassured me that I wasn't the only person in the world who enjoyed walking through cemeteries and graveyards and snapping pictures of the interesting stones. So - to the founders and contributors of Find A Grave, I offer my sincere thanks. This picture was taken by Betty Saltenberger, one of the fine volunteers there.

George Thomas Roark was born 23 March 1880, in Barry County, Missouri. From what we know, he lived most of his life in Missouri. He married Elnora Hussong 5 November 1904, and they had two children, Roy [1907-1919], and Mable [?1909-1988], both born in Galena, Kansas. George died 15 Jan 1914, in Joplin, Missouri; the cause of death was tuberculosis, and a contributing factor was working in mines (the 1910 census lists him as a 'powder man').

When I was searching for ideas for this post, I read a comment at Adventures in Grave Hunting that Lisa made about a cemetery in California, "Rumor has it that the larger the monument, the more a deceased person was loved." This might have been the case here. Their marriage license records Nora's age as over 18, but if her death certificate and funeral card are to be believed, she was only 16 when she married. When George died, Nora was just 26 years old; they had only lived together nine years . I can't imagine they had a lot of money, but this stone looks expensive. While I don't know how much Nora loved George, it would appear that she definitely appreciated him, and wanted others to know that.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A Childhood Memory


To keep things moving along - I thought it'd be interesting to participate in some of the online 'challenges.' So for today Randy Seaver says in his blog, Genea-Musings, "We all have childhood memories, but if you're like me, you're concentrating on getting the family history of your parents and earlier generations. Let's think about ourselves here."

1. What is one of your most vivid childhood memories? Was it family, friends, places, events, or just plain fun?

For me, there's not one specific memory, as much as mixtures of memories. But almost all of them revolve around playing with my sister, and playing outside - on Meadows Street, Cherry Tree Drive, and at my Grandmothers farm.

On Meadows Street I loved climbing a big old pine tree in the back yard. It had wonderful low branches, and lots of pine straw underneath for the inevitable falls. One of the most memorable climbs was when a neighborhood boy joined me in climbing, and fell, probably 10 or more feet down, but immediately got up and went crying home. Playing football in the front yard was also a frequent pastime; using two parallel sidewalks as the goals (it wasn't a particularly large football field, but we weren't particularly big kids). And yes, I was a bit of a tomboy. We also had various inflatable pools for the hot North Carolina summers. Our father would inflate it, and set it up so we could put the end of the slide in it. It only took a couple of seared legs to remember to splash water onto the slide before making the descent.

On Cherry Tree Drive, we played a lot of 'cops and robbers' and 'cowboys and Indians' using leaves from the corner bushes as ammunition. As we got older, we utilized the neighbors basketball goal for frequent games of H-O-R-S-E.

And at my Grandmother's house, we got filthy running around barefooted in the summer months chasing each other, playing house (outdoors), making and serving mud-pies, and walking along the railroad tracks that ran in front of her house, pretending to be gymnasts.

Those were some good days... thanks for the challenge.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Peter and Carrie Deller

[Picture Left: Grandpa Pete & Pawpaw Bill Asbell.
Picture Right: Maybe a Deller son with Carrie Miller Deller.]

Peter & Carrie Deller are my husbands great-grandparents. From a relative, we had a little information about him; his name, place of birth (Germany), and where he had lived (Coffeyville, Kansas).

Both Peter and Carrie arrived after the 1880 Federal Census, and there is no 1890 Federal Census (to speak of), but I did find a listing in the 1890 & 1891 Norristown City Directory (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), for Peter, whose occupation was listed as glass-maker. This would fit with the census records of 1910, which lists his occupation as 'gatherer' in a glass factory.

I'm still searching for them in the 1900 census, so the 1910 Federal Census, is the first Federal record I've found with Peter & Carrie Deller listed. According to this census: they lived in a rented house in Wetmore Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania, both they and their parents were born in Germany, and spoke German in the home. Peter immigrated in 1885, and Carrie in 1883, and Peter nad been naturalized. It also indicates that Peter could read and write, but Carrie could read, but not write.

They had been married 18 years, and Carrie had borne 10 children, 9 of which were living. Nine children were listed in their household: Jennie - 17, Sophia M. - 15, Mary - 13, Pauline - 10 (or 18), George M. - 8 Margarette (Marguerite) - 5, Charlie (Charles) J. - 4, Joseph - 2, and Josephine - 2 (these last two may have been twins).

By the 1920 Federal Census, Peter and Carrie had moved, and were living in a rented house at 907 Delaware Street, Coffeyville, Kansas. In this census, Peter's immigration was 1882, and naturalization in 1891. Carrie's immigration date was 1883, and this record marks her naturalized in 1891. Peter's birth place is listed as Alsace-Loraine, Germany, where he spoke German in his home. His parents were born in Bavaria and spoke German in their homes. Carrie's birth place was listed as Bavaria, where she spoke German; her father was from Bavaria, where he spoke German, and her mother was from France and spoke French. [This may be the French grandmother who loved to dance!] Peter worked as a laborer at a Rail Road Shop, and Carrie worked in the home.

The children listed in the household are: George M. - 17, Marguerite - 16, Charles J. - 14, Josephine - 12, and Theodore - 5. All of the children were unemployed, except for Marguerite, who was a sales girl in a Notions Shop. All of the children were born in Pennsylvania, except the youngest, Theodore, who was born in Kansas.

From the 1930 Federal Census I learned that Peter and Carrie still lived at the house in Coffeyville, Kansas, except now they owned it, AND they owned a Radio too (one of those strange questions asked). Peter was 23 when he first married, and Carrie was 18. This Census records both their immigration years the same, 1882, and lists both them and their parents as all born in Germany speaking German in the home. Peter is still working as a laborer, but now he's working in a Foundry, and Carrie still works at home.

Theodore - 16, and George - 28, are living in the home with them and George is working as a paper hanger. Their daughter Sophia - 35, is also living with them, with her husband, Charles H. Jackson, daughter Lillian - 18, and son Keith - 22 months.

Other than these Federal Census records, I've found Peter in the Coffeyville City Directories in: 1937, 1939, & 1941. We have a family picture of the double grave stone, Carrie, 1874-1945, and Peter, 1869-1944. We're assuming these graves are in Coffeyville, Kansas, but we don't have proof of that.

Things I'm still looking for: immigration records, 1900 Federal Census record, death and burial records - and any living family connections. We don't have any family information about Peter's or Carrie's parents, except what was found in the Census. I found a limited gedcom at FamilySearch.org that included Peter as a brother to Charles, Nickolas Joseph, Margaret and Catherine, children of Carl and Catherine Deller - BUT - there were no sources for this, and I can't find anything that either refutes it or supports it. This is one of those time when I REALLY wish I were near a library and could refer to the Germans to America reference books. The web is good - but all the records aren't there yet.

So from all that I can say, with a little certainty, that Peter Deller was born in 1869 in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, and died in 1944, probably in Coffeyville, Kansas. He immigrated from Germany in either 1882 or 1885, and was naturalized in 1891. He married Carrie about 1892, probably in Pennsylvania, and together they had 11 children. Peter worked primarily in the Glass Industry, and Carrie worked in the home. In 1891, they lived in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and by 1910 were living in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Theodore was born about 1915 in Kansas, so that would date their move to Kansas between 1910 and 1915. They continued living in Coffeyville, Kansas until at least 1941, but most likely until their deaths.

So until next time... I'll keep searching.

The First Post

Years ago, my grandmother shared her love of family. She showed us the family Bible, filled with names of parents and grandparents. She wrote lists of grandparents, their children, her parents and her brothers and sisters. She seemed proud that she knew all their names, and her enthusiasm was contagious. I asked her to show me where these relatives were buried, and she took me for rides. We didn't have to go far; a few miles in different directions took us to four or five different family cemeteries. She'd lead the way to gravestones, pointing them out one by one, telling me how we were all related. While I did encourage her to tell me about them, I'm sure I didn't learn as much as I could have.

Since then I've been collecting family information, but I still feel like a beginner to the world of genealogy. In spite of the overwhelming scope of it all, I want to keep searching and collecting information about these family members. With each bit of information I find, I keep wondering, 'What was their story?' I know, it's not an original thought, but it keeps recurring, and I thought it was as good a title as any.

So I'm starting this blog with the purpose of sharing information that I've found about the Deller, Jones, Roark, Ingram, Miller, Hussong, Jackson, Taylor, Hogan, Gilbert, Peck, Vaught, Lappin, Starkey, Perry, Montgomery, Reno, and more (there always seems to be more).