Thursday, December 30, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Remembrances

Several times in the past few weeks, I’ve tried to write this post but every time the tears started flowing as I tried to find just the right words to honor two of my grandparents descendants that we had to say goodbye to this year.

During the week leading up to Christmas, the two suddenly became three and again I struggled.

Then without warning, the words I had struggled to write to pay tribute to two first cousins and an uncle suddenly started flowing as I reflected on not what I lost with their passing but what I had gained by having each one of them in my lives.

Cousin Vera

Cousin Vera was 20 years my senior.

When I was a kid, I remember Vera loved soap operas. She was my baby sister when I was in elementary school. So, through Cousin Vera, I was introduced to the world of Mrs. Chancellor, Jill, Snapper, Brock and the Brooks sisters of The Young and the Restless. The Edge of Night was our other favorite soap opera, although I don’t remember any of the characters from it.

I use to love for Cousin Vera to press my hair. She was the only one that I never feared burning me with the pressing comb. Mom and I always thought she missed her calling by not doing hair.

The best thing that she gave me was one of my first buds, her oldest, my cousin Daryl, who was one year younger than me. I tell ya until we hit junior high, he and I were practically joined at the hip or at least it felt like it. It helped that Cousin Vera and her family lived with our granddad in his house, which as I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions was one street over from our house.

She was diagnosed with cancer about 4 years ago. Even after she was diagnosed, she was courageous and chaired the last family reunion that was hosted by the North Carolina branch of the Pierce descendants. On 15 June 2010, her battle with cancer was over as it had the last word.

Cousin Ann

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of my big cousin Ann and me for Wordless Wednesday. Shortly after I posted that picture, she passed. In fact, she passed while I was in Georgia for the Atlanta Family History Expo and my first research trip.

Ann, Cousin Vera’s younger sister, actually babysat me before her big sister did. Ann always recalled that I was always threatening to tell my mother on her about something. Meanwhile, I always remembered her washing my mouth out with soap although she swore she never did that.

One of the most interesting things about Ann is that outside of her North Carolina family (includes grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins and first cousin’s descendants) she’s known by her first name Elizabeth or Liz for short. When you start talking about Ann to family outside of North Carolina, they are like who’s that? Then you have to remember that they know her by her first name.

From my earliest days of researching, Cousin Ann was always pushing me to write a book about our family history and even offered to help write it. She mentioned it again the last time I talked to her, which was a few weeks before her death. I always said no because….well I had a lot of excuses. However, since I’ve been blogging, I’ve begun to think about doing a book about our family and my research even if it’s just for family. Ann’s passing has made me want to do it even more especially since I know how important learning about her ancestral past was to her.

Cousin Ann was also battling the cancer demon and once again it won. We lost her on 14 November 2010, exactly five months after the loss of her sister.

Uncle Melvin

Uncle Melvin was 96 years young and the second of my maternal grandparents' children. He was part of their “Georgia” kids. I suppose we / I should have been expecting that his days were possibly numbered given the numerous health problems he’s had of late. But as the last uncle on my maternal side, blood or otherwise, it just seemed like he would be there forever or maybe I just didn’t want to think about it.

From my childhood years, there is no one special moment that stands out. Like the rest of my aunts and uncles, Uncle Melvin and Aunt Dot, supported me in some of my early endeavors. While I was a Girl Scout, I could always count on them to be among my first customers each year for Girl Scout cookies.

There was one recent special moment. Through the years, I had never given Uncle Melvin anything for his birthday but this year, even though it was several weeks late, I just had to give him a little something. So, one weekend when I was in the hometown, mom and I went to his house, where I hand delivered the belated birthday card, which had a small gift of cash inside. Uncle Melvin was in good spirits that day. He read aloud the card that I had given him. I didn’t even realize that’s what he was doing as I was too busy talking to Aunt Dot and getting caught up on how my cousins were doing. Mom had to tell me to be quiet so that Uncle Melvin could read the card. After Uncle Melvin finished reading the card, mom and I stayed a little longer and visited a bit more before we had to leave. On the way out, I gave my Uncle a hug and a kiss and told him that the next time I was on that side of our hometown, I would be sure to stop in and say hello.

Uncle Melvin’s earthly journey concluded on 20 December 2010.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reflecting on 2010 Genealogical Goals

Where has 2010 gone? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were welcoming in the year?

Looking back on my goals for 2010, I didn’t get nearly enough accomplished. In some areas, I did better than I thought I had done or at least I think I did. And in other areas, as with everything in life, there are things I need to improve on.

Accomplishments for 2010 include:

  1. I did manage to get to a couple of conferences. Both happened to be in the state of Georgia. I attended the Southeast Family History Expo in February and the Atlanta Family History Expo in November.
  2. In February, I attended my first genealogy workshop. The workshop was given by a local group, Comprehensive Genealogical Services.
  3. After all these years, I went on my first research trip. It was a great experience and while I think I had great preparation, there were a few things I forgot like taking snacks to keep your stamina up. I will be better prepared for my next research trip.
  4. Even though some months I struggled with what to say, but, at least on this blog, I stayed on an even keel, more or less, with my posts. Now, Conversations with My Ancestors, the blog about my paternal ancestors, is a totally different story.
  5. I feel that I did manage to get in a bit more quality time with the folks although most of the dad quality time revolved around hospitals and doctors.
So, what do I hope to accomplish in 2011? Everything I didn’t manage to get accomplished in 2010 and then some. I’ll list specifics next week or at the beginning of 2011.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vote for Me, Vote for Me

Well, I’m speechless. I just discovered that my blog, Georgia Black Crackers, was nominated for the Family Tree Magazine 2011 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in the Heritage Groups category.

Thank you to my nominator(s). I’m honored to be recognized and considered alongside others whose writing and research I’ve admired.

You can find out more about this recognition by reading the announcement on Family Tree Magazine’s blog, Genealogy Insider. Then go to the ballot to vote for your favorites. Voting is open through December 20, 2010, and you can vote as many times as you would like.

If you would like to check out all the blogs before voting, DearMYRTLE of DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog was kind enough to prepare a Sample Ballot with links to all the nominees’ blogs.

Now, here’s where I’m supposed to go into politician mode, but since I’m definitely not a politician, there won’t be any stump speeches promising things I can’t deliver on. Sorry folks. I hope you’re not disappointed.

Now start voting!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent of Christmas Memories, Day 12 - Charitable / Volunteer Work

Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?

Through the years I've participated in many charitable activities this time of the year either on my own, through church, or through work. This was instilled into me at an early age through my mother. My folks were two different denominations and I usually attended church with mom. Every year, our church would participate in Operation Santa Claus. My mother always adopted a child for Operation Santa Claus and included me in the process of selecting items for our adopted child.

After I was out on my own, I continued participating in Operation Santa Claus / Angel Trees, etc. either on my own or through church. Also, many of the places I've worked, adopted a family for the holidays and I also contributed food and clothing items toward those activities also. I did and still do get a rush from helping a child or family have a Blessed Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Blog Caroling, 2010 - A Non Traditional Song

I love music, period but especially Christmas music. I like traditional renditions of traditional songs but I also like traditional songs played in other genres such as jazz, soul, R&B, and rock. I especially like non traditional Christmas songs. So with all that in mind and remembering songs and groups from my youth, my entry for Footnote Maven's Annual Tradition of Blog Caroling is Give Love on Christmas Day by none other than little Michael Jackson and his brothers, aka The Jackson Five. This version is sung A cappella.

Revisiting Private Wheeler Sharp

Last year, after being allowed into my Aunt Lucille’s stash of photos, I posted on some of the pictorial finds. One of those was Pvt. Wheeler “Bubba” Sharp, who was one of my grandmother’s people.

I’ve traced “Bubba” backwards and forward, but have been unsuccessful in determining the connection he had to my grandmother. As stated previously, Bubba and his family migrated out of Walton County, Georgia about the same time my grandparents did and briefly settled in my home county in North Carolina before eventually moving on to Ohio.

Since posting about “Bubba,” I’ve often wondered if any of his children were still living and if so how I might get in touch with them. Well, this morning, the answer fell into my lap. I came across my potential lead toward finding out more about Bubba in the usual way I sometimes unexpectedly find leads; I simply was playing around, doing a Google search on various things I wanted to find answers to. Today I searched “‘Wheeler Sharp’ Ohio.”

I’m sure I’ve done this or a similar search before but came up empty. Today was different. Today, the obituary for one of Wheeler’s son’s, Avie, came up. Avie died last month. As luck would have it, two of Avie’s siblings are still living. So of course I’m planning to try to get in touch with them. Hoping and praying that 1) they will respond and 2) that at the least that they can tell me how “Bubba” is one of my grandmother’s people.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Family Recipe Friday - Momma’s Hot Russian Tea

The weather in North Carolina this week has been bitterly cold. Okay, I know you Northerners won’t think 19° is cold but for we southerners it is especially when it’s accompanied with wind. During these times, there is only one thing I can think of that chases the chills away, my mother’s Russian Tea. When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to get inside to have a cup. Nothing compared to it, not even hot chocolate.

After I grew up and moved away from home, my mother quit making Russian Tea and even lost the recipe. Whenever I would ask her how to make it, she would give me some recipes that she had collected over the years but none were it. For years, on my own, I would try to find recipes but none came close to duplicating the tea or the memories from my youth. Then suddenly about 4 years ago, I finally found one that even if it’s not how momma made it, it’s pretty darn close.


5 quarts water, divided
4 c sugar
2 Tbs whole cloves
1/3 inch piece cinnamon (I use way more than this)
6 family size tea bags
1 c pineapple juice
2/3 c lemon juice
1 c orange juice or juice from about 3 oranges


Combine 1 quart of water, sugar, and spices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Strain (I don’t strain the spices out. Mom never did and that’s what made it so good). Bring 1 quart of water to boil and pour over tea bags. Steep 5 minutes. Combine spice mixture, tea and all of the juices. Boil remaining 3 quarts of water and add to above mixture. (I usually just add it directly to the mixture and bring back to just below boiling).

Serve with slices of orange. (I usually like to include a few pieces of the unstrained spices just like Mom use to do).

This version that’s as close as can be to mom’s appeared on  on Jan 31, 2007.

Lastly, I have friends who make something under the same name to give as Christmas presents. This version is a mix made from tang, instant tea, etc. No offense to my friends but it’s just not the same.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Amanuensis Monday – Research Trip, Day 1

After the 2010 Atlanta Family History Expo, I went on my first research trip. Day 1 of the research trip was spent in Monroe, Walton County, GA and Day 2 of the trip was spent in Greensboro, Greene County, GA.

The main purpose of this research trip was to acquire the probate records of my maternal Great Grandfather, Cornelius Pierce. Last year, I wrote the Walton County, Georgia Probate court to inquire if there were probate records for my great grandfather. They informed me that there were records but that due to the age and fragileness of the documents that they could not make copies. The documents would need to be transcribed or I could take a picture of them. I did both. My mother, who accompanied me to the Family History Expo and on the research trip, was a great help during the transcribing. She read and I wrote.

My great grand father died intestate, without a will. Therefore the records regarding his estate were found in the Minutes of the Walton County Ordinary Court and not the Wills and Estate Records. Because of this, it took me awhile to locate the proceedings.

Proceedings regarding my great grandfather’s estate took place over the course of the September and October 1911 terms of the court. (My great grandfather died May 14, 1910.) The following are the proceedings petitioning the court to sell the property. At the time of my great grandfather's death, he was in the process of purchasing this property.

Walton County Court of Ordinary, Oct 2nd Term 1911

To the Ordinary of said County

The petition of Jas. E. Carlton, adim of the Estate of Cornelius Pierce deceased, showeth that the Estate of said deceased in part A track of land in Town district it being part of the James Tanner Place. Containing 62 ¾ acres more or less bounded on the north by Alex Norris, east by Lon Pierce, south by Green Hawk, and west by G. A. Gibson and Mrs. Allcorn. Said Cornelius Pierce, at the time of his death, held bond for title to said land with part purchase money paid and the Bank of Monroe held deed. And said Bank of Monroe consents to the sale, provided the balance of the purchase money is paid by the Admin or all of the sale of the land and that for the purpose of paying the debt of said estate. It is necessary to see the said land. Therefore, petitioner seeks an order directing citation issue and be published as the law requires and if no good cause be showed to the contrary your petitioner be granted leave to sale said land.

J. E. Carlton Administrator

Walton County Court of Ordinary, Sept Term, 1911

Upon reading the foregoing petition, it is ordered that citation issue intervene and published as the law requires.

E. C. Arnold, Ordinary

Walton County Court of Ordinary, Oct. Term 1911

The written petition of James E. Carlton as admin of the estate of Cornelius Pierce, deceased, praying for leave to sell the land of said deceased having been duly filed and in appearing that notice of the same has been published as required by law that is necessary for the purpose of paying the debts of said estate that said land be sold and no objection being filed. Hereto it is ordered by the court that the said James E. Carlton he, and he is hereby granted leave to sell for the purpose of aforesaid, the following described land of said deceased all the track of land in town district in Walton County containing 62 ¾ acres more or less bound on the North by Alex Norris, east by Lon Pierce, south by Green Hawk and west by G. A. Gibson and Mrs. Allcorn.

The balance of the purchase money to be first paid to the Bank of Monroe, and the balance to be paid on other debts according to priority.

E. C. Almond, ondy

The underlined words were ones that mom and I had trouble making out.

Also, Lon Pierce, whose proprety was to the east, was my great grand uncle, great granddad's brother.

Friday, December 3, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #48 - Personal Genealogy Library

Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog, created a 52 week challenge to help we genealogist sharpen our skill set. This is my second week of participating.

The challenge for this week is Examine different online tools for cataloging your personal genealogy library and keeping track of the books you read. LibraryThing ( is a site where you can catalog and tag the books in your own personal library. It is a great tool for keeping track of the genealogy books you have. You can ever create tags for books you want to purchase. Good Reads ( and Shelfari ...( are web sites that help you keep track of books you have read. All three of these sites have social networking components. Your challenge this week is to browse these sites and see how genealogists use them. Bloggers, do you use any of these tools? How do you organize your own personal genealogy library?

This challenge runs from Saturday, November 27, 2010 through Friday, December 3, 2010.

I checked out and set up accounts with both Library Thing and Good Reads. After one day of use, I preferred the set up of Good Reads. For whatever reason, it seemed more user friendly to me.

How will I use this in tool in my research? Good Reads will definitely help me keep track of books in my collection and others that I have read but that aren't part of my library. I think it will also help keep track of materials I have ordered but not yet received. I recently checked a book out of the library that I had already ordered through This occurred because I simply had forgotten about the ordered book (the book arrived within a few days after I had checked the same title out of the library).
The other thing the catalog system helped with is visually seeing how my voracious reading appetite has returned even if it is for all things genealogical. I amazed myself with the books I've read during the past 2 years and I'm still no where where I would like to be.

This was a great challenge. Thanks Amy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #47 - Genealogy Christmas Wish List

Amy Coffin of We Tree blog, created a 52 week challenge to help we genealogist sharpen our skill set. The series has been on-going since the beginning of the year but this is the first time I've participated.

The challenge for this week is Make your genealogy gift list. The holidays are coming! Prepare a list of genealogy-related gifts you’d like to receive: books, magazine subscriptions, software, electronics, society memberships or anything else that might look good with a bow on it. If you’re blessed to already have everything you could possibly want, consider charitable donations and in-kind gifts to societies, libraries and preservation groups. If you have a genealogy blog, you can share your list and give gift ideas to your readers as well.

This challenge runs from Saturday, November 20, 2010 through Friday, November 26, 2010.

My Genealogy Christmas Wish List for 2010 includes

Flip-Pal Scanner - I've wanted a portable scanner for some time but for whatever reason have not been that impressed with the wand scanners. I always thought a portable scanner would be perfect when hitting up relatives for pictures, since most are a little leery about letting such items out of their possession. Before ever seeing a demonstration of the the Flip-Pal, I knew this was what I had been looking for. Watching the demonstration of it at the 2010 Atlanta Family History Expo cemented the deal that this was the one I wanted.

Flip Camcorder - This is another item I've wanted for awhile. I know the size of regular camcorders haves been scaled down but they still aren't for me. The flip is perfect for the times when I want / need something a little extra besides a still shot or video from my digital camera. Besides I inherited a love of electronic gadgets from my dad.

Kia Soul - The current vehicle has 108,000+ miles and counting. It will probably manage to get around locally for awhile longer but I've gotten concerned with taking it on extended trips. A new vehicle would hopefully alleviate the expense of a rental car when doing research trips. And why a Soul specifically - 1) affordability, 2) MPV - so it would hopefully be more suited for taking excursions off the beaten bath, and okay the most important reason - it looks like a fun car to drive.

Family Finder DNA from Family Tree DNA for mom. I have autosomal results for her from 23andme but would also like to do the Family Finder DNA on her, too. I already have both on dad and with the continued upgrades to reporting, etc. with Family Finder, I think in the long run I will prefer the Family Finder.

A copy of Wayfarers in Walton County. I know the chances of finding any of my Walton County Georgia Ancestors in there is probably slim and none but I would still like a copy because I just might get lucky.

There are plenty other items I would like such as books, research trips, etc. but the above items are the big ones for now.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - My First Research Trip

Probate Records, Walton County, GA

The picture is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog and was taken on 15 Nov. 2010 during my trip to Monroe, Walton, GA probate court.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What are You Thankful For?

Tonight’s assignment from Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, is

  • Make a list of Genealogy-oriented people or things that you are thankful for. Any number -- 1, 10, 100, whatever.
I am thankful for

  1. All the wonderful stories handed down to me by my mother. Not only has my mother done a wonderful job telling me about the places, people, and events in her own family, she also managed to capture a few for dad’s side of the family, also.
  2., (all versions – pilot, beta, etc.), Georgia Virtual Vault, et. al. for the multitude of databases, records, etc. provided online.
  3. Walton County, GA probate court for the assistance provided from afar during the past 20+ years and especially during this past year. I also need to thank them for the assistance provided this week during my first research trip.
  4. for enabling me to expand my genealogical library in a cost effective manner.
  5. The support of the online Genealogical Community – Afrigeneas, Twitter, Facebook, and of course all my fellow Geneabloggers.
  6. All my Ancestors who didn’t give up when they easily could have. I am because of you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 2010 Atlanta Family History Expo

Sometimes I wonder why I ever carry a camera with me seeing as I end up not taking many pictures.

Here are the whopping two pictures I took at the Atlanta Family History Expo.

Amy Coffin and Valerie Craft explaining how to set up a blog.

Linda McCauley and Drusilla Pair taking a break between sessions.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

2010 Atlanta Family History Expo

Today was the second day of the Family History Expo - my first day. I'm exhausted but it was great day! Day 2 of the conference began at 8:00. We didn't stay for the closing keynote, so for us, the day ended at 3:30.

The day began at breakfast where I met presenters / bloggers Angela Walton-Raji, Drusilla Pair, and Thomas MacEntee.

After breakfast, we proceeded on to the Gwinnett Center and picked up our packets. There were five class sessions, today. Mom and I attended four of the five class sessions. During the morning sessions, we both attended Breaking Down Brick Walls with Location Based Genealogy presented by Bernie Gracy of The presentation was standing room only and additional chairs were brought in. The presentation included important points to consider when doing location research such as Physical Geography, Human Geography, and Transportation Technology. Separately, we attended Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations for Family Historians by Jean Cooper and Over One Century of Treasure in Historic Plantation Records by Dr. Lisa Bratton.

During the final morning session and over lunch, I spent time at the geneabloggers table, where I met more of my fellow bloggers, Amy Coffin, Tonia Kendrick, Valerie Craft, and Linda McCauley. Due to technical difficulties (I wasn't able to log on to the Internet), I was unable to blog during this time.

During the afternoon sessions, my mother attended Beginning African American Research by Melvin J. Collier, author of Mississippi to Africa, where she learned many techniques to begin doing genealogy. What was really exciting was because of my research mom already knew a lot of the information. Even so, I think this class was by far her favorite session. She's still excitedly talking about the class. While mom was attending Melvin's class, I attended Freedman's Bank Records and Southern Claims Commission Records for African American Research by David Dilts of the FamilySearch Family History Library Staff.

Finally, we both attended Angela Walton Raji's session, Discovering an African American Community's History Through Civil War Research where we learned about how civil war records can reveal the stories to go with the names we are researching.

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Week - Atlanta Family History Expo

The last couple of days of this week leading up to the Expo have been hectic and crazy to say the least.

First, on Wednesday, the check engine light came on in my car, again. Now as far as this altering my plans to attend the conference, it didn't because I am using a rental car for transport. But it did make me realize that I'm going to probably have to break down and get a new car or at least a new to me car. I just spent $800 on the car about 3 weeks ago.

Second, Thursday at 5:00 AM, the assisted living facility where my dad is staying called me to tell me that dad had a serious nose bleed. Dad's on blood thinners so anytime he starts bleeding we get concerned. Dad was transported to the emergency room. By the time, I got there the nose bleed was stopped but dad was still spitting up blood. This event almost prevented me from traveling but after calming down a bit and with everything under control for now, I decided to travel on to Duluth for the Family History Expo. My reasoning was that if anything happened, although it would take a few hours to get there, I was within driving distance of home. So, I decided to keep my plans for the weekend. The only alteration in plans is that I will probably cut the research portion of my trip short a little bit, since I need to get back and start addressing the car issue before I head back to work.

So, Duluth we made it. Looking forward to seeing my fellow bloggers / genealogist tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is a picture of me and my big cousin, Ann, who was also one of my early baby sitters. This picture was taking at our grandparents' house ca 1962.

I recently discovered Ann's been reading my blog. Partly because of that but more so because she's having health issues, I've been thinking about this picture a lot lately. Hoping that Ann gets a chance to see it and that it brings a smile to her face.

The picture used for this post is part of the personal collection of the owner of this blog.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Four More Days

I can’t believe there are only four more days until the Atlanta Family History Expo. I’m excited and nervous all rolled into one. The nervousness comes from trying to make sure I’m semi-prepared, semi-organized, etc. I’m worried that there is something I’m leaving off the list of things I need to do before leaving and things I want to get accomplished while in Georgia.

Most of the preparation things I did today have more to do with the research I’m hoping to do after the expo.

Today, I

  1. E-mailed the Walton County, Georgia Probate Court to confirm hours and days of operation.
  2. Confirmed the hours of operation for the Walton County Georgia Superior Court.
  3.  E-mailed South View Cemetery in Atlanta. If time permits, I hope to visit the graves of my Great Grand Aunt, Nuna Pierce Sims and also hope to find out more about a Jesse Pierce that is buried there. I wrote about this Jesse, who I believe to be a Great Grand Uncle, several months ago.
  4. Continued adding items to the list of things I need to take with me and also continued adding to the list of things I hope to get accomplished at each locale that I visit.
  5. Purchased extra writing instruments, etc (highlighters and mechanical pencils.

As the days are fast approaching when mom and I will be heading to GA, I’m also a little disappointed, as I had hoped to be able to surprise my mother with a visit from or to some of the other descendants of my 2nd great grandmother, Matilda Hosch. I contacted my contact last month about setting up a possible meeting and even talked to him on the phone but to date, I’ve not heard from any of the descendants of my granddad’s Uncle Augustus “Gus” Hosch. Maybe one day, it will happen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Count Down To the Atlanta Family History Expo - Getting Ready

The Atlanta Family History Expo is less than a week away, which also means I'm a week away from my first research trip. I've decided in this week leading up to both event(s) that I would tell something that I've done each day to prepare for both.

First, even though I did this several weeks ago, I finally created some genealogy business cards.

(In real life, it's not crooked. I just can't seem to scan anything where it comes out straight.)

Today, I went through the schedule of events, again, and made decisions on which workshops / lectures I would really like to attend. I quickly realized that many of the sessions I am interested in attending were being given at the same time. So, I did what any resourceful genealogist would do, I registered my mother for the Family History Expo, also. Although my mother is traveling with me, she hadn't really planned to attend the FHE, but I need her to go to some of the sessions, so she'll be attending and taking notes, too.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF)

The assignment from Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is as follows:

  1. If you found a bottle on the shore, and it had a genea-genie in it, and rubbed it and you had ONE WISH to make about your genealogy and family history research, what would it be?
  2. Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment or note on Facebook
My One Wish would be that in this week leading up to the Atlanta Family History Expo and my first research trip that I would find something, anything, that proves or disproves Jesse F. Pierce being the owner of my 2nd great grandparents, Jane and Jasper Pierce. For a man whose name appears frequently in other's wills / probate proceedings, it's a bit ironic that there appear to be no probate records or any documentation for his holdings. I know I've probably not used all resources and techniques in order to find out more about Jesse F. Pierce but for now I'm out of ideas. I keep looking back through notes, census records, vital records, etc. looking for, hoping for, some little nugget of information that I've missed on previous passes that will show me the way, but to date, no nuggets have jumped out. So, I just need Genea-Genie to show it to me and while you're at it, I've got 2 other lines (paternal side) that require the same special treatment.

Genea-Genie, if you granted this wish, I would be forever grateful.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review of Genealogical Goals for September / October 2010

While I still have several goals from September / October that need to be started on and / or completed, I actually managed to get a few things accomplished.

Goals I attained are as follows:


  1. As I will be doing my first research trip this month to ancestral counties, I decided not to resubmit my request to RAOGK to obtain a transcription / photograph of my great grandfather's, Cornelius Pierce, probate records. One of my goals while on the research trip is to obtain this myself.
  2. I did order and receive microfilm through the Family History Center. Films ordered were: Index to records, 1790 - 1942, Greene County, GA and Original Wills, ca 1663 - 1978. Unfortunately, there was no apparent documentation to assist me in the continued search for my Pierce Ancestors prior to 1870.
Blogging / Writing
  1. While only 2 of the posts during the month of October actually had anything to do with my research, I did manage to get seven posts in during October.
  1. I did decide on a location to hold the reunion for the descendants of my grandfather, LC Hosch, my great Uncle, Will Hosch, and their cousin, Eli Hush. (Now I just need to put down a deposit and get to the real planning part).
  2. I did help my friend Leonard with the genealogy part of his grad school project. Given the short time frame in which I had to work and the fact that I didn't have a lot to go off of, I think we got a lot accomplished. He at least now has names of some great grandparents and all of his grandparents.

Monday, October 25, 2010

And the Winner Is

As stated previously, today is the day that I am announcing the winner of the two free tickets to the Atlanta History Expo. I appreciate the contributions of the four entrants and thoroughly enjoyed reading the reasons you would like to attend the expo.

Without further ado, the winner is George Geder, comment #1 on the reminder post about the contest. The selection was purely random. I placed all entrants names in a box, mixed thoroughly, and pulled a name.

Congratulations George. I'll contact you soon with the details.

Once again, thanks to all the participants and also a big thank you to the organizers of the Family History Expo who provided me with this opportunity to give the tickets.

Oh, I apologize for the lateness of the announcement. I've had a crazy couple of days. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two Days Left to Win Tickets to Atlanta Family History Expo

There are only TWO DAYS left for a chance to win TICKETS to the Atlanta Family History Expo, which is being held next month in Duluth, GA. So far, there have been no participants in the give-away contest, so if you enter, there is a good chance that you will win.

As a reminder, all you have to do is look at the Agenda for the Atlanta Family History Expo, and let me know which session you would like to attend and why. The explanation doesn't have to been long or complicated. It can be something as simple as "this session looks interesting to me."

Please post your responses either here or on the original post regarding the contest. The winner will be selected randomly and announced on October 25, 2010.

Once again, best wishes to all who enter.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Who's to Blame

Randy Seavers, Gena-Musings, has posted this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. The subject matter for this week is Who's to Blame.

Instructions are as follows:

Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. She asks these questions:

  • Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?
  • Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?
  • Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy?
  • If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

My response to the first question has to be my mother, who passed along all the stories handed down from my maternal grandmother, coupled with my own curiosity.

No, I did not pick up where a relative left off. There were the stories handed down but no one had actually started documenting our family history when I began in the late 1980s to look for my ancestors.

My interest steamed from my own curiosity about my ancestors and also the mini-series, Roots, which aired during my sophomore / junior year (1977) in high school and by Roots: The Next Generations, which aired during my senior year in high school (1979). However, I didn't really get started on actually attempting to research my family until the late 1980s. To this day I still remember the excitement of my first genealogical find, my grandfather's, Oscar Lucillous "LC" Hosch, WWI draft registration card and realizing that although he was reared in Walton County, GA, he was actually born in Jackson County, GA. Back then, I used snail mail to obtain a copy of granddad's registration card. With the exception of taking a 10 year break between 1999 and 2009, I've been researching ever since.

Thank you mom for instilling in me the desire to know our history because as you always told me Everybody has a right to know from whence they came.

And also, once again, thanking Cousin Nicholas, for motivating me to return to my research.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Psst - Guess What Else Is Going On Next Month

In addition to attending the Atlanta Family History Expo,
I'm doing my first research trip.

Part of me still doesn't feel like I'm ready to do a research trip but I figured that since I will be down in GA anyway for the FHE, I might as well take a couple of extra days and do some on the ground genealogical sleuthing. In fact, realizing that I might hopefully be able to meet some Hosch cousins (descendants of Great Grand Uncle Augustus "Gus" Hosch) who reside in Gwinnett County was the driving force behind me wanting to attend the FHE. Hopefully, the meeting will happen.

In addition to hopefully meeting cousins, I'm also planning to head over to both White Plains, Greene County, GA and Monroe, Walton County, GA in order to hopefully learn more about my Pierce Ancestors. This means, I will finally have an opportunity to take a picture of and transcribe the probate records for my great grandfather, Cornelius Pierce. With each passing day, the excitement about this trip just keeps building and building. So much so that I'm about to explode. But I've got to calm down and make sure that I'm as prepared as can be for this, my first research trip.

In the coming weeks, I'll keep you up to date on my preparations for this part of my trip as well as asking for suggestions, tips, etc.

Count Down To the Atlanta Family History Expo

Well, yesterday or today (depending on when I actually get this posted), marked 1 month and counting until the Atlanta Family History Expo in Duluth, GA. The Expo is being held November 12-13, 2010. I'm only attending the Saturday session, which is why October 13 was 1 month and counting. I'm looking forward to meeting fellow geneabloggers that I've been communicating with for the past year and some change.

Also, don't forget to enter the contest I'm having for a chance to win two tickets to the Expo. The contest ends on October 23, 2010.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Family History Month 2010- Challenge #2

In honor of Family History month, Afrigeneas is conducting a series of Family History Challenges. My entry for Challenge #1 is posted on Conversations With my Ancestors as well as at Afrigeneas.

The instructions for Challenge #2 were as follows:
Since we're getting ready to enter a long holiday season, it seems a good time to remember holidays past.

How did your family celebrate special occasions and holidays? What are your favorite memories?

Interpret the theme any way you like. Write as long or short as you like. We encourage you to post photos to illustrate the story. Be creative!

Just a couple of rules:

  1. Make our lives easier, please! Post your story as a response to this thread so we can keep track of the stories in each challenge.
  2. Challenge #2 begins today, Oct 7th and ends at 11:59 pm on Oct 11th.
My entry was a few hours late. I had it written but fell asleep before getting it posted. What can I say? I was exhausted.

One of my fondest memories during my childhood days was the sort of mini reunion that my maternal granddad’s branch of the Hosch family held at Christmas each year. We typically gathered at one of the relative’s house, which most years seemed to be Aunt Lucille’s house.

Even though I saw some of my cousins on a daily basis (the bulk of my first cousins lived in my hometown), there was still something special about the descendants of my grandparents getting together at Christmas. After everyone arrived, the occasion always began with us singing Christmas Carols. Aunt Lucille, through the years, had acquired a large stash of FREE Christmas Carol songbooks from one of the local banks. So, my dad, the true musician in the group and who had married into this monstorous Hosch clan, would provide the instrumental accompaniment to our singing. On occasion, after I got older, the instrumental duties fell on my shoulders.

The above pictures, which are part of my mother’s personal collection, show dad at the piano, granddaddy and his children, grands, and great grands all gathered around, singing carols. (Granddaddy is sitting on the sofa next to the lamp.) If you look carefully, you can tell how thrilled all the kids were with the hymn and carol singing. :)

After the completion of the carol singing, we usually ate. Dinner was usually potluck, similar to the annual Hosch family reunion that was held back in those days but on a somewhat smaller scale. But before we ate, there was grace. Uncle Ed, Aunt Lucille’s husband who was also a minister, usually said grace. On the way to the Holiday Feast, Aunt Lucille would have us all speaking into her trusty microphone / cassette tape recorder. I remember we had to say our name, tell our place in the family, and then say something about the holidays or what ever else was on our minds. Just goes to show that daddy’s side of the family wasn’t the only side of my family that relied on tape recordings to communicate / document family events. (Reminds me, I will see auntie some time this week and should ask her if any of those old recordings are still in existence. By chance, maybe they haven’t met the same fate as other family recordings that are now special to me but no longer around.)

After we were through stuffing our faces, we gathered around the Christmas tree doing our usual family socializing until the gifts were handed out. After all the gifts were handed out, we lingered and socialized some more before we slowly started filing out to return to our individual homes. Looking back, it almost feels like that each one of us in our on way tried to make that day last as long as possible. It’s almost like we knew those times wouldn’t last forever and we were trying to make those gatherings last as long as we could.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Atlanta Family History Expo and A Contest

The Atlanta Family History Expo is the weekend of November 12-13 and is being held in Duluth, GA. Although I won’t be able to make both days, I will be attending. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to meet fellow Geneabloggers. What’s more, I’ve been invited to attend as a Blogger of Honor, which only adds to the excitement.

My invitation also will benefit one lucky reader. You see, thanks to the wonderful folks at Family History Expo (FHE), I have two free tickets to give away for the Atlanta Family History Expo. This would be a great opportunity for anyone who is currently conducting research or thinking about entering the wonderful world of genealogical research to come learn more as well as meet other researchers.

Entering the contest is easy. Simply view the Agenda for the Atlanta Family History Expo then return to this thread and let me know which session you would like to attend and why. That’s it. All entries must be in by October 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm. I will announce the winner on October 25, 2010. You can check back on that day to see if you won or not and to get instructions for claiming your tickets.

Best wishes to all who enter.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Reveiw of September Goals and Setting October Goals

For as productive as I was the first month that I posted monthly goals, I was equally unproductive during my 2nd month of posting goals. Looks like the only thing I managed to get accomplished was blogging / writing goals. I acutally had 8 posts (doesn't include goal setting and review posts) and half of those were written posts.

September was a more hectic month than usual with dad's continued health issues and me working practically every weekend so I would have time off during the week to ferry him to various doctor appointments. Hopefully, October will return to normal, whatever that is these days.

So, my goals for October 2010 are just going to be a rehash of my September 2010 goals.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Meeting Nicholas

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I started my research back in the 1980s then took about a 10-year hiatus from my research when I moved back home, started grad school, helped dad take care of one of my paternal aunts who had Alzheimer's, etc., etc., etc. You probably also know about my cousin Nicholas who contacted me in 2009 and who triggered something in me that motivated me to return to my research, and I've been going practically non-stop ever since.

Well earlier this year, July to be precise, at the 2010 Pierce Descendants reunion, I finally got the opportunity to meet Cousin Nicholas as well as his mom, Suzy. Both were really nice and cousin Suzy took the opportunity to thank me for including Nicholas in the journey that is my research. For the record, Nicholas is my 2nd cousin twice removed. (Nicholas' great grandmother is my mother's first cousin, so his grandmother and I are second cousins.)

The picture of cousins Nicholas and Suzy are part of the collection of my 2nd cousin, R. Williams, whom I also had a chance to finally meet after meeting her on-line earlier this year via Facebook.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Uncle Melvin Hosch and my first cousin Michael from back in the day. Uncle Melvin celebrated his 96th birthday earlier this month.

This picture is from the personal collection of O. Jones.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Tommie Lee Martin (1909 - 1969)

Tommie Lee was the son of my Grand Aunt, Mattie Henyard Martin (the oldest of my grandmother's siblings), which makes him my second cousin once removed. Tommie Lee was the only one of Aunt Mattie's children that didn't remain in Ohio with his brothers and sisters after they migrated there from GA. Tommie Lee is interred in Evergreen Cemetery in Polk County, FL.

Tommie Lee had a son, Tommie Lee, Jr., whom the family has lost contact with through the years, so Tommie Lee Jr. if you or your son Chris come across this post, your family in Georgia, Ohio, and North Carolina would sure love to hear from you.

The pictures of Tommie Lee Martin's tombstone were obtained via photo request at

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sentimental Sunday and Sunday Supper - Fried Chicken

I don't know if it was an African-American / Southern Tradition or just a family tradition but you always knew it was Sunday when you saw the Fried Chicken. It didn't matter whose house in the family you went to either, because you always knew what the main attraction was going to be. The side dishes might change but the main course was always the Fried Chicken. And of course there was always the fights over your favorite piece(s). Mine were the wing and upper back.

With the passage of time, this Sunday tradition seems to gone by the wayside since we don't eat a lot of fried food anymore. Also, mom and my aunts having grown up on the farm with their own chickens don't particular care for today's store bought chickens at least if they are the ones cutting it up into pieces. I remember many conversations between my mother and Aunt Lucille back when they were still buying a whole fryer, cutting it up and  frying it and about how that store bought chicken looked like nothing they had ever seen. The conversation definitely would turn your stomach.

By the way, we still purchase and cook chicken in a variety of ways, with the exception of frying it seems, we just buy it already cut up deskined, etc., so we don't have to think about the current state of chicken affairs. And ever so often, you can find us grabbing a piece of fried chicken from the buffet at Golden Corral, getting a dinner from KFC, etc. but you just can't walk into our houses any more and know it's Sunday by what's being served for dinner.

The picture used for this blog post was obtained from