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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The Veterans’ Voices Project is something that has been in my heart for many years now, but has finally come to fruition.  This project consists of interviewing veterans about their service and making a public space where these stories can be told.  So I have created a new blog called Veterans’ Voices. (www.vetvoices.wordpress.com)  I hope you will check it out and see how it’s taking shape! Below is a copy of my introductory post:

Veterans' Voices-002I have a deep respect for veterans. I’m not sure if my sense of respect and patriotism is inborn or taught by my parents, but I get choked up whenever I see our country’s flag displayed on a home, or when the “Stars and Stripes Forever” is played, or while attending a Memorial Day celebration honoring our fallen veterans.

But seeing someone in military dress is what affects me most. It’s not so much the uniform as it is the ideal for which the uniform stands, and the commitment the person has made to that ideal.

This project was birthed because I believe each veteran has a story to tell — whether that person served in frontline combat or in a stateside desk job. The contribution of every veteran in every position and rank made an impact to the cause. It is my desire to help tell these stories.

I intend to publish interviews on this site from veterans from all conflicts, but interviews with World War II veterans will take priority. Even the youngest veterans of this war are in their late eighties and early nineties and will not be with us for many more years.

Each of these interviews needs to be published so that others may glean not only information, but solidify their patriotism for our country and realize the cost of the freedoms we enjoy, as well as gain more respect for veterans and the sacrifices that have been made in service to our country.

If you are a WWII veteran, or know a WWII veteran who would like to be interviewed, you may respond to this post and I will contact you by way of email.  If a veteran lives in the Louisiana/Mississippi region I would like to interview them personally.  If a veteran lives elsewhere I will send a questionnaire that can be filled out by the veteran or a friend of the veteran. Copies of current photos and service photos of the veteran submitted with the completed interview are greatly appreciated.

If a WWII veteran is willing, transcripts of their interviews will be submitted to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA to be archived for research by future historians.

Every veteran has a story, and every story should be told.

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The Guice Box

SONY DSCI have been in possession of the Guice Box for several years now. It is a well-built, sturdy, varnished box emblazoned with the Guice family crest on top and trimmed out with brass handles and latch. I came to acquire it in a roundabout way.

In 2008 my mother and I traveled with other members of my family to attend our first Guice Family Reunion held yearly near McNair, Mississippi.

My mother was so excited to go.  She had never known any of her Guice relatives beyond her father, since he had died when she was seven.  And his mother and father died before my mother’s parents were married.  So to meet other Guice “faces” and to see the family resemblance was a dream come true for her.

Sitting in folding chairs in the shade of trees in the grassy yard of the family home of a Guice relative, family members caught up on news from the previous year.  After partaking of some scrumptious family reunion food — you know the kind — my mother was chosen by a drawing to receive a small treasure chest-like box that was part of a Guice Family Reunion tradition.  The recipient was to take it home for one year and bring it back to the next reunion.  During that year, the holder of the box was to contribute a family treasure — be it a photo, recipe, Guice family story, etc.

Since I am our immediate family’s historian, my mother gave me the box so that I could add a “family treasure” and be the holder of the box it until the next reunion.

As a genealogist and historian, I had fun going through the box’s contents. There were photos, family histories, articles, and obituaries.  It was like Christmas morning discovering more Guice family history!SONY DSC

In the months to come, I worked diligently to self-publish a book about our branch of the Guice family, then I added it to the box.  I was excited to show the other Guice family members our contribution at the next reunion, but the reunion in 2009 was cancelled. We would have to wait another year.  So I put the box safely away in my genealogy cabinet.

CCI02012013_0002But before the next reunion could be held in 2010, my mother passed away. I’m not even sure that it was held that year.  I’m so sad that she was never able to attend another reunion, but I am glad that she was able to attend at least one.

Because she was the contact person for the reunion, I have not seen another invitation to attend one. There is a contact name and address under the lid of the Guice box, but I was hesitant to send the box in the mail for fear it may be lost — it, nor its contents can be replaced.  I tried to contact another Guice family member that I remembered meeting that day, leaving my information with them to let me know of the next reunion, but I have not been notified.

I hope that by posting this page, someone from the Mississippi/Louisiana Guice family will see it and contact me about the next reunion so I can return the box and the tradition can continue.  I will write a letter to the address in the box in hopes that I will get a response about the reunion.  Until then if you are a member of the Guice Family, please contact me through this blog and know that the Guice box has been well taken care of. I will come to the next reunion bearing it in one hand and food in the other!

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DSC_0414As I write this post on the anniversary of the D-Day invasion, we in the United States are celebrating our annual stream of patriotic holidays — Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veteran’s Day. Ceremonies are conducted.  Flags are flown.

I am more than glad to take part in ceremonies that help remind us of the sacrifices made by so many people on our behalf.  Their sacrifices have allowed me to live and raise my family in a country that tenaciously guards freedom for all.

Twice each year our local American Legion puts on a small, yet meaningful remembrance service at one of our town cemeteries — once on Memorial Day and again on Veterans’ Day.  These ceremonies are complete with patriotic readings, prayer, the playing of Taps, a three-gun salute, an American flag risen on the flag pole then lowered to half-mast, and a red, white, and blue floral wreath placed at the base of the flag pole all in honor of the fallen.  Most of the people in attendance are older members of the post, their spouses and a few people from the community.DSC_0388DSC_0372I always try to attend.  And I bring my children.   By attending they will learn to care about things that matter like respect, honor, and patriotism. DSC_0416At these memorial celebrations they witness these qualities in action.  These services not only help bring us together as a community and connect us to our past, but celebrating them with our families will assure that our children will continue to remember the sacrifices that have been made for them. They will learn that the good life we experience today, due to the service and sacrifice of so many veterans, should never be taken for granted.

We’ve learned from the past that a threat can come from anywhere at anytime so our soldiers are on guard around the world to make sure our safety and freedom is protected.  Just yesterday, the body of a young soldier, from my community, Christopher Drake, 20, was flown home from Afghanistan after he served there for only five months. He was killed in the line of duty.DSC_0383

I don’t think recent generations in America can have any idea of what it truly means to have freedom threatened.  I know we have experienced isolated terrorist attacks, but we don’t know what it would be like to have an enemy army come barreling into our towns and cities and across our countryside bombing our buildings and homes, shooting civilians, and committing other brutal atrocities in order to take over our country.

All of this happened in Europe only a generation ago and it threatened to cross the oceans and engulf the United States.  Americans genuinely had to accept the reality that the enemy may actually engage in fighting on our own soil and in our coastal waters.  In fact, in World War II the enemy made attacks on our territories and sunk ships in our own waters.

In her diary from 1941 before the United States entered the war, Louisiana resident Bea Denham expressed these very real fears many times through the year as she listened to the war unfold in Europe.  Here are some poignant excerpts:

April 7th – “...they are openly saying now that our country is practically in the War,…Oh, what a dreadful thing to happen!  … we can’t survive in Hitler’s world.”  

April 9th –  “Things never looked blacker to me. Oh, war is too horrible!  Nobody can foresee where all this will end, but there can’t be any easy solution and settlement for us.

April 13th – “The war news is worse than ever.  It seems all the world is against democratic government.  We are bound to go to war soon, it seems to me.  Horrible thought.”

May 2nd – “The war news is worse each day that passes. … It is generally predicted that very few more months of peace are left to us.”

May 27th – “We listened to Roosevelt, and I could only feel that war is ever so much nearer.  This little endangered peace we are enjoying now will be our last, I’m afraid.  Our world after war won’t be the same.  We are watching the dying of an age, and only God knows what will come out of it.  We will never see the end, or know carefree happy days again.  There have been very few for our generation anyway.”

May 28th – “…the shadows ahead are so thick and heavy, with certain suffering and heartache, bitter want for the whole world after this orgy of bloodshed and waste.”

June 21st – “This war seems destined to envelope the globe.”

July 24th – “…I am afraid the war is nearer to us than we think. …Japan is definitely off the fence she has tried to straddle so long and is in the German camp.”

October 27th – “… it looks like Hitler will acquire world domination much sooner than anybody could have expected unless we decide to go all out for his defeat, and quit this everlasting stalling.”

November 4th – Germany has torpedoed another boat…Just anything can happen now, and it seems to me we are going to have to fight in the Atlantic and Pacific simultaneously.  This war keeps one’s spirits at the lowest ebb constantly.

November 18th  “…Japan is blustering, and will probably do more than that before it’s all over.  This world certainly seems to be in a mess.”

December 7th – I thought of the beautiful music we often have on Sunday afternoon, and turned on the radio to hear, “Japan has bombed the Philippines and Hawaiian Islands,” – such a rude awakening to cold reality.  Its WAR now, to the death.  This is no longer an oasis in a world of war, its total, and there’s no telling where it will end.  I could cry my eyes out.

December 8th –  “Somehow I only feel numb, and as if I were having a nightmare, and will soon awake.  We are entering on very dark days and perhaps years.”

December 20th - “I’m so scared.  They passed Selective Service – 20 to 45 – this week, and what would I do if Earl had to leave me?”

It was the men and women of America who fought and won against seemingly invincible Germany and Japan. Many fought and died.  Today soldiers are still fighting and dying in service to our country.  So the next time you meet a veteran express your gratitude.  Or if your community conducts a patriotic ceremony, take time out from your busy day and attend to show your respect and patriotism.DSC_0393

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I am blowing the dust off of these old images of the Broome family and allied family members to reveal the identities and likenesses of those individuals who may never have been seen by their descendants.  I hope that by posting these images and names that some of their descendents will have the joy of discovering more about their ancestors. (The John Thomas Broome family images are seen in the previous post.)

It is also fascinating to see how people lived and what was important to them, so these images are interesting in their own right to be viewed by everyone.  I hope you enjoy them!

Mr. and Mr. Walter Hurt

Mr. and Mr. Walter Hurt (taken in Memphis, TN)

Walter Hurt was appointed the Postmaster in Winona, Mississippi in 1893 and was the City Editor of the Meridian Dispatch in Meridian, Mississippi according to the 1913 Meridian City Directory.

Mrs. Addie Harvey Hurt - wife of Walter Hurt

Mrs. Addie Harvey Hurt – wife of Walter Hurt

Harvey Hurt - son of Addie and Walter Hurt

Harvey Hurt – son of Addie and Walter Hurt

Harvey and Eldridge Hurt - children of Addie and Walter Hurt

W. Harvey and Eldridge Hurt – children of Addie and Walter Hurt

W. Harvey Hurt would grow up to run a newspaper in Waynesboro, Mississippi (like father, like son).  He was also instrumental in bringing a hospital to the Waynesboro area.

Samuel Harvey - possible brother of Addie Harvey Hurt

Sam Harvey – brother of Addie Harvey Hurt (also pictured with his grandparents John and Aletris Broome in the previous post)

Mercy Broome Harvey

Mercy Broome Harvey

Mercy Broome Harvey

Mercy Broome Harvey

Mercy Broome Harvey was the mother of Addie Harvey and Sam Harvey.  She was the sister of John Thomas Broome (from the previous post).

A party at the mouth of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky

A party at the mouth of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky – 1882

Catherine B. Morgan - sister of Aletris (from the previous post)

Catherine B. Morgan – sister of Aletris (from the previous post)

Kate B. Morgan Clary Walsh

Kate B. Morgan Clary Walsh

Kate B. Morgan Clary

Kate B. Morgan Clary

A tribute to a lost loved one.  I with I knew who he was...

A tribute to a lost loved one. I wish I knew who he was. The letters on the back look like MB.  It could possibly be a tribute to Willie who died when he was seven.

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SONY DSCImages of our ancestors are the golden nuggets of family history.  Often we are not able to find an image of an ancestor, but when we do, even when the image is small and faded, it gives life to their name and dates.  When you look into the eyes of people who lived so long ago, who are your own flesh and blood, it is an ethereal experience that connects you to your past.

SONY DSCOne set of pictures I have in my collection of family images is in an old, red, velvet-covered album of the Broom(e) family.  Besides my loved ones, this album is one thing I would grab in case of a fire.  Most of the photos in this album are from 1880-1900, but some daguerreotypes are from before the Civil War. All except a few are labeled, which is invaluable!  Also in my family history collection I have the Broome Family Bible listing many of  their important dates and events.

John Thomas Broom

John Thomas Broom

Aletris Ellen Morgan Broome

Aletris Ellen Morgan Broom

The patriarch of this family is John Thomas Broom who was a farmer from Utica, Mississippi.  (The “e” was added to the family name around the turn of the century according to Bible records.)   The year before the Civil War began he married his young sweetheart Aletris Ellen Morgan on October 7, 1860.  He was 24 and she was 13.  They married in Richmond, Louisiana (near Tallulah, LA) which was burned completely by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant before the siege of Vicksburg, MS in 1863.

Born in 1836 John Thomas was the prime age of 26 for military service in the Civil War. John served for more than one year in the Confederate Army as part of the 36th Mississippi Infantry.  He enlisted in March 1862 for 12 months of service, but in April 1862 a Confederate conscription act, or draft order, went into effect that forced men ages 18-35 to serve for at least three years.  In September of 1862 the conscription age was increased to 45.  But a year and two months after his enlistment date, when the 36th Mississippi was ordered to leave Snyder’s Bluff north of Vicksburg and take up defenses in Vicksburg, John deserted and went home.  Maybe he sensed the inevitable defeat by the Union Army because of the advances they were making around Mississippi.  But there were other reasons why many Confederate soldiers deserted their army around this time in the war.

One was the enactment of  the conscription acts which they felt infringed on their rights by their government — which was why they were fighting this war against the Union in the first place.  In addition to this was the 20 slave exemption added to the conscription acts in October of 1862.  This exemption meant that those who owned 20 slaves could go home to help prevent possible slave uprisings.  The slave-owner could then hire someone to fight in his stead. Any man who could afford the $300 price could hire a substitute to fight for them. Therefore the war in the Confederacy by this time had become known as “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”

John Thomas and Aletris had their first child on August 30, 1861, a few months after the start of the war.  They named him Thomas Sanders Broom after Aletris’ father Thomas Sanders Morgan.  After John Thomas returned home from the war he and Aletris had 9 more children, six of whom lived to adulthood.

Thomas Sanders Broome

Thomas Sanders Broom

Thomas Sanders Broom, Ella Anderson Broom and their children

Thomas Sanders Broom and his wife Ella Anderson Broom with their children

When Thomas grew up, he converted from his family’s Protestant faith to Mormonism.  His father then disowned him.

Eva May Broom

Eva May Broom

John Thomas Broom returned home by August of 1863 and the following spring on May 30, 1864, Eva May Broom was born. She grew up and married Craven P. Fairchild on the 10th of December 1884.

The Broom’s second daughter Louisa Broom, died the day she was born on September 11, 1866.

Catherine Octavia Broom was born in Jan of 1869 and died at the age of three.

Their next child was a son, Willy.

John William "Willy" Brooome

John William “Willy” Broome

John William “Willy” Broom was born in December of 1870.  Sadly at the age of 7, he was killed when he was hit by a wagon.

The Broom’s third son Andrew Jackson Broom, born May 3, 1872, was named after Alestris’ brother Andrew Jackson Morgan (who was killed in the Battle of Seven Pines at the age of 16).  He moved to Llano, Texas where he was a border patrol agent.

Andrew Jackson Broom

Andrew Jackson Broom

Andrew Jackson Broome

Andrew Jackson Broom

Andrew Jackson Broome's family

Andrew Jackson Broom and his wife Lily Mayo Broom and their children

Annie Theodosia Broom was born January 27, 1876.  She married Andrew J. Harvey on the 4th of July 1899.

Annie Theodosia Broom

Annie Theodosia Broom

Luther Dudley “Dutchy” Broom was their eighth child and fourth son who was born on June 16, 1877.  He was my great grandfather.

Luther Dudley Broom

Luther Dudley Broom

Luther Dudley Broom

Luther Dudley Broome

sukey__young_

Anna Daisy Jacob Broome

He married Anna Daisy Jacob from Reserve on the German Coast in south Louisiana.  They were married in Baton Rouge on 28 Dec 1904.  He was Baptist and she was Catholic, so they were married by a Methodist minister.  He worked for Standard Oil Company (now Exxon) in Baton Rouge.

Clarence Franklin Broom

Clarence Franklin Broom

Clarence Franklin Broome

Clarence Franklin Broome

Albia Jones Broome

Albia Jones Broome

Clarence Franklin Broom was born April 25, 1879.  He married Albia Jones December 23, 1903.

Mary Jane Broome

Mary Jane Broom

Aletris Broom had their last child when she was 42 years old.  She had a girl born September 13, 1881 whom they named Mary Jane Broom. Something happened to Mary Jane causing her to pass away at the age of 7.  All that is written in the family Bible is the date she died and the time of day: “quarter to four P.M. Sunday eve”.

The old Broom family album contains many more interesting photos of members of Aletris’ family and John Thomas’ families.  But those photos will appear in a future post.

John Thomas and Aletris lived a rich life full of joy, hardship, happiness, and sadness.  Most of the handwriting in the family Bible appears to be hers.  But on the day she died, at age 58, in a shaky handwriting typical of old age, John inscribes her death information in the old Bible: “Aletris E. Broome the wife of J. T. Broome.  Died on the 19 of April 1905 about 8 in the eaving was born 11 of March 1847″.  All other dates after her death were written by him until he died.

john_thomas_broome Aletris Ellen Morgan Broome

John Thomas Broome Aletris Morgan Broome025

John Thomas and Aletris with a grandchild

John Thomas and Aletris with grandchild Sammy Harvey

John Thomas Broome with Luther Dudley's children (L to R) Marcia (my grandmother), John Denis, and Katie (taken about 1913)

John Thomas Broome with Luther Dudley Broome’s children (L to R) Marcia (my grandmother), John Denis, and Katie (taken about 1913)

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SONY DSCIt was found in a drawer of an antique dresser that was given to my grandmother by her friend.  The lady had bought the dresser from an antique dealer in coastal Mississippi who told her it had come from a New Orleans home that was slated to be torn down.  My grandmother eventually gave the dresser and the Bible to my childhood family sometime before 1969.

When we first received the dresser we took out the Bible and looked through it to see what may lie between its pages.  Located between the Old Testament and the New Testament were several pages reserved for the recording of family history.  In brown faded ink were written the names of several members of the Street family.  Also tucked within these pages were three swatches of yellowed white fabric.  Could they have been from the wedding dresses of the three Street daughters listed on the family pages?  In addition to the fabric swatches there were a couple of newspaper clippings and a calling card.

For years the Bible sat on top of the dresser in our living room. Each Christmas Eve my siblings and I would take turns reading the Christmas story from it by candle light.  Its yellowed pages and old cover just added to solemnity of the occasion.  After my siblings and I grew up, the old Bible continued to wile away the years in my parents’ home.

Since moving away and rearing my own family I have gained a keen interest in genealogy, history, and old things in general and that made me begin to wonder about the old Bible.  How old is it? Who was the Street family?  When did they live?  In these days of the internet and its abundance of information I realized I could probably find some answers to these questions, or at least understand more than I did.

My first quest was to find out when the Bible was printed and who published it.  In Roman numerals on the title page the date was listed as 1847 and the publisher was J.B. Lippincott & Co.*  I then began to research the the names in the Family Record pages.

On the first page were Nicholas and Penninah and their marriage date of 19th September 1841.  Their birth dates were also listed as April 11th 1814 and August 29th 1816 respectively.

On the following page their children are listed as:

Florida Jane Street born 25th July 1845 and married May 23rd 1867

Mary Hunnewell Street born 29 Sept 1846 and married Oct 23th 1866

William Rupell Street born 17 Nov 1847 (died 7 December 1847)

Gertrude Alice Street born Feb 17th 1851 and married Dec 11 1870

With this information I began my search.   Through census records I discovered that this Street family lived in Columbus, Georgia and that Nicholas was born in Connecticut.  He had moved to Georgia from Connecticut sometime between 1850 and 1860.  His wife Penninah was born in Florida.  Their oldest two children were born in Georgia and their youngest was born in Connecticut.

Further research revealed that the roots of this Street family go back to the early days of America.  The progenitor was one of the founding families of New Haven, Connecticut.  (New Haven is the home of Yale University.)  He was also named Nicholas Street.  The Massachusetts Historical Collection has a letter from Rev. John Davenport, the founder of New Haven, to John Winthrop, Jr., stating that Rev. Street was installed in New Haven on November 23, 1659.  Several other family members I discovered in this family’s line were pastors as well, and some were soldiers and patriots.  Many generations of Streets lived in New Haven.  Some Street families still do.

Because of my research into this family and because of the sentimental value I have for this old family Bible, I feel like my family and the Street family have a kinship.  I would love to know how this Bible made its way into the dresser drawer of a home in New Orleans, Louisiana.  But to do that I would need to know the married names of the three daughters.  I have searched all resources available to me at this time.  If you are a member of the Street family from Connecticut or Georgia, I would love to hear from you so that this mystery of the family Bible can be completely solved!

*J. B. Lippincott & Co. was an American publishing house founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1836 by Joshua B. Lippincott. Joshua Lippincott’s company began by selling Bibles and other religious works then successfully expanded into trade books, which became the largest portion of the business. — Collection 3104  J.B Lippincott Company Records – Historical Society of Pennsylvania

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Anna Claire Guice Hinson

My mother would get excited about history — especially Louisiana History — and her excitement was contagious.  She often said that she was glad to be from Louisiana because its history was so fascinating.

She was also an excellent teacher.  Many of her students considered her their favorite even if she was a stern educator who demanded quality work.  She taught history to Baton Rouge-area eighth graders for over 15 years and she wanted her students to not only know the stories of history, but to understand each story’s significance to their lives today.

…as a friend of Gov. Huey Long

…as an early Louisiana settler

She’s the only teacher I knew of who would dress up as an historical character for the entire class, assume the nature of that character, and only answer to that character’s name for the whole day.  It was not uncommon for her to stand on a chair or her desk to teach — if it fit her character.  The kids loved it!  And they learned to love history as well.

…as the pirate Jean Lafitte

Growing up with a mom like this instilled firm values and principles in our lives.  Every holiday we flew our flag.  We knew how to display it properly, fold it properly,  and care for it properly.  We learned to respect the office of President of the United States even if we didn’t agree with his political persuasion. We honored veterans and soldiers, as well as those who died fighting for our freedoms.  We went to 4th of July celebrations.  We watched patriotic shows and movies like Yankee Doodle Dandy (I highly suggest you watch this one for a patriotic shot in the arm!) We went on a family trip to Washington, D.C. where we toured the Capitol, met our congressman, saw everything one would expect to see, plus Mount Vernon and nearby battlefields.  I still have fond memories of that vacation. I have also attempted to instill these same values in my own children by doing these same things.

At the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge

At the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge

After my mom retired from teaching, she didn’t stop sharing her passion.  Field trips with grandchildren and school groups to historic sites and museums in the region were common. She also created a walking history tour for downtown New Orleans and Baton Rouge that I still use today when taking visitors to these cities.

In the New Orleans French Quarter

I love history and I know that it is in large part because of the thrill she always found in it.  I really don’t understand how people can find history boring.  Maybe it’s because they didn’t have my mom for a teacher.

About history she would say,  “I love it, just love it!”

She passed away in January of 2010 and is sorely missed, but what an example she left for us to follow!

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If your family intersects with any branch of my family please let me know by leaving a message.  I would love to find present day cousins! (Lines are numbered as generations and families are listed progressively – patriarch to matriarch.)

Melinda Hinson (Holloway)     1

Marion Ray Hinson       —        Anna Claire Guice   2

Rufus R. Hinson — Veronica Strong          C. L. Guice, Jr. — Marcia Broome   3

______________________

Hinson Branch  

Rufus Roache Hinson  3

Hiram Pierce Hinson           —          Ella Bossena Stafford  4

F. M. Hinson — Louisiana Howze    Dr. Fieldon Stafford — Angeline Gartman    5

Strong Branch

Veronica Strong  3

William Dewey Strong           —           Cora Agnes Luc (de Guerre)    4

Charles M. Strong  —  Louise C. Frere        John Oscar Luc  —  Agnes Rhodes    5

Guice Branch

Cicero Louis Guice, Jr.    3

 Dr. C.L. Guice, Sr.                —                 Clara Bryan    4

Elbert H. Guice  —  Angeline Jones            William Bryan — Lucy Ann Duke    5

Broome Branch

Marcia Broome   3

Luther Dudley Broome           —          Anna Daisy Jacob  4

John T. Broome  —  Aletris E. Morgan      Rene D. Jacob — Julia R. Ringwood  5

__________________________

Hinson

Francis Marion Hinson  5

Isham Bracken Hinson — Nancy Brock   6

___

Howze

Lavina Louisiana Howze  5

William Howze  —  Jane Morgan  6

___

Stafford

Dr. Feildon Stafford  5

John Wright Stafford  —  Elizabeth Charlotte Adams  6

                                                                Joseph Adams —   ?       7

___

Gartman

Angeline Gartman  5

        John Milledge Gartman   —         ?        6

  ___

Strong

Charles Matthew Strong   5

Jasper Strong   —   Eliza Julia Nixon   6

William Strong — Abigail Hutchinson    Gen. Geo. H. Nixon — Rebecca Bracey  7

___

Frere

Marie Louise Christine Frere  5

Frederic Adrien Frere — Aspasie Fuselier de la Claire  6

Alexandre Frere — Marie L. Pecot     Agricole Fuselier — Anne Felicite Armant  7

___

Luc de Guerre

John Oscar Luc  5

Jean Gentil Luc de Guerre — Odile Ladner  6

Michel Luc de Guerre – Arsenette Nicaise    Louis  Ladner – Caroline Fayard  7

___

Rhodes

Agnes Rhodes   5

Charles Rhodes —  ?   6

___

Guice

Elbert H. Guice  5

Jacob Guice   —   Susannah Grantham (Sheffield)   6

Jonathan Guice   —   Anne Stump     John Grantham  — Mary Ann ?   7

___

Broome

John Thomas Broome  5

William Broom         —        Jane Cuney Hudson  6

?   —   Rachel Broom   7

___

Morgan

Aletris Ellen Morgan  5

Thomas Sanders Morgan —  Mary (Mariah) Louisa Currie  6

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I have had innumerable “oh wow” discoveries in my genealogical explorations over the years.  Many of those moments resulted in some pretty incredible stories. But not many of them resulted in the “Oh wow, you’ve got to be kidding me!” moment like I had recently.

I was gathering items for a story I was writing for this blog.  The branch of the family on which I was working had come to America very early on and had landed in Plymouth colony.  But these family members came at least 15 years later than the Pilgrims.  I was content knowing that the members of this branch of my family were “almost” Pilgrims.

Yet while I was collecting illustrations for my story, I came across photos I had taken of an old 18th century Vermont cemetery that I had visited several years ago.  The photos reminded me that I had never tried to research that side of the family’s grandmother who was buried there — Mary “Polly” Bacon who married Benajah Strong.  (Genealogists, don’t forget your grandmothers.  If you tend to get focused on family surnames,don’t forget to research the grandmother’s surname. Some of my most interesting stories have been found by turning down the path of my grandmothers.)

I researched her and my grandfather’s names and found a genealogical record that took her line back five generations!  That was awesome enough in itself — until I began working my way backward through the generations.

Each successive generation gave me more clues about my family.  As expected they all lived in the New England area.   But then I came across town names in which I was unfamiliar —  Barnstable and Yarmouth in Massachusetts.  I looked them up on a current map and found both towns were located on Cape Cod. The families were living in these towns in the mid 1600’s. That’s even a closer connection to Pilgrims than the family members about whom I already knew.

Then I went back to my research.  I looked at the fifth generation back from my grandmother and my heart gave a jolt! The word “Mayflower” jumped off the page at me.  I looked again to double check. Yes, that’s what it said! I looked further and the amount of information on this man was boggling — in genealogical terms when all one may normally uncover is a death date!

Did my eyes deceive me?  Was one of my grandfathers really a Pilgrim?  Yes, he was.  His name was John Howland.  He was not just any Pilgrim, but the one who fell overboard during a storm and was miraculously recovered.  (More about him in a future post.)

I sat there in my chair dumbfounded.  I felt like I had just opened a treasure chest and found it full of gold.   A Pilgrim.   A Mayflower Compact-signing, Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim.  The same Pilgrims everyone reads about in elementary school history.

I can’t believe it.  What a find!  I am not “almost” a Pilgrim.  I AM a Pilgrim!

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Cousin Quandary

Is that person in my family my fourth cousin, or my second cousin twice removed?  I have to admit that as a genealogist and historian, I did not really understand how to figure out my relationship to others in my extended family. Sad, I know.  But recently I decided to figure out this puzzle by doing a little research. Here is what I found out.

To figure out the relationship of you and a cousin, imagine a multi-sided pyramid with your common ancestor (example: Mary) at the top. The number of sides of the pyramid depends on the number of children your common ancestor had — in this case, two (Mary’s son and Mary’s daughter).  Each step down the pyramid is a generation away from your common ancestor.  Place yourself on the correct generation “step” down from Mary and do the same for your cousin in question (ex. Mary’s great, great grandson) by placing them on another side of the pyramid on their correct generation “step.”

Mary

Mary’s son         Mary’s daughter

Mary’s granddaughter        Mary’s grandson

Yourself                                              Mary’s great grandson

Your son                                                           Mary’s great, great grandson

I learned that people directly across from each other are “numbered” cousins, by how many generations away they are from the common ancestor, minus one. For example, Mary’s granddaughter and Mary’s grandson are 1st cousins.  They are two generations away from Mary, but are “first” cousins.  ”Yourself” and Mary’s great grandson are 2nd cousins. Your son and Mary’s great, great grandson are third cousins.

But people in different generations (different levels) are “removed” cousins.  So “yourself” and Mary’s great, great grandson are 2nd cousins, once removed. Make sense?

I recently discovered that I was related to many notable people through a common ancestor.   This research information helped me figure out my relationship to them.  I hope this will help serve as an illustration to our question.

Three of these notable people are Princess Di and Prince William, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Our common ancestor is Elder John Strong who came through Plymouth colony in 1635 — about 15 years after the Pilgrims.   He had 18 children by his wife Abigail Ford. Sixteen children lived to adulthood.  I descend from their son, Jedediah Strong. Princess Di descends from their son, Thomas, and President Roosevelt descends from their son, Ebenezer.

Place Elder John Strong at the top of a pyramid and place each of his children on a different side of a 16-sided pyramid.  As one descends down each step on each side, the relationships become clear.  Princess Di and I are each 11 generations away from Elder John Strong, so we are 10th cousins.  (And thus, I am tenth cousins, once removed, from her son, Prince William.) But Pres. Roosevelt is only 8 generations away from Elder John Strong, so he is my seventh cousin, three times removed. These numbers should equal the number of generations away (+1) from the common ancestor for the youngest person in the relationship.

Princess Di (10) = Melinda (10)

Roosevelt  (7) +3 away equals 10 = Melinda (10)

Prince William (11) = Melinda (10)+1 away equals 11

I am so glad I finally figured this out!  If you have any questions, let me know. And as far as a claim to the throne of England, I don’t think I have one.  But I may go have a cup of tea!

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