Sunday, October 15, 2017

Camping with George Washington

I have a particular love for my military ancestors.
Throughout my family's history, I have men and women 
who have been in battle
since the French and Indian War
in the mid-1700's.

As I have done more and more research,
I began to realize that I had many more than I could keep track of,
so I asked Mr. Kerry for some help.

I asked him to bring me a list of all of the wars
America has been involved in 
since the French and Indian War and up to the present;
and to include the dates, as well.

Before long, he returned with a list.
And, I made a spreadsheet.
Across the top I made a column for the wars.
Across the side I began to list the members of the military.

I can now include 186 ancestors,
and shirttail relatives
who served our country.

Tonight, I was checking for some shaky leaves
Normally, I glance through other people's trees,
preferring to look at original records.
But, tonight it proved quite fruitful for me.

I carefully checked through another person's family tree that included the name of Joseph Goddard.
He was the son of John Goddard,
who had been shanghaied from England with his brother, Joseph.

Those Ancestry hints led me to some military records I had not previously been aware of.
And, which told me the Joseph had been a member of the 
10th Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary War.

The FamilySearch Wiki is filled with good information on
military regiments.
So, I looked it up.

It was an informative article, that told me its history.
It also led me to another interesting site.

If you look closely, you can see where it directs you to another site.
The Valley Forge Legacy Site.
There he is!
Corporal Joseph Goddard of the 10th Virginia.

And, it shows a map where he was encamped.

Just this past year, we visited Valley Forge, PA,
and we stopped in front of these exact reconstructed cabins
where another one of my ancestors was encamped.

John McKissick had been close to the same area.

They were camped next door to each other!

I find this so fascinating!
Did they know each other?
I'm sure they did.
Did they suffer through the cold?
I'm sure they did.
Did they know George Washington?
I'm sure they did.

This is how I spent a blustery autumn evening...
researching and appreciating my ancestors
for their service to our country.

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's Only a Little Cup and Saucer

My maternal grandmother was the one I knew the best.
Bertha Agnes Gearheart Stevens, wife of Corbitt Sullivan Stevens

Each year in October, my parents and I made the trip to Kentucky to bring her back to Ohio for the winter. 
My mom was afraid for her mom, for she still heated her house with a coal stove, 
which meant going out back with a coal bucket
during the ice and snow.
She was always ready to go back home in March,
for it was plantin' time.

But, several years before we began to plan for her winter stay, we made trips to visit both her and my grandfather.

Once, during an extremely hot summer visit, 
we had gone "cemeteryin'".
The older folks knew where every one of their kin was buried.

We were so thirsty for something cool to eat or drink,
so we decided to stop at Raybourn's General Store.

It has since burned down. 
But, you could buy just about anything you would ever need...
from overalls, to foodstuffs, to farm implements.

That included fudgcicles.  

The four of us sat in the car slurping away on our fudgcicles 
when "Mawmaw" took me by my eight-year old hand and took me back into the store.
I was just a bit younger than eight in this photo.

There, she proceeded to buy me the prettiest little 
flowered cup and saucer.
It was one of the few things I ever received from her.

I have grown up,
moved several times,
and raised four children...
and that little cup and saucer has survived it all.

The original cup and saucer are on the left,
but through the years I have found a few more plates that 
resemble the same pattern.

I guess that little cup and saucer 
would be considered antiques today.

I'm not sure anyone in my family 
will ever want this or appreciate its story.
It may end up at Goodwill...

But, it's little story is preserved here.

And, this is probably why I love and admire dishes 
to this day.
I will stop dead in my tracks when I see lovely old dishes.

Now, I remember why.