Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wanted Posters errr!!!!! Pictures of the old folks

 My own collection of old family pictures has many, many holes that I would like to fill. I'm talking about pictures of our nineteenth and twentieth century ancestors as well as their children, siblings and homes. What I would like to do is amass a photo gallery of as many of our collective ancestors, both sides, right down the line from as old as we can get right up to today and make them available to their descendants--you.

I would want to restrict their availability to only family. Disseminating the pictures widely within the individual families would help preserve absolutely irreplaceable images of our familial past. I'm sure, many many, wonderful images of our families historical past have already been lost.

I have been able to acquire a  few pictures of several of my nineteenth century ancestors and relatives and a bit more of my twentieth century close relatives. My father, John Holt, left  a wonderful legacy to his children. He was always taking pictures of family and friends, unfortunately, there are not as many pictures of him as I would like. But I have lots and lots of  pictures of family and friends he took over the years that I am forever thankful to him for.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Would Like Stories and Pictures of the "Oldtimers" that we can share

Visitors to the blog have declined precipitously over the summer primarily, I believe, because of my absence and it is understandable. I hope to make up for the absence in the coming months. Genie and I traveled many, many miles in the five weeks we were gone. We visited many family sites on the trip, her's and mine.

Genealogy is a marvelous hobby but it does require a lot of work and travel. Some folks try to do it all on the Internet but that's really not possible. There is so much more data and information available on site where your ancestors lived and died than can ever be accessed on just Internet sources. And sometimes, in your actual visits to family sites, you can even see and touch things they saw and touched. There is really no comparison. Both, working on the records and visiting, are valuable and necessary. Pictures can help to some extent and in many cases are all we have. So I would like all of us, through this blog, to share that part of our families that we each own, records and above all, family stories and pictures.

Rod and Johnny the Pig
The stories need not be great histories, just stories of family incidents that have been preserved within your family. Stories can be tales of hardships, tragedies, moves, family members participating in wars, or as mundane as one that I put in my memoir about one of my brothers, Rodney, raising a 4-H pig. He named it Johnny and fed it all spring, summer and fall. It was in the family orchard and Rod moved its pen all over the orchard so it could get fresh feed and dropped apples. In the late fall when it came time to butcher the pig, no one could kill it. We're talking about a farm family that over the years had raised and killed and butchered dozens of pigs for family use. Finally a neighbor did the deed and helped butcher it. But no one in the family could eat Johnny. So the meat was given away that Thanksgiving and Christmas to needy folks in the community.

Any story that has been passed down through your family is also my family history. I want t hear it, so do all those who are related to you. So lets have the stories and pictures of the folks, your folks, their places and their time here on this old planet. I want this to be "our family blog."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Need Help finding Harold N. Davis/ Jock A Davis Missing since 1924

          Harold Newton Davis, son of Albert Hooker Davis and his wife, Jessie Virginia Thornhill, my Grandparents, was born in January of 1900 in New Brighton, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. He lived there until he ran off from home in 1917 after a shouting match between him and his mother. Sadly, he never returned. He did write letters home occasionally and always maintained that he was coming home soon. Several letters are said to have been from Wichita Falls, Texas but  the last two that I have which are the last known letters written by him to his parents, are from Okemah and Three Sands, Oklahoma. In both letters he signed his name as Jock A. Davis. The Okemah, Oklahoma letter is dated April 26, 1924. Okemah is 40-some miles due east of Oklahoma City. The last letter ever received fom him was ten days later from Three Sands, Oklahoma, dated May 6, 1924. Three Sands is 30 or 40 miles due north of Oklahoma City and is located between present day Tonkawa and Blackwell. According to the Tulsa, OK marriage certificate that I have, Harold N. Davis 21, of Rochester, Beaver County, Pennsylvania married Emma Sherrill, 19, of Heavener, LeForte County, Oklahoma on October 19, 1920. 
     Three Sands, Oklahoma, from all I can find, was a wild and woolly oil boom town in 1924 with a population of some 8,000 intrepid, fortune-hunting souls. It was cited on top of what is known today as one of the largest oil pools in continental United States.  Unfortunately, Three Sands must have been too wild and woolly for it no longer exists, having made its last gasp of life in 1957.

      Harold's letter of May 6, 1924 was the last my grandparents ever heard from him or his family. His wife, Emma, never contacted the family either before or after he died. His death, I believe, would have occurred sometime within two years of the date from his last letter home on May 6, 1924. By then he had been gone from home over seven years.  However, he always wrote home even if a little sporadically.  It's not known whether they had any children.  If they did they would now be in their late eighties or early nineties.  Their children's children would now be in their sixties or seventies. If you think you might be related, I would be delighted to communicate with you. Any and all help in this search will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gonzales, Texas--Honoring the Alamo Defenders

     One of the places Genie and I visited on our holiday last month was Gonzales, Texas, the town from which many of the Alamo defenders marched from to help  in that defense. From the little information I have it appears that both William Dearduff and James George, one a Thornhill descendant and the other the spouse of a Thornhill were part of that rescue effort. (see blog post July 1, 2010)
   Many years ago the community of Gonzales erected a large museum and commemorative honoring those 32 brave men led by Major Williamson of their town who marched past the huge invading force of over 7,000 Mexican soldiers led by Mexican General Santa Ana to join the roughly 150 defenders already in the Alamo. There is very little question in my mind that those brave men knew, as they marched by Santa Ana's huge force, that they were marching to their death. Such courage is almost unimaginable.
     Here are several photographs of the museum and commemorative plaques.