McNair

I hate titles

I really must change this blog template — I hate having to assign titles to my posts…

This weekend I went to the public library to check out their genealogy collection. There was one book in particular that I wanted to look at but the information in it was not as useful as I hoped. However, I do have a sense now of their holdings so I’ll probably plan to go back sometime next month to look at microfilm of census records. While I can access them online, I need to use the actual records b/c there are some family members that I will need to scroll through pages and pages to find as I’m not having any luck in Ancestry. (Ancestry takes a long time to view records page by page).

While at the library I picked up a copy of a genealogy book for African-Americans. Can’t think of the name right now, but though from 1999 it is pretty informative. On the research end, I continue to make progress! I have found someone to take pictures of relative tombstones in NY and also someone to take pictures in North Carolina. I am deeply appreciative when people can help like this! I am doing my best to give back as well.

Over the weekend I worked more on Kalonji’s maternal line — oh my goodness — I found so much information! This part of his family has been in the Evansville, IN area for at least the last 60 years or so. I found a database of obituaries from the Evansville area papers that a funeral director created as a personal project years ago. It was put online in the mid 1990’s and I just couldn’t believe how much information I was able to find out from it. This is exactly the kind of project I’d love to be able to do one day (yeah right! like I ever have time). But, I was very impressed with it. I also learned from Kalonji’s mother that she has an ancestor who was a slave and she heard stories of how this woman had lost toes from the cold and working out in the fields. I too have a maternal ancestor who was a slave and lost toes due to cold. I was surprised to hear this same thing again but from Kalonji’s family.

And, a note about my side of the family — my 3G grandfather Rufus, had 13 children. Between them all, these 13 children had about 70+ children. Can you imagine being one of Rufus’ grandchildren and having like 70 COUSINS!!!! How would you keep up with each other? And, the wild part is that they all had to know each other — they grew up in the same town and lived in close proximity. That is just so crazy to me. I have a total of 8 first cousins. Goes to show how we as a society are having fewer and fewer children these days.

Military Gravesites

Yesterday and today, Calverton National Cemetery emailed me pictures of some of my relative’s gravesites. Several of the men in my family served in the military and at least four that I know of so far are buried in military cemeteries. I attended the funeral of my maternal grandfather Herman so I remember his. Two of Herman’s brothers are also buried in the same cemetery as he. Then, my maternal grandmother has a brother who is also buried in the same cemetery as well. In addition, I have a distant cousin who died in 1959 who is in Long Island National Cemetery. I think their headstone pictures are beautiful. I like knowing exactly where they are and knowing that I will be able to pass that on to the younger generations in the family.

Also, I was able to find a book that has a listing of cemeteries in Washington County, NC where my maternal grandmother is from. There is a library that is sending me the photocopied pages of the book. I am so excited. The librarian informed me that there are three McNair cemeteries in Washington County with a total of around 100 people. One of the cemeteries is named the Rufus McNair cemetery – Hello! Rufus McNair is my 3rd Great Grandfather – this has to be his cemetery!

What is up with Barfield Koonce?

I am having the hardest time learning much about the very line whose name I have! Barfield is the furthest back I can go and I thought that once I received his death certificate, I would surely get his parents names. No such luck. It came in the mail today and both fields are “unknown.” Barfield was my great-grandfather and he died in 1953. I did learn that he died of a fall that occurred a few days before his death and he struck his back. Official designation: Fracture of the cervical spine. My father’s other grandfather also died of injuries as a result of a fall.

I also got Barfield’s wife’s death certificate. Josephine Holloway Koonce died in 1977. I was hoping for her father’s name on her death certificate, but that was blank too. It had her mother’s name on there which confirmed the name I had from her obituary. I am having trouble locating Josephine’s family as well, but will keep investigating.

And, on my mother’s side of the family, a cousin sent me the printed family tree from the McNair Family Reunion. The McNairs are based for the most part in Plymouth, NC and let me tell you — I think I am related to every McNair in that area – there are so many of them! The farthest back we go so far is to Rufus (b. 1824) and Mariah. They had 12 children at least and then each of those children had tons of children. Too many McNairs! Kaleya is a 6th generation descendant of Rufus & Mariah McNair – they are her 4G grandparents. 6 GENERATIONS! That is amazing to me. But, this is great information to have because it confirms that all those McNairs I’ve been seeing in the census records are indeed relatives. The quest to get as many birth/death certificates as possible seems neverending…. As of tonite, there are 142 individuals in Rufus’ descendant chart and I’ve only put in about 50% of his grandchildren.

Here is her relationship to him: