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Congratulations to the Heritage Trail

The newsletter for one of the genealogy societies that I belong too recently won an award, the Joe M. McLaurin Newsletter Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians, Inc. The Heritage Trail is the newsletter of the Heritage Genealogical Society, a society that covers Lenoir, Greene & Jones counties in North Carolina. My father’s family is in part from Lenoir County.

Since I joined the society, I’ve tried to get involved and have submitted entries for the newsletter. I have made two contributions so far

  • transcribed a couple of marriage notices from a 1909 issue of the Kinston Free Press for the Nov 08 issue
  • did a short write up of the Library of Congress Chronicling America historical newspaper site for the Aug 08 issue
I’m currently trying to figure out what to submit for the next issue, since I have microfilm of old issues of the newspaper, the Kinston Free Press that I use for an index and blog, I have a lot of material to choose from. I’m glad to be a part of the society!

The Resemblance Is There

On Wednesday I posted a montage of pictures and asked if anyone could see resemblance among them. I got two comments on the blog, plus I shared the picture with someone else that I know who is very good at looking at people and seeing similarities. Consensus: there are similarities and I’ve confirmed that I’m not making it up just because I want there to be :-)

The people in the picture are from L to R:

1) General William Blount McClellan
2) Champ McClellan, my husband Kalonji’s great-grandfather
3) Idora McClellan (the General’s daughter)
4) Frances McClellan, Champ’s daughter and Kalonji’s grandmother

I’ve posted before that I have suspicion that one of the General’s sons may have fathered Champ, and there were comments that Champ does favor the General.  My “offline” friend commented that she in particular saw great similarity in the shape of Frances’ face and the General’s face. 

So, more info to add as I work towards getting the DNA test. Unfortunately, we still have not had the kit done just due to trying to balance family expenses, but I have it as part of my 5 year plan to get it done and track down male McClellan descendants in order to see if one of them would be willing. 

I was inspired to do this initial post upon being contacted by a researcher who is doing thesis work on Idora.  She even sent me a picture of the Idlewild Plantation that was the home of the General and his family.  

I wonder if Champ was ever there?

I Missed It!

A couple of months ago, someone posted a comment to my Black Nashville blog to let me know that a new book had come out.  The book was the one above; the author, Sheryll Cashin,  was here speaking on campus today and I couldn’t go! I’m so disappointed.  But, there are plans to put her audio online so I’ll keep checking for it.

Sheryll Cashin is a descendant of Herschel V. Cashin (1854-1924) a lawyer from Alabama.   Her father,  John Cashin Jr., started the National Democratic Party of Alabama. The family has an interesting history and I came to learn of them from research I’d been doing for the Black Nashville blog on James Carroll Napier, a prominent former citizen of Nashville.  Herschel’s daughter Minnie went to Fisk University and she married JC’s nephew.  I haven’t finished reading this book, but what I have read has been inspiring and it’s really put a personal touch on people in her family whose names I’ve only seen on paper.

Maybe I’ll write to her to see if she’s interested in copies of some of the documents I’ve pulled together on her family/extended family.

I Came So Close

To being able to be the North Carolina GenWeb Site Coordinator for one of my main counties of interest, Edgecombe County, North Carolina! Turns out someone beat me to the punch to request it when a notice was sent out that the county was adoptable. I have roots there and just submitted a profile to be included in the upcoming Heritage of Edgecombe County book. That would have been perfect!

But, I was able to take on a different county instead, Martin County, and I think I can do well by it. Martin County lies between Edgecombe County & Washington County (another one where I have roots), so I will at least be familiar with some family names I think I’ll see there.  I’ve also come across several mentions of the county in the Roanoke Beacon newspaper (of Washington County), that I’m transcribing. 

I won’t be able to start any official site maintenance duties until my class this month is over, but I’m already to develop some ideas for site organization.  It’s been one year since I became site coordinator for Blount County, TN and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to help contribute to the genealogical needs of researchers interested in that county. I hope to continue helping for this new one!

I’m So Envious!

Over this weekend while catching up on some of my genealogy blog reading, I saw that a new group had been formed, the Association of Graveyard Rabbits. Oh! I’m so envious! If only I had time these days I’d have become a charter member myself; I love graveyards!

But alas, its’ not meant to be. Between my classes, work, family, and the itty little bit of genealogy time I do get these days, my time is pretty much taken. In fact, I stole a few hours this weekend when I shouldn’t have, to take on a new task – I have my 2nd USGenWeb county site to coordinate!

I am now the site coordinator for Martin County, North Carolina.  I applied for Edgecombe County, but someone beat me to the punch.  Martin County borders Edgecombe however and is actually between Edgecombe and one of my other favorites, Washington County. So, several of the family names are already familiar to me through what I’ve learned in my research and through indexing a newspaper of Washington County

My first task for the site was a redesign and a blog, both which I accomplished that pretty quickly. It’s a little rough around the edges, but next weekend I should be able to give it a some more tlc and add a few more features.  

FindAGrave Photos

Do you use FindAGrave? If not, you should!  Thanks to a wonderful volunteer, I today received notification that a picture of my uncle’s headstone had been fulfilled.  My mother has been wanting a picture of it for years now and she no longer lives in the city where he is buried.  

We love you and miss you Calvin!

If you get a chance, sign up for FindAGrave and check for photo requests in cemeteries nearby you. You may just make someone’s day!

My mother and Calvin in the 1960s.

Happy Birthday Grandma

Yesterday, October 16th,  was my daughter’s birthday. She turned 4! She was born on my maternal grandmother’s birthday and she has the middle name of Kalonji’s paternal grandmother.

My mother told me she went to the nursing home yesterday to help grandma celebrate her birthday. She turned 84 yesterday.  Happy Birthday grandma!

So, as a tribute to grandma (albeit a day late), let me post a poem that she loved. My mother went to the nursing home a couple of years ago and while there recited the first line and grandma recited a few more lines after.  It freaked my mother out b/c this after Grandma’s Alzheimer’s set in.

It Couldn’t Be Done by Edward Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it.

Approaching Deadline

Contributions for the Heritage of Edgecombe County book are due October 15th! I have two submissions I will be making, that I started and wrote back in July.  I have ancestors from Edgecombe County and I certainly want them represented. 

However, I have to finalize my entries – such as print out photos, list my sources, and format appropriately. My target day to do this is by Sunday so that I can mail in by Monday. 

I am very excited to have this opportunity! Pieces of my family history printed and available on library bookshelves!