Notes from the past…


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Ragweed!

I have been having severe ragweed allergy problems for the past couple of weeks, and my eyes are so irritated that it is difficult to read, use the computer or even watch TV some days. So, I haven’t been doing much genealogy. I just got back from the eye doctor, who gave me some drops for my eyes. They are feeling some better, so I’m gonna try to get everything caught up here.
I have gotten a couple of calls from a real estate lady about my Uncle Ladd. She found me through this blog! Anyway, apparently, Ladd didn’t leave a will and this lady is trying to find his daughter Shawna, something to do with his estate, I suspect. So I have been using some of my genealogical “sluething” skills to try to find her. With the help of my daughter, I thought we had located her last night, and I sent her an email. But I got a message back from her today, and it wasn’t the right Shawna. Back to the drawing board, as they say!
When the September issue of the Fort Worth Genealogical Society’s e-newsletter arrived last week, it said they were looking for volunteers to transcribe some Texas marriage records from the 1850′s to early 1900′s. Actually to transcribe another lady’s handwritten transcriptions of the records. Sounds like fun, so I volunteered. I wanted to do Hill County, since I have so many ancestors from that county, but someone else beat me to it. So yesterday, I met a gentleman here in Benbrook and got a CD with the records from Limestone County. 34 pages to do. Yummy! I don’t have any folks from Limestone County (that I know of, anyway), but this will still be fun. I’m so excited and happy to do this. Thanks to so many other volunteers, I have gotten a lot of info for my own research, so I am more than happy to do this job! The man who is coordinating this work promised me that I can proofread the Hill County transcriptions when they are ready, so I’ll still get to look at the records!


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Samuel Ladd Clark, 22 May 1947- 14 Sep 2007

My uncle Ladd died last night:

Born in Fort Worth, Texas to Floyd Thomas Clark and Mamie Inez Carr, Ladd (as he was known to family and friends) grew up in Fort Worth and lived most of his life in Texas. Plagued by diabetes since early childhood, he was his own man and lived his life on his terms. Active in rodeo as a young man, Ladd suffered numerous injuries from bronco riding. He was also a skilled carpenter and built his own home near Johnson City, Texas.
But his true calling was that of a saddle-maker. He had a shop in Fort Worth many years ago, and at the time of his death owned Ladd Clark’s Saddles and Cowboy Gear, in downtown Boyd, Texas.
The Wise County Messenger interviewed Ladd this past June: “Clark fits the form of the classic cowboy. He’s tall and lean with a thick gray mustache. Intense eyes of amber and steel blue light up when he talks about his craft.”
Each saddle was lovingly made entirely by hand, a dying art in this day of computer-automated manufacturing. Every year, Ladd set up shop at the Fort Worth Stock Show to showcase his talents.
Ladd was a unique man and made many friends where ever he went, and will be missed.


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Miles Francis Stanley I

I have been working on my Stanleys, and have gotten to my great-great grandfather, Miles Francis Stanley I. I have been pretty lucky with him, as I’ve found a lot of info online. I have pretty well reconstructed his entire life! How?
To begin with, I received a few documents and a photograph from my aunt. Then I visited my other aunt, and she had several more documents and another image. All these I photographed with my digital camera. This info gave me enough leads to point me where to look in the US Census. Amazingly, I was able to find him in every census conducted during his lifetime, 1860-1930! Except the lost 1890 census, of course. Now I have a pretty good overall picture of him. Then, thanks to GenealogyBank, I found several articles in the Dallas Morning News Archives, dealing with his public persona as a county commissioner for Hill County, Texas. Also, there is a very interesting article in a county history book, “A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties, Texas”, from 1892. Since this book was written while Miles Stanley was in his prime, hopefully the information was contributed by him or someone close to him and so may be fairly accurate. Plus, I have been able to verify much of the information from the article with other sources. I have also found a couple of transcribed letters written by Miles Stanley from the 1880′s. And, finally, I have 2 obituaries, one from the Dallas Morning News and the other from the Hillsboro Evening Mirror. With a few other items, I have been able to reconstruct his life to a large extent.
What to do with this life history? Well, it will be uploaded to my website, of course. But I thought I would also try something new.
I have been reading about a site called WeRelate, which is a genealogy wiki: “WeRelate is a free public-service wiki for genealogy sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. in partnership with the Allen County Public Library. We are the world’s largest genealogy wiki with pages for over 500,000 people and growing.”
So, I signed up and created a page for Miles Francis Stanley I.
Interesting concept, we’ll see how it works out…