Notes from the past…


OMG! The most amazing thing just happened!

I just put in the search term “s w l kennedy” into the Google News Archive Search and got back a Supreme Court of Texas document from 1886! It deals with the appeal of the Last Will & Testament (sorry if I’m not phrasing this correctly- I’m not up on Legalease!) for the father of my 3rd great-grandmother Susan William Lee Martin Kennedy. So I guess James H Martin would have been my 4th great-grandfather. Apparently someone thought this will was a forgery! Here’s page 1 of 5:

It’s gonna take me awhile to swim through this “language”, but I have already found a date and location of death for James H Martin, info that I didn’t have until now!

A bit about where this document came from: the Google News Archive search took me to a site called Fastcase, “the next-generation legal research system that offers unlimited access to a comprehensive 50-state and federal case law database.” What was freely available was basically a preview of my document, but it showed enough that I was able to determine that this was about my “s w l kennedy”. It cost $4.95 to get the entire 5-page document, but that was money very well spent!

Stay tuned!


A new source for archived newspapers

Did you know that Google has a News Archive Search? I didn’t until today. I don’t know the specifics as far as how many newspapers and how far back the archives go, but a quick search for news about Robert Kennedy’s 1968 assassination brought back this from the St Petersburg (FL) Evening Independent:

My search term was “R Kennedy Shot!”, which was the headline for the next morning’s edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I can still see clear-as-day that newspaper headline as my Dad sat at the kitchen table reading the newspaper that morning! One of those things you never forget, I guess. I was only 10 years old at the time and just beginning to become aware of world events, I think.

Anyway, this could be a very handy resource!

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Her crowning glory?

Well, I guess it blocks a bit of sun, at least:

This lady is my third great-grandmother, Susan William Lee Martin Kennedy. She was the wife of Dr Nathan Blunt Kennedy, one of my Civil War surgeon ancestors. I guess as the spouse of a prominent physician in the Hill County, Texas of the 1800′s, Mrs. Kennedy felt the need for fancy attire for her head!

The lady of the right is my great-grandmother, Mary Tennessee Turner. This photo is from about 1910. Mary is here with a couple of close cousins. Girls Night Out!

Another photo of Mary Tennessee Turner, here as a Woman of Mystery!

I don’t want to seem a sexist, so here is a photo of my great-grandfather, Charles Arthur Rogers:

“Bubba” Rogers was a railroad man all of his life, so he certainly knew the value of a good straw hat!