Notes from the past…

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Smile For The Camera, 16th Edition: The Broach

“The word prompt for the 16th Edition of Smile For The Camera is “Bling, ancestor Bling.” I am always drawn to the beautiful jewelry worn by our ancestors in old photographs. The locket that was your Great Grandmother’s treasure, the pocket watch proudly displayed by a male ancestor, the beautiful crosses of old, and the children with their tiny bracelets. While not many of our ancestors were wealthy enough to own multiple pieces of jewelry, there was the one good piece that held sentimental value. Some of us have been fortunate enough to inherit those treasures. Show us a photograph of your ancestor wearing their “Bling,” or photographs of the pieces you have inherited. Admission is free with every photograph!”

My great-grandmother Mary Tennessee Turner, “Mawmaw” Rogers, had a beautiful oval broach that she loved to wear. That simple, yet elegant pin was always perfectly positioned just above her bosom, no matter what dress she wore. It is one of my earliest memories, it seems. As I recall, it had a raised ivory image of a woman’s profile set into a darker gray ceramic background, rimmed in gold.

I have no idea where the broach came from, other than the original image of Sarah Vance wearing it in an old tin-plate image from about 1865. I cannot remember my Mawmaw ever wearing any other type of jewelry, in fact. Not even a wedding band. Only her glasses and the broach.

Fast-forward about 40 years. My Mawmaw Rogers has been gone for many years now. Old photographs and the memories of a child remain. But what of that wonderful broach? I haven’t seen it in many years. I believe my aunt has it now, safely tucked away. As it should be. A very old and very wonderful reminder of tall ceilings, faded and torn wallpaper and hot tea with lemon.

The earliest image here is of my great-great grandmother Sarah Sharpe Vance, my Mawmaw Rogers’ mother, from about 1865. She’s the lady on the right. The last photo of my Mawmaw Rogers is from about 1969, 2 years before her death at age 91.

The broach reappeared for a final time on 7 May 1994, when my cousin Mary (Mary Tennessee’s namesake) wore it on her wedding day:


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Names, Places & Most Wanted Faces (meme)

On Thomas’s Destination: Austin Family:

Craig Manson over at Geneablogie has started a new meme which I think is important since it gets the surnames in my genealogy research info out into the blogosphere.  As Craig put it:

“List the surnames you are researching and the general localities. Then tell the names of your “Most Wanted Ancestors,” that is, the ones you most want to find behind that brickwall.”

Great idea!

My Names, Places & Most Wanted Faces:

HALL surname: Kansas (Shawnee County)>Texas (Cooke County)

McBURNETT surname: Georgia (Carroll County)>Texas (Milam County)

CARR surname: Alabama (Marengo County)>Texas (San Saba County)

CARROLL surname: North Carolina>Texas (San Saba County)

STANLEY surname: Alabama (Tuscaloosa County) >Texas (Hill County)

CARRICO surname: Missouri (Stoddard County) >Texas (Hill County) >New Mexico (Lea County)

ROGERS surname: Kentucky (Montgomery County) >Texas (Tarrant County)

TURNER surname: Tennessee (DeKalb/Cannon County)> Texas (Hill County)

DIXON surname: Alabama (Marengo County)

BENNETT surname: Texas (Williamson/San Saba/Brady Counties)

KENNEDY surname: Alabama (Sumter County) >Texas (Hill County)

DAVIS surname: Alabama (Tuscaloosa County) >Texas (Hill County)

TURNEY surname: Tennessee (DeKalb County)

VANCE surname: Tennessee (Wilson/DeKalb/Cannon Counties)

CHAPPELL surname: Virginia >Alabama (Fayette/Tuscaloosa Counties)

MOST WANTED ANCESTOR #1: William Earl HALL, my paternal great-grandfather, born about 1888, possibly Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas. Married Dovie C McBurnett, 22 Jan 1906, Ardmore County, Oklahoma. Living in Gainesville, Cooke, Texas when my grandfather was born. Worked for the railroad. Believed to have died before 1917 in railroad accident, location unknown. William and/or Dovie were believed to be of Chickasaw descent (mariage listed Chickasaw Nation Marriages 1895-1907: HALL, W E 22 McBURNETT, DOVIE 18 22 JAN 1906 TX,GAINESVILLE/ARDMORE J©57).

MOST WANTED ANCESTOR #2: Joseph ROGERS, my maternal 2nd great-grandfather, very little is known about Joseph, possibly born Kentucky, 1840-1850′s, married Susan Hannah Knox,  died in Kentucky when my great-grandfather Charles Arthur Rogers was a child.