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Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence Please click to read the entire message.  Thank you for your understanding. Sin...

Friday, March 16, 2018

What Makes you tick? What do you dislike?

Copyright 2018, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This is part of the "The Book of Me, Written By You" challenge/meme for 2018.  You too can be part of this experiment/experience, there is more information here, and at this Facebook page.

February prompts, 2 remain, they are:  What Makes you tick?  What do you dislike?

What makes me tick.  Genealogy.  Genealogy has made me tick for 27 years.  That’s a long time.  The tick - - has taken me to Germany and England to research.  I did a bit of research while on our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii.  I researched in Seaside Oregon when our RV, Tana, had a few issues and we were waiting for a part to arrive.  One year Man and I spent a full month  in Salt Lake City, I researched, almost every day while we were there.  It was grand, and I still have research I did there that I have not fully processed the way I want to.  We have spent hot, sunny, dusty days on the back roads of Iowa cemetery hopping.  We visited his great-grandparents haunts, places of marriage, birth, death.  We even took a photo of the street sign that we feel provided us with our surname, that’s a long story for another day, and here is the photo:

What makes me tick? Rving.  As you might have guessed many of my genealogy stories have been aided by virtue of the camping/RVing life we have loved since 1973.  That’s 45 summers, springs, falls, and yes, even winters of enjoying our tent, popup camper, and several hard sided trailer, up to and including Tana, our Heritage RV.  Tana was purchased in June of 2003 and has been from coast to coast, and border to border, and beyond that Canadian border.  In the summer of 2015 we finally made a trip to Nova Scotia, a bucket list trip at long last fulfilled.  It was beyond wonderful.  We have spent time in Alabama, Florida and Texas and Arizona and many places in between during the winter months.  There are a few states out east we have not visited with Tana (but, may have in previous rigs) and we have not visited Alaska (which remains on the bucket list).  We have camped in blizzards with brutal cold in Michigan and in 120 heat factor summer blasts in Iowa.

What do you dislike?  Liars.  Hateful people.  Bullies and narsarcistic personalities. Hypocrites.  Not real fond of snakes.  Any bug that jumps is way off my “like” list.  I hate jumping crickets and grasshoppers.  Just.  No.  Brussel sprouts, sorry, nope.  Computers (in any form, phones, tablets, laptops, GPS, etc.) that are being snarky.  In fact, I am not fond of machinery in any form, that breaks and does not operate in a proper manner.  I mean, shouldn’t tires last for 20 years?  You know, things should just work.  Always.  Without needing repairs or tweaking.  Right?  Exactly, I think so too.

Till next time - - 

* .Photo of flat tire courtesy of nightowl at Pixaby, Creative Commons CC0.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks -Week 10: Strong Woman

Copyright 2018, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This post as part of my participation in Amy Johnson Crow's 2018 version of the 52 Ancestors meme. This weeks prompt is, "Strong Woman - - what female in your family tree has shown remarkable strength, either physical or emotional?"

Man and I have been suffering from colds for a couple of weeks.  Sapped my will to do anything other than sleep and play solitaire.  I know better than to think I will ever catch up, but, patching sometimes will slow down the floods, eh??  Therefore - - 

I have written so much about some of my strong women in my ancestry here on Reflections.  So, when this prompt came up, I went, oh, dear.  And, so, I am going to take the "easy" way out once more.

So for this prompt, I choose to highlight once again, Lorena.  My great-grandmother.  My dad's grandmother.  He told me on more than one occasion that maybe she "poisoned" her hubbies with mushrooms.  She had 5 and they all died or disappeared from our family history. Needless to say, 5 marriages, 2 children by her first marriage, 6 children by her second marriage, and the mystery surrounding the passing of several of her hubbies, well, can we say, post fodder?  Oh, yes we can.  I have written about Lorena and her extended family well over 30 times here on Reflections.

So, without further ado, here is a link to the search of Reflections for the keyword, LORENA.  

Here she is just months before her passing, with, yeppers, yours truly as a wee bit of a babe.  To the left, my father. Sitting on the right arm of the chair, his mother, Florence.  And, ya, I have written about those two a time or two here on Reflections as well.

*  #52ancestors


Sunday, March 4, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 9: "Where There's a Will"

Copyright 2018, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This week's post as part of my participation in Amy Johnson Crow's 2018 version of the 52 Ancestors meme.  Week 9: "Where There's a Will".  Amy points out this could be a probate case, a strong willed ancestor or a ancestor named Will.  For me, it will always be the probate case of Abraham Oakley.  Every time I think of the prompt Abraham comes up.  Probably because I had searched for SOOOO long for a link between Abraham and his daughter, Laura.  Over 20 years, closer to 25 years.

A while back Man and I did some of that DNA testing.  Ya, that stuff.  Now, I have not had the time or energy to really figure it all out.  But, when I first had our results I was snooping around on Ancestry dot com and somehow stumbled into a family tree that had this document linked to it.  A one page document!  Here is a clip of the full document:

Rather than repeat myself, I direct you to this post, which I wrote at the time.

One piece of paper and 25 years of research, snooping, tracing lines sideways, backwards and forwards.  It just took ONE piece of paper.

I wasn't too happy!  

* #52ancestors


Miles E. or Miles G. ?? Smithson, That Is

Copyright 2018, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I have been looking for Miles E. Smithson who married Elenora Roberts.  Elenora married three times.  Miles was the first.   One afternoon, not long ago, while surfing and relaxing and researching, I found this short snippet: 

From the Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Virginia, published on March 9, 1912:
     Column titled:  Berkley Ward News
     "Miles E. Smithson and wife, of Hobson, VA., are visiting officer L. E.  Barnes and wife, the latter his sister, 204 Chestnut street.

Now after over a week of fussing and researching, with many interruptions, I finally decided that this Miles E. Smithson is not really mine.  It took a bit, but, I finally found Mr. Barnes, he married one Clare Smithson, who is possibly/maybe the daughter of Miles Gregory (ugh) Smithson and his wife Martha Ann Halstead Smithson.  Maybe, cause you know, follow up research and more follow up research is ALWAYS indicated.

From prior research, I had found the Miles, that married Elnora, enumerated in the 1910 census. They lived in Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia, in the household of Franklin Pierce, age 59, policeman for the city; Sallie A., his wife, age 63.  Miles Smithson, age 27, married for less than a year, listed as a boarder, born North Carolina, both parents born North Carolina, painter for the US Navy yard.  Elnora Smithson, wife of Miles, age 15, married for less than a year, born Virginia. A grandson, Franklin Roberts, age 11, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia is also in the household.  This enumeration was done 29 April 1910.  Sallie is the grandmother of Elnora and Franklin.

Until this week, other than this one census enumeration, Miles had disappeared, gone MIA, as they say.  Then, I found this:

In the 1910 United States Federal Census, in Washington, Norfolk, Virginia taken May 6, 1910, Miles Smithson, age 32, making a birth year of approximately 1878, born in North Carolina. He is listed as the son to the head of household, MARRIED, but note, his wife is not shown in the household, occupation, painter at the Navy Yard.  He is shown in the household of Samuel Smithson, 58, who I will discover, is actually Lemuel;  and Hulda Smithson, wife of Samuel, age 55.

Now, we note, that he is not referred to as Miles E. in either of these 1910 census enumerations.  I also note, this is not the first person I have found enumerated twice in the same census year.  Actually, the second appearance has in all cases given me some great stuff to follow up on.  Fun!

After this discovery of a second appearance in the 1910 census I redid my research, you know, review, review, review.  I came up with these plausible census enumerations:


1880 United States Federal Census, recorded 29 June, 1880, Miles G. Smithson, Age: 3, Birth Date: Abt 1877, Birthplace: North Carolina, Home in 1880: South Mills, Camden, North Carolina, son, single. Father: Lemuel Smithson, age 29, Father's Birthplace: North Carolina; Mother:  Mary V. Smithson, age 31, Mother's Birthplace: North Carolina. Also enumerated in the house hold are: 
1.) Emma Smithson, aged 5 (who I discovered with some further research married Lemuel T Bunch, she was born 2 Dec 1874, and died 9 Mar 1943, she is buried at Bethany Cemetery  Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina.
2.) Seth Smithson, aged 1  (Not found on Ancestry dot com again, as of Feb 2018)
We note:  Middle initial for Miles is “G”.

Found in the 1900 United States Federal Census, Miles Smithson, Age: 20, Birth Date: Apr 1880, Birthplace: Virginia, Home in 1900: Washington, Norfolk, Virginia, Relation to Head of House: Brother. (This is an error, the head of house hold is his father.  That said, see the image, it’s not very clear, is it?  See below.) The enumeration continues: Marital Status: Single, Father's Birthplace: Virginia, Mother's Birthplace: Virginia, Occupation: Painter
Household Members:
L Smithson, age 48
Hulda Smithson, age 45 (She is the second wife of Lemuel)
(Note:  Both Lemuel and Hulda are buried at Riverside Memorial Park,
Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia.) 

There are several issues in this enumeration, the “brother” to head of household for sure, and no middle initial.  The occupation of painter is the same as the Miles, in the 1910 census.  Despite those issues I feel this is the Miles I am searching for.  Note, the place, Washington Norfolk Virginia is spot on.

So, what else have I found?  Well, I found a lot of data on a "Miles E.", who seems to have been born about the same time, in North Carolina, and lived and died there about 1940 and is buried at Battleboro Cemetery, Battleboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  After researching, I have discounted this Miles, for now.  

I searched for “Miles G.” as well.  I have put aside those findings, for now, as none of them made sense to me either due to place, death certificates found, dates of death, or parents indicated did not match the "Lemuel and Mary" data I am following at this time.

I did find, from this source:
 USGenWeb Archives Virginia

Berkley & Lancaster Avenues, Norfolk, Virginia 23523 

Copyright. All rights reserved. 

Three entries of distinct interest:

Smithson, Hollice Ormand  
April 8, 1912
January 16, 1913
CP 229

Smithson, Miles G 
November 27, 1876
January 11, 1913
CP 229  

And this:
Smithson, Miles G  
February 17, 1911
December 14, 1911
CP 191 

So, first thing we note is that Hollice and the Miles G. that both died in January of 1913 are buried in the same area at Magnolia, CP 229 (Disclaimer, I am not sure where CP229 is, looking at the cemetery maps, sigh).  The Miles G., died/buried in 1911 I have not be able to trace down, yet.  (I have suspicions, as you can imagine, that the Miles G. that died in 1911 is another, yet undocumented child of Miles G. and Elnora.  More research!!)

Note of interest:  At Magnolia in this time frame, a funeral director could purchase 100 lots at the same time and use them for burials.  Many of the poor were buried here and, according to the staff at the cemetery, no records were kept as to which specific grave people were buried in.  Almost none of these plots are marked with headstones.  When I showed up at Magnolia many years ago in search of Sallie Pierce's burial plot, I was told she is in that "area over there under that really large Magnolia tree."  Sallie has no headstone. Here is the photo I took that day:

Hollice Ormand IS the son of Miles G. Smithson and Elnora Roberts, and I have a digital copy of his death certificate, which names his parents.

I have not been able to locate a death certificate for Miles G. Smithson, d. 1913, yet.  I have not been able to locate any obituary for Miles G., for either date, 1911 or 1913.

The other Miles Smithsons I have located in sources and data sets available to me via Ancestry dot com, FamilySearch, and via newspaper research, well so far, nothing seems to match.  

For now, I am going with the scenario that Miles became ill, passed away, and 6 days later his and Elnora's son, Hollice, dies.  Oh, the grief.

So, is it Miles E. or Miles G.?  For now, I am going with the middle initial of “G”.  Primarily due to the death certificate of his son that states it so.  Shaky ground for a researcher, of course.  So.  As always, the search continues.

* This post has been dragging on for well over 1 week.  At times I have been totally frustrated with it.  However, the research has been interesting, and made me really think and study and dig.  Now I am off to discover what I have NOT found yet!  More shiny hole research coming to Reflections soon. My apologies for the length of this one. I have been attempting to keep them shorter.  SIGH