Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Always Southern

My life started in the desert of California, but the roots were Oklahoma and beyond. I didn't know much or care really, but the songs I attached and hung on to were Swannee River, Oh Shanandoah,
On top of Old Smokey, Dixie, When Johnny comes marching home and so on. I didn't hear history one way or the other, it wasn't in the conversations except for some tales I heard about my GR Grandpa Gideon and his experiance in THE WAR. He was too young to join, so he ran away from home for  two weeks or so to follow and join the troups. Supposedly he decided that the peach trees in Georgia weren't big enough to shelter behind!

But somewhere, within, I was southern to the core. How did it happen. I lived in California and Kansas and raised by Okie parents. But Southern I was.

We had to do that High School Genealogy thing. I got some letters and papers that a Gr Aunt had written Grandma  Irick and studied them and had a wonderful family tree. Quite a bit of it even turned out to be true but when I did get around to studying it later--the further back in time I got the more important the ancestors and their connections and somehow- I stopped believing.

Genealogy was put on hold while I got busy raising a family. We lost a daughter, but I was pregnant and you do for the living and go on. Later on we lost another daughter and the grief was black and cold and lonely. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't weep enough and   -kind of tough.

A daughter bought me a Family Tree software program for Christmas. OH Yeah!  I had software, an internet connection, a tiny bit of history and lots of discoveries to make, and long long nights of wakefulness to do it.
The Search was on.

So here are some of the things that I discovered.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ten Years Later

Ten years behind me, countless hours doing genie. What have I discovered.
Its very relaxing, exhilerating, stimulating and sometimes, just can't click it
off and go to bed.
I didn't know the names of my paternal ggreat grandparents, or my maternal
ones either when I started. I didn't even know if my ggrandfather Shockley had
any sibblings at all.
Many hundred relatives later, I am still hooked.There is still so much to do. So
much that I have to organzie to make this useable for my children, if they are
ever interested in it.
I wasn't surprised to find that ggggrandfather Gideon B Shockley had owned
slaves. But last night I studied the 1840 census more carefully and realized that
my gggrandfather Irick had owned 9 slaves! I was in shock. I have always thought
of him as being just a working man. Is there a mistake? How did he own slaves?
What for? He lived in Raccoon Valley, Knox Co Tennessee. No huge agriculture
here! No huge money that I can see? Very strange. Perchance there is a mistake.
Records scrambled? Why haven't I noticed this before? Because I never looked?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The mind begins storing data for the unresponsive

The brain is a marvelous thing. It picks up all sorts of information, storing it away as a squirrel saves up for the future. You aren't even aware of most of these gems at the time. I loved sitting around the stove on bleak and bitter nights listening to my Dad talk of his hunting exploits and friends, and Mom remembering how poor they were but the richness they found in their life. When relatives came, I wanted to be there in their midst to hear all the tidbits, what Grandpa
Thomas Gideon remembered about the civil war, how my Dad traveled with his family as a small boy by covered wagon to New Mexico, about the Aunts running a cafe at Indio. Such a lot of information passed by my busy little brain. There was an awareness of people, but no real links realized.
My first real experiance with genealogy came, as it does to most kids, when a teacher required that we write a chart with our parents and grandparents entered as far back as we could. I interviewed my mothers parents, who I did not really know very well, and my dads parents. My mother showed me letters from a family researcher, a maternal great aunt. It was fascinating. How did I knew so little about my family? I had only known my grandparents, and part of my great grandparents.
The mind threw some names out of its warehouse--Danny, Hugh, rodeo Shockleys in Oklahoma, Lonny Don, Arbalee but there were no connections, no mental links to find them. I had remembered the best type of hounds to own and hunt, the necessity of left hand barber sissors, how parched corn will sustain life when you are kept laying in the safe banks of a hollow with the enemy taking pot shots at you and keeping you down and such things, but family links? No. I took notes, wrote my chart, copied much of my great aunts tidbits and life moved on. I would do genealogy someday but there were lots of things that I had to do right now. Except for one trip further south in the state of California, maybe it was Landcaster?, to visit Uncle Jacks widow, whoever Uncle Jack was ---? I kept on with the important teenage stuff that I had to do.
When I married, I wanted to to keep in touch with my family, so there were Christmas letters and off and on letters to some of my aunts but it wasn't until I had moved out of state,and had a busy family and crash, lost another daughter that I turned to genealogy.
Dark nights, sleep not found, the business computer, time, and a Christmas gift of a genealogy software program, were the real starting point. I turned to the serious business of rooting out my roots.