Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Christmas Joy

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Wordless Wednesday- Christmas Joy

As the weather has gotten cooler here in Georgia, my thoughts drift toward Christmas.  58 days until Christmas day- where does the time go?
(That's my daddy on the far left.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday- Joseph B. York (1830-1914)

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Joseph B. York was born 5 November 1830. He was the son of Margaret and Jeremiah York and he grew up in the Persimmon area of Rabun County, Georgia.

Joseph served in the Confederacy with Company E of the 24th Regiment of Georgia Volunteer Infantry. He died on 29 July 1914. He and both his wives are buried at Persimmon Baptist Church Cemetery in Persimmon, Rabun County, GA.

His daughter Adeline York is my great-great-grandmother.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Luther Thompson and family

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My great-grandfather, Luther Thompson was born in Persimmon Valley, Rabun County, Georgia on 23 March 1886.  He was the son of Sidney E. Thompson and his wife Adeline York Thompson, both also born in Rabun County.

This photograph shows Luther with his some of his daughters with his second wife (my great-grandmother), Sellie Clark.  My grandmother, Mary Ann Thompson Ellenburg (born 8 June 1924) is standing on the back left.  Her sisters are standing beside her (from left to right) are Ora (born 22 April 1922), Wilma (born 20 Dec. 1932) and Francis (born 24 Sept. 1936). Luther is holding my father, Lee Ellenburg (born 1 Jan. 1945). I believe this picture was taken around 1948 because my daddy looks to be about 3 years old.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: What do you do when the tombstone is wrong?

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My great-great grandfather’s name was Sidney E. Thompson and he grew up in Persimmon Valley, Rabun County, Georgia. He moved his family to Marble, Cherokee County, North Carolina. His son, Luther Thompson, plus Luther’s wife, Sellie and their family joined Sidney around 1931. Sidney is listed as a founder of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church near Marble.

Sidney’s daughter in law (my great-grandmother) Sellie Clark Thompson died during childbirth in 1936 and Luther moved his children back to Rabun County that fall. Sidney didn’t have any horses and didn’t want to overwork his mules so he would walk from Marble, NC to Tiger in Rabun County, GA to spend time with Luther and his children.

The Thompson family realized Sidney was getting older and arranged the first annual Thompson Family Reunion on 7 August 1838 in Rabun County. Sidney happily attended as it was held in his honor. Many in the community attended to see Sidney although they were not Thompsons. (I have a list of those in attendance published earlier in this blog.) Sidney died in the months following that first reunion. The reunion is still being held each August and I just attended the 71st annual Thompson reunion in Persimmon. Sidney Thompson is buried with his wife, Adeline York Thompson at Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.

My problem is: What do you do when the tombstone is wrong?

I was surprised to visit Mt. Zion Cemetery to find the tombstone death date states he died in August 1963. I have yet to find proof of an exact death date but know from my grandmother and other Thompson relatives that he died around 1938 and definitely before August of 1939 when they held the second reunion.

Any suggestions as to how I should handle this situation?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thompson Family members have worked as Blacksmith over the years

My grandmother, Mary Ann Thompson Ellenburg,  had saved this newspaper article about her Thompson family. It was in The Andrews Journal on 29 September 1994.

The Andrews Journal

29 September 1994

Newspaper Article about Gary Thompson: Actual Title of Article Unknown (The title was cut off newspaper clipping)

By Jane Birchfield

Feature Writer

The last known blacksmiths in Andrews were Peg Palmer, so known because of his wooden leg, and Charlie Frasier.

“I remember being in the shop with Charlie back when I was in the third and fourth grades,” said Gary Thompson, who has recently opened a blacksmith shop, Happy Top Anvil, located in the Happy Top section of Andrews.

The Thompson’s blacksmithing trade was brought to Lenoir, North Carolina from Scotland in 1754 by Peter Thompson who, due largely to the demands of the Revolutionary War, set up and ran a highly successful blacksmith shop.

Generations later Gary’s grandfather, John Thompson, left his home in Clayton, GA at age 15 because he was tired of working for his father, Granville, who was as well-known for his black-smithing trade as he was for his moonshine.

Grandfather John settled in Marble where he married Lura King and established his blacksmith shop behind Abernathy’s store, but as horses and wagons gave way to the automobile, the demand for blacksmiths began to wane in the small mountain communities. Gary’s father, Blaine did not take up the trade, but Gary grew up hearing the family stories of the blacksmithing heritage that had been passed down for over 200 years.

“I always had an interest in blacksmithing but never did anything about it,” he said. “Then one day at Tri-County Community College (TCCC) I found out through Human Resources Development (HRD) that there was to be an Apprentice Program at the John Campbell Folk School.”

“I applied and was accepted in a 3-year program. I attended blacksmith classes every week for the first nine months at the Folk School and took classes at TCCC in welding, computer and small business in conjunction with other blacksmithing courses over the next two years.”

Gary produces a variety of craft items, mostly in the Colonial tradition, such as coat racks, trivets, fireplace tools, spatulas, roasting forks, hooks, boot scrapers and candlesticks.

He also makes custom knives with bone and wood handles, some of the Damascus blades themselves being a work of art with their intricately patterned steel and nickel designs.

“I really like architectural hardware, both in Colonial and Gothic styles, like door hinges and thumb latches,” he said. “I would also like to experiment with weathervanes.”

“The pioneer blacksmiths were a vital part of the community because if the item were metal, the blacksmiths made it and repaired it. They operated much as a hardware store and a service center. I don’t see myself as a vital part of a modern community in the same sense, but as a keeper of the blacksmithing tradition.”

Photograph Captions:

1) Great-grandfather Granville Thompson (2nd from left) and his brothers and sister. (Copy of picture included below- My great-great-grandfather, Sidney Thompson is 4th from the left.)

2) Gary Thompson at his shop. (I'm sorry I don't have a copy of this photograph to share.)

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Ellenburg Blog

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When I started my first genealogy blog "My Papa's Book," I never imagined how much I would enjoy writing and how many other researchers would contact me about my research.  I've noticed it gets a little confusing for my family to have both sides of my family combined in one big blog- so I will keep "My Papa's Book" for my mother's Chandler line. I have started a new blog for the Ellenburg side of the family.

What should I call the blog about my father's side of the family?  I tried to call it "with all my heart" because that's what my grandmother would say to me every time she told me she loved me but that name was already taken. I thought about my favorite memories of my grandparents and had a hard time narrowing it down to just a few.  The same words kept popping in my mind as possible names.

The first word was "banjo" because I can't see a banjo today without thinking of Grandpapa.  I'm sure he never had any idea that the times he played his banjo for me would make such an impression.

When I think of my grandmother I always remember the quilts she made for me and my sisters and later for my daughter.  I still can taste her perfect biscuits and continue to try to make them myself- they are close but still not as good as her biscuits.  One of my favorite memories of Grandmimi was when my sisters and I went to spend a few days with her and she taught us how to make baby dolls.  We stayed up so late making those three babies and I cherish both the doll and the memories.  Hence the name "Banjos and Baby Dolls." I think it's time to teach my baby girl how to sew her own baby doll.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I've joined "Find A Grave"

I have recently joined "Find A Grave" and have started adding tombstone information and photographs for my ancestors' graves. 

Here's the link so that you can check it out!

I have also added a "Find A Grave" search box at the bottom of the main page of this blog that will allow you to view all my "Find A Grave" Submissions.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- The Ellenburg Family

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These are my great-great-grandparents, George Washington Ellenburg and Rachel M. Watkins Ellenburg and their children.
Back Row (standing): Dovey, Bessie (my great-grandmother), Luther, Cancie
Front Row: Sibbie, George is holding Susie, Rachel is holding Lewis

This picture was taken around 1910 in the area on the boundary lines of Rabun County, Georgia and Macon County, North Carolina, near the area of Sky Valley, GA . 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday

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For my first "Treasure Chest Thursday," I thought about all my family's treasures. The one thing most important to me, is how I cherish the time we have been able to spend together. I treasure this picture of 4 generations together and know that one day my daughter will cherish this picture together with me, her grandfather and great-grandmother. We miss them both very much.