Saturday, June 19, 2010

Can You Hear The Sounds in Texas?

Can you hear the roaring thunder of horses hooves as two thousand riders rode into town on a hot dusty day. They gathered our ancestors y'all and told them the good news! Belated as it was, good news none the less:
By General Order number 3 that stated: 'The People of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.
They were Free! Free, Free, Free!
Can you hear the sounds of broken chains y'all? Free, Free, Free!

Can you hear the sounds of the voices y'all, and the thumping sounds of dancing on those dusty roads and on those old wooden floors . Free, Free, Free!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yep Mentor You Deserve A Hand Clap !

Yes, This is my Mentor!!!

A trusted and selfless person who has experience and will guide and steer you in the right direction.

A person who has passion and wants you to succeed in what ever your endeavor is.

Someone who has loads and loads on their plate but will take time to give you a nudge when you need it. Is patient when you are about to pull your hair out because you can't find what you need, or you have to be told over and over how to do certian tasks.

People generally associate a mentor with helping a younger person,but being such an old biddy, I have needed mentoring too.
Whether my mentor knew it or not I latched on to them. Wham!! before they knew it, I made them my mentor (lol)

So many roads,twists and turns to follow:

I have been tormented on which path to pick when coming to a fork or a pass in the road or even an ole dusty trail.

Then along comes my mentor, with a "did you look here?",or "try this link"and an amazing gesture when they tell you "I found this document and I thought you might need it for your records...
A mentor will do the happy dance with you when you have found something small or something monumental concerning your ancestors.

I am so amazed at the kindness! Those times have given me the where-with-all and have demanded me to give back what has been passed on to me.

I know also that a simple thank you is not nearly enough to say to those who have helped me along the way.
However,my heart is filled with a million thank-you's and my mentor(s) deserve every last one of them.
So for all those million thank-you's I have in reserve, I have taken and rolled them all up into one big Thank You!

Now, back to my research!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Enveloping The Past To Secure The Future

There is no telling what you can come up with when you are looking for treasures. I was talking to Luckey from OurGeorgiaRoots and found her ancestor was Thomas Dorsey: The music man Thomas Dorsey!! I had been listening to some of his compositions for years.
I remembered that I had seen something in and old logbook that reminded me of Mr. Dorsey.

These worn envelopes found in an old church log book from Little Flock Baptist Church was an indication to me that the church knew good music, and invested in it to carry on their music ministry just before and after hearing good preaching. Thomas A Dorsey was the all time Father of Black Gospel music.

He wrote and sang "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" my all time favorite. Others from this list are "The Little Wooden Church On The Hill" and "Jesus Lives In Me".

You could get all these songs from 10 cents to 25 cents. Sheet music was mostly what was ordered in those backwoods churches. I can see them now playing that piano, shaking that tambourine and stomping their feet to the beat.

Now here is another set of worn envelopes found in that same old church log book. It says to me that that my grandparents and the church Community of Little Flock Baptist Church in Grimes County Texas thought about the future and put savings into a Retirement fund to have a better life.
I would also imagine that more than a few of my relatives knew the Boyd's in one fashion or another.

Boyd came to Navasota Texas right after emancipation from Mississippi. He eventually taught himself to read and write and found a church home that he eventually joined called Hopewell Baptist Church in 1869.
R.H. Boyd helped to organize the Texas Negro Baptist Convention. He also organized and served as pastor to several churches in Texas. He later moved to Tennessee where he founded the R.H. Boyd Publishing Company. After his death his son Henry took over the helm.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

1880 Agri-Census: Oh Mary, I Can't Tell You Not To Weep:

I had been looking and looking for my 3rd great-grandparents Louis and Mary White Cooper together in the 1870 Census in Grimes County Texas but with no success. I did find my grams in 1880 as a widow, and have been linking her children with wives and husbands since then.
I finally, without hurting these tired soles of mine, jumped for joy when I ran across the 1880 Agricultural Census taken in Anderson, Grimes County, Texas on June 1st 1880, and saw her name, Mary Cooper!!!
I would assume that she was a widow on this date because she is the only one listed on the sheet with the Cooper name. Two other persons listed are Henry Mathis the next door neighbor and Robert Parham the son in law of Louis Cooper's daughter Lydia.

According to the census my ggg-grandmother rented shares of land for a portion of the profits totaling 30 acres of pasture or meadow land,and another 100 acres of mowed lawn which probably was used to gather hay. The value of the land, including the fencing was around 150 dollars,and another 80 dollars for the livestock.
She didn't have use of a horse but she did have 4 oxen that she used to plow. I sure wish I knew who helped her with these chores. She had one son Jerry Cooper and the rest were girls.

Oh Mary, I can't tell you not to weep! My mind is visually looking at you now and I don't know how you did it. Why did you have to become a widow now with all those mouths to feed and only one man to help you work the fields.
I know your girls had to help but my God, what you all went through. Cutting all that wood into cords and still had to split with someone else. Sheesh!!

I am also wondering what may have bought you the most money. I see you had only 12 chickens and 12 other types of poultry. It may have been turkeys or those little guinea hens. They only produced 12 dozen eggs in 1879. Well, you did plant acres of Indian corn and oats,Canada Peas and dry beans to acquire a little more money.

Oh Mary, I can't tell you not to moan either! I am hoping that all the things you needed to take care of your family was at home on your own piece of land. Things like a little garden, some cows for fresh milk and a few pigs or hogs. Maybe a pond out back where there was plenty of catfish and sunfish. And trees galore with peaches and pecans and black walnuts.
And above all, I am wishing that you had piece of mind My dear Mary, where you could look out at night and know your children were safe and sound.