Archive | April 2009

Goin’ Home

Growing up in the mountains of southwest Virginia, I was forced by my daddy to listen to country music. Well, I suppose he didn’t force me. I could ‘a gone outside to play, but when he was home, I ‘spect I hung out with him a lot. He was gone so much workin’ on the railroad, and when he wasn’t gone workin’ on the railroad, he was gone drinkin’. But when he was around, he listened to country music on the only television station that we could pick up, way out there on 460. Now his music was not like what you see on the Country Music Award Show today. Daddy’s favorite was pure heart-breakin’ back woods mountain music. He would watch the Porter Wagoner Show when Porter had all the bling of a modern day rapper. Standing on the Grand Ole Opry stage, Porter showed off his glitterery wagon-wheel covered jacket and sang along side the big-haired blonde, Dolly Pardon. They sang that ole “cryin’ in yer beer” type music until it would make my tender ears bleed in agony. Whispering Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, and the local guy, Cecil Surrett were talented men to my daddy. There was even a band of young fellows that my brother sarcastically referred to as SALVATION. I think that was because they always sang that salvation song and whined the notes right through their nose. My daddy loved those twangy songs.

With all that said, you understand that I have very little use for my dad’s country music. Strangely enough, when I hear those familiar instruments of mountain music, I long to go back. Back to Virginia. Back to a time when I didn’t know anything but that. I am transported to places where people put a smile on my face and warm fuzzies in my heart. I am drawn to the mountains where I was born and raised. Mom always said that I ‘got above my raisin’ and maybe I did in some ways. But I am always proud of where I came from. That is what makes me who I am.

In my continued search for family history, I’m starting another journey tomorrow, back to the mountains. Excitement is building as I anticipate visiting Mom, driving around those winding creek bed roads and meeting more cousins that I never knew before. As we chat about our ancestors and visit even more cemeteries, I feel a closer bond to my parents and grandparents and even the valley underneath East River Mountain where I was born.

I’ll try to post along the way, so watch for more pictures, adventures and family ties, and pray that I find some snake boots somewhere to protect myself from those slithering rattlesnakes as they lay sunnin’. Hopefully they won’t mind if I interrupt their solitude, just for a moment.

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Goin’ Home

Growing up in the mountains of southwest Virginia, I was forced by my daddy to listen to country music. Well, I suppose he didn’t force me. I could ‘a gone outside to play, but when he was home, I ‘spect I hung out with him a lot. He was gone so much workin’ on the railroad, and when he wasn’t gone workin’ on the railroad, he was gone drinkin’. But when he was around, he listened to country music on the only television station that we could pick up, way out there on 460. Now his music was not like what you see on the Country Music Award Show today. Daddy’s favorite was pure heart-breakin’ back woods mountain music. He would watch the Porter Wagoner Show when Porter had all the bling of a modern day rapper. Standing on the Grand Ole Opry stage, Porter showed off his glitterery wagon-wheel covered jacket and sang along side the big-haired blonde, Dolly Pardon. They sang that ole “cryin’ in yer beer” type music until it would make my tender ears bleed in agony. Whispering Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, and the local guy, Cecil Surrett were talented men to my daddy. There was even a band of young fellows that my brother sarcastically referred to as SALVATION. I think that was because they always sang that salvation song and whined the notes right through their nose. My daddy loved those twangy songs.

With all that said, you understand that I have very little use for my dad’s country music. Strangely enough, when I hear those familiar instruments of mountain music, I long to go back. Back to Virginia. Back to a time when I didn’t know anything but that. I am transported to places where people put a smile on my face and warm fuzzies in my heart. I am drawn to the mountains where I was born and raised. Mom always said that I ‘got above my raisin’ and maybe I did in some ways. But I am always proud of where I came from. That is what makes me who I am.

In my continued search for family history, I’m starting another journey tomorrow, back to the mountains. Excitement is building as I anticipate visiting Mom, driving around those winding creek bed roads and meeting more cousins that I never knew before. As we chat about our ancestors and visit even more cemeteries, I feel a closer bond to my parents and grandparents and even the valley underneath East River Mountain where I was born.

I’ll try to post along the way, so watch for more pictures, adventures and family ties, and pray that I find some snake boots somewhere to protect myself from those slithering rattlesnakes as they lay sunnin’. Hopefully they won’t mind if I interrupt their solitude, just for a moment.

On This Day in 1933

76 Years Ago Today
April 29, 1933

My 8th cousin, Hobart Channing Brooks, was born to Thomas Starling and Virginia (Austin) Brooks. His great grandfather, John Jeremiah Brooks is my 2nd great grandfather.

Hobart s/o Thomas Starling Brooks
Thomas s/o Joseph B. Brooks (Joseph is brother to my g-gf, Wm Brooks)
Joseph s/o John Jeremiah Brooks
John s/o Constantanople Brooks
Constant s/o William Brooks (1745-1844)

Happy Birthday Carolyn

64 Years Ago Today
April 28, 1945

Carolyn, is this you with your Mom? I think so.

Too bad I don’t have a picture of you holding that black snake by the tail when we picnicked at Falls Mills Dam. I hope you have a wonderful day!
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199 Years Ago Today
April 28, 1810

So many years ago in Rockbridge County, VA, my 1st cousin, 5x removed was born to Jacob and Nancy Ann (Dougherty) Leece. Sallie married Johnny Powers before 1833 and they had twelve children.

  1. Nancy Jane Powers
  2. Elizabeth Powers
  3. Calvin Morgan Powers
  4. Francis Marion Powers
  5. James Harvey Powers
  6. William Patton Powers
  7. Charles Carter Powers
  8. Margaret “Peg” Powers
  9. Thomas Jefferson Powers
  10. Mary Powers
  11. Henry Powers
  12. Louvisa Powers (m. John Henry Jessee)

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87 Years Ago Today
April 28, 1922 – 1977

My 2nd cousin, Doris Grizzle was born to Stacy J. and Maude L. (Jessee) Grizzle. Her grandfather was William Albert Jesee, 1st son of Nancy C. “Nannie” Jessee and Abner Smith.

OOPS! Happy Belated Birthday

40 Years Ago
Yesterday
April 27, 1969

Happy Birthday Kurt, my nephew in-law. I think it’s been awhile since I received a picture. Smile, Click and send me a new one:)


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199 Years Ago Today
April 28, 1810

So many years ago in Rockbridge County, VA, my 1st cousin, 5x removed was born to Jacob and Nancy Ann (Dougherty) Leece. Sallie married Johnny Powers before 1833 and they had twelve children.

  1. Nancy Jane Powers
  2. Elizabeth Powers
  3. Calvin Morgan Powers
  4. Francis Marion Powers
  5. James Harvey Powers
  6. William Patton Powers
  7. Charles Carter Powers
  8. Margaret “Peg” Powers
  9. Thomas Jefferson Powers
  10. Mary Powers
  11. Henry Powers
  12. Louvisa Powers (married John Henry Jessee on my mother’s side of the family)

On This Day in 1893

116 Years Ago Today
April 26, 1893

Perlina Belle Gregory (b. 1871), my 1st cousin, 3x removed, married Thomas L. Shufflebarger in Bland County, VA. Perlina was one of ten children born to Thompson Edward Gregory and Martha J. Steele. Thomas was the son of Newton and Ann Shufflebarger.

Perlina and Thom had six children.

  1. Curtis L. Shufflebarger (known by many as a Tazewell County banker)
  2. Gladys B. Shufflebarger
  3. Clyde W. Shufflebarger
  4. Edith M. Shufflebarger
  5. Forrest Gregory Shufflebarger
  6. Thomas Garnett Shufflebarger

On This Day in 1867

142 Years Ago Today
April 26, 1867

My great granduncle, Hugh C. Davis was one of fifteen children born to Thomas Jefferson and Sarah Ann (Combs) Davis. See February posts for siblings. Hugh’s mother was thought to be a full blooded Indian, but I have found no definitive documentation. Hugh married Mary Casly Strouth on April 13, 1892 in Russell County, VA.

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91 Years Ago Today
April 26, 1918 – September 28, 1998

My 1st cousin, 2x removed Violet Brooks, was one of eleven chidren born to Benjamin and Haley Victoria (Thacker) Brooks. See previous posts for siblings. Violet married Carson Smith and they had four children.

  1. Roger
  2. Harold
  3. Thurman
  4. Leonard