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Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Amy Susan Floyd Loftis

The ancestor I am writing about this time was my great-grandmother, Amy Susan Floyd Loftis and who I called Mamaw Loftis.  She was my Mom’s grandmother.  This story is going to be a little longer than most of my post, but I think it will keep you reading until the end.  Amy’s life wasn’t easy as a young woman and as a married woman, but as a child from what I have been told she was happy go lucky and her family was a little more well off than most.   Her Daddy ran a threshing machine and dug wells in Western Kentucky and across the river in Southern Illinois with his youngest son, Luther Floyd.  They all attended church at Sisco Chapel in Crittenden County, Kentucky.  Amy’s parents and her father’s parents were all buried there as well.  Amy died when I was ten years old and I always thought she was so pretty.  Her hair, makeup and clothes were always just right and we would all get a kick out of her riding sideways on my Daddy’s motorcycle when she came up to Henderson to visit, she never straddle it.  I can still hear her little giggle as they road up and down the street in front of our house.

I thought I had a picture of her on that motorcycle, but if I do I can’t find it now, I know there was some old movie film with her riding on it at one time, hopefully I can run across that one of these days too.  The following picture of Mamaw Loftis, was taken in the early 1960’s when she would have been coming to our house and riding that motorcycle.  The next picture of her was probably taken in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  The next two are of the old Sisco Chapel Cemetery, that I took a couple of years ago when I was back home for a visit, the church house is no longer standing, but I have this old picture of the church at Sisco Chapel, but not sure where it came from.  It must have been in some of my Mamaw, Daisy’s old pictures.

Amy Susan Floyd was born March 10, 1892 in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky the daughter of John Henry Floyd and Anna Susan Davis.  Amy was the third of their six children and she had an older half-brother from her mother as well.  These children were the following, Volentine ‘Vol’ Hall Floyd, 1887-1997, who was married to Martha Ethel Lewis and Ruby E. Armstrong; Eliza I. Floyd, 1889-1968, who was married to Bartley James Sullenger; Telia Jane Floyd, 1895-1961, who was married to George Iles Yates; Sarah Elizabeth Yates, 1901-2003, who was married to James Calvin Yates; Luther E. Floyd, 1904-1960, who was married to Imogene Virginia Walker and Amy’s half-brother, John Franklin Durfee, 1883-1959, who was married to Ethel Mae McCormick, they lived over in Saline County, Illinois.

I don’t have very many pictures of this family has per my Mamaw, Daisy, there had been a house fire at her grandparents’ home when she was a child and all the pictures and everything else had been lost.  She said she remembered seeing an oval framed picture of her grandma, Anna Susan Davis Floyd that hung in the front room and she remembered seeing some Civil War era pictures of other family members who were in uniform but she didn’t recall who they were.  I have some very old faded pictures that someone had just Xeroxed and sent to me.   The following is the only picture I have of Amy’s Dad, John Henry Floyd, I would love to be able to find an original of this one to scan.  I don’t have one of her mother, Anna Susan Davis Floyd, but I sure wish I did.  My great-aunt, Marguerite knew her and always told me that my daughter, Rachel looked just like her.

My Mamaw, Daisy, told me that her grandpa, John Henry Floyd, had arthritis and walked with two canes all doubled over and that his mother, Eliza Parker Floyd, also had arthritis and was bedridden most of her older life until her death, because of it.  That probably explains why he is setting in a chair in the above picture.  My Mamaw had arthritis real bad as well and she use to say, “Those Itis boys are mean, but Arthur is the meanest of them all”.

Not sure of everyone in the following picture, but back row from left to right: Amy Floyd Loftis, Eliza Floyd Sullenger, Ethel Lewis Floyd and I am not sure who the next two ladies are, front row left to right: Imogene Walker Floyd, Sarah Floyd Yates and Telia Floyd Yates.  If anyone knows the two short ladies on the back row, or if I have any of the ones I do have named wrong please let me know, thanks.  Well it only took about 30 minutes after I posted this story and I had the lady on the top row, last one on the right identified.  She was Mattie Ernie Floyd Burklow, 1885-1967, she was a first cousin to the Floyd sisters.  Mattie's granddaughter, Debbie, showed this to her Mom, Dodie and she said, that's my Mom.

Besides by Mamaw Loftis, I also knew her brother, Vol and her sister Sarah.  I use to call and talked to Aunt Sarah several times over the years asking her family history questions.  She also came and visited my Mamaw, Daisy, a few times as well, and thankfully I was there a few times myself to ask her questions in person.  The first picture is of Eliza Floyd Sullenger and her half-brother, John Durfee, next is Luther Floyd, Vol Floyd. Eliza Floyd Sullenger and Amy Floyd Loftis, and last Sarah Floyd Yates.  Aunt Sarah died the day after her 102nd birthday in Terra Haute, Indiana in 2003, she was alert and active right up to the end.

Amy lived a typical life for the area and the time that she grew up in.  Her parents were well liked in the community, they lived a comfortable life.  Even though most young girls in the area were married by the time they were 18 years’ old, Amy was not.  She was a pretty young woman and for the longest time I always thought it was strange that she did not get married until she was 24 years old, when she married my great-grandfather, Jasper Guy Loftis, 1895-1945, on January 10, 1917 in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky.  They became the parents of eight children, namely, Daisy Elnora Loftis, 1917-2006, married Ermon Edward Fraley (They were my Mom’s parents & my grandparents.); J B Loftis, 1918-2004, married Dorothy Helen Beard (My Daddy’s big sister, so they were my Mom’s Uncle & Aunt and then her brother-in-law & sister-in-law after she married my Daddy in 1957 J); Myrtle Mae Loftis, 1920-1998, married James Robert Moreland; Christine Virginia Loftis, 1921-2015, married Joseph Alvey; Willow Belle Loftis, 1924-1986, married George Watson; Dorothy Elizabeth Loftis, 1927-1929; Bobbie Laverne Loftis, 1930-1975, married Paul Gregory; and Norma Jean Loftis who is still living.

I only have two pictures of my great-grandpa, Jasper Guy Loftis, aka Jack, one of just him and one of him and Amy with my Mamaw, Daisy when she was just a baby, they are the following:

The following picture is of Amy with five of her daughters, from left to right: Daisy, Bobbie, Norma Jean, Willow Belle and Christine, Amy is setting in front of them.  This picture was probably taken in the late 1950’s.

Amy’s husband, who most called Jack was a spar miner working in Western Kentucky.  I know he worked at the Klondyke and Bonanza Mines, but unfortunately he was a bit of a drinker.  My Mamaw said she loved her Daddy dearly, but when he was on one of his drinking binges she and the rest of her siblings tried to just stay out of his way.  Mamaw told me that her Momma took the brunt of his actions when he was drinking.  Life for the most part after Amy was married was not pleasant and times were hard.  Amy took in sewing, laundry and other odds and ends jobs trying to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.  I do believe all of Amy’s kids made it through the eighth grade, but they did not have the money for them to go any further in their schooling.  Plus, their Daddy thought school was a waste of time.

I started actively working on my family history when I was around 25 years old.  I had helped my Dad quite a bit when I was younger, but during high school and the early part of my marriage I had pretty much stopped.  When my two oldest girls were little, and my third was just a baby, I was bored and looking for stuff to do.  My husband was working full time and going to school full time and I was wanting something to do when the girls were down for naps to occupy my time.  I started organizing my husband’s family history and then I ask my Dad for copies of what he had gathered over the years.  Here it is over 30 years later and I am still looking for family, this is a very additive hobby by the way.  😊

The reason I tell you this is because when I started searching for family I started with my Mom’s side of the family, because both her parents were still living.  So, I called my Mamaw, Daisy, and told her what I was doing and I had some questions for her.  From then on I would call at least once a month with more questions and sometimes Mamaw would call me because she had remembered something or someone I had been asking about.

Anyway, I was wanting to make sure I had all her sisters and her brother’s information right, because I thought I knew all of them.  There was my Mamaw as the oldest, then her only brother J B, then Aunt Chris, Aunt Willow Belle, Aunt Bobbie and Aunt Norma Jean.  I knew there had been a baby sister to die, but I didn’t know her name.  I knew these people, my Mamaw’s siblings, I saw them many times over the years.  Mamaw gave me all their birth dates and told me her baby sisters name which was Dorothy Elizabeth.  Then she said you don’t have my sister, Mae.  I ask if she had died when she was a baby too.  Mamaw said no and then she told me the following story.

Mae had meet a young man who lived in the area and they had been dating or at least she had been sneaking off to date him, because her Daddy refused to let her see him.  They wanted to get married and her Daddy absolutely forbid it.  He was a nice young man, he had a job, but Papaw Loftis wouldn’t let them for whatever reason unknown to my Mamaw or anyone else for that matter, get married.  So, what does a 20 and a 17-year-old do, that are in love, they run off and get married.  The thing is she never went back home; her Dad would not let her.  So, they left Kentucky, Mamaw had always heard that they went to Missouri and then out west to Washington or Oregon possibly.  Mamaw said her Momma, Amy, received a few letters over the years up into the late 1940’s and she knew Mae had a couple of babies, but other than that nothing.  Wow, I was in shock, I had never heard about her, none of her siblings had ever said anything about her.

Then Mamaw really shocked me when she said, “I also have an older half-sister”.  Wow, you could have knocked me over!  A child of your Dad’s I ask?  No, Momma’s daughter, said Mamaw.  Mamaw said, “Do you think you could find them?  Momma always wondered what happen to them.  She would say, I bet they hate me and Marguerite probably hates me for sure”.  My Papaw Loftis did not want Marguerite around, because apparently, she reminded him that Amy had been with someone before him.  A silly thing to impose on a child, but that is what happen.  Marguerite lived with her Mom’s parents, but when she was five her grandma had a sudden heart attack and died just two weeks’ shy of her 60th birthday.

Marguerite was shuffled from one aunt to another after that and Amy even had her for a short while, until Jack told her she had to go somewhere else.  By the time Marguerite was 14 she was working in town at a store, but in 1930 when she was 16 she was listed on the census, living with her grandfather, John Floyd, again.  Mamaw said that was probably the last time she saw Marguerite was in the early 1930’s.  Mamaw, said she was probably around 12 years old before she knew that Marguerite was even her sister.  She heard she had married Curtis Rushing, a local boy, but she had heard nothing about her since that time, she just knew that they had left Kentucky, but she did not know to where.

Mae and Marguerite both were gone from Crittenden County by 1940, and no one had seen are heard from them since.  I was hot on the trail.  I was hoping I could find them and surprise my grandma at her 50th wedding anniversary party in 1988.  I had been looking for over two years by this time.  1988 came and went and still I had not found either of them, but I had not given up on the search.  My youngest daughter was born in 1988, Amy was on my mind a lot and so we named our youngest, Amy, after my Mamaw Loftis.  My Mamaw, Daisy, had also named one of her daughters Amy.  Both Amy’s giggle and smile like their namesake too.

It was two years later in 1990 and we were living in Arizona at the time.  I was still digging looking for ancestors and keeping my eyes open for clues as to where Mae and Marguerite may have gone.  Were they even married to the same guys, had they passed away, it had now been over 50 years since anyone had seen are heard from them.  The Social Security Death Index came out while we were living in Arizona and the CD’s came to my house because I was working at the local Family History Center at the time.  I called our IT guy and ask when he could load the software so I could start looking.  I was new at computers so I did not know how to do that back then.  He said he could meet me at the library the next morning.  I called my Mamaw and said, “Do you know about how old James and Curtis would be” and she gave me approximate dates.  I did not get any sleep that night, because I knew that the break I was looking for would be somewhere on those CD’s.

I got the three older girls off to school and Roy off to work and then got Amy dressed and she and I headed to the library.  My heart was racing!  Our IT guy got the software in and left. I typed in Curtis Rushing nothing came up that matched with what we were looking for.  Next Marguerite Rushing again nothing.  I typed in Mae Moreland, nothing.  I typed in James Moreland and got over five pages of James Moreland’s.  I narrowed down the search on James and knocked it down to one full page, so I narrowed down some more.  I called my Mamaw again and double checked on how old she thought James was.  She said, “well now that I think on it, I believe he was in my grade at school, so he has to be around my age”.  I popped in those parameters.  Three James Moreland’s came up that might work, but which one was the one I was looking for.  I looked all three over, two had been dead for several years, but one had only been dead for a few months.

My heart was racing again, I knew I had found the right guy and if he and Mae were still married when he died, then there should be a phone still in his name.  I loaded Amy back up in the car and drove back to our house a couple of miles away, no cell phones then.  I called information and ask for a listing in Apopka, Florida for a James Moreland.  They gave me the number and the goose bumps got higher, then I realized it was time for the girls to get home from school.  So, I waited until Roy got home from work and we had supper and I could ask him what he thought I should say if indeed Mae was on the other end of that line
It must have been a Friday because I called the next morning and everyone was at home.  We had the girls go outside to play so it was quiet.  Roy set there while I dialed the number, it rang about two or three times and then a woman said hello.  My heart kind of fell because it was a young sounding voice.  But I ask any way, can I speak to Mae Moreland, please?  The lady on the phone said, “sure let me get her for you”.  My heart just about stopped!!! 

The next thing I hear is the sweetest sounding little old lady voice, saying, “Hello”.

I was having a hard time breathing or thinking it seemed, but I finally said, you don’t know me but my name is Vickie Thompson and I live in Arizona, but I am originally from Kentucky.  She was rather quite after I said Kentucky and for a moment I thought she might have set the phone down.  I mean after all she was 70 years old, I did not want to give her a heart attack.  She asks me what I was wanting and I said, “I believe you maybe my grandmother’s sister”.  Suddenly she was crying and saying she’s alive, she’s alive.  It was quiet again for just a moment and then she said, “What is your grandmas name?” and I said Daisy and she started crying again.  Then she started rattling off all her other sibling’s names and asking about them and where they lived and how could she get in touch with them.  I had to tell her that two of her sisters had passed away and she cried again.  Then she was quiet and said in a rather soft voice, “Do you know when my Momma died”?  I was able to say to her, “Yes Ma’am, she passed when I was ten in 1968”.  She said, “I never knew when my Momma died.”   She had heard about her Daddy dying in 1945 though.

She gave the phone to her daughter, Judy, the lady who had answered the phone originally, so that I could give her every one’s addresses and phone numbers.  She wanted to talk to all of them as soon as she good.  The following year they had a big family get together in Kentucky in June of 1991, unfortunately I was unable to attend and I never got a chance to meet Aunt Mae, before she passed away in 1998.  Here are some pictures from that gathering.  The first one from left to right is Mae Loftis Moreland, J B Loftis, Christine Loftis Alvey & Daisy Loftis Fraley.  Next is Mae with her baby sister, Norma Jean Loftis.  The last picture is of Mae with my Mamaw, Daisy, when my Uncle Guy took her and Papaw, down to Florida not to long after I had found her.  Just look at the smiles on all their faces.  I am so happy I could find Aunt Mae and that they were all able to get together once more.

Just six days after finding Mae in Florida, I found Marguerite in Illinois.  Marguerite’s story and finding out who her Daddy was will be at least one, possibly two separate blog posts.

Amy Susan Floyd Loftis, passed away from a stroke at the hospital in Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky and was laid to rest at the Union Baptist Church Cemetery in Union, Crittenden County, Kentucky.  Her daughter, Dorothy Elizabeth and her husband, Jack are buried by her side.

Blue forget-me-nots play a part in the next blog stories I will be posting and that is why I am saying the following to my Mamaw Loftis.  Amy, you were not forgotten, not by me or any of your other descendants.  I remember you and your little giggle and setting in your lap when I was small.  I remember when my Mamaw, your daughter Daisy, heard about your passing and how sad she was to lose you.  I found your two missing daughters, though it took me several years.  They had a good life and they had not forgotten you either, but were just lost for a time.  Now you are all together again in heaven and things from the past are forgotten and remembered no more.  May you always smile and giggle like you did when I was a little child and always know that I will never forget-you-not.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

James Tilford Elder

Well I am finding it hard to find the time to set down and write a story about an ancestor, however, I am trying to work on that more.  The man I am writing about this time was from my Papaw Beard’s side of the family and was his grandmother, Louwanda Bigham Elder Daniel’s, brother, so that makes him my second great-granduncle.  Papaw Beard never knew any of his grandparents at least none that he ever mentioned.  Only one grandmother was living when he was born and she died in 1905 and he had a great-grandmother who died in 1903, but I never heard him mention either one of them.  All the rest were dead long before he was born.  I knew all four of my grandparents, three great-grandparents and two great-great-grandparents.  I think it is rather sad that my Papaw Beard did not have the opportunity to know any of his grandparents.  My Daddy was the same way only one grandmother was living when my Daddy was born, but she lived in California and he was in Kentucky, so he never met her before she died in 1939.  That grandmother was Rose Etta Daniel Beard, the niece to the man I am writing about this time.

So on with my little bio about James Tilford Elder who was born December 29, 1850 in Crittenden County, Kentucky.  James was the son of Samuel Henry Elder, 1808-1877, and Sarah Catherine Bigham, 1825-1903, who were married in 1849.  James was the oldest child of the six children of his parents.  The other five children were the following, Newton J. Elder, 1852-1855; Eliza Eunice Elder, 1855-1902; she married Thomas Jefferson Daniel in 1871; Louwanda Bigham Elder, 1857-1880, she married a younger brother of Tom Daniel, named Collin Graves Daniel in 1873 (these were my 2nd great-grandparents); Sue Anthony Elder, 1864-1957, she married Samuel L. Gentry in 1884; and her twin, Sarah Henry Elder, 1864-1921, she married Samuel David Patmore in 1880.   All the girls but Eliza were given middle names that were some of their ancestor’s surnames.

James’ father, Samuel Henry Elder had been married previously to Alsinda G. Hart, 1820-1847, in 1840 and they had five children together before Alsinda passed away.  These five children, half-siblings to James were the following, William A. Elder, 1841-????; Harvey Lycurgus Elder, 1843-1900, he married Sarah Jane Vaughn in 1874; L. L. L. Elder, 1845-1880, I am not sure what all those L’s stood for; Mary Jane Elder, 1846-1922, she married John W. Tiller in 1859; and Esther A. Elder, 1846-1848.

A lot of the Elder family is buried in the Old Marion Cemetery just as you are going out of town in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky.  The tombstones are faded and some are hard to read, but the Elder’s and several others buried in this cemetery are related to me in some way, mainly from my Daddy’s side of the family.

The following two pictures are the only ones I have of James’ parents, Samuel & Sarah.  My Dad received these from someone years ago.  Samuel is when he is younger and Sarah’s is when she is older.  I wish I could see the full picture of Sarah it looks like it could have been a group picture as I can see someone’s fingers right behind her on the chair.

In 1875 on November 10th James was married to Mary Elizabeth Dowell who was his second cousin one generation removed from their common ancestors, on her mother’s side of the family.  The Elder’s and Dowell’s were both well-known and highly respected members of the community there in Crittenden County, Kentucky.  Mary was the daughter of Judge, Robert Alexander Dowell and Mary Elizabeth Hill.  The following is the only picture I have of Mary Elizabeth Dowell Elder, 1861-1951, and it is when she is older, probably long after James had died, as she was a widow for almost 28 years.

James and Mary became the parents of nine children, five boys and four girls, all lived to adulthood except one.  These children were the following, Robert Henry Elder, 1877-1953, (of Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho was a Democrat, Lawyer; member of the Democratic National Committee from Idaho, 1912-28; delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 1928, 1936, 1940, 1944 (alternate; member, Committee on Rules and Order of Business), 1948 (alternate), a Presbyterian and a member of the Rotary, Elks and Freemasons); Edgar Samuel Elder, 1880-1945, he was also a lawyer like his brother Robert; Zannie Earnest Elder, 1882-1887; Emil Elder, 1884-1963; Kathleen Alverta Elder, 1887-1967; Homer Hylton Elder, 1889-1940; Faye Valeta Elder, 1892-1983; Kaye Valera Elder, 1892-1982; and Marie Etta Elder, 1895-1987.

James lived and farmed in Crittenden County, Kentucky but he also was a singer and a Sunday School worker.  From the Crittenden Press in 1881 we read, “Mr. J. Tilford Elder, will go to teach a singing school, Mr. Elder is one of the best singers in the county.”  His obituary said that, “Mr. Elder was a great church and Sunday school worker and was for a number of years County President of the Kentucky Sunday School Association.”  From what my Daddy told me about James and others from this side of this family, was that several them were what was called, Singing Evangelists.  Singing Evangelists would go around to the churches in the area and sing praise as their way of teaching and showing their devotion to God and Jesus Christ.  My Daddy and my girls must have inherited their singing abilities from this side of the family.  The following picture of James was probably taken during this time, while he and his family were still living in Kentucky.  He was sure a good-looking man.

In about 1896, James, his wife and eight children along with others from Crittenden County left and moved to Kansas, west of Wichita and east of Dodge City.  James and his family were living in the township of Wellsford in Kiowa County in 1900.  I am not sure why so many people went to Kansas from Crittenden County in the 1890’s but there were several of them that did so.   Mary’s parents and most of her siblings also moved to Kansas and her parents, Robert and Mary died there in Kiowa County in 1917 and 1907 respectively.   James and his family lived there in Kansas until about 1908, when they left and continued west moving to Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho.  Why Kansas and why Idaho?  Again, I do not know that answer, one of these days when I have more than a few minutes I will need to do some digging and figure out why they went to Kansas and then on to Idaho.  There may have been land opportunities there that weren’t available anymore in Kentucky.  It could have even been for more job opportunities.  If someone reading this knows please let me know, I would sure appreciate it.  The following are pictures of Mary’s parents, Robert and Mary Dowell.

By the 1910 census we find James and family living in the Kootenai Precinct of Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho and they are still living there as well in 1920.   In 1910 the census says James has his own income and in 1920 the census says James is a retired farmer.  James’ two oldest sons Robert and Edgar were both lawyers and James and Mary are living next door to Robert in both the 1910 and 1920 census.  The following picture of James is the only other one I have and he does, to me anyway, look older than the previous picture but I am not sure when either picture was taken.

James did not live long past the 1920 census dying on June 14, 1922 in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho of pernicious anemia, a condition that occurs when your body can’t absorb enough vitamin B-12, which is needed to make healthy red blood cells.  He was buried at the Forest Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene a few days later.  His wife Mary lived almost another 28 years, dying January 25, 1951 in Oakland, California but she was brought back to Coeur d’Alene and buried beside her husband James.

I don’t know a lot about James, his wife and children, but because James was a singer and because my Daddy was a singer, I thought I would write about him and his family.  I hope you enjoy this little bio.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Veldo Thomas Corley

I was trying to decide on a story to start off the year and my Daddy’s baby brother, Bobby Corley, just reminded us all a few days ago that Pa as we all called him would have been 108 years old on December 27th.   Pa, born Veldo Thomas Corley was born on December 27, 1908 in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky.  He was the son of William Thomas Corley and Susie Alice Chandler.  Pa was my Daddy’s step-father, and he was a wonderful man, father, grandfather and cook, you should have tasted his beans and cornbread they were heavenly.  The following picture is of Uncle Bobby with Mama Jessie and Pa Corley.

After Uncle Bobby wished Pa Corley happy birthday a few of my cousins commented on Uncle Bobby’s post on Facebook.  The following are some of the comments from my cousins.  From my sister, Kim, “Wow, Happy Birthday Pa Corley....still remember his story's and his pipe....”.  My cousin Cindee, “He told the best darn stories.  You know, I was grown before I knew he couldn't read.  And that pipe.... lOvE it!!!!  All these stories.... we all have such wonderful stories of our childhood with Pa Corley.  What wonderful memories that we can all share.... love it!!!  Somebody explain the bump on his head???”  My cousin Glendel, “Always told me momma Jesse hit him with a rolling pen not true I guess.  Celebrating his birthday with uncle lug and aunt poodie”.   My cousin Becky, “Ya he said she had a mean swing... Hey Glen I remember them lol!!!”  My sister, Deanna, “Happy Birthday Pa Corley... he always let me blow out his match after he lit his pipe.”  My cousin, Sheryl, “Awwww loved Pa Corley.  He was the best!”  My cousin, Donnie’s daughter, Lisa, “I still have a piece of drift wood he and I found in a creek bed when I was just a little girl, I have kept that treasure all these years.”   Finally, my cousin Jeanie, “Momma Jessie told him he'd lose his ass if it wasn't attached to him and he said, ‘no as soon as it hit the floor you'd have it boxed up and stuck under the bed’, God bless him he's loved.”  The following is a picture of Pa Corley with that famous pipe in his mouth and the lump on his forehead.

Their comments made me remember when I was taking an English class at Weber State University a few years ago.  I had to write a short story about a character from my family.  The first person I thought of was Pa Corley.  Everyone loved Pa, he was the best story teller you ever heard.  You could almost see and hear the people he was telling you about, and as a young child I would get up and look for them because I thought for sure they were coming right up the walk.  The following is the only picture I have of him when he was younger.  I just noticed after I put this picture here that Pa doesn’t have that lump on his head like he did in the older pictures I have of him.  Maybe Mama Jessie did hit him with a rolling pin like Glendel said.  J

Pa was the sixth of eight children, three boys and five girls and they all had unusual names, starting with the oldest Tela Ann, Zela Julia, Willie Glonzo, Waldo Ansel, Zelva Ollie, Cleo Josephine and Jewell Blondell.  As a kid I thought they had the funniest sounding names.  Pa married my Daddy’s mama, who we all called Mama Jessie, in 1943 after she had gotten a divorce from my grandpa.  Pa was 35 years old and nine years younger than Mama Jessie and had never been married before.  Mama Jessie had already been married four times and had ten children by the time she ran into Pa.   For some reason they went over to Charleston, Mississippi County, Missouri to get married.  I wish I had asked my Daddy why they went over there to get married, but unfortunately I never did.  Pa took in all her kids and excepted them all right away and even adopted Uncle Bobby and gave him his last name.  He was a special person and one we all loved very much.  I have always liked this picture of Pa Corley and Mama Jessie taken at Cave-in-Rock, Illinois just across the river from Crittenden County, Kentucky.

Pa never had any schooling and he could not read or write, but he did recognize his name when he saw it printed on something.  He worked in the spar and coal mines, did some fishing and also helped dig graves for extra money.  He may not have had any book learning, but he was smart in other ways.  Pa and Mama Jessie were married for 41 years when she died in 1984 and he died a little over two years later in 1986.  They are buried side by side at Sugar Grove Cemetery just outside Marion, Kentucky.

Pa was about 6 feet tall and weighed around 200 pounds and his hair was real thin and pretty much gray by the time I can remember.  He had this big lump on the side of his forehead and a big round face.  He was always smoking a pipe and he kept the tobacco pouch in his front pocket and would sometimes let us fill his pipe and tamp it down and light it for him.  He would even let us hold the pipe in our mouth while we lit it, when I did I guess I inhaled instead of exhaled and about choked to death, so from then on I would just fill and light it instead of holding it in my mouth.  The following is a picture taken at Mama Jessie’s 80th birthday party of Pa and Mama Jessie in 1979 and of them with nine of Mama Jessie’s ten kids, the only one not there was Uncle William.   Uncle George and Uncle Bobby are the only ones left now.

Well I have to tell you some of Pa Corley’s stories and some of the characters and their names that he came up with right off the top of his head.  He could keep us kids entertained for hours and kept us out of the house and quiet on the front porch.   Two of the characters in his stories that I remember the most were Uncle Lug and Aunt Pootie.  He could carry on conversations forever it seemed like, and you thought for sure they were setting on the porch with you.  Us kids would be setting in the swing or on the steps and Pa would be setting in the rocker on the front porch and acting like he was ignoring us.  He would just set there nice and quiet for quite a while and just slowly rock back and forth and smoke his pipe and just when we thought we weren’t going to get any stories he would up and just start talking to Uncle Lug or Aunt Pootie or both of them.

“Well, Uncle Lug did you finish gettin’ in your crops yesterday?  Yes sir, you got some mighty pretty soil, it’s so black and rich, ought to grow you a fine crop this year, yes sir re bob.  How is the young en’s doing?  Did Tater get over the croup?  What happen to Marcel?  I heard tell he run off with the Sisco girl from down in the bottoms and they got married over cross the river.  Is she in the family way like they all is saying?  Did you hear tell about Massa George over in Cave-in-Rock?  Heard tell he pert near blowed his big toe off when his shotgun went off when they was out coon hunting last weekend.  Well Aunt Pootie I didn’t see you comin’ up the walk, how you been doing?  You lookin’ right smart there, are you headed for town and some shopping?  Yes, Jessie done been feeling poorly for the past week and sure believe she could use some cheering up ‘bout now.  Why you just go on in and make yourself to home and I go fetch her fer ya.  Uncle Lug did I tell you I done some work for Gilbert’s again last week.  I done dug two graves again.  People been droppin’ like flies lately, pert near hear about two or three a week seems like lately.  This weather don’t clear up soon and warm us up they may be more we be a plantin’ before the summer even gets a going.”

Pa would go on forever and switch from talking to Uncle Lug or Aunt Pootie to one of their children that may have just shown up during one of his conversations.  He would get so caught up in his talking that sometimes I think he may have even forgotten he was telling us a story or that we were even still on the porch.  He was a sweet old man and he took all of his stepchildren and their children and treated us all like his own family.  Everybody ought to have a story teller in their family.  Someone who can keep you entertained and out of trouble and we had ours in Pa Corley.

I guess the holidays make you think back on those that have passed on and I have been thinking about a lot of people in the past few weeks.  I lost my Aunt Sis the week before Thanksgiving and since then we have lost more family members on my side and my husband’s side as well as a few friends.  One was 102 and she was ready to go home and the youngest was my daughters friend who was only 28 and left two little girls and she wasn’t ready to go.  I have been to way too many funerals in the past few weeks and just this morning I learned that my Aunt Donna had passed away, she was 86.  I won’t be able to attend her funeral because she lived in Arkansas, but my thoughts and prayers are with all of her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. She just had a new great-granddaughter born on January 4th. The following picture is Aunt Donna with her three oldest kids, David, Janice and Nancy is the baby, I think this was in Woodlake, California.

If there is a story you remember hearing, ask someone that you think may have heard the same story and write It down.  I do this kind of thing for a living, but I always thought I had more time to ask my Dad and Mom questions, but I didn’t and now it is too late to ask them.  I still have some aunts and uncles though, so I have been talking to them more and asking them questions.  I have talked to Uncle Bobby more since Aunt Sis passed then I have in quite some time and I have really enjoyed doing that.  He is the baby of Mama Jessie’s ten kids, but he listened to a lot of the different stories over the years and his memory is great and so is his big brother’s, Uncle George’s. 
So we never know when it will be our time to go, talk to your family, visit those that are getting older, and stop looking at your cell phones, because at any time they could be gone and you will wish that you had gone and seen them one more time.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Blog in Review

First off I want to say Happy New Year to all my family and friends, and may 2017 be your best year yet!!!!!!!

I have really enjoyed writing and posting here on my blog.  I never thought I would be doing something like this, but it has been really fun and I have enjoyed all the comments and suggestions I have received since starting this journey.

I have to give thanks again to my cousin, Cathy Meder-Dempsey, who has her own blog at Opening Doors in Brick Walls for giving me this idea.  I did not realize that I could look at the stats for my blog, I am still pretty new at this.  I had a ticker on my home page showing how many views since I first started, but I did not know I could see where those views had come from or which of my posts had the most views.

Thanks so much to everyone who has read my stories, given me ideas for more stories and sent me pictures and documents to go along with these stories.  I have even met a few people through this blog that I would never have gotten the chance to meet any other way.   I am actually going to be meeting another such person sometime this month who says they have some pictures and documents and can also show us where the family home use to be for one of the stories I wrote on my husbands line.  The following quote I ran across recently definitely says what I feel.

I still don't know what I will be posting for this new year, but I hope I can do more than I did this past year.  Life got a little bit in the way and so I did not have as much time as I wanted to research and write my stories.

The following are my stats for today, Sunday morning, January 1st, 2017, since I first started my blog in November of 2014.  I sure didn't think I would have had over 45,000 page views in just over 2 years, but that is what the stats are saying.

Pageviews today                             
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history

Pageviews by Countries
Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States

My top stories since November 2014

Entry                                                      Pageviews
Dec 20, 2016, 7 comments
May 11, 2016, 4 comments
Nov 26, 2015, 3 comments
Dec 28, 2015, 8 comments

Dec 9, 2015, 2 comments

Dec 13, 2015
Nov 16, 2015
Jan 3, 2016, 2 comments

If you click on the follow button on the right hand side of the home page, by entering your email address, you will be sent an email letting you know when a new story has been published.  If any of you have a story you would like to hear or someone you would like to know more about please let me know.  

Thanks again for all of the support, sharing of pictures, documents, etc and especially the love.