Walling Family Reunion

The waiter was not impressed. I motioned towards my lunch companion and said, “Her grandmother and my great grandmother were sisters.” He paused and said, “Say that again.” So I did. “Oh. Can I get you started with some beverages today?” It didn’t…

The waiter was not impressed.  I motioned towards my lunch companion and said, “Her grandmother and my great grandmother were sisters.” 

He paused and said, “Say that again.” So I did.

“Oh. Can I get you started with some beverages today?”

Continue reading “Walling Family Reunion”

Family History Library, Take 2 [Scene 2]

Here are the five biggest arenas of discovery and ensuing analysis resulting from my second trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I make note of them to form a (very public!) post-ProGen-proof-argument-assignment-work plan. That’s …

Here are the five biggest arenas of discovery and ensuing analysis resulting from my second trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I make note of them to form a (very public!) post-ProGen-proof-argument-assignment-work plan. That’s due at the end of February and I have to keep my eye on the prize for now.  But I can’t wait to dive into… Continue reading “Family History Library, Take 2 [Scene 2]”

“Yes! I was a soldier in the civil war between the States….”

Thus begins a “simple statement of my ‘War Record'” penned by George Washington Walling, Sr. a few years before his death in 1916, at the request of his son Thomas Burrowes Walling. (1) This document is one piece of the Walling Papers, the discove…

Thus begins a “simple statement of my ‘War Record'” penned by George Washington Walling, Sr. a few years before his death in 1916, at the request of his son Thomas Burrowes Walling. (1)

This document is one piece of the Walling Papers, the discovery that I wrote about here. Below is the entire transcription, but I’ve also included a digital image of one line with an illegible word (at least to me!) If anyone has any idea of what that last word is, please comment with your thoughts.  It feels like a critical word in an important sentence.

This is the first ancestral civil war narrative I’ve read that was not part of pension application file.  In other words, its purpose was not to highlight physical infirmities suffered on account of service.  (From that standpoint, it’s refreshing.)  Nor does it glorify participation.  It’s just a matter of  fact.

Continue reading ““Yes! I was a soldier in the civil war between the States….””

The Tip of the Iceberg

During NIGR week in July in Washington, DC, we went on an evening field trip to the DAR Library. For no good reason (other than there are too many places to go), I had only been there once before. It is beautiful! I looked forward to returning to …

During NIGR week in July in Washington, DC, we went on an evening field trip to the DAR Library.  For no good reason (other than there are too many places to go),  I had only been there once before.  It is beautiful!  I looked forward to returning to its open stacks, particularly the rich geographical resources organized by state, and within that, by county.  As on my previous visit last December, I made a beeline to resources on distant states of interest – like New Hampshire, Texas, Arkansas, and Alabama.

In the Travis County, Texas, section, I ran across the Austin Genealogical Society Quarterly, shelved with periodic index volumes.  I stood in the aisle and pulled the index volumes out one by one looking for the name Walling, our grandmother’s maiden name.   One index had a Walling entry pointing to an issue dated 1974, Vol. XV, No. 3, pp. 93-94.

Bingo!  as I say to myself very quietly in such moments….after all, I’m in the stacks.

Continue reading “The Tip of the Iceberg”

War and Peace – Updated

I’m headed to Alabama on June 13th for a week-long class on Military Records. The class is one of the offerings of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, a premier genealogical institute. One of my (self-assigned…

I’m headed to Alabama on June 13th for a week-long class on Military Records.  The class is one of the offerings of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, a premier genealogical institute.  One of my (self-assigned) preparation tasks is to gather up my clues on ancestral military service so that I have a menu of real-life inquiries to pursue during my week of immersion. 

I had a request to indicate (my) relationship to the ancestors below.  That information appears in brackets.  And I’ve posted a picture of John Kennedy “Jack” Gates, cousin and combat photographer.  It’s a unique shot that includes headline news. Thank you, Susan!

Continue reading “War and Peace – Updated”

Putting the Wright Name with Faces

I have many – mostly small – family photographs that are unlabelled, and beyond that, not even associated with a particular side of the family. I’ve already commented on my “provenance” challenges. But the pictures of this couple were di…

I have many – mostly small – family photographs that are unlabeled, and beyond that, not even associated with a particular side of the family.  I’ve already commented on my “provenance” challenges.  But the pictures of this couple were different — fairly new reproductions on Kodak paper sitting among tintypes and daguerreotypes.  But I still didn’t know who they were.

Joseph_wrightRachel_hamilton_wright

 

I wasn’t even looking for them when I took aim at one of the holes on my pedigree chart.  Cora Walling’s mother was named Louisa and most of  what I knew about her was uncovered by Elise when she interviewed Mom while working on a 5th grade school project.  Continue reading “Putting the Wright Name with Faces”

Cora (Walling) Baker Walling, The Conclusion (for now)

In a previous post, I shared pictures of the Baker family that our great grandmother, Cora (Walling) Baker Walling, kept for the rest of her life – even though her marriage to Jesse W. Baker ended with his death within three years. There’s another…

In a previous post, I shared pictures of the Baker family that our great grandmother, Cora (Walling) Baker Walling, kept for the rest of her life – even though her marriage to Jesse W. Baker ended with his death within three years.

There’s another piece of physical evidence — an ivory diary typical of the period. Among many early mistakes I made in family history endeavors was not keeping track of provenance, which is just a fancy way of recording who-in-the-heck-gave-me-this.  But my sense was always that that the diary and the Baker family pictures were a package. Unfortunately, there’s no one left now to verify that. [Let that be a lesson to you all.]   There are several pictures of the diary below – one closed and one open.  There is also a picture of young Cora – about the time her courtship began. Continue reading “Cora (Walling) Baker Walling, The Conclusion (for now)”

A Tale of Two Farmers — and then there’s Texas….

In a previous post, I compared the relative 1860 fortunes of two ancestral farmers in Indiana County, Pennsylvania – Edward Haney Ruffner and Robert Garrett Stephens. Their offspring, James and Hulda, respectively, married in 1870. On Thursday, I …

In a previous post, I compared the relative 1860 fortunes of two ancestral farmers in Indiana County, Pennsylvania – Edward Haney Ruffner and Robert Garrett Stephens.  Their offspring, James and Hulda, respectively, married in 1870.  On Thursday, I took a look at the 1870 agricultural schedules and the values were relatively unchanged. Ruffner still owned more property but Stephens valued his at a higher dollar figure. Stephens had more livestock and grew more wheat but Ruffner grew more oats, produced more butter and more wool. (1)

But a dramatic contrast is revealed when the lens moves south.  On the Texas side of the family, our great grandmother, Cora Walling married into the Baker family in the early 1870s but was widowed within just a few years.  Jack, and his older brother, Jesse, Cora’s future husband, were living in the same household in 1870, both farming land owned by Jack. (2) But the Bakers were more than just farmers.  Isaac Baker, born in Alabama and the father of both Jack and Jesse, was one of the earliest settlers of what was later to be named Plantersville in Grimes County, Texas.  He began building a 2,840 acre plantation named Cedars in 1843 and opened the first general store with his sons in the 1850s. (3)  I decided to return to 1860 and gather data for the Bakers.  Continue reading “A Tale of Two Farmers — and then there’s Texas….”

Cora (Walling) Baker Walling, Part I

We always knew that our grandmother’s mother, Cora Walling, married young to a “much older man” named Baker and was widowed before she married her cousin, James A. Walling. Cora and James had a family of four girls, the youngest of whom was our gr…

We always knew that our grandmother’s mother, Cora Walling, married young to a “much older man” named Baker and was widowed before she married her cousin, James A. Walling.  Cora and James had a family of four girls, the youngest of whom was our grandmother Amy.  The family group photograph is wonderful (see below.)   Cora died in 1912 – when Amy was only 14 – and James later remarried. (1) 

For some reason, I thought of the marriage to Mr. Baker as an unpleasant period of Cora’s life, and her later marriage to James as her happily- ever-after life.  However, the physical evidence suggests a more complicated interpretation. Continue reading “Cora (Walling) Baker Walling, Part I”

You might find a chart helpful

This pedigree chart (and by that, I don’t mean “high- falutin’ “) may make the posts easier to follow….. If anyone would like a copy of their own chart — as it stands now – let me know!

Mr_pedigree_chart

This pedigree chart (and by that, I don’t mean “high- falutin’ “) may make the posts easier to follow…..

If anyone would like a copy of their own chart — as it stands now – let me know!