Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last Will of Mr. Farmer - Lingleville, Texas

West End Cemetery

A lot of the childhood memories I have took place near the small, neatly manicured cemetery of West End in the tiny, dairy community of Lingleville in Erath County, Texas. When my father remarried after having been left with three small daughters to raise with the help of my mother’s immediate family, we spent half of our time in the little frame and rock house that resides beside this still used cemetery which is so typical of the ones you find in this part of my home state.

We spent many hours “visiting” the dead, carefully tiptoeing past the headstones, and depending on the time of day or night, marking our escape route with wary eye as we dared one another to go to the far end at the top of the hill. As we grew to adulthood we enjoyed watching our children enjoy the same fascination with our childhood playground.

I don’t remember any of us being disrespectful. It was a natural thing to do – walking and playing in the cemetery. Every visit to the “home place” is punctuated with time taking a leisurely walk, traveling the same path we once took as children. And now the grandchildren are the ones running from stone to stone, reading the inscriptions and calling out to one another to hurry.

This Thanksgiving as my sisters and I joined the grandchildren in the afternoon we saw a memorial we had not noticed. How we missed it before is a mystery. We read it and laughed as we remembered the gentleman whose life it spoke of. I will not share the names and dates on the gravestone since one of them is not deceased, but I wanted to share the epitaph with you here.


I leave:

To my wife, my overdraft at the bank – maybe she can explain it.

To my banker, my soul – he has the mortgage on it anyway.

To my neighbor, my clown suit – he’ll need it if he continues to farm as he has in the past.

To the ASCS, my grain bin – I was planning to let them take it next year anyway.

To the county agent, 50 bushels of corn to see if he can hit the market – I never could.

To the junk man, all my machinery – he’s had his eye on it for years.

To my undertaker, a special request – I want six implement and fertilizer dealers for my pallbearers, they are used to carrying me.

To the weatherman, rain and sleet and snow for the funeral, please – no sense in having good weather now.

To the grave digger – don’t bother, the hole I’m in should be big enough

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've Been Tagged - 8 Facts about Me

I've been tagged by Colleen to share 8 things about me and then tag 8 people to respond with their own post. I'd be happy to oblige!

Here are the Tag Rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. A the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

Here are a few facts or habits (8 of them to be exact) that you might not know about me.
1. I don't remember my original hair color.
2. I was Class Treasurer in my senior year of high school. (Yes, yes, I know that's surprising!)
3. I love to eat Frito Pie - chili, cheese, onion, and original size Fritos.
4. My grandparents raised me and 2 of my sisters.
5. I love to knit and crochet.
6. I drink too many caffeine-free diet cokes a day!
7. I like to read every morning for about an hour while drinking coffee.
8. I love to find little abandoned cemeteries and visit.

Tag! You're It!
Suzanne at Chickens in the Road
Amy at Untangled Family Roots
Terry at Desktop Genealogist Unplugged

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Meme & Tag

Like so many of you, I have many things to be thankful for and it’s hard to choose just two. But as I sit here this morning in my warm, safe home with the bright sunlight pouring in through the long wall of windows that look out into my small backyard, I’m reminded of my children and how they loved to play in the leaves. We lived in several different places when they were children and each of those places had its own special charm. But all of them seemed to be the most beautiful to me in the autumn.

I’m thankful for the colors of autumn and the fact that I can still see those colors. Sometimes my vision seems to dim and I pray that it will not go away completely.

My family is the single thing I’m most thankful for at this Thanksgiving season, though. I’m glad that my husband and I have been able to raise such well-rounded children and that we don’t have the worries that some folks have when dealing with their kids. Thank you, God, for that blessing. We have three children and six wonderful grandchildren whom we enjoy so much! I’m also thankful for the rest of my family, both past and present. Just being able to share sisterhood with four beautiful, fantastic women is something I think about everyday; and to have two very strong, good men as brothers is a blessing, as well.

I’d like to hear what you are thankful for today. I’m tagging William Morgan over at The Sock in the Drayer.

The Thanksgiving Meme was started by Julie at GenBlog by Julie.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Country Churches and Cemeteries in North Carolina

While at our daughter's home in North Carolina we took several excursions along the back roads while "leaf peeping". We saw many little churches and cemeteries. I'd like to show you some of my favorites.

This pretty little church on the hill was having a worship service that morning. We couldn't see any cars at first, but as we drove up the drive and circled around toward the back, we saw the parking lot full of cars. I hope we didn't disturb anyone.

All of the tombstones were slanting toward the top of the hill and the church. There were several square stones placed in the ground on an angle. The one in this picture at the end of the row has a child's name (last name Green) with his day of birth and day of death. I also saw some of this same type of marker in the St. Thomas Episcopal Church cemetery in Bath, North Carolina.

This seemingly abandoned church with the red door had a sign that said, "Open for Prayer Daily." This was on a Sunday afternoon somewhere around the little community of Todd.

North Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Service 3rd Sunday, Established 1742

Mount Olive Church of Christ
Just outside of Bell Haven on the way to the Outer Banks

Right outside of Bell Haven we were stopped at a routine traffic stop. Out in the middle of nowhere! My daughter decided after that she should stop and attach her new license plate sticker before we saw another highway patrol. We pulled over in Mount Olive's parking lot and we took pictures while she worked on the plate.

One of the prettiest churches we saw was the New Sharon Methodist Church in Hillsborough, North Carolina, which is my son-in-law's family church. This is the cemetery where his grandfather is buried. These two pictures were taken late in the afternoon.

All photographs property of Judy Richards Shubert
Copyright October 2008 - Taken with Olympus SP-550UZ

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lamar Family in Millsap, Texas

Earlier this year I wrote a post about my Puckett ancestors in Millsap, Texas. They were standing in front of an old house that they once lived in that now stands in the center of the little community of Millsap. It caught the attention of Sheree Collins who left a comment. She wrote:

Hi Judy, I'm looking for information about the Lamar family in Millsap, TX. All I know is my great-grandmother Danella "Della" Lamar was born there Feb. 11, 1891. I saw a map of the town and noticed a S. Lamar street about 3 and a half blocks long. How can I find out if this street is named after the Lamar family or not? Thanks for any help or links you can point me toward. Sheree (wife of Duggan)

I responded with a note that would hopefully lead her to someone who could help. Read my suggestions and then her exciting success story.
Hello Sheree. I think the Library in Weatherford (the county seat) would be helpful. You can contact them at Weatherford Public Library

Genealogical & History Dept.
1014 Charles Street
Weatherford, Tx 76086

Genealogy Dept 817-598-4156

There is also a small museum in Millsap located across from the post office in the Benjamin M. Porter Cabin. Millsap Post Office, 103 Fairview Rd, Millsap - (940) 682-7393. Maybe they can tell you how to get in touch with the Millsap Heritage Society which I think is housed there.

Dear Judy,
I followed up with your suggestion to contact the Millsap Heritage Society via the Post Office there. I spoke for about 10 minutes with Joann Barnhart who looked up cemetery records in Parker County for me. My great grandmother Danella Lamar is not buried in Texas, but her grandparents are (Moses Perry and Sarah Lamar).
Joann was able to recollect many older Lamars who stayed in the area through her mother who was quite the historian. My great grandmother moved on to Colorado then eventually California and Washington and Oregon. Joann will be sending me a copy of the cemetery records in Parker County and possibly photos of the markers. Apparently, the S. Lamar St. in Millsap is named for the Lamar family I am a descendant from.

In relaying this newfound information to my father, he told me his great uncle Clyde Lamar owned a mortuary in Texas. I googled Clyde Lamar funeral home and found a wonderful link to the Moses Perry Lamar family on the University of Texas at Arlington website

Thank you so much for the push in the right direction in finding out more about this branch of the family!

We are overwhelmed with the wealth of information we've found just for a couple hours of surfing the internet and 10 minutes of phone conversation!!

Thank you again, your kind help is so appreciated,
Sheree Collins

Monday, November 17, 2008

North Carolina Churches, Barns and Buildings

North Carolina is beautiful this time of year. Of course, leaf-peeping is an activity that a lot of you are familiar with, but my cousin had very little exposure to when the two of us decided to at last fly away on one of American’s best, Flight 300, and visit that beautiful state. We were picked up at RDU by my daughter and two granddaughters on a beautiful, crisp day in the middle of October.

My daughter was a great sport. She entertained, accommodated, made sacrifices and “turned around” at every missed country road we wanted to go down! We took picture after picture of old country churches, cemeteries, and broken down barns and buildings. We had a great time. Thank you, daughter-o’-mine!

The pictures above are of buildings in Valle Crucis near the Mast General Store that is shown in the third photo. While there we all enjoyed going into the Candy Barrel and buying something for our sweet tooth! The day was cold and wet but we enjoyed every minute. Once we were back on the road we ate candy and had my daughter turning around every chance we got.

Only two of about eight barns we saw with quilt blocks painted on them. I fell in love with them but didn't have the heart to ask my daughter to stop for every one. They were in the Boone area near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This pretty white clapboard church was in the historic town of Bath, the first incorporated town in North Carolina on the Pamlico Sound. It was the Bath Christian Church.

In the distance you could see this beautiful little building, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the oldest existing church building in the state, construction having begun in 1734 by the Rev'd John Garzia. There is a small cemetery with tombstones dating to the 1820s and evidence of burials beneath the floor of the existing church.

In Swan Quarter we passed this older church that was across the street from the new one below.

All photographs property of Judy Richards Shubert
Copyright October 2008 - Taken with Olympus SP-550UZ

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Twin Smiles?

Maedelle Gailey Carlyle on left
Born September 25, 1921 - Died October 13, 2005
Vernelle Gailey Rowbury on right
Born September 25, 1921 - Died August 19, 1998

When asked to participate in the GeneaBloggers "Smile for the Camera!" Carnival by the footnoteMaven, I immediately thought of one of my favorite photos of my mother and aunt. They were twins and even though they were identical, there were little things about them that let you know exactly which twin you were talking to, or in this case, looking at.

Mother is on the right and Maedelle is the baby on the left. Although both are looking at the photographer, Mother seems to be enjoying the moment while Maedelle seems a little bit irritated with the entire process!

When the twins were born my grandparents must have thought they were being persecuted. The labor was hard and it came way too early. The doctor in town told them to make arrangements for their burial. “They will never live through the night,” he said. My aunt Maedelle weighed 2 pounds and Mother weighed only 2 ½ pounds. There was a midwife, an old grandmother whom everyone called Granny Simpson, who lived down the road from my grandparents. She said, “I’ll feed ‘em buttermilk and honey and they’ll be alright.”

With the help of my grandpa’s mother, she dressed the girls in tiny flannel gowns and fed them with a medicine dropper, holding them up over a steaming kettle of hot water in order to keep them warm. They slept in a shoebox, with one tiny head at each end.

I often contemplate the reasons for Mother’s physical, and I suppose you could say, psychological problems, and I am drawn back to that cold, cold day in September of 1921 when a country doctor didn’t know how to keep a premature infant alive but a mid-wife persevered. If the medical technology that we have today had been available they probably would have been able to delay their birth until their little bodies were ready.

Mother had a large malformation in the veins on the left side of her brain. Because of this she developed an aneurysm that occasionally bled and caused scar tissue to form. The doctors told me that they were amazed she was walking around at 70 years of age. They say she must have had this since birth.

Mother had social problems, mathematical reasoning problems, and a variety of other things to deal with, or not deal with. I think for the most part she did not agonize over her lack of thoughtfulness or grace. She just stumbled ahead; going through life oblivious to a lot of things.

But for the most part, she was happy. And she and Maedelle were as close as twins always are.

Homsley Reunion, Seymour, Texas

Homsley Reunion, Seymour, Texas
Copyright (c) 2015 by Judith Richards Shubert