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My Favorite Christmas Carol - Ave Maria

Our very own footnoteMaven has challenged us to blog our favorite Christmas Carol. I love that Geneabloggers have traditions. From the comfort of our blogs, with fMs Hot Toddy (and my coconut cake) in hand, her flannel jammies and furry slippers on (and my cuddle-duds), we will all blog our favorite Christmas Carols on Wednesday, December 15. (Don't we sing so much better online than in person?)

So my fellow GeneaBloggers, mine is below. Post yours quickly so we can all enjoy the caroling!
This Christmas Prayer is sung by many people, but Aaron Neville's voice is the one I prefer over any other. He also has several other renditions of the song. This one is a shorter version. It means a great deal to me for a very special reason and I will always hold it dear to my heart.

Aaron Neville Louisiana Christmas Concert singing Ave Maria accompanied by Miss Linda Rondstadt and the Community Choir

Ave Maria from Otello by Verdi (Italian Version)

Ave Maria, piena di grazia, eletta

A Gailey Cousin Christmas Tree Tradition

Most of my family reunions and get-togethers have been centered around holidays or special events. It's hard to pick out a special personality (we have several - as I'm sure most of you do) and I've thought about all of the pets we've had in the past, the special heirlooms that grandma loved to display during the holidays and I'm really having a hard time coming up with a single one.

My aunt Irene and uncle Raymond always had the big get-togethers at their house, because it was the largest, had acres of pecans trees to play under and they had the most grandchildren! Of course, all of that was later, after all six of us cousins had grown up and had children of our own.

Thinking of Christmas, my mind keeps going back to the time before I moved into Grandma and Doc's home and we celebrated at our house. I remember getting a beautiful bride doll one Christmas. Wish I still had that doll. Have no idea where she traveled to after she got married. And then there was o…

Tombstone Tuesday - Ellis P. Bridges

Ellis P. Bridges
Sept. 20, 1909 - May  _9, 1978 Pickwick-McAdams Cemetery At Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County
Sources
Photograph:
Bridges, Ellis P., photograph, digital format, taken and owned by Judith S. Richards, 2009

Cemetery
Pickwick-McAdams Cemetery
Palo Pinto County near Possum Kingdom Lake

My Home Town by Dorothy Hansen

My Home Town

For thirty years this California town
has been the place where I have slept at night,
and shopped, and worked, and driven about.

But home is where my childhood feet
ran bare on Texas clay …
on streets that were like arteries
to all the lives I loved and shared.

Now, as storm clouds gather in November
and leaves are on the ground,
these asphalt streets and stranger’s cars
seem even more remote.

I long to live where I am known,
and my grandparents, too …
where all the folks I meet each day
know just where I belong.

They’ve known my folks and relatives.
They’ve seen me go through school.
I have a place on Texas soil
in the town where I was born.

It is my home, belongs to me,
and I yearn for a hearth that’s gone.

From Dorothy Hansen's “Cedar Berries,” her collection of poems about Texas.


Dorothy Lee Hansen wrote this poem about my home town of Mineral Wells, Texas. She was born there in 1925 and is of my mother's generation. From what I have read about her she was full of life…

Amanuensis Monday: Two Young People "Celebrate the Rites of Matrimony"

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Richard Puckett and Polly Brooks are my great-great-grandparents.


The State of Texas
Jasper County
To any person legally authorized to Celebrate the rites of Matrimony,
Greeting,You are hereby authorized to Celebrate the Rites of Matrimony between Mr. Richard Puckett and Miss Polly Brooks. And ____ Return make of this License to me at my office in the Town of Jasper within Sixty days

Given under my hand and official Seal on this the 18th day of April A D 1856
H Good Clk Co Court JC

I hereby certify that I Solemnized the Bonds of Matrimony between the above mentioned Couple on Thursday the 24 day of April AD 1856.
John Hamilton,
JP




I learned about Amanuensis Monday through John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch: Genealogy and Family History If you would like to join us in posting your transcriptions, leave a comment on John's blog. I'd also love to hear from you, as well!

Amanuensis Monday: "My Mother's Handwriting" - Alice Irene Puckett

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.


My grandmother, Edna Alice Puckett Gailey, had this slip of paper in her scrapbook for years. While scanning the pages, I found this note that Edna said was written by her mother, Alice Irene Cook Puckett.I remember Edna's father to be a very sweet man. His sensitivity comes to light in this very short note.

"Harve said the next time you stayed all night here
for you to make your bed up
that he seen where your & Mildred head lay & he cryed
Well I guess that all Write soon
HV  AI Puckett"While there is no envelope with this note and I can't be sure of the year or the location, I can tell you that Harve and Alice moved from Millsap, Parker County, Texas to Blanchard, McClain Co., Oklahoma sometime after their children were older. Edna and Mildred were both married and still living in Parker Co., Texas when I was a child - in the 40s-60s. Alice died in 1954 and…

Wordless Wednesday - Abandoned Barracks on Fort Wolters

Old Fort Wolters Mineral Wells, Texas Abandoned Army Barracks
Source: Photograph: Barracks, U. S. Army, digital format, original taken by Judith Richards Shubert and held in personal collection. Copyright January 2009

Amanuensis Monday - "Dearest Vernelle"

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

S.S. Recruting office San Antionio Tex., March 15, 1941 Dearest Vernelle,
Well Darling how is the measles serving you by now, I hope you are completely well by this time. I mean now Mar. 15, 1941 at 3:30 o'clock and by the way it's Saturday too.
When we got to town last night we didn't even get off the bus therefore I didn't have a chance to send you a telegram like I promised and I can't get off to go to town until they get ready to send us home, and I don't know if it will be early enough tonight for me to send you a telegram but I hope so, because I am afraid that you are beginning to wonder if I am still alive or not. well I am, and very much so, I failed the Physical on acount of weak eyes. I knew it about 11:30 this morning and I wish to got I could let you know about it but I can't do anything about it just now if I expect to get a free ride home.
I…

Remembering Richards Men on Memorial Day

Floyd Alvin Richards July 28, 1918 - March 10, 1979

15th AAF in ITALY - T.Sgt. Floyd A. Richards, 25, of Mineral Wells, Texas, Engineer gunner on a AAF B17 Flying Fortress, has been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in air combat.
Sgt. Richards came overseas July 2, 1944, and flew his first mission July 14, to bomb the oil refineries at Budapest, Hungary. He is now a veteran of over 30 long-range missions.
He enlisted in the Army July 19, 1941, and received his wings upon completion of gunnery school at Harlingen, Texas.
His wife, Mrs. Helen Irene Richards, lives at 308 W. Roosevelt Ave., Electra, Texas, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Richards, reside in Mineral Wells. My uncle, Floyd, was the 3rd of 11 children born to Willie Homsley and John Robert Richards, with my father, Leon, only two years older. They had an older sister, Iwanda, who was three years older than Floyd, but she died when she was six years old. The seven boys in this family al…

A Celtic Mother's Smile

"Mother" Irene Gailey Stone 79th Birthday - October 6, 2002

She was a wonderful mother to all of us who loved and adored her.
We miss her and her laughter.

Using the Celtic Teal alphabet from Rainy's Alphas and a lovely QuickPage from Ivy's Inspirations

Alice & Harvey Vandegar Puckett pose with Some of their Children in 1911

Alice & Harvey Vandegar Puckett Family Circa 1911 - Millsap, Parker County, Texas
I thought I had put this wonderful picture on Genealogy Traces a long time ago, but when I saw it on my computer today, I looked for it here and couldn't find it. So if I have repeated it, please forgive me.

This is my great-grandparents, Harvey Vandegar Puckett and Alice Cook Roberts Puckett and all but their youngest child, daughter L. G. Puckett.

In the back from left to right are Lorado Missouri "Tommie", Lilly, and Lucy.

On the front row from left to right are Mildred, Harvey Vandegar, Alice holding Ballard, and Edna Alice (my grandmother).

Ballard was born in June of 1910 according to my family records taken from his sister, Edna's, handwritten notes. And he appears to be about six months old here. Maybe it was taken for a Christmas gift that December.

Children of Harvey Vandegar Puckett and Alice Cook Roberts:
Mary Lucy Puckett, born July 23, 1895 in Texas and died Dec…

Fanny Waiting for Spring

Doc and Edna Gailey with Doc's Fox Hounds Fanny is the star of this photo!
My mother's daddy and my grandpa loved to go fox hunting. He would take his fox hounds out along the country roads, pick out a spot down by the Brazos River and meet his friends for a night of conversation, a plug of tobacco and listening to the dogs baying at the foxes as they chased them across the fields. They did not carry any guns and did not catch the foxes. They were usually quick enough and wily enough to escape the dogs.
A lot of Saturday mornings the dogs had not come back to camp and Doc would have to go back to the area where they were let out of the truck and "call" them. He used an old fashioned horn made from a cow's horn. I can hear it now if I'm quiet enough! I think my cousin now has Doc's horn - I hope so. I hate to think it has been lost or went to someone who didn't know and love my Grandpa.
My husband, Bob, went with Doc and his son-in-law, Raymond, once for a …

Polly Elam Brock Comes to Life

Polly was born into the antebellum south during a time when those who were known as the aristocratic plantation owners and King Cotton ruled the region. She was taught the manners and etiquette that was expected of the daughter and granddaughter of prominent families in Alabama. Her granddaughter, Juanita, tells of listening to Polly tell them stories of her childhood in Alabama, the large cotton plantations, slaves and her beloved Mammy.

The year 1850 brought the Slave Schedule census and Polly’s father, Joel Elam, was listed as owner of four slaves. Their names were not given, but there was one 56 year-old black female whom I imagine was the one Polly was talking about. Joel also owned a 15 year-old black female, a 9 year-old black female, and one 15 year-old mulatto male who had fled and not returned was listed as a fugitive from the state.

Polly was the oldest child born to Joel Elam and Sarah Elanor Stamps. Her granddaughter remembers her being born in Tuscaloosa, but the census …

Polly Brock's Texas Timeline

Polly Sanders Elam Brock was born Christmas Day, 1843 to Sarah Stamps and Joel Elam in Talladega Co., Alabama and later moved with her family to Rusk Co., Texas. 25 March 1843 – Seventeen Texans were executed in what became known as the Black Bean Episode, which resulted from the Mier Expedition, one of several raids by the Texans into Mexico. 27 May 1843 – The Texan’s Snively Expedition reached the Santa Fe Trail, expecting to capture Mexican wagons crossing territory claimed by Texas. The campaign stalled, however, when American troops intervened.

Polly marries John Henry Brock on October 21, 1866 in Rusk Co., Texas. 1866 -The abundance of longhorn cattle in south Texas and the return of Confederate soldiers to a poor reconstruction economy marked the beginning of the era of Texas trail drives to northern markets. 20 August 1866 – President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation of peace between the United States and Texas.
Her first child was born in 1868. They named him Joel Walter Brock…

Edna and the Girls

Maedelle, Irene, and Vernelle Gailey Mineral Wells High School Circa 1938
I have always loved this old photograph of my mother and her sisters. I believe they were standing in the schoolyard of their old high school in Mineral Wells, Texas - the very one you'll find at the Mountaineer Heritage Park Blog.

All of their children except the very youngest, my sister who is ten years younger than me, went to Junior High in the same building. I think maybe my sister attended some of her grade school years there. My cousin and I were discussing this picture last night and were pleased to see that we recognized the old brick and mortar!

The Gailey girls are from left to right: Maedelle, Irene, and Vernelle. I have added their mother, Edna Puckett Gailey to the photo, as well. My cousin and I discussed the fact that Irene always loved fashionable shoes and she is wearing some in the picture. And what are Mother and Maedelle wearing? Are those high heels and bobbie socks? Mother and Maedelle&#…

Doc Gailey and His Sisters

Gailey Children James Dolphus Gailey Grace Amanda Gailey Nellie Mae Gailey
Children of James Newton Gailey and Eleanor Elizabeth Brock Brock Community, Parker County, Texas

My grandfather, James Dolphus "Doc" Gailey, had two younger sisters whom he adored. Grace and Nell were doted on by him and his parents and they grew up so attached to one another, their sibling love and devotion was a thing to be admired. I feel it gave all of their children and grandchildren an example to learn from and a standard to strive for. It was always such fun when the aunts came to visit. Some of you may remember that Doc and Grandma raised me so I, more often than not, call my mother's aunts my aunts, when in reality they were my great-aunts. And my sisters and I would usually go with Doc and Grandma to the aunts' houses to visit, so I find myself remembering things about them that my 1st cousins do not.
All three of Jim and Elizabeth's children were born in the Brock community of Parker …

Gaileys Go West

James Dolphus "Doc" Gailey Edna Alice Puckett Gailey Circa 1919 Parker County, Texas 
My Gailey family line is one that is dear to my heart, because my mother's father was a sweet, caring, unassuming gentleman that I loved dearly. James Dolphus Gailey, otherwise known as Doc, helped raise me and my two younger sisters from the time I was ten years old and they were six and two. I have posted articles about my immediate Gailey family here, but have not dealt with Doc's ancestry. I have a thick file on the Gaileys from Habersham, Hall County, Georgia, and guess it is time I shared some of it with you.

A few weeks ago another Gailey descendant contacted me by email after seeing my post about the Brocks, more specifically my great-grandparents, James Newton Gailey and Eleanor Elizabeth Brock. James Newton, or "Jim" as the family called him, was a "distant cousin" to her "strain of the Gailey family that settled in Eastland and Erath County, Texas.&q…

My Daddy and His Brothers and Sisters

Leon Fremont Richards
Born in the tiny community of Peaster, my daddy was the second child in a family of eleven children. The phrase "ecking out" a living by farming comes to mind when I think of the children and my grandparents on their rented place in Parker County. They were very poor, but that was not uncommon in those days here in Texas. Daddy was the oldest son. He had a sister who was born on March 22, 1915 and I'm sure she and Daddy had a grand time playing with one another. Iwanda died when she was but six years old. I do not know why she died, but there is a large photo of the two of them which hung in a guest bedroom of Daddy's house for years and it appears that she may have had Down's Syndrome. The photograph in it's original and unusual frame is still lovingly cared for by one of my sisters.

Leon Richards & Iwanda Richards Circa 1918 My grandparents moved around from farm to farm and I'm sure as the children all came along they worked ver…