Monthly Archives: January 2012

Where’s Old Henry?

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Genealogy is defined as the record, or account, of ancestry and descent of a person, family group and family histories.

I think Webster was wrong when he dreamed up that description!  I have found, through my years of wanting to know more of my lineage, that it is much more than that.   I’ve decided genealogy research is:  1) Like being a detective working on a “cold case”.  A lot of the evidence has been destroyed, tampered with, and most of the eye witnesses are long gone.  Yet you know a person existed or you wouldn’t be here.  You also know that person’s life deserves to be remembered and recorded with the truth and dignity it deserves. 2) What Grandma Jones may have told you, may not indeed be fact, but stories passed down, gossip, or hearsay. The original story has often changed. So you set out to locate and record every Jones that may have lived near Grandma and determine if they are related to your “Jones Clan” and if the accounts handed down or fact or fiction.

It’s a jigsaw puzzle, crossword puzzle and a Rubik’s cube all rolled into one long search where you attempt to fill in the blanks, find the perfect fit and match all the squares.   It is stomping through overgrown lots seeking hints of habitation of your ancestor one hundred or more years ago.  It is countless hours of research, interviews, pouring over old records, photos and the internet hoping to find one small clue. It is visiting graveyards with maps, chalk, and camera in hand.  And all the while you think there’s got to be a clue just around the corner, at the next courthouse, library, or museum.   You are energized with the thought that, “Today’s the day I’ll find Grandpa Henry!”

Probably the most recent and exciting discovery I have made is, that while I may never have the Eureka! moment on Old Henry, I have found wonderful cousins along the way that I never knew existed.  Such was the case when I recently connected with Susie Reynolds and Gary and Bessie Higginbotham.  We have the same thirst to know more and share our discoveries.   It was a fun day just to be in their company looking over photos, letters, and sharing stories of family members past and present.  Had it not been for genealogy, I would never have made this connection.

My advice for anyone seeking to know more about their ancestors is to never quit on your search; never disregard any clue before proving it; never overlook those of the present while searching for your past!  They may just be the jackpot you have been searching for.



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Find Me Friday – Unidentified Photos

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I’m not sure who these ladies are. Their photo was in with the belongings of my 2nd great grandparent’s, FH and Mildred Williams. They could be friends, or they could be Martin’s, Pill’s, Dial’s or even Higginbotham’s. If you happen to recognize them, please let me know.


Sentimental Sunday – Emma Pearl Bain Martin

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This story was submitted to me by Kookie Hemperley, and it was written by her brother, Tommy Stanley. Thank you to Kookie for sending the story in.

Emma Pearl Bain Martin
by: Tommy Stanley


I remember going to Granny Pearl’s house when I was three or four years old. We lived at Grogan’s Mill, two miles south of Bivins, Texas, in a company house. Daddy worked there. He had a two door black ’35 Ford sedan.

Daddy quit there and went to work for White and Walker Mill in Bivins. We moved from Grogan’s to Wayne Crossing, in a store building, until Mother could find us a house in Bivins.

We went to Ida every weekend; Saturday night-Sunday. Granny Pearl lived just east of Ida. When we got to her house she would pick us up and kiss us and love us. When she put us down we would take off to play with the other grandkids that lived with her and nearby. We always had fun playing with Aunt Gladys’ and Aunt Nan’s kids. Some of us could usually get in trouble!

Granny always had something good to eat, ‘specially on Sundays. I don’t know how she managed with so many to feed. She was a very good cook as were all her daughters.

As mean as we were, I never saw her loose her “cool”; get mad; or holler at anyone—kid or grown up. And there were times she had a reason to. I look back now and don’t know how she handled having so many every weekend, plus add us two weeks every summer (Coot aka Jim, Wink aka me, and Ed who was Charles).

If we happened to come in the daytime she most likely would be fishing on the creek between her house and town. She loved to fish. I suppose that helped her provide food for so many.
We loved to climb the huge pin oak trees in her front yard.

I remember being dangled over the well a few times by Johnny or Ray; they thought it was funny. Scared the hell out of me!

When we left for home on Sundays, we would get about halfway to Ida and Mother would discover she had left her purse. Almost always! You know how bad Clyde hated going back— like a black cat crossing the road! (He was very superstitious.)

I remember Granny Pearl as one of the sweetest, kindest and most gentle ladies I ever knew.
During the War when Daddy had to work seven days a week from before daylight ‘till nine or ten at night, Granny’s dad, Grandpa Bain, or Uncle Ray would bring her to see us at Bivins. She always brought us kids a present. That was about the time Uncle Ray was drafted or joined the Army. She always seemed worried after that. Uncle Roy went into the Army too. Johnny didn’t have to go as they didn’t take the last son in a family.

It wasn’t too long before Granny died. Soon after returning from her funeral and back to duty, Uncle Ray got killed. That was a sad time. It never seemed quite the same after that, though we always enjoyed visiting aunts, uncles and cousins.

Until just recently I thought I had seen Papa Walter once, but I discovered that I couldn’t have. I was only two when he died.

My Granny Pearl was a “very special lady!”

Meeting Cousins

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I’m in Texarkana today. Gary and Bessie Higginbotham and I went to Louisiana today to meet some of our cousins on our Higginbotham side. We had a great visit. It’s always fun to meet cousins and hear stories about family that we haven’t heard before.


From Left to Right: Kookie Hemperley,, Gary Higginbotham, Bessie Higginbotham, Cheri Atkins, and myself down in the front.

Thanks to Kookie for welcoming us into her home, and providing us with great snacks and a wonderful lunch. We were happy to meet Cheri and and enjoyed getting to know them today! This is the fun part of doing genealogy!

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Mr. and Mrs. Ives

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Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Ives.  I don’t know who you are, but maybe your family is looking for a photo of  you. 

This is Mr. Ives, and according to the back of the next photo of Mrs. Ives, she is the daughter of Prof. McDaniels.

So if you know Prof. McDaniels, his daughter Mrs. Ives, or her husband Mr. Ives, let me know.


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