Monthly Archives: August 2012

Winners Announced for Blogiversary Giveaway

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Congratulations, and I enjoyed each, and every one of your responses to my question.

The lucky grand prize winner of the one year membership to Fold3.com is Karen Ingle-Langendorfer.

fold3 giveaway

Second place winner of the “Redbook: American State, County & Town Sources, Third Edition” is Tessa Keough.

redbook

Third prize winner of the $25 gift certificate to Shutterfly.com is Jenny Lanctot.

shutterfly giveaway

To claim your prizes, please email me via the contact form to the left of this page, and send me all your information such as name, and address.  Please include your phone number and email address in case I have problems with shipping.

Thank you all for participating.  This was fun!

Let’s Try this Again – Blogiversary Giveaway

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I think I have the commenting problem corrected now, so let’s try this again.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking this journey with me. I couldn’t have done this without the support of each, and every one of you. To show my appreciation, I’m going to be giving away some super prizes. I know you are just itching to get your hands on them!

My grand prize winner will receive:

fold3 giveaway

That’s right folks, the kind people at Fold3.com have sponsored this giveaway and are giving one of my lucky blog followers a one year paid membership. Pretty Awesome if you ask me!

My second place prize winner will receive the book “Redbook: American State, County & Town Sources, Third Edition. No genealogist or family historian should be without this book.

redbook

My third place prize winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to Shutterfly.com where you can make your very own keepsake of your memories.

shutterfly giveaway

To enter the drawing, simply respond below in the comment section of this post to the question listed below and you will be entered. Because of the problems with the previous post and the comments not working, I have extended the giveaway entry time and you now have until midnight on August 19th to enter. Winners will be selected randomly, and announced on Monday Evening, August 20th.

Please leave your comments on this post and NOT the previous one, or you will not be entered.

Good luck, and here is the question:

If you could travel back in time to meet one of your ancestors, who would it be and why?

Category: Blogiversary | Tags: ,

Commenting Problems

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errorApparently, today of all days, my website decided to go bat shit crazy and not allow comments.

I have no clue on how to fix this, so in order to keep the giveaway going please use the contact form to the left to send me your answer to the question and to make your entry into the drawing.

If any of you tech savy peeps know how to fix this, please hit me up.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience but hopefully the prizes will make it worth your effort.

Category: Blogiversary | Tags: ,

Happy Blogiversary Our Families Untold Stories!

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It’s been one year to the day since I started this blog and made my first post.

Wowza, what a journey it has been!

1 Year Cake

To celebrate, my niece Alix got me this wonderful cake, wasn’t that sweet of her? Don’t worry, you will get to celebrate too if you stick around and read this post all the way through.

But first, I would like to share with you some statistics from my site.

OFUS Stats first year

I know that 9,402 views isn’t that much compared to most blogs, but I never dreamed that many people would take the time to look at a blog about my family and their stories.

On a more personal level, these are some other accomplishments that have happened because of this blog.  I have connected with 32 cousins, identified 7 photos just from posting them on my “Find Me Friday” posts as unidentified photos, I have connected 6 photos with a member of their family, and I have made friends with several other family historians who never cease to amaze me in what they are willing to do to help a Newbie out, especially when it was of no benefit whatsoever for them to do so, and here’s the best part; only one rude email received. (You know who you are!) Not bad, eh??

I can’t imagine what the next year will bring, the discoveries that will be made, the cousins that I’ll find, or the relationships that will be forged.  I just can’t imagine it topping this past year.  However, I don’t doubt for one moment that it will top this year and this time next year I’ll be back bragging about all the new cousins that I have found.

I know for me that this journey has changed me in many ways.  Finding my ancestors and learning about their lives seemed to put mine in perspective.  Every time I discovered a new ancestor or relative, it was like I was filling in the pieces of my soul and for the first time I had a better understanding of who I was.  Not only who I was, but where I came from.

And, not to brag or anything, but my tree is full of good people.  Ok, maybe I will brag a little but I’m proud to claim every one of my ancestors that I have discovered.  They make me, well…. me.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking this journey with me.  I couldn’t have done this without the support of each, and every one of you.  To show my appreciation, I’m going to be giving away some super prizes.  I know you are just itching to get your hands on them!

My grand prize winner will receive:

fold3 giveaway

That’s right folks, the kind people at Fold3.com have sponsored this giveaway and are giving one of my lucky blog followers a one year paid membership.  Pretty Awesome if you ask me!

My second place prize winner will receive the book “Redbook: American State, County & Town Sources, Third Edition.  No genealogist or family historian should be without this book.

redbook

My third place prize winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to Shutterfly.com where you can make your very own keepsake of your memories.

shutterfly giveaway

To enter the drawing, simply respond below in the comment section of this post to the question listed below and you will be entered.  Please only one comment, and you have until midnight on August 18th to enter.  Winners will be selected randomly, and announced on Sunday Evening, August 19th.

Good luck, and here is the question:

If you could travel back in time to meet one of your ancestors, who would it be and why?

Rev. Francis Hereford Williams – Part II

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I’m back with Part II of my discovery of the Rev. Francis Hereford Williams.  If you missed Part I, that’s ok.  You can find it here.

At this point in my research, what I know about Rev. Williams is that he was born in St. Louis in 1843, and that he is indeed the father of my Dona Williams Higginbotham.

What I don’t know is his date of death, Mildred’s (his wife) date of death or where they are buried.

I knew from information gathered that Dona and her husband Rufus were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.  After a little research I discovered that Minnie and her husband Charles Hooks were buried in Hillcrest Cemetery  and so I headed out to get pictures of both of their headstones, and I was hoping that around one of their graves, I would come across Rev. Williams and Mildred’s headstone.

Rufus F. and Dona A. Higginbotham Headstone

Here is Dona and Rufus’ headstone, which looks to be in a plot of about six graves, but theirs is the only headstone in the plot and I didn’t find Rev. Williams’ or Mildred’s headstone anywhere else in Woodlawn.  If it was once there, it is gone now.

So I headed over to Hillcrest and I found Minnie’s headstone beside her husbands, Charles A. Hooks.

Minnie W Hooks Headstone  Charles A Hooks Headstone

The office had no record of Rev. Williams or his wife Sarah Mildred Martin Williams as being buried in this cemetery and of course, there was no other headstone around Minnie and Charles’.

But wait, what is that on Minnie’s headstone?

A Daughters of the American Revolution symbol!

Booyah!!

When I got home I got on the computer straight away.  started looking up DAR applications for Minnie, and Booyah!!  Found it! Paid for it, downloaded it, and prayed the whole time it was loading up on my computer for death dates for Rev. Williams and Sarah Mildred Martin Williams.

In her application which was dated the 9th of January, 1914, this is how her parents were listed:
Minnie Williams Hooks DAR app parents FHW SMMW

She states:  “I am the daughter of Francis H. Williams born 1843, died ____ and his 2nd wife Sarah M. Martin born 1856, died ______ married 1877.”

Wait.

What?

His 2nd wife??

Who’s the first?

And where are the death dates dad burn it?!?!?!

At this point I can only surmise that when Minnie filled out the application in 1914 they were both still alive.   I couldn’t find Rev. Williams on the 1920 census, but I did find his wife Mildred, widowed and living with the Yarbrough family as a roomer.

1920 Census Mildred Wiliams

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one.  I know that there are some Yarbrough’s in the family on the Higginbotham side so I can see that this could happen.  I’m just not sure why she wasn’t living with either Dona or Minnie.  They were all alive at this time.  I’ll probably never know the answer to this one.

During this time, I made a visit to my Aunt Jane who was in declining health and we chatted and visited and I showed her what all I had discovered and she was very interested but her memory was failing her and she couldn’t help much with information.  She did tell me she had some boxes with some stuff in them that I could have, and so Uncle Charlie (Starks) dug them out and gave them to me and I hit the mother lode!

What I thought at first to be a lot of Higginbotham photos and such, ended up being a lot of stuff from the Williams.    It was in this stuff that I discovered that Rev. Williams, was a minister, that he had probably been in the war between the states and that he had been in the Austin Confederate Home following the war between the states.

See this box?

Williams box of lettersIt was full of letters to the Williams family.   There were quite a few letters in here from Charles to Minnie when he was away at school and working in a pharmacy.  There were letters from some of Mildred’s Dial cousins in Louisiana.

Here are some pictures of the Williams’ that I found in the boxes as well:

Dona, Mildred, and Minnie Williams

Dona is on the left, Mildred in the middle and Minnie on the right.

FH and Mildred WilliamsRev. Williams, I believe this is either Earl or Milton Higginbotham in the middle but not sure which one, and Mildred Williams on the right.

Earl Higginbotham 1901

This is my grandfather Earl Higginbotham in 1901, this photo was in the box and what I love so much about this picture is that Rev. Williams wrote on the back of the photo: “Twinkle to his old Granddad”.  I found that to be so sweet and it really just touched me.

FH WilliamsRev. Williams again.  I wish I could tell more about this picture and where he was.  It’s really blurry though.

F H WilliamsEarl had written on the back of this photo, Grandfather Williams.  It was so faded that you can barely make out his facial features.  I wish I could see his eyes.

Mildred Martin Williams

Mildred Martin Williams.  What a very regal picture.  I have such beautiful ancestors!!

Minnie Williams Hooks

Minnie Williams Hooks.  What a beautiful picture.

Dona HigginbothamDona Higginbotham.  This picture did not come from this box, Gary Higginbotham gave me this picture, but I didn’t want to leave her out because there wasn’t one of her in the box.  I love this picture though.

Booyah!!  What a great discovery of pictures and letters!  How lucky am I that Aunt Jane remembered them, and that Uncle Charlie got them out and gave them to me.  I will be forever grateful, from the bottom of my heart and I can’t say it enough.

So, at this point of my journey, I still had no death for Rev. Williams, but I have it down to being between 1914, the date of Minnie’s DAR application and 1920 when Mildred appears on the census as a widow.  A very thorough search of all Texarkana cemeteries has left me dry as well.

I’m already working on Part III of this series and I hope you’ll stick around for the rest of this story because I still have the good parts to get to.

Booyah!

Ok, sorry.  I just always have to do it one more time.

Don’t forget to come back on the 16th specifically, I have good things in store for you my special friends and family!

Susie

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