Tag Archives: Williams

Tombstone Tuesday – Rufus F and Dona A Higginbotham

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When we went to Texarkana a couple of weeks ago, I took Knucklehead by Woodlawn Cemetery to visit the grave of his 2nd great grandparents, Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Jr. and Eudonia A. Williams Higginbotham.  I try to take him by at least one cemetery on every trip.

Headstone of Rufus F and Dona A Higginbotham

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Who Do You Think You Are – is back! Tonight!

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I’m so excited about “Who Do You Think You Are” coming on tonight.  You can catch it on TLC, and here is a clip of what can be expected this season.

I think it’s really cool that they take the celebrities and help them with their family tree. However, you know what I think would be cooler? Doing a non-celebrity person, such as myself, *cough *cough.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoy the show and seeing what unfolds for these people. But I want them to help out people that can’t afford to follow the trail of the brickwall.  Let’s face it.  They can totally afford that journey without a TV show helping them.  Us Non-Celeb folks can’t just pick up and go to the place that holds the next clue, with a team of genealogist sitting in the library waiting to tell us what they have found.

Anywho, I can quit dreaming of that.

I’ll just keep plugging away at little by little and maybe before I die I will find out what my 2nd great-grandfather Francis Hereford Williams’ real name is and who the father of my 2nd great-grandfather John D. Parks is.

Maybe I’ll find out how us Higginbotham’s really descend from the Barbados Higginbotham’s.

Maybe I’ll find out how my 3rd great-grandfather Rev. John J. Triggs came from England sailing his own ship at the age of 17 and became a Methodist Circuit Rider and delivered the word all through the Indian Territories, and who were his parents back in England?

Maybe I could follow the trail of my German ancestors, the Roleke’s, back to Germany and find out what their role was during WWII.  Ok, maybe I don’t want to know that, but wait, I think I have to know!

Maybe I could find out about my Ball ancestors, and was the one born on the boat on the way to America from Ireland, really my 4th great-grandfather and what was his first name?

I could go on, but I’ll stop.  I know you all have the same list like I do, just different names and locations.

I am blessed enough to be able to go to Washington, DC on Aug 1st.  It will be my first trip and guess what I’m going to do?  I’m going to the National Archives, of course!  I’m going to see if I can find a clue to any of the above on my wish list!

I do have to admit, it would be great to have a team of genealogists waiting to help me, because realistically, I’m a little nervous about my first trip to the Archives.  Any of you ever been?  Got any tips?  I’m so afraid I’m going to get there and spin my wheels and come home empty handed.  I can’t afford to waste this opportunity.  I have to come home with the goods on at least one of my ancestors!

So, what about it?  If you showed up to the archives and the team from “Who Do You Think You Are” was there, and said “What do you want help with?  Where do we start?”  Which of your ancestors would you pick? Could you pick just one, or would you beg them to help with your whole wish list.

Military Monday – Courage, Home & Fireside

Meet Corporal James Adams.

Corporal James C. Adams

Corporal James C. Adams

I found this photo in the belongings of my 2nd great-grandfather, Rev. Francis Hereford Williams.  I have been researching Rev. Williams trying to prove his service in the war between the states in order to get him a headstone.  Finding this picture was the first bit of evidence that led me to believe he was in the civil war.

Here is the back of the photo:

Corporal James Adams back of photo

Corporal James Adams back of photo

It says:

Corporal James Adams
Co. D. 1st Rgmt LA Vol
C.S.A.

Lost his leg at the battle of Malvern Hill, VA.  July 2nd, 1862 Sunday.  Thus another brave young man commenced the weary march through life with one limb, having freely given the other for

Courage, Home & Fireside
F.H.W.
A Comrade

I did a bit of research on Corp Adams, and found him to be in the Confederate Home in Austin, Texas at the same time as my 2nd great-grandfather, Rev. Williams.  I found no evidence that he lost his leg in that battle, there in no mention of it in his muster rolls.  That doesn’t mean anything though, as my Rev. Williams suffered a head wound and I have not found any of his muster rolls, nor any that list a Williams with a head wound.  They did mention that Corporal Adams had severe eyesight problems, which is verified by this picture if you look at his eyes.

The rooster for the Austin Confederate Home, does list his disability as loss of leg.

Conf Home Register Corp James Adams

Conf Home Register Corp James Adams

I don’t know how he lost his leg, but it’s evident he suffered.  I would love to know more about my 2nd great-grandfather’s friend.  It’s evident he thought highly of him!

Susie

Kookie’s 2012 Recap

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Today, I received a really great email from Kookie Hemperley, my cousin who makes guest posts here on occasion and I would like to share this with you:

Letter from Kookie Hemperley, my 3rd cousin 1x removed:

I really hate to see 2012 come to an end!  It has been such an amazing year in that through genealogy I have made new friends, found new cousins and made a few discoveries about myself.  Allow me to share some of it with you.

In December 2011 I connected with Susie Higginbotham Reynolds, descendent of Sarah Mildred Martin Williams, daughter of my great great-grandfather, Henry Washington Martin.  Early in January, Susie drove from her home in Mt. Vernon, Arkansas to my home on a quest to compare notes and share photos and stories on our Martin relatives.  From the moment she stepped out of her car, I knew she was my type of gal!!!  She was warm, friendly, and looked like a real go-getter.  Not only did she come bearing tons of photos, letters, etc., she also brought along another cousin, Gary Higginbotham and his wife Bessie.  I also invited Cheri Payton Atkins, a relative through Henry Washington Martin’s wife, Sarah Courtney (who remarried George Pill following Henry’s death).  We had a great day and have all become great friends besides being third cousins one time removed!

Kookie, Gary, Bessie, Cheri, and Susie

Kookie Hemperley, Gary and Bessie Higginbotham, Cheri Payton Atkins, and Susie Reynolds

Susie and I have spent countless hours on the computer emailing back and forth, texting, talking on the phone and sharing any hint of information that might lead to more discoveries about our ancestors. Sometimes we pull “all nighters” but together we have located her illusive Francis Hereford Williams and the history of his being the founder of the Highland Baptist Church in Texarkana along with another ancestor, Stephen Boullemet a native of Saint Domingue who settled in New Orleans. She’s also been back to visit several times during 2012.  How would I describe Susie?  She’s like a pugnacious little bulldog that just doesn’t give up!  Cheri and I have tromped around graveyards, visited cousins and made numerous trips to libraries and become “best buds”.

On the Stanley family tree, I was contacted by Michelle McBride during May.  Her great-grandmother and my grandfather were brothers and sisters.  Our Stanley relatives were also related to Pattillo’s and our genealogy searches have resulted in some results that one might not want to include in one’s history.  It seems my great-grandmother (a Pattillo) had a brother who shot and killed his father!  How could that be?  Well, after much research it seems the father had shot first and the son, who was charged with murder, was found not guilty of any charges at the trial.   Michelle and I agreed that it was a part of our family’s story and should be told and included in our trees.  While she and I have not had a face to face meeting, we have talked on the phone and are hoping a visit will be in store for 2013.  Michelle is also planning a visit with some of her older Stanley relatives shortly to gather more information and hopefully photos and family stories.

Then in November 2012 I was contacted by Kenneth Whitehead regarding the Hemperley family tree.  Ken is the curator of the East Point Historical Society. East Point was the area of Georgia many of the Hemperley’s lived during the 1800s.  Some of their ancestors remain in the area today.  In fact, the funeral home, which began in the early 1900s, is still offering service and comfort to those of the community.  More importantly the Hemperley’s left foot prints on the history of the area.

Ken has been most gracious in sharing documents, newspaper clippings, death certificates, etc. with me.  In fact, Lillie Ruth Hemperley has been written about in “Lil, In Celebration of Lillie Ruth Hemperley Stewart’s 99th Birthday on February 16, 2004”.  It was written by Regina Stewart.  One of Lil’s sisters, Ina Hemperley Short also wrote “As I Remember It” in celebration of her 90th birthday in October 1987. Ken has taken the time to scan over 600 documents, put them in a DVD and give it to me and other Hemperley relatives!!!  The DVD arrived a few days after Christmas and I thought, “What a wonderful belated Christmas gift”. How lucky can you be and wouldn’t it be wonderful if just one person in every family tree would save the treasures of their families and share with others.

Ken and I have also been doing a little research, via email, on members of the clan that he had not “fit” into the puzzle. Luckily, I found some information as well as did Ken.  Should you have relatives in that area of Georgia, I’m sure the East Point Historical Society would be willing to share information.  By all appearances, they have a great working society.  You can check them out on Face Book or check them out when you are in the area.

Ken Whitehead, Charles Chambers,  and Lee Barrett at the EPHS

Ken Whitehead, Charles Chambers, and Lee Barrett at the East Point Historical Society

East Point Historical Society

East Point Historical Society at 1685 Norman Berry Avenue, East Point, Georgia

While checking out the East Point Historical Society you might also want to visit Susie’s website at http://ourfamiliesuntoldstories.com.  Not only does she post genealogy there, she also is documenting her family’s day to day lives in the hills of Arkansas.

The persons mentioned here were contacts made through Ancestry.com.  Should you be contacted by someone through Ancestry, please take time to reply as you may never know what you are missing.  Don’t take everything you see on Ancestry as gospel for we all make mistakes.  And finally if you copy a photo or document from someone else’s tree, please give credit to the person who has spent endless hours collecting, proving and sharing with you.

As a reminder to those who search regularly for information on family members, I would urge you to make a New Year’s Resolution to (1) document each person in your family prior to adding them to your tree; (2) to label your photos; (3) to preserve your documents and (4) to share openly.

As sad as I am about 2012 ending, I am also happy for all the new contacts made and look forward to adding more “cousins” in the coming year.  To each of you I wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year with lots of “green leaves”.

Kookie

Thank you Kookie, for sending me this letter and thank you for singing my praises.  I am so glad to have found you and all the other cousins that I found in 2012 and I look forward to 2013 as well so that I might know my family better and continue to share the stories here on this blog.

Susie

Veteran’s Day

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Field of Heroes at Cleburne Co. Courthouse in Heber Springs Arkansas

This picture is from the Field of Heroes at the Cleburne County Court House in Heber Springs, Arkansas.  What a nice way to honor our veterans.  Each flag has a tag on it with the name of the person who served with information about them on the tag.  They are taking the flags down today in a ceremony and the family will get to keep the flag.  I wish I had known about this in time to get a flag or two.  Of course if I honored every one in my family that served I would have gone broke.

I am very proud to say that there have been many of my family members that have served our country.

My husband, John Reynolds.

My father-in-law Al Reynolds, a cousin Erby Harris, and a cousin Harry Short, all of whom served in Vietnam.

My grandfather William John Parks, my great-uncle “Son” Sam Ball, my great-uncle Sonny Cowan, a cousin Hubert Aaron (gave his life), and a cousin Walter Harris who all served during World War II.

Four of my 2nd great grandfather’s served during the war between the states;  Rufus F. Higginbotham, Francis H. Williams (head wound), John D. Parks, and Kennedy Wade Ball (leg wound).

I even have an ancestor that served in the Indian Creek War, Sanford Higginbotham and one who served in the American Revolution, Thomas Bullard.

Others that have served are my cousin Gary Higginbotham, my cousin Lauren McKeehan, a nephew (still serving) Matthew Nold, a niece Jennifer Nold Bohannon, and many, many friends.

I’m sure I have accidentally left someone off the list.  If I did, please forgive me, they deserve recognition as well and please leave their name in the comment section below so I can keep our family list updated.

Some of the people I listed are long gone, and some are still here protecting our freedom.  I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their service.

I would also like to thank every service man and woman.  You are all heroes.  May God bless you.

As Elmer Davis once said, “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

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