From Generation to Generation

19 03 2008

There is a beautiful historic graveyard in our county that my mother is buried in along with others of her family. I’ve never had an interest in visiting graveyards. In fact, I’ve only visited my mother’s grave one time  —  shortly after moving to Kentucky.  Clearly, I thought that people who visited grave yards on a regular basis were a bit crazy. I especially never could understand why people decorated their ancestor’s graves.

Over the past two years my heart has opened up more to respecting those who have gone on before us. I owe that new thinking to my Orthodox faith. There are many documented stories of miracles happening to those who have visited a saint’s grave or had exposure to a relic of a saint. Thus, my interest has grown in visiting my ancestor’s graves. (Although by know means have my ancestors been declared saints.)

Vera and I took the plunge a couple of weeks ago to visit this cemetery. I knew where my mother’s brother and his family were buried. Thus, we went to visit their graves first. My aunt had taken me to visit  her family grave plots on one occasion before she died . She showed me the graves of her husband, my blood uncle, and their son.   I was able to remember where the graves were because they were close to a small chapel. However, my mind was blank about where my mother was buried.

A truck came along with some maintenance workers. They took us to a little building where all the records were kept. This building is always locked and if they had not come along–we wouldn’t have been able to find my mother’s grave. After we were given the records, we followed them in our car to mother’s grave. It was a family site where my mother, her mother and father and some other relatives were buried. I only recognized one name “Buck” (my grandfather’s brother) because I had heard stories about him. There were other names: Julian, Eliza and Louisa. I knew the Julian probably was my grandfather’s father –because my grandfather named one of his sons -Julian.

We went back a week later and noticed a large ornate tombstone with the family name. My mind could not recollect having heard about this man. He was buried a short distance away from the other graves.   The only reason why we saw this grave was because we drove into the cemetery from the south gate. I was standing there looking at the grave and wishing that I could talk to our county historian. I happened to look up and there he was just about six feet away from where I was standing. I yelled out: Prof. T, can you come here and help me?”Prof. T had taught me European and American history at our community college. He also knew my family very well. He couldn’t recall who this person was but he told us to take down all of the information on the graves and go to the library where all the newspapers were on micro film.  He also noted the little American flag on the Confederate emblem that had been placed by the grave. Prof.  T  said that a Confederate soldier would never have believed in the union of the states and thus it was an insult for someone to have placed the American flag on the grave.  (By the way, I’m not real happy to know my great uncle  and my great grandfather were Confederate soldiers.) Later that evening I was browsing through our local newspaper and saw that Prof T was the subject of a nice article. I found out that one of his hobbies is to ride around this cemetery and visit his friends who have departed.

Vera immediately found a helpful website: www. Ancestry.com.(There is a cost to access the records.) She found out that Julian was my great grandfather. Louisa was his first wife. They had five children together. Louisa died when she was just 39 years old. Four years later, Julian married Eliza . They had two sons and two daughters.  Never once did I ever hear my grandmother talk about her husband having two sisters.  I felt upset with grandmother for not sharing about the entire family. One of their sons, Leslie, is my grandfather. The grave that we had wondered about belongs to Julian’s brother, John. Julian and John both fought as Confederate soldiers in the civil war. They lived in Virginia. After the war, they migrated to Kentucky.  Vera was able to tap into someone’s family history work and found over two hundred years of our family tree.We have pages and pages of information that would have taken years to compile by the old method of gathering records.

We were also particularly interested in my maternal grandmother’s Irish heritage. We knew that her mother’s maiden name was Irish. Yesterday, Vera found out that my great grandmother’s  father came over from Ireland during the potato famine that nearly wiped out that country in the 1840’s.  I vaguely knew that the potato  famine had something to do with my maternal grandmother.Vera has narrowed down the names of 8 boats that my great great grandfather could have sailed on. She hopes to  pinpoint the exact boat he sailed to America on in the next few days.

Now back a bit to my grandfather’s family.  They are definitely of English ancestry.  And Kentucky has only been the home of this line of ancestors since after the Civil war.  I had mentioned that one of my grandfather’s brothers was also buried in the family plot.  “Buck” died when he was just 33 years old.  We do have the original obituary of  Buck.  He worked in a drug store down town and was well loved.  The obituary gave a detailed account of how he didn’t turn up to work on a Monday.  It gave information about doctors trying to revive him.  Lastly, it told of his fellow merchants downtown being sad about his death.  It was an intriguing obituary.

At any rate –a new hobby has started for Vera. Eventually, she hopes to get all sides of our family tree completed. Thus far, on my mother’s side of the family-I know we have a strong British and Irish heritage. I’m figuring that I’m at least 1/16 Irish. I get a laugh out of those who think I’m Irish anyway because of my dyed red hair.

We hope to visit our ancestors now on a regular basis. I want to eventually decorate their graves. It looks like the hobby of genealogy is here to stay. So “top of the morning to each of you” and happy spring!

God bless each of you!

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8 responses

19 03 2008
shadowlands1501

Nicole3
It is great to discover you own piece of history in this nation. Living in your home town makes it even more special. Now, you are Irish even when it isn’t St Paddy’s day…My Irsih ancestry came over in 1681…one of William Penn’s religious freedom seekers…I find geneology so fascinating…Happy hunting…

20 03 2008
Josephine Lindsay Bass

Hi, you said (By the way, I’m not real happy to know my great uncle and my great grandfather were Confederate soldiers.)and my goggle alert caught Confederate and gave your website url.

I am a Confederate Southern American and I am proud of him; I am proud of all our soldiers and especially proud to honor those who died in defense of their homeland in our Second War of Independence 1861-1865.

Perhaps you might consider taking that line out so as not to offend or insult others!

I believe you would be proud if you knew all that I have uncovered in my 15 years of research. At least you might be curious to read and learn the truth instead of pc propaganda indoctrination you absorbed.

I didn’t see any surnames on your site, we might be kin; so check out my site and if we are email me.

Visit my site, I have over 100,000 records
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mysouthernfamily/

20 03 2008
nichole3

Josephine,
I’m sure you do know more than I do about the confederate government. However, I cannot in good conscience be anything but who I am. I have always believed that the civil war was a tragic part of our history. I have respect to all who fought–whether the north or the south–but I was disappointed to find out that about my heritage. Living in the south makes me realize more each day how many issues are still dividing our nation. Sorry but I am who I am. I don’t mean to offend anyone. This was just a one time post on something fun we had discovered. My website is not a genealogy site so I doubt I will have much more to say about the issue. I didn’t give surnames because I try to keep a certain privacy in this site.

20 03 2008
nichole3

Thanks Shadowlands, it has been fun to find out more about our family. Vera has the greatest interest and so I will just continue to follow behind her trails.

20 03 2008
ken

The boy scouts in our area[Alabama have as ther project to decorate all veterans graves with a small American flag.I believe confederate graves should be decorated with Confederat flags. My gr.gr.grandfathers grave had such a flag the last time I visited and did look strange with its confederate headstone with American flag. Byy the way I have never met anyone who was not proud of their Confederate ancestors. I did read that John McCain said his ancestors fought for the wrong side. These are words of a scalawag and would be frowned upon in my area of the country. Thanks Ken

22 03 2008
nichole3

Thanks Ken, Prof. T told me that he took the American flag off the grave of his great grandfather who fought in the Confederate army. Perhaps the boyscouts decorated graves here in Kentucky, too. I am proud of my ancestors who fought in the confederate war. However, I was born in Detroit, Mi and have always thought that President Abraham Lincoln was right in his convictions that slaves should be freed. Again, this is just a one time blog. I’m not majoring on any theme concerning the Civil War.

6 04 2008
David Web

Nichole:

I’m surprised to learn you didn’t know that Mother’s side had many confederate veterans. It seems a certain pair of them, who were twins, were scouts for Jeb Stuart’s calvary, so very successful in maraudung, disrutpting, and confiscating supplies intended for Union troops during the first two years of the Rebellion.

In fact, as the inevitble tide of fortune shifted in the summer of 1863, it was Stuart, one of Lee’s very favorite officers, who shouldered the blame for he and his entourage’s tardy appearance while gathering at Gettysburg, which many historians blame for the ultimate loss of Southern fortune at that decisive battle.

You seem to have left out the French from Dad’s side. Where do you think the pervasive back eyes and occasional olive complexion in the family comes from?

Then again, many British have Roman noses, from the Roman domination of Britain. They never had much luck with the Scots though, (Hadrian’s wall), a testament to their didain for even trying to conquer the Scots. We are Scots-Irish, although a celt is a calt is a celt.

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protectorate of England, paid his Scottish troops with land in Northern Ireland after the 3rd English civil war, the treasury having been drained. That is the origin of the bad blood amongst the protestant and catholic Irish, Ulster.

Little Brother

7 04 2008
nichole3

Little brother,
Those tales escaped my hearing. Vera is doing all of the research and we haven’t gotten to Dad’s side of the family yet. It has been interesting to know that our great grandfather on mother’s side lost his first wife and married again. We come from the second’s wife’s line.

love,
Sis

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