"If I want my children and grandchildren to know those who still live in my memory, then I must build the bridge between them. I alone am the link to the generations that stand on either side of me. It is my responsibility to knit their hearts together through love and respect, even though they may never have known each other personally. My grandchildren will have no knowledge of their family’s history if I do nothing to preserve it for them. That which I do not in some way record will be lost at my death, and that which I do not pass on to my posterity, they will never have." ~ Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Ensign, May 1999, pages 83-84~

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mad Monday - Brick Walls

Let me just say that I absolutely hate brick walls.  They are the most maddening thing I can imagine.  One of my most maddening brick walls concerns my 2nd Great Grandmother, Martha White.

At some point before his death, my mother and father visited my Uncle Marlin Brock in Wewahitchica, Florida and my mother copied information from a family bible he had in his possession.  Her notes contained the information that Russell Evan Brock and Martha White were married in Thomasville, Georgia in 1848.  This information confirms the record found in the Family Search of the LDS church.  Ancestry.com lists their marriage as being in Terrell County, which was not formed until 1856.  It was formed from Lee and Randall Counties.  Unfortunately, we do not know what became of the Bible after Uncle Marlin's death and the marriage information I have found does not list any parents.

The 1850 Census has a listing for Rusell E. Brock, 20; Martha Brock, 17; and John Brock, 1. ( Year: 1850; Census Place: District 81, Thomas, Georgia; Roll  M432_83; Page: 34A; Image: 423.)

My mother's notes show that Russell Evan Brock and Martha White's oldest child was named John and that he was born in 1849.  If Martha White was 17 in 1850 she would most likely have been 15 when she and Russell were married.

There is a Thomas White with a female child ages 5 to 10, living in Thomasville,  2 doors from the Brock family that I am convinced is the family Russell Brock belonged to.  However there is also a Samuel White living elsewhere in Thomas County with a female child of the correct age.

Although there are no White or Brock families in Lee County in 1840, there is a John B. White in Randolph County who had a female child of the correct age.

I also have to take into consideration that there were 8 years between the 1840 census and an 1848 marriage. The family that Martha belonged to might not even have lived in Thomas, Lee or Randolph counties in 1840.

I have not been able to locate the Brock family in the 1860 census.  By the 1870 census they are living in Washington County, Florida.  There are White families also living in Washington County in 1870 but I have no records to indicate that my Martha is connected to any of these families.

In summary, the only White ancestor I have identified to date is Martha White, born in Georgia, probably in 1833.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Remembering Daddy

The thing that I am most sentimental about is my Father, Walter Raymond Davis.  Therefore, after much consideration, I have decided to dedicate the next few Sundays to "Remembering Daddy."

Walter Raymond Davis
Walter Raymond Davis was born in Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida on March 12, 1920.  He was the fifth child and first son born to Walter Felix and Naomi Lee Brock Davis.  

Walter Felix and Naomi Lee Brock Davis 

His older sister, Cecil May Davis thought that Raymond, as he was known to his family, was her 8th birthday present - her birthday being March 12, 1912. The three little girls who had been born between Cecil and Raymond had all died in infancy.  They were: An unnamed daughter, born and died on June 14, 1914; Ursula Eugenia Davis, born September 18, 1915, died November 1916; and Mary Esther Davis, born October 18, 1918, died November 17, 1918.
Walter Raymond Davis March 14, 1912.  

Walter Raymond and Roberta Lee Davis
Although Daddy's family was originally from Jackson County, Florida near Marianna, his father was a carpenter and had moved his young family to Pensacola in order to work in the shipyards.The family was still living in Pensacola when Daddy's sister, Roberta Lee Davis, was born on November 22, 1921. 

By 1924, Granddaddy had moved his family to Wimauma in Hillsborough County, Florida. It was while they were in Wimauma that Daddy's brother, Owen Harold Davis, was born on February 1st.. Sometime after Harold's birth, Grandaddy moved the family to West Palm Beach, Florida while he worked as a carpenter on the mansions being built in Palm Beach.
Cecil Mae, Walter Raymond and Roberta Lee Davis

The land boom in Palm Beach went bust by mid 1926 and on September 18th of that same year the area was devastated by a huge hurricane known as "The Big Blow". (This was 25 years before they began naming Hurricanes).  In the aftermath of these events, Daddy, his parents, siblings, and great-grandfather, John Walter Davis, who had been living with the family in West Palm Beach, made their way back to Jackson County.

Daddy spent the rest of his childhood and teenage years living with his family in Jackson County, near where his grandparents had homesteaded in the 1870's.

Today's post is just an introduction the the man I called "Daddy".  In future Sentimental Sunday posts I will be sharing more posts and memories.  I hope you enjoy them!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Follow Friday - and Follow-Up Friday

Follow Friday - As I have only been at this blogging business for a few days, I know that I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the blogs that are out there.  That being the case, there have been a three bloggers who have left me comments of encouragement so as a shout-out to them I wish to make you acquainted with their blogs - if you are not already.

CMPointer - Family Stories
Heather Rojo - Nutfield Genealogy
Mary - Mary's Musings

Thank you all for your kind words.

Follow-Up Friday - I find that I need to Follow-Up on yesterday's post "A Child of Many Sires".  I realize that while I listed the first sixteen surnames I will be blogging about, I forgot to list the places I am doing research in. So, here goes:

Davis - Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and North Carolina
McDougal - Florida, Georgia
Pelt (Van Pelt) - Florida, North Carolina, New York, The Netherlands
Taylor - Florida, South Carolina
Brock - Florida, Georgia
White - Florida, Georgia
Newsom - Florida, Alabama, South Carolina
Pippin - Florida, North Carolina, Maryland
Cahoon - Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Utah. Scotland
Spencer - Massachusetts, Illinois, Utah
Johanson - Denmark
Nielson - Denmark, Utah
Manwill - Maine, Illinois, Utah
McLellan - South Carolina, Tennesee, Illinois, Utah
Keele - Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia, England
Boulton - Utah, England

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Child of Many Sires

"We are the children of many sires, and every drop of blood in us in its turn...betrays it's ancestors." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am indeed the child of many sires or, as I like to think, a typical child of the American experience.  As is true of most of us, my heritage is a conglomeration of many different cultures.  My forefathers include a Dutch Patroon and a little girl from Denmark, a Scottish soldier captured by Cromwell who was sent to the New World as an indentured servant and an elderly widow who pulled a handcart across the prairies.  There were men and women who came from England during the Great Migration and those who came from England in the mid-nineteenth century.  Some of my ancestors came here to escape religious persecution while others left the boundaries of the United States for that same reason.  I must build bridges to Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, England, and Scotland as well as to places I have not yet identified.because brick walls have stalled my progress before reaching the immigrant ancestor.

Speaking of Immigrant Ancestors I also have one or two who are at the center of internet controversies over the correct lineage of said immigrant. But then, this is only part of the fun of the search.

There is, of course, rumors of Indian blood in my background but again brick walls have not allowed me to actually confirm this.

My family lines - back to my 2nd great grandparents are: Paternally - Davis, McDougal, Pelt (Van Pelt), Taylor, Brock, White, Newsom and Pippin and Maternally - Cahoon, Spencer, Johanson, Nielson, Manwill, McClellan, Keele and Boulton.  As I expand my blog to include generations beyond these, I will be adding to this list.

I hope that, as I continue my research, the drops of blood within me will each, in its turn, betray more of my ancestors to me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Starting the Bridge

After reading an article in my latest Family Tree Magazine I decided to start a genealogy blog.  In the past twenty years I have collected genealogies, family histories, stories, photos and more.  In this blog I will share many of these as well as insights, tips and any thing else I think may be of interest to my followers.  I hope you will join me on my adventure as I become a bridge builder, connecting my ancestors to my descendants and hopefully encouraging others to build their own bridges.