Tuesday, January 23, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Invite to Dinner

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of January 22, 2018, is "Invite to Dinner."

Suggestions from Amy: Which ancestor would you most want to invite to dinner? Do you have a story of a memorable dinner with an ancestor? Is there a special recipe that’s been handed down? I thought I'd answer all three questions.

Deciding which ancestor I’d like to invite to dinner is tough! There are so many to choose from. For starters, I’d like to invite my maternal grandfather, William Liming Redles. I feel like he led such a fascinating life during his career in the Marines. I wrote a lengthy blog post about him when I first started this blog back in 2011. Click on his name above to read it. Then I'd like to invite my maternal grandmother, Leona Roberts, and my paternal grandparents, Albert S. Pendleton Sr. and Helen Brown (click on their names to go to the blog posts I wrote). I'd like to ask all of my grandparents what their lives were like as children and adults. 

Unfortunately, I don't have any memorable dinners with an ancestor. I wish I did. I know we had dinners with my paternal grandparents, but I don't remember when or what we ate or talked about. I remember being in their dining room at the table when I was very young, probably on a holiday. We had numerous dinners at the Big House (where my mother grew up) with my maternal great aunts, uncles, and cousins when I was young. 

One of my favorite family recipes is the brownie recipe I shared on my blog. I found out later that this recipe is probably Great Aunt Mary's. She was Mary Converse and was married to my maternal great uncle John Young Roberts, my grandmother's brother.

If I could, I'd invite all my ancestors to dinner, one by one. Everyone has a story to tell.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Longevity

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of January 15, 2018, is "Longevity."

We like to say in my family that the women on my mother’s side live a long time, and they age well, too! Sadly, my mother’s own mother died at the age of 59 of breast cancer a few months after I was born. 

My mother is currently 92 and says she’s going to reach 100. I told her to go for it! Her sister Catherine is about to turn 87. Most of their maternal aunts (my great aunts) lived to their late 80s or into their 90s: Kathleen lived to 94, Maie Dell lived to 89, Margaret lived to 93, and Mary Remer (Dinah) lived to 89-1/2. 

The back of this photo says "Edmund's wedding. The aunts."
Standing, left to right: Kathleen, Maie Dell, Leona (my grandmother)
Seated, left to right: Mary Remer (Dinah), Margaret, Stella.
(Edmund is Stella's son. One sister, Midge, wasn't there.)
Probably taken in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Both of my dad’s sisters lived into their 90s: Clyde was 96 and Frances was 91.

I’m sure there are other people in my family tree who were long-lived. I was fortunate to have known all these ladies while growing up. I hope the longevity gene was passed down to me!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Favorite Photo

This post is part of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. The prompt for the week of January 8, 2018, is "Favorite Photo."

This photo is ONE of my favorites, not THE favorite, as I have many favorites, especially of my family and of our ancestors.

And I guess I should say this photo is of one of my favorite subjects, because I’ve taken several photos of this statue. In fact, for a while, I took a photo of her whenever I visited Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta, Georgia. I finally had to tell myself, no more photos of her. I’m not the only one fascinated by this statue. I found several photographs of her in my dad’s collection.

The Lady of Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, Georgia

I used to refer to this statue as “the angel” even though she has no wings, but lately, I’ve been calling her “the goddess” or “the lady of Sunset Hill.” She stands above the grave of Kate Martin Howell.

Whenever I visit Sunset Hill, I swing by this statue and commune with her for a few minutes. She looks so serene and peaceful.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Start

I decided at the last minute to join in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2018. I participated in 2014 and had fun getting to know more about some of my ancestors and also revisiting some of my research on others. Since I haven’t written a post on this blog in over a year, I thought this would be a great way to get me writing again. I’ll write two posts this week to catch up.

For this challenge, we’ll have a topic prompt each week. For the first week of January, the prompt is “Start.” One of Amy’s suggestions for this prompt is to write about the person who got us started in genealogy. That person would be my dad, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.

A collage I made of my dad, Albert S. Pendleton, Jr.

As far back as I can remember, my dad was interested in family history. I loved listening to the stories he would tell my siblings and me about our family, both about his and my mother’s. He wrote the Lowndes County Historical Society (LCHS) newsletter for a few decades and wrote the “Way Back When” articles for the Valdosta Daily Times that were later compiled into three volumes by the LCHS. He and Susan McKey Thomas wrote a book about Doc Holliday (Susie’s cousin), titled In Search of the Hollidays: The Story of Doc Holliday and His Holliday and McKey Families (Valdosta: Little River Press, 1973).

Dad wrote a memoir in the 1980s (I’m so glad he did!), and before he died, he asked me to look for the document. I found it scattered in a few places in his paper-strewn office. Thank goodness he’d typed his memoir, because no one can read his handwriting! And this was before computers. I retyped his memoir a few years ago so I’d have a digital copy. I intended on adding photos and having it printed to give to family members, but I haven’t done that yet. I’ve let so many other things take my attention.

My dad did a ton of research, so after he died, I began organizing his documents. It was slow going since I could only work on it when I visited from out of state. Now I live in my childhood home, taking care of my mother. There’s still tons more of my dad’s papers now sitting in boxes that need to be filed. I’ve scanned a lot to share with cousins, but there’s still more to go. Not to mention all the photographs! I’ve barely touched the surface.

Dad was good at writing cousins and staying in touch over the years. He did all of his research before the Internet and Google and ancestry.com (among other genealogy websites). He’d actually call people, visit, or write letters asking for information. I wish I could share with my dad what I’ve found out about his family lines in the past few years. He would be amazed. Thank goodness I do have the Internet at my disposal!