Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch- Changes

So many changes are coming! I’m opening up a shop! The new name of the website is now the name of my business – Honeysuckle Farm, LLC. The blog will remain and will keep the name Days of Our Lives. I named it that because my paternal grandmother and great grandmother (Audrey and Bess) were always watching soap operas when I was little and when I talk about my blog I always think of them. What can I say? I’m a sentimental person.

I’m attempting to point my Shopify shop here. I have no idea what I’m doing so bear with me! I’m figuring it out as fast as I can. I’m hoping that connecting the shop will help me centralize everything. We’ll see… I only have a free trial of Shopify so if it doesn’t work out I’ll have to figure out something else so changes may continue for a month or two while I get it together. For now, you can view my shop items on the Collections page. Once you arrive there, you can click on the titles under each picture to go to each collection although I will tell you that the only one with products listed right now is the Family History Collection. There are only a couple of items listed right now due to the amount of time it’s taking me to learn the new software and get the information online.

Thanks for your understanding and for sticking with me through these changes. I’ll get back to blogging soon. I forget how insanely busy the last few weeks of the school year are but we’re almost there – just two more weeks and then I can focus just on my shop and my blog (and Cousin Camp because YAY- 2021 Cousin Camp is coming at the end of June!!!).

While you’re waiting on me to pull myself together, here are a few pics of one of my absolute favorite places and a place I took the boys for their Cousin Camp field trip a couple of years ago. It was one of my favorite field trip days with the boys.

Saline Courthouse – the only original standing Cherokee courthouse in what was Indian Territory. There were 9 in Indian Territory and only this one remains.
Current hours of operation.
June 27, 2019 Us and the boys at Saline Courthouse for Cousin Camp Field Trip day.
June 27, 2019 Bart’s parents and the boys at Saline Courthouse for Cousin Camp Field Trip day.
June 27, 2019 My parents and the boys at Saline Courthouse for Cousin Camp Field Trip day. You can see the courthouse in the background. In 2019 they were still renovating it.
June 27, 2019 The boys being goofy at Saline Courthouse for Cousin Camp Field Trip day.

If you get a chance to visit Saline Courthouse, go! And while you’re in the area, try to find the Cherokee Nation Buffalo ranch and visit the Buffalo. Here’s a website to get you started. You can view inside the courthouse with that link but it doesn’t do justice to the location. Make time to go there!

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Mother’s Day Sale!

Days of Our Lives ~ Gift Stories for Mother’s Day

It’s time for a Mother’s Day sale! DO NOT wait until the last minute on this gift option. 🌺 This is the perfect gift for moms who “have it all”.


$35 per story if you can provide me with about 4-5 generations of your ancestors (that’s back to great or great-great grandparents). I don’t have to have every single name but I will need a majority of the names/info. You will get a digital story that is password protected so that only you and those to whom you give the password can read it. (You can choose to make it public if you prefer.) For an additional $2 you can choose to get a print copy of the story which will come printed on beautiful linen, cotton or parchment paper.


I can do your pedigree chart for you back to great or great-great grandparents PLUS write the story. The cost is $50 for this option. You will receive a digital copy of your pedigree chart PLUS a digital story that is password protected so that only you and those to whom you give the password can read it. (You can choose to make it public if you prefer.) For an additional $3 you can choose to get a print copy of the story and the pedigree chart which will come printed on beautiful linen, cotton or parchment paper.

Once I receive (or have researched and compiled) your pedigree chart I will look at the backgrounds of a number of your ancestors and choose one with an interesting history to write about. I don’t mind if you tell me who you’d like me to write about, but be aware I may not be able to fulfill your request. I will do my best to fulfill specific requests whenever possible.

I’m looking forward to working with you to create a special gift for someone you love!

Happy Birthday, Jeannie

Today my cousins are remembering their mom on her birthday, so I will join them. Their mom was Jeannie STROUT. She was born in 1949 to Bobby and Virginia (KUYKENDALL) STROUT (at least, I think Virginia was her mom). I haven’t been able to do enough research to confirm who Jeannie’s mom was yet. Jeannie had four children – 2 boys and 2 girls. One of her daughters, Kim, passed away in 2001 – a loss that devastated my cousins and, I’m sure, devastated Jeannie as well.

Jeannie and Poynor Baptist Church

As with most of the spouses of my paternal aunt and uncles, the spouses attended Poynor Baptist Church at some point. Jeannie was no exception. Her entry in the Membership Roll book shows she was saved on 20 September 1970. She was baptized 19 September 1972. Her entry is under her married name of DRAKE.

Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll entry for Jeannie STROUT DRAKE.

At the time of this entry, her address was Rogers, Benton County, Arkansas.

Jeannie’s dad, Bobby, was a preacher so church and religion were not a new thing for Jeannie or her sister, Linda. Her dad pastored Guiding Light Tabernacle, an evangelical church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for years. Jeannie’s mom has been a bit of an enigma for me so I won’t go into her until I have solid information.

For now, I’m going to leave you with this simple sketch of Jeannie. I was too young to have any memories of her myself and haven’t had time to ask around for stories about her so sometime in the future I’ll get back to writing about Jeannie. In the meantime, hugs to my cousins as they remember their mom on her birthday.

Peace & Love,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy blog

Reverend Montgomery of Poynor Baptist Church

Yesterday my dad asked me about some of the early pastors of Poynor Baptist Church so I began looking through the records. One of the early preachers was a Reverend MONTGOMERY. It took some time to search out who he really was. Here is the information I started with from the Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book and a handwritten letter found in the box given to me by my cousin Chris.

A handwritten ‘copy’ of a letter written by the Missionary Baptist Church of Poynor on 7 March 1954 offering Reverend MONTGOMERY a call to pastor the church. The church was 2 years old at this point.
Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book showing Rev. C. M. MONTGOMERY and wife Ethyle. This entry has their names crossed out because they moved to Seneca, Missouri. The entry shows a letter of recommendation was sent to their new church and that Reverend C. M. MONTGOMERY passed away after moving.
Index of the Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book dated 1964 showing C M and Ethyl MONTGOMERY and noting that the couple had moved, a letter of recommendation had been sent, and that C. M. had passed away.

As you can see, Ethel’s name was spelled two different ways. There are other issues with spelling that you’ll see in a minute. This is why it took some time to figure out who this couple was. As it turns out, C. M.’s name was actually Charles Nathan MONTGOMERY and he was called “Shug” according to his tombstone. Ethyle/Ethyl was actually Charles’ second wife, Julia Ethel TYGART CALLAHAN MONTGOMERY. Shug and Ethel had no children together but each of them had children from their previous marriages. Shug had two children that I’m aware of with his first wife Mary Jane “Mollie” YOCUM. The children were Ruth and Charles. Ethel had 4 children that I’m aware of with her first husband Benjamin Franklin CALLAHAN. The children were Clifford, Ben, Bob, and Marcella. Mollie YOCUM MONTGOMERY passed away in 1943 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Benjamin CALLAHAN passed away in 1918 in Kentucky. So Shug and Ethel were widower and widow when they met and married. Shug and Ethel married in 1945.

Mollie YOCUM MONTGOMERY’s death certificate.

Shug’s death certificate indicates he was a retired well-driller and minister.

Reverend Charles Nathan “Shug” MONTGOMERY’s death certificate.

I’ve asked around for memories of Shug MONTGOMERY and this is what I’ve learned. Shug had a medical condition – possibly Thrombosis – and he had to wear what sounds like compression socks. Shug drove an Edsel and when he drove he would accelerate up to about 50 or 55 miles per hour but then his leg would give out and he would decelerate so riding with Shug was an ongoing series of accelerations and decelerations but he was one of the few people in the area that owned an Edsel.

Shug Montgomery at Poynor Church

I was able to find a newspaper article about Shug’s work at Poynor. The following article is from the 21 Oct 1954 edition of the Neosho (Missouri) Daily News.

21 Oct 1956, Neosho (Missouri) Daily News article about Shug MONTGOMERY and Poynor Church.

Shug pastored at Poynor for several years I’m told and during that time he and my great grandpa Mark DRAKE had a disagreement over church issues. Rather than argue, Mark left the church and attended Oak Chapel Church for a few years. Shug’s overarching goal for Poynor church was to build a new church out by the highway for better visibility and ease of access. He was unable to accomplish this prior to leaving the church.

When Shug and Ethel left, they moved to Seneca, Missouri and Shug passed away 4 August 1964. Ethel lived to 80 years of age and passed away 19 April 1967 from Acute Myocardial Infarction.

Both Shug and Ethel are buried at Seneca Cemetery in Seneca, Newton County, Missouri.

Shug MONTGOMERY’s obituary.

Shug, in Retrospect

Shug seemed to be a good man determined to do big things for the Church. He only spent a few years at Poynor before moving on but he is a part of the church history and I’m glad I could bring you a little piece of his story. Perhaps I’ll find more documents pertaining to him as I go through the box of church records and I’ll be able to add to his story. For now, I’ll leave you with this brief introduction to one of the early pastors of Poynor church and a short note to say that I believe it’s possible the MONTGOMERY family has some connection to my dad’s BAKER family although I haven’t been able to figure it out yet. Hopefully that will be resolved in the future.

Peace and Love,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy

Long, Hot Summer

It’s been a long summer trying to get my business off the ground. I’ve missed writing these blog posts. Aside from starting a business, there have been so many other changes in the last few months. From mid-August to present we’ve laid to rest two cousins – Robert EVANS and David WETZEL – and an uncle, Alvin BENNETT, Jr.. They will all be missed.

Alvin Bennett Jr., Vietnam veteran.

Family Is Everything

When I was a child, I saw almost all of my cousins almost every weekend of my childhood. These days, it seems we only see each other at funerals and weddings. Today was one of those days. Before leaving the graveside services for my uncle Junior, my cousin Chris told me he had a box for me. He gifted me a box of records from the church we grew up in. It’s been quite a trip down memory lane looking through old business meeting notes, membership rolls, etc. Over the coming weeks I hope to share some of those records with you. For tonight, I want to share the baptismal records for my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and even a great-great grandparent.

Poynor Baptist Church

The Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book as it looks today.

This Poynor Baptist Membership Roll book was in the box Chris gave me. This book is as good as gold to me. It’s like a mini-family history for me. In this book, I found my own record of salvation and baptism (the dates aren’t there but I can tell you it was Autumn of 1976 for salvation and Summer of 1978 for baptism):

My salvation/baptism entry in the Poynor Baptisit Church Membership Roll book.

I also found both of my parents in the book:

My dad’s entry – he was baptized on June 13, 1954.
My mom’s entry – she was baptized on 16 February 1964.

I also found many of my ancestors in the book:

My paternal grandparents, great-grandparents, and even my great-great-grandfather!
Plus one more great-grandmother.

I love the story my dad tells about my great-great-grandfather, Poppy Lonzo. He remembers Poppy standing at the back of the Poynor Baptist Church with tears streaming down his face professing his belief in Christ and his regret that he waited so long to accept Christ as his savior. What a beautiful story! It brings tears to my eyes.

Losses, But Also Gains

In this summer of losses for my family, it was refreshing to see the eternal gains we’ve made. Refreshing to know that I will see my people again one day in a better place. Comforting to know that my people are already in that better place waiting for my arrival.

As we move into fall and winter, I’m wishing you more days of rejoicing than grief and I’m wishing you comfort in your days of loss.


Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy

Heads Up!

I know I haven’t written a post in a while. I’ll get back to writing when I can. In the meantime, I came across someone else’s blog post that may be interesting to my husband’s relatives on his dad’s side – those related to Milo Greenwood DEWITT. Milo was a Woodsmen of the World member and I’ve written about that here and here and more about Milo here and here.

The post I found yesterday that I think you may be interested in is about the Woodsmen of the World uniforms. The person in this post is not related to the DEWITT family as far as I know but he did share membership in the Woodsmem and was photographed in his uniform. I recommend reading this for a little more insight into the Woodsmen with uniform details that would have pertained to our Milo DEWITT. You can find the post here. Enjoy!

Just because I know how much you all love photos (I do, too!), here is a photo I haven’t yet shared. It’s Milo and Rebecca’s daughter, Minerva Ann.

Minerva Ann DEWITT BLACKSHEAR, daughter of Milo and Rebecca BELL DEWITT.

I’m looking forward to getting back to writing soon. I hope your summer is going well.

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy Blog

She’s a Brick Wall

This is going to be a short post. The theme this week is ‘brick wall’. I’m going to highlight a problem line from my husband’s family tree. I’m writing about his paternal 2nd great grandparents, Samual and Malinda (KAYLE) WILLIAMS. Since Samual’s father was also named Samuel and I’ll be mentioning them both, I’ll be calling the older one Samuel Sr. and then calling the younger one (the actual subject of this post) Samual. I’m spelling their names as I found them on records. Another caveat: I’m not entirely sure Malinda’s last name is KAYLE but it’s the only lead I have in regard to her maiden name. ‘Samual Williams’ is a popular name so as you can imagine, making headway is very difficult. I have my own Samuel WILLIAMS (unrelated to his) who stumped me for years and still is somewhat a mystery to me.

Samual Williams

Samual WILLIAMS was born between 1850 and 1854 probably in Hancock County, Illinois (but also possibly in Missouri- I really don’t know). I believe his parents were Samuel Sr. and Nancy Ann (MONROE) WILLIAMS. I believe that Samual’s father died when Samual was very young. I believe by age 10 (and possibly well before that – maybe as young as age 2), Samual was already an orphan.

While writing this blog post, I’ve discovered a new family tree on Ancestry that looks to be Samual’s parents and a brother I was unaware of. Below is a photo from that family tree of a man I believe may be Samual’s brother. The man is Jay Williams and he’s on the far left. If you belong to my husband’s WILLIAMS family and you see a family resemblance please be sure to let me know in the comments section below.

Photo of Jay Williams, far left.

Malinda Kayle Williams

Malinda KAYLE was born between 1854 and 1856 in Arkansas. I don’t know who her parents are. I believe she also died at a fairly young age and probably before her children were grown.

Mr. and Mrs. Samual Williams

Samual and Malinda were married in August of 1870 in Izard County, Arkansas. Together they had 4 known children – William, Walter, George, and Dee Barton. There was possibly also a 5th child but I’m not sure. (Dee Barton is my husband’s great grandfather.) I don’t know the death dates or burial places for Samual or Malinda (KAYLE) WILLIAMS.

Final Thoughts

I would absolutely love for someone to help me break through this brick wall. If you have information about this family or you think you have a connected WILLIAMS family please contact me and let me know. I hope you have a great week!

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy blog

The Soul(e) of Great Nine Partners in Dutchess County, New York

This week’s theme is ‘great’. In trying to make my blog post different from others coming out this week, I chose to look for a place name or some feature about location that reflected the theme of ‘great’. What I found was my maternal 7th great grandfather, George W. SOULE, who spent his final years in the Great Nine Partners Patent area of Dutchess County, New York.

Great Nine Partners ~ Dutchess County, New York ~ 1697

Let me tell you, you will not find a town called Great Nine Partners (as it was presented to me). “Great Nine Partners” refers to a land patent area. The “Nine Partners” were Colonel Caleb HEATHCOTE, Major Augustine GRAHAM, James EMOTT (aka EMMOT), Lieutenant Colonel Henry FILKINS, David JAMISON, Hendrick TEN EYCK, John EVERTSON (aka Jan AARSTON), William CREED, and Jarvis MARSHALL. It was called “Great” because the land mass was greater than what was given in the Little Nine Partners land patent which occurred nine years later. Current towns/cities in the former Great Nine Partners land patent area include Stanford, part of Hyde Park, and Clinton among others.

Here is an early map of the Great Nine Partners Patent along the banks of the Hudson River:

Great Nine Partners Land Patent Map.

I’m going to resist the urge to tell you about the Nine Partners. That’s another story for another day. However, if you’re dying to know more about the Quakers in Dutchess County, New York during the time George lived there, you can check out this interesting read online: A History of the Quakers in Dutchess County, New York, 1728-1828 by Dell T. Upton.

George W. Soule

George was born in 5 October 1695 – two years before the Great Nine Partners Land Patent grant. George was born at Dartmouth in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay (now Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts). His parents were William SOULE and Hannah EATON SOULE. George was the third of eleven siblings. He married Lydia HOWLAND. In regard to religion, they were Friends (Quakers). Notes from the Dartmouth Monthly (Friends/Quaker) Meeting, we learn that George and Lydia were disowned (by the church) after announcing their intention to marry which was in disobedience to a direct order from the Quakers not to get married. In 1741, they were reunited with the church and were given a certificate to attend meetings at Mamaronock. Because the Friends kept monthly meeting notes, we know that George and Lydia also attended Meetings in either (or maybe both) Oblong and Nine Partners. Although specific dates are written in the Monthly Meeting notes, I haven’t included those here because I don’t feel I’m knowledgeable enough about the Julian Calendar and the Quaker Calendar to adequately impart to you the correct dates. You can read about the Quaker Calendar here and you can find sources for the Monthly Meeting notes here. George and Lydia had eight children. At about age 14, George’s father apprenticed George to John Russell. George became a blacksmith.

The Quakers were persecuted from their inception in 1640 to about 1725 (almost halfway through George’s life). Between 1640 and 1725, Quakers were whipped, imprisoned, fined, and some were even hung for their faith. People could even be punished simply for having a Quaker in their home for the evening. Ships found to be importing Quakers could be confiscated! Peter STUYVESANT, director (roughly equates to present-day governor) of New Netherland (which was later split and became New York and New Jersey and smaller parts became attached to other states), was particularly brutal to religions he opposed. He himself was Dutch Reformed. He conflicted with Lutherans, Jews, Roman Catholics and Quakers, all of whom attempted to practice their religion in New Netherland. When the town of Flushing challenged him on the fact that he was violating their charter, he replied by cancelling their right to hold town meetings. If you want to see how this turned out, be sure to read page 15 of the Quaker history linked above!

To be fair though, if what I’ve read this week is true, the Quakers were said to have been aggressive toward other religions in their early years so some of what they endured probably came from a place of retribution for actions the Quakers themselves initiated. When they were actively aggressive toward other religions, other religions pushed back. When other religions pushed back, the Quakers ramped up instead of letting things be. Despite ramping up their aggressiveness toward other religions, when it came time for the Revolutionary War they claimed they were exempt from fighting because their religion was a pacifist religion and they didn’t believe in war or violence. Even though they claimed exemption, many fought on the side of Britain and against American freedom from the Crown. So you can see how their actions were conflicting with their words and why many didn’t respect their right to be left alone (when they themselves wouldn’t leave others alone). You can read about it in the Quaker history document I linked above. As with all groups, I’m sure there were extremists in the religion and perhaps the actions I’ve read about and described came only from the extremists. I only know what I’ve read. Up until now, I knew the Quakers to be peaceful but the paper (the Quaker history document) which I linked above did not describe them that way during the period in question. By 1728, their persecution had ended and by 1741 when George moved to the Great Nine Partners area in Dutchess County, it was a distant memory for the Friends. Religious freedom had made big strides in American during this time and that helped to end the persecution.

The Revolution

Speaking of the Revolution, there is information floating around on the internet that Benjamin SOULE (my maternal 6th great grandfather and son of George W. SOULE) supported Britain during the Revolution. According to Daughters of the American Revolution, this is incorrect. There was another Benjamin SOULE who did support Britain. As of this date, I’ve not found any information that indicates which side our Benjamin supported. I have also seen information saying Benjamin’s dad George was also a Loyalist, but again, I can’t find reliable documentation to show this. I will say that Benjamin’s brother Rowland fought as a Patriot during the Revolution. So even if some of the brothers were Loyalists, not all were. At this point in time, I would imagine that all of this particular family supported the Patriots though since they had been in this country for quite some time. The immigrant ancestor was George SOULE (great grandfather of the George SOULE from this post) and he came from Britain. I doubt that three generations later the family is still supporting Britain.

I wish I could tell you more about the SOULE family during the Revolutionary War period but I can’t seem to find them anywhere. They were Quakers so it’s entirely possible that most of them did not serve in any official capacity during the war.

“I, George Soule of the Great Nine-Partners…Black Smith”

Death came for George SOULE in 1776. He was either proud of of his craft or he was distinguishing himself from all the other George SOULE’s when he wrote his will. It begins,

In the name of God, Amen. I George Soule of the Great Nine-partners and County of Dutches and province of New-York Black Smith…

New York will of George SOULE.

George appointed his son Rowland (the Revolutionary War patriot), along with his wife Lydia, to be the executors of his will. The appointment of his patriot son as executor is another reason I believe that our George was not a Loyalist but rather a Patriot – or at least he was as supportive of the Patriots as he could be given he was a Quaker. In George’s will he divided his land between his wife and children. Three of his children died prior to him (George, Margret and Lydia) and George gave their portions to each of their children.

George’s will ended with these words:

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the twenty-ninth Day of Sixth month in the Sixteenth Year of the Reign of King George the Third King of Great Britain etc., and in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.

New York will of George SOULE.
Will of George SOULE.

George signed his will along with witnesses John WHITE and Elijah HOAG. I believe Elijah HOAG is probably related to George. It’s possible both men were related to George.

Final Thoughts

I wish I could tell you more about George SOULE but this is all I know right now. Just a note of caution, I am relying on the information and research of others. I have vetted what information I could but there still may be mistakes. I’ve done the best I could right now to bring you credible information about our SOULE family from the Great Nine Partners area of Dutchess County, New York. Now that I’ve introduced him, perhaps we’ll learn more stories about him in the future.

I’m wishing you all a very happy Friday tomorrow and hoping you have a wonderful weekend. Learn something new this weekend! It’s energizing to learn new things!

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy blog

Stories for the Boys: It is Well

I wrote this blog post a couple of years ago while I was chaperoning a senior trip to San Antonio, Texas. Things got busy and I didn’t finish it and then other things happened when I got home and it has stayed in draft form ever since. When I saw that this week’s theme is ‘music’, I knew it was time to pull it out and finish it. I’m going to leave it mostly as I wrote it back then, even though it’s been two years. This was originally written 20 May 2019.

Just a side note for anyone new to the blog: the Stories for the Boys series is specifically written for my grandsons so they will know a little about mine and my husband’s lives in addition to those of their ancestors. It is my hope they will be interested in these stories at some point in their life. I know there are so many times I wish I’d listened closer to my grandparents and great-grandparents when they told stories. Now they’re gone and I can’t ask them for details anymore. Hopefully this will help alleviate that problem for my grandchildren. Additionally, I mention my son in this post. When he was in high school, he “copyrighted” the spelling of his name. He always wrote “DeReK” with a little copyright symbol after it. So I will often retain that spelling when I’m writing about him. So no – it isn’t a grammatical error, it’s a tiny homage to my son and his unique personality. I hope you enjoy reading the post this week.

May 20, 2019: Ft. Worth, Texas to San Antonio, Texas via Amtrak

I’m currently en route to San Antonio, Texas with a group of 12 teens who graduated from high school last week. This is their senior trip- their final moments together before they launch into their adult lives. Two of them were aides for me in my library this past school year so I got to know them better than other students. It’s always a little bittersweet saying goodbye to a group of students at the end of each year knowing that it may be years before I see them again- or maybe I won’t see them again at all in this lifetime.

To be completely honest with you, I’ve been dreading this trip all year. It didn’t help that one of the other (experienced) senior co-sponsors spent one evening telling me all the senior trip horror stories. Then my dad, bless his heart, told me a couple more senior trip horror stories just yesterday. There are a lot of reasons I didn’t want to be on this trip- mostly selfish ones. But, from the moment we boarded the train in Oklahoma City I began to find many reasons this trip was a good thing to do. We haven’t even reached San Antonio yet and I’ve already experienced a moment that I know I will treasure. Let me tell you about it.

When we switched trains in Fort Worth, Texas, we boarded a train where a group of Amish women were already on board. Sometime in late evening they began singing hymns in the lounge car. When I realized what they were doing I moved into the lounge area to listen and a few students also came to listen.

It’s always so nostalgic for me to hear the old hymns and they were singing a capella which I love. After a while there was a lull so I got up some courage and went and asked them to sing one of DeReK’s favorite hymns, It Is Well With My Soul. You can hear it below.

It Is Well With My Soul

Later one of the students got brave enough to request I’ll Fly Away which is one of my all-time favorites. You can also hear that one below.

I’ll Fly Away

I’ll leave you with these beautiful hymns (the recordings don’t do these women justice- I had to sit too far away due to all the seats being full) and I’ll also leave you with my view from the train car window during our impromptu concert. God is good.

While you’re listening, say a prayer for these women. They are traveling down to Mexico to teach English for six weeks.

The scenery was pretty and relaxing. I very much enjoyed the train ride.
Another scenery shot from the trip down to San Antonio, Texas.
The depots we passed were pretty.

What a way to start the trip. Music calms me. I loved this moment in the trip. It was like a reassurance from God that everything was going to be okay.

Update: as I edit this on 30 March 2021 in preparation to finally publish it, I’m adding a couple more photos that were taken on the trip down to San Antonio and one more snippet from a song sung by the Amish women. I hope you enjoy my trip down memory lane. I sure do miss these kids and hope they’re doing well in life.

I Am Thine For Service Lord


Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Little Boy Lost

Last week I filled you in on the story of the YOCHUM family. While researching last week’s post I came across a little nugget of a story that I wanted to flesh out and bring to you this week. The theme this week is ‘lost’ and we’ll be talking about little Roney LITTRELL, a cousin-by-marriage to Nancy BEAR (the sister of Eliza Jane BEAR to whom we are genetically related according to my DNA). Dad’s family does have a Littrell line so it may be that in the future I discover we are blood related to this little boy in some way. In any case, it fit the theme and I found it interesting. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot of information so this post will have two halves- Roney LITTRELL who was lost around age 6 and another of my Dad’s lines, the CHAMBERS line which also had a boy that got lost. So grab your kleenex box and let’s get started.

Roney Littrell – A Life Barely Started

Roney LITTRELL was born about 1808 in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Lincoln County is about an hour to hour and a half south of Nashville, Tennessee to give you some idea of geography. His parents were Jesse and Frances (SHELTON) LITTRELL. DNA says we are connected to Roney but, of course, it doesn’t say how and I have yet to figure that out. We have both BEARs and LITTRELLs in my Dad’s line and both of these lines, along with YOCHUMs, intermarried. When Roney was about 6 years old, he and his dad went out with a group of people to hunt Sweet Gum trees. Sweet Gums are hardwood trees native to Tennessee and are considered ornamental in some areas of the US. I found a wonderful blog that laid out exactly what Sweet Gums can be used for. Thriving Earth Farm and Development says that for humans (as opposed to animals for which Sweet Gums are also food), parts of the Sweet Gum tree are used medicinally. Hobby Farms has a short article about medicinal uses. Sweet Gums can also be used for making baskets, for firewood if they are dried well, and for building material (including “high quality millwork” in houses). Some have even talked about using the wood to make their own lures at Tackle Underground. Any gardeners in the house? If so, check out FutureFarming’s website. They give a list of things you can do with Sweet Gum in the garden. A blog that I love, Eat the Weeds, says the dried sap of the tree is the only edible part of the tree but it does make a fragrant, bitter chewing gum. The sap is also used to add flavor to smoking tobacco. Any other edible uses are in the form of medicine which Eat the Weeds does talk about in the linked blog post. If you’re interested in making medicine be sure to read comments on the linked Eat the Weeds blog post as there are a variety of ways to make the medicine. When Sweet Gum is discussed for it’s medicinal properties, the brand name Tamiflu has been mentioned so if you have a Sweet Gum tree you may want to check that out. You can go to your pharmacy and get Sweet Gum in the form of “Compound Tincture of Benzoin”. If you feel more comfortable with a scientific study on the medicinal properties of Sweet Gum, you can check out the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health study. By the way, do you want to know how to make the gum? I got you covered! Go to BushcraftUSA‘s website and start reading!

Now back to Roney and his dad. I can’t say for sure why Roney and Jesse were hunting Sweet Gum that day. It could have been any of the reasons listed above. In any case, there they were with this group. I don’t have details about how it all went down but this is how I imagine it. Roney grouped up with the other kids his age, as kids often do. At some point, Roney separated from the group. When Jesse went to find him or to check on him, he was gone. I can only imagine the aftermath. If Roney’s mom (they called her Frankey) wasn’t with the group then Jesse had to go home – without Roney – and tell her what happened. My heart breaks for both of them. The story goes that Jesse hunted for Roney for two years after that, wandering in and out of Indian encampments looking for his son. I can only imagine the aftermath of that group trip. I cannot find any information that indicates Jesse and Frankey ever found Roney.

Alexander John Chambers- In His Heart, A Sea Captain

Relying on the research of others (specifically that research done by William Davis CHAMBERS and posted at Chambers History: Trails of the Centuries website), I offer you the following stories. Alexander CHAMBERS was born in 1749 in Ireland to Samuel and Mary (THOMPSON) CHAMBERS. They were from a Scots-Irish family. When Alexander was 15 years old, his family made the voyage to America, settling in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Alexander loved the sea. So much so that when the family arrived, Samuel and Mary indentured Alexander to a man 80 miles inland to keep Alexander from becoming a sailor. The family arrived in 1765. At that time, Philadelphia was suffering from a Smallpox epidemic that had broken out the previous year and lasted into 1766. According to Revolutionary War Journal‘s website, in 1765 Philadelphia suffered epidemic outbreaks of Smallpox (from 1764-1766), Scarlet Fever and Smallpox in 1769, and Influenza from 1770-1771. They had some difficult years leading up to the Revolution. You can see previous and subsequent epidemic outbreaks on that website. It’s very interesting. Our Covid-19 crisis seems to have been their “normal” from about 1763-1783. It was about halfway through this Philadelphian pandemic period (about 1771) that Alexander became an adult. He left his indenture status and returned to Philadelphia to be with his parents. In 1771, Philadelphia was suffering back-to-back epidemics of Influenza and Whooping Cough. During these back-to-back epidemics, many people left Philadelphia in an effort to save themselves and their families. When Alexander arrived in Philadelphia to be with his parents he could not find them. They had left while he was indentured. William Davis CHAMBERS received a letter from a family member who indicated that Alexander’s parents left because of the epidemics. According to his grandson, Alexander made an initial search for his parents but didn’t find them. He searched the rest of his life for his parents and never found them. Alexander eventually moved to Kentucky and then Indiana. Throughout his life he continued the search for his parents and his grandson remembers his dad (Alexander’s son) making two long trips with Alexander in search of Alexander’s parents. I can only assume that they also looked for him and never found him.

Wandering the Woods and the City Streets

I’d love more time to research and write about these families but I’ve run out of time for this week’s blog post. I think my ancestors would understand if they knew that I have living people to care for this week and an old friend to mourn who passed away this week – far too soon in his life. The stories will wait. The living people I love need to be loved and cared for now, not later. Maybe next week we’ll have a longer story time, but this week we’re going to leave these lost boys where they are – wandering the woods and the city streets trying to find their way back. There are many in the world today who are lost. Pray for them. Squeeze your loved ones tight and don’t take your eyes off your littles. Life is too short and too precious.

Wishing you love, safety, and a life of never being lost.

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives genealogy blog