There’s Power in Numbers

I had totally intended to write about my Power family this week but it seemed everyone else was and I prefer to do something different. My thoughts went in a few different directions: “power in the blood” (i.e.- the life of one of my several Reverends) or “power in numbers” (i.e.- many offspring), etc. About the middle of the week though, something happened and I wrote about neither. I wrote nothing but emails…but I’m getting ahead of myself. About the middle of the week RootsTech conference started and of course, due to Covid it’s virtual. One of the few things I’ve been grateful that Covid changed…one of the few things Covid changed for the better…is a free and virtual conference! So I got busy with RootsTech and they have this amazing online tool this year where you can see who is at the conference that you’re related to so I started finding all these cousins and messaging them through the FamilySearch system and folks, that’s all the family history writing I’ve done this week! It’s been fun, though! A few have responded back and some I’ve asked to guest write or co-write some blog posts. We’ll see if anyone is willing to do that…fingers crossed, knock on wood, rub the lucky rabbit’s foot, pray-pray-pray!! I love guest writers on the blog and haven’t had one for a long time! Anyway…I decided to combine “power in the blood” and “power in numbers” and revamp them a little so that today I’m not telling the story of an ancestor so much as I’m telling the story of who I’ve been in touch with this week. I hope you’ll stick around and read this one and then come back next week for an ancestor story.

It’s funny how knowing that someone is related to you changes how you feel about them. It changes how much leeway you’ll give them and changes how you interact with them. Even if you don’t think it does…it does. There’s something about a blood connection that changes the way you think about and interact with someone initially. Now…after you get to know them that might change, but initially it seems to make a difference. Not only does it make you more open to introducing yourself to strangers, it’s an eye-opening, visual experience in genetics. It’s been very interesting to see which lines of my families have lots of researchers at the genealogy conference and which have seemingly no one at all. I’m not a statistics person but surely the number of researchers in a specific line makes a difference in which lines of the family get preserved (as far as information, stories, and pictures) and which don’t. I thought it would be interesting to let you see who/which family lines I’ve been in touch with so far.

Power in the Blood AND the Numbers

Dad’s Lines

  • Braxton DRAKE/Martha Patsy GREER line: 1 person.
  • Mordecai MITCHELL/Lucretia HUTCHISON: 5 people.
  • Jesse BAKER/Mary BAIR: 1person.
  • John HUBBARD/Nancy CHAMBERS: 1 person.
  • Levi HUBBARD/Nancy Indiana WHITE: 21 people!
  • John HUBBARD/Nancy WEDDLE: 2 people.
  • Josep LARKIN/Mary LANE: 1 person.
  • Bartlett UNDERWOOD/Minerva BRINSFIELD/BRINCEFIELD: 1 person.
  • James LANE/Nancy CONKWRIGHT/CONKRITE: 1 person.
  • John WEDDING/Mary McAfee/McAtee: 1 person.
  • John WILLIAMS/Nancy WALLS(?): 1 person.
  • John BELL Jr./Sarah HARDIN: 4 people
  • Hardy HARDIN/Tabitha ROBERTS: 1 person.

Mom’s Lines

  • John BATES/Mary MOBLEY: 1 person.
  • Charles G. SEELY/Synthia FOSTER: 3 people.
  • George SEELY/Elizabeth SHELLY: 3 people.
  • Frederick FOSTER/Mary BURNETT/PICKENS: 5 people.
  • John SEELY/Katherine BRINKER: 1 person.
  • James GIBSON/Lucinda DOW: 2 people.
  • Samuel GIBSON/Lucinda BELL PETTIT: 7 people!
  • Henry DOW/Rebecca WHITE: 1 person.
  • James GIBSON/Sarah PHILLIPS: 5 people.
  • John DOW/Harty ELLIS: 2 people.
  • Benjamin WHITE/Mary ELSTON/WALDROP: 6 people!
  • James BULLOCK/Cynthia DALE: 4 people.
  • James Squire DALE/Elizabeth SMITH: 3 people.
  • John LATTY/Martha Frances SCOTT: 4 people.
  • Edwin WALLS/Delilah UNKNOWN: 1 person.

Each person I contacted was only counted once. That’s 89 people I’ve connected with so far! Some people are connections for lines I struggle with so that’s very exciting. There are several people I’ve asked to guest write or co-write a blog post about their branch of the family (or about our common ancestor, either way). Some have already given me leads to resources I didn’t know existed for our family! The computer only shows me 300 relatives out of a whopping 45,000+ that are registered for the conference!!! I probably won’t even get through all 300 but I got as far as 5th cousins as of this evening. I’ve also learned how I connect to several professional genealogists I follow. Amy JOHNSON CROW, one of my favorite genealogists, is my 7th cousin through my mom’s FOSTER line. Thomas MacENTEE, another genealogist is my 10th cousin twice removed through my dad’s LARKIN line. Michele Simmons LEWIS, another genealogy friend, is my 11th cousin through my dad’s GREER line. Not all of my favorite genealogists have shown up on RootsTech and some have been no relationship at all. It’s been fun to find out though and I love this online tool.

This is certainly an exciting weekend. It’s been dampened a little by the fact that my computer has decided it no longer wants to live but I’m going tomorrow to get a new one so the adventure can continue! (By the way, I apologize if this post is unreadable or has lots of errors. I was fighting a dying computer that was randomly deleting entire paragraphs and other crazy things.) Over the remainder of the weekend I will likely begin looking up DNA matches to see if I can find any connections there. I hope you have a fun, exciting weekend. Do something for yourself!

Until next weekend,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

It Is About What They Can Become

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” ~ Psalm 1:3, The Holy Bible

Today’s blog post theme is ‘tree’. I knew right away what I wanted to write about and that’s actual TREES! A little side note about the verse above, there’s an old hymn that was one of Bart’s favorites when we attended Poynor Baptist Church. I found the version below on Youtube. I don’t think I’ll ever find a version like the one we sang at that church but here’s a link to one that’s close:

Johnny Cash- I Shall Not Be Moved

(In case you’re a statistics nerd: this is the second day in a row Johnny Cash has been featured in a blog post.)

The Heritage Tree

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” ~ Proverbs 13:12, The Holy Bible

I recently blogged a little about a trip I took in 2011 to the Boston, Massachusetts area. (See the post on the Salem witch trials here.) While in Massachusetts I was going through an ancestral chart on Ancestry that listed a lineage showing the ENDICOTT family as our ancestors. A quick search on Google showed that in Danvers, Massachusetts (near Salem) was a pear tree that was several hundred years old and was brought over to the USA by the original ENDICOTT immigrant ancestor. I went to Danvers and photographed the tree.


Endicott pear tree.

I later learned there was a whole society devoted to this tree and that they had a project going to keep the tree alive. Part of the project was grafts from the tree that they sent out to members who could then grow a descendant pear tree. All of this was an effort to continue the legacy of the tree. My parents and I got two successful grafts from the pear tree and they are growing in my orchard and doing well. Subsequent research has shown that the genealogy on that particular line was incorrect. Genealogy (especially from the early years of this country) seems to be somewhat cyclical so it’s quite possible that even though that line was incorrect and did not ultimately lead to the ENDICOTT family, a future line will lead back to them. So until a connection shows up in future research I will keep nursing the trees and hope they produce fruit. If it turns out that we simply aren’t connected to them, well then I have a very unique tree with a great history and it’s a unique memento of one of the best vacations I ever took.


My Endicott pear tree.

Granny and the Chinquapin Nuts

When I was young (elementary school-aged) I was staying with Granny BATES one day and we went for a walk. She picked up a couple of Chinquapin hickory nuts off the side of the road and told me about Chinquapin trees and how she hardly ever saw any anymore because a disease had come through and killed them all. She cracked one open and we ate it. I don’t really remember how it tasted, I just remember her talking about how sweet the “chinky pins” tasted. I kept the extra nuts in a drawer for a long time. (Yikes- I might have a “saving” problem!) I even took them to school for show-and-tell. I never saw a Chinquapin hickory after that until I was an adult. Bart and I like to plant unique trees and we were talking about a project where we could preserve a native species. I told him the story about Granny and the Chinquapin hickory nuts and we decided that was the project we wanted to take on. We ordered 5 Chinquapin hickory seeds from Ozark Chinquapin Society and planted them in honor of Granny’s 100th birthday. The seedlings didn’t make it. My dad has since tried. He gave two of the seedlings to my brother and sister-in-law, gave two to me and kept one in the hopes that one of our trees would survive. Once again- mine didn’t do so well (unless, of course, they sprout up next summer and surprise me). I hope they do. I’d love to have some Chinquapins growing here again.


Granny and I at her 100th birthday party.

While We’re Talking About Chinquapins…

“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoot will not cease.” ~ Job 14:7, The Holy Bible

Speaking of Chinquapins, Bart and I saw a huge Chinquapin Oak tree this fall when we were traveling in Georgia. The tree was at Tunnel Hill, Georgia and it was so old th guide said it would have been there during the Civil War when my 3rd great-grandparents- John and Mary (MOBLEY) BATES lived in that area. She allowed us to take a few acorns off the tree and we are going to try to sprout them and grow trees from the nuts.


Me at Chinquapin Oak

The Orchard

“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” ~ Genesis 1:29, The Holy Bible

Bart and I have a small orchard. I love that orchard. We order heirloom trees from Trees of Antiquity. The quality of their trees is excellent and I love that they carry varieties that are very old. They try to keep these old varieties from becoming extinct. One year I chose an Arkansas Black apple tree in honor of my 2nd great-grandfather, George BATES, who had an apple orchard in Arkansas at the time he filed his Homestead Entry file.


Homestead Entry file document for George BATES.

It seems like Granny always had an apple tree wherever she lived. If I’m not mistaken, the tree behind Uncle Butch in the photo below is her apple tree on the place that is now Junior Anderson’s outside Southwest City, Missouri.

The “Maker” Trees

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30, The Holy Bible

My Dad (Roy DRAKE), brother Jared, and nephew Patrick, have used trees from my Papa (Eugene) DRAKE’s and great-grandfather Mark DRAKE’s old home places to make things like pens and other woodturned items. My husband cut a huge burl from an old tree on our place hoping that Dad can find some time to practice turning a bowl. Dad has made Christmas ornaments, bats, gavels, and other things out of the trees that have been cut. He does a great job!


Mechelle’s gavel

My sister-in-law Becky and I have made jellies and syrup from tree fruits/nuts. One year I picked the blossoms off our Redbud trees and gave them to Becky. She made them into Redbud Jelly. (It tastes a lot like grape jelly, in case you’re wondering. Very delicious!) I’ve helped make a couple of batches of hickory syrup and in fact, I have a pint sitting on my kitchen table ready to send to a friend in exchange for the maple syrup she sent to me one year. My friend, Kendra, and her husband tap their maple trees up north and make their own syrup. It’s heavenly! Bart and I enjoy foraging together. This year we dug up some Sassafras root for tea and picked/dried some Sassafras leaves for filé powder so we can try Filé Gumbo. We also picked up Black Walnuts but it didn’t appear to be a very good year for walnuts. In fact, it wasn’t really a good year for most wild trees and plants. I’ve even foraged juniper berries and used them in a roast. We love to try new things like that.

I Just Love Trees!

“…Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy…” ~ Psalm 96:12, The Holy Bible

Recently the weather has been windy and I’ve enjoyed hearing the wind blow through the leaves and branches. It’s a soothing sound. The solitude and peace out here in the woods is refreshing. Take some time this week to walk through the forest and enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s good for the soul.

P.S.- If you’re a Christian, you have this glorious tree to look forward to. I can’t wait to see it, too.

“Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” ~ Revelation 22:2, The Holy Bible

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Home is Where Your Heart Is

We’re back to Tuesday. Today’s @genealogyphoto theme is ‘home’. (Don’t forget to visit Becky too.) Home means a lot of things to a lot of people. When Bart and I were in the beginning years of our marriage I told him for me, home was wherever he was. I might go somewhere else with him now but I’d probably go kicking and screaming the whole way. We’ve lived in a lot of places in our marriage. When we were first married we lived in a tiny little travel trailer. Our first week of marriage was his last week of college and we parked the travel trailer in the state park for a week.


I think this might be where we parked for a week.

After graduation he was working in Tontitown, Arkansas and we parked the travel trailer on a lot in Baldwin, Arkansas for $85 a month. Oh the days of cheap rent. It wasn’t long before we were in a rental house.


Google Earth photo- Crutcher Street in Springdale, Arkansas. I really can’t tell you which house it was but it was one of these two houses. This is where we lived when Derek was born.

We’ve lived in a mobile home too. We lived in the mobile home on my in-law’s place when Shaina was born. It’s gone now and my father-in-law’s log home that he designed and built is there now. We were fortunate to get to help him a little in building it.

Later, when we first moved to Idaho, Bart’s dad bought the old Landmark Missionary Baptist church building in Wilder, Idaho and renovated that and we lived in the church for a few years.


This is a Google Earth photo. I think this might be the house we lived in. It’s at the intersection of C Avenue and 3rd Street.

If I had my pictures out I’d be including all these buildings. Sadly, all my pictures are packed away. I really need to fix that.

We bought our first home in Kuna, Idaho. That home was probably my favorite.


This is what it looks like now on Google Earth. Armand Street. If my kids remembered any of our homes from Idaho it would be this one.

Then we moved to Oklahoma. We lived with our parents until we could get back on our feet. When Bart started traveling for his job he spent a lot of years living in hotels. When I went on the road with him we lived in the travel trailer that’s in the background of this photo.


Our travel trailer.

Now we live in a metal building.


Our home in the country.

It was going to be the garage and we were going to live in it until we got a house built. That was 10 years ago. Time really flies. Maybe one day we’ll get that house built. This house is the most sentimental for me because Derek, Bart, our fathers, and my great uncle helped us build it. My great-uncle, Ray LARKIN, witched our well. We’ve put a lot of hard work in here. We love it here. The first time I came to this place it was on a Friday night. Derek was playing a football game that night- Moseley vs. Colcord. He was in 7th grade then, I think. I knew as soon as I found it that this was the place.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my car. Sometimes I felt like IT was my home.


Home away from home.

My ancestors have lived in some crazy places. Granny and Papa BATES once lived in a corn crib after their house burned. They lived there in the winter (with very young children) until they could get a house built.


A 15 x 4 and 11 ft high corn crib from the blog Good Things by David.

Poppy Lonzo DRAKE once owned a place with a cave on it. So did my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary MOBLEY BATES BRINEGAR. I’m not sure if they actually lived IN the caves but I sure would like to know.

Like I said, ‘home’ means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In the end, I’m just a sojourner here. God is building a place for me right now. That’s my home. I can’t wait to get there. It will be quite the homecoming, I’m sure. Until then, I’m living here- Delaware County, Oklahoma, USA.

It’s election night. This is the weirdest election cycle I’ve seen in my life. I’ve thought back to my first voting experience. I was about 7 months pregnant living on Molly Wagnon Road in Baldwin, Arkansas (which is, officially, Fayetteville, Arkansas). I can’t remember if I had no car or if it wasn’t running or what but I set out walking to my polling place a few miles from our home. I was determined to vote. At some point one of my neighbors saw me and offered me a ride. I was glad. Voting has always been important to me. What happens in the next four years will be important. It will affect me, my family, my home. I’m not going to stress about it though. I’ll wake up tomorrow in this home that I love and God will still be in control. Life will go on. Maybe I’ll still get that new house. Or maybe not. In the end it won’t matter because this is not my real home- I’m just passing through.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:2-3, The Holy Bible

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives