Monday, September 13, 2010

History Of Logan County West Virginia

The History of Logan County....Updated...Now Available

The "History of Logan County" was originally written by Henry Clay Ragland about the year 1896. Notes by additional historians and genealogists have been added. All proceeds from the first printing of this book will be donated to the Logan County Historical Society and the Logan County Landmark Commission to purchase a statue in the likeness of Chief John Logan. First printing, 1996.

"The History of Logan County" can be ordered from:

* Chamber of Commerce, 214 Stratton Street, Logan, WV 25601, Phone Number: (304) 752-1324.
* Price is $15 plus $1.50 shipping

I am interested in Logan County because my Dad was born there and my Mom and Dad were both raised there. I think it's time to simply order a copy of my own, instead of reading bits and pieces from online sources. If any of my readers are interested in Logan County West Virginia, here is the information for requesting a copy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Genealogy Blogging For Family Relations

Tomorrow I will be teaching a beginner's genealogy blogging course at a local family history conference. I certainly don't feel like an expert, but I do love genealogy blogs and the wonderful way they can connect family members together!
My focus will be on making sure each newbie blogger knows how to label their posts, how to set up their sidebar gadgets to help readers find family research information quickly, and how to make sure they have maximum SEO (search engine optimization) to help google and other browsers find their blog articles quickly.
Wish me luck! I always learn more than I teach when I do a class of this kind. Hopefully I can bring some of that new knowledge to my blog next week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adalade Gilkerson Sansom 1859-1940

Let me tell you a little about Adalade Gilkerson, a wonderful lady in my family tree. Adalade is my G-G-Grandmother.

She was born on 17 Sep 1859 in Wayne County Virginia (later West Virginia), to Ira and Sarah (Price) Gilkerson. She married Green Sansom on 2 Apr 1874 when she was 14 yrs old by the records, although she stated on a later census record that she was 17 at the time of her marriage. Census records show that she was the mother of 17 children, 11 of whom survived until adulthood.

Adalade and Green lived in Wayne County WV. One correspondence note I have says that Green was previously married to someone with the surname or Clark, but I have no further records of her beyond that.

Adalade died on 7 Nov 1940 in Lavalette, Wayne County, West Virginia and was buried there in the Adkins Cemetery.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Clyde Parks - West Virginia - 1911 to 1938

Clyde Parks was one of my Mom's uncles, and a very nice man according to her. He had blue eyes, curly blonde hair, and looked very much like his sister Bessie (my Grandma). He was killed at age 25 in a mine accident, as he was "a mine car dropper, [and] was crushed to death beneath the wheels of four rail cars" according to a
Charleston Daily Mail Article. At that time he was living with his sister Thelma and her husband and kids. My mom also lived with them at the time.
According to Louise Ball, another of Clyde's sisters, he is buried at the Hatfield Cemetery in Sarah Ann West Virginia. His death certificate also shows him as buried there. I looked for a grave marker for him when I made a trip there in July 1998, but couldn't find his grave. Probably another case of no money for a marker, the same as with my grandfather Henry Simpson.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

George Walton - Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Every family tree seems to contain a few illustrious members in addition to the assortment of colorful characters that populate the twigs as well. My Walton family includes one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, George Walton. Here is how I am related:

My great great great Grandfather was Augustus George Walton, b. 8 Jun 1782 in Georgia. His Dad was Robert Walton, son of George Walton and Martha Hughes. George's brother was Robert Walton who married Mary Sarah Hughes (sister of Martha). George was the uncle to Robert and Mary Sarah Walton's son, George "The Signer" Walton. In fact, they raised George "The Signer" when his father Robert passed away around 1750.

So... George "The Signer" Walton is uncle to my ancestor, August George Walton!

You can read more about George on Wikipedia here: George Walton on Wiki
AND, I just found out that he is interred in the Signer's Monument in Augusta Georgia, very near where my son will son be stationed in the Army at Fort Gordon. A visit to George "The Signer's" resting place is definitely on our trip list for next year.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Adventures At The Hatfield Cemetery Logan County West VA

A few years ago, I made a trip to West Virginia to visit some of the cemeteries where my family are buried. With death certificates in hand, and a map to show me the way, I took two of my boys along for the adventure.
It was 4th of July weekend and the weather was warm and sticky. We wound our way down highway 44 south of Logan, past Omar and Stirrat, to Sarah Ann, where we found a little sign by the road that said "Hatfield Museum" if memory serves me. A few tombstones were in the yard by a trailer and old car. We pulled over, and a man and woman came out and asked if they could help us. Turns out, the man was the caretaker for the Hatfield Cemetery, which was just a short piece on down the road beyond us. He started up his car and we followed him to the turnout for the cemetery, which rose up the ridge on our right. I gave him the name we were looking for, Henry Simpson (my grandfather), and he said he had never seen a grave for anyone of that name but to go ahead and take a look, and to take a stick with us in case we ran across any snakes!
The boys and I picked our way up the hill and looked at as many headstones as we could, but to our disappointment, nothing could be found for Henry. My Dad always told me that Henry was buried very near to Devil Anse Hatfield, whose grave is marked with a tall statue memorial. We were sad not to find any sign of my grandfather.
After coming home I asked my Mom if she had any idea why there wouldn't be a grave marker, and she said her father had died while visiting her and her husband there, and there was no money to buy a grave marker. The Hatfield Cemetery was the closest place to lay him to rest.
In recounting the story to her brother, my Uncle Don Simpson offered to pay for a headstone for Henry, which was cut and prepared for installation. However, the caretakers couldn't find any place in the cemetery that might be Henry's final resting place. No foot marker or other indication seems to exist anymore. I'm not sure where in the cemetery they installed the headstone as I haven't made a trip back there yet. But that is for a future cemetery tale.

Here is another visitor's memory of their experience at the Hatfield Cemetery:
/Roadside America - Sarah Ann WV

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hibbert Hobbs - Joining Up For World War II

From my history of my Dad's life:
"World War II was on its way, and West Virginia sent its share of young men to Europe to fight against Hitler. Hibbert, Herbert, and Herman became eligible for the draft. When they drew their numbers, Herbert's was #32 and Hibbert's was over #800. Neither one of the twins wanted to be separated from the other, so they volunteered rather than have Herbert go in alone. They were inducted on May 10, 1941.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More From The Life and Times Of Hibbert Hobbs

Another excerpt from the history about my Dad and his family!

"Ethel had her hands full trying to care for twin babies in a crowded coal camp. They lived in a company built duplex, sharing a common porch and central walls with a colored family next door. Laundry was done on a metal washboard. The gritty coal dust form the colliery, or processing plant, coated everything in the area each day. Monroe would have come home black from head to toe, needing his clothes cleaned and a hot bath in the big metal washtub each evening. Ethel's wood floors had to be scrubbed by hand with lye soap. Water was available at the well and the family's only bathroom was a privy in the yard.
Imagine Ethel's predicament when another new baby was added to the family on February 11, 1921. Reginald Herman Hobbs was born at home just as the twins had been less than a year and a half earlier. She remembers having to wash a huge washtub full of dirty diapers every day for her three young sons. Photos from that time show her as very thin and work worn with such a heavy load."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Life and Times Of Hibbert Hobbs

My newly graduated college son has been helping us clean out our basement this month, and I was happy to run across a copy of a personal history I wrote about my Dad, Hibbert Hobbs, for a genealogy college class I took some years ago. It was typed into a computer we no longer own, and embarrassingly I have to admit that I don't have a backup copy anywhere online. It's time to remedy that.
So here is an excerpt from THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HIBBERT HOBBS

Two For The Price Of One

The year was 1919. The coal industry in West Virginia was young and healthy. Storng and heavy set, MOnroe HObbs the miner proudly awaited the birth of his first child. His wife Ethel was only 17 years old. They had been married 8 months when, on September 13th, the time for the birth came suddenly ahead of schedule. "It's a boy the country doctor might have said, and then - it's another boy!"
HIbbert was born first, then Herbert. Tiny and frail though they were, both twins survived. Together they weighed but seven pounds at birth. Both had the same flaming red hair as their mother, the same bright blue eyes. They were "as alike as two peas in a pod." as Hibbert liked to say. It was a miracle that they made it, and an indication of the stamina they would show later in life.
Being the first born of identical twins meant a lot to my father. Throughout his life he fulfilled his role as eldest son. He gave advice and took charge in times of crisis. His name was unusual. According to Ethel, she let Monroe's mother Victoria McCoy Hobbs name the twins. She named them Hibbard and Herbert. For some reason Dad's name was recorded wrong on the birth certificate, and Hibbert he became.