Follow Friday: Cilantro, Soap and Why You Should be Nice to Your Family

Lately I've made a goal to get in shape. This means various fitness classes, circuit training and spending lots of time on my treadmill desk instead of being a Sedentary Sam. Of course, I've been doing less original research and blog reading and podcast listening. I plan on remedying that soon with a big trip … Continue reading Follow Friday: Cilantro, Soap and Why You Should be Nice to Your Family

The Tornado of 1928: “The Most Appalling Disaster Ever Visited Upon Cherokee County, Georgia”

Last Thursday night, this happened less than a mile from my house: That's the EF1 tornado that hit Canton, Georgia on June 13, 2013. There's even a very unsettling video on Facebook of the tornado FORMING OVER MY HOUSE AAAHHHHHHH! (In other news, don't you love how just about every tornado video includes some form … Continue reading The Tornado of 1928: “The Most Appalling Disaster Ever Visited Upon Cherokee County, Georgia”

Who was Elizabeth Harmond? (Union County, SC b. abt. 1830)

My ancestor George W. West and his wife Jennet Cowen often had people outside their nuclear family living with them in census years. I've already written about Isaac Suthard, the 14-year-old black farmhand. And there was also their grandson, Lightner West (who left his biological mom and step-father to live with his grandfather) and their … Continue reading Who was Elizabeth Harmond? (Union County, SC b. abt. 1830)

Online Family Trees or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Live with Bad Genealogy”

This blog post was inspired by a conversation on Facebook with my cousin Leisa Wilkie (another awesome family & local historian!) and some of her friends. Leisa is the authority on ghosts and scary tales in Canton, Georgia. Be sure to like her Facebook page Canton Ghosts or take the Canton Ghost Tour. When I … Continue reading Online Family Trees or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Live with Bad Genealogy”

Genealogy Oddities: Irrational Grudges Against Ancestors

Sometimes when I'm really, really into researching a certain family or line I'll realize that I am holding a grudge against a family member. Not sure what I mean? Here are two examples: My 3rd Great-Grandfather Lightner West was killed in the Civil War. He left behind a widow, Sarah Elizabeth Moore West, and an … Continue reading Genealogy Oddities: Irrational Grudges Against Ancestors

West Family Genealogy Update (June 2013)

Last week was an amazing week genealogically! I received DNA results for my father and maternal grandfather (Edward West). The Wests are Vikings! (Okay, that's a simplification, but we are haplotype I-M253 with origins in Scandinavia, and I've been reading about Vikings lately so I'm claiming it.) I also got in touch with a member of our "long … Continue reading West Family Genealogy Update (June 2013)

Military Monday: Papa Remembers WWII and the Really Awesome-Sounding Aftermath

I know, right? War is hell. And from the transcripts of the interview you are about to read, you'll see that that my grandpa Edward West's war experiences were extremely hellish. But he was also very fortunate in that, having a relatively late date of birth, he wasn't drafted at the end of the war. … Continue reading Military Monday: Papa Remembers WWII and the Really Awesome-Sounding Aftermath

Sentimental Sunday: John Berry Duncan’s Signature and Other Significant Details

This signature, from the Confederate Pension Application of John Berry Duncan, hurts my heart. It's so tentative and misspelled. You can tell it was written by someone who doesn't have to write much. John Berry Duncan was born Feb 16, 1822 in Greenville, SC and died April 21, 1915. He moved to Georgia in 1836, … Continue reading Sentimental Sunday: John Berry Duncan’s Signature and Other Significant Details

Follow Friday: Army-Style Supper, Questions of Race & Gingers

Once again I have let my feed reader get dangerously behind as I had a busy week of "real life." I joined the YMCA and began taking exercise classes (my whole body protests) and had the new-homeowner pleasure of my very first appliance dying on me. And it was my refrigerator. In other words, this week I've been hurting … Continue reading Follow Friday: Army-Style Supper, Questions of Race & Gingers