31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 24
I’m taking Amy Crow’s challenge for 31 Days to Better Genealogy and blog Amy’s questions, with my answers; I plan to make one blog post, adding daily. Hopefully by the end of the 31 days, I will learn how to better solve some of my genealogy questions. If you haven’t signed up yet, just click on the link below… never too late to catch up!
31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow gives you practical steps to make your research more productive. Whether you are just beginning to climb your family tree or have been doing this for years, you can adapt the tips and methods in 31 Days to Better Genealogy to suit your needs.
Day 24 – Research the Siblings
Today Amy reminds us to look at our ancestors as we would look at our own families, after all they didn’t live on Mars! Just like our families today…. they may not live right next door to you, but how many of your family members are in your own town – or in the same state?
Families then, just like now, associate with each other, as well as friends and work associates, and sometimes even with their enemies – well maybe on another level. Remember Amy’s “FAN” club she mentioned before – “Family, Associates, and Neighbors.” Research the “FAN” and you’ll learn more about your ancestors!
When I think about visiting family, I remember stories my mother told me about how Sundays were for visiting family; it was the day that granddaddy didn’t work in the field walking behind the plow. The families often took turns visiting on Sunday’s – if the family came to you – you cooked the Sunday meal. If dinner, or supper as it’s called in the South, was at Grandmama’s, it would be a meal of fried chicken and ham… as granddaddy raised both chickens and hogs – he didn’t like beef. Vegetables were plentiful from the family garden – that meant butter beans, black-eyed peas, fried okra, and my favorite …cream style corn; lets not forget Grandmama’s biscuits – the very ones that I learned to make.
Another place for family stories was often before the cooking even began – on the front porch. Someone had to shell those peas and beans, and if you arrived early, well that’s where the talk or gossip started. If you were quiet, you could hang there and probably hear what you weren’t supposed to.
Mama remembers well the Sunday family meals because the adults always ate first, while the kids sat on the back stoop – waiting! There was always much chatter on the stoop… as they hoped there would be some “chick” left. I bet those hungry kids even had stories they told while waiting to eat.
When it was time for them to visit family, it was usually to her sister Liza… or her closest sister Annie – who married Granddaddy’s brother. Those Sunday’s were Grandmama’s “day off” from cooking, but like granddaddy always said, “I can’t go anywhere without bringing food” – he brought butter and eggs wherever they went and I just know that Grandmama baked a blackberry or peach pie to bring. If they came empty handed… well then what would the family have said?
What was the talk at those family Sunday dinners… the men often talked about the weather or crops. I’m sure the price of cotton was always a hot topic, while the women talked about canning and food… or if “you” weren’t there, then that talk might have been about you! I did ask my mother what the talk was, but as she was only a child…. well the only talk she remembered was… when were they going to eat!
Are we any different than our ancestors when it comes to family talk… especially at holidays. Often it’s the favorite foods that causes someone to say “Oh I remember when Aunt Mary made this… and then the remembered stories start flowing.
Besides the stories, think about the siblings of your ancestors… where did they live… who lived with them. Researching the siblings of direct lines are another way to discover new family says Amy. Did your ancestors have family that all fought in the same war? Remember… all pension records don’t yield the same information. I need to take a closer look at the Civil War pension records of Berrian Clark Bryan as he had sons in the same war and a also a brother. He never even saw his son Marion Callaway Bryan again until after the way… when they were both old men; Marion had been captured and released North of the Ohio River…. and told to never return… he made home in Indiana, returning only once to visit his father in Georgia.
My To Do List:
Research the Civil War pension records of Berrian Clark Bryan, his brothers and sons and compare the information.
Check the census of all the children of Joseph T. Sharp – I found him living with two of his children, maybe he might be in another household after the 1910 census, when I assumed he died!
I’m going “dumpster diving” in search of more ancestors and stories!
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