dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-28 08:54 am

Musing on historical associations...

About this time last year, I had a pleasant exchange of family information with another Chapin researcher on a Chapin surname internet message board.

I woke one December morning to an email announcing a reply to the thread. When I looked at it, it was from someone from the Chapin Family Association, telling me to give her the info I had on "this line," and giving me her email address. She's updating the Chapin books.

The Chapin books, just like the books on any other surname, are produced by the various "family associations" for sale. The various "family associations" are membership associations, with monetary dues required for membership

The family associations haunt threads on surname message boards to find family members to hand over - for free - information the family associations then sell to other members of the family.

I have a problem with that.

I didn't email the Chapin Family Association chick. I did respond to her though - to tell her she could probably find my info on "this line" by searching Rootsweb.

Where I publish my info for anyone to search for free. But I expect them to do their own searches.

One of my Callaway cousins has a very wry sense of humor. And his own perspective on historical associations.

On the trip to Memphis last weekend, we had some time to talk. He knows one of our other cousins has been pestering me to join the County Historical Association, of which she is an officer. I have a couple of problems with that, not the least of which is that the monthly meetings are on a weekday for a luncheon about 70 miles from me.

You're not going to join that hysterical society, are you?

You mean "historical" society, don't you?

Well no...I really mean hysterical society. You can call it anything you want.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-28 08:58 am
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Musing on family planning...

As I've plowed through the mountains of documents that go into researching my family tree, I noticed something.

From all the branches and twigs, a decided decline in the numbers of children after the 1910 census.

Prior to that time, I'd catch myself looking at a census form and muttering under my breath, that poor woman, because she would be mothering anywhere from 10 to 16 stairstep kids. In many cases, they were all her own, but sometimes there were stepchildren from the wife who had lived and died before her. In the case of my great-great grandmother on my dad's side, all fifteen children, including three sets of twins, were hers. (Not counted in that total were the children her husband had with his deceased second wife.)

But after the 1910 census, the number of offspring declined dramatically down to five, four, or two.

What, I wondered, had happened to my formerly fecund forebears? (Say that three times fast.)

I think I may have discovered at least part of the reason.

The latex condom was invented in 1919.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-28 09:05 am

The graves on the side of the road...

Two years ago, my youngest sister asked me if I knew about the graves on the side of the road. She and her son had seen them as they drove down Arkansas Highway 5 to run errands in a growing town that has almost swallowed up the countryside.

I went to go check them out.  )
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-28 09:16 am

McCarley Family Cemetery, Pope Co., AR

Last spring, my dad called me and said there was going to be a tour of the old McCarley family cemetery on Saturday, March 27. The cemetery is abandoned now - I think the last grave dug in there was before 1900. The first one I know of was in 1847, when Moses McCarley's wife, Elizabeth P Griffin, died. As the crow flies, the cemetery is less than 3 miles from Dad's house.

There are at least 50 (mostly unmarked) graves. Some of our ancestors who came to Arkansas from Lawrence County, TN in 1838 are buried there, including my g-g-g-grandfather. I've been bugging Dad for years to tell me how to get down there, but it would have meant getting mixed up in a family feud.

The land where the cemetery is located now belongs to a third cousin-in-law of mine, and he has most of it fenced. We have a healthy respect for the symbolism of fences in the south, and honorable people ask if they can cross to the other side.

In my cousin-in-law's case, that means asking to open (and close behind you) a lot of gates.

And then, there was that matter of the feud...they are serious stuff down here.  )

Because they have stories. And we are the story-tellers.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-28 09:43 am
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Just discovered...

This wonderful Thanksgiving blog post from nolichuckyroots, tracing her family's history in America...

It's a great read.