Sep. 15th, 2012

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Got a book recommendation from Nancy at My Ancestors and Me in a comment to my blog post on Thomas Jefferson Wharton's Civil War pension a few days ago.

The book she recommended was My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.

Historic fiction is harder to write than a lot of people realize. An author must do tons of research to keep things real, because it just won't do to have an historian coming behind you, pointing out things that just couldn't have happened during the time of your novel.

Ms. Oliveira nailed it. This one was a page turner for me.

And like Nancy, I'd suggest reading the intro first before diving into the novel, because it's there that you get the feel of the incredible amount of research necessary to make the difference between so-so and omigosh...
dee_burris: (Default)
I just can't figure these folks out.

You can't see GEDCOMS you upload because they have a little snag...

Just went to search there and found pages and pages of broken links to my old - as in nearly two years old - genealogy blog that I used to host at LiveJournal before it became overrun with spammers.

So I went to try and contact customer service through their online email form.

That won't display the category of contact you want to make, so conveniently, they can't get your input.
Here's what I would have said to them, if their contact form had worked.

I'm trying to give your website a fair shot before I blog about it again.

You still have links to the genealogy blog I used to have at LJ on your website. That blog was taken down over a year ago, after I had posted the redirect link to the new blog for several months. In addition, twice now over the last year - as recently as two weeks ago - I've given you the link to the new blog, which is nowhere to be found on your website.

The "new" blog - which has been in existence since June 13, 2011 - is http://

I quit reporting broken links to the old one after two pages of results.

Surely you guys can keep up better than this.

dee_burris: (Default)
Was researching some of my Williams family descendants this morning, and ran into a puzzle.

Not that puzzles in my family are out of the ordinary or anything...

But now I'm really curious.
Homer Franklin Wells is my first cousin, twice removed.

He was the son of James Webster Wells and my great grand aunt, Margaret Letcher Williams.

He married Ruth Haseltine Hester, daughter of Charles E Hester and America Gooch, date unknown. He and Ruth had two children, Margaret Hester Wells Roper and Calvin Ratcliff Wells.

The Hester family hailed from Virginia. Historic documents indicate their roots were deep in Virginia soil. Ruth was born in Virginia.

In 1930, Homer and Ruth were living in Richmond, VA - a long way from Arkansas where Homer was born. Homer was a foreman for a foil manufacturing company.

In 1940, they were still married, but living about a mile and a half apart in Washington DC. Homer lived in a boardinghouse run by a man named William Miner, who was a marble cutter. Homer was a gardener for the War Department. The address of the boardinghouse was 1113 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Along with several other men, there were two men who worked for the FBI living there. Not all the men had government jobs.

Ruth was living with the kids at 2000 16th Street NW. Her occupation was saleslady.

That seemed curious to me. Why were they living apart in 1940?

It got even more curious.
Ruth died in 1943. She was buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Louisa, Louisa Co., VA, the town where she was raised, and in the same cemetery as her parents.

In 1951, Homer was living in Manhattan, KS. It was there that he applied for a membership in the Arkansas Chapter of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, based on the Revolutionary War service of our many greats grandfather, Jesse Williams, who served in Ens Union's Company, Lux Regiment in the Maryland Infantry.

When Homer died in 1953, he was buried in Ft Leavenworth National Cemetery, Ft Leavenworth, KS - not with his wife. His burial was arranged and marker ordered by his daughter.

And I cannot find any trace on the internet of anyone looking for Ruth's family, or anyone besides me looking for information on Homer Franklin Wells as an adult.

ETA: Thanks to Rainbow, I know now that America Gooch was America Gooch Tisdale.


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Dee Burris Blakley

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