Jul. 12th, 2013

dee_burris: (Default)
Some of the people who send me corrections to records I maintain on Find a Grave just kill me.

They want you to spell names on records the way they want them spelled, instead of what the stone says.

I'm not saying a stone carver couldn't have messed up a stone. In photographing graves for a decade, I have seen a couple of stones that some family member should have bitched about.

Like the one where the dates of birth and death were reversed on the stone. I have a photo of that stone around here on some flash drive, but can't locate it at the moment.

It wasn't at all uncommon for children and/or grandchildren to change a vowel or leave off the last of a double consonant in a surname before we had official identification issued to us by the State.

Sometimes I think a bunch of sibs may have decided to really complicate things for their descendants by a practice of only some of the sibs changing a surname spelling. (Here in the south, I am sure they grinned and said some form of, Hey, watch this shit...)

In my own family, two clans come to mind immediately - my Wharton/Whortons and my Herrington/Harringtons.

So no, I am not changing the spelling on the Evins FAG records in Itawamba Co., MS...

And pssstttt...click on Find all Evinses in New Salem Cemetery, and look at that list.
ETA: Now the author of the suggestion has informed me that since I won't change the spelling, she's just duped the record.
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In addition to the hundreds, maybe thousands, of scans of old family photos I have, I also have framed portraits and framed prints of some of the scans. After I scanned the tintypes of my Meek ancestors, I had them framed to preserve them. Tintypes are not original photos I throw away after they have been digitized.

My dead relatives' gallery is spread throughout my home. From time to time, I wander through looking at them, peering intently to see if I can find physical similarities between the ancestors and descendants.

And occasionally, I pause in front of one or two. The Jefferson John Meek family is a good place to stop for contemplation.
In this entry, I talked about my black sheep great-great grandfather, James Alexander Meek, who left his family in 1868, and was apparently vilified by his son ever after, even down through two more generations.

It was the letter by James' great grandson, Joe Thomas Meek, that made me realize I have no photos of James Alexander Meek dated later than 1868.

 photo JamesAlexanderMeek-1.jpg

James' daughter, Maxie Leah Meek - my great grandmother - never knew her dad. She was born on 10 Feb 1869, after James was gone. Her mother, Mary Emily Conner, remarried before Maxie was two years old, and the new blended family moved to Russellville, AR.

 photo MaxieLeahMeek.jpg

Maxie had quite a few photos of her dad in the photo album given to her and the man she married - Jo Desha Williams - the Christmas before their marriage.

That's where the tintypes were - in that album.

I think it's unlikely that Maxie's mother permitted her as a child to travel back to Mississippi to visit the father who abandoned her. Perhaps Maxie had a relationship with her paternal grandparents before their deaths in 1889 and 1891, when she was a young wife and mother.

She got the photos from someone. Maybe she inherited them when her father died in 1917. Her brother would not likely have wanted them, given his animus toward their father.

The photos of James Alexander Meek, as well as those tintype photos which were taken long before Maxie was born, make me feel the wistfulness of a daughter who wished she'd had a dad.

I am taking the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, albeit starting a few months late.


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Dee Burris Blakley

August 2017

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