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In addition to my own family history, I maintain online family trees for three very dear friends.

One of the trees hosted at Rootsweb focuses on descendants of Reddick Massengale, from Nash Co., NC, and Edward Francis Roach, from Fairfax Co., VA.
Naturally I was a bit curious to see that there was a Roach Cemetery in Randolph Co., AR, and wondered if my friend's family had donated the land.

A phone call to a local funeral home in Pocahontas got me the name and phone number of the elderly volunteer caretaker for the cemetery, who was only too happy to tell me all about it.

It was a delightful conversation, and afterward, I sent her a letter with a check for a small donation to the upkeep of the cemetery.

She sent me back copies of the legal deeds to the cemetery, including the original 1868 donation of the land by William and Laurinda (Hubbard) Roach.

It's now a typewritten transcription of the original handwritten deed, compiled by the Randolph County Abstract Co., in Pocahontas, Randolph Co., AR.


Transcription follows...

William F. Roach and wife,
Lorinda Roadh [Roach]
United Baptist Church

DATED April 11, 1868 ; acknowledged
before Nathaniel G Jackson, a Justice of the
Peace, of Randolph County, ArkĀ«
Filed July 1. 1868 M.
Recorded in Book...8 Page...151
That William F, Roach and wife, Lorinda Roach, do by these presents grant, and
convey to "the United Baptist Church of Christ" the following tract of land, to-wit:

2 acres of land in a square beginning 96 poles from the Southeast corner of
Sec. 2, Twp. 20 N.R. 1 West, to a rock on said line, thence 18 poles to 2
rocks, then west 18 poles to a rock, then south 18 poles to a rock on the
section line, then east 18 poles to beginning corner on said land.

To have and to hold the same unto the said United Baptist Church of Christ, with
all appurtenances and privileges thereunto appertaining.

No dower clause.

Duly signed and acknowledged, except dower.


I love the way these old deeds were written - as if the poles would always be used as a measure of distance, and rocks would be there forever.

There is an updated legal description of the deed on file now.

Someday, I'll have to make that road trip for photographs.
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I got a contact about my post on the very old Freeman place from a descendant of William Aflred Freeman.

She was excited to see the photos, which I invited her to copy for her own use. And she also gave me some more information about Freeman descendants.

Which I have dutifully researched and added to my GEDCOM.

We aren't cousins, but I keep up with the ones who married into my family anyway.

Because you just never can tell when someone might need some information.
I've spent some time this morning working on another family tree I manage for a dear friend.

Right now, I'm messing with Joseph Wesley Roach, born 16 Dec 1884 in Missouri and died 4 Jan 1978 in Randolph Co., AR.

My friend's mother is a Randolph County Roach. I know Joseph Wesley figures into her line of Roaches somehow - there were quite a few who stopped off in Missouri on their way south from Illinois to Randolph County. He named his sons some of the favored male Roach names - Jesse, James, Arthur.

I just can't find his parents.

I'd love to be graving.

But it is just too fricking hot.

Every day, I get my Weather Channel text advising of dangerous heat indices. Not that I need the official notice.

We have reached that time in Arkansas summer where you can step outside your front door and feel that the air has mass from the combination of temperature and humidity. The cottage has not received any measurable rainfall since June 28.

I've been looking back at the family photos I have of ancestral homeplaces. Thinking about how it was that they tried to beat the heat of Arkansas summers before the days of air conditioning.

Like the Williams' home in Russellville.

Or the Herrington homeplace in Clark County.



In the two photos above, you can see 1) the shed behind the house, and 2) part of the covered front porch of the house.

The Williams home also had covered porches.

Did they sleep on them in the summertime?

More things that make me say, hmmmm...


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Dee Burris Blakley

August 2017

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