Texas Early Spring Pic

The first day of Spring as acknowledged on most calendars is March 21st.

The first day of Spring in Texas is generally February 21st.

This picture was taken February 19th.
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As the only flowering tree in town, we can only guess that the heat from the brick and the secluded nature of the spot contributed to its early blooms.

This picture was taken February 25th.
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So Spring was only delayed a few days.

These pictures go out to our friends in the North who won’t see any flowering anything for some time. Cheers!

Brick Wall of the Month: Dinah Mapes

My brick wall for the month of February is Dinah Mapes.

Dinah Ann Mapes was born about 1825 in New York.
She married four times:

1. Melvin Parker in Arkansas. They had one child, George.
2. Samuel Mallett in St. Louis, Missouri. They had one child, Adelia.
3. Elijah Perry in St. Louis, Missouri. They had three children: Sarah, John, and Tommy.
4. William H. Brown in California. No children.

According to her son John’s memory, she died in San Jose, California, in 1898.

Other members of this family have been working hard, as I have, to track down more information for this ancestor.

Specifically, I would like to know:
a. Who were her parents?
b. How did Dinah get from New York, where she was born, to Arkansas, the place of her first marriage?

According to her son John, she sailed around the Horn from Texas to California, to reunite with her husband, Elijah Perry, who was already mining for gold. She apparently stayed with her folks until this sea voyage occurred.
c. Who were her folks? Were they her parents? Or people she was related to? Or Elijah’s relatives?
d. Where and when did Dinah die, and where is she buried?

If you have thoughts about further research that could be done, or especially if you, too, are related to Dinah, please leave a comment.

Burleson Family Genealogy II

I wrote the Burleson Family Genealogy I post on October 24, 2012. When I figure out how to link it to this one, I will do it here.

The Burleson Family is a prolific one, but our research concerns David Burleson’s line. David was born in Virginia, traveled to North Carolina, and fought in the Revolutionary War. He and his son, Moses Burleson, brought the family to Tennessee, where David died. More about the homestead in Rutherford County is covered in the first Burleson post.

Moses then moved his family to Alabama, which is where he died. Our travels this past summer took us to this county where, while we did not locate the burial sites of Moses Burleson and Edy Hobson, we did find research material with a lot more details than we started with.

At the Clyde Nix Public Library in Hamilton, Marion County, we found a copy of The Burleson Family History, by William Gene Burleson, published 28 Sep 1988.

This book had lots of information we already had, along with lots we didn’t. I’m including these new bits here, but all of it bears further research.

David Burleson’s grandfather, Aaron Burleson, had 7 sons. This we knew. We did not know that all 7 fought in the Revolutionary War, with only 2 surviving. We also knew that John Burleson, Aaron’s son and David’s father, died in 1776, but assumed it was from accident or disease, as we had not found a tie to the war. I haven’t found any evidence of his involvement yet, but now I will pursue this further.

John Burleson had three sons: David, Isaac, and Aaron. This we knew. But we had not found anything about the other brothers’ wives: Isaac evidently married Martha Clay, and Aaron married Martha Wilder, according to this book. More research is needed to determine this information is accurate.

David Burleson moved from Anson County, North Carolina to Rutherford County, Tennessee. This we knew. But the book states that David lived in Northeast Tennessee before settling in Rutherford County. If this is true, it would be interesting to discover where.

David’s wife, Ursula Weather ford, had two brothers, Hilkiah and William, according to this book. If this information proves to be right, it may be helpful in learning more about Ursula’s immediate family.

Moses Burleson, David’s son, lived in what is now Blount County, Alabama, according to the book. I’ll need to check on this, because we know Moses and his wife, Edy, lived in Marion County. But Blount County we do not know. The book states Moses moved to McNairy County, Tennessee before 1830. Then why did he and Edy die in Marion County, Alabama in 1836 and 1838, respectively? By the way, the book states that Edy is short for Adele. Maybe it is, but I’ve been thinking it was short for Edith. We’ll keep looking.

Bennett Burleson, Moses’s son! was born in Tennessee, but moved to Alabama. He and his wife are on the 1840 census for Franklin County, Alabama, which is just north of Marion County. Their daughter, Mary Evelyn Burleson, was born in Marion County in 1843. The book mentions none of this.

But the book does state Bennett and Matilda married in 1831, and that he later married Margaret Elizabeth Meyers. Which reminds me that we have a great deal of unanswered questions for this generation: when and where did Matilda die? Did she die in Tennessee? Alabama? When and where did Bennett and Margaret marry? I know Bennett and family moved from Alabama to McNairy County, Tennessee before settling in Denton County, Texas. The book makes no mention of this.

Much more research is obviously needed for this family. But now we have many more clues to explore and see which ones pan out, and which won’t. I’m thinking McNairy County is looking like the place to start.

A Taxing Month

It’s the taxing time, once again.

February is the month that not only feels ridiculously short, but also seems to have the most events, details, and enormous tasks packed into it.

When I mention this to people, they’re always quick to point out that February literally is the shortest month. It has the least amount of days in it.

But why, then, instead of feeling like we’ve lost a day or two, does it feel like we’ve somehow been robbed of a week or more?

Valentine’s Day, while designed as a gentle, sweet holiday, (at least if you study the merchandising techniques and ignore history altogether) is really quite frightening in that it heralds the fact that we’ve already let half the month go! March is in two weeks, Cupid whispers. Are you ready? No, I snap back. Not even close.

Besides the fact February has an extraordinary amount of events shoehorned in, it’s also the month I do our taxes. Yes, I know we have until mid-April, but if I want an appointment with our popular tax preparer, I’d better get things organized quickly.

So back I go into the thick of it all.

With all those months of 31 days, could we not spare a couple of extra days for February? Or would we just schedule more to catch the slack? Oh, February. You are merciless, aren’t you?

Arizona Travel Pics

The Arizona desert is so harsh I would never choose to live there, though many do and quite happily, thank you very much.

I have to admit the landscape is awfully spectacular, though.
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And they have some great ghost towns.
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My 3x great-grandfather, Elijah Perry, died in the Arizona desert. He was serving in the Army during the Civil War and ended up there. The family story was that he died from a poisoned arrow. It took many years, but I finally found him…and the real cause of death: scurvy. Not as romantic as an arrow wound maybe, but it’s nice to learn the truth.
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True, I would never live here. But it is a special place to visit.

Brawner Family Genealogy

Brawner Family Genealogy

This is my friend Jane’s line. I mentioned the Brawner family in my post on the Dibrell/Brawner Family Genealogy on February 14, 2013. When I learn how to link these sites I will do so here.

Margaret Jane Brawner, Jane’s great-great grandmother, was born in Blount County, Tennessee, in 1820. We visited this county this past summer, at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains. Beautiful trees, rolling hills, it’s a great place to raise a family.

But Margaret’s parents were from Georgia. While not far from Blount County and the Smokies, it would be quite a hike to travel uphill most of the way. My point is this: nobody would travel such a distance by such a route unless they deliberately chose to. So why did they?

Margaret’s parents were Basil (sometimes spelled Bazil) Brawner and Nancy Campbell. We know very little about either of them. Nancy was born in about 1794, Elbert County, Georgia. Unfortunately, many Campbell families resided in the area at that time, and so we were unable to learn anything about Nancy’s family.

Basil was born about 1790 in Elbert County. There were several Brawner families in the area at the time, and though they may all be related, it has proven impossible at this time to link Basil to his parents. It doesn’t help that several of the Brawner branches each had a Basil.

Basil and Nancy married in 1810. They moved to Blount County about 1819, and lived there for a time. At some point, they moved to Kentucky. A Basil Brawner served as postmaster in Pulaski County, Kentucky around 1830. This Basil could be the Basil we are researching.

Basil ultimately went off to Mexico with his son, and served as a physician in The Mexican War. Basil died down in Puebla, Mexico, and is buried in a mass grave with several US soldiers.Nancy Campbell Brawner died in Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1876.

Some researchers believe the Brawner line has a Cherokee heritage. They are in the right place at the right time to have this lineage, and maybe they do. Proving it is something else again. This family has not yielded up all its secrets by far.

If these Brawners are your relations as well, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Jane.