Sunday, October 12, 2014

Writers' Blog Tour

I was delighted to be invited to participate in a Writers' Blog Tour by fellow blogger and ProGen friend, Liz Loveland. The purpose of the tour is to highlight writers and bring attention to their blogs. Each participant is to answer the following four questions and introduce two new writers. My post has taken some additional time to post; soon after Liz asked me to participate I had to load a moving truck and drive across the country from West Virginia to my home in Oregon. Two days later I was scheduled to speak at the Genealogical Council of Oregon Genealogy Fest in Eugene.

A Truck Full of Memories

An old plow in pieces.
A box of rocks.
Miscellaneous boards.

My son Jamie and his girlfriend Tammy didn't bat an eye at the curious assortment of items crammed into the rental truck I drove across the country recently. The only remarks were from Tammy, who was counting chairs as she discovered them in the truck. Nine, nine chairs, including my Grandmother’s dining room chairs. The truck was loaded with things from my Mother’s house. I would have driven a bigger one but I was worried about driving a wider, longer truck across the country by myself. There was a reason for every item in that truck, even the big box of rocks. From the family that shipped, or carried, an antique cast iron (heavy) rabbit across the country three times, a box of rocks in a truck is nothing. As a matter of fact, several of those rocks traveled to West Virginia from North Carolina first.

Also in the truck: starts from garden plants, most I had sent her; more than 40 packing boxes and about 20 large plastic bins; tubs of photos, of course; a collection of old strainers and colanders; coal miner’s lamps; and a lifetime of memories.

For me, every item in the truck holds happy memories. There is the Grams Care Bear Jamie gave my Mother one year (the kids call her Gram), and a pillow I embroidered many years ago.  She kept all the silly little noisemaker creatures that we included in every Christmas stocking and birthday package, like the Taco Bell dogs. She would always bring some out for visiting children or dogs. There was the boxed set of Little House on the Prairie books, the ones I read to my family every evening when the kids were young. We read that entire set one year. There were three Bibles at her house; they were extremely important to her, even after she lost her sight. Each of her children got one. Mine was carefully wrapped and placed in a box with other “important” items. There were, of course, some conventional items as well, but all of them had a personal reason for being there. And, my glass collecting friends, there was an assortment of Blenko packed in the boxes, along with some of her Fiesta.

I can barely walk through my house right now. I’m waiting for my children to collect the items that have been set aside for them. I enjoy opening the boxes and thinking about happier time; I hope they will too.

Oh, the rocks. We had a running joke about my “list”. Every summer when I went to West Virginia Mom had to-do list ready for me. One year she wanted a pond, lined with rocks. So I bought a liner, dug a hole and made her a pond. I used some stone blocks that matched her sandstone house and the load of beautiful North Carolina rocks my Uncle hauled for her. She had a pond that she loved to listen to while sitting on the patio that was the result of an earlier list.

Mom on her patio surrounded by her flowers. The pond is to her left.
We were taking pictures for her Christmas card.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Grandparents: Oscar Wakefield and Sallie Maud (Minton) Beaman

For a little girl full of energy, with two younger siblings, Mom and Pop's house was my haven. I could, and did, run clothes through the wringer washer, take blankets and sheets outside and make huge "Arabian" tents over the clotheslines, frequently cause volcanoes to erupt in the kitchen, and play with snakes in the yard. They put up with it all, with kindness and patience.

Their house had a wrap-around porch lined with pots of flowers and a swing. I liked nothing better than to set on the swing in the midst of a thunderstorm. Mom would be calling out the window, "Judi Ann, get in this house before you get struck by lightening," or some such. I still love thunderstorms.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A true "Labor Day"

You can visit just about any long-operating city in this country and find a local monument to the rich capitalist who built the mansion during year whatever. But you have to look far and wide to find memorials to the people whose labor created those riches, to those who died in the battles for such modern-day givens as the eight-hour work day and weekends off, and to the organizers who brought the workers together into the unions that helped create the nation’s now-disappearing middle class.

Scott Martelle
Los Angeles Times
“Opinion: The new battle over Blair Mountain -- with lawyers instead of guns.”

Clyde Eastham
The crutches are due to a mine injury.
"On a hot summer day in 1921 Clyde Herbert Eastham slung his shotgun over his shoulder, kissed his young wife and babies goodbye, and marched out the door of his cramped coal camp cabin to join thousands of other West Virginia miners in a strike that had the attention of the entire country."

That is the beginning of a story I wrote about my grandfather, Clyde Herbert Eastham, and his participation in the struggle to unionize the coal mines of West Virginia. This particular attempt culminated in the Battle of Blair Mountain and ended in defeat. Thousands of miners marched in West Virginia tired of their working conditions, including the murder of many who tried to change the system.  They made a stand on Blair Mountain, against an army of “special deputies”, Baldwin-Felts thugs, state police, and eventually federal troops, accompanied by 14 armed bombers. My grandfather was blacklisted from the mines for years, but he continued the effort, even holding secret meetings at his home.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Road Trips

On the road again

Every year, sometime after our Eastham family reunion on the second Saturday in June, it has been our practice to take a road trip: my mother, my sister, and me.  Several of our trips covered bits of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We even stopped by Dollywood one summer and liked it way more than we expected. 

Always, as soon as we were on the highway, Mom would sing "On the road again . . ." She was always excited to take a trip. My sister says if you called and ask her to take a trip she would be standing at the curb with her bag packed before you hung up.

Mom was game for anything. Several years ago she rode the highest roller coaster in the world (at that time) at Cedar Point with my son Jamie and me. Recently Lynn and I took  her up Grandfather Mountain to stand on a metal bridge in a storm, just because we always wanted to do it, and this was our chance.

Mom, Lynn, Judi:  Mile high swinging bridge, Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Genealogy Fest with Tom Jones

Additional Classes Available:

 Naturalizations: All The Papers in Packet, by Jewell Dunn
 Cutting Through the Confusion: Research in Upstate New York, by Karen Mauer Green, CG, FGBS
 Fabulous and Free, by JoAnne Haugen, AG®
 Using the Flip-Pal Scanner with Photoshop Elements, by Jim Johnson
 Getting From Then To Now Locating People In The Last Century, by Leslie Lawson
—Tips and Tricks, by Susan LeBlanc, AG®
 Artifacts and Our Ancestor’s Lives, by Connie Lenzen, CG
 What’s A Deed?, by Kevin Mittge
 Start Writing—Your ancestor’s legacy depends upon it!, by Steven W. Morrison
 Placing Out: The Story of America’s Orphan Train Children, by Judith Beaman Scott
 Dating and Identifying Your Family Photographs, by Karen Wallace Steely
 Correlation for Beginners: How to use simple tables to see your evidence differently., by Eric Stroschein

Friday, July 4, 2014

John Chadwick: Revolutionary War Soldier

John Chadwick was born some time around 1760. He was living in North Carolina when the Revolutionary War broke out around him. His father's house was burned, and John joined the army.

5 September 1836. Declaration of John Chadwick, County Court, Greenup, Kentucky.

John Chadwick took part in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1871 a crucial battle of the Southern Campaign.[1]  Although Major General Nathaniel Green and his 4,500 militia and Continental troops were forced to withdraw by a smaller army led by Lord Cornwallis, it was at a huge cost to the English army. The battle broke the tide of the British in the Carolinas; Cornwallis withdrew to Virginia, where he surrendered at Yorktown that October.[2]

After the war John moved to Kentucky.  On 12 March 1796, in Paris, Bourbon County, he married Kerenhappuch Shortridge, the daughter of George Shortridge and Margaret Muir.[3] The couple raised a family of twelve children in Greenup County, Kentucky.[4]

After Kerenhappuch's death on 17 May 1840, John married the widow Lucinda Bartrum.[5] Both John and his widow Lucinda received a pension based on his service in the Revolutionary War. John died on 4 April 1850.[6] John was buried in a family cemetery on land along the Big Sandy River in Greenup County. The Ashland Oil Company purchased the land and numerous graves were moved from the original cemetery. The original tombstones were removed, but were not placed in the new location.

1. John Chadwick pension file; digital image, ( : downloaded 2 July 2014) 
images from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, no roll number given.
2."Battle of Guilford Courthouse"
3. Bourbon County Marriage Register, County Clerk, Paris.
4. "John Chadwick Family Bible 1797-1821, "Tree Shaker, Vol 3, # 1, winter 1979; transcription John Chadwick Family Bible by Doris C Miller.
5. John Chadwick pension file.
6. John Chadwick pension file.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thelma Edith (Eastham) Corley, My Mother

Thelma Edith (Eastham) Corley, of Huntington, quietly passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Known since childhood as “Tinker”, she was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, and will be greatly missed. She was born February 3, 1928 in Logan County, West Virginia, to Clyde Herbert Eastham and Mary Dorcas Forbes, the fifth child in the family. Thelma was preceded in death by sisters Olive Garrett and Lucille Barker, and brothers Edward, Okey, and infant Carlton Eastham. She is survived by sisters Velma (William) McClung and Mildred (Pete) Trippett, and brothers Malcolm (Debbie), Clyde Robert, Harold (Paula), and Jerry Eastham.
Thelma lived for many years in southern California where she raised her family; they moved to Hood River, Oregon, when her husband, the late Egbert “Ted” Corley, retired.  She was a long time member and employee of the Hood River Assembly of God Church. Gardening was a favored activity and she enjoyed many summer afternoons sitting in her garden among her beautiful flowers. She loved her numerous “Road Trips” throughout her life with her family and friends, and always began every trip with prayer and a verse from On the Road Again.

"Tinker" on the right with baby brother Carlton.

Her three children with husband Gordon Wakefield Beaman (deceased) are: Judith Scott of Portland, Oregon; Lynn Walker (Bill) of Huntington, West Virginia; and Marc Beaman (Janet) of Hilton Head, South Carolina. She is a loving and proud “Gram” to her five grandchildren, Kim and Rick Searcy, Jamaal Scott, Lisa Muto (Marc), and Marcus Beaman (Holly) and four step-grandchildren, Joshu Becken, Michael (Jodi) and Mac (Rachel) Walker, and Sara (Odo) vonWulffen.
Her fourteen great-grandchildren, to whom she is “Gram” or “Great”, are:  Brynn and Ian Searcy; Lindsay, Wyatt, Charlie, and Ella Beaman; Riley and Ryan Muto; Kolbey and Jamison Walker; Kylie Seaton; and Max, Nikolaus and Juliana vonWulffen.
  A Memorial Service was held on Sunday, February 2, at  Beard Mortuary with her cousin Ronald Eastham officiating.