Friday, October 30, 2015

I Met a New Cousin at

The world sure does work in mysterious ways.  Call it serendipity, or is it help from beyond the grave?  Sometimes, I am convinced that I am getting a helping hand that is not of this world.

When I was researching my Jump line, I was looking on the web for information on Sylvester Jump.  I was led to
It was there that I found the contact information for my fairly newfound cousin, Tammie.  I sent her an email not holding out much hope that she would get back to me.

Tammie responded within a couple of hours and has been quite helpful with the Oklahoma part of the Jump line.  She and I have become pretty good friends considering I live in California, and she is in Oklahoma.  We are Facebook friends and have talked on the telephone, have exchanged family information, and photos.

Tammie provided some of the more pertinent information that I needed to complete my DAR application.  I joined under our 4th great grandfather William Jump who was the son of John Jump.  5th Great Grandfather John Jump was the patriot, but I was the first person to apply and to be accepted under William.  It was a lot of work, but once I proved everything, it was very satisfying. 

There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that your Ancestors helped to win the freedom of this Country. 

Our Ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War had to have some Hell Raiser in them, don't you think?

On the 4th of July, please remember our Patriots who have fought for the freedom of our country and raise a glass to them!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


My family has been in this country for a long time.  Many of my lines have been here since the early to mid 1700s.  I have been able to trace some to the mid 1600s.  I have decided that the best way for me to group the numerous surnames is to put them under each of my Grandparent's surname. 
That will show whether it is my maternal side or paternal side of the family.

                                                        Me- Helen J Johnson

Lawrence G Johnson                                                       Rosie M Smith

Lawrence E Johnson          Cora L Meek                Fred B Smith      Stella E M Holland

My Dad's Side
Johnson Surname Group

Areas Family Lived in

Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma, California

Beard/Baird Virginia


Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee

Maryland, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma
Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri


Pascal, Paschal, Paschall

Virginia, Missouri
North Carolina, etc.

Perryman Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri

Robertson Scotland, Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee

Virginia, Tennessee

Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee

Illinois, Oklahoma

My Dad's Side

Meek Surname Group
Areas Family Lived

Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma

England, Virginia, Georgia
Virginia, Missiouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma
Virginia, Georgia
New Jersey, North Carolina
South Carolina, Arkansas
Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas
South Carolina
England, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee
Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee

My Mom's Side

Smith Surname Group
Areas Family Lived 

Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, California

Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas
Virginia, Texas
England, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina
Ireland, Tennessee
England, Virginia

My Mom's Side

Holland Surname Group
Areas Family Lived

Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, California

England, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky
Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina
England, Virginia, North Carolina,
England, Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas
South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missiouri, Arkansas
North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky
England, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas
England, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee
Maryland, Indiana

Monday, October 26, 2015

His Chickens Get Drunk

Here is a cute little story that I found published in a paper on "The Gateway to Oklahoma History" website.  The paper it was published in was Anadarko Daily Democrat (Anadarko, Okla.), Vol. 8, No. 165, Ed. 1, Thursday, August 12, 1909.

The article about a barnyard speakeasy that Farmer Foos' chickens were housed in and how they got drunk.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Is Great Grandma Really Buried There?

I have run across a few challenges when trying to find the graves of my ancestors. 

One of them is my maternal Great Grandmother Minnie Belle Holland, maiden name Kirkland.  I looked and looked for information on her burial place and couldn't find any information.  I remembered what her name was from listening to my Grandmother, Stella. 

After really analyzing the census records of 1930, I noticed that the Holland family, lines 25-30, lived on Coke Hill in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Coke Hill as it turns out, was a Shanty Town at Belle Point in Fort Smith close to where the Poteau and Arkansas rivers meet. My family lived in the slums. 
A shack at Coke Hill is threatened by flood waters on April 15, 1927, near the mouth of the Poteau River.  Belle Point is where the first Fort Smith was located.  

Once I tracked down where Great Grandmother Minnie lived when she passed away, I contacted the genealogy department at the Fort Smith library and asked them if they had an obituary for her.  I also sent away for a death certificate.

I hit pay dirt with my obituary request.  It was published in the Southwest American paper on March 29, 1930.  I did have to make a second request to find out where and when the obit published as the information wasn't originally given to me.  

From the obituary, I was able to ascertain that Grandmother Minnie was buried at the Noland Springs cemetery.  The cemetery is also known as Nolan/Newland springs.  The other information in the obit is either off or not fully correct.  G Grandmother Minnie was 47 when she passed away, not 50.  She was survived by more than just her husband who was John Wesley Holland, known as Wes Holland.  She had several adult children and as you can see from the 1930 census, she was survived by several younger children as well.  

She was buried less than 24 hours after she passed away.  There was no death certificate recorded.

I posted a request on asking if someone could look for her grave and take a photo of the stone if there was one.  A very kind woman responded, and told me that she couldn't find a stone for G Grandmother Minnie.  She even took it a step further and went to the library looking for a city death record or a funeral record, but didn't find anything.  It is possible, I suppose that the family may have buried her themselves.  Its also highly likely that they couldn't afford a stone to mark her grave with.

I read somewhere that the county would help to pay for some people to be buried in that particular cemetery if the family didn't have the funds.  I still need to do more research, but at this point, the most information I have for G Grandmother Minnie's burial place is her obituary.

The cemetery is an old one and doesn't have many markers apparently.  It is kept up to some extent and the grass is mowed.  It was described to me as being a deserted there such a thing?  A deserted cemetery?  There are people there even if they're dead....

Most of us don't think about what the place where we might be buried might end up looking like after a period of time.  It is up to people like us to keep track of those who came before us, so we can share the information with those who come after us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Uncle was a Pot Grower!

Well I don't know about you but I definitely have folks in my family that would fall into the criminal category.  I guess that would put them in the Hell Raiser category too.  They're definitely not Holy Rollers.

I don't know if you are aware of this or not, but many people with a criminal background are highly intelligent.  They just tend to use their intelligence for the wrong type of business endeavors that usually are not legal.

I had an Uncle who was very entrepreneurial.  He always had some kind of business going, whether it was owning his own service station, running his own painting/handyman business, owning and operating an RV park, or tending to his own little pot farm.  He always had something going on including a claim in his own gold mine up until he passed away in 2013!

When he was in his early to mid 70's, he taught himself to use the computer and picked up genealogy as a hobby.  He was really quite smart.   Uneducated, but smart.

In his mid to late 70's, he decided to get into the pot farming business.  He had his boys (they were in their 40's) go get prescriptions and he got a prescription.  Only one of his boys actually smoked any of the pot. 

In California, if one has a prescription, they are allowed to grow a certain amount of marijuana for their own use or grow for others if they have a prescription.

Uncle got his plants in the ground and they were thriving!  They were growing so high and looked so lush.  Uncle was expecting a fantastic crop and he was dreaming of rolling in the green stuff.  Just before harvest time, he got a visit from some fellows from the sheriff's department.  They went out and wondered around in his pot plants.  He told me that he thought the guys had cross pollinated his crop, and that the next time he was going to take pictures.  He accused them of ruining his crop.

I spoke to him a few days later and he said, "Well, I guess, I did get a little carried away".  Oh, Uncle!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Black Sunday" Dust Bowl, Oklahoma, 1935

I mentioned in a previous post that both of my parents had been born in Oklahoma, and both of them were born in 1935.

Rosie, my Mom was born shortly before Black Sunday.  Black Sunday refers to an extremely severe dust storm that occurred on April 14, 1935, as part of the dust bowl.  Johnny, my Dad was born a few months after that particular storm.

The great plains, which included Oklahoma, was already suffering from The Great Depression.  As if that wasn't bad enough, the inhabitants of Oklahoma had to start dealing with the dust storms in the 1930's.

The cause of the dust storms or black blizzards, were the result of overuse of the land and drought.  Due to cattle farming and sheep ranching, there wasn't much natural grass or shrubs left to help anchor the soil.  Also, due to over-farming and drought, the soil was extremely dry. 

The people just couldn't get away from the dust.  If they got enough notice, farmers would seal their homes the best they could.  They would try to glue the windows shut.  They would shut all doors, drape sheets, blankets, or whatever they had around the openings.  The dust still came through, and left a thick layer of dust everywhere and on everything.  If people were caught in a storm, they would seek the nearest shelter.  People were getting sick with a lung disease that was called dust pneumonia.  Many died from it slowly, and painfully, as they suffocated due their lungs being caked with all the dirt.

Times were very tough and dismal for the folks in Oklahoma and in the other states on the plains.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wee Wees

So I guess you might be wondering what Wee Wees are, (I know that I was) ....they are in the cake category, of course!

I ran across this recipe in a book that was printed in the 1800's, for the benefit of the Confederate Relief Bazaar.

I noticed that the recipe didn't provide the temperature that the wee wees should be baked at.  I think it would depend on the size of the wee wees.  Here it says to bake for 20 minutes in Laplander pans.  If the pans are small, I say bake for 20 minutes at 350-400.  If the pans are large, I would recommend baking for 40 minutes at 350-400.

What is a Laplander pan?  Its a popover pan.  A popover pan resembles a muffin tin or pan, but it is made with deep, tapered cups with more space between them to promote proper air circulation and efficient baking.

I hope you have lots of fun with your Wee Wees!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rosie and Johnny

My Mother was a Smith, and my Father was a Johnson.  The beautiful, blond, green eyed, petite, Rosie Mae Smith and the, tall, dark, and handsome Lawrence Gerald Johnson, aka John.

Rosie was the last child of a family of six siblings.  I guess, because she was the last child, several relatives decided to name her.  She was named, Clara Rosie Edith Mae Dean Smith.  She had an Aunt Rosie who called her Rosa Dean.  There may have been a couple of other relatives to call her that too.  She never used the Clara or Edith.  She was born at home on February 5, 1935 in Muldrow, Sequoyah County, Oklahoma.  She didn't obtain a birth certificate until she was an adult.  On all of her legal records, she used the name, Rosie Mae Smith.

My Father was the last of six children also.  The oldest of the children passed away shortly after birth.  I don't know if she was even named.  Very few people called him by his given name.  Some family members in Oklahoma called him little Lawrence or Larry.  His father's name was also Lawrence.  He was called John or Johnny by almost everyone.  When he was little, he lived on his Grandma and Grandpa Johnson's farm in Caddo County, Oklahoma.  They had a Shetland pony.  He would get on the pony, fall off, and his Mother would say, "Johnny Jump up and try it again."  That is how he got the nickname.  He was born in Anadarco, Caddo County, Oklahoma, July 9, 1935.

My Mom was at times, a Holy Roller and tucked her Hell Raiser deep inside somewhere.  At other times, especially later in life, she let the Hell Raiser loose....big time!!  There were other times, she vacillated between the two....Poor Mama, she had her the same time, she always had her faith.

My Dad was always a Hell Raiser.  He didn't come from a religious background at all with the exception of the short time he attended
parochial school for a few short months when he was young.  He put my Mom on a pedestal because she was so Holy and pure when they met, and always had such a strong faith.  He also had a belief in God, but didn't have the background.

When I first started doing genealogy, I thought I wouldn't make much progress on my family because my Mother was a Smith and my Father was a Johnson....that has not been the case.

Lawrence Gerald Johnson aka John or Johnny

Rosie Mae Smith Johnson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Digital Library Hathi Trust

There are some really wonderful online research sources in cyberspace that may not be that well known.  I have access to one that is so full of information that I could spend 24/7 using it and still not find everything it has on my ancestors. 

The site is Hathi Trust.  The general public has access to most full text, full view only material, but they cannot create collections or download an entire or partial book. 

The site is still full of amazing information.  I have found quite a bit on my own ancestors.  If nothing else, you will find a lot of historical material about where your ancestor lived. 

The more information you have about the time and place your ancestor lived in, your chances improve of having an idea of the type of life they may have had.