Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Elizabeth Perryman Johnson

Elizabeth Francis Perryman was born to Jacob Perryman (sometimes spelled Perriman) and Margaret Knight on January 4, 1809 in Tennessee.

Elizabeth married Williamson Johnson on January 4, 1830 in Tennessee.  In 1835, they moved to Polk County, Missouri.  They were living in Graydon Springs, Polk County, Mo at the end of their lives.

At the age of 23, Elizabeth professed her faith and joined the Baptist Church.  So, I guess my 3rd Great Grandma would be considered a bit of a Holy Roller.

She was a healthy, strong woman.  How do I know?  Well, she had fourteen kids!  She had seven boys and seven girls.  She ended up having sixty-two grandchildren, eighty great-grandchildren, and at the time of her death, she had eight great-great-grandchildren.  She lived to be 96 years, 9 months, and 17 days old.

She was a hard worker, always helping people.  She had to be a hard worker and survivor with all of those kids to take care of!  I can only imagine how much work that must have been.

McMasters Cemetery

Williamson and Elizabeth are buried in McMasters cemetery (shown in the photo above) which is now abandoned.  The cemetery is in a grove of trees 1/4 mile north into a pasture from the end of Polk and Greene county line roads.  Access requires farm owner's permission.

The family has moved the headstones for Elizabeth and Williamson to the Turkey Creek cemetery in Walnut Grove, Polk County, Missouri in order to preserve their memories.

In my 3rd Great Grandmother Elizabeth F Perryman Johnson's obituary shown above, she is described as being a good mother, a good neighbor, as being very industrious, as always being willing to help the needy, and always wanting to do the work as long as she was able.  She sounds like she was a wonderful human being.  I am proud to have her DNA.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Johnson 1st Cousins

Manny and Trish


Manny and Trish (Patricia) Simao are my first cousins from the Johnson side.  They are the children of Ellen Jane Johnson (my Dad's sister) and Manual Simao. 

Manny is about the same age as me and Trish is about the same age as my sister Tudy was.  

Trish and Manny Simao

In the photo above I would guess that Manny is about four and Trish is about two years old.  They are half Portuguese from their Father's side.  Little Manny has the most gorgeous green colored eyes and when he was a young adult he resembled Tom Cruz a lot.  Trish looks like a little doll in this photo to me.  She has red hair and beautiful chocolate brown colored eyes.

When we were growing up, Tudy, Manny, Trish and I were all close to one another and had some great times together.  I am still very close to Trish.  I don't see Manny very much but hear about him.

I love my cousins and will be seeing Trish soon.  Looking forward to it!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Most Common Names in the United States

Dang, I'm a Lucky Girl!

According to Ancestry dot com, Smith is the most common name in the United States.  If one has a Smith in the family, they can expect to sort through 81 million records on ancestry. 

I do have a Smith in the family.  My Mother was Rosie Mae Smith.  As a matter of fact, I have many Smiths in the family.  One could say that I have hit the jackpot on Smiths.  My Smiths were a very prolific bunch to top it all off.  One of their favorite pass times was making more Smiths.  Every time, I turn around, I'm running into a new Smith cousin.  Lucky for me, we have DNA to help us sort through the Smith woodpile now.

Not too far behind the Smiths are the Johnsons.  According to the 2010 census records (reflected in the link below), the Smiths are at 2.4 million with the Johnsons at 1.9 million. 
Do I have a Johnson in the family?  Well, yes.  Yes, I do!  My Daddy was a Johnson.  Lawrence Gerald Johnson.  There are many, many Johnsons in my family tree.  There are about as many of them on ancestry to sort through as there are Smiths.  I'm lucky again to have DNA to help me sort through all the Johnsons.

I recently met a cousin with the surname of Jones on ancestry that is related to both sides of my family.  Smiths (Mother), and Johnsons (Father).  This ought to be interesting to find out if any of the Smiths married a Johnson to produce a Jones.  😅

Jones is running in fifth place on the 2010 census with Garcia close behind them.

I find it to be very interesting the way the most popular surnames are slowly changing in our country.

Thanks Mama and Daddy for giving me such a challenging genealogy to research.  Out of all of the people in the world with different surnames, a Smith and Johnson found one another and fell madly in love.  When I really think about it though, I think I would rather have the challenging ( and probably more interesting than many others) genealogy, than to not be here at all. 

Rosie Mae Smith, Baby Helen Jane Johnson, and Lawrence Gerald Johnson
Thanks Mama Smith and Daddy Johnson again, for meeting, falling madly in love with one another and producing a little Johnson-Smith creature! Me! 😊

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sissy Swallowed a Plum Seed

Almost Went Plum Crazy Before Almost Dying!


I know I have mentioned my grandparent's house of two rooms before and how much time my sister and I spent there.  Well, we were there once again along with our parents in the evening.  Grandma and Grandpa had a black and white Philco television set.  Since we didn't have one, we would watch television at Gandma and Grandpa's house.

Their television looked very much like the one in the photo above.

We were watching "Sing Along With Mitch".  It must have been summer time because Tudy and I were eating plums from Grandma and Grandpa's tree. 

Grandma was always warning us about not eating the center of any fruit seed.  She told us that it would make us go crazy and, or possibly kill us.  Well of course Grandma knew everything!  I didn't doubt for a minute that if I ever ate the center of a fruit seed, I would go crazy and die.

I was really enjoying my plum, and I was pretty much done with it but I was trying to get the last little bit off the seed.  Before I knew it, I had swallowed the entire plum seed! I jumped up and starting running in circles yelling and crying that I had just swallowed a plum seed.  My baby sister Tudy, was right behind me, yelling and crying, "Sissy swallowed a plum seed".  We were both running around in circles in the front room yelling and crying like a dog chasing its tail.

I just knew I was going to go crazy and then I was going to die!  Our Mom was trying to catch us and calm us down.  Our Dad was laughing, Grandpa was lying on his bed, all laid back as usual watching the commotion.  Finally, they got a hold of me and Grandma said I would be okay since the seed was whole and I didn't eat the poisoned part of it.  I was about seven and Tudy was about five.

Our parents called us Pete and Re-Pete because Tudy would do and say everything I did.

From left to right
Me, Tudy (my baby sister), Gerald Lee Clay, Roseann Clay, Rosie Mae Smith Johnson (My Mother) holding Monte Ray Clay and Stella Holland Smith (My Grandma)

This great adventure took place in the room pictured in the photo above where I am with my baby sister, my Mom, my Grandma, and some of my Clay cousins.  My sister and I were a little bit older in the photo above than we were when we had the "Plum Crazy Adventure".

It was always something and never a dull moment with all the kids around.  Good times!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Virgil Eagleton Johnson

Virgil was my Great Grandpa on my Daddy's side.  He was born in Walnut Grove, Greene County, Missouri in 1876.  There are rumors that he was a mean SOB.  Actually, I have evidence to support those rumors, but I am choosing not to publish it at this time.

I read a description of him as being lanky and loose jointed when he was seventeen years old. 

Another description of him was given when my Great Grandmother Lula Jump and her twin sister Lila Lee ran off and got married.  My second Great Grandpa Sylvester Jump went after them to bring them back home.  Apparently, Grandpa Sylvester got a hold of Lila Lee, but Lula's husband (Virgil Johnson) was a big man and refused to let her go.

Virgil Eagleton Johnson and one of his grandchildren

In the photo above, it is difficult to determine how big he was.  This is the only photo I have of him.  I'm sure there are others floating around.  If someone has any other photos of Virgil E Johnson, please contact me. 

I believe my Father may have been built up like his Grandpa Johnson.  My Father was the tallest out of all of his brothers and he was lanky and loose jointed.

Virgil couldn't have been all bad though.  When his daughter Amanda died, he raised his grandchildren.

More to come on good ole Great Grandpa Virgil Johnson at a later time....I can guarantee you that the Johnson stories are not dull!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lucy Allen Smith

Lucy was the third child of Christopher Columbus Smith Sr. and his third wife Joanna (McGraw) Smith. 

Lucy was born with normal eyesight.  However, by the time she was five she had started to lose her eyesight. 

Florence Smith Yandell on the left and Lucy Allen Smith on the right
Lucy lived with her Mother, Joanna until her Mother's death in 1936.  After Joanna passed away, Lucy went to live with her sister Florence and her husband Oscar Yandell who lived on the Smith home place.

Lucy, like most other people who's sight was impaired, was highly developed in other ways.  She had a fantastic memory and it is said that she never forgot anything.

Lucy had Joe Cole write down the names of her Father's sister and three of his brothers.  She was hoping that someone would find them since she and her family had lost track of them after her Father, Dr. Smith passed away.  Their names were Jane, Bob, Dave, and Black.

Jane (Martha Jane) married Zedoc Stuchman.  Bob (Robert Larkin) married Margaret Ross first and Mary Chastian second.  Dave (David Elijah) was my Great Grandpa.  He married CJ Long first.  They did not have any children.  He than married my Great Grandma Margaret "Tinney" McGill.  They had seven children together.  Black (Charles B) married Sarah Fletcher.   They must have all visited Dr. Smith at his house  in Yell County, AR for Lucy to have remembered all of their names.

I would love to talk to anyone who remembers Lucy or any of the others mentioned here.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Christopher Columbus Smith

Christopher Columbus Smith was the first born child of Thomas H Smith and Agnes (Arnold) Smith.  He was born January 20, 1842 in Tennessee, and died in Yell County, Arkansas in 1898.

CC Smith was the oldest brother of my Great Grandfather, David Elijah Smith, and the Uncle of my Grandpa Fred Smith.

CC Smith packed a lot of living into the 56 years of his life.  He was married three times, served in the Civil War as a Confederate Soldier, and became a doctor.

He is listed on the Register of Physicians and Surgeons 1881-1896 certified to practice in Yell County, Arkansas.

He is buried in the Smith Family Cemetery near his farm in Yell County, Arkansas.

More to come about this amazing man who lived his life to the fullest!

Smith Family Cemetery, Yell County, Arkansas

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mama Rosie's Hot Potato Salad Recipe

My Mom made the best potato salad ever!  Since it was so delicious, I make mine the same way.  I 'm going to share her recipe with you but I don't have the exact measurements for anything.

Rosie's Hot Potato Salad

-Russet or Red potatoes, peeled and cubed (enough to fill a 2 quart sauce pan) add water and boil
-6 boiled eggs, peeled and chopped - you may save one for garnish if you wish
-chopped red onion or yellow onion to taste
-mayonnaise to taste (you may use light mayo)
-red or white vinegar to taste
-salt and pepper to taste

Once potatoes are cooked, (I like mine semi-firm) mix with chopped eggs, copped onion, mayo, salt, pepper, and vinegar.  I always add the vinegar last. 
You may use a potato masher if you want your potato pieces a little smaller, but don't mash too much.  You still want your salad chunky. 

You may want to garnish the top of the salad with one of the boiled eggs, sliced and sprinkle with a little paprika.

Serve salad hot.  Um-um Good!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Term "Okie"

Californians Coined the Term "Okie"

According to this article published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz, California on Friday, May 12, 1939, it was the residents of California that coined the term "Okie". 

We call them "migrants," scarcely hinting that they are Americans.

One hundred thousand!  Two hundred thousand!  Three hundred thousand!  The ill-clad and ill-fed migrants poured into California in broken down jalopies. 

Californians looked scornfully on this procession of human misery, "Migrants" was not the word to express contempt, and, and so Californians originated the word "Okie"

The article goes on to discuss John Steinbeck's relationship with the migrants, the camps, the "Grapes of Wrath", etc.

Please see attached article below.  My family experienced all of the "Okie" wrath. They hung in there and rose above it. They were still impoverished and lived simple lives, but their lives were better than the one they had before.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tudy and Me

This is Tudy (Doreena) and me at our Grandma and Grandpa Smith's house on Rd 198 in Poplar, Ca.  I was about 7 or 8 here and Tudy was 5 or 6.  We were born almost exactly two years a part.

The house was still two rooms at this time.  The front room served as a living room/bedroom combination and the back room served as the kitchen/dining/bedroom combination.  Our Grandpa built the house himself.

Tudy and I spent more time here than we did at our own house since Grandma took care of us while our parents worked.  I thought it was the most wonderful place in the world and felt very safe and secure there.

As you can see, our skin was tanned from playing outside so much.  Tudy would always get much darker than me since she inherited the skin tone of our Father.  I would burn first and then get a little tan.  In the summertime, it would get so hot we wouldn't stay outside for too long unless we were in the shade.  We would run around in the  sun a bit, back in the shade, and back into the house to cool off.

Grandpa only had a swamp cooler in the front room that had to be sprayed down with water from the outside periodically, but it did a pretty good job of keeping us cooled down.

I don't know how my parents, Grandpa, and other family members stood the heat to work in the fields to support us.  Thinking about it now, I have a whole new respect for them and what they had to endure.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Old Tulare County Pics

This blog has lots of wonderful photos of the Tulare County area.  This was an area where many of the families and people (referred to as Okies) migrated to during the dust bowl days and shortly afterward. 

I grew up in Tulare County until I was 11 years old.  My sister, Doreena Lynn aka Tudy, was born in Porterville, Tulare County, CA in 1957.

Smith Cousins - Mama's Side

Uncle Don and Aunt Betty's Girls
My Grandma and Grandpa Smith had six kids. Uncle Don was the first one to marry, although, he was the third one born out of the brood.

In this photo is Edna Mae, (the oldest out of thirty Smith grandchildren) Donna, and Barbara.  I'm not sure where the photo was taken.  I thought it might have been taken in Poplar, CA at the left front of my Grandma and Grandpa's house; but after looking at the surrounding background, I have determined it wasn't.  It might have been taken somewhere in Stockton, CA. 
I always thought Edna Mae was so wonderful and so pretty.  She was such a sweet person.  I miss my big cousin.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Polk County Genealogical Society

The folks at the Polk County Genealogical Society have been so helpful in my search for records of my ancestry. They have one of the best if not the best system I have run across so far.

The Society is run by volunteers and their president, Susan Sparks is absolutely wonderful and a goldmine of information.

If your ancestors were in the Polk County, Missouri area, I highly recommend the Polk County Genealogical Society as your first stop for research.  They are physically located in Bolivar, MO.  Please see below for link.

Monday, February 27, 2017

It Was Hot So We Cooled Em Off

We Cooled the Ladies Off!

The population of Poplar, CA in the 1950s and 1960s was about 800-1,000 people at the most and I think that included the population of  Cotton-Center and outlying areas.

My family lived in a two room house, (my Dad later added another room).  We lived between the Short family and the Glory family on Imperial Rd.

It was a warm, uh, lets make that a hot as hell summer day in the Central Valley of California.  My sister, Tudy and I were home with our Mom and we were playing outside.  I was about six and Tudy was about four years old.

We were playing on the side of the yard next to the Glory's because they had a couple of big old shade trees.  It was at least a little cooler under those trees.

Mrs. Glory and some of her women friends were sitting under the shade trees visiting and talking about how hot it was.  They kept carrying on about the heat and fanning themselves with paper fans and homemade fans made from pieces of paper.  Some of them were fanning themselves with their dress-tails.  Now Mrs. Glory and her lady friends were not a petite bunch.  These ladies loved their fried chicken and starches! 

Tudy and I had been playing in the water earlier so I knew that running through the sprinkler helped to cool one off in the heat.  As I listened to the ladies complain about the heat nonstop, I came up with a brilliant idea!

I enlisted the aid of my little sister and told Tudy to go into the kitchen and get Mama's bottle of dish-washing liquid.  Tudy went and fetched the bottle and I proceeded to fill it up with water.

I told Tudy that we were going to cool the ladies off.  We hid behind the tree and I started squirting them with the water.  The ladies started jumping all around hoopin' and hollerin!  They were causing quite a commotion!  They made so much noise that Mama came out of the house and caught Tudy and me red handed cooling the ladies off.

Mama said, "Helen Jane, what are you doing"?  I was trying to explain to Mama that we were just trying to cool the ladies off.  She took the bottle away from me, and made us go into the house.  Of course she threatened us with "Wait until your Daddy gets home"!

Mama apologized to Mrs. Glory and her friends for our bad behavior.  She kept threatening us with Daddy for the rest of the day.  We got our little butts beat when Daddy got home.

I later caught our parents laughing about us cooling Mrs. Glory and her friends off.  I don't recall Mrs. Glory ever getting out in the yard like that again and complaining about the heat. 

I was just trying to help the ladies, and Tudy thought it was a good idea too.  I was in total agreement with them that it was really, really, hot.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hit Brick Wall with Hartwell Johnson

Who Were Hartwell's Parents

I know that Hartwell was born in 1782 in the state of Virginia from the census records.  It was assumed until a couple of years ago that he was the son of a Hartwell Johnson Sr. who lived in Surrey County, Virginia.  Hartwell Sr. married Susan/Susanna Emery about the same time Hartwell Jr was born.  There was really no evidence to show that Hartwell Johnson Jr. was Hartwell Johnson Sr.'s son.  It was only assumed because of the names.

A couple of years ago, it was discovered that there was a Hartwell Johnson listed with a Coleman Johnson and a William Johnson starting in April 1805 - March, April, or May 1820 on the Halifax, VA personal tax records.  He was not listed on those tax records for 1807 and 1808.  His military records support the fact that he was in North Carolina during this time.

Hartwell married Lydia Shaw in 1807 in North Carolina and his son Williamson was born in 1808 in North Carolina.  In 1809, he was back on the Halifax, VA personal tax records.  In 1809, Hartwell and Lydia's daughter was born.

He enlisted in the military approximately July 1813 to serve in the war of 1812 and was discharged approximately Jan 1814.  He was stationed in Norfolk, VA during this time.  The Halifax, VA personal tax record dates support that he was there in March 1813 and there in April 1814.

Hartwell and Lydia had over 10 children.  The census is confusing sometimes since they can sometimes show two children born in the same year.  It is possible, I suppose.  I know back in those days people tended to have huge families.

Hartwell and his family left Virginia sometime after 1828.  His son Jasper was born in 1828 in Virginia according to the 1850 census records. 

Hartwell's grandson, Bethel was born in 1830 in Tennessee according to the 1870 census records.  I am assuming that Hartwell, Lydia and family had joined their oldest son, Williamson in Tennessee by then.  Hartwell and Lydia's son, Leonard was born in 1832 in Tennessee.  Their daughter Nancy was born in Tennessee in 1834.

It is believed that Hartwell, Lydia and family moved to the Looney Township area around 1835.  Hartwell was mentioned as an early settler in the book, "History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri", 1889 Published by Goodspeed.

Hartwell and Lydia's daughter, Lydia Melissa was born in Missouri in 1836.

There is steady documentation showing that Hartwell and Lydia lived in the Polk County, MO area until they died.  There are census records, tax documents, and slave census records that prove this.

I have two main areas of frustration at this time with Hartwell.  I have not found any documentation showing who his parents were. It was thought that William Johnson listed with him in Halifax County, VA might have been his father, but so far, there is no proof.  It was also thought that Coleman Johnson listed with him in Halifax County, Va might have been his brother, but so far there is no proof.  However, Hartwell did name one of his son's Coleman. 

Another area of frustration for me is that I never found out the names of the slaves that he had.  At one time, he owned eight slaves.  I believe all of them were female with the exception of one male child.  On the slave census records, there were no names listed.  I did find where he sold one negro girl, named Suse Johnson in Bolivar on December 11, 1837, but I don't know how old she was. 

I hope what I have written about Hartwell helps someone else.  If anyone has any information regarding this line, please contact me.

Timeline for Hartwell Johnson Jr.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We Lost Uncle Lloyd

Gone But Not Forgotten Uncle Lloyd

Uncle Lloyd McKay was from my Mom's side of the family.  He was married to my Mother's oldest sister, Thelma Irene Smith.  I loved my Uncle Lloyd so much.  He passed away last week at the age of 93 1/2. 

When I was young, we lived in Poplar, CA until I was 11 years old.  I only had one sister who was younger than me by two years.  Aunt Thelma and Uncle Lloyd lived in Stockton, CA.  They had a large family of five girls and two boys.  I used to love it when they would come to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Smith.

My sister, Tudy and I were at our Grandparents house more than we were at home.  Grandma took care of us while our parents worked. 

Uncle Lloyd loved kids.  When he came to visit, he always gave me a lot of attention.  He didn't play ball, or run with the kids like my Dad did.  Uncle Lloyd was a talker.  He loved to talk and he loved to know about people and how they were doing.  Uncle Lloyd always made me feel so important!  He made me feel that way until the day he died.

My Uncle Lloyd always drove a station wagon when his kids were growing up.   I loved to pile into the station wagon with all of my McKay cousins and my sister.  We never had any money so we would mostly just go to Church or to the grocery store.

After my family moved from Poplar and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, my sister and I used to stay a week or two at a time with Aunt Thelma and Uncle Lloyd.  They had a small house so we would crowd into bed with our cousins.  I would sleep with Carol and Fay, and my sister Tudy would sleep with Pam and Kathy.  It was lots of fun because we had lots of kids to hang out with even if it was at their house.

Uncle Lloyd was a doer and a helper.  He was always helping someone out by mowing their lawn, taking them to the doctor, helping them work on their house, etc.  When my grandparents got older and needed more help, he would drive up and down the 99 several times a month.

After Grandma died, Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Thelma brought my Grandpa Smith home to take care of him.  Uncle Lloyd helped him to bathe and do that sort of thing after Grandpa reached that point.  They took really good care of Grandpa with Aunt Thelma doing the cooking and Uncle Lloyd doing the physical part of the caring until Grandpa passed away.

Their oldest child, Lloyd David got a brain tumor that was terminal.  They brought him home.  Uncle Lloyd took care of his oldest son until he passed away.

Aunt Thelma developed several health issues.  She was totally bedridden, couldn't talk and was fed through a tube in her stomach for a couple of years.  Uncle Lloyd was right there with her taking care of her.

After Aunt Thelma could no longer talk, Uncle Lloyd used to call me to keep me up to date on the family comings and goings and the latest gossip.  Uncle Lloyd would also plant okra just for me.  It is hard for me to grow it in my area so he would grow it for me.

Uncle Lloyd loved his family.  He was a wonderful family man, a good Christian, and a great human being!  Because he cared so much about others, he was a natural at being an outstanding Father, Husband, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Son in Law, Father in Law, Uncle, and Friend.

I know that he is in Heaven with Aunt Thelma and they are having a wonderful time. 

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant