N is for Name

N is for Name.

Today’s relationship to the word is a bit random.  A bit of a stretch, as it were.  My great grandmother’s name was Alice Harris Harris.  Her middle name, according to my grandmother, was Virgillia.  Odd name, huh?  I’ve seen different people put Virginia in their ancestory files.  I used to always chalk that up to them simply not knowing.  But should I have?

My grandmother was 6 months old when her mother died.  My grandmother had to rely on what family told her.  At times, I wonder if Virgillia is what she heard when they actually said Virginia.  A child’s ears can hear different things.  However, my great-great-grandfather lived until my grandmother was nearing 30.  Surely he could school her on his daughter’s correct name.

There’s no death certificates or anything to give any credence to either spelling.  That reminds me..I need to really go through my bible collection.  I have Alice’s husband’s bible, perhaps there’s notation in there on the correct name.  I may even have another from that side of the family.  Until then, I feel I have no choice but to go with personal knowledge as my source.

M is for Murder






is for Murder.


Two folks, that I know of, in our family tree have been tied up in stories of the taking of another person’s life.

Mean Johnny Bolt’s story is one of outright murder.  Alfred Elder’s story is largely unknown.  All I know is that I believe he was in prison in Richmond, Virginia for manslaughter.  I’ve been unable to find any information about the details.

Church Record Sunday

I’m working to digitize the Church Register I found at my mom’s.

01--Index p 1 02--Index p 2


I is for Indian Princess

I is for Indian Princess

We all  have them, right?  One of your grandmothers was an Indian Princess.  No?  Perhaps just Indian then?  🙂

My supposed Indian Princess is Amelia/Melia/Millie who was perhaps Cherokee.  She was married to John “Jacky” Morris and lived in Montgomery County, North Carolina, in the 1800s.

edited to add:  sarcasm.  🙂

H is for Heirloom

H is for Heirloom.

Over the weekend, my friend lost pretty much everything she owned in a fire.  We spent Monday trying to sort through some of the things.  Of course it’s easier to deal with these things when it’s not your stuff that’s damaged from heat, smoke, and fire, but the one area I had a lot of trouble with was the family heirlooms.

The decision to keep heirloom furniture that was only damaged by smoke, soot, perhaps a little heat, was easy to make.  No, it may not be worth much monetarily, but it’s sentimental value is pretty large.

Books were more iffy.  How do you get the smell out of a book?  The only two I considered saving was an 1880 school book and a hymnal from the same time period.  My friend had other books she wanted to try to salvage.

Dishes and china were completely black, the soot baked in.  I don’t see much of a way to salvage that.

I can’t imagine what it feels like to try to find something, anything, that is salvageable. I know it was heartbreaking for her, to lose her pets, her possessions, her home.

G is for Ginger

G is for Ginger.

a light reddish or reddish-brown color

There aren’t many gingers in my family.  In fact, most of my family has darker hair and aren’t even fair skinned.  My granny’s family was fair skinned, her brother a ginger.  That makes me wonder which of her ancestors were gingers.  My husband’s grandfather was a ginger.

Are there any gingers in your family?

F is for Fathers






is for Fathers.





Church Record Sunday

Several years ago, my preacher brought me the church attendance books. I can’t even remember now what he wanted me to do, other than get a current list of membership. I took it down to mama’s one day so she could look at it and ended up leaving it there. Irresponsible, I know. I remember two books, the current one and one from the 1950s. I did not remember the third.

Because I can’t remember the third, I’m wondering how my mother came to have it. I went down the other week, to get the two books and to finally get around to what I was supposed to do originally (we’re on the next preacher now, so it’s been about five years since I first got the books). There’s the two books I remember, and the third.

03 title pageThe third book is from the 1800s. Records seem to begin in 1888 and run through the 1910’s. I’m trying to figure out just how to proceed. I want digital copies, to help out others as well as for myself. Then the book shall go back to the church, where it should be. I do think the church should consider donating it, but until then, I shall be a careful caretaker and get everything in digital format as soon as possible.

It’s actually for what was, at that time, the Jackson Hill Circuit.  There’s four difference districts listed, each with a line drawn through it.  The churches included are:

  • Jackson Hill
  • Macedonia
  • Rock Springs
  • Lanes Chapel
  • Poplar Spring
  • New Hope
  • Center
  • Pisgah
  • Union
  • New Hope


E is for Ephemera






is for Ephemera


paper items (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles (Merriam-Webster.com)

Who doesn’t love it?  I mean, why else would it now be collectible?  I’m always super excited when I come across something that was tucked away, perhaps even as an afterthought then forgotten.  How I love to find my grandparents’ writing as well, on small slips of paper tucked inside books and bibles.

I wonder if anyone has a copy of a newspaper with all of my Papa’s arithmetic from figuring the day’s stock gains and losses.

This post card was addressed to Miss Anna Chandler of Eldorado, NC, from Shirlie Russell.  I think this is Anna Russell Chandler and her brother John Shirlie Russell.  Would he have addressed the card Miss?  I’m not sure of all the words, especially since I’m not familiar with the handwriting.  Does anyone else find the card itself as amusing as I do?

The postmark is January 11, 1913, 4:30PM.  It reads  (I think!):

Hello and how are you

well I hope I am well

Mary has got the measles she

is a getting along all right

and how do you like your

cow? I want you and irvin? (wanon?)

to hery on come over hear

just ? be careful how you

ride your hors? come

when you can

from Shirlie Russell




D is for Death Certificate aka Three Ancestors Ago–William Christopher Harris (52 Ancestors)





is for Death Certificate

In addition to the A to Z Challenge,  this post is a part of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by Amy Johnson Crow at www.nostorytoosmall.com.

William Christopher Harris

harris, wm

  • Born:   December 25, 1871
  • Died April 27, 1924
  • Parents:  James Austin & Luscitta Harris
  • He is my direct ancestor via
  • his daughter, Racie E. Harris
  • her son

I never realized my great-grandfather lived for 12 years after my grandmother was born; after his wife died.  I mean, the children scattered, going to live with relatives or simply to be adopted by someone.  To my young mind, he wouldn’t have lived long after his wife died, leaving the children to grow up not even knowing each other.  My grandmother remembered seeing him a few times, but she was nearly 13 years old when he died.  I actually thought he went to the asylum (the crazy one) after his wife died and pretty much stayed there until he died.

Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t die there.  No, he was on his way home and got hit by a car.  Again, I thought, ‘how sad, to finally be on the way home and to die like that.”  Ironic, huh?

Not once I found this…


Clearly he stepped out in front of a truck, on purpose.  He’d only been there, at the State Hospital in Morganton, for three months.  I’ve requested any records they have on two different occasions with no answer.  I’m going to try again.  Then, if I get no answer, I’ll be making a road trip over the summer.  They could at least tell me, perhaps, if he’d spent more than one bout there.  There’s more to this story, I’m sure.  Evidence from the 1920 census indicates this.  I surely hope I can find out at least part of it.


  • Racie E. Morris
  • Harris, William C.  North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.