A to Z Reflection

I’m not sure I can truly call myself an A to Z Challenge Survivor or not.  I certainly missed a few posts.  I started off strong, but in the end, I petered out.  My posts were too long and too involved.  I felt like I was cheating if I posted something short. Will I ever do it again? Absolutely!  I found some new blogs to follow, I enjoyed the challenge, and want to see more activity here anyway. What will I do differently.  I’ll draft more posts ahead of time, instead of doing them each day.  I learned this about half way through, but didn’t keep up.  I still intend to finish each and every letter of the alphabet.  Knowing my OCD self, I’ll post them on the date they were supposed to be released.  I will make a notation below if they were added late.

V is for Vital Records








is for Vital Records.


In the early 1900’s the powers that be began to see the importance of keeping up with records regarding births, deaths, and marriages.  Fortunately,  many jurisdictions saw the importance of these records long before hand.  The problem is where this information was recorded and kept.

In my county, we lost our records numerous times.  However, there’s information to be found in other places, but how does one find it?  How many other folks have something like the church record book I found?

My grandfather has the original deed to  his property from about two hundred years ago.  He said every time the courthouse burned, someone would take a copy to the courthouse and they would copy it over.  I wonder what truth there is to that?


U is for Unique











is for Unique.


Not.  There’s little in our family tree that is unique.  This is something that makes my research a little more difficult.  Those folks that have unique surnames have the difficulty of finding folks whose names were misspelled by census takers and other record keepers.  My problem is that there were a lot of Smith’s, Jones’, and Harris’.  Harris turns up in my family multiple times.  What a tangled web!

In addition to common surnames, it seems their given names are common as well. John, William, James…


T is for Timelines







is for Timelines.


Timelines, among other things, seem a pretty simple concept.  But when I look at different family trees, I find this is obviously something very difficult.  My ancestry tree is a work in progress, and one that I use to find people, not where I keep my verified data.  I like to hope that’s what others do, especially when I see people having children when they’re 6, or even before they’re born.  Yet others having children after they’re dead.  These folks give ancestry family trees a bad name, yet I have to wonder just how does one do that?  Does one get so enthralled with the clicking that they miss the details?

S is for Scrapbooking






is for Scrapbooking.


I have a vision of this beautiful heritage scrapbook with information about my ancestors that can be handed down through my family.  The hardest part is what to include.

My love of scrapbooking came from my grandmother and great-grandmother.  It is wonderful to look back and see the neat things they made, what they chose to keep as mementos.  My daddy has a childhood scrapbook that is in pretty bad shape.  A goal is to try to salvage it, without destroying the work my grandmother put into it.


Q is for Questions






is for Questions.


In genealogy do we ever have all the answers.  That’s easy enough.  Not even close to it!  Here’s just a few of mine:

  1. Where did John “Jacky” Morris come from?
  2. Who was his father?
  3. What was Red Kirby?
  4. Who was Allen Thomas’ father?
  5. Who did Alfred Elder kill and what were the circumstances?
  6. Where did Martha Lewis Morris go after her divorce?


P is for Preacher aka Five Ancestors Ago–LeeRoy Whitson Harris (52 Ancestors Week 16)






is for Preacher.


This post is a part of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by Amy Johnson Crow at www.nostorytoosmall.com.

Rev. LeeRoy Whitson Harris is my 2nd great-grandfather via

  • his daughter, Alice Virgillia Harris
  • her daughter, Racie Elmira Harris
  • her son

The facts:

  • Born:  20 March 1853 to William Alexander & Ruth Holland Harris
  • Married:  Sarah Russell before 1874
  • Married:  Nancy Russell 6 Jan 1885
  • Died: 2 Jan 1840 of Mitral Insufficiency with contributing causes of hypertension and influenza

He was a shoemaker according to the 1880, 1900, and 1920 census.  In 1910, he was listed as a farmer.  Was this just the recorder listing everyone as a farmer, or did he actually give up shoe-making for a while?  By 1930, he was a clergyman of Baptist faith.

Here’s LeeRoy, second wife Nancy, and family.

Front: William, Travis, Oscar, Sylvia

Middle:  Nancy Russell & LeeRoy Whitson Harris

Back:  Georgia, Alice, Jessie

LeeRoy Harris Family--After

Harris, Lee Roy and family
before 1912

A memorial sketch given at the Harris Reunion after his death said this of his time as a Baptist preacher (transcribed verbatim):

By profession:  Lee was a local Baptist preacher, serving as such in the churches of this and adjoining counties, until ill health compelled him to superanuate, but his superanuation did not prevent him from preaching occasionally, when circumstances were favorable, and his outstanding usefulness in this community was to conduct burial services for the dead, in which his remarks and admonition to the living were most impressive and effective.  He was usually the leader in singing, and was generally known as the leader not only in the Baptist churches, but in Methodist as well.



  • Harris, LeeRoy Whitson US Federal Census Records 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
  • Rev. Lee W. Harris tribute
  • Harris, Lee W death certificate

O is for Occupations






is for Occupations.


According to census data, most of my family were farmers.  There’s the occasional blacksmith and shoemaker, an even more occasional preacher.

These two pictures belong to a small set that is, I believe, the only pictures I’ve found, so far, showing any of my ancestors working.  My grandfather went to Newport Tennessee to survey in 1934.  The only other fellow I know is Ralph Holt.  C may be Curtis Holt and W may be Walt Morris.  I do wonder how that trip went. They seemed to have an all right time.

morris, f, surveying morris, fred & others, peedee 34

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.

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.  🙂