Motivational Monday ~ Interview...A Motivational Tool

In an Interview recently I was asked, "What got you interested in or started your family history/genealogy?

It was my first Genealogy Interview and, I thought the questions were going to be harder to answer.

I was prepared to fess up to questions about having ancestors that might have been Wild West Texas Outlaws.

So the question about how I got interested and started was an easy one to answer.  I even have a photo of the two people who inspired, motivated, and gave me my start as 'The Keeper of My Family's History'.

 Meet the 'Motivational First Keeper' aka as the 'Barefoot Genealogist'...my Aunt Vera Irene Pittman Sinks.  She's sitting beside the 'Cowboy Inspiration' for Tracks of My Texas Ancestors...my Dad...Willard Carroll Pittman.

Irene was the oldest of the six siblings and Willard the youngest.   There was ten years difference in their ages with two brothers and two sisters between them. They were Texas born and raised with an appreciation for their Texas Pioneer heritage.

Irene spent much of her lifetime in search of our Family History.  She loved to talk and write about our ancestors, and the information she found in her research.  Her hours of note taking in libraries and the inquiries from Genealogical Societies from Georgia to Texas have given me an abundance of information on which to build our Family Tree in the Technologically Advanced Genealogy Community of the Twenty-First Century.

About that Interview...

CollectInTexasGal/Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
Featured Genealogy Blog
GeneaBloggers 'May I Introduce To You'
Sue Pittman McPeak
CollectInTexas Gal

PS...Boy Howdy, am I ever Motivated now...Thanks GeneaBlogger!!!


Saturday Night Sky Over The Davis Mountains

For Gini

I wonder why when you say goodbye
beautiful colours paint the sky.

Shades of orange, yellow and pink too
all come out because of you.

And although I hate to see you go,
I really do enjoy the show.

I've seen you leave so many times
and still it's a favourite sight of mine.

There'll be no sadness, be no sorrow
because my sun, you'll come out tomorrow.

I won't feel hurt, I'll feel no pain
because on your way down, your colours will reign.

 Adoni Marcano PoetryInNature


Wednesday Photo Focus

What you see depends mainly on what you look for.

photos by CollectInTexas Gal
all rights reserved


Tuesday Travel ~Covered Wagon Tracks

Pioneer Widow Buys Covered Wagon and Mule Team

That would have been a good headline if there had been a newspaper reporter around when my Great Grandmother Martha Jane Marley Carroll loaded up her four children and set off for West Texas in the winter of  1914.

One of those children was my Grandmother Effie Estella.  The following is an excerpt from a story I wrote based on my Great Uncle Mert's (Estella's brother)  recollections of that Covered Wagon Trek.

Martha Jane Makes Homestead Tracks In Texas
Third and Fourth Generations Follow 
When the wind mixes with a driving sleet in West Texas, a cow, a calf and a young girl should be someplace out of the bitter cold. Preferably someplace warm. Stella's thoughts about someplace warm kept her going in the driving sleet. The cow was having a hard time of it, too. Stella could tell by the tension on the rope that kept the mother as close to her newborn as she could get. The calf, barely four hours old, was draped across her saddle sharing the slicker that was doing a passable job of keeping the rain and ice from soaking them both.

Stella looked up just before her horse crossed the road through the gate where the sign was covered in snow and dripping with ice sickles. Just able to make out Wristen Ranch through the blowing sleet and snow, she peered beyond the sign to make out the house and barn down the snow covered wagon rutted tracks. Holding back on the horse so the cow could keep up, she spoke softly to the shivering calf, "Hang on little one, we'll get you warm and fed real soon. Dear god, let there be somebody here who will take us in for the night."
continued on Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
click HERE

Tuesday Travel


The Geezer Takes Me To The Neatest Places

The Geezer???? ComeOn Sue, really!!! 
 You expect me to wear this Tshirt out in public? 
 I don't think it really fits me. 
I think I'm somewhere between 'Geezer and StudMuffin'!
As you can see The Geezer aka HiHoney wore the Tshirt out in public...sorta!
HiHoney and I are Volunteer Grave Finders for Find A Grave Website.
He's the Finder and I'm the Photographer.
We travel within a hundred mile radius of San Angelo fulfilling Photo Request from families and genealogist
doing research for Family Trees and creating Memorials on The Find A Grave Website. 

 The Cemetery PhotoShoots are a NeatONikon Bonnanza!
 Shots like these just across the dirt road from the cemetery.

Of course we are always on the lookout for new places to eat! 

The Geezer made quite an impression with the waitress who laughed all the way through taking our order for the Deluxe Mexican Plate.  It was hard to tell if she was laughin' at my attempt at ordering in Spanish or the GeezerShirt.

Anyway, the Mexican food was great, the service was fantastic and funny, and we will definately be going back....

.....and not just for another meal at Hidalgo's but also to check out....

...this Stud Muffin !
I tell you what...
The Geezer Takes Me To The Neatest Places!


Church Record Sunday...Closer Southern Baptist Connection

After last Sundays Post on Sentimental Sunday-Southern Baptist Preacher Connection , I remembered a 'Closer Time-Line' Baptist Connection than Fifth Great Grandfather Daniel Marshall and his daughter Fourth Great Grandmother Lucy Eunice.  She's the one that snagged her a husband by being such a good Bible Verse Reciter.

Twenty-five years ago, the First Baptist Church of Grandfalls located in Ward County, Texas, celebrated it's 85th Anniversary.  I received my copy of the Abbreviated History with so so interest.  Twenty-five years ago I was not so much into Genealogy as I am today, and besides, I was still smarting from the denied BackRow Pew access for not taking after Lucy Eunice and her Bible Verse Recitation Memory.

Now, the publication is of greater interest as it documents and afirms my updated Southern Baptist Connection.  Not only that, but it provided the only photo I have found of my Grand Aunt Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner (10-23-1880~4-15-1948)
First Baptist Church of Grandfalls Charter Members
Ava Eudaly
Milton Truman Eudaly
Pansy Eudaly
Perla Marie Eudaly
Sallie Ellen Eudaly
Mattie Pittman Faulkner
Violet May Eudaly Johnson
Allie R. Starrett
Rev. Frank A Starrett
Kate Eudaly Woods

The First Baptist Church of Grandfalls, Texas began in 1901, was a quarter-time or half-time church.  The members met every Sunday for Bible Study (Sunday School), but they only had a preaching service one or two Sundays each month.  They shared their pastor with other churches on a rotation basis.  The congregation would often meet on Sunday afternoons for their service, especially when there were candidates for baptism, and held special fifth-Sunday services once each quarter.  The Abbreviated History of the First Baptist Church of Grandfalls

Here I am on Easter Sunday 1963 ready to go to Sunday School and Services at
The First Baptist Church of Grandfalls, Texas
Baptisted Member July 24, 1955
Two of Mattie Pittman Faulkner's decendents are members today.
Myself by Letter and my First Cousin Polly.
It's a good thing...Close Baptist Connections!

Church Record Sunday


Sorting Saturday - Old School FileClerk

This is my Photo Filing System.  I know it doesn't look 'Old School', but in my head I'm still a File Clerk back in 1968.  You know, before colored file folders, sticky notes and yes, even Archival paper and storage systems. 

The only 'System' around then was the ACFC System..Ancient Cranky File Cabinet.  As the 'Rookie Clerk' it was my good fortune...said the 'Senior Clerk'...to traverse the stairs, find the skeleton key, locate the keyhole and enter the crypt.  Did I mention the spiders and webs?

Sure makes me appreciate my HPPC System and NeatONikon.  'I've Come A Long Way, Baby!
I feel right at home here in my HPPC System with the manilla file folders and better than ever IBM Selectric Keyboard.  Talk about 'What will they Think of Next'.  Anyway, it sure makes Sorting and Filing in the safety of my office a huge improvement over the ACFC System.

I don't want you to think I've abondoned all the the Old School Ways.  No Siree, I still have Folders...colored ones now, tape-acid free, clips-also colored, magnifyer and the rest of the stuff a Gals gotta have to be among the '21st Century WithIt File Clerks'...or as we are called these days, Executive Assistant to the Crypt Keeper.

I don't know if you noticed it or not, but next to my HPPC System I still have a remnant from my Old School Clerkin' Days.  The Magic Wand!  

I keep it around in case the 'Google Magician' needs help sorting through the InterNet.  HiHoney, my husband, still reads the newspaper the Old School way, and he thought Doonesbury's cartoon in last Sunday's Funnies fit me to a T!  I thought Ya'll might enjoy it, too, and it gives me a chance to show off my 'Saturday Sorting Skills'.

So through the Magic of Google Sorting...without help from the Wand...here's Doonesbury on :

Welcome Sorting Saturday GeneaBloggers


Weddin'Wednesday~Love At First Sight

It happened in Texas!

The Club Cafe's booths were finally empty. The customers were all back on the bus and on their way to the next bus stop in El Paso, Texas. The travelers left the Club Cafe in Fort Stockton tables full of burger baskets and coke glasses. Every salt, pepper and sugar shaker was empty, and the silver napkin holders needed refilling. Two waitress' stood with hands on hips, wishing they could take a break before the next bus pulled in and unloaded it's hungry travelers.

Thel and Phyl were Iowa farm girls and had come to Texas to visit Phyl's sister. Best Friends and gals lookin for adventure in Texas, they took the waitress jobs so they could afford to stay in Texas and make enough money for bus tickets back to Iowa. So, with no time for a break, they quickly stacked baskets, loaded glasses in the dirty dish cart, filled the shakers, poured sugar, and stuffed napkins. The Cafe was back in order and ready for the next bus load of travelers.
"Look, Phyl, sailors." Thelma pointed out the window where the uniformed guys had just gotten off the bus and were picking up their duffle bags. "I'll take that one," Thel nodded toward the tall, dark and handsome one who wore his Sailor hat set back and slightly sideways. "Okay, I'll take the other one," Phyl said as she filled the water glasses.

Sailor Willard, on his way home on leave to Grandfalls, Texas walked into the Club Cafe, looked into the blue eyes of the waitress waiting to take his order, and fell in 'Love at First Sight'. Her name was Thelma, and she was beautiful with those blue eyes, long dark hair, pretty smile and Iowa accent.

So, Willard and Thelma met, married, had five children, lived in lots of places, and loved each other for forty-two years. Their children had parents who loved and cared for them, who taught them lessons of life by example, and who left a part of themselves to carry on to future generations. 

Wedding Announcement from Thelma's Iowa hometown newspaper...
Thelma Klemish Weds Texas Man
January 6, 1947
Yuma, Arizona
The couple is now residing at San Diego, California where Willard is stationed with the US Navy.

Ya know, it's funny how the 'Weddin-Waitress' Gene' is passed from one generation to the next.
Thelma was a Gal born in Iowa, worked as a waitress and wed a Texan.  Her first born,  that's me, was born in Iowa and wed a Texan.

The 'Waitress Gene'?  Yep, I got that, too!  You see Willard and Thelma owned and operated  a few Cafes over the years.
So, Ya'll come back next week for...Workday Wednesday ~ Carhop At The Frontier DriveInn!

Welcome Wedding Wednesday GeneaBloggers


Tuesday Tip ~ That's A Fact, Jack!

Tips to Find Missing Ancestors!  Boy Howdy, am I all over that SubTitle in every Search from Google to Graves. 

Bless her heart and memory, my Great Grandmother Martha Jane Marley Carroll's name has been thrown out there on the World Wide Web, dug up in every Cemetery Listing in Texas and scrutinized in every photo of her in existence...or at least those in my possession.

Here she is in about 1905.  I know this is her.. as I was Tipped Off by the handwriting on the back of the photo which says,  "me, Mrs. M J Carroll".  So into the 'For Sure's Stack' and posted in The Family Tree on ancestry.com where all of a sudden...
TIPS GALORE in the form of a Fluttering Green Leaf!

I don't know about you, but I take GREEN as meaning Go For It, and HINT as a Fact Jack!  I so need some FACTS on 'Where Art Thou Now Martha Jane'.
Here she is about 1952 when I last saw her. 
 Yep, I actually have seen her and probably said Hi and Bye all in the same breath.
I was much more interested at the age of 5 in riding bikes with a hunky older cousin.

Now I am older and wiser and without any Family Members that know where and when Martha Jane Marley Carroll died....what's one more Web OutThere name to crawl all over...maybe it will lead to a Tip or at least another Fluttery Green Leaf.

Since becoming a member of GeneaBloggers, the search for MJ's Vital Info has been renewed with a Slew of Tips.  Geneablogger and Tuesday Tip contributor Random Mews' post on How To Locate Sisters and Daughters has a Ton of Tips that I'm hoping will shed some light on Martha Jane Marley Carroll...(once more for the crawlers). 

In the meantime if you see anyone or any photos resembling this couple, I'd appreciate a ShoutOut!
That's a Fact Jack!
Welcome Tuesday Tip GeneaBloggers


Flowers That Fly

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing~

Butterflies are self propelled flowers.
~R.H. Heinlein~

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.
-Robert Frost 'Blue-Butterfly Day'~


Sentimental Sunday - Southern Baptist Preacher Connection

As it happens, there was a couple of Southern Baptist Preachers in my Family Tree.  Now mind you, I had to go way back to find them....all the way back to 1776.  During the American Revolutionary War era, it seems my 5th Great Grand Uncle James Pittman was arrested and thrown in jail for preaching and holding a Baptist Bible Class in his home. (History of the Rise and Progress of Baptists in Virginia by Robert B. Semple)

All these years I've been a Baptist, and figured I was because my Mother was and her Mother was and so on.  Imagine my surprise to find out that Dad's Baptist Roots were older than Georgia Dirt.  It seems that my 5th Great Granddaddy John I. Pittman...a good Biblical name...his wife Mary Polly Rowe Pittman...another good Biblical name...and their ten chldren moved from Virginia to Georgia to escape Religious Retrictions placed on Baptist activities.  They joined the Colony of Baptist headed by the celebrated Reverend Daniel Marshall whom they met at church in Virginia.

The Colony settled in Georgia on Kiokee Creek, St. Pauls Parish which later became Columbia County.  The church established by Reverend Marshall was the first Baptist Church in Georgia of which 5thGreat Granddaddy was a founding member.  The drawings shown above are of Reverend Marshall and the Kiokee Baptist Church.  Reverend Marshall went on to establsih other Baptist Churches in Georgia.  His life and contributions to the Baptist faith are well documented.  You can see The Marshall Monument in Elijah Clark Memorial State Park in Lincolnton, Georgia  HERE...at the bottom of the page.

It was my experience as a young girl going to our small community Baptist Church that if you made it to Sunday School, paid attention and could recite your Bible Verses that you earned the right to sit on in the Back Row Pew for Church Services.

Two things about The BRPew...One...distance from the pulpit where Hell Fire and Damnation didn't scare the Bejesus outta of ya...and Two...the Preachers Son...or in the case of my 4th GreatGranddaddy John Ichabod Pittman...the Preachers Daughter. 

You see Reverend Daniel Marshall had a daughter...Lucy Eunice...she was very good at Reciting Bible Verses.  I must say, though, that  the Bible Verse Recitation Gene of my 4th Great Grandmother Lucy Eunice Marshall Pittman was not passed down to me.  On most Sunday's I sat in the Third Row Pew, got 'Shushed' alot, got 'The Bejesus Scarin', and got a good view of the Preacher's Son's Cowlick. 

You'd think he'd have the good sense to study his Sunday School lesson and memorize all those Verses so we could sit on the BRPew so I might have had a 'Closer Southern Baptist Preacher Connection' than  Fifth Great Grandfather Reverend Daniel Marshall.

Welcome Sentimental Sunday GeneaBloggers