SixthGreat Grandfather...Colonial Officer And A Gentleman

Robert Napier was born in Hampton Parish, York County, Virginia to Doctor Patrick Napier and wife Elizabeth Booth Napier(1641-1717) on May 2, 1660.

He was the first Napier to be born in America as his father Patrick was an immigrant from Scotland having arrived on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia in 1655 at age 21.

Captain Robert Napier was know as a Tobacco Planter, a Militia Officer, an Attorney and a Parish Vestryman. He is historically noted as the real progenitor of the Napier name in America, since he was the only male child of his parents, and had a much larger progeny than his father.

 Many if not all Napier's today can trace their origin back to Captain Robert Napier and Mary Perrin Napier including my 4xGreat Grandmother Mary Julia Napier Pittman and her son Rene Marion Pittman...my 3xGreat Grandfather.

Captain Robert Napier's story now on Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors.  
Give it a read and learn his connection with Patrick Henry's famous
'Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death' speech.


Summer Gardening Brings Big Smiles

Yes, it is 'Garden Thyme' here at CollectInTexas Gal.  It has been THREE Summers since I have had a garden due to the drought here in Texas.  A recent BIG rain, several water saving barrels and conserving sink water, shower water and wash rinse water has allowed for this 2014 Summer Gardening. 

Due to water restrictions and poor top soil, our squash, peppers and okra are planted in raised beds.  The tomatoes are in big patio pots. 
Just like my Scarecrow...I have a 'Big Smile' on my face! 


Wordless Wed ~ Prisma Petunias Plus Poem

I'm Pansy P. Petunia, and I never take a shower.
There isn't any need...because I smell just like a flower.
My breath smells like forget-me-nots.  My burps smell like impatiens.
My armpits smell like daisies and my feet smell like carnations.
But what is most impressive, and should tickle many noses,
Is if I ever "cut the cheese" it makes me smell like roses.
But maybe I'm mistaken and could use a bath today, cause everyone who smells me
Holds their nose and runs away!
by Kenn Nesbitt...Poetry4Kids.com



Matrilineality is a system in which descent is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors.  It is also a societal system in which one belongs to one's mother's lineage, which can involve the inheritance of property and or titles.

A matriline is a line of descent from a female ancestor to a descendant of either sex in which the individuals in all intervening generations are mothers...a mother line.  In a matrilineal descent system an individual is considered to belong to the same descent group as her or his mother.  This matrilineal descent pattern is in contrast to the more common pattern of patrilineal descent from which a family name is usually derived.

My Great Great Grandfather Rene Marion's matrilineal line to the Napier Family Tree was two generations of females which included his mother Francis Stone Pittman and his Grandmother Julia Napier Stone.  This matriline of research converts to patrilineal research with Mary Julia Napier Stone's father and Rene Marion's namesake...Rene Napier. 

This Napier Patriarch line of research and documentation for Tracks of My Scottish Ancestors
continues through Rene's 14th Great Grandfather Alexander Napier.
I hope you will enjoy the climb up the Napier Family Tree with the story entitled...
Revealed there...
The Etymology and Historical Origin of the name Rene


The Importance of Given Names

In genealogy we usually concentrate on surnames since they are the most important way of identifying people who are related.  A surname is usually inherited and, while it may be changed, some form of it is usually retained.  Given names are more important in a way because they represent a voluntary choice by the parents. 

A name is usually not given lightly.  It represents thought and feelings and can be significant to the researcher.  Such is the case of my Great Great Grandfather Rene Marion Pittman.

His unusual given name of Rene was a source of speculation that led to assumptions landing previous family researchers in France.  The following is part of a post where that myth was debunked.

 At the TOP of  the Pittman Family Branch, Irene had traced as far back as Rene Marion Pittman from Alsace Lorraine, France who came to America and married a Black Dutch woman...according to her notes.  Right off the bat, I'm wondering how a Frenchman...which could be with a name like Rene, got a surname like Pittman which I knew was not French, and how his wife could be Dutch and black.  (excerpt from Leatherwood-Pittman Myths Debunked)
Rene Marion Pittman Myth .... Debunked
Rene Marion Pittman was Born, Raised and Died in Georgia, USA!
His wife, Mary Anne Howell Pittman was Born, Raised and Died in Georgia, USA...was not Dutch or Black. 
Since the 'debunking', continued research has led to the discovery and the source of my Great Great Grandfather Rene Marion's name which was one I could not resist digging into.  

What a surprise and significant treasure of genealogical information the name NAPIER has revealed. 
Tracks of Rene Marion Pittman's Ancestors is the next segment of
 Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors.
For More on The Importance of Given Names
~click HERE~


What I've Made~Read~Watched and Where I've Been

What I have Made...Repurposed Vintage~Retro Jewelry.
What I am Reading!
Watched Monuments Men Movie...Excellent!
Link to Amazon...click HERE
Where I've been...Seguin, Texas
Historic Site...Wikipedia Link...Here
Texas Parks and Wildlife U-Tube Video...Here
Whew!!! I've been busy!!!
Looks like it's going to continue through
May and June!!!


RETRO...I Repurpose It Today and Lived It Back Then

My 'Collections' have rotated around and through this blog since it's inception in August 2009.  I have posted and photographed everything from Art to Zippers.  However, I can't remember posting or showing about another 'Old Obsession' as a 'Jewelry Junkie'.  One thing I love most about being a Jewelry Junkie is making 'Old New Again'.  Another is finding a 'Rare Treasure' in the Junk, and the absolutely all time favorite thing is making a piece for someone and having it become their 'Rare Treasure.
I get a kick out of the 1950's being such a popular period for collectors and those who are
 'Living/Decorating/Dressing The Retro Rage'.
I grew up in the 50's and 60's.  Never dreamed it would one day be all the 'Rage'.
However, looking back, I have to say...
It was fun.  It was funky. 
I'm having fun going back in time and creating
'One-of-a-kind Retro Jewelry'.
Retro Parts...Yellow Flower Choker with rhinestone centers and funky link chain.
Vintage Beads...Black Jet Glass faceted rounds and cones.
Contemporary Beads...Yellow grooved glass rondels, yellow and black tube blown glass beads. and brass Retro Style Owl Pendent.
During the 50's my mother often came home from the store saying, "If things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's worth of groceries for $20."

Dad just shook his head and said, "Ain't that the truth.  If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit.  A quarter a pack is ridiculous."

As Grandmother was licking a stamp she asked, "Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a nickle just to mail a letter?"

Granddad threw the newspaper down in disgust and said, "The Government is wanting to get its hands on everything.  Pretty soon it's going to be impossible to run a family business or farm.  If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

From there, the conversation bounced around from one topic to another.  I remember my Granddad's comments about my friends..."Kids today are impossible.  Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed.  Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls."  Grandmother nodded in agreement and added, "Also, their music drives me wild.  This 'Rock Around The Clock' thing is nothing but racket."

The real shocker for me was when Dad put down the weekly newspaper and in astonishment said, "I just read in the paper where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century.  They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it here in TEXAS!  Don't that beat all.
Really, Ya'll...there's lots more of my Folks Fifties Talkin'!
I'll be back with more Jewelry Repurposing and Retro Reminiscing!


Back to Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors

I want to be taken seriously as a 'Family Historian/Genealogist'.  I want my family and readers to know that I am committed to the research, the documenting and the story telling.  I want to tell the truth and fit the facts with the historical events.  I want to heed the wisdom of Ben Franklin...
 Time will tell.  For the time being...
I think my Georgia Ancestors did their part in 'Doing things worth the writing'! 
New Post on Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors
Joseph Marshall Byrd Pittman's Story
Third Generation Pittman Stories
Children of Ichabod Byrd and Frances Stone Pittman
Thomas Augustus Pittman
Selina Ann Pittman Dunn
In Progress...Great Great Grandfather...His Regal Legacy


Grave Yard Art...A Portfolio of Monuments

'Digital Remake' of Headstone Rubbing~1968~Alpine Cemetery

The 'Old Art Portfolio' digging has turned up some interesting and long forgotten sketch book art from Drawing 101...my first real art class.   As a college Freshman, I had to decide on a Minor field of study that would compliment my Major...PhysEd.  "ART", said the counselor is not compatible with your chosen major...I suggest HEALTH.  "Thanks, but I don't want to teach Health, and Art is the only other area I see that interests me, and I think it will come in handy for drawing bones."  Sure enough it was...I made high marks in Anatomy and Physiology with detailed drawings of bones, muscles, the nervous system and other body parts. 

As I look back now, I realize the impulse to study Art in 1968 was a 'DNA Ancestor Guided' decision to prepare me for a lifetime of Grave Yard Art and Genealogy Study.  Without my knowing it at the time, the Gravestone Rubbing assignment set me up forever as a Grave Yard Artist.  These days, 'Gravestone Rubbing' in the field of Genealogy is a valuable tool in preserving and recording information  from deteriorating headstones.  For the 'Family Historian', a rubbing can become part of an ancestors portfolio and physical reminder of having visited that persons grave.
For over forty years I have sketched and photographed headstones in many cemeteries throughout Texas.  In the last few years, I have been a Contributor and Volunteer Photographer for Find A Grave....a worldwide website of Virtual Cemeteries which also serves as a research site for Genealogist.  The above photograph and the following ones are from Tamarisk Cemetery in Ward County, Texas, established in the 1800's, and resting place of my Texas Ancestors.
A precious one from us has gone.  His voice we loved is stilled.
A place is vacant in our home which never can be filled.
God in his wisdom has recalled the boon that love has given.
And though the body slumbers here, the Soul, is safe in heaven.
Gone but not forgotten.
June 1852 ~ May 1935


Gray Matter Matters!

There is nothing more 'Boring' than sitting through someone's old slide shows or home movies...unless you or someone in your family is the star attraction.  The same can be said for Photo Albums, US Census Records, Family Trees, and finally...old Art Portfolios.

As I say this, I am realizing how much of that boring stuff I have put out there through this blog and the two Tracks of My Ancestors blogs.  Lucky for you I don't have any slides or home movies to convert to digital.

On the UpSide, what is done is done, and done in the name of 'Family History' and posterity for those who someday may have the same appreciation for their heritage as do I.  Another positive to all this is the 'Brain Work'. Yep, it keeps this ole noggin's gray matter a pretty shade of gray...which is preferable to ugly streaks of black, red, yellow and blue.  This is know from 'Family History', Dr. Oz and too much TV.

So far, I have excused and justified my Family History, Census Records and Photo Albums, and you have been more than tolerant.  In fact many of you have been downright awesome in your encouragement and appreciation of my writing...both fact and fiction...as well as the prolific photography which over the years of blogging has gone hand in hand with the writing.  For that, I Thank-you!

Let's see now, I've covered the 'Boring Stuff List' except for the 'Old Art Portfolios'.
The vase of 'Star Struck Flowers'...according to the date on the signature was painted in 1985.  Lucky for you, I don't remember where or why I did it, so I'll just say it was an experiment in flinging table salt on a heavily color saturated piece of watercolor paper.  Then by painting in the negative spaces...background...the vase, flowers, stems, etc. begin to take shape.   Besides the Salty Star Sparkles my favorite thing about the original is the shadow of lace on the table....reason for it being displayed and photographed in the above photo.
The 'Digital Remake'. 
 A study in Sparkles and Streaks of Black, Red, Yellow and Blue using a
 Pretty Shade of Gray Matter!


Coffee, Crumbs and Chat with EASY READER

Well, GouhMornin'. That is a greeting I receive several mornings a week from my lifetime friend, Beverly.
Beverly and I go way back, like I said...a lifetime...one of those folks that the slogan on my coffee cup certainly applies to...or is it too.  I don't usually worry too much about the right to-too-two when writing, but after meeting two writers/editors/readers on the AtoZ Challenge, I am re-thinking my Off the Cuff, Pantster Grammar, and SueWebstertionary writing skills.  I may even go so far as to 'EDIT' this post before I hit PUBLISH. 

Really, that is what an impact Easy Reader has had on me...and as you know, at this stage in my life/blogging/writing, I am pretty set in my ways.  I met EASY READER, Lynda during the AtoZ Challenge.  She is a professional reader/editor/writer whose AtoZ Theme focused on AtoZ's of Successful Writing and how to get Published. 

You can just imagine how she must have wished for a digital Red Pen when reading my AtoZ  Off the Cuff, Pantster Grammar, and SueWebstertionary posts.  At any rate, I am here this morning with my favorite mug filled with my SuConcoction Coffee to join Lynda and her SideKick SK for their weekly Coffee Chat....which today 'Reflects' on their AtoZ Challenge experiences.  This is as close as I'll probably get to a 'Reflection Post' for the 2014 Challenge.

So, without further 'AhDo' and too many more to's here are two of my favorite new
Blogging Friends from the AtoZ Challenge. 
I'll see you over there for Coffee and Muffin Crumbs!
PS....Thanks Lynda, for the mention as your 'Surprise Like' of the Challenge. 
I like surprises, too!


Dish Towel Doings

Fourteen years in the making.  I know, that is a long time to think about what design to embroider on a 'DISH TOWEL'.  Really, it's a dish towel!! 

I had intentions of hand embroidering a 'Weekly Set'...you know like the ones 'grandmother made'...Cleaning on Monday, Baking on Tuesday, Sewing on Wednesday...and so on.  The ones with Sunbonnet Sue or the Colonial Gal doing all those chores...you know the ones we 'DISHY Collectors' search for at estate and garage sales.

The ones we know we would NEVER use to dry a single dish.  The ones we might hang for display only.  The ones we save for our grandchildren because we love them so much...the dish towels...okay the grands, too. 

Then one day, we realize a couple of things...#1.  the Grands idea of drying dishes is the last cycle of the dishwasher.  #2.  to them a Dish Towel is made of Micro-fiber and comes in Neon Colors and Zebra Stripes. #3. for them any embroidery should say something like 'I Don't Do Dishes', and sadly, 'Sunbonnet, who?'

Coming to those realizations was what prompted today's Dish Towel doings!  Out from under the cover came my Janome 10000 Embroidery Machine and this once used Flower Collection Card.  What fun!  I hooped, stabilized, chose colors from a huge collection of embroidery threads, and watched the magic of  a computerized sewing machine stitch in 25 minutes what would have taken days, weeks, months, or in my case fourteen years to do by hand.

Pretty, huh?
I think the 'Dish Dry Guy' at my house will think so!


Standing The Test of Time

I never should have started! 
Digging in the Art Skeleton Closet! 
Through the Twenty-five year old Portfolios.    
That is how long it has been since I was a serious painter/graphic artist/art teacher.
My how time flies when you Change Careers, move on to different
 Art Medias, Retire and Go Digital/HiTech. 
Once I started pulling out these art works from the past, I realized they have not been hung on the wall for ages, and they have not been recorded/saved for posterity.  Not that they are now or ever will be of any significant value to anyone, but you never know...my great great grandchildren might inherit my love of 'Family History and Heirlooms'.  So for their sake, I will create a new 'Collection' here on CollectInTexas Gal.  Behold...
Just so you know, in photographing these Art Works from the past, I am breaking all the rules of professionally photographing works of Art.  First, you should never photograph under glass, framed pieces with reflections glaring on the glass.  Secondly, the photo should be all about the Art piece...not where it's hanging or displayed.
Never mind all those rules, I love the reflection of the lace curtains.  I think the composition and colors of the framed watercolor, the vintage crochet and the stained glass dragon fly make a whole new piece of Art Photography.  Do you agree?  Maybe yes...maybe no! 
How about a Digital Remake?
I wonder which one will stand the 'Test of Time'.
Guess those Great Great Grandchildren will be the ones to decide.
For Posterity:  Shack In The Shade.  Mixed Media Watercolor, Napkin textured Gesso.  Technique learned in Dr. Emilo Cabellero Workshop 1980.  Sands Art Center, Monahans, Texas.


Straightening 'This'...Contemplating 'That'

I am a few days past my Mayday Malady.  I hope that means a recovery is in progress.  Stitching for a few days helped to settle my 'Antsy Angst'. 

Still I have wandered around the Studio straightening 'This' and contemplating working on 'That'...then putting 'That' back in the box or basket or drawer.  Just not in the mood for 'That'!

I really should be getting back to 'Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors'.  I am almost to my Great Great Grandfather Rene Marion and a batch of very interesting ancestors on his mother's side of the family. 

I hinted at what is to come in the AtoZ Challenge Letter Q's post...Traces of A Queens GenesAs far as I can tell with the research I've done, I may be the 17th Great Granddaughter of the Queen of Scotland.  How about 'That'?   You would think 'That' would be motivation enough to start reading, writing and doing the arithmetic, but it's not.

Instead, I'm digging in an old Drawing Portfolio and sorting through my Mixed Media Tackle Box.  Really...both have been literally in the 'Skeleton Closet' for years.  As you can see by the date on my signature...1987.

You are probably wondering what prompted me to go back to 1987 instead of Great Great Grandfather's time of 1887.

I have to blame it on my BLOG ROLL from the AtoZ Challenge.   Like I mentioned in the Mayday Mayday post..."They have inspired me to Read, Write, Bead, Travel, Draw Research, Publish and Think Outside The Blog Box!"   Here are three blogs that inspired me to get re-acquainted with my Derwent Colored Pencils, Kneaded Eraser, Seed Beads, and Bead Loom.

  • The Derwents are sharpened.  I have a new Sketchbook. 
    I need a new Kneaded Eraser....the 1987 one crumbled!
    The 'Antsy Angst' is abating, and I've only gotten so far as photographing this pencil drawing done twenty-seven years ago.  Just think how settled I am going to be when I get out the Bead Loom and start weaving 'This' pattern from 'That' drawing. 
    Now where did I put 'That' Loom?


    Mayday, Mayday!

    It's okay! 
     Sorry if you were alarmed by the Mayday signal...it's just that I don't know
     Who, What or Where to go on this first Day of May. 
    I think it's a common May Day Malady...not knowing what's next after an intense month of blogging every day but Sunday. 

    I survived!  My Survival Badge will go right over there on the sidebar with the rest of the AtoZ 2014 Challenge Icons/Links.  Here in a few days, I'll merge them with AtoZ 2012 and AtoZ 2013.

    I am getting quite a COLLECTION...but, hey, that's WHO I am... CollectInTexas Gal!

    There ya go, Sue...the WHO...answered.  Now for the WHAT!
    Hmmm, that's going to be harder to figure out as I have been inspired
     by the bloggers I met on this AtoZ 2014 Challenge. 
    AtoZ 2014 BlogRoll
    Check out my FAVS on my AtoZ BlogRoll.
  • They have inspired me to Read, Write, Bead, Travel, Draw, Research, Publish and
  • Think Outside the Blog Box!
  • Thank-You All...that takes care of WHAT to do!
  • Now it's a matter of WHEN!
  • I imagine SOONER than LATER...I'm pretty Flighty and don't stay still for long!
  • But, I think I'll 'Stop and Smell the Roses' and 'Stitch' for a few
  • MAY DAYS!!!