GGraham on Family Tree Circles

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Memorable Genealogy Moment

Oh, how I wish I could remember clearly back to my youth, when my grandmother first got me interested in family history aka genealogy! I'm sure there were memorable incidents back then, I just cannot recall any of them all these decades later.

One incident that surely stood out (except in my faulty recollections) was learning that my great-grandfather Graham had been wounded at the Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania Court-House (12 May 1864), fighting under Gen. Robert E. Lee for the Lost Cause. Up till then I'd unquestioningly accepted the school classroom presentation that the War was all about slavery and nothing else, and thus I'd considered the Rebels to be evil. But my very ancestor was one of those Rebels! Time to re-think my attitude about the Confederacy and time to be more critical and investigative regarding history!

This leads to one of my earliest memorable findings, once I took up genealogy again (after decades of neglect) upon getting hired at the Tennessee State Library & Archives last year (A.D. 2011). And actually, an LDS cousin had primed this rebirth of interest by e-mailing me Graham family history info, including a photo of our great-grandpa in his Rebel uniform. Well, he sent plenty more e-mails (usually with genealogical attachments) once he found out I was back "on board"! And thru an e-mail attachment, some intensive on-line research and some help at TSLA I learned that my mother's great-grandfather also had fought as a Rebel. The family had lived in northwest Tennessee (Gibson Co.) back in those generations. It was thrilling to make this discovery that I had a Johnny Reb not only on my dad's side but also my mom's! (Later I found another great-grandpa of Mom's who likewise was a northwest Tennessean who fought for the South.) All this propelled me into seeking membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I now serve as chaplain of the SCV camp in Clarksville, Tenn.

1 comment(s), latest 1 year, 5 months ago

Genealogy Abundance

I can be thankful for several items which have shown up in abundance during my family history research.

1 - My paternal grandmother's ancestors were mostly of the Society of Friends (Quakers), which explains why she was into genealogy (bequeathing her interest to yours truly) and why several of her ancestral lines have been traced way back -- with documentation!

2 - My many ancestors who fought in the War Between the States -- most of them on the Confederate side. Discovering while I was still a boy that I had a Johnny Reb in my tree taught me to be more open-minded about the Southern rebellion (and other issues) and to read critically what the textbooks say. From being a little boy who considered slavery the only cause of the War and the Rebels to be evil I have matured into a middle-age member of Sons of Confederate Veterans.

3 - I've discovered that many of my ancestors served in our country's military (only a couple made military service their career). This didn't surprise me, because both my parents and most of their siblings served in either the Army or the Air Force. But in addition I've uncovered that several of my forebears on both sides were clergy (all of them either Methodist or Baptist). I suppose that thanks to these two facts it was in my genes (I was destined) to combine the two professions. You see, I served as an Army chaplain of the Disciples of Christ, at posts in Texas and Tennessee in the 1980s.

My Favorite State Archives? Why, TSLA!

It should be evident from my earlier entries here that I work at Tennessee State Library & Archives, in Nashville next to Tennessee's beautiful State Capitol.

And where I work is my favorite State Archives!

Confession: I've never been in any other state archives in person. But any other will have a very difficult time coming up to the standard that TSLA sets. After all, it was getting my job there last year that got me back into my family research again after decades of inactivity. TSLA is housed in a gorgeous edifice which complements that beautiful Capitol building I mentioned earlier. Best of all, the public service staff there is extremely good and helpful in their service to patrons. It's a joy to work alongside such people and then to "switch hats" and become a patron myself.

My specific job is receptionist-security. My major task is greeting incoming patrons and getting them registered. This involves holding onto their TSLA patron card while they're in the building. When a patron is ready to leave, she or he writes the time out next to the time in on the register and I hand them back their card. Many times the exiting patron will will be singing the praises of our helpful staff and/or the facilities!

Is it any wonder I love working there? Is it any wonder that TSLA is my favorite state archives?

1 comment(s), latest 1 year, 7 months ago

Finding Living Kin While Researching Dead Ones

When after decades of inactivity regarding my family history I got back into genealogy last year (A.D. 2011), I got rewarded with an unexpected benefit. In researching my dead relatives I got connected or reconnected with living kinfolk. And this is a delight!

One which wasn't such a big surprise to me were two LDS first cousins who live in Hawaii. Not only are these two fellows Mormon and thus by religion into genealogy. When my Quaker-heritage paternal grandmother passed I inherited her genealogy papers, but due to my life situation my dad mailed them to one of these cousins. Now that I'm back on track he's returned some of the papers to me. When these first arrived and I looked at them I got a very eerie sensation! You see, I recognized most of them, especially the pedigree charts, even tho I hadn't seen them in something like four decades!

I had quite a trip down memory lane, you might say!

Another first cousin who actually contacted me by Facebook I initially mistook for his and my uncle (they have the same name). He lives in Pennsylvania, in an area which for many reasons I'd like to visit sometime. And now I have a more personal reason for making such a visit.

And then there are second (and third?) cousins who have come out of the woodwork -- the genealogy paperwork, that is. A couple of these on my father's side got introduced to me by the LDS cousin mentioned above (the one with Grandma's papers). But on my mother's side I've made connection with a distant cousin who lives in the same State, Tennessee. He's not far from certain rural cemeteries where some of our ancestors repose, so I'll probably actually meet him whenever I go to visit those graves.

Guess you can say I "seek the living among the dead"! LOL

1 comment(s), latest 1 year, 7 months ago

My New Journal at FamilyTreeCircles

Howdy, y'all!

I call myself Glen Alan (surname GRAHAM), and altho' my paternal grandmother had me interested in the family history and research during my youth, I spent many decades not touching genealogy. Then, last year I got a job working in the Tennessee State Library & Archives (in Nashville; I live in Clarksville). TSLA is one of those "dusty repositories which genealogists patronize. And so I got back into my family history and research in a BIG way!

Recently I decided to give FamilyTreeCircles a try as a research resource. The ancestral surnames I'm most interested currently are GRAHAM (imagine that!), SANSOM (my mother's maiden name), PASSMORE, WEADER, LINCOLN (yes, I'm third cousin four times removed to Honest Abe), CAME, STRODE, PUSEY, HALLIBURTON (especially in england and more recently after settling in northwest Tennessee), PROTHERO/PRYDDERCH (Welsh) and BAKER/BECKER (German).

Two of those surnames have rather rapidly brought me to brick walls. For GRAHAM I ahve rather extensive records and history back to my 3-great grandfather, Windsor GRAHAM (d 1865). And there is a record in Marlboro, South Carolina, of a probate of his father William who died intestate. William's surname may have been GRIMES and he was married to a Mary who may have been an ADAMS. William died about 1818-1819, and this is all the data I have on him. Well, there is a family tradition, written down in the 1920s by my grandpa GRAHAM, that one of five brothers who immigrated across the Atlantic from the British Isles chose to go to the South of the thirteen colonies. This South-faring GRAHAM may have been William GRIMES or GRAHAM or his father.

Anybody have info which might help me demolish the brick wall in my namesake ancestral line?

The other brick wall is the CAME line. I only have three generations of Cames: Susie M. who married Charles S. PASSMORE (these two are my great-grandparents), her father Mahlon and his father Mark R(ounds) who fought for the Union in the War (he's my Billy Yank to counter my great-grandfather CSA soldier and two more Johnny Rebs on my mother's side). The CAME family resided in Maine. Try googling "Came family"; it gets you little relevant since any search engine mistakes the surname for a past-tense verb!

Well, that's certainly sufficient introduction to yours truly. Happy hunting in your family research, y'all!

2 comment(s), latest 1 year, 6 months ago

Researching GRAHAM, PASSMORE, CAME and CRESSY

Howdy to those who will read this!

As a boy (we're talking toward the middle of the last century) my paternal grandmother got me interested in genealogy and the family history. When she passed they gave her genealogy papers to me. But my life took unexpected and twisted turns and my dad, who had the papers in his possession 'til I could "settle down" sent them th an LDS cousin.

A year ago I go a job at the Tennessee State Library & Archives -- one of those "dusty repositories" that family researchers frequent. And I got back into it BIG-TIME! I'm most interested in the history of the GRAHAM line (imagine that!), and have rather quickly run into a brick wall; if anybody knows anything about the parents, grandparents or siblings of Rev. Windsor Graham (d 1865 Georgia USA), please share.

What brought me to this site was query about the CRESSY (various spellings) family. I'm 3-great-grandson of Major Mark R. CAME and wife Harriett CRESSY. Any info on her ancestral lines will be appreciated. His lines too -- I don't even have his father!

3 comment(s), latest 1 year, 7 months ago