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Funny Ancestors Story- MILLER, RANDOLPH, DAVIDSON.

This story is one of those complicated stories that I will have to give you some background history on, as that of course is where the 'mess' begins - with one Laura Arkansas Miller [supposed to be a full blooded Cherokee, per family word of mouth,but we can't prove it, yet. She had a twin sister - Alabama Miller].

Laura married Johnny D. Davidson, in Cherokee, Alabama, USA. They had one child, a daughter, Florence. Johnny was killed when a tree fell on him. Johnny had a brother, Joe Ed Davidson, who was married to Mary Randolph. Mary died very young. Joe Ed and Mary had 3 children. Arthur [one of the main characters]; Irene or Arrie {her family is the one portrayed by Mary Tylor Moore, in the Georgia Tann story; and James Ernest. She is mentioned only to explain everyone's relationship to Laura Arkansas Miller Davidson.

After Johnny died, Laura remarried; not unusual; and choice was ok. She married her sister-in-law, Mary Randolph Davidson's brother, James Joseph Randolph; and they had Agnes, Johnny, James Henry,and Rhoda Bell. Nothing strange here. Stay with me now,because the family still continues to get confused. In the mean time,Joe Ed, marries Sarah Ella. They had 2 more children.

As time went on Joe Ed's& Mary's son, Arthur, grew into a nice young man. They were sharecroppers in the Cherokee - Margerum - Florence, Alabama areas and Tishimingo County, Mississippi. Johnny and Laura's daughter, Florence, was a hard working young woman in the same area. Remember, her Father, Johnny, had already died and her mother, Laura, had remarried, to her sister-in-law's brother, James Joseph Randolph. They all worked and lived in the same area in close proximity.

The two young people, first cousins, fell in love, and married. Thus, the saga, began to unfurl. Now, Laura's nephew, Arthur, became not only her nephew, but her son-in-law! I won't go into the problems this caused for their descendants, as 2 of us on different, close limbs, began to try to figure out the: first cousin, twice removed, second cousin on one side, nephew on the other. You see where this leads.

To jump forward a few years. It is nearing Christmas time, and Florence is hoarding her sugar, eggs, flour and other staples, in order to make unaccustomed cakes, cookies, and pies, for the season. She is very protective of her items. Her mother, Laura is visiting, and Arthur is home. I don't know what Florence is doing or where she might be, but her husband, Arthur, and her Mother, Laura are sitting at the table, sharing a toddy or two, and have found Florence's stash of extra eggs and sugar......yes, they are making 'an eggnog' extra sweet and extra eggs, and toddy's with extra what evers!

Enter Florence...can you only imagine her frustration, anger, disappointment, and disgust! There sitting at her table, using up her little stash of eggs and sugar, sat her mother, Laura, and her husband, Arthur, both, feeling good! Happy! Laughing! sharing a bottle of liquor, [also being saved for Christmas baking]and close to being the middle of the day! According to the story, Florence, came back into the kitchen, saw her mother and her husband sitting there, drinking, and became very angry and sent her mother home, and banished her husband to the outside shed! It may have made Florence feel better about the loss of her stash for Christmas baking, but for the two 'partners in crime'...they were feeling no pain, and continued in their good spirits as they trudged off to their respective sites, still laughing at what they thought had been a good joke on Florence, for hiding such 'goodies' in the first place.

This has been the most remembered and to the family, the funniest story they continue to talk about and pass down, especially on Arthur's and Florence's side...there sat Arthur and his 'aunt-mother-in-law'....getting into the holiday 'spirits' and thinking it was funny!

I hope you have enjoyed this item...perhaps some of these names sound familar, or you have run across them in your genealogy searches...if so, let's share what information or questions we may have.

Happy Researching

2 comment(s), latest 5 years, 9 months ago

Ghostly visits?

Four nights ago, I had an unusual visitor, in the form of my Mother! Mary Evelyn CARVER SPARROW. I had just gone to bed, and saw a light in the utility room, in front of the dryer. The outside light does cast a shadow into the hallway, and I did have a dehydrator setting on the dryer.....but this light seemed to move. Intrigued and a little frightened, I reached into the bedside drawer for a flashlight, got up and went thru the bath, into the utility room, and the kitchen, calling out 'who's there?... William?' [William is our Grandson, and can usually come in without waking me...but I wasn't asleep..]. I went back to bed, and again the light seemed to move. Ok, it is a reflection, and I'm seeing myself in one of the mirrors...wrong! When I shown the light on the mirrors, they were not where I had seen the light moving, nor were they where my reflection could be seen.

Turning the light out again, I decided it must just have been my imagination, and settled down to try to sleep.....still turned in the direction of the moving light - a small light, like a pen light. Suddenly as the light moved toward the kitchen, I saw the outline of my Mother, wearing a pink plaid house dress that she had liked and had died in. She had died here at home, April 12, 2011, having been alert and oriented, and having visited with family and friends earlier that day. In fact, our neighbors, who were also our funeral directors, had stopped in about 10am, and visited with her and us, and when they left, she told them, "you'all just go on about your other business. I'm not ready for you, yet." Then she laughed at her joke and they left. How little did we know that 7 hours later, we would be calling them back.

I've tried to figure out if there was anything specific about this visit, other than I don't usually see apirations. Tonight while writing this, I looked at my calendar, the 23rd of August...the night of her visit, was the date that my Dad [William Ralph SPARROW] had died in 1986!

My Dad, William Ralph SPARROW, born August 8,1906; joined the Navy during WWII, August 8; discharged from the Navy, August 8; always figured that he would die on August 8! Daddy told me when his Mom died in 1963, that if I would touch her, [not in that lifetime!!! I was 17, but that was my Grandma, and she was DEAD!!]that I wouldn't have nightmares about her. I don't believe I ever had a nightmare, nor do I remember ever 'seeing' her. So much for touching.

I have had an 'episode' where I did see my Dad....around Easter in 1992...he was seated in a golden chair, with bright sunshine everywhere around him....he talked to me and told me that he had come to get William, my first grandchild and first grandson! "Oh! NO! Daddy, please don't take William....take me, if you have to, but please don't take 'my baby boy'!", I repeated over and over, crying. To this day, it brings tears to my eyes, as now. I sat at the house, waiting for the dawn, knowing my daughter would be up around 6:30am. Unable to wait, I drove into town and parked in her driveway, right in front of his upstairs room, watching for any movements. It was better to sit there for 3 hours, than to set at home! Finally, unable to wait, I woke her up, and asked to see William. He had heard me and came running down the stairs, calling "Ma", "Ma". I grabbed him up in my arms, hugging him, and saying 'thank you, Daddy' and THANK YOU, JESUS, THIS CHILD WILL HONOR YOU AND DO YOUR WILL. He has grown and matured in many ways....he was a certified Lay Speaker at the age of 12! He knows more about the Bible, than I do. I don't know why my Daddy came to me that night....maybe to see his great grandson.

Apirations? Ghosts? Fortelling the future? the past? I was not asleep with either of these visits...I don't go around 'speaking to ghosts', or 'seeing them' when I'm researching ancestors or visiting cemetaries. Wouldn't it be great if we could bring up our ancestors and have them answer our genealogy questions!

3 comment(s), latest 5 years, 9 months ago

Indiana State Archives for Perry County, Indiana, USA

State Archives hold a multitude of mysteries and answers to many of a genealogier' questions; but local county ones do, also. In this journal update, I want to tell about the amazing genealogical library in the Tell City, Indiana, USA,library and the curator of the genealogy/history library - Evelyn Lasley.

In 2009, my youngest grandson and I were returning from Louisville, Kentucky, and since we were on no strict time schedule, I decided to return thru Southern Indiana, and visit my sister, St. Meinard's Abbey, the Sparrow School House, if I could find it, the cemetary where my Sparrow grandfather is buried, the cemetary in Tell City, and the Library there, to do some research. Needless to say, all those ideas fell short as we ran out of time. We did get to visit with my sister, who said that unless I knew all the kinks and curves, I'd never find either the school house, or the Avery Cemetary, by her directions. Well, I opted for the Sparrow School House, as I knew it was on the way to Tell City. Long story short, I missed the School House, by 1/4 mile! The library had already closed for the day. But the Greenwood Cemetary was still open! Ha! Ha! Just across the street from there was the new city court house, and various offices. We located the land office, and went in there to ask about the location of the Sparrow School House and purchase a county map. They were very nice, pulled up a large map on a video screen, from their computer, and helped us search for various areas, the school house, included, which is when we discovered that we had only been a 1/4 mile from it. They called the people who now own it and the land, and told them who I was. They offered to let us come out that night, the next day, or any time we were in the area. We still had a 4 hour trip home, so we opted to come back at a later time. We were told it is still in good condition. Years earlier, my Dad, Aunt, I and my girls, had been there and wrote our names upon the blackboard, along with former students' names. I wish now that I had read the names looking for the earliest, and maybe even my aunts and uncles names, as the land and the school had been donated and built by my ancestors.

On to the Archives in the Tell City, Indiana, Library. I was given the phone number to the library, so the next day I called and talked to the Curator of the Genealogical Department. She was very nice, and we exchanged several emails. She then began searching all of their records and a few weeks later had copied more than 50 pages! of articles about my families. I sent her a check as a donation, since at that time there was no charge, and a few days later I received the most wonderful gift about the Sparrows, the Cullens', the Mosbys, the Davis' and the Alveys. I could barely wait to get it opened.

The Sparrow School House. I have attached a picture and story from the newspaper article and will proceed to tell you what was included in the 50+ papers, about the Sparrow School House, that I received.

Anderson Township, Perry County, Indiana,
NE/NE Section 21, T5S,R3W
The site of Sparrow School House in Perry County, Indiana, is 3 miles southeast of Huffman Bridge and 3 1/2 miles nortwest of the community of St. Mark. It was named after George Sparrow [my great grandfather], whose family owned the site between November 1883 and July 1910. No record has been found of a transfer of the site and school to the Anderson Township Trustee.
In the several transactions for the site from the original purchase as congressional land on October 26 1848 until the present no mention of a school site has ever been made. A Perry County map of 1875 shows no school there. A map of 1894 shows a school on the tract owned by George Sparrow.
On 13 November 1883 Jane Minto [could my great-great grandmother possibly have remarried after her husband, John, died? Here may be a new clue, that I have overlooked for years - she did died between 1880 & 1890. She and John came to America in 1840 - as that is when George was born? Or are the dates in error?] purchassed an 80 acre tract which included the site of the school. After her death on 18 March 1887, no move was made to transfer the title to George Sparrow until the period between 16 May 1899 and 9 June 1900. The tract of 136.75 acres and the school site were sold to Peter Ackerman on 19 July, 1910.
George and Catherine Cullen Sparrow were parents of seven children, most or all of whom attended the school house across the road from their home.
According to the recollection of a former pupil, instruction ceased after the spring of 1940. the more than 2 dozen pupils were reassigned to Avery School two miles to the north.
On 22 January 1941 members of the Deom family purchased the site from Alfred Dupont and his wife. The Deoms deserve praise for maintaining the structure in its current well-preserved state.
An enlarged picture of the Sparrow School House was given by the Perry County Retired Teachers'Association, to the Indiana State Teachers' Association and is hanging in that office in Indianapolis. This picture was enlarged and framed by Harry Huebschman, a retired teacher from Tell City.

I can't believe it!!!! This article I have just copied and told about, had clues I've never noticed. I do get sidetracked easily when engrossed in genealogy, so I decided to check out items I had. That 50+ pages that Ms. Lashley sent me, also included marriages and some cemetary records. JANE B SPARROW married a GEORGE MINTO SR. May 26, 1871! Her name was on the same sheet as my Great grandparents wedding date [or date they applied on], my grandmother's date to my step grandfather, and my great uncle's date.

If stories have 'morals', this one would be, WHEN LOOKING FOR SOMEONE YOU CAN'T FIND - LOOK UNDER YOUR NOSE!!! In otherwords - recheck and reread what you already have. On that one sheet alone, I've answered my question about my great grand mother, and the maiden name of my great aunt for a researcher out in Colorado!

4 comment(s), latest 5 years, 9 months ago

Looking for Sparrows of Southern Indiana and throughout Oklahoma

I have been on the trail of my great-great grandparents, John and Jane Sparrow. I have found Jane as a widow,living in Troy, Indiana, USA, in 1870. She and John were both from England. A story passed down, was that John and his brother [name unknown] went in different directions when their ship landed and they never heard from each other after that. They had one son that I am aware of = George Sparrow. Another story is that he was born aboard ship, John looked at the puny infant and said, name him George, neither of them are worth a darn.

I do know that their son George Sparrow, served in the Civil War, was a prisoner at Andersonville Prison, survived; returned to Perry County, Indiana, and later moved to the Noble County area of Oklahoma. 3 of his sons were among the names on the White Buffalo hide at the Enid, Oklahoma, Museum, that listed all of the original members of the Cowboys' Association, and attended the reunions for many years.

My most important 'friend' who helped me love genealogy

My most important 'friend[s]' who helped me love genealogy and be fascinated by everyone's story, were my Dad, my Aunt [his sister], and her son, my cousin. I grew up very inquisitive about everything! I was always asking my maternal grandmother about her family, and got a few stories, very few; but I also heard from her a few from my grandfather's side [he was already deceased].

Oh! Now, how I wished I had listened better. Older cousins on my maternal sides, have compiled good genealogy records, and I certainly do appreciate the help they offer. Both of my parents are now gone, so I can no longer ask them questions. When we would go to Tell City, Indiana, USA, and visit my grandmother and aunts and uncles, and cousins, we would frequently go out to 'the country' where I would be shown old homesteads where my great grandparents had lived and worked. I would be told stories about their works, educations, jobs, and so much more. Sometimes we even toured some of the old abandoned sites. Once I found some postcards from the 1940's.

Genealogy and my family. I actually thought everyone knew their family histories. My 15th great grandfather fought during the Revolutionary War. I have found his pension number, and some items about him. In 1976, my Dad and I went to Tobinsport, Indiana, for a Memorial to be set by the Daughters of the American Revolution. I saw it, and I saw the headstone that was also placed. Even have pictures. You know what is funny? I have searched the DAR and had help, and he is not listed in their records!

Spence[r's] Chapel Cemetery

I have been working for several years now, to bring some order and information to the Spence[er's] Chapel Cemetary. If any records have previously been kept, they were lost when the courthouse burned in the 1800's or when the home of the secretary/treasurer burned in more recent years. Thanks to several people the cemetary was surveyed and cemetary plots that had no markers, but were graves, were marked on the survey. I have been able to show on a structured graph, the approximate locations of everyone, we know about. Many years ago, several head and foot stones that had fallen over, were removed as well as ornate, wrought iron fences, and put in a gully to prevent it from eroding further!

I remember seeing as a child, a headstone for a doctor who served in the Civil War; other soldiers. Alas, they are all gone.