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Stories told by Naomi Hill Stanley

I beleive that only the oldest left on the mountains know
the the what fors and the real reasons why.And there is
only a handful that God has given the talent to know this..

I have been lucky enough to get a few hints to why's and
how's from Naomi Hill Stanley.There is very little she
does not know about anything on that mountain.
I think she is meant to be the Appalacians Last Storyteller.

From religion to the ghosts of the mountain,I have listened and taken in all she had to say.

I have heard when to plant a crop and why not to plant,
when a season is going to be good and the reason
why it is not.

She has told of the misty Indian ghost that walks the
crooked roads at night.

I have heard of the murders in the tunnels that the lonley trains pass through and the people that dissappear never to be heard from again.

She has told of life stories that she has heard or lived.

With this womans storytelling she can make you smile,let
you know what true love is,Or scare you to where you can not
close your eyes at night.

She is able to put her stories to a beautiful rhythm of poetry that entrances those who read or hear it from the lips of this

The whispers of endless stories of wisdom--tears of joy and pain
--and the laughs of happiness are
just as captivating as the whispers through the
trees of the Appalacian Mountains.

Written with love, Jewel M Butts

Queen of the Hills

I had an aunt who lived deep in the hills of Virginia.The place was called Caney Ridge.It seemed to me as a child that it was at the top of the world. My mother always called this her safe place.

We would go often to this safe place.It was filled with laughter and
happiness.There were always sweet smells coming from the kitchen at the back of the house.

One day we had came to visit a while.When I entered the house the first thing that I noticed were those sweet smells of good home cooking.I ran to the kitchen wanting one of the best homemade biscuits
I had ever tasted.And there at the stove stood the most beautiful
little old ladie with a fresh crisp apron tied at her waist.She turned and gave
the most gracefull smile.It was a smile of hard times and good times
It was a smile of beleif and a smile of knowledge.I stood for a moment seeing a soft yellow glow surrouding her and I realized There before me stood The Queen of the Hills.
She never raised her voice above a slight whisper but when she said
something was to be done, all jumped to do her bidding.She had full
control of her home and hers.
My aunt who to me had the power to melt the ice or freeze the sun
whose same blood ran through me had also touched my life.

She was treated as royalty by all.
Be it family or the many strangers that left her life better off than
they entered.

I beleive she was God,s right hand. For never has any one made such a
difference in every life she touched.

When it was time for this lady to go,The mountain cried for
for The Queen of the Hills.

Dedicated To My Aunt Lily Mae Rose Hill

Stone Soup

Today I received an email from a man He was searching in the same area I was for the people of his past.We both knew the place and a lot of the same names. It seemed odd but we both grew up there in
Wise Co Va.
As i read his mail he phrased a term I had not yet heard.
Some people were now calling us Appalaian Americans.
This made me very proud.After all the derogatory slurs, And all
the people looking down their noses at us as outcast.
It seems that most in this vast area of the Appalacian Mtns.
were a mixture of the best the world has to offer.
Not only were there Indians,Whites,Turkish.Irish,Scottish and
only god knows what else he put in this pot of Vegetable Soup.
we have be call Hillbillies and Tax invaders,moonshine makers
and runners.
But have you ever been to this area called Wise and Russell Cos
of VA.Did you notice the smell as you started up the mountain
THE SMELL OF HOME.There is a peace there you cannot find anywhere
else on earth.A reality of honest,genuine,freindly people.A place
you can tell a neighbor you are hungry and hell will open his door
and keep you warm and fed well until you can take care of yourself.
These people deserve the title of Appalacian Americans.They deserve recognition,for they are a breed apart.
My mother told all children growing up that she knew how ro make stone soup.The ingrediants she said a small amount came from everyone on the mountain so there was plenty of soup for everyone. There is nothing like my mother's Stone Soup. This is what this mountain is
a huge pot of Stone Soup with just the right touch of all seasonings

Next time you began the rise up the Mountain : slow down,Take a deep breath.You will have taken you first breath of HEAVEN.

Jewel Butts remember we are now Appalacian Americans

Searching for ancestors of Joseph Harvey Mutter

Joseph was born 1938 in Coeburn Wise Co Va.His parents were Arthur Mutter and Flossie Elzina Comer.Some family names include Hart-Sizemore-Blevins I beleive that Joseph has an Indian lineage I can trace it back with almost certainty.I am looking for any information to help set this as a fact.Someone who is related and has traced this family would be a great find.I can traced Joseph's line back to
Ned Sizemore and Cheif Bear Hart aka William Jackson.

Still Looking for that Wise Co Va Connection

I have only been searching for my family connections for about
two years now. And a couple of hundred names later,I am still
searching for the strings to tie things up.
The more information I find the more there is to find.
I am finding skeletons in every closet, stories that no one
wants told or remembered.
At one time these skeletons may have had to been hidden,
but in today's time I think most are even called common place.
I have found hard, cold and hungry times for people in all our
pasts. Women who had to marry a man just to take care of her.
Or had to trade one child for a cow just to be able to feed her
other children.And then there are those who had to sell their
souls after the father of their children was killed in the
coal mines, whether from a mine shaft collapsing or their lungs
from breathing all the deadly black dust.
Who are we today to look back on anyone in these times and
say we would have done anything different.Would we not have looked
for arms to hold us when there was no one there,or given a child to someone to take care of, or drug that fatherless child from door to
door,state to state with a love so strong that nothing could part
this mother from this child.

Hart of Virginia

In my search of family history, the surname of Hart came into light.
Thomas Hart was the first to come into the family b 1679 d.1755.
Thomas and his wife Susannah Rice b.1692 had two children.
Benjimen Hart b.Oct 1731 d 02,Jan 1802 and Nathaniel Hart b.May 8
1734. It is line of Benjamin and Nancy Ann Morga that I descend.
James Hart and Catherine Sizemore are my ggggrandparents. I would
like to find anything on this family that is possible.Maybe someone
out there knows a story or two.

4 comment(s), latest 10 years, 7 months ago

Old Ned Sizemore

In my search for family ties,I recently ran across an article
on the Sizemore Family. I have found this name in my work with
my family line of Mutter & Blevins.I can tie us back to James Hart
born abt 1760 married to Catherine Sizemore abt 1770 Ashe Co NC
Their son Washington Hart m Elizabeth Blevins and a couple
of generations later here I am trying to peice it all together.
This article was by the actvist Jason Adams.The article was named
"The Metis Heritage of the Sizemore Family."This led me to look further than I had gone with the Sizemore line.I am in search of any dates,family ties and stories and any fact anyone can provide

1 comment(s), latest 9 years, 6 months ago

Geneva Alifare Jane Gilliam:A woman without a past?

I am looking for my maternal
great-grandmother Geneva Alifare
Jane Gilliam.She was named this
story has after her 3 aunts.

There is basicly nothing in
records that are searchable.

She was born abt 1879-1884
in West Va.She was said to be
the daughter of Isacc &
Lucinda Gilliam.I can not put
these 2 togetheer as parents
of Geneva.

The main area I am researching
is Wise Co Va.

For what ever reason,the family
members who may know something
are also passed or will not shed
any light.It is like the whole
of WV,VA and NC have tightened
their mouths to keep this big
dark secret.

I have heard a few stories(most
with no basis).I have yet to hear
one that makes me ashamed she
is mine.

What I do know:
In 1905 she married John H Rose
in Dickenson Co Va.
Before 1905 she gave birth to 2
of Johns Children in Dickenson Co.
This would be Bessie Rose and
Lilly Mae Rose.

John died in 1917 due to greif.
He had taken his only son Leonard
(abt 10 years old) to the saw mill
in St Paul Va. While John was working
Leonard some how got the sleeve of
his shirt caught in the saw blade.
This pulled leonard in the saw an cut
off one arm.

John blamed hisself so much,he came
home to Geneva, laid upon their bed
and within 10 days John H Rose was dead.

John was born in Wise Co Va 1859.He was
30 yers her senoir.

I have found only one federal cesus with
her on it 1910 Dickenson Va She is listed
as Neva Rael 26 wife of John Rael 56 and
several of their children.

SS Death Index Geneva Rhoton d:1967.
Geneva married a second time to
Charlie Rhoton.

Their is a Geneva Gilliam listed in 1880
in Wise Co Va. I am sure without a doubt
this is not the same person.

Family story also has that as a young teen
A huge tree fell on her during a storm.
for several days she laid there. Finally
she was found, After finally being seen by Dr.
It was estimated 36 broken bones and 2 head
fractures.She had surgery at which time she
needed a metal plate in the front and in
the back of her head.At that time a silver
Dollar was placed in each area.This accident
did leave her with a noticable limp and alot
of pain throughout her life.

I am hoping in putting this for all to read,
someone out there can help me to give
Geneva Alifare Jane Gilliam her deserved
resting place in history.

Please contact Jewel Mutter Butts---email

[email protected]

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