One hundred and three years ago today, my husband’s paternal grandmother was born. In wanting to write a tribute to her on her birthday, however, I realize that what I know about Ruth, in the genealogical sense, is very little.
When Great-great-great-great-grandpa Thomas Chilcoat passed on, the will1 he left behind was relatively standard. First, pay all his expenses and his funeral. Second, provide for his wife. Then he starts divvying up his assets among his children: 2/5 to Robert, his eldest son [my 3rd great grandfather], 2/5 to Thomas, his youngest son, 1/5 to Elizabeth, his youngest daughter. And…
I give and devise to Sarah my eldest daughter only five dollars for the caus [sic] of her being a disobedient child
Thomas Chilcoat, Last Will & Testament, written 04 Jul 1840
One just cannot read a statement like that without wondering What in the heck did poor Sarah do to make Papa so angry?
Most of my family trees (I’m at 24 trees and counting) include a lot of travel. The family ancestor arrives in America, then moves three or four times, then his subsequent family moves, then another generation moves, and eventually, there are family members scattered from coast to coast across the U.S.
Not so when talking about my eldest son’s paternal lineage. That story starts and stays in Texas.
I’ve been told my Grandfather Weddle’s maternal relatives, the Marshes, weren’t very close. In fact, on the rare occasions that they all got together, they typically spent their time and energy playing “Top This!” 
You know how that game goes: one sibling brags about their new car, or big bonus, or the latest remarkable feat of [insert name of family member] and no sooner do they finish their story than the other siblings jump in with their own tales of incredible proportion.
And on and on it goes… ad nauseum.
All families do it to some degree. What is so sad about this sort of one-up-man-ship is that it detracts from real accomplishments. Perhaps this is how my great great uncle, Robert Jesse Downing Marsh,Read More »
Remember that old commercial for Certs? Two. Two. Two mints in one. (You youngsters can watch it here.) Well, that’s sort of what happened to Dutch (Harold Seba Taylor, Sr) when it came to cousins. It went something like this…Read More »
I was digging around the internet for ancestry records when I found these: prisoner of war records for Kevin’s maternal grandfather, John Frederick Flatau, a.k.a. Opa. You might notice they are all in French. Google Translate and I have become friends. Really good friends! And what Google couldn’t translate, I turned over to international friends […]