Mommy Dearest or Dearest Mom?

The only picture I have of Lizzie Miller, from her headstone.

A story persists in the McDowell oral history about Lizzie Martin McDowell, my paternal great-grandmother. As the story goes, she was a wicked thing, mean and abusive to both her children and her husband John as well as being generally promiscuous, having an affinity for the local male population. [1]

Poor Lizzie. Will no one defend her honor?

Read More »

Delusions of Grandeur

When I was in the 10th Grade, I had to write a research paper for history. We were given a list of Civil War topics from which to choose.

  • My choice: General Irvin McDowell
  • Why?: Because his last name was the same as mine. And wouldn’t it be cool if I was related to someone famous?

Sadly, Irvin is not my long lost 3rd-Great-Uncle or even my 1st-Cousin-4x-Removed. He was just a very unskilled Union general1.

Read More »