Saturday, February 23, 2013

In The Beginning...... Year 4: Maybe This Year!

As I begin my 4th year of blogging about my family history and genealogy, I find myself winding down and writing has become more sporadic. This past year I was down to posting an average of four times per month. As this year progresses I hope to start writing about some of the hard, but important topics that I've been putting off.

Maybe this year I'll finally tell the story of my maternal aunt Lela, the aunt my siblings and I didn't know we had until we were in our 20s. Up until then, we all thought our mother was an only child. I've put Aunt Lela's story off because I have so pathetically little to tell really. There's a host of unanswered questions. Any who knew her are now gone and there doesn't seem to be anyone left to pump for more information. Not only that, but probably most, if not all records concerning Lela's sad life have been destroyed with my mother's consent.

Maybe this year I'll get the rather incredible story told about my husband's "illegitimate" grandfather, that Italian, woman loving, seducer of his sweet, young, and innocent grandmother. My husband's niece, Dana, made a special request that I tell this story soon...after all, something could happen to me and then no one would have the details to tell it like I can.

Maybe this year I'll finally finish transcribing the diary of my paternal great grandfather, Oliver Wallen. That will surely bring about more stories to tell! It would also please a few family members who have waited patiently to read the full version instead of the partial, tampered-with version created by Oliver's daughter Sula. Sula meant well and it was her efforts that made the diary known to the rest of the family and her version is what eventually interested me in our history.

I suppose my blogging will slow even more this year than last, but there will always be new stories to tell as long as I'm still working on the genealogy and history of my family...and I've been doing that since 1995, with no intention of stopping..ever! There are always new cousins with which to confer and share, and exciting new photos of ancestors surface from time to time as do new record sources. I am always amazed at what each new year brings. The story never ends! 

Maybe this year will be the most exciting year of all!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: William N. Runyan 1860-1885

William N. "Willie" Runyan - b. 25 May 1860 - d. 4 Jun 1885
Brother of my maternal great grandfather, Robert Noah Runyan
Died at age 25 - Buried Spiceland Friends Cemetery - Spiceland, Indiana


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: John and Mary Martin

John was the brother of my paternal great, great grandmother Ursula Ann (Martin) Davis Burnette. His wife was Mary Martha Thompson, daughter of John and Sarah (Debord) Thompson. They were married in Pulaski Co., Kentucky on 17 Nov 1867.

Mary Martin b.  29 Oct 1844 d. 3 Nov 1907 - John Martin b. 1 Jan 1843 d. 7 Nov 1875
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky


Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Covert Burial of William Jesse Wallen

I suppose I can let this little story slip and not get anyone in trouble since the two concerned are now dead. It's probably not all that unusual an act but I'm pretty sure what the siblings, Sula Splitek and Hobart Wallen did was illegal. I just happen to think it was a darn good idea and I admire them for their daring!

William Jesse Wallen circa 1960
Sula and Hobart's brother William Jesse Wallen, my paternal grandfather, died in Tuscon, Arizona in 1976. This is the story concerning his burial that Sula told her nephew Charlie Wallen, taken from Charlies's genealogy notes:

"During a conversation between Sula and my wife and I at her home in Elsinore (California) in 1985, she related the following: She and her brother James Hobart went to Tuscon, Arizona upon being notified of their brother William's death. They claimed the cremated remains of William and took them back to Sula's home in Elsinore. Then came the question - what to do with the remains? Neither one of them had much money, so, according to Sula, one night they took the remains to the Elsinore Cemetery and dug a hole into their brother Charles' grave and put William's remains in it. Knowing Sula, I tend to believe this story. I leave it here for what it's worth.
     Charles H. Wallen"

What I find especially amusing is that Sula and Hobart were both in their 70s when they entered that cemetery after dark to make their covert burial!