Thursday, November 20, 2014

Do you remember ..... "Put on a Coat!"

What is it about kids and coats?  Currently we are experiencing temperatures hovering right around freezing and so, as I leave the house, I bundle up.  Yet as I head out in my car with my nice warm coat on,  gloves on to keep my hands warm,  and the heater blasting, I see kids walking nonchalant, in shorts and no coat as if it was the middle of summer.

My brother and me
Bakersfield, California
I do remember being a kid and trying to get out the door without a coat on and hoping mom wouldn't see us.  Because moms have eyes in the back of their heads, she always knew what we were up to and reminded us to put on a coat. I also remember resisting. How could we play and do all we wanted to do when we were restricted by an extra layer of clothing?

This picture always makes me smile.  I look at it and wonder about the story behind it. Over the years the story and reasoning has been lost, so no one can explain to me why I am in shorts and a light sweater while my little brother is bundled up from head to toe in a nice toasty snowsuit.  The thing is, I don't look like I am miserable or cold.  So I wonder, did I fight Mom on the coat and she finally said fine, find out for yourself?  Was I just warm blooded?  Or was I just oblivious to it all because I was having fun with my little brother?

Whatever the reason, of this I am confident, at some point, my mom told me to put a on a coat.  It's a given.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Speaking of Friends- Are you Going to FGS 2015?


Louise St Denis, Director at National Institute
of Genealogical Studies
and friend Roylene
The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference is coming to Salt Lake City on February 11-14, 2015,  and I can't wait! Although this will be my first FGS Conference, it is far from being my first genealogy conference.  I've attended several National Genealogical Conferences, Rootstech and a myriad of smaller conferences.

As I look through the list of classes, keynotes and activities, it appears that this conference promises to be one of the best yet.

Cheryl Goff, Jolene Passey and myself

 Cheryl, Jolene  and myself

There are so many classes to choose from but I am particularly excited about the classes that will help me write my ancestors' stories and classes about technology.  Sharing ancestors' stories is a passion of mine and I would like to learn how to do it better.  And  I really need to learn more about using the technology available.  The Compiling Singular Records into Lively Stories track has some great classes to help with sharing ancestors' stories and there are a variety of classes about technology in the Communications for Today track, Modern Access to Vintage Resources track and of course the Technology track as well as Technology for the Future track.   There are so many options,  it is going to be a challenge for me to narrow it down.


I always love the Exhibit Halls and I am super excited about the one at FGS this year.  Having a joint hall with Rootstech means it will be one of the largest Exhibit Halls ever. The Exhibit halls are always bubbling in energy and excitement and packed to the brim with society representatives, genealogy companies, software, books and all kinds of fun genealogy products.  Knowing my love for books, I have installed an app on my phone that lists all of the books I already own so that any purchase I make will add to my collection and not duplicate it.


Michelle Goodrum and myself
Michelle Goodrum and myself
Classes, the Exhibit Hall, activities and meals all will provide opportunities to meet other genealogist from all over.  And while there are many aspects of conferences that I absolutely love,  I have to confess that meeting and making new friends is one of my favorite parts.

Speaking of friends----I hope to see YOU there!

For more information and to sign up, go to FGS Conference 2015





Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved








Sunday, November 9, 2014

Do You Remember---Travelin in the Wagon

Do you remember  .....the station wagon?  We had a station wagon and it wasn't just any wagon either. This one had the awesome wood paneling on the sides--the paneling that we all thought was so cool at the time and which seems to be the brunt of so many jokes now.  But in the day, we thought we were stylin in that rig.

Brothers and a cousin in our wagon

As cool as the outside was, the interior was even better.  Some of our friends' wagons had the very back seat that faced backwards, but this one had two smaller seats, one on each side of the back that faced each other, making it easy to sit and talk.  It was in the back seat of that wagon that we learned who was prone to car sickness. Yep, there was plenty of gaggin in that wagon.

This gem was also our first car to have windows that went up and down with the push of a button. Not only did we not have to crank the handle to get the windows up and down, but the driver had the option of rolling the windows up or down with a push of the button as well.  All was good except for a few unfortunate incidences when a parent unknowingly rolled the window up with some of our appendages sticking out.  They were always quickly notified through our piercing screams however and thankfully, there were never any serious injuries.

We had many fun adventures in that wagon, from trips to town to picnics in the mountains and many fun family vacations.  And now when we get together and reminisce , there are plenty of stories to share from our days of traveling in the wagon.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Came Next?

As Frances approached the end of her life, what life events did she reflect on?  What stood out
among her memories? 

Blooming Grove Church, Polk County, Georgia
Blooming Grove Church
Polk County, Georgia
Photo:  Regina Dawson Shuman
(used with permission)
Growing up in the evolving state of Georgia, and a daughter of a War of 1812 soldier, many of the historical events that we only read about had been part of her life and her heritage.  How did those things shape Frances?  Was she even aware of the impact they had on who she became, or like most of us,  in the process of accepting and dealing with each situation that presented itself, was she focused just on getting through the day, unaware of the impact those events had on who she became?

Her birth came during a very tumultuous time in Georgia history as tensions flared between the influx of new citizens and  Native Americans.  She was a little more than a year old as the Trail of Tears commenced not far from where she lived.  How much was her family aware of the event and how did it impact their lives?

Frances sent her husband off to fight in the Civil War and then alone faced the difficult dark days that followed.  Her husband never returned and she became a widow at the age of 26 with a small daughter to care for.

Following her marriage to Robert Bailey in 1866, her life appears to settle down and fall into a relatively predictable pattern.  I think it is safe to assume that she faced typical day-to-day challenges, but her life was also full of many good things.

I wish I had more insight into Frances herself.  I wish I knew what she enjoyed doing.  Was she a good cook?  Did she have a sense of humor? Was she thoughtful, sensitive, stubborn, light hearted? I have nothing that helps me to know Frances, the woman.  In addition, no photos have surfaced of Frances or either of her husbands.

I do know that Frances was a daughter, a wife and a mother.  She was a farmer's wife and she bore six children, raising five to adulthood.  Her children grew up, married and then Frances was blessed with a crew of at least 28 grandchildren.

Blooming Grove Cemetery, Polk County, Georgia
Blooming Grove Cemetery
Polk County, Georgia
Photo: Tim Hite
(used with permission)
As I consulted census records to learn more about Frances and Robert,  the 1900 Census (1)   shed a  slightly different light on Robert because rather than showing "farmer" for his occupation as both earlier and later census show, Robert is listed as a U.S. Deputy Marshall.  Surely there is a story in there, if only I knew it.

On the 1910 US  Census (2), when Robert was 65 and Francis was 74, they took in a boarder who is listed as a peddler and a traveling salesman. His name was William Henderson and he was from Georgia.  Did they know him or was he simply a source of income?

Frances Rainwater Bailey, Blooming Grove Cemetery, Polk County, Georgia
Frances Rainwater Bailey
Blooming Grove Cemetery
Photo:  Tim Hite
(used with permission)

In 1913,  at the age of 77, Frances passed from this life while living in Polk County, Georgia, where she and Robert had reared their family.  She was buried in Blooming Grove Cemetery.  Since Robert was ten years younger, it is not surprising that he survived her.

In 1917, just four years after Frances' death, Robert passed away in Jefferson County, Alabama at the age of 70.   His death certificate indicates that he had resided in Jefferson County for one year. With both his son Abner and his daughter Laura Frances living in Jefferson County, I assume that he was likely living with one of them at the time of his death. He is buried in the Shades Mountain Cemetery.


While Frances had some sad twists and turns in life, I like to think that overall she had a good life. And while she never lived a life of wealth or ease, she was blessed with a large posterity and for many, that is what matters most.  I hope that as she reached the end of her life, her thoughts were of the good things in her life.



Frances's husbands and children

Frances L. Rainwater (b. Jul 1837 Cedartown, Polk, GA  d. 1913 Polk County, GA)
Reuben Ayers b. 3 Mar 1838 GA  d. 5 Jul 1862 Richmond, VA, marr. 24 Jan 1856 Polk Co., GA
  •         Mary Ann b. 1857

Frances L Rainwater
Robert Anderson Bailey  b. Jan 1847, Alabama  d. 24 Mar 1917 Oxmoor, Jefferson Co., AL, marr. 1866, Georgia
  •        Elizabeth Baily b. abt 1866
  •        John W. Bailey b. 1869
  •        Abner Joshua Bailey b. 1871
  •         Robert Linfield Bailey b. 1876
  •         Frances Laura Bailey b. 1877
     

(1)  1900 US. Federal Census, Blooming Grove, Polk, Georgia,  Roll: 217 Page 13B; ED 0088; microfilm 1240217,  accessed on Ancestry.com 21 October 2014

(2) 1910 US Federal Census,  Blooming Grove, Polk, Georgia, Roll T624_208 Page 2A; ED 0134; microfilm 1374221, accessed on Ancestry.com 21 October 2014

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Monday, November 3, 2014

Do You Remember? Clove Gum and Grandma's purse

Do You Remember?


Every time I smell cloves, I am transported back in time to days spent with my grandma.  She didn't drive much in her older years and her trips were essentially limited to church, the grocery store, the beauty parlor and her children's homes.  But everywhere Grandma went, she took her purse just as every lady did.  I never actually looked in her purse for it was her purse and was for her own treasures and perusing, but the second she opened it, the smell wafted out and it always made my mouth water.

Her purse always smelled of Clove gum and the best part about it was, Grandma always shared.  I remember not only the smell, but also the distinctive flavor which was a strong spicy taste of cloves combined with pure sugar.  What could be better?

As I pondered this post and knowing how smells can trigger strong memories, I recently made a trip out to Cracker Barrel to pick up a pack of Clove gum because I remembered seeing it there.  I was so disappointed when the clerk told me that the company had recently gone out of business. She also told me that as the word spread that the gum would no longer be available, many had come to buy the last few packs.  Sadly I wasn't one of them.

Do you remember Clove gum? 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

He Never Came Home

Reuben Ayers never came home.  As I shared in my previous post here, Reuben enlisted in August of 1861 in Haralson County, Georgia,  for what many thought would be a relatively short lived battle.   He fought alongside his neighbors and friends with the Georgia 35th Infantry while Frances waited for him to return home to her and their daughter, Molly.  But he never came home.

Instead, Frances, Reuben's wife of six years, learned in July of 1862 that he was among the many who had lost their life in Richmond, VA.  Frances was suddenly a twenty-six year old widow with a daughter to support.

In March of 1863, eight months after Reuben's death, Frances applied for the $73.83 due to Reuben which included bounty, pay and clothing.   Among his service records was the following application:

Widow in mourning exhibit, Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia
Widow in mourning exhibit
Museum of the Confederacy
Richmond, Virginia
State of Georgia
Harralson(sic) County
 To wit on this Nineteenth day of February 1863.   
Personally appeared before the subscribing Justice of the Peace in and for said county Frances Ayers who after being duly sworn according to law deposeth and saith that she is the widow of Reuben Ayers deceased who was a Private in Capt. Heads Company 35th Regiment of Georgia Volunteers commanded by Capt Thomas in the service of the Confederate States. . .  the said Reuben Ayers entered the service at Buchanan Harralson County, Ga on or about the 12th of August 1861 and died at Richmond Va on or about the 5th of July 1862, leaving a widow that makes this deposition for the purpose of obtaining from the government of the Confederate States whatever may have been due the said Reuben Ayers at the time of his death for pay bounty or other allowances for his services as a private as afforesaid.  Sworn to and subscribed to before me.
J.G Newman JP      Frances Ayers (1)

For three years following Reuben's death,  Frances and daughter, Molly, remained in Haralson County, Georgia and did the best they could during a difficult time.  Several years later, Frances met Robert A. Bailey who was nearly ten years younger than she and in 1866 they married. Once again Frances settled into the role of a farmer's wife.

Molly, the only child from Frances and Reuben's marriage, was eleven years old by the time her mother and Robert had their first child.   At the tender age of eleven, Molly had seen the ugliness of war, felt the pain of loosing her father and undoubtedly experienced the hardship shared by most Georgians in the post Civil War period.  Hopefully her mother's marriage to Robert Bailey and the addition of siblings added a measure of normalcy and happiness to her life.

By the 1870 census, Frances' sister, Olivia, and her husband John Ganus had returned to Georgia and lived just down the road from the Baileys.  As I shared in an earlier story, the two sisters and their families enjoyed each other's company for the next 17 years.

By 1870,  Frances' mother, Polly, had died.  In addition, her father, Joshua Rainwater,  and her brothers Abner and John, along with their families, had joined many others in the migration to Texas. Frances' older sister, Mariah, and her husband, William Barnwell, were living in Alabama.

Then in 1887, Frances' sister, Olivia, and her husband,  John Ganus, and their sons packed up and moved across the country to Colorado.  By that time, only Frances' oldest sister, Matilda, who was sixteen years older and was the widow of Josiah Goggans, also lived in Georgia.

Although in ways it may have been hard for Frances to stay in Georgia when so many of her siblings had gone, she and Robert had a growing, thriving family of their own and with that, many reasons to remain.


(1) Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia, digital images, database, Fold3.com (www.Fold3.com: accessed 26 October 2014), entry for Reuben Ayres, 35th Infantry, Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations, compiled 1903-1927, documenting the period 1861-1861. NARA M266, Record Group 109, Roll 0414. 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Do You Remember... Halloween ?

Do you remember........Halloween?

Do you remember Halloween as a child?  Did your town have a Halloween parade? Ours did and I remember the fun of parading down the center of town as we waved to our parents and friends. 

Of course on Halloween night, we went trick or treating and came home with a bag loaded with sugary goodies such as Sugar Babies, Tootsie rolls, Pixie Stix and Double Bubble. Costumes, candy and life were all much simpler then.  



Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved