Happy Halloween, Everyone!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Apple, Becky, Chris, Craig, Denise, Jasia, Maven, Miriam, Randy and Steve for such a warm welcome back.

Thank you all! You are the greatest! And now, let's go trick or treating!

Getting the dish in a little known source

Two months ago, I was hired to make photocopies of The Stroller's Cook Book, a supplement our local newspaper The Spartanburg Herald-Journal (originally, The Spartanburg Herald) has published annually since July 1958.

I hadn't seen one of these cook books in years, and didn't know before taking the assignment what a family history gold mine they can be. Years 1958 to 1985 later, I can attest to it.

To give you an example, a story on page 2 of the 1958 edition, "Cooking For Big Family Easy," explains in some detail how Mrs. Kirk NEELY, a former home economics major at Winthrop, manages to feed a family of 10 every day. Even better, the half-page article is accompanied by a photograph of Mrs. Neely frosting a cake as 7 of her 8 children watch from the sidelines: Beth, 12, Mamie Louise, 4, Lawton, 9, Kirk Jr., 14, Bob, 8, Jeslyn, 6 and Bill, 10 (Baby Katherine is not shown).

And here's a humorous little piece from page 18 of the same edition.

Methods Of Housewives Mystify Kin Of Spartan

Dr. Ralph LEWIS, father of Mrs. H. B. BAGWELL, Jr. of West View, probably wonders about the ways of women when it comes to practicing the culinary arts.

Dr. Lewis, who is a medical missionary in Thailand, found himself in the position one day of having to go to the store to buy a chicken for Mrs. Lewis to roast.

Not familiar with such things as buying groceries, Dr. Lewis was stumped when he was asked by the butcher if he wanted the chicken whole or cut up. Thinking it would be easier to prepare when it is already cut up, Dr. Lewis decided to take the cut up chicken.

When he returned home, Mrs. Lewis threw up her hands in dismay and explained to her husband that you just don't roast a cut up chicken.

"Well that's easy to remedy," a somewhat upset Dr. Lewis asserted, "I'll just sew it together." The medical missionary proceeded to do just that.

Mrs. Lewis baked the children but what probably puzzles Dr. Lewis about the ways of a woman is that after it was finished, Mrs. Lewis put it on a platter and then told him, "Now cut it up."

Shaking his head in puzzlement, the good doctor nevertheless cut up the parts of the chicken he had so laboriously sewn together.
The Stroller's Cook Book has become a tradition people here look forward to each year, but I don't know how much popularity, if any, newspaper inserts like the Stroller have enjoyed in other cities and towns. So, you might find it's something worth looking into, and then again, you might not.

Image and article used by permission of The Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

Was Grandma stepping out, or what?

Morning, Aunt Elsie. How you doing today? Good, I'm glad to hear it. You got a minute? OK, well, the DNA results are in. I know, it did seem like it was gonna take forever. Uhm...well...the news ain't great. Yep, you guessed it--no matches to anyone in the TURNER surname group. Yeah, I was disappointed too. But listen, we do have some matches...uhm...outside the TURNER group.

Murphy's Law Applied

From the beginning, the TURNER branch has represented a challenge for us. Missing marriage records, no recorded wills, contradictory data stemming from the records that do exist...In other words, name the problem, and we've probably encountered it. That's why we enlisted the help of my uncle H. To make a long story short, however, let's just say, whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and H. TURNER is now a member of the MILLS surname group.

Naturally, the first thing I did was contact the representatives of Uncle H's exact matches, but they can't explain it any better than we can. So, instead of the answers we were hoping for, we're left with yet another question.

Nothing But the Truth

Uncle H is the 5th of 6 children born to John Crisenbery TURNER (1895-1958) and his second wife Mattie Helen CRADDOCK (1903-1966).

John is the 2nd of 3 children born to William Lee TURNER (1840-1896) and his (much younger) second wife Genarie T. CHANDLER (1873-1930).

William is the 1st of 5 children born to Eli TURNER (~1819-1902) and his (by all but one account, older) first wife Mary WILLIAMS (~1815-1878). In my inexpert opinion, and based on reasons I won't go into right now, William's birth presents what I consider the first real opportunity for a non-paternity event.

Eli is probably the son of John TURNER (~1789-?). Aside from circumstantial evidence that favors John, there's nothing to say Eli couldn't be the son of a MILLS. Let's face it, I wasn't trying to build that case, and even though I try to keep an open mind in these matters, I could've missed something.

And John is our true mystery man. We don't know who his parents were or what part of North Carolina he was born in, and if he has a connection to any other TURNER, thus far, it has gone undetected. My bet is on him.

Where To From Here

Now that I've recovered from the initial shock, my next step is to thoroughly examine the information our newly discovered cousins have been kind enough to share. Although at first glance, our two families appear to have nothing in common, not even a location, further study could find the answer lurking in there somewhere. And after that...well...I simply don't know.

Second mouse gets the cheese

While gathering links for the previous entry, I noticed Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (hardcover) is now available at Amazon.com for considerably less ($38.81 as of today) than this early bird paid. The book also qualifies for free Super Saving Shipping.

A lot of things different

Who of us has no regrets, nothing we would change if given half a chance?

Genealogically speaking, there's a lot of things I'd do different.

I'd start when I was younger. My biggest regret is that I never had the chance to talk to my grandma's brother. He died in 1994, and I never even met him.

I'd buy a book on day one, a genealogy how-to book like George Morgan's How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy, and I'd read it.

I'd commit to one piece of genealogy software--Legacy, Rootsmagic, etc. They're not all the same, granted, but they're not all that different either.

I'd document everything, from the size of Grandpa's shoe to the source that it came from, and I'd do it right the first time, every time.

I'd buy a bigger hard drive, and save myself some floor space.

"Yes, I'd do a lot of things different." I think we all would.

The title, A Lot of Things Different, and the next to last line comes from an old Bill Anderson song, reintroduced to the public in 2002 by Kenny Chesney.
She's a bit skittish, that one. She's as apt to bolt and run as she is to write.

Yet another genealogy blog... Will this one last, you ask. In the immortal words of the late Aldous Huxley, "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead." A comforting thought, yes?