Her story goes like this: Theodosia Beck Beasley, age 14, married a 28-year-old man named John McMullan in Orange County, Virginia. The year was 1769. Together they had five children, one of whom was a fourth great-grandfather on my mother’s side named Patrick McMullan. At some point in time, Theodosia left John and married a man by the name of William Dula. How this came … Continue reading Bad Grandma?
One facet of my study of family history involves finding answers to why my ancestors did the things they did. For example, some of the questions I seek to answer are: ‘How and why did my Southern ancestors maintain and defend the system of slavery?’ ‘What made my DeBacker family pull up roots in Belgium and go to Kansas in the 1880s?’ ‘Why did my … Continue reading Why They Did the Things They Did
It never seems to fail that when I am looking for one thing, I find something else. I was attempting to find out when my great great grandmother, Sophia B Spiegel, died and where she is buried. Instead, I discovered the unusual fate of my great-great-grandfather’s second wife, Katherine G Spiegel. It seems that she died as the result of a gas explosion at their … Continue reading A Frightful Fate
During the Civil War, my great-great-grandfather, DJ Dobbs, held, at one point, the rank of Colonel, at another point, the rank of Private, and on yet another occasion, the rank of Master Private. And no, he was neither promoted nor was he demoted. As I revealed in a previous post, I found a letter from some citizens of Marietta, who requested of the Confederate state’s Secretary of War that “Col. DJ Dobbs of Marietta” be made the county’s enrolling officer for the Confederate Army. As I mentioned, I found no indication that he had been granted that office. Continue reading What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
The previous post ended with me wondering who Edward H Strobel was and what was his relationship with my great-grandfather, James M Dobbs, Sr. I thought it would take a while to figure that out; however, it only took me about 15 minutes. Edward Henry Strobel was my great-grandfather’s boss when James was the consul general to Valparaiso Chile (1893 to 1897). Mr. Strobel was … Continue reading International Man of Mystery-Pt. 3
In a previous post, I reported finding that my great-grandfather, James M Dobbs, Sr., had lied about his age on a passport application he submitted in 1918. He was going to the European war zone on behalf of the YMCA, the precursor to the USO. Travel during World War I required approval from the War Department, and the U.S. government was not allowing civilians over … Continue reading International Man of Mystery-Pt. 2
Back in December I discovered that my maternal grandparents eloped and were married in Chattanooga Tennessee in July 1925. . It was an extraordinary find that raised the question of how a 19-year-old girl from Louisville, Kentucky came to marry a 23-year-old man from Atlanta, Georgia. Coupled with this is the question of how my mother came to be born in Columbia, South Carolina. Since … Continue reading A Huge Discovery
It seems that after my mother passed away in July, I caught the genea-bug once again following a hiatus of nearly a decade. In the past eight or so months, I have written over two dozen posts on this blog detailing my recent discoveries. These findings have revealed not only new information but also there are certain details in my book that require correction. As … Continue reading Diving into Historical Context
Back in January, I published a post entitled Intriguing Items and in it I discussed some of the mysterious and intriguing items that I had found during my search of the newspaper archives for my Dobbs family in Georgia. One item concerned a mine in Cobb County that was dubbed the Dobbs’ Goldmine and another item was about a plantation located down in Sumner County … Continue reading Carpetbagger or Scalawag?
Of late, I have been reading books by Margaret Mitchell and William Faulkner; while at the same time I have been studying the probate records of an ancestor of mine who died intestate 185 years ago. As I am recounting my analysis from said study, I find the need to restrain myself from injecting too much drama into the proceedings laid before me. The ancestor … Continue reading Now That’s What I Call Southern Gothic!