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Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Mysteries and Family History_William H Grizzard and Mary Louisa Hawkes

My great-grandmother is Rebecca Nina Grizzard Nicholson.  She was born in Clarksville, Tennessee in 1910 to William Jackson “Bud” Grizzard and Fredonia “Dona” Smith.  Both of Rebecca’s grandfathers (William Henry Grizzard and Josiah Richard Smith) fought for the Confederacy, being Tennesseans and all.  This is interesting since her husband’s grandfather, George W. Nicholson (See:  https://jillbeingstill.com/2013/04/16/nicholson_historymystery/ for further information) fought for the Union Army.

Anyway I said all that to say that today’s Mystery and History was that when I found the marriage record for Bud’s parents, William Henry Grizzard and Mary Louisa, his mother’s name was Mary Louisa Grizzard.  I nearly fainted!  I was like OH NO!  Please don’t be marrying your cousin or sister William Henry!  That’s so not ok!

So I set out to prove that my Grizzards weren’t related.  But alas, they were!!!!  Mrs. Mary Louisa Grizzard was the widow of  Lewis H. Grizzard, William Henry’s brother.  Ahhh.  Wait.  What?   Here’s the rest of the story….

William and Lewis are two of the 5 children of Thomas Ambrose Grizzard (1803-1854) and Nancy Lewis Grizzard (1802-1860).  William is the oldest, born 12 March 1826 in North Carolina before the Grizzards set out for Tennessee.  Lewis was born in 1832 in Tennessee.  Their other siblings are Sarah (1836-1863), Ambrose J (1839-1860) and Major Tiller (1842-1934).   The Grizzards started out in Virginia (after emigrating from France) and went to North Carolina, then Tennessee.

William

William Henry Grizzard married Susanna Kennedy on the 4th of July 1847 in Tennessee.  They are next found in Saline, Arkansas on the 1850 Federal Census, where William is working as a brick mason.  They have 2 children at this time Ambrose Davie, age 2, and Lewis Edward, 4 months.  Their home is worth $100.  Sadly Ambrose died a year later, at the age of 3.  They also had a son William Johnson (1853-1856).

Per the 1860 Federal Census, William is now a 34 year old farmer whose land is worth $250.  Susanna is now 28, and Lewis is now 10 and their daughter Dora Ann is 3 years old.  Several months later, on September 24, 1860, Susanna dies.

Sometime between 24 September 1860 and 2 December 1861 William returns to Tennessee.  I know this because he enlisted as a private in the Confederate army on 2 December 1861.  Per his Civil War Soldier Profile, he was assigned to Company D in the Tennessee 11th Cavalry Battalion on 24 December 1861.

Lewis

Lewis H. Grizzard was living in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1850 with his parents, and working as a laborer.  Around 1856 Lewis married Mary Louisa Hawkes, daughter of John Randolph Hawkes and Ann Eliza Foster.  In 1860, Lewis and Lou (as she’s called) are living on his parents farm.  He’s 26 and working as a carpenter and she’s 20.  They have one daughter, Anna who’s a year old.  Then in August 1860 John Franklin “Frank” Grizzard is born.

When Lou is pregnant for their 3rd child, Louella “Eller” Grizzard, Lewis dies in 1862.  I’m not sure how or the exact date, but he dies.  Eller was born in 1863.

William and Louisa 

William returns from fighting in the Civil War in 1864 and marries his brother’s widow.  I’m not sure if this was joining forces to raise their combined 5 children, if they genuinely fell in love or both.  But I can tell you on 22 November 1864 Mary Louisa Hawkes Grizzard and William Henry Grizzard got married.

That next year, my gg grandfather, William Jackson “Bud” Grizzard was born.  Followed by Henry Thorton, Amanda Jane, Mattie Louise, Carrie, George Coffey and Cora Lee.

That’s all for now.  Til Next Time….Velma

Major Tiller GrizzardPS   This is a photo of Major Tiller.  (BIG thank you to Scott Grizzard for loading this on Ancestry).  Major Tiller (Tyler) did fight in the Civil War. But Major is his actual first name, not a title.  Which is random and cool.  He actually fought at the battle of Shiloh and was later captured by the Union army and helt at Ft. Delaware until the end of the War (per his obituary). Almost makes me want to buy a Confederate flag, but I’m also a Nicholson, and we don’t do that. 🙂

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Mysteries and Family History…Tattan

Last week, I was bound and determined to find birth and death dates for Michael Tattan (my gggg grandfather).  I’ve been stuck on Michael Tattan Sr for years!  (For those of you who are related to me….Michael Tattan…Nellie Tatten Campbell…James Campbell…Ellen Campbell Clark).  I couldn’t find records of him in Detroit, but I found 2 of his sons (Michael Jr and James) and 2 of his daughters (Nellie and Annie).  Then I thought I hit the jackpot.  I found cemetary records in Mt. Olivet for Michael Jr, Michael and another Tattan also.  So I wrote down the section and plot numbers and road tripped to the D (Detroit).

Two things about this.  Number one:  Mt. Olivet is a beautiful yet HUGE cemetary.  Number two:  Ask for help at the office in huge cemetaries before you go traipsing through monuments to the dead.  Otherwise you will spend over an hour wandering around looking at gravestones and never actually find the one you’re looking for.

By the time I got back to the Mt. Olivet office, it was closed.  Sadness.  But at least it was a warm sunny day and I got some Vitamin D in the D.  Right?  Right!

So the next day, I went on-line and tried to find records for Michael.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.

Then I made a great new friend named Jason.  Jason’s ggg grandfather is none other than Michael Tattan Sr!  His gg grandfather and my ggg grandmother were siblings who both came to Detroit from County Cork Ireland in the 1880’s!  We’ve been sharing family legends and stories about blind pigs during the prohibition in Detroit (and our family’s involvement) & other family history!  I’ve really been enjoying talking with him.

Not only did we share great stories, but my new friend solved the mystery of Michael Tattan Sr.  He told me that Michael Tattan Sr was baptized in Lisgood, County Cork Ireland on September 20, 1816 and died in his farmhouse in Carrigtwohill, County Cork Ireland between 1885-1887.

Michael and his wife, Mary Flynn Tattan, never left Ireland!!!

Hence why I couldn’t find concrete records of them in Detroit!

I also learned that Michael’s parents are Jasper Tattan and Bridget Callaghan.

Mystery Solved!

Love Velma

PS.  We have new mystery to solve this week though, as Nellie’s (who’s birth name is Ellen) baptismal record shows her being baptized at St. Mary’s in Carrigtwohill (see link for pics http://carrigtwohill.myparish.eu/) on 16 May 1858.  But most records I’ve found for her show her birth as May of 1868.  So I’m warming up the Mystery Machine…

PSS  Big thanks to my new friend and distant cousin Jason!

It’s Everywhere

John 3:16 is one of the most famous scriptures out there.  People put it on signs at sporting events, it’s on bags at a trendy store at the mall and even tattooed on people’s arms.  It’s everywhere.  You’re probably even saying to yourself, oh I’ve heard this all before.  Maybe you have heard it…but have you actually listened and received it? 

Personally, I think continual exposure has had the opposite effect that people intended.  It’s made people complacent about God’s love.  The exposure has diluted the perceived power of this scripture.  Instead of reminding people how deeply and passionately they are loved, people say, “Oh John 3:16.  Yeah, I know that one.  God loves me and all that.  Blah blah blah.”  People have become absolutely flippant about God’s love.  They think of it like they think about historical facts or talk about the weather.  They say “God loves you” like they say, “Have a nice day.” 

God’s love is not flippant.  It is not fickle.  It does not waver or change.  It is fixed and permanent.  You can’t ever reach the end of it, nor can you escape it.  Jeremiah 31:3 says, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.”  He pursues you with mercy and kindness, because He wants to have a relationship with YOU.

That being said, let’s break down John 3:16!

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

so loved:  In this context this means to take pleasure in a thing, prize it above other things, be unwilling to abandon or do without it.

the world:  The inhabitants of the earth, the human race.

gave:  To give one to someone to care for his interests.

only begotten Son: Jesus

whoever:  Each and every person, individually.

believes: In this context, to have faith directed unto, believing or in faith to give one’s self up to Jesus.

perish:  To incur the loss of true or eternal life; to be delivered up to eternal misery.

everlasting:  Without beginning and end, that which has always been and always will be.

life:  In this context it means unto the attainment of eternal life. 

So God, the Great Creator and true Master of the Universe, was and is so taken by you and so unwilling to be without you that sent Jesus to care for your situation.  The situation is one you inherited from Adam and Eve.  The “sin problem,” that we inherited, separated us from Him.  Being separated from us was a problem for Him.  He didn’t like it.  So He did something about it.  He sent Jesus to teach us who the Father really is and to be the perfect one time sacrifice.  His sacrifice covers your past, present and future sin. 

Everyone is given the choice between eternal life and eternal death.  You can choose to receive Jesus and an everlasting life filled with unending love.  You are also free to choose to perish.  It’s that simple and that straight forward.  He loves you enough to provide the solution and enough to allow you to choose.  He doesn’t force anyone to do anything.  It’s not His style. 

Every single person gets the same choice, no matter whom they are or where they live.  He loves you right now, even in the midst of your mess, mistakes and failures.  He loved you even before you choose Jesus, if He didn’t He wouldn’t have sent Jesus in the first place.  In fact Ephesians 1:4 says that He chose you before the foundation of the world.  So before there was even a planet Earth—God saw you, loved you & chose you. 

So anytime you see John 3:16, remember that God in all His glory and majesty is completely unwilling to be apart from you.  You are His beloved.  That’s what John 3:16 is all about.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Thanks to http://www.blueletterbible.org for having Thayer’s Lexicon & the Strong’s Concordance on-line. You really should check it out and support this great site.

You…You…You…Stamp Licker!

Collect Used Stamps For Charity

Today’s fun fact: Licking a stamp burns 10 calories.

That being said.  I have two questions for you!  Do you like getting fun mail?  Do you want to burn calories licking stamps?  If you said yes to both of these questions, then do I have the site for you!!!!  It’s called Postcrossing.  http://www.postcrossing.com/

The premise of Postcrossing is that you set up a profile telling a little about you and what you like.  Then you send a postcard or a few to people in random places in the world.  Then when the person receives it, they log in the postcard.  Once they do that then someone will get your name and send you a postcard.  Once you log it in then they’ll get one…and so on…and so on and so on.

If you choose to do this, you’ll need to know that postcards within the US are $.33 for 3X5 or 4X6 and $.46 (a forever stamp) for larger than 4X6.  Postcards to anywhere else in the world cost $1.10.  If you have further questions your friendly postal workers can help you.  They’re good like that.

Happy Friday!

PS If you don’t like licking stamps they do have self sticking stamps at the USPS too.

PSS Send real mail.  It makes people smile.

PSSS Sending real mail also supports the USPS.  My brother-in-law works for USPS, so I appreciate you sending real mail too.

PSSSS People who collect stamps are called philatelists.  I personally think philatelists are cool.

PSSSSS I am a USPS supporting philatelist that makes me cool.

PSSSSSS USPS means United States Postal Service.

What Are You Sowing?

“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.’”  Hosea 10:12

There’s a lot in the Bible about sowing & reaping, planting & harvesting.  Even if you have never planted an actual seed in your life,  you know that if you plant pumpkin seeds, you get pumpkins at harvest time.  If you want tomatoes, you plant tomatoes not zucchini.  Easy, right?

Spiritual seeds work the exact same way natural seeds work.  Do you need a friend? Plant kindness.  Do you need love? Plant love.  Do you have a need to be met? Plant a seed for whatever it is that you need or want to see.  It may sound selfish to look at it that way, but it’s the way the principle works.

The point is take a look at your life & really look at what are you sowing?

Are you gossipping?  Are you being disrespectful?  Are you sabbotaging someone?  Were you rude to the store clerk?  Are you blowing your money on nothing?  Do you tell someone you’ll do something and then not show up?  Those are bad seeds.

Are you encouraging someone?  Did you stop someone from gossipping to you?  Have you complemented someone?  Did you hold the door open for the person behind you?  Did you buy someone’s coffee?  Did you give someone food or gas money when you knew they were in need?  Did you give someone good condition clothing (jewelry or shoes or anything else) that’s simply hanging in your closet unworn?  Did you babysit for someone you know needed a break?  Did you show up on time for work or your appointment?  Those are good seeds of righteousness.

I’ll leave you with this final thought from Luke 6:37-38, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

*All scriptures taken from New Living Translation today. Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Blessing and Prayer from Numbers 6

There’s a blessing recorded in Numbers 6:24-26:

“The Lord bless you and keep you;  The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”  

I like this blessing and I am choosing to speak it over you.  But I can’t just post the blessing without you understanding just how good of a blessing it is.

– The Lord here is Yahweh (also pronounced Jehovah) which is God’s proper name in Hebrew. 

 – Bless is to prosper as the result of divine favor.  Prosper in a Biblical context isn’t just financial prosperity.  It’s to be successful at whatever you set your hand to do.  It includes relationships.  It includes ministry.  It includes your health.  It includes rest and peace.  It’s an overarching prosperity in every area of your life. 

 – Keep is to keep, tend or watch.  Usually referring to a garden or a flock of sheep.

 -Face shine upon you has to do with God’s presence and having His favor.

 -Gracious means to have mercy, have pity upon or to have favor towards.

 -Lift up countenance means to cheer up, but when it’s in reference to God it means that God looks upon you with kindness.

 -Give here means to put, set in place or establish.

 -The best part of this blessing is that peace is the Hebrew word Shalom.  It can mean hello, goodbye or peace.  But it isn’t just peace.  Shalom is an all encompassing peace.   This peace includes contentment, completeness, wholeness, well being and harmony. 

Based on Numbers 6:24-26, this is my prayer for you today.

Father, I ask that every person who reads this know that You are God.  That You are big enough and that Your grace is sufficient.  I pray that they feel and acknowledge Your presence in their life today.  That they know down to their core that You are with them and You are for them.  I pray they see You working in every area of their life. 

 I ask for Your divine favor and gracious mercies follow them, even pursue them today and every day.  I pray that You keep watch over them and their families.  I pray that You to protect them, even if it’s from themselves.  I pray that they will be restored to wholeness and be established in peace.  I pray that they will receive and choose to walk in Your peace that passes all understanding.  I ask that they maintain contentment no matter how good or bad their present circumstances are and that they maintain an attitude of gratitude.   I ask this all in the name of Your precious Son Jesus.  Amen.

 Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Mysteries and Family History: George W. Nicholson

When my Nana asked me to help her with family tree research in like 1996, I was totally not interested.  I listened to what she had uncovered and found it interesting.  I did not want to look stuff up, UNTIL she called me with a mystery she couldn’t solve.  Then I was hooked.  I had to solve the mystery.  I started researching and finding things out.  My inner nerd still does a happy dance when I can solve a mystery.  (Makes me feel like Velma…the smart one from Scooby Doo).

I really love finding out about my ancestors stories, where they lived, what they did for a living, what they believed & stood for and any personal anecdotes about their lives.  I love finding out how my family fits into American history.  I love it when I find the answers and solve the puzzle.  But many times, I end up with more questions than answers, and that just drives me on to solve the mystery.

One of my favorite mysteries is George W. Nicholson, 1845-1923.  He’s my great great great grandfather and a Civil War Veteran.  Can you imagine what kind of stories he could tell you living from pre-Civil War to the beginning of the Roaring 20’s? I’d love to be able to talk to him about his experiences or read letters or journals he wrote. Those kinds of things to a genealogist are priceless and precious.

Since I don’t have a detailed journal of Grandpa George’s every move, I had to hunt up any records I could find.  Let me tell you, this man has been quite the challenge!  He’s still one of those mysteries that I NEED TO solve.  I just recently found out that he died in the Soldier’s Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 22 May 1923.  He was just 2 months shy of 78 years old.  He lived in the Soldier’s home from at least 1910, as he’s listed as a resident on both the 1910 & 1920 Federal Censuses.

I kept searching and found that Grandpa George was born 4 July 1845 on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts to John S. and Paulina F. (Fuller) Nicholson.  The family is listed on the 1850 Federal Census as living in Nantucket.  George is most likely named for his Uncle George, John’s brother.  All I know about his childhood is that his father, John, went to California during the gold rush when he was a small boy.  John is listed on the California State Census for 1852, but his family isn’t.  Since John sometimes worked as a carpenter and sometimes as a mariner (a person involved in seafaring work), I wonder if he went to California for a specific job or if he went to California to strike it rich.  I wonder how the family felt about John’s trip to California.  (See….more questions than answers).  No matter why he went, John was back in Massachusetts by 1855, per the Massachusetts State Census.

The Veteran’s Schedule of 1890 tells me that Grandpa George enlisted in the Union Army at the age of 17.  He first enlisted with the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Company I on 13 August 1862.  He served with Company I until March of 1863.  He was then registered with 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry, Company K.  He served with Company K from 4 January 1863 through 30 June 1865 when he mustered out.  The record shows that he was wounded.   From what I can discern, it looks as though he was wounded and sent home in March of 1863, and then when he recovered he enlisted again with the 2nd MA Cavalry.

Knowing what regiments he was in means that I can look up the regiment and find out which battles he fought in.  Personally I think this is super cool.

20th Inf, Co I:  http://www.civilwarintheeast.com/USA/MA/MA20.php

2nd Cav, Co K:     http://www.civilwarintheeast.com/USA/MA/MA2cav.php

The next time he is listed on a document is his marriage record 29 October 1884.  What was he up to between 1865 and 1884?  I’m very curious why he left Nantucket and what made him decide to go to Michigan.  And when????  I wonder how he met his wife Katie (Anna Katherina Schneider).  I also wonder about Katie.  I know from their marriage record that Katie was a German immigrant who came from the city of Wesel.  Katie was born in 1864 and died in Owosso sometime between 1892-1895.  That’s all I know about her.  George married his 2nd wife, Laura Gue, on 14 July 1895.  Laura was a widow.  At the time of their marriage, George’s three children were 10, 7 and 3.  His eldest, John Henry, is my great great grandfather.

I want to find the census records from 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 because I think that would help me answer some of my questions about how and when Grandpa George went to Michigan.  But as of now I’ve not had any success finding him on any censuses except the aforementioned 1910 and 1920 censuses.

Are you interested in family tree research?  I have some good links for finding information, some of which are free.  I am willing to share tips and such if people are interested.  Truthfully, I can talk for days about family tree research, but if no one’s interested, I won’t. (Then again this is MY blog…so I might anyway….MUAH-HAHA-HA).

That’s all for now.  Have a Trrrific Tuesday!

Love Velma