John Fowler: Connecting to His Revolutionary War Service at the Library

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is AT THE LIBRARY.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index. 


As both a genealogist and mom of two young boys, I’m always looking for ways to integrate genealogy into our everyday lives. I want my children to have personal connections to history and identify with our ancestors in concrete ways. Clayton Library, my local genealogy center here in Houston, provided an excellent opportunity this past Saturday with DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Day. Representatives from Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) also attended and wore replica soldiers’ uniforms — a great photo op for the kids!

SAR members shared how their ancestors’ Revolutionary War service inspire the types of uniforms they wear. One member even told my four year old the story of Paul Revere’s dog retrieving his forgotten spurs before his famous midnight ride. I wish my boys would have listened more intently, but — well, they’re young boys. We’re working on it.

Seeing the uniforms led to a lunchtime discussion about the eight Patriots we have on my side of the family — four who served as soldiers and four who are recognized for civil and patriotic service. John Fowler, my 5x-great-grandfather, is one of these ancestors. Vital records are lacking for this time period, but his detailed pension records tell much about his life.

Continue reading John Fowler: Connecting to His Revolutionary War Service at the Library

Dewey Horne: Remembering the Grandfather I Never Met

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is I’D LIKE TO MEET.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


dewey horne at wedding
Dewey Horne, July 1970, at his son’s wedding, Boeuf River Baptist Church, Liddieville

If given an opportunity to meet any ancestor, I wouldn’t choose an immigrant who took a perilous journey.  I wouldn’t choose someone who lived hundreds of years ago whose life was so different without modern conveniences.  I wouldn’t even choose someone who participated in an important military battle.

I’d choose my grandfather Dewey Horne. Continue reading Dewey Horne: Remembering the Grandfather I Never Met

Applewhite Richardson: Unusual Name Passed Down for Generations

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is UNUSUAL NAME.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


In a tree filled with common English names, one stands out — my 5x great-grandfather Applewhite Richardson.

Applewhite Richardson was born before 1756,¹ possibly in North Carolina to parents Thomas Richardson and Amy Applewhite.²  It appears he was named for his mother’s maiden name, Applewhite or Applewhaite — an English surname from the Old Norse words apaldr (“apple tree”) and þveit (“meadow”).³

Like many of my distant ancestors, I only know of Applewhite through the records he left behind.  He lived in very interesting times, coming of age in the days before the American Revolution.  Continue reading Applewhite Richardson: Unusual Name Passed Down for Generations

Georgia F. Smart Horne: Research Challenge Who Faced Personal Challenges

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is CHALLENGE.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


Ask any genealogist, and they’ll have a story (or several) about their “brick walls” — those ancestors who are the most challenging to research.  We spend years, maybe even our entire genealogy career, searching for clues about these elusive family members.  My “brick wall” and greatest research challenge is my own great-grandmother, Georgia F. Smart. Continue reading Georgia F. Smart Horne: Research Challenge Who Faced Personal Challenges

Owen Tucker: First Landowner of My Childhood Home

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is FIRST.  To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index


I grew up in the small community of Liddieville in rural Franklin Parish, Louisiana.  My father bought a little wood-frame house on an acre of land in 1969.  He and my mother married the next year, and they worked throughout their marriage remodeling, adding on, and improving the property to make it their home.  They purchased the adjoining three acres in 1978, and started a Christmas tree farm.  My dad eventually replaced the Christmas trees with a pecan orchard, and we now enjoy the fruits of his labor with pecan pies every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As my childhood home, this property is tied to all my important memories, but our family wasn’t the first to live there.  I searched for the property in the First Landowners Project database at HistoryGeo when it was a new offering at my local genealogy library.  I learned a man named Owen Tucker was the original patent holder, so I took a screenshot, emailed it to my dad, and filed it away as an interesting tidbit.

About two years later, I stumbled across the name Owen Tucker again — this time in my maternal line research.  Owen Tucker is actually my 4x-great-grandfather, an ancestor of my grandmother Dorothy Hendry.  I lived on his property the first 22 years of my life and didn’t even realize it!  Any stories of Owen Tucker have faded from our family’s collective memory, but I have managed to learn a few things about Owen’s life from records. Continue reading Owen Tucker: First Landowner of My Childhood Home