Archive for January, 2014

The Family Bible of Thomas Elisha & Jane Susan Starr Basinger: Revisited in Better Detail

January 28, 2014

(This is the last in a series of 4 posts. You can read the first in the series starting here.)

Well, then, all the marriages, births, and deaths have been re-photographed in greater detail. I haven’t transcribed them all, but you should be able to read them. If you want to enlarge them, left-click on any photo.




















For those of you who are paying attention, you have already noted that the person in the above photo is Mary M. Densler. She is the only person whose surname is not Basinger or Starr. So who is she? I found her on and I see that she is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery. Another mystery.





































Whew! What a relief to be done! I worry that something will happen to me before I can get important photos out into the big world, and all the images will be stuck in my camera and/or computer. This Bible will be donated to the Georgia Historical Society who has expressed an interest in it after I contacted them on Sugar’s behalf. In this case, the Bible and/or its contents will be preserved. I like to think that it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t started the ball rolling. So, yay me, and yay all you folks who work to preserve our history.

The Family Bible of Thomas Elisha & Susan Starr Basinger, Or, In Which I Find a Baby

January 26, 2014

I’ve been trying to write this post for days.

I can’t seem to get it straight in my mind how to start, or not to start, or do I write two posts, but two posts might muddy the discovery, and one post might muddy the discovery, and what about a spoiler alert?

So I’ll stop trying to write this in a logical, chronological fashion, and I’ll just start in the middle.

Almost three years ago I photographed the Starr family plot in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. It will perhaps be helpful to you if you click on the link, and scroll down and view the photo of a child’s – a BABY’S – grave. This tiny little grave is outlined behind the memorial for Elisabeth Basinger. At the time, Sugar and I didn’t know who Elisabeth Basinger was, either, and then he re-read his great-grandfather’s “Reminiscences”, and learned that Elizabeth Basinger, the child, was the second child born to his great-grandparents William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger. I wondered if the little outlined grave belonged to Elizabeth Basinger, the child.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when I photographed the Thomas Elisha & Jane Susan Starr Basinger Family Bible. The photos were not clear when enlarged, so last week I rephotographed everything. There’s a section which listed the servants’s births and deaths, and I was very interested to see if I could find who the servants were. Perhaps I could find them on a census, even though they didn’t have last names.

So I started at the beginning, Sound of Music style. I photographed every single little section of handwritten notations of marriages, births, and deaths, and also the newspaper articles regarding the death and burial of William Starr Basinger. I loaded the photos onto the computer, and edited and watermarked them, and started posting some of them to

I came to one little section that said “__________ Infant Son of Thomas & Jane S. born in Savannah May 13th, 1832”.


Then another section: “__________ Infant Son of Thomas & Jane S. died in Savannah May 16th, 1832 – aged 4 days”.


I thought to myself that I wish I knew where this child was buried so that I could create a memorial on, when it hit me. Of course I know where this child is buried, exactly where.

Without a marker in a tiny little grave in the Starr family plot in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.

Sleep well, baby angel without a name.

The Family Bible of Thomas Elisha & Jane Susan Starr Basinger: Intermission

January 22, 2014

I photographed the Bible last week, and when I loaded the photos onto the computer, I found that the images were unclear when I attempted to enlarge them. The spidery handwriting fragmented so much upon enlargement that it became illegible. Is that an 8? Or a 3? Numbers are important in genealogy.

I knew I’d have to photograph them again, this time much closer and in sections.

This particular Bible also has the Apocrypha, just like the Family Bible of Stephen Lawton. I’m fascinated with the concept of this section of the Bible that has been removed from modern day Bibles. That seems like a whole new area of study of me, and I flipped through some of the sections.


I have a 5th great-grandfather named Josias Gamble. He was a Revolutionary Era patriot, and I was able to join the Daughters of the American Revolution using him as my patriot ancestor. When I was filling out the application forms, more than one person asked me, “You sure that’s right? Josias? Not Josiah? Did you spell it wrong?” I do a little foot-stampy thing right about here, and insist that it is right. He had descendants that were also named Josias, and their headstones say “Josias”. So there. He was already a recognized patriot in the DAR files, but us local folks had never heard it, and to be fair, everything on the DAR application needs to be right and correct, and I do understand that, and I appreciate everyone’s diligence in that matter.

Insert surprised expression here upon viewing the Apocrypha.


From the book of Ecclesiasticus:
Chapter XLIX
1 The praise of Josias, 4 of David and Ezekias, 6 of Jeremy, 8 of
zekiel, 11 Zorobabel, 12 Jesus the son of Josedec: 13 of Nee-
mias, Enoch, Seth, Sem, and Adam.
THE remembrance of a Josias is like the composi-
tion of the perfume that is made by the art of
the apothecary: it is sweet as honey in all mouths,
and as music at a banquet of wine.
2 He behaved himself uprightly in the conversion
of the people, and took away the abominations of
3 He directed his heart unto the Lord, and b in the
time of the ungodly he established the worship of God.
4 All, except David, and Ezekias, and Josias, were
defective: for they forsook the law of the Most High,
even the kings of Juda failed.
5 Therefore he gave their power unto others, and
their glory to a strange nation.

The Family Bible of Thomas Elisha & Jane Susan Starr Basinger

January 15, 2014

Sugar, through no fault of his own, has a repository of stuff. Some of it? He doesn’t know where it came from. He might say, “Maybe Mom’s house.” “Maybe Grandmom’s house.” He’s been toting stuff around for years throughout his lives, moving, changing, settling, re-settling, re-arranging stacks. He’s not a hoarder, he just has stuff.

His stuff is good stuff, not piles of newspapers or comic books or shoes or tools, not to say that those things aren’t good in other people’s worlds.

I’ve known him for almost ten years, and last week he whipped out the Family Bible of Thomas and Jane Susan Starr Basinger, from 1823.

Really? You have a family Bible that’s almost two hundred years old, and you didn’t tell me about it? There are births recorded in it that are over two hundred years old, and you didn’t think to mention it?

So we did a little photo shoot. We arranged a board on his front porch rail so that we could get enough light.


































When I enlarged the images on my computer, I am not able to read them clearly. Which means another photo shoot is in order, close-up style.

The most interesting thing about this family Bible is that the births and deaths of the servants are included. I’ve never seen or heard of this feature. Who are these people? Another genealogy puzzle!

Bolan Hall Landing

January 13, 2014

Reader Maureen in New York is doing some research for some folks up that way that have some roots down this way. She’s looking for a Cemetery at Bolan Hall.

We’ve never gone to the end of the road that takes us to the landing, but, on this day, there’s time and it feels like the thing to do.

At the end of the road, there’s an entrance to the Bolan Hall Plantation. Now, this might be where the cemetery is located, but it seems best not to drive down someone’s driveway unannounced. Perhaps a phone call is in order.

In the meantime, PHOTOS!










Sugar spotted a plantation house along the creek.





Sugar looked over the rail and spotted something. He’s a good spotter. I didn’t see what he saw.


He directed me slightly to one side, and I increased the zoom on the camera.

Footprints! Perhaps a great blue heron and a raccoon.


What a beautiful afternoon for a stroll along the walkway.

Albert Sidney Lawton, June 17, 1900 – September 1, 1987

January 11, 2014

One day, not long after we had met Miz Florrie, Sugar and I were sitting in her kitchen, just chatting.

Sugar asked her if she knew any of the Lawtons. She surprised us by saying, “I worked for the Lawtons.”

And when we asked who, she said, “Albert Sidney.”

Sometimes Miz Florrie doesn’t have her teeth in, and all the time it’s hard to understand her accent. So we asked her, “WHO?”

She said again, like it was one word, “AlbertSidney.”

And Sugar and I looked at each other, squinting our eyes and shrugging our shoulders, still with the “WHO?” on our faces.

Sugar said, “Who was his father?”

Miz Florrie: “Willie Lawton.”

Sugar: “Who’s Willie Lawton? Where did he live?”

Miz Florrie: “Ovuh there,” and she waved her hand in the general direction of the Pineland Plantation across the road.

Willie Lawton? Was she talking about a black Willie Lawton, because we didn’t know any white Willie Lawtons.

We finally figured out that she was talking about William Henry Lawton who did indeed have a son named Albert Sidney. On the 1900 census, Albert Sidney had just been born and didn’t even have a name enumerated on the census.

Miz Florrie said that she collected rents for Albert Sidney, and that he married a girl from Savannah, and moved to Jacksonville, Florida. He had lived in a house just south of hers, but it didn’t exist any more. It had been moved, “ovuh there”, so we’re just not sure what happened to the house.

Miz Florrie also said that one night when she was young, she was walking home, and passed by the house. There were “people” dancing on the porch, only they weren’t people, they were spirits. Miz Florrie ran home. In my mind’s eye, I can see couples in old-fashioned dress, waltzing round and round on the porch.


We’ve always wondered what happened to Albert Sidney Lawton, and we presumed that he died in Jacksonville. Last week I was looking on the find-a-grave website, and did a search for “Lawton” in Bonaventure Cemetery. Near the top of the list was Albert Sidney.

Why didn’t we know that? Why didn’t we know that he was in Savannah? Where is he? Sugar guessed that he was buried with his wife’s family in the Corbin plot, so he called the cemetery office, and the nice office people told him how to go to the website, and do a search to find the plot.

You can do it, too. It’s a great resource.;
leftclick “community”, you’ll get a dropdown box;
leftclick “cemeteries”; on the lefthand side of the page
leftclick “burial records”; then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Leftclick on the icon to do an online search, which will take you to a new page to enter your search terms.

I copied down the info, and we headed over to Bonaventure.

















Sugar suddenly realized that he knew this man, this Francis Bland Tucker.

Sugar was baptized by F. Bland Tucker. Why is he in the Corbin plot? Another mystery.





It was really cold in the cemetery. The polar vortex was making its way south in anticipation of making my water connection at my well freeze and snap off.



While we were driving around looking for the Corbin plot, Sugar saw someone else he knew from his childhood, so we backtracked to get a closer look.



Of course we drove by the Lawton plot to see Sugar’s cousin Corinne, and today we drove past on the little lane that headed out of the cemetery. And here’s another Lawton!





Jane Lawton McIntosh was from Garnett! And she was the grandmother of our friend Jean.

Lawtons are everywhere.

In Which I Am Sugar-Cured

January 4, 2014

Let’s start the New Year off with a little disclaimer. After looking at my photos, you might not want to read this blog again. Because *ACK*. (Insert sound of cat coughing up hairball.)

Just ack.

I had an issue last fall. Yet you wonder how I could single out just one in many issues. This issue pushed itself right to the top of the list.

The skin around my eyes developed a burned appearance, like sun-burned.

But I hadn’t been out in the sun, and wouldn’t my entire face be burned?

It got better. It got worse. And it continued to cycle.

It was painful, and itchy. It flaked like the after-effects of a burn. It was puffy, and red dearholyjesusgod it was red.

Sugar and I put on our mystery-solving caps.

Perhaps it was an allergic reaction to a chemical. (But I’ve been around household chemicals for years, like Clorox and detergent.)

Perhaps it was an allergic reaction to mold. (But I live in moldy, damp SC.)

Perhaps it was an allergic reaction to my glasses, because it was only happening directly around my eyes, which would be in contact with my glasses frames. (But I’ve had these glasses for months.)

I tried moisturizing creams, and cold compresses, and cucumber slices applied to my eyes. Nothing changed. The condition continued to cycle, and I’d think it was going away, and then it would return.

Sugar had a brilliant idea.

Why not go to a doctor?

A doctor? Really? Why? The doctor in this town would just refer me to someone else, and I don’t have any money.

After months, I gave in and went to see the local physician’s assistant at the doctor’s office. Who was stumped and called the doctor in. Who also had stumpage. They noted that my throat seemed red and aggravated, and so they did a strep test, even though I said yes my throat hurts a bit but it doesn’t feel like strep. I’ve had strep a couple of times, a billion (or perhaps only 25 or 30) years ago, and it feels like you have attempted to swallow a jagged fingernail that got stuck and is scratching your throat.

The solution? To use a hydrocortisone cream around the eye, not getting it in the eye, and not to use for more than two weeks. And also Claritin.

Y’all already know that this did not solve anything.



Sugar pulled out the big guns. He got out the books, because friend internet was not helpy. He had been looking at his nutrition and vitamin books, which also were not perfectly helpy, then he remembered that years ago, he had seen a condition described as sunburn-like regarding a Vitamin B deficiency. He checked out the Vitamin B sections, which didn’t describe a sunburn condition, but did describe skin ailments with Vitamin B deficiency.

I started B-complex supplements. After a few weeks, it cleared up.

And I am Sugar-cured.