Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Longitude Lane, Lunch, and the Huguenot Church

November 18, 2017

I use FaceBook as a way to stay in touch with people that have similar interests. I actually learn things along the way.

One such learned fact was the tours that were being conducted at the French Huguenot Church in Charleston, free of charge. This event happens in the spring and fall. Sugar challenged me that we could go except I had to work. I promptly answered his challenge by getting a day off work.

We had advice from one of the tour guides that we should park in the Cumberland Street parking garage, and then we could find the church on Church Street within a few blocks.

Sugar had an excellent laminated map that I was unable to read in the car. The low, late autumn sun shining through the trees and around the buildings made a flashing light-and-shadow effect, like someone opening and closing the slats very quickly on a Venetian blind. I couldn’t focus, plus I got nauseous. I suggested that we pull over, but the traffic would make getting off the roadway and then back on very difficult. So we decided to wing it.

Sugar made a right instead of a left because he thought the church was south of the Broad. We wound around and found ourselves at Longitude Lane quite by accident. We had intended to make this the last stop of the day, so we’ll switch things up and make this the start of the day.

Sugar has a smartphone now and is taking photos of everything. You probably know that Sugar and half the natural population of South Carolina is descended from Thomas Smith.

Thomas Smith,

Governor of South Carolina,


Planter, merchant, surgeon, arrived in Charles Town in 1674 with his first wife, Barbara Atkins, and sons, Thomas and George. A cacique by 1690, he was created Landgrave by the Lords Proprietors on May 13, 1691. He died in his 46th year on November 16, 1694. His brick townhouse with a wharf on Cooper River was here on the corner of East Bay and Longitude Lane.

One of our landmarks to find was St. Philip’s steeple. The Huguenot Church is about a block away.

We finally found a spot on the 4th level of the parking garage, and made our way to the Huguenot Church where we found the gate and front door were locked. We called the number on the sign, and the person answering sounded surprised that no one was there to give tours and offered to come right away. I suggested that we wait an hour for the tour so we could get food because we were both getting crankypants. And so it was agreed.

At the previous advice of a Charleston friend, we found Fast and French on Broad.

The building is long and narrow with communal tables. No photos of the restaurant could be taken without getting lots of people in the shot, and I don’t like to put close-ups of people’s faces on the blog when they are simply out-and-about minding their own business.

Well, unless it’s a really once-in-a-lifetime shot. Or you wanted to pay me a million dollars.

The food is fresh and interesting. You could go just to look at the murals.

My plate used to hold a cucumber and yogurt soup, salmon on Canadian rye, and cream cheese on Canadian rye. Yes, that is a glass of white wine. Sugar ordered one of the many daily specials. He had a tomato bisque soup and fresh fruit and bread.

This is a non-tipping establishment. Unattended money will be donated to Lutheran Services Carolinas, a refugee resettlement service.

Now to the church.

How do you pronounce Huguenot? Do an internet search. You might be surprised.

You probably guessed that Sugar is descended from Pasteur Pierre Robert (Roh-BARE). Some of Robert’s descendants ended up in the present-day area of Robertville, SC, and if you have followed the blog before, you will know that we have taken Christmas poinsettias to the Robert Cemetery.

I probably could have gotten the entire chandelier in the photograph if I had lain down on the floor. Somehow, that seemed disrespectful.

The volunteer on duty said that the plaques around the perimeter were because of a fundraising effort of the church in 1899. You could have a plaque with your ancestor’s name if you donated money.

There were other, more elaborate plaques adorning the walls.

You probably know by now that you don’t pronounce the H in Horry.

Be ye doers of the word not hearers only.

Nine simple words.

And that’s the French Protestant Church.


The Most Scruffy Cat in the ‘Hood

November 18, 2017

There’s a new cat in the ‘hood. He is super-scruffy.

I’ve seen him off in the woods in the underbrush. He never comes nearer than 30 feet when he can see me. Sometimes when he is in the Treehouse, he is so engrossed in eating that he can’t see or hear anything else except the food. I can be that way with food, too, but this guy is starving.

A week ago, I was preparing to head out to the Heritage Days festival. I had things to move out of the car, like bags of cat food, so I was walking back and forth from the car to the shed. I had already fed the cats at all the feeding stations, and Mr. Scruffy took his opportunity to grab a quick bite, not knowing that I was going back to the car for good. He hasn’t learned that when the hatch is open, I’m coming back.

What’s that sound?

Then he spots me.

And he’s off the platform into the woods, sailing out into space like a tiny super hero.

He’s learned to sit in the woods and meow at me, as if to remind me to make sure there is extra food in the bowls, enough to include him.

One early morning as I was preparing to leave for work, I had already filled the bowls before going back inside. Mr. Scruffy Cat had still not caught on that the car hatch was open.

How adorable is this?

Taking My 2% to Heritage Days

November 15, 2017

I took a DNA test a year ago. The results showed that I have approximately 2% African. Nothing would do except to go to the Heritage Days celebration at the Penn Center.

Sugar and I went to the Penn Center last year as part of a history group that was taking a tour. This was going to be very different.

Heritage Days Celebration is a three-day cultural event celebrating the Gullah/Geechee/Sea Island history, folk arts, food, music, crafts and West African cultural legacy.

Located at Penn Center—formerly the Penn School, one of the first schools for formerly enslaved Africans and their descendants living on St. Helena Island—visitors can experience the unique setting of the 50-acre historic campus of Penn Center.

Sugar wasn’t sure he could go to the festival because he has crowd anxiety. I made it easy for him to decide that he shouldn’t go by saying that I was meeting Toni Carrier who was representing the International African American Museum and it might be hard for him to hang around, what with the crowds and meeting people. So he stayed home with the dogs and cats.

There was a parade scheduled on Saturday from 9-11am, so I figured I’d go after that since they block Martin Luther King Drive on St. Helena. I didn’t know that the road STAYS blocked, and you have to park on the Sea Island Parkway and walk the mile or so to the Penn Center. Yet I found out when I got there, and I walked it anyway.

There is a center stage with activities going on all day, like singing, storytelling, dancing, and music. There are vendors of arts and crafts, and produce, and food. Oh my. The food.

There was a line at every food vendor. The one with the shortest line featured grilled and curried foods, like chicken, shrimp, and goat, plus rice and cooked cabbage, and other things that I can’t remember now.

Grilled and seasoned shrimp with cooked cabbage and carrots.

I visited with Toni and looked at her great handouts regarding research. You can follow her on Facebook along with the progress of the fundraising and construction of the IAAM.

There was an enormous crowd of hundreds of people under the live oaks. Perfect crisp fall weather reminded us how good it was to be here.

Vendors were selling local produce. I waited in a line to buy some rutabagas for Sugar. This particular stand was also selling turnips and turnip greens, collards, persimmon fruit, apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane, and probably more that I can’t remember. People were actually walking around eating sugar cane. I’ve never seen that before.

On the walk back to the car, there is a section of marsh, and I spotted a great egret sunning himself. If you zoom in on one of the photos, the images start to fragment and look like an oil painting, as if you can see the actual brushstrokes.

A couple of men walked by, and one of them called out, ” Did you get it?”, meaning did I get the photograph of the bird. I could only nod yes, and could not speak because I was so full of contentment of this wonderful experience.

From the other side…

Across the road…

So y’all know what you need to do next year.

A Sixty-Year-Old Secret: the Mystery Deepens

November 14, 2017

Two Friday evenings ago, I was poking around in the online newspapers. Doesn’t everyone spend their Friday evenings doing research?

I discovered that my in-laws actually married 3 years later than they said they did, and that they had both had previous marriages. Mr. X had a mystery biological father. My FIL brought up Mr. X as his own.

I brought the other family members up-to-date. They didn’t know this story at all.

What was my FIL doing in Warwick, RI? How did he meet this girl? A little more picking around on shows that he and his family had moved to RI by 1956.

Apparently they were back in Springfield by 1958.

More poking around, this time by my SIL, found a photo of the 1st wife on FB that was posted by her niece. It appears that she didn’t remarry and kept using her married name. I contacted the niece. Things got interesting.

Joan had a child 3 months before she married the young man that became my FIL. If the child were his, wouldn’t he have married the mother before the child was born? That child was brought up by Joan’s mother. Joan had 2 more children and gave them up for adoption. Joan had a twin sister Joyce who also had a baby that she gave up for adoption. That baby? Was the woman that I contacted on FB. No one knew who their fathers were.

This looks like a case for DNA testing…

They Took It to the Grave: In Which I Find a Sixty-Year Secret

November 11, 2017

When I was a little girl, I noticed that my father called his mother-in-law by a formal name, “Miz Packett”. I asked my mother why he didn’t call her Miss Ruth or Mother. Why so formal? Mom said that her mother really didn’t like my father when she met him. I was indignant. Who couldn’t like my daddy? I demanded an answer. Mom said that her mother said that any man that old already has a wife and children somewhere. 

My father was in his late twenties when he married my mother. I took a DNA test almost a year ago, and I’ve been waiting for a half-sibling to show up. The only one that showed up was my full sibling older brother. It looks like Grandma was worried for nothing. 

This post is not about my side of the family. 


Everyone that knows me knows that I am obsessed with genealogy. I have limited funds, so I spend them judiciously. I have a subscription to ancestry, fold3, and newspapers. Recently I discovered GenealogyBank. I subscribed to the 7-day free trial. After 6 days of intense searching and finding, I considered cancelling the subscription before the membership fee was sucked out of my bank account the next day. What the heck; let’s give it one more search. Now, who haven’t I searched for? Ah, yes, that one. 

I entered  my father-in-law’s name. 

Some of you might think that he is my EX-father-in-law. I didn’t divorce my in-laws, though, only their scoundrel son, and not until he had moved out after 23 years of marriage. (There’s more, but that is another tale.) Mr. X is a troubled soul who could  tend toward mood swings and violence. 

I got a lot of results. The first one, from the Springfied Union, Springfield, Massachusetts, confused me. You know when you are reading something and it doesn’t compute, and you stare hard at the words, not ready to read more, even though your eyes see the words on the following line? That moment happened to me when I read the first couple of lines. 

My in-laws were married on January 2, 1957, and their first child was born on September 14, 1957. Those of use that can do math can see that the child could have been premature. My mother-in-law apparently was not acquainted with calendar math, because she always insisted that the baby was 2 weeks *late*, which did not help her case. That baby became my Mr. X, not to be confused with  algebra or a superhero. 

Do you see how my father-in-law was divorcing someone named Joan Daniels in 1958? And that they married in 1956? 

My mother-in-law’s name was Barbara. 

Then, a few search results later, I find this in the Springfield Union, Springfield, Massachusetts, January 2, 1960…

So not only had FIL been married before, MIL had, too. Mr. X was her child by a man whose last name was Simon. 


When my daughter was born, my in-laws said that they had heard that in order for a child to have red hair, both sides had to have red hair in their background. They didn’t know who had red hair in their lines.

When my son was an infant, my FIL pointed to my son’s pronounced cowlick on his forehead and declared that he had the same cowlick. I thought that was sweet even though I didn’t agree. My father had said the same thing about his own cowlick and the baby. 

I sent  my FIL’s sister a  message. She confirmed that  there were two marriages, and that Mr. X is from his mother’s first marriage. 


I called my daughter to chat with her. You know, a little informal conversation  to say that you are not who you think you are. Your grandfather is not who you think he is. 

The next morning I started a group text with my daughter, my son, my brothers-in-law, and my sister-in-law. No one knew this story. 


Years ago, I asked my MIL who Mr. X had been named for. Her two other sons, who both looked exactly like their father, had family names for their middle names. Mr. X, who looked exactly like this mother and her father, was named Paul Alfred. There was no one in their family named Paul Alfred. 

She took a long drag off her cigarette, exhaled, and said, “He was named for a family friend.” Seriously? What family friend. I didn’t force the issue. 


I discussed this with Sugar. A few years ago, while going through some photos, I came across a group photo with Mr. X and his parents and siblings. Sugar thought that Mr. X didn’t look like the others. I said, “But he looks exactly like his mother who looks exactly like her father.” He said, “Ok.”

After reading the newspaper results, I called Sugar and said, “ You can say I told you so”, and I told him that it looked like Mr. X was born to a marriage of my MIL and a man named Simon, but I didn’t know his first name. He said, “Try Paul Alfred.”

You can try it, too. You’ll get an obit for Paul Alfred Simon. A search on social media of the surviving children shows a man who looks enough like a younger version of Mr. X. When I saw the photo, I said, “Oh my goodness, that could be his bro…”

I wrote to the potential sister, but haven’t had a reply. If they don’t reply, that is okay. 

But this Sixty Year Old secret is out of the box now. 

Reading the Newspaper: Another Distraction

October 15, 2017

I’ve been reading the newspaper lately.

Mostly I get my news from social media. Sugar used to make fun of that, for how could social media accurately reflect the news? This was, of course, before he joined FaceBook and learned to hone his friendships. If I see that your news is mostly recipes and happy families stories about how wonderful your life is, I’m probably going to hide your stories on the newsfeed. We can still be friends, but I don’t want to see your domestic tranquility when basically there is very little cooking, baking, or DIY hacks going on in your life that I can apply to mine.

So my newsfeed reflects stories from people that seem to think like I do.

Recently when I was at the East Tennessee Historical Society, I found my 2xgreat grandfather’s death, one Deaderick or D.A. Collins, confirmed by newspaper microfilm. I had a date to look for, and I used the microfilm reel that the librarian sorted out for me from the large drawer of many reels. I couldn’t find the account I wanted, which didn’t make sense, because I would think that someone getting crushed to death in a train wreck would be news-worthy. I went back to the microfilm drawer, and I saw that there was another newspaper from the same time period and location, except that it was a daily paper, and the librarian had given me the weekly paper. How could anyone know that the Knoxville Daily Chronicle and the Knoxville Weekly Chronicle wouldn’t have the same stories? At any rate, I found my story.

Later that night in my motel room, I was able to photograph the copy of the article using my iphone and an app called CamScanner. I didn’t have to wait until I got home to scan it on my home scanner, which was lucky because home was having a hurricane.


All this dancing around brings me to the newspapers. Wouldn’t it be easier than traveling 400+ miles to look at microfilm if I just looked at the newspapers online?

I think you know the answer.

I bit the bullet and purchased a subscription for, and I found that their records are not complete. I did find some more articles about the train wreck, and the fact that Deaderick’s body was taken to the cemetery to be interred, although the article didn’t say which cemetery.

My cousin Nick, who found the initial death date for Deaderick by using Google book searches, also found other newspaper articles on chroniclingamerica on the Library of Congress site. Now I have a problem, or perhaps a partial solution.

Two sources of old newspapers that I can look at online? And saves your clippings that can be attached to an ancestry tree, or emailed, or facebooked, or tweeted, or embedded? And chroniclingamerica’s clippings can be saved to your computer, and you can photoshop them?

For instance, Agnes Mann in which she advertises in the Beaufort Tribune on October 27, 1875, for the Beaufort House in Beaufort, SC, as the proprietress:

MannAgnes 10-27-1875 advert in Beaufort Tribune

In the most delightful part of the city

She advertised several times in the Port Royal Standard and Commercial, this next example being from February 3, 1876…

MannAgnes 2-3-1876 advert in Port Royal Standard & Commercial

Having opened and refurbished this old and established house

This is really a time-saver and a time-sucker. and chroniclingamerica? Absolutely.

The Lenoir City Museum and Cotton Mill Site

October 8, 2017

So I had planned a trip back home for a 150th anniversary at the church I grew up in. I hadn’t planned a hurricane to happen at the same time. While I was out of town, I was having such a good time that I put off returning home for one more day. Because post-hurricane and interstate travel is not a fun scenario.

This postponement allowed me to attend an open house at the Lenoir City Museum and Cotton Mill Site honoring Richard Marius. The fact that Mr. Marius passed away on November 5, 1999, was not an issue. His widow attended on his behalf.

I knew that there was a museum in Lenoir City, and that there were limited hours, so I had never been able to squeeze in a visit on a rare trip home.

Look! It’s Ole Yeller!

Hundreds of artifacts are gathered here. Come on in, sign the guest book, and say hello to General William Lenoir. The museum is basically 4 rooms, and we’ll start in the first room and travel clockwise.

More of the main room

“General, it would take considerable boot to get us to swap it (the Lenoir estate) for the state of Rhode Island.”

Israel Pickens Lenoir’s response to Union General Ambrose Burnside, upon his request to purchase the Lenoir property, while marching his troops through East Tennessee during the Civil War 1863.

Ignore the missing frosted cookies from the platter. I do not know what happened here.

To the left of the main room is a room devoted to the churches and schools of Lenoir City.

The original podium of Central Methodist Church, which is over 100 years old

The next room is a tribute to the military.

Into the next room, we find an enormous amount of memorabilia regarding the railroad. The East Tennessee Virginia & Georgia Railroad line was through here. Lenoir City was not a city, but only a railroad stop known at Lenoir’s Station or Lenoirs. Later on, there was an industry known as the Car Works, but they didn’t make automobiles. They made railroad cars.

In 1871, my g-g-grandfather Deaderick A. Collins was a fireman on this line. The train that he was on had already passed through Lenoirs on the afternoon on October 2, when it hit cattle on the track just east of Sweetwater. The engine and the tender derailed, and he was crushed in the wreckage.

I suspect I will become even more interested in the railroad. But even if you are not interested in the railroad, you should still pop into the Lenoir City Museum.

There might even be cookies.

Because Trains Are On My Mind

September 24, 2017

Now imagine the engine and the next 2 cars hitting a cow on the tracks and then derailing. Smoke, fire, twisted metals, the screams of the passengers, the smashing of the cars, all coming to a grinding halt, with one man’s body under the wreckage…

Tracking Deaderick A. Collins

September 24, 2017

Recently I learned that my 2xgreat-grandfather Deaderick A. Collins was killed in a train accident.


DNA cousin Nick found this on google books.

Then I found a newspaper account of the accident at the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville. The following clipping is from the Knoxville Chronicle.


Yesterday afternoon the down passenger train ran over a cow, a mile east of Sweetwater, which threw the engine and express car from the track, badly wrecking both and causing the death of the fireman, D. A. Collins. The express messenger, J. J. Tibbs, was injured slightly, but beyond these no one else was hurt.

Mr. Collins’ death is universally regretted by his friends. He leaves a wife and three children. His remains were expected to arrive this morning, and will probably be interred this afternoon.


Then when I searched the internet again, I found that the Knoxville Chronicle was online at newspapersDOTcom. Of course. Why wouldn’t a historical newspaper be there. I had used a free trial last year, but found nothing that helped my searches. This was surely the year to find *something*. Anything.

So I signed up for 6 months, thinking that this is surely a big enough window.

I found the initial story that I first published, the one from the Knoxville Chronicle. And then found another from The Sweetwater Enterprise, October 5, 1871, Thursday, Page 3.

I also learned that you can “clip” an article from any paper and save it to your computer in the form of a PDF, which you will find below. I’ll transcribe it for your viewing pleasure.




Train Thrown from the Track.


The Fireman Instantly Killed.


Express Messenger Injured.


A terrible accident occurred to the

westward bound train on the E. T. Va.,

& Ga., Railroad on Monday evening last,

while rounding a curve about a half a

mile East of Sweetwater. The accident

took place about 3:25, and at a point

of the road where the best cattle belong-

ing to Mr. Wm. Cleveland, cross it every

morning and evening.

The train ran over two of the cattle

which upset the engine, tender, baggage

and express car, tearing up the track for

some distance, and wrecking the engine

and cars in a manner beyond description.

Mr. D. A. Collins, the fireman, jumped

from the engine, and before he could get

out of the way, the tender upset, fell up-

on him, mangling him in a most horrible

manner, killing him instantly. The en-

gineer, Mr. Wiley Wright, miraculously

escaped injury. The Express Messenger,

Mr. Tibbs, was slightly injured.

The scene of the disaster was terrible.

The right side of Mr. Collins, from his

hip down, crushed to pieces, his jaw bone

broken and his body bruised almost all

over. His body was taken from under

the debris in about two hours from the

time the accident occurred, was washed,

dressed, placed in a box and brought here

to the depot.

The track was cleared at about 11

o’clock, allowing all the night trains to

pass on time.

The body of the deceased was conveyed

to Knoxville, on the night train where

lives his family, consisting of a wife, three

small children and a sister who were sole-

ly dependent upon him for support.

Now, I’m not a doctor or a coroner, but I *have* watched a few crime shows. (Don’t laugh – y’all have, too.) If he was killed instantly, how did bruises have time to form over his whole body? Doesn’t the bruising mean that he was still alive while trapped under the wreckage?

Then Nick found another account in another paper in Chronicling America. I found this on NewspapersDOTcom and clipped it and downloaded it. This is from a Jonesborough, Tennessee, newspaper called the Herald and Tribune, and the article is from October 5, 1871, Thursday, page 2.


Railroad Accident.

We take the following from the Knox-

ville Press and Herald, of Tuesday last:

Quite a serious accident occured to the

westward bound train on the E. T.,Va.&

Ga. Railroad, which left this city at 1:17

p. m., yesterday, while rounding a curve

about a quarter of a mile east of Sweet-

water, and forty-two miles west of Knox-

ville. The accident took place at 3:25

p. m., and at a point of the Road where

the cows of the village cross it every morn-

ing and evening in going to and returning

from pasturage.

The train ran over a cow and the mis-

hap upset the engine, tender and express

car, instantly killing the fireman, Mr. D.

A. Collins, who was caught under the

tender and crushed to death. His body

was still under the debris at eight o’clock

last night. The engineer, Mr. Wiley

Wright, escaped injury. The Express

Messenger, Mr Tibbs, was slightly hurt.

The engine, tender and express car were

badly smashed up.

Mr. Collins, the fireman, leaves a wife

and three children, who reside in this city,

on Depot street, between Broad and

Crozier streets. He was about thirty-

eight years of age.


So where was the accident: 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, or 1 mile east of Sweetwater?

Who is Deaderick’s sister who depends on him for sole support?

Was it one cow on the tracks? Or two?

If the accident occurred at 3:25PM, was the body removed about 2 hours later from under the wreckage, putting that about 5:25ish, or was the body still under the wreckage at 8PM like the last story states?

AND WHERE IS THIS MAN BURIED? Somewhere in Knoxville, we trust, but where? The oldest church in Knoxville reports that he is not buried there, but they are using the headstones, which have been surveyed and recorded, as reference, and apparently do not have paper records from 1871.

And was he really 38 years old? Because some records say he would be 30ish.

Really, I’m so glad to know that he is not a mystery person any more, and that he was a real flesh-and-blood man.

Most of all, I’d like to know why there wasn’t a cowcatcher?

The Lacy

September 17, 2017

I went to the Lacy Hotel last week. Only it’s not a hotel any more. It’s a gift, antique, and home furnishing shop. 

I wasn’t shopping. I have a #CousinNotCousin whose grandmother and aunt worked at the Lacy, back in the day when it was an actual hotel. They cooked there for many years, and their cooking was legendary. One friend said she could still taste the rolls, warm from the oven, even though the Lacy as a hotel has been out of business for many years. 

It opened during the 1920s. It was a place where you could get a meal, book a room, or attend a meeting. Ladies’ society clubs met there. Men’s business groups met there. Families went for a meal. 

My family went the same places over and over, and the Lacy wasn’t one of them. I don’t know why. 

So that made my visit extra-interesting. My goal was to snap a few shots for my #CousinNotCousin Beth in Illinois. The Lacy was so beautiful that I got carried away. 

Walk straight through the front door to the room behind, turn around, and you see this room…

Then across the room at a diagonal to the doorway beyond which is the old dining room. 

I made myself stop taking photos of the stairs. It was an unusual layout. 

There are 6 rooms upstairs. Nooks and crannies are full of wonderful things. 


I’m rather astonished that a gift shop is alive and well in my hometown. 

I bought some mulling spices and also a heritage book “Windows to the Past”, which was published in 1982 as part of Lenoir City’s Diamond Jubilee. 

I got the book with the thought that I would send it to Beth in Illinois as a token of remembrance from the Lacy. Much later, I was looking through it, and I saw a photo of the graduating class of 1938. Y’all? There was my mother. 

I hope Beth enjoys her mulling spices.