Posts Tagged ‘Rawls’

John Ester and Tula Irene Hedge(s) Rawls

July 28, 2012

Have I mentioned that I’m severely behind on my tasks?  So that means I’m going to throw some random stuff at you in an effort to clear my plate a bit. 

Some photos will be posted, courtesy of the BigBroSteve.

If y’all need to steal this photo (or any of my photos), feel free.  Just give credit where credit is due, because it’s not like I could stop you anyway.

In Which Another Nut Is Found on the Tree

July 21, 2012

I’m looking at tonight, in conjunction with the Bible records of Theophilus and Fanny Holder Rawls.

And here’s a juicy tidbit!

They had 8 children.  One was named Francis Marion Rawls, which apparently was a very popular name after Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox in South Carolina.  (My mother’s side has a Francis Marion Webb, known as Merry, which is quirky in its own right.)

I found the death record for Francis Marion Rawls, in which it is stated that his father’s name was Theophilus *WARNER* Rawls.  You heard it right here first, folks.  I have never seen Theo’s middle name before.

Now, I’m off to find the Warner families…

Tennessee, Deaths and Burials Index, 1874-1955
about F Marion Rawls

Name: F Marion Rawls
Birth Date: 5 Apr 1840
Birth Place: Weakley County, Tennessee
Age: 74
Death Date: 8 Oct 1914
Death Place: Trenton, Gibson, Tennessee
Burial Date: 10 Oct 1914
Cemetery Name: Salem Cemetery
Gender: Male
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Farmer
Father’s Name: Theopholus Warner Rawls
Father’s Birth Place: North Carolina
Mother’s name: Frances Holder
Mother’s Birth Place: North Carolina
FHL Film Number: 1299621

The Family Bible Records of Theophilus and Fanny Rawls

July 21, 2012

In 1999, when I began my genealogy “career”, I was most interested in finding my father’s g-g-grandfather, Theophilus Rawls.  BigBroBob somehow found an elderly woman in western Kentucky named Sara, a descendant of Theophilus and Fanny.  (Mrs. Sara is since deceased, so y’all don’t call her or look her up on FaceBook.)

Mrs. Sara, in turn, found Mrs. Ruby in west Tennessee.  I’ll have to do a little more research to see who Mrs. Ruby’s husband was, but for now, what we are most interested in is the fact that Mrs. Ruby had the family Bible of Theophilus and Fanny Rawls in her possession. 

Mrs. Sara was a genealogy researcher herself, and she talked to Mrs. Ruby on the phone, who then transcribed the family Bible and mailed it on to Mrs. Sara, who then mailed it to my BigBroBob, who then mailed it to me.  This was all in the late 1990’s, right before Y2K was supposed to happen.  I’m guessing that these two elderly ladies did not have access to the worries of Y2K, and simply used the telephone and mail system.  No doubt there were no home copiers available then to these ladies, because why would they need one?  How times have changed.   

I then submitted the info to a genealogy site for that little county where Theophilus and Fanny lived and died.

 Below the Bible record, I’ve transcribed Mrs. Sara’s letter.

Theophilus Rawls born Sept. 1804, died May 23, 1871
Fanny Holder born Sept. 13, 1808, died Oct. 29, 1894

Their children

William D. born Feb. 2, 1826, died Aug. 24, 1900
Isaah W. born Jan. 30, 1828, died June 27, 1908
Martha M. born June 5, 1830, died Oct. 24, 1899
Washington L. born Jan. 27, 1833, died Aug. 19, 1910
James born July 25, 1835, died Feb. 19, 1910
Esekel H. born March 11, 1838
Francis M. born April 5, 1840
Benton F. born Oct. 1, 1843, died Oct. 15, 1868
Thomas P. born May 16, 1845
Doctor Riley Jasper born June 14, 1848, died 1940

Theophilus and Fanny were Married June 3, 1825

(The deaths are not in Bible that are not put down.)

Submitted by Ruth Rawls


Page 2. I apologize. I’ve lost page 1. I possibly left it on a public copying machine somewhere.

1880 Census Weakley Co. Tenn.

Theophilus & Fannie had a daughter Martha A. Rawls.  b. 1830 NC m. 21 June 1869 John Myrick b. S.C. 1809. 

Their children:

Edwin S. b. 1858 TN probably by first wife since he was so much older than Martha A.

Albert B. b. 1871 TN

Joseph O. b. 1873 TN

David W. b. 1876 TN

Also in HH (household) was Marita J. Rawdon, niece single, living there.

This also confirmed by marriage license records of Weakley County.

You may also note that the Bible Record of Theophilus Rawls & Fannie Holder does not list a Mary as shown on the 1850 census.  She was probably just living there – a poor relative, orphan or servant.  I could find no other reference to her.

I think that I have done all the digging I can do with the resources I have.  Maybe this will help you expand your search.

I have really enjoyed finding my new family members.  I had thought I would never know for sure who Theophilus was.

Page 3. There might be a page 4, but I don’t think so.

 Mrs. Rawls said she remembered Doctor Riley Jasper Rawls (whose name really started the search for all this).  She said he was a tall, big man, not fat, just big.  My grandmother had a very tall brother, Thomas Jefferson Rawls.  I remember him.  And other descendants are tall as well, even the women.

Mrs. Rawls gave me permission to give you her name and address in case you might like to check something with her.  (My note:  I removed that from this letter.  Privacy issues and all that.  She didn’t give *ME* permission.)  I haven’t met her but she sounds very nice on the phone.  She mailed the Bible record.


(Then as a bit of a P.S.)  Stay in touch, I’ve enjoyed the letters and conversations.  And please straighten me out about Washington Lafayette Rawls and his family.  I may be reading your report wrong.  Did he really have twelve children?


Let’s talk about Doctor Jasper Riley Rawls.  He shows up on subsequent censuses using any of those three names.  He wasn’t a doctor of any sorts, but I’ve seen people referred to, in the old records, as “Doc” or “Dock”, like Dock Rhea on my mother’s side.  Apparently that search led to the discovery of the Bible record for Doctor Jasper Riley’s parents.

And yes, Washington Lafayette Rawls and his wife Martha Trent Rawls (God bless her) really did have 12 children.  See that photo that serves as my header?  That’s the family right there.  To Washington Lafayette’s right is that very sister, the only sister in that huge family of boys, that Mrs. Sara mentions.  Her name was also Martha, just like W.L.’s wife, and she married John Myrick.  I’m not descended from these folks, but my 2nd great grandfather is W.L.’s brother, Isaac.  I can’t find squat on him, which leads me to believe that he was neither famous nor a criminal.  Just wish I had a photo (quietly shouting this to the universe…)


I received this correspondence in 1999.  Mrs. Sara died the following year, I presume a bit more satisfied with her search for family.

Three Years and Counting

July 21, 2012

Yesterday was the marker of three years of blogging! 

Today is a whole new day, and I’ve just discovered that I have never posted the family Bible stuff about Theophilus Rawls, born 1804 in North Carolina.  I’m off now to dig that stuff up.

My Latest Addiction: Dorset County, England

July 19, 2012

I love a puzzle.  Crossword, jigsaw, genealogy, or puzzling out a knitting project – I love them all.  But not sudoku, please.  It does not compute.

I’m wondering where in England my Rawls ancestors were from.  I found a hint on that led me to Dorset County, England.  If you know nothing of this county, like me, except what you read on the internet, the first thing you’ll notice when you look at the map is that this county is in southwest England on the English Channel.  My folks are not fishermen, so I had my doubts that this was the right county.  We didn’t go to the lake, we never went fishing, my parents never learned to swim, we didn’t have even a rowboat.  I never saw the ocean until I was 17 years old, and I marveled at the great swells of water that roared to the shore, then decreased to little rippling fingers of water like someone playing flourishes on a piano.  I was scared of the water because I was a terrible, weak swimmer.  I swim like the proverbial rock.

Then I looked closer at the county of Dorset.  As one moves away from the coast, there’s farmland, and hills, and sheep, and meadows.  Now we’re talking – this was more like the countryside where I grew up in East Tennessee.  And I found some links to historical records with the name Rawls.  I’m not saying that I’m related to these Rawls folks in faraway Dorset, but I just haven’t proven it yet.  In the meantime, I can muse and dream about the beautiful countryside. 

You can, too.  You can click on the links.

The Dorset Page – Introducing Dorset.

The Dorset Life Magazine, with an article about the Dorset Walk to Rawlsbury Camp.

Be still my heart. Images of Dorset.

An aerial view of Rawlsbury Camp. Mag-ni-fi-cent.

Looking for Rawls folks? Look on this incredible resource: The Online Parish Clerks. Check out Winfrith Newburgh.

The Nature of Dorset.  Naturally.

For enjoying life in Dorset, Dorset Life!

I’ll add to this list as I find more resources.  And you know what, if I could find a Rawls male in Dorset who was willing to submit to a DNA swab-of-the-cheek, his particulars could be added to the Rawls DNA group.  Who knows where that could lead me.  Perhaps to Dorset County, England.  For.  Reals.

Rawlsbury Camp in Dorset County, England

July 14, 2012

If you are reading this blog for the first time, you might not know that I’m a big fan of genealogy and blogging.  I love me some dead people, and I love to yammer on about them on the blog.

There’s been an interesting little bonus in blogging about dead peeps and history.  I’m beginning to lose count in how many people have contacted me regarding their ancestors based on something I wrote on the blog.  Sometimes, more often than not, they comment on a photo or a scanned image.  And mostly these are people I’ve never heard of and never met until the blog.

Deb in Alabama is Sugar’s Basinger cousin.

Jane in Kentucky is my Rawls cousin, and she provided the family reunion photo used in the heading.

Jan in Sweden in my mother-in-law’s cousin, and he led me to another of my MIL’s cousin, Elisabeth, thus representing both of my MIL’s mother’s parents.

Rose in New York is Miz Florrie’s granddaughter.

Emily in Savannah is Sugar’s Lawton cousin, and she reunited him with her two sisters.

Faye in Las Vegas is a possible Rhea cousin.

Karen in Atlanta is Miz Florrie’s neighbor’s granddaughter.

And then of course there are my two faithful followers of all things Lawton:  Leo, who I already knew via email, in New York near Canada, and Sharon, also in New York.

Are there more?  Did I miss someone?

All this plathering leads me to jumping the pond.  My first success with finding a link to another country across the ocean was my FIL’s ancestors.  I linked his grandmother Strogen to County Mayo, Ireland.  Then I linked my MIL’s grandmother Berg back to Sweden.  Both of these links were aided by

Most recemtly, I saw a “hint” on ancestry that you could search the pubkeeper’s records in Dorset, England.  I had not heard of Dorset, and was really not interested in Dorset pubkeepers, but I decided that I would search for the Rawls family in England.  That’s just the way it is with me – I’m distracted by one thing which leads me to another thing which seems to be exactly something to occupy my time.  When I did a search on the Rawls family in England (keep in mind, folks, that I bought the international version of ancestry, and I’d surely like to get my money’s worth), the search results came up with none other than Dorset County, England.

When I searched further on the web, there is a place in Dorset named Rawlsbury Camp.  It’s not a town or village, it’s just a location on top of a hill that you have to hike to get there.  If I understand correctly, and that would surprise me as much as you, it was an ancient fortification or an encampment.

My father had said that his ancestors were English and Indian.  That’s all he knew.  Anyone up for a little hike?  Bring your passport.

But mostly, I’m just hoping that there is someone, somewhere, out there who will contact me, and all because of the blog.

A LawtonFest Family Reunion, June 1-2, 2012: Part 7

June 17, 2012

Hello, and we’re back!  I’ve already written and attempted to post part 7, but WordPress said there was a security certificate error, but really?  Why would it say there was a security error on their own site?  So I deleted that entire post, and stamped my angry little feet, and walked away from it.

So let’s begin again.

We’re at Woodstock Plantation.  You can do a little google search about Woodstock, which dates back to early South Carolina days.  If you get a search result that mentions hippies, just jump right over that.  Wrong Woodstock.  Heh.

The long driveway wound through a woodland setting, and, unbeknownst to us, the driveway swept around the right side of the house.  I completely missed the front of the house because it was obscured by the trees. 

We start our tour with a side shot of the house, which led into the backyard, then up the back steps into the house where we meandered about.  It seems wrong somehow to take photos of someone’s private home, and yet.  I. do. it.

The final shot is a wide shelf mounted on the railing of the back porch.  It was the perfect height for sitting or resting one’s plate, and I did both.

And remember, if you want to stop the slideshow, just hover your mouse pointer over the photo, and see what happens.  Enjoy! 

A LawtonFest Family Reunion, June 1-2, 2012

June 2, 2012

Can you believe that it’s already been a year?!  What’s that, you ask?  Why, it’s the Lawton and Allied Families Reunion.

We met at the Presbyterian Church in Estill, SC, on Friday evening for the welcome dinner and photo presentation.  There were approximately 30 people there, many that we had met last year, and a few new faces. 

The photo presentation was about 230 photos taken from approximately 1954 until 2000.  The photographer was fellow named Dwight Moore who is now deceased.  He left behind thousands of negatives, each set in an envelope with typewritten headings as to the date, the subject, the place taken, and incidental information, like whose truck was in the background and how many caught fish were on the string.  You get the idea. 

You’re probably wondering how Dwight’s photos came to be presented.  He left them to a fellow photographer, a young man in his 40’s, right there in Garnett, who prepared a powerpoint presentation which first involved having the negatives scanned by a lab.  It was an incredible meld of past and present.  The crowd was charmed, and many folks could call out the names of people on photos. 

I noticed that there were no pictures of Dwight’s wife and children, and when I got home I did a little ancestry stalking.  I started a family tree for Dwight on, and he never married. 

Thank you, Dwight, for an amazing gift to the future.  A half-century of photos of small town life saved forever.  Sleep well, my friend.

It Was the Best of Fams, It Was the Worst of Fams

May 2, 2012

About a month ago, the vet’s office where I work received a fax from the regional animal emergency clinic about one of our patients.  It seems that our patient, a young cat about one year old, had been attacked by a dog and had ended up in the emergency clinic.  In the morning when I get to work, there might be paperwork on the fax machine from the emergency clinic regarding a patient that had a visit there.  Most times, the emergency clinic opens at 6PM, and closes the following morning at 8, unless it’s a weekend, and then it’s open just about all weekend.

This particular morning, there was a fax regarding the extensive injuries to this nice cat.  By the time we opened, the owners were there with the cat for a follow-up exam.  The owners ended up leaving her with us for observation for the rest of the day.  When the woman came in to pick up, she commented that her partner had told her the evening before that the cat had been attacked, but that it wasn’t very bad, and he thought the cat would be fine.  She had been driving home from her job as a nurse, and when she arrived home, and saw the cat, she knew that the cat needed immediate attention.  There were large tears and puncture wounds on the body of the near-lifeless cat, and she couldn’t believe that her partner thought the cat would be okay without treatment.  I asked her, “Did something bad happen to him when he was young?”  She replied that his father had died of cancer when her partner was in early elementary school, and that he himself had been in an accident that led to a coma, and then she stopped herself, and looked me in the eye and said, “Why would you ask me that?”  And I told her about something that happened to me when I was young, and how it shaped my life, and how I’m good in a crisis, and how I tend to gloss over stuff and say, well, that’s not so bad.


You know what I’m talking about.


And into every fam, some rain must fall.  I thought that my family had a little bit of bad luck, but I didn’t know until I was an adult, like last year or so, that my family had issues.  When I was about eight years old, my mother broke her hip.  She was at the beauty shop on a Saturday when my dad took the phone call that she had been hurt. 

My mother was thirty-eight when I was born, and I wasn’t even the youngest child.  Almost, but not quite, the youngest.  My dad was almost forty-three when I was born four days before his birthday.  My mom was a stay-at-home mother who felt sorry for herself.  She had a wicked good sense of humor, but most of the time she was depressed.  When she broke her hip and spent a lot of time in the hospital, she was put on prescription pain-relievers, like Darvon.  I spent my childhood being quiet because mom was resting, not talking back because mom got upset, and just generally being good so that I wouldn’t be a disappointment. 

I thought that her bad times began when she broke her hip, and things didn’t heal right.  I said that to my BigBroBob once, and he said that she had problems years before when it was her back.  Apparently she was needier than I knew, but my vision of my family was from inside my bubble, not outside.

My mother was gloom-and-doom, and I knew I didn’t want to be that way.  I also knew that I didn’t want to take medicine.  Even today I don’t take any meds.  I’m a great believer in mind over matter, but then I don’t have anything seriously wrong with me, certainly nothing that a big dose of Ex-lax won’t cure. 


The cat had to have several Penrose drains inserted when she was stitched up, and there was a worry that one of the puncture wounds had nicked her intestines, and that her intestines might start to spill out contamination into the body cavity.  Fortunately, for the cat and the owners’s pocketbook, the intestines were fine, she began to heal, and she recuperated. 

So, if you’ve had a life-altering experience and it has warped your perspective, don’t fail to get a second opinion.  Hey, leave a comment, even if it’s late at night.  I’ll probably be up, spilling my guts on the internet.

The Daisy

January 24, 2012

Once upon a time, very long ago, I went to college.  When I came home from school for the Thanksgiving holiday, my mother told me that I couldn’t move back into my room and that I’d have to go back in with my younger sister. 

Here’s a little background information for you:  I’d shared a room with my sister our whole lives.  When our older brother moved out after high school, I finally got my own room.  Granted, it was the size of a crackerbox, but it was mine.  And now I had to go back in with my sister because there was a new puppy in MY room.

“He’s used to it.  We don’t want to upset him,” said my mother. 

Are you kidding me?  We’d never had a dog in the house, and now one was in MY room.  The little bugger had taken over in my absence.  I’d only been gone a few months.  So I went back in with my sister, keeping in mind that I had the first final exams of my educational career the following week, and I was worried about how was I going to study. 

The infiltrator was named Derringer, because his father was Pistol, so Derry was a little son of a gun.  Personally, I’d go with the Irish influence, and not even explain the gun factoid, but, clearly, nobody was asking my advice.

Derry was a little poodle, and my parents were enthralled with him.  He was smart, and as he grew older, he learned little tricks, and enjoyed riding around with my dad in his pickup truck.  I attempted to explain to my father that the dog was ruining his image, for how could this 6’6″ man wearing a John Deere hat drive to the feed-and-seed with his.  Poodle?  Please, the family pride was at stake.  But it was for naught.

Derry adored me, or so my mother said, and she was distressed that I did not adore him back.  I thought he was a brat.

One day years later, the day came that everyone dreads.  Derry died.  My mother wrote me that he just “went under the dining room table and died of a heart attack”.  She said that she “cried buckets”, which really wasn’t that hard for my mother to do because she was a crier.  Emotions, she had some, and she had received an extra-large portion of the crying gene, which sometimes skips a generation.

She was given another poodle puppy, but she said it just wasn’t the same.  It just wasn’t Derry, and she couldn’t get attached to the new one.  By that time, I was long out of the house, and I don’t even know what happened to that little Sambo dog, because I was busy with a home and family of my own. 

One day I went to visit my parents when my children were small, and we were outside in the yard, and two little dogs came running up.  One was a little beagle named Tyke, and the other was the shaggiest, messiest little poodle, if indeed that’s what she was, that I had ever seen.  Her coat was thick with briars, and little sticks trailed the ground behind her.  She was the happiest dog I had ever seen, her mouth open wide, panting out a big grin.  I thought she was the cutest thing.  Mom said offhandedly, “That’s Daisy”, and I thought that was the oddest name.  She further said that Daisy and Tyke would go off running for days at a time, and when they came home, they were exhausted and wet from playing in the fields and streams. 

I really wanted Daisy.  That was probably in the early 1990’s, and I knew that she wouldn’t fit in my home situation.  A bit later, my mother moved into a nursing home, and my father moved to an assisted-living facility, and BigBroSteve and his wife took over Tyke and Daisy’s care.  When I would go visit, BigBroSteve would ask if I was ready to take Tyke and Daisy, and I would say, no, not yet, I’m not ready yet.

Fast forward to 2004.  I was officially divorced, had built a home, and had one dog.  Mom had been deceased since 1999.  It was almost Christmas, and it was time to go get Daisy and Tyke.  I took along an afghan that the dog had been sleeping on so that Daisy and Tyke could become accustomed to his smell on the way home in the car. 

When I got there, I found that Tyke had died earlier that year, and Daisy had her own little house and yard.  BigBro asked if I was ready to take her, and he looked dumbfounded when I said that I was.  When it was time to go, Daisy knew that something was up, and she was a nervous girl.  We said our good-byes, and started out on our journey, with a side trip to the vet to update her bordetella vaccination, and headed to our home 8 hours away.

The next day when I went to work at the luxury boarding kennel, I took Daisy with me.  I found out that PetSmart was sponsoring pet photos with Santa, and I begged my employer for an hour off to take Daisy to have her picture made with Santa.

It was sad how quickly I became one of "those" people, who dress up their dog and have their picture made with Santa. But doesn't she look happy?


No one really knew how old she was, but she was still plucky and independent.  She didn’t like sitting on your lap, or even the furniture.  She was happiest down low.  When I installed a dog door panel in the sliding glass door track, she was the first dog to figure out how to use it.  It helped that she was only ten pounds and that I could push her out the door, but she caught on really fast.  Sometimes in the middle of the night, she would jump out of the laundry basket in my closet that she used for a bed, and the sound of the dog door flap flip-flip-flipping would wake me up, and it always amused me that this little bitty dog used the tools I gave her to take care of herself.

In 2008, when I moved to the Swamped! Plantation, Daisy was still with me.  I wondered how to know when this dog was going to give me a sign that she was getting older, for was she ever going to slow down?  She had cataracts on both eyes, but still got around, and ate like there was no tomorrow.

Last year, in the fall, Daisy wasn’t eating as much, and she tottered when she walked, not that she walked much.  She spent most of her time sleeping in her little bed at the foot of my bed.  Remember that the main bed in the RV can only be approached from the foot, and I had to remember to not spring up out of bed too quickly in the morning so I wouldn’t squash Daisy.  One day she stood at her water bowl, her hindquarters slowly collapsed, and she went down into a sit position and then popped right back up into place.  I knew that the endtimes were approaching. 

Daisy continued to eat, and drink well, and pee and poop, and totter about under her own steam, and all those things were on the list of important basic behavior.  You know the list I’m talking about.  Sometimes she looked like someone from the home who is driven by some inner force to continue to move.  You know the old person I’m talking about, the one that won’t stay in their room, that roams the halls, standing, leaning, exploring, moving about, occasionally resting.  That was Daisy. 

I asked her to tell me when it was time, but she would not.  Sometimes she turned over her food bowl, or slopped her water out of her dish, or I would find her in the one-step stair well in front of the RV door where she’d fallen and she couldn’t get back up the single step.  Near the end, when I was talking on the phone to Sugar at night, she would pace in slow motion back and forth the length of the RV.  One night, when I got home from work, she could not stand.  She had stopped eating.  And drinking.  And all she could manage was one small abnormal poop later that night, as though she were cleansing her body for her final journey.

The next morning when I got up, Daisy was not in her bed.  I found her *standing*, the little dog that could not stand the day before, standing in the stairwell facing the door, waiting for it to open so that she could get out and go off by herself.

It was a cloudy, gloomy day when Daisy and I got into the car for the last time, and as we set off in Ole Yeller, the sky began to weep soft tears.  I had already called the vet’s office to discuss the situation, and told the vet tech that Daisy would be dehydrated and that the vet might not be able to find Daisy’s vein for the final injection, but under no circumstances was the vet to do a heart stick.  (Y’all just go google that term.)  The tech said that rarely is that method used but only when the animal is fully sedated.  I told her that if Daisy were too dehydrated and her blood pressure had dropped, that the injection could be given in the abdomen. 

Sugar met us at the vet’s office.  When we got into the exam room, I reiterated that *under no circumstances* would the injection be given in the heart, and that it could be given in the abdomen if they couldn’t get a vein.  The vet said that would take longer to achieve the final effect when given in the abdomen, and I said, “What’s the hurry?” 

We started the procedure, and I held off the vein, and the vet was able to insert the needle, and Daisy slid away from us at 3:15 PM. 

When we went outside, it had stopped raining, and the sun was coming out.