Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm such a slacker.

  • I know I've been slacking on my weekly updates, but I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with my ancestry research lately. I was able to snag several hours of it while we were in Scottsboro and I've been able to work on it some this week, too. My focus this week has been on the Wiggins part of my family. Eula Lee Wiggins (1874 - 1914) married by GG grandfather Hugh Daniel Merrill (1863 - 1953) and was one of the first Wiggins' connections. Isabella Merrill, Hugh Daniel Merrill's sister, also married a Wiggins (George Washington Wiggins). My Wiggins connection is also the connection that I share with my mother-in-law, Marlene. She and I both descend from William Wiggins (1755 - 1819) and Elizabeth Cooper (1759 - 1825). I descend from their son Willis Anthony Wiggins and she descends from their son Stephen Wiggins.
  • My next ancestry project is to track down and clear up the ancestry of Elizabeth Cooper (1759 - 1825) and her father, Fleet Cooper. This is proving to be a very daunting project, so I doubt I'll have anything "clear" to show for it for quite some time.
  • Brett and I will be in Aiken, South Carolina for Thanksgiving and while we're there I plan to visit the graves of several of my South Carolina ancestors. I would love to be able to drive up to North Carolina and do the same, but our time is limited on this trip. This will probably be a project to undertake sometime in the Spring and I plan to wrangle Marlene up for it as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Farewell and Hello

  • Jerry Morgan (a very close family friend) passed away last night in Pensacola, Florida. Though he had been fighting cancer for the past two years, his death was sudden and unexpected. Please keep the Morgan family in your prayers as they get through this very tough time.
  • With the help of Crenshaw County genealogist Joyce English, I have been able to track down my grandfather's maternal grandparents and their immediate ancestors. The Moores were buried in Leon Cemetery this entire time and we never made the connection. I think the reason we had such a hard time with them is because we were going off of their nicknames/family names rather than the given names that would appear on a census. Brett and I will be going up to the Leon Cemetery this weekend to take pictures of their grave sites and update the family tree accordingly. My grandfather's maternal grandfather is buried at Zion Baptist Church in Dozier (rather than at Leon with the rest of his family) so we'll stop over there and take pictures as well.
  • I've also tracked down some ancestors that are buried in the Kimbro Cemetery in Dozier, Alabama. While they're not "direct" ancestors (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) I'm still planning to stop and photograph their grave sites for the family tree.
  • I also learned that I have a divorce (circa 1849) and two murders in my direct lineage. Phew!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We finally found it!

  • The only burial record we've ever had of my GGGG grandmother (Susanah McDade Merrill) listed her in the Leon Cemetery with her brother-in-law, Jacob Merrill. Brett and I scoured Leon Cemetery from front to back, but never found anything that mentioned her. I emailed a 3rd cousin* (once removed, to be exact!) and he told me that he found her gravesite in the Goodhope Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery several years ago. My immediate family (and NUMEROUS ancestors) are buried at Good Hope, but we never noticed her headstone. It turns out that she remarried a David Holland the same year she obtained a divorce from my GGGG grandfather William Merrill. She was buried (as Susanah Holland) directly behind her son Jacob Perry Merrill and his wife Elefare Parrish Merrill.
Susanah McDade Merrill Holland
1810 - 1875

Jacob Perry Merrill (Left) Susanah Holland (Center) Elefare Parrish Merrill (Right)

*Ron Head, Montgomery, AL
(Thanks for all the information, Ron!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It all begins somewhere.

I had every intention of starting this blog when I first started researching my family tree, but as always, I got sidetracked and forgot all about it. I plan to use this blog to record new developments and information as well as a place to update friends and family on what's going on in our every day lives. I had originally planned to keep the two separate, but I'm bad enough when it comes to updating just one blog. The second would never stand a chance. :)

  • Brett and I located the Valley Grove Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Leon Community Cemetery, and Veasey's Chapel cemetery where my Alsabrook and Merrill ancestors are buried. I took well over a hundred pictures and updated my Family Tree accordingly. I'm still having some issues with locating all of the gravesites that we know should be in this area, but I'm slowly but surely making headway.
  • With the help of my dad's cousin, we were able to get access to the Nall Plantation Cemetery to photograph the gravesites of Marlene's ancestors. The cemetery is quite over-grown and it took over an hour with an axe and weed-sling to clean it out enough to take pictures. A cleaning campaign is in the works and I'll be sure to take new pictures of the cemetery once we get it cleared out.
The Nall Plantation Cemetery in Gantt, Alabama.


  • Without giving out too much information, it looks like Brett has a good lead on a new job. We don't know all the specifics yet, but it looks like he's a solid contendor and hopefully we'll know something more either this afternoon or tomorrow. If you're family and want all our details, send me an email and I'll fill you in!