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Showing posts from January, 2016

A Way of Life

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When people say Southerners before the Civil War it automatically brings to mind Tara and Scarlett O'Hara, sweeping lawns and massive garden parties. 

The truth of the matter is that the majority of southerners were simple farmers or merchants. In researching A Twist of Tobacco I visited a wonderful working farm museum near Dover Tennessee.

Homeplace 1850's Working Farm  was absolutely fascinating and gave me much background for the daily life of my ancestors before the war began. 




 Typical Two Pen House with detached kitchen at rear



Parlor with bed and trundle for visiting company. I am standing in the front door of the Pen and you can see straight into the kitchen.


Smokey the house cat.

Making tomato sauce in the hot kitchen.

Stairs to the loft and upstairs bedrooms

Loft room
As you can see, these people lived a life far different from what is often portrayed in movies and TV shows.

Butternut Grey

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"Baby Henry was asleep in a basket on the porch while Carol sewed yellow trim on her son’s Butternut coats. Lizzie had painstakingly cut out the patterns for the uniform jackets and pants. And during the quiet afternoons, when the men were in the field and the children were in school or taking a nap, Carol had been sewing the uniforms for Watt and Ed. She said a silent prayer for all of the boys already gone to war."  
from A Twist of Tobacco
I have found so many tiny little tidbits of information in my research over the years.  It's these actual bits that give my story life and authenticity. 


A page from Watt's actual Confederate Pension Application.

A trip back in time

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In September of 2001 I took my first genealogy research trip to Tennessee. Two distant Ownby cousins and I planned to spend at least 10 days touring the area and researching in courthouses.   And we did.  
We met up with other distant cousins and spent time in the towns and ate way too much country cooking. We based ourselves in Murfreesboro, Cannon County. We were actually researching several families but that's another story for another book. 
Along the way we were directed to property that belonged to Eli Craig Ownby and some that is still in family hands.


Tobacco drying shed on land still in possession by an Ownby descendant. 


The creek featured in A Twist of Tobacco


Of course yours truly (on the right) had to wade in the creek like a little girl.  After all Queen was my great Aunt.


View from the road where Eli and the children lived after the war.
I'm afraid this chapter of my research story doesn't have a happy ending. 
Did I mention it was early September, 2001?
On the morn…

Recognizing and Honoring Confederate Veterans

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The United Daughters of the Confederacy To honor the memory of those who served and those who fell in the service of the Confederate States.
To protect, preserve and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor.
To collect and preserve the material for a truthful history of the War Between the States.
To record the part taken by Southern women in patient endurance of hardship and patriotic devotion during the struggle and in untiring efforts after the War during the reconstruction of the South.
To fulfill the sacred duty of benevolence toward the survivors and toward those dependent upon them.
To assist descendants of worthy Confederates in securing proper education.
To cherish the ties of friendship among the members of the Organization
I am proud to have six family members so honored. 
First and foremost is my great grandfather Watterson Knox Polk Ownby