Playing in the Atlantic

Yesterday was a day Amanda and I took to head to the beach.  We went with Matthew and Sarah Harris to play at Virginia Beach.  You will notice I put up a couple of pictures in the Virginia Living from our day away.  Amanda is in pain today from her burns.  I did get some minor burning but nothing that is causing any pain.
I added a couple of photos to the Sharp Album.  Raymond and Celia Draper went to Plain City and visited Grandpa and Caroline.  Raymond is the son of Ruth Sharp who is the daughter of Milo Ray Sharp.  Milo Ray Sharp is the brother of Grandpa’s mother, Ethel Sharp.  That makes Grandpa and Raymond 1st cousins 1 time removed.  That makes Raymond and Caroline 2nd cousins.  For an interesting photo, they are behind the tombstone of Milo Riley Sharp and his wife Mary Ann Stoker (Lillie M) and his mother Mary Ann Bailey.  So this shows Grandpa’s grandparents and his great grandmother.
Dad continues to do well.  He spent an entire day in surgery the day after the initial surgery.  They thought he was draining too much blood.  It proved to be nothing.  On the good side, they found a bile duct they needed to secure more securely.  Apparently they would have had to go in to correct it later so it was a good thing they caught it this time.  They took his feeding tube out the day after the second day of surgery.  When I spoke to him this morning they had removed all his IV’s and the only thing he still had on him was an oxygen tube.  Apparently he will be in for a few more days before he can go to the little apartment nearby.  He has to visit the hospital daily for the first week, then every other day for another week, then every three days the next week, and then weekly for a few months or something like that.  He will be in Utah for a few more weeks before they will make it back to Idaho.  I have loaded a picture of Dad the day after the surgery in the Virginia Living Album as well.

NGS

It was certainly an interesting day here in Richmond.  I was asked to work at the National Genealogical Society’s National Conference.  I thought it would be strange.  After all, aren’t family history geeks supposed to be in the latter end of their life?
It turned out I really enjoyed myself.  I worked with Paul Smart and Paul Nauta.  Yep, there were three of us!  What is more, Paul Smart and I both knew Jennie Smart Nuffer!  I suppose that makes us sort of related.  He is related to Jennie and I am related to her husband Edwin Nuffer.
It was a pretty eventful day.  There were little seminars and lessons going all day.  I helped all the random people that would wander to our booth.  What is a sad disclosure, not one of those people were able to stump me with any question.  I had my own questions in which I asked of Paul & Paul but I knew every answer to every person who asked me one!  To be honest, there were a few questions that came to me after I had already asked the question myself, so I did know those answers as well.
I have to admit, FamilySearch is going to be very impressive in what is to come.  Right now it has its purposes for what I use it for, but Ancestry.com holds most of my time in researching outside the Mountain West.  It appears much of that will be changing this fall onwards.  They announced they are going to redo the site, they are going to make available over 80 BILLION names, and to top it off, they are teaming up with other organizations to literally collect the world’s family history.  They are going to move mountains!  They are going to place the entire Granite Mountain Vault online.  It will be indexed and even images made available.  FamilySearch even went out and helped create a new type of scanner in order to do the scanning at 5 times the speed it takes now.  I believe Ancestry.com will come to a point where they will have come to regret cutting the ties that bound them to FamilySearch.  After all, FamilySearch will provide the same records eventually for free.
I volunteered at the FamilySearch Indexing website a few nights ago.  I have done about 300 names so far in the indexing.  I do have to admit I have too much to do in my own family history to be devoting that much time to the indexing.  I have journals to type, other leads to follow up, and some more cleaning up to do.  The work never ends.  I find it hard not to laugh out loud when someone says their family history is all done.  Right, just like mowing the lawn once means you will never have to do it again.
As if this was not enough, there is more to come!  I really enjoyed my day working in the FamilySearch booth.  I went to lunch with Paul and it was a good visit.  I am thinking about taking a job that would take me down the genealogical researcher path.  He took my information and said he would let me know if he come across something out here I would be interested in.  I certainly hope he does remember me.
In other news, I go to teach the family history class again tomorrow.  I have to admit, this class has done more in their week this week than any other class I have had.  I received probably a dozen e-mails with questions about family history this week from my class.  I am honored, but more thrilled that they are actually doing something.  Good for them.  I truly hope the Lord will bless them for it.  On a bittersweet note, I have been called to the Elder’s Quorum Presidency.  Which means I will probably be released from the Family History Consultant position and Family History Worker.  I suppose we will have to wait and see.  I really had hoped I would never serve in a Presidency again.  Hey, at least I am not President right?

Rawson Trip to DC

Amanda’s cousin, Jed Rawson, decided he wanted to stop and see Washington.  He made the arrangements to stay with Dennis and Gwen in Springfield.  We went up for Thursday.  We had a busy little day.  We visited the Capitol, Library of Congress, National Archives, Air and Space Smithsonian, Natural History Smithsonian, Washington Temple, FDR Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and I am sure there is something I missed.  Oh we did stop at the White House too.  It was a busy day and you can see that in the photos.

In other news, Ross Andra had a pretty major heart attach at church last week in Salt Lake City.  I am not sure what doctrine they were teaching but it definitely knocked him over.
I received a phone call last weekend from Iona Mellor in Anaheim, California.  She is my cousin as a daughter of Otto Andra.  It was good to visit with her for more than an hour.  I sent off some group sheets to her so she could return them to me with some more information.  I look forward to hearing back from her.
I posted a blog earlier on the Presidential debate.  Talk about a few people nipping at me since!  Geez.  Relax a little people.
Tomorrow I spend the day working at the National Genealogical Society’s convention here in Richmond.  That should definitely be interesting.  The church made quite a few announcements for it.  They are literally about to move a mountain!  The Granite Mountain!

Special British Visitor

There are blessings to losing one’s job. You don’t have to ask for time off
in which you can do random things you might not otherwise do. Yesterday was
one of those opportunities. 

I rode with Amanda down to school and spent part of the morning in the
library working on various little things. We had our lunch together and as
she went back to class, I went to visit the Capitol of the State of
Virginia. See, the State of Virginia had a special guest coming to visit.

I never got to see her while I lived in England, so why not take the time
since she will be in Richmond, Virginia. I arrived at the Capitol grounds
about 12:30 and started to enjoy the weather and scenery. It really was a
beautiful day. It was just like so many of the days I remembered in
England. The sky was overcast but warm. There was a certain humidity in
the air but it was comfortable. There was the slight drizzle that came down
but not enough to make you wet, just enough to dampen you.

In complete coincidence, I leaned against a temporary fence and watched the
people on the hill around the Capitol. I watched the marching band organize
and then they started playing and marched around the bottom of the hill. I
stayed where I was and I found myself pinned between the passing band and
the fence. It was with surprise that when the band had passed this familiar
looking man shook my hand and then proceeded past me a few feet and turned
up the ramp to the stage. I dawned on me who he was, the Governor Tim
Kaine. I was watching the band, it never passed my mind there was somebody
following them. It was obvious with his little entourage passing with him
they were for security. He was there to open the entertainment. Moral of
the story, if you get stuck against a wall, you never know who may shake
your hand!

The music was really quite good. I enjoyed Ralph Stanley quite a bit. I
knew his voice from the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. Jane Powell
was a great soul singer and powerful whistler! The whistling was very
impressive. They locked Capitol Square down at 2:30 and nobody else was
allowed in.

As the moment drew closer, Larry Bland and his volunteer choir were working
the audience. I think that was my favorite music in the whole show. It was
actually pretty moving. It was while he was singing, with his gospel choir,
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands that Queen Elizabeth arrived. The
energy of the whole crowd exploded. We were a single mass and were very
drawn to the occasion. I do think the music really helped the tone. The
place where I was sitting I could hear the music loud and clear from the
speakers, it then echoed to me from the state buildings behind me, and also
an echo from the Capitol itself. So I was hearing Larry Bland and the choir
from three different angles all with slightly different timing. The
jumbotrons showed the Queen’s car arriving and the crowd’s excitement. It
was really a sensory overload in many ways. Mr. Bland went onto his
rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic which was pretty powerful too.

Finally Queen Elizabeth and Governor Kaine made their way back out of the
Governor’s Mansion towards the Capitol. They came around the side near
where I was. Due to the hill I could only see her about waste up, but it
was exciting. Everything was to be seen on the jumbotrons though, so I
wasn’t overly concerned. We watched her reception by the Chief’s of
Virginia Indian Tribes. She received her gifts and made her way into the
Capitol. I stayed so as to watch her speech to a joint session of the
Virginia Legislature.

At that point, most of the excitement was done and it was starting to
properly rain so I headed for the school to meet Amanda and head home.
Luckily, she finished school just shortly before Queen Elizabeth gave her
comments.

So that was an exciting day. I have applied for several jobs, but nothing
back yet. It was worth it though. How often do you get to see the Queen of
England in Virginia!

 

Paradise Lost

I think I may have named a previous blog by this name. I hope not. 

There are some new developments in the lives of Paul and Amanda I thought I would share.

We are often warned that gossip can be destructive. It certainly can. My mere association with others and their comments have come to haunt me. I don’t need to go into details as that would prove to further the gossip. My being present during a conversation and comments, which I thought were ambivalent, and even commenting caused things to be attached to my name. As it made its rounds, it found its way to a manager who then called me on the carpet. I tried to explain the situation but my presence that day cost me a great amount of trust.

The next punch came a couple days later. Here is the next rule of lesson for the day. Do not allow the lines of authority and responsibility to be
confused. With the loss of another employee I was asked to pick up the slack. That required access to their e-mail. Rather than giving me access
on my computer it was given on another computer under a manager’s username and password. This is my major mistake. That manager had to sign me in and I was operating on her system. I was awkward with it, but it came back to get me. I had access to a whole host of things. Some of it I had to come in contact with due to the nature of what I was doing. During which, I forwarded e-mails to may account for work, jokes, and other forwards. One forward from that manager’s account included some confidential material.  Well, that cost me my job.

It was the classic one-two. I did find it an honour I was being signed under the manager’s name, but I should have known I would be watched closely and highly scrutinized for what happened there. I should have been more careful in that position to what I might have been privy to. More importantly, I should have just had them move the access for the other e-mail to my computer and I could have totally been safe from this last scenario. I understand their situation, and I can see mine, and if both parties had been wiser, this whole thing could have been avoided.

Well, it has been a learning experience. I now start the job hunt again all over again. Just as I had met with HR to secure a full time position and
everything, I had quite the job search a month or so ago leaving me completely off guard.

Life goes on. I will have to be more careful, watchful, and wise in the future. The lady at the staffing agency told me she thought it was a bit of
a “throw Paul under the bus” scenario, but what is to be done now?

In other news, the Queen is here in Richmond and I am going to walk over and say hello to her. The best part, I don’t have to worry about getting out of work to attend the festivities.

Calvin Sheppard

This is more self explanatory. This is from Calvin Sheppard who is the
brother to my Nancy Adeline Shepherd. She would be my great, great great
grandmother. He spelled his name differently.

Between 1914 and 1915 a questionnaire form was sent to all known living
Tennessee Civil War Veterans. All were returned by 1922. I will type up
the questions and insert Calvin Sheppard’s response after the question from
the following pages.

The Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionnaires
Volume 5, Confederate Soldiers, pg 1946-1947

1. State your full name and present Post Office address:

Calvin Sheppard, Dandridge, Jefferson Co., Tenn.

2. State your age now:

Seventy Nine 14th of May

3. In what State and county were you born?

Pulaski County, Va.

4. In what State and county were you living when you enlisted in the service
of the Confederacy, or of the Federal Government?

Newbern (Pulaski county, Va.?) Confederacy.

5. What was your occupation before the war?

Farmer

6. What was the occupation of your father?

Farmer

7. If you owned land or other property at the opening of the war, state what
kind of property you owned, and state the value of your property as near as
you can.

—-

8. Did you or your parents own slaves? If so, how many?

No

9. If your parents owned land, state about how many acres.

My father owned 75 acres.

10. State as near as you can the value of all the property owned by your
parents, including land, when the war opened.

$1500.00

11. What kind of house did your parents occupy? State whether it was a log
house or frame house or built of other materials, and state the number of
rooms it had.

Log house, six rooms, good barn, well wattered and layed.

12. As a boy and young man, state what kind of work you did. If you worked
on a farm, state to what extent you plowed, worked with a hoe, and did other
kinds of similar work.

I did all kinds of work on the farm, plowed, hoed, cradled, —ed and did
any and everything that was to do on a farm.

13. State clearly what kind of work your father did, and what the duties of
your mother were. State all the kinds of work done in the house as well as
you can remember – that is, cooking, spinning, weaving, ect.

We had sheep and raised flax, had two good looms and two wheels my Mother
raised her own flax and spun wove and made clothes for the familydid her own
cooking.

14. Did your parents keep any servants? If so, how many?

They did not keep servants.

15. How was honest toil – as plowing, hauling and other sorts of honest work
of this class – regarded in your community? Was such work considered
respectable and honorable?

All honest work and toil was considered honorable in those days.

16. Did the white men in your community generally engage in such work?

Yes

17. To what extent were there white men in your community leading lives of
idleness and having others do their work for them?

Every body except a few rich men that owned slaves did their own work,
nearly everybody worked in those days.

18. Did the men who owned slaves mingle freely with those who did not own
slaves, or did slaveholders in any way show by their actions that they felt
themselves better than respectable, honorable men who did not own slaves?

—-

19. At the churches, at the schools, at public gatherings in general, did
slaveholders and non-slaveholders mingle on a footing of equality?

No

20. Was there a friendly feeling between slaveholders and non-slaveholders in
your community, or were they antagonistic towards each other?

Most always friendly

21. In a political contest in which one candidate owned slaves and the other
did not, did the fact that one candidate owned slaves help him in winning
the contest?

Not very much

22. Were the opportunities good in your community for a poor young man -
honest and industrious – to save up enough to buy a small farm or go in
business for himself?

Not much, wages was low and the rich men owned the land in those days.

23. Were poor, honest, industrious young men, who were ambitious to make
something of themselves, encouraged or discouraged by slaveholders?

No

24. What kind of school or schools did you attend?

We did not have any free schools in those days we had to pay for what we
got.

25. About how long did you go to school altogether?

—-

26. How far was it to the nearest school?

about four miles

27. What school or schools were in operation in your neighborhood?

—-

28. Was the school in your community private or public?

Privet I suppose we had to pay for it.

29. About how many months in the year did it run?

Three months

30. Did the boys and girls in your community attend school pretty regularly?

Yes

31. Was the teacher of the school you attended a man or a woman?

Mostly men

32. In what year and month and at what place did you enlist in the
Confederate or of the Federal Government?

Oct. 1_, 1862 Pulaski County, Va

33. State the name of your regiment, and state the names of as many members
of your company as you remember.

Company C. Jim Marton, Jack Duncan and myself I enlisted in a home guard
company and was on duty for 15 months at Dublin Va. then went in to regular
servis in company C. Horton command Brecanridge brigade.

34. After enlistment, where was your company sent first?

We went to the Saultville we was in a fight there then we went from one
place to another we was in the Clands? Valley.

35. How long after your enlistment before your company engaged in battle?

about 12 months

36. What was the first battle you engaged in?

Cla_ds? Valley

37. State in your own way your experience in the war from this time on until
the close. State where you went after the first battle – what you did, what
other battles you engaged in, how long they lasted, what the results were;
state how you lived in camp, how you were clothed, how you slept, what you
had to eat, how you were exposed to cold, hunger, and disease. If you were
in the hospital or in prison, state your experience here.

We went to Withville and was there one winter on duty we were very poorly
clothed had one blanket no matter how cold it was and very little to eat.

38. When and where were you discharged?

Christianburg, April 15?, 1865 we did not have telephones then and did not
know that Jen. Lee had surrendered.

39. Tell something of your trip home.

I walked home.

40. What kind of work did you take up when you came back home?

I worked by the day just when I could get work.

41. Give a sketch of your life since the close of the Civil War, stating
what kind of business you have engaged in, where you have lived, your church
relations, etc. If you have held an office or offices, state what it was.
You may state here any other facts connected with your life and experience
which has not been brought out by the questions.

I have worked hard all my life, farmed mostly.

42. Give the full name of your father. Born, at, in the county of, state
of? He lived at? Give also any particulars concerning him, as official
position, war services, etc. Books written by, etc.

William Shepard; —-, Pulaski co., va, —

43. Maiden name in full of your mother. She was the daughter of (full name)
and his wife (full name) who lived at?

Nancie Marton, William Marton, —-

44. Remarks on ancestry. Give here any and all facts possible in reference
to your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, ect., not including in
the foregoing, as where they lived, office held, Revolutionary or other war
services; what country the family came from to America; where first settled,
county and state; always giving full names (if possible) and never referring
to an ancestor simply as such without giving the name. It is desirable to
include every fact possible and to that end the full and exact record from
old Bibles should be appended on separate sheets of this size, thus
preserving the facts from loss.

My grandfather Marton ____ came from Irland and him and one son were in the
War of 1812. My grandfather Shepard was dead before I was born so I know
very little about them but they were Virginian.

 

In the poorhouse now

Order Book 5, page 25
September 2, 1873
On the motion of Anderson Linkous, Overseer of the Poor for High Wassie Township for an order to bind James Ross aged 3 years son of Nancy Ross who has become a county charge and it appearing to the Court that said James Ross is now a county charge.  It is ordered that said Overseer of the Poor bind out according to Law to James Meredith the said James Ross son of Nancy Ross aged 3 years until he attains the age of 21 years and besides teaching him reading, writing and arithmetic said Meredith shall be required to pay the said James Ross upon his attaining the age of 21 years the sum of 100 dollars.

The little boy is my great great grandfather.  My great great great grandmother was literally in the poorhouse.