Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Day I Discovered the Family Bible

I'm on a search...actually I think I have been on this search for more than 40 years.  A search for family members that I never had the opportunity to meet or only knew for a short time.  A search for my ancestors in the Hatch, Marley, Garrison and Hayworth lines.

I can remember the day the "genealogy bug" bit me.  I was sitting on my maternal grandmother's couch, when I was around 10 or 11, carefully holding a big family bible in which Grandma had written her children's names, all 12 of them, along with their birth dates, and in some cases their deaths too.  I was fascinated! Our family of five was small in comparison.  I am the oldest with two younger brothers.  Of the 12 children of Albert Hamilton and Mittie Ethel Hayworth Garrison, my mother was the youngest and one of only four girls.

I instinctively knew that what was written in that bible was very important information.  So much so that I copied all the names down that day, along with the dates that had been listed.  I kept that list all these years.  Part of it is shown to the right.  That was the beginning of my love for family history!

Grandma and Grandpa Garrison moved from High Point to West End, North Carolina  in the early 1920's.  My grandfather was a tobacco farmer and my grandmother, with the help of the older children, took care of the house, the little ones, helped keep all her family and the farm workers fed and helped on the farm when needed.  In 1925, William, the fifth born child and the fourth son, died at the age of three.  That had to be a very difficult time for all.  By the time my mother was born in 1939, my grandmother was just a few months shy of 45. My mother's oldest brothers were already married with children, making her an aunt from the time of birth.

Albert and Mittie Garrison's first house in West End, NC

Several of the Garrison children were born in High Point but many were born in the family home in West End,  just about five minutes down the road from Pinehurst.  Their home, shown above, was not much bigger than many people's living rooms, maybe smaller.  In 1935, a new house, shown below, was built across the street, which was two stories and had lots of bedrooms.  It must have seemed huge after living in the previous house.

Second home of the Garrison family.

There was a bathroom on the back porch which I always thought was a little strange but that was a relatively new addition to the house.  When the house was first built there had been an outhouse just down the path from the back door.  The bathroom on the porch would get so cold in the winter. It was not unusual to find a little portable heater in there to help keep the room warm.  I can't imagine having to trek down to the outhouse.  That must have been miserable.  I wish I could have been there the day they got the new bathroom.  I can just see everyone standing around in that tiny room, checking it out, flushing it over and over just to hear the sound.  It must have been a thrill!

I remember when I was growing up with my two brothers, we were always fighting to get into the bathroom.  Can you imagine how it must have been with so many family members and one bathroom?  An adventure, no doubt!  So many wonderful memories and stories!  I'll share some more  in the next blog.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  I have learned so much about genealogical research by watching webinars that are available online.  There are so many websites that provide these for absolutely free. There is a huge genealogy based conference held in Salt Lake City each year called rootstech.  It just finished up this last week and they have a lot of the speaker's talks available to watch.  Click here to go to the webinar page.  I have watched several and found them helpful but was blown away by the tips I picked up in Thomas MacEntee's "Building a Genealogy Research Toolbox".   Check it out!

No comments: