~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~

The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.

I am in search of my family.

I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.

I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.

~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~

Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.

Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.


"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."

~You live as long as you are remembered.~

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown

"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."


Arrowood Family

Friday, August 7, 2009

Children of John Henry and Nora Arrowood

Johnie Arrowood & family,
born 12/09/1916

& E.L. Gunter

Lemuel Arrowood on
the right.
b. 3/20/1906

Garrett Arrowood
b. 10/01/1904

Henry Robert &
Robert Henry Arrowood,
Henry is on the left.
b. 4/20/1902

Sid & Sarah
Arrowood Honeycutt
b. 3/05/1897

Spencer Arrowood
b. 3/17/1895

Francis "France"
b. 10/16/1893

The Bee Keeping Preacher Named John Henry

John Henry Arrowood was born January 02, 1872, in Brummetts Creek, Mitchell Co, N.C.
He was the child of Samuel Augustus and Sarah Ellen Winters Arrowood. Born the sixth and last child to this couple.

John Henry was a "Preacher Man" in the mountains.

He married Nora Barnett. Nora’s father was Rev. Spencer Barnett. Nora was born July 03, 1875, in Poplar, Mitchell County, North Carolina. They married on December 18, 1892, in Mitchell County. They had a total of 13 children:
Richard, Frances “France”, Spencer, Sarah, David, Welzia “Welzie”, Robert Henry and Henry Robert (twins), Garrett, Lemuel, Esther, Dessie, and Johnie.

John Henry was written about by a local man by the name of Harvey J. Miller  (John Henry's nephew by marriage). The following are excerpts from the articles:

The Rev. J.H. Arrowood of Pigeon Roost area recalls seeing and hearing a crowing red bird in the Pigeon Roost area about 60 years ago, but does not recall ever seeing a white robin, recently discovered inhabiting the area. Arrowood said the red bird would alight on a hill near his home and crow like a bantam rooster.

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller.

Rev. and Mrs. J.H. Arrowood spent last week at Johnson City, visiting Arrowood's brother, the Rev. Sam Arrowood, who was seriously hurt when he was kicked by a horse.

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller, writer for the Spruce Pine, N.C. newspaper, dated 11/9/1950.


Bears, once plentiful and feared by man and beast in Pigeon Roost area, are seldom seen now. But such places as Bear Wallow, Bear Cove and Bear Knob are reminders of the early days when the area was a howling wilderness and bears roamed the wilds.

In pioneer days, the bear population was so numerous, the animals prowled among the settlers in search for food. Oftentimes they tore up the beehives to get honey, and they raided the streams for fish. They also made it hard for the moonshiners. They raided for mash and whiskey, and upset the barrels and vessels used around the distilling plant. The animals were so destructive and so plentiful that the settler's often had to get out their guns and go in search for them.

Early settler's trapped bear for food and clothing. The meat was used for food, and the hides for clothing, bed covering and carpets for the homesteads.

Names given certain areas by the early settlers, because of the bears, have been retained through the years.

John Arrowood, great-grandfather of the Rev. John H. Arwood, now nearing 90 years old, came over from England. He settled his family on the upper reaches of Pigeon Roost Creek. Due to the number of bear wallowing in the mud where he drove his stakes for a homestead, he called the place Bear Wallow. For years, bears continued to wallow in the mud near the old homesite.

The Rev. Arwood now resides in Spruce Pine, but when he lived here a few years ago, he told us his ancestor planted and grew an orchard at his Bear Wallow farm. He said when the trees began to bear, the bears would climb the trees for fruit. The older bears would shake the trees so that the cubs on the ground could have some.

Note: The community of Bear Wallow NC still exists today!

Excerpts taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller, dated 4/12/62.

Ever since he was a boy, the Rev. John H. Arwood of Pigeon Roost has found diversion in keeping bees. Through his years in the ministry, he has learned to respect the value of a hobby. While he has studied insects all his life, he fully believes that bees are the most interesting of all insects.

Despite his advanced age of nearing 84 (to be exact, his 84th birthday is January 2nd), he has found this season to be the most wonderful one of his long career in the keeping of bees. This probably is because experience has taught him much in the bee business.

He has saved ten more hives this season. When there are two or three swarms at the same time-that never occurs very often-he places them all together in the same hive, which makes over a bushel of bees. But he has gums, as he calls them, that hold over two bushels, which handily take care of the big swarms.

He said when he accumulated the different swarms together, the bees would kill all the queen bees but one. He said the bigger the late swarms were, the better they got along.

Arwood stayed able this summer to climb trees and ladders to saw off the limbs where the bee swarms had collected, so he could let the limbwhere the bees were down with a rope to the gum. Then they are shaken into their new home and the lid placed on top. At night, when the bees have quieted down, the gum is placed where it is to stay.

He owns two veils, but did not use a bee cap or gloves when working with the bees this summer. He often dipped up bees with his bare hands and used one smoker that he made out of cloth rags. He got very few bee stings this summer. He said he had learned to work gently with bees.

Arwood has different types of hives or gums. Some are patent; others around hollow log with set crossbars inside. A few of them are long, square gums made out of lumber with set crossbars inside of them too. He has some hives that he calls bee palaces that once had small glass windows in them. He has one gum log that belonged to his mother, that probably is about 75 years old. He said his mother always kept many bees.

He has his bees located in one place in straight rows at the foot of a little hillside, with a small shed in the background where he has stored away empty bee hives. The shed is covered with clapboard. Arwood at the present time is the owner of 31 bee hives. He has more than any bee-keeper in the entire Pigeon Roost section.

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller.

The Rev. and Mrs. J.H. Arrowood, an elderly Pigeon Roost couple, are probably the only family in the Carolina mountain country which will still buy roasted coffee beans and grind their own coffee. The Arrowoods grind their own coffee as they use it on an old-time coffee mill. They claim the flavor is much better when it is fresh ground.

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller.

The last corn mill on Pigeon Roost that was pulled by a water wheel was owned and operated by the late Rev. and Mrs. John H. Arrowood, located in the upper section. He had one of the small water wheels that was called the undershot kind. He had to aleays catch water in the mill race to get enough water to keep the wheel rolling. This mill wheel was hooked to a dynamo machine by Arrowood's son, R.H., and they had the first electric lights on Pigeon Roost, as well as the first electric radio.

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller, dated 3/16/72.

For several years, there had not been any services held in the "House of Welcome Church" in the upper section of Pigeon Roost until the doors were recently opened for Sunday School, now slated for each Sunday morning and two preaching services scheduled each month, but the time is yet to be announced by the pastor, the Rev. Harrison Street. The church was named "House of Welcome" when it was first established many years ago by the late Rev. John H. Arwood.

The church is located just below the little hilltop where the Bennett Cemetery is located and where lies buried Mr. and Mrs. Elac Bennett, one of the early pioneer couples of the Pigeon Roost area. Mr. Bennett was a farmer and herb doctor, and Mrs. Bennett was a midwife.

There was first a Freewill Baptist Church in the old log school house that stood about a mile down the road from the present "House of Welcome Church".

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller, dated 8/6/64.

***Aunt Hilda remembers going up to see the family and going to church at the "House of Welcome", where they were having an old-fashioned 'Foot Washing'.***

Fonzer Miller attended the funeral services Saturday of his uncle, the Rev. John H. Arwood.

Preacher Arwood, as he was affectionally called on Pigeon Roost, lived here practically all his life until about 10 years ago, when he moved to Spruce Pine where his son Robert lived.

Preacher Arwood had been an ordained minister of the Freewill Baptist Church denomination for over 60 years, and pastored churches until poor health prevented him from doing so some several years ago.

His ministerial work was begun a long time before good roads ever came to this mountain area, and he traveled from one church to another on horseback. The writer recalls that he once told us that several times the church that he wanted to preach at was so far away that he would have to start on the trip Friday so he could get there and he would stop at some of his friends somewhere on the way and stay the nights.

Cold or disagreeable weather hardly ever prevented him from meeting with his appointment, but he said, as he was telling us one time about his ministerial work, that his shoes had many times been frozen to the stirrups.

So, with the going away of Rev. Arwood, another pioneer preacher has passed on.

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller, dated 11/21/63.

Notes for Rev. John Henry "J.H." Arrowood:
John was given the last name Arrowood, but later began spelling it Arwood. In his family bible, John spelled all the children's last names as Arrowood with their births, until he got to Johnie. He then used Arwood. He may have changed the spelling between 1914 and 1916.

John Henry Arrowood was ordained as a minister on December 17, 1904. Ordaining council signatures: N. Honeycutt, A. Badamo, G. Hopson, A. N. Benfield, and T. H. McCoury. J. H. was in Relief, Mitchell County, NC in 1935. When he died, he had been ill for 2 years.

John Henry passed away on November 02, 1963, in Spruce Pine and was buried at Sinking Creek Cemetery, (Barnett Cemetery) Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee. Nora Barnett Arrowood passed away on March 01, 1967, in Erwin, Tennessee. She was buried alongside John Henry at Sinking Creek Cemetery.

John Henry also operated a cement factory and produced cement products.

My Aunt Hilda remembers fondly the visits up to the mountains to visit with Uncle John and Aunt Nora. They had a mountain home that had a creek running right under one corner of the house. The creek water ran straight into the house and into the sink in the kitchen, running continuously. She said that the food was unbelievable when Aunt Nora put on a spread. The kids were plentiful and there was fun to be had by all. Hilda remembers going into their root cellar being quite an experience. She said it was scary and dark as a child. John and Nora had an old hollowed out trunk of a tree, nestled under water in the creek. This is where they stored their perishable items such as milk and butter. It was right upstream, of course from the outhouse that was located over the creek. That was fortunate for the outhouse to be downstream of the outside ‘refrigerator‘, but not so fortunate for the neighbor’s that lived further downstream…

Places Of Note Along Our Trail

Pigeon Roost is named for the flocks of carrier pigeons (some say they were passenger pigeons) that once roosted there.

Poplar, once known as "Hollar Poplar Creek," was named for an enormous hollow poplar tree that provided shelter for Confederate soldiers, and was later used as a barn to house a team of mules.

Relief is short for Hart's Relief, a popular medicine whose principal ingredient was alcohol. It was sold at Squire Peterson's Store in that community around 1870.

Roan Mountain may have earned its name in one of several ways. One explanation is that famed explorer Daniel Boone's roan horse became exhausted on one of Boone's trips across the mountain, so he left it there to graze on the mountain's lush grasses. Another is that the name comes from the roan color of the mountain itself, when viewed from a distance in the late afternoon. Thirdly, roan is a corruption of "Rowan," a tree species (also known as the mountain ash) that grows on Roan Mountain.

The Roan

Bakersville, North Carolina, has long been referred to as the "Gateway to Roan Mountain."

Roan Mountain, at 6,285 feet, is one of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountain Range. To many who have seen the mountain first-hand, it is considered most beautiful in the entire range. According to Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina for whom Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in the range, and Mitchell County are named, "It is the most beautiful of all the high mountains. The top of the Roan may be described as a vast meadow without a tree to obstruct this prospect, where a person may gallop his horse for a mile or two with Carolina at his feet on one side and Tennessee on the other, and a green ocean of mountains rising in tremendous billows immediately around him" (1836).

The mountain is unique for several reasons. Perhaps it is most widely known for the world's largest natural Catawba Rhododendron gardens. Over 600 acres of rhododendron thickets burst into full bloom in mid-to-late June of each year. The bloom is so profuse that the mountain sometimes appears as a pink or lavender hue viewed from Bakersville, a dozen miles away. Each year thousands of visitors from around the world visit the mountain to behold its beauty. Bakersville hosts an annual Rhododendron Festival each year in June and has done so since 1946.

How "The Roan," as it is affectionately known to area residents, got its name may be due in part to this purple hue. Other legends claim that Daniel Boone left a roan horse on the Roan Balds while he journeyed farther west. When he returned, he found the horse had grown fat and sleek on the lush carpets of grass, sometimes a foot deep, which flourish on the balds of the Roan. These balds remain a mystery to science. Many square miles of treeless areas cover the crest of The Roan on both the North Carolina and Tennessee sides. Many less romantic think the treeless condition is a result of forest fires started by lightning. In any case, this ecosystem--the rhododendron, the balds, and the majestic spruces and firs is found mostly in Canada.

The mountain abounds in rare varieties of plants. Andre Micheaux and Asa Gray, pioneers in the study of botany, visited the area in the 1700's and the early 1800's and discovered and collected species. Gray's Lily was discovered on The Roan's summit.

Visitors to The Roan escape the lowland's prostrating heat, mosquitoes and hay fever. They also find an area where the blackberry bushes have no thorns, where there are no snakes, and where naturally occurring waterfalls and springs offer a cold, sweet water not found any other place. A fortunate few visitors are treated to the mountain's mysterious phenomena: the circular rainbow and the unearthly "mountain music," which on occasion hums its way across the balds.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fielden and Lillie Arrowood

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Fielden Winfred Arrowood was the third child born to Welzia and Isabell Correll Arrowood.
Fielden “Phil” Arrowood was born July 13, 1883. He married Lillie Miller. Lillie was born April 25, 1888.

He and Lillie had six children. First born was Maggie in 1908, then came Luther Martin on January 09, 1909. The next child was Bessie Mamie Arrowood in 1912, then they had Lonnie "Lone" Arrowood. The last two were Glenn Henry, on May 08, 1916, and sister Helen, who was born after Fielden’s death.

Fielden passed away on September 07, 1918, in Gastonia , North Carolina, at the age of 36. He was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Gastonia. The death certificate says he died from a stomach ulcer.

He and Lillie were on the 1910 census records, shown as living in the township of Bradshaw in Mitchell County, North Carolina. They must have moved to Gastonia sometime within the next seven or eight years. I located Fielden and Lillie in the Gastonia Directory, in the year of 1918.

After Fielden died and as the years passed, Lillie and her children fell out of touch with the Arrowood family. I found out that Lillie lived in Gaston County until her death on September 23, 1976. Apparently she never remarried. I found Lillie on the Belmont City Directory.

In later years Glenn Henry and his wife, Hazel, would gather with us at our family reunions. Glenn married Hazel Warren and had two children, a girl and a boy. Sadly, Glenn passed away on October 24, 2004 in Mecklenburg County, N.C. He was always quick with a smile, a handsome man.

Samuel and Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood

Samuel Augustus Arrowood was a preacher man in the mountains of North Carolina.
He was born in Yancey County, North Carolina in the year of 1836.
He married Sarah Ellen “Ellender” Miller on April 21, 1858 in Yancey County. Sarah was the daughter of William N. Winters and Elizabeth “Liza” Shell. Sarah Ellen's parents are buried at Morgan Branch Freewill Baptist Church Cemetery, Carter County , Tennessee.

Samuel and Sarah Ellen are my great-great-grand parents.

Samuel and Sarah had six children. Welzia Augustus Arrowood was their firstborn and my great grandfather. Next came a daughter named Mariah, a son named William, a son named Samuel Augustus, Jr., another daughter named Eliza Caroline, and lastly a son named John Henry.

Samuel was listed as head of household in the 1870 census of Carter County, Tennessee. Just about three years later, about 1873, Samuel was dead at 37 years of age.

Sarah was left widowed, with six children, the eldest of which, was twelve years old. Sometime soon after losing Samuel, Sarah remarried to a man named David Miller. David was a widower as well, having lost his wife, Margaret Jane Callahan about three years prior. David and Margaret had seven children during their marriage. Sarah Ellen had another five children with David. Firstborn was Albert, then next, Locky, Polly, David Jr., and Lydia.

David MILLER was born in 1822 in Poplar, NC. He died before 1900. Birthdate determined from 1870 U.S. Census records. He was commonly known as "crippled" Dave because of an injury incurred in the Civil War. He was reportely a Union soldier. David is in the 1880 Mitchell County Census with second wife S.Ellender Miller and the following children: Samuel Miller 19, Delilia Miller 18, Nancy J. Miller 16, Albert Miller 5, Locky Miller (female) 4, Lydia Miller 2, Polly Miller 7 mo, W.M. Arrowood Step-son 14,Elizabeth Arrowood Step-daughter 12 , J.H. Arrowood Step-son 10. ***

Stop just for a moment and imagine the size of that dinner table..
All those kids: mine, yours and ours..whew. Her original six, his seven, and then the five from their marriage.

Sarah was married to David for about 27 years before he died about 1900. Sarah was listed on the 1900 census of Hollow Poplar Township, Mitchell County, North Carolina, age 65 years, living with son David and daughter Liddie.

Sarah Ellen operated a grist mill on Pigeon Roost until a flood washed it away.
Sarah Ellen came to the area to visit, or maybe live with her family in August of 1914. She passed away and was buried in Mt. Olivet Methodist Church Cemetery in Gastonia, North Carolina. She did not have a marker placed at that time. About one year later, on August 1, 1914, her son Welzia died and was buried right beside of his mother. In September of that same year, Welzia's brother William passed away.

Sarah’s grave remained unmarked for years. I found her death certificate while searching for the family and listed on it, was the place her body was interred. My Dad, Steve Lewis Arrowood, had a marker placed on her gravesite. Finally, she is remembered with a proper headstone.

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Flood of 1900 and Corn Mill

The following article was published in the State magazine published in Raleigh about the great flood of 1916:

Several old timers here said it was nothing compared to the great May flood of 1900.

F.M. Miller of this place reports that he was only about a month old when the great May flood of 1900 occurred, and he recalls of his parents telling him that they had to flee to higher ground when their log cabin in the valley was being surrounded by water.

Another old timer reported that when Aunt Ellen Miller's building that housed her old corn mill that was pulled by the water wheel went floating the creek, the people who were watching the rising stream from the hillside saw a white cat, that acted unconcerned, sitting on the roof of the building which rode on down the creek and the house stayed together for sure until it drifted out into the river.

Excerpt taken from the writings of Harvey J. Miller, dated 3/21/61.

This is Sarah Ellen "Ellender" Winters Arrowood: Seated on the left in dark dress.

From Family Tree Files
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Monday, August 3, 2009

History Of Gastonia, North Carolina

Gastonia, centered in the middle of Gaston County, began as a railroad junction settlement between the Charlotte and Atlanta Airline Railroad, now the Southern Railway, and the Chester and Lenoir Narrow Gauge line. The location of the railroads in Gaston County shifted the focus of the land from essentially agriculture to what would become one of the greatest centers for textile production in the world. By 1876 a population of a little more than 200 people made this junction crossroads, called Gastonia Station, their home. With the increase of employment and social opportunities the community petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly to grant a charter of incorporation. On January 26, 1877, Gastonia incorporated with its limits extending 1/2 mile from the railroad junction.
By 1910 Gastonia was home to 11 cotton mills, a public school system, electric lights and began paving roads. Hence the town of Gastonia grew and slowly outdistanced its neighbors as the central hub of political and social activity and in 1911 replaced Dallas as the county seat.
Also in 1911, Gastonia doubled its size when it annexed the huge Loray Mills and its surrounding settlements (to the west of the city limits). Another significant annexation occurred in 1964 when the city annexed a large tract of land to the east and increased its size again by about one half. This area also includes what is now the retail center for the region. In 1911 the Piedmont and Northern Railroad (P&N) an interurban line began running from Gastonia to Charlotte and furnished the city with its first and only streetcar. The streetcar ran directly along Franklin Avenue starting at Webb Street and continuing to Church Street. The line continued to Groves Mill before connecting with the P&N. In later years with the increased use of the automobile this location became a source of aggravation for many motorists and in 1948, Gastonia retired its last street car. In the late 1920’s Wilkinson Blvd. was built and became North Carolinas first four lane highway.
Physically, Gastonia has many influences, past and present, affecting its development. Originally people and industries settled along the rivers because of fertile lands and water power. After the technology for steam power became available, factories no longer depended on their location next to water and began setting up along the rail lines to take advantage of their easy and affordable transportation. Naturally, villages followed the mills and Gastonia developed as a collection of dispersed communities complete with their own shopping, civic and religious centers, usually tied to the mill itself. As the population increased and industries diversified, Gastonia began to fill out. Like many other cities that developed under the influence of the automobile Gastonia witnessed a decline of commercial and residential uses in its central core and an increase of strip developments along major thoroughfares. A movement of residential uses to the periphery has also been evident.
By 1930 the population had increased to 17,093 with about 22% of that population employed in the textile mills. Before the end of the year one of two mill workers was unemployed and most employed workers were on part-time schedules. Mill workers brought in from the mountains, skilled only in farming and factory work, were idle unless they could return to the land. December of 1930 saw half of the population unemployed, and the First National Bank closed its doors followed by four other local banks. Textile mills either combined, incorporated, or closed.

This way of life was slowly coming to an end. Below is Main Street Gastonia in 1899.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Service at Mount Olivet, Gastonia ~

The Arrowood Family Crest

Mt. Olivet Methodist Church, Gastonia, North Carolina

I had the chance to go to a service at Mt. Olivet one bright day in May. The cars lined up along the road leading up to the tiny church. The sun shone bright against the dazzling white whitewash of the building. The doorway was small and narrow, inside were bare plank floors and you could smell the age of those boards. Not a bad smell, just a slightly musty, woody smell. I thought of the souls that had crossed that doorway a long time back..and I thought about the soles of the shoes that scuffed along those old worn boards. There was a spot empty beside the window, on the end of a pew and I found my seat. The window was large paned and held open by a chunk of wood. The smell of spring and honeysuckle coming through the open window is something I will not forget. Looking out that window, I could see the headstone of Welzia, my great grandpa. I looked at the pulpit and tried to imagine him standing there, delivering the sermon. Tall and dark haired, with a mustache.

There was an old upright piano before me to the right and on it a large vase of purple irises. My Dad's favorite. I let my heart be taken back to a simpler time and place.

Welzia and Isabell Correll Arrowood

Welzia was born February 28, 1860, in Yancey County, North Carolina. Born the son of Samuel Arrowood born about 1836, and Sarah Ellen Winters, born May of 1840, Carter County, Tennessee. Welzia was the firstborn son of six children.

On the 1880 census record of Harrell's Township, North Carolina, Isabell was living with her father David and her mother Nancy. Two houses down, in the home of James Garland, lived Welzia, working as a farm hand. One can only imagine how they met and fell in love. They were married that same year. Welzia was 19 and Isabell was 16.

Welzia worked in the Claire Mill as a dolfer and was also an ordained Methodist minister. From stories I have heard, he was a "circuit preacher" and would travel around when folks needed "preaching to".
For awhile, he and Isabell lived right by the mill. There is a water tower that stands just about where the house once stood, according to my Dad's descriptions. Gastonia has moved on and spread out and only the old store once attached to the mill remains.
Welzia and Isabell had a large family. Isabell was a no-nonsense sort of women, she took no "guff" off of anyone, according to my grandmother. She always wore an apron with big, deep pockets and carried things around with her most all the time. Grandma was intrigued by the woman, I could tell by her stories. She seemed almost to "know things" according to grandma.
Grandma thought it was because she had 'Indian Blood' in her..not sure about that as a fact.
Together they had twelve children, one of which was Lewis William Arrowood, my grandfather.
They lost one baby in infancy, Samuel, from choking on a peach pit. Then she lost Fielden three years after losing Welzia.

Welzia died at the age of 55 years from pnuemonia. He is buried alongside of Isabell in the Mt. Olivet Methodist Church cemetery in Gastonia. Early on, Mt. Olivet was known as Ebeneezer Methodist Church. The Gaston Gazette newspaper ran an article about area old churches and published a picture of the church with Welzia's stone in the foreground. My Dad was so excited about that article.
My Dad, Steve Arrowood, never had a chance to know his grandfather. Steve was born about 16 years after Welzia's death. Welzia was way too young to die.

Isabell was born to David and Nancy Harrington Correll. Her family and her were listed on the census of 1880 in Harrell's Township in Mitchell County, North Carolina. After Welzia's death she went to live with her daughter's family, Esther and George Long on the Modena Extension in Gastonia. Esther was a twin to my grandfather, Lewis William. Isabell fell while living there and broke her hip, she became partially bedridden and never really recovered. She developed pnuemonia and died. Isabell was 72 years, 8 months and 18 days old at the time of her death and she was buried alongside Welzia.
I cherish the memories of my own grandparents. I had all four until I was 18 years old. Makes me feel very lucky to have had them. Those memories are cherished.

The Trail To My Roots

I come from a sturdy lot of people. People not afraid of who they are, or where they have been. Not wealthy people, by any standard, but hard working folks. Some would call them "hillbillies", some would call them the "salt of the earth".
Me? I simply call them mine.
I began looking with very little to go on. I knew my great grandparent's names on my father's side and it turned out they were only nicknames...as was the case, often, in rural areas. Names were used and handed down generation after generation until they became more of an endearment than the original name. This searching has become my passion. I am addicted to finding more information about them, who they really were; how they lived, how they loved, and how they died.
The search to know them has been a rewarding one. My search seems to be smiled on by the angels, because I have found whatever I was searching for, fairly easily.
Angels or not, I'd like to think that I am being smiled down on.
Every one of those that have come before me, have left a tiny speck of themselves in me. I want to know each and every one.
Maybe I will find a little more of myself along the way....

I cannot begin to tell you what it has meant to me, to stand at the grave of my fourth great-grand parents. To know they have walked that very same path before. To run my fingers through the grooves that the engraver made, forever etching their names in the stone. I wonder sometimes if I am alone as I visit, or is there a whisper of them in the rustle of the leaves in the trees?

Go ahead, call me a romantic sap. I thrill to the hunt. And the finding, well that is just the icing on the cake. It leaves me with a big smile and a tad emotional.
This is who I am, who I came from, and without them, I would not be here.
For that, I am more than grateful.

If you haven't sought out your ancestors..maybe it is time you did.
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