~ 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."
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Life was grand in Grandma's kitchen.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
I never stop, really. It would be like casting aside a good book that you just must know the ending of.
Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood Miller's brothers and sisters lived in the area around Elk Park and the small community of Cranberry, in Avery County. Avery County is just several miles or so from Roan Mountain Tennessee.
We made our way up the highway, heading back to the mountains and heading 'toward home' for me. I was excited beyond words, once again. I guess you already had guessed that, my faithful reader. This stuff gets me going. The excitement and the possibility of finding what I seek are overwhelming.
I had info that there was a Winters family cemetery in the area of Elk Park and I was determined to find it.
And find it , we did!
In the town area of Elk Park , now, it's really small folks, we found an old fashioned type hardware store. We ventured in, and asked people we met about the location of a cemetery called 'Banner Cemetery'.
We have relatives buried in Banner, as well.
One man stopped and chatted when I asked him about the cemetery. He told me that it was just up the road on the right, surrounded by a white fence. I looked up, and sure enough there it was. In plain sight. He asked who I was looking for and I said the Winters family. He smiled and said, you know what? I bet we are cousins. And we are. His mother was a Winters and he said..Yep, The "Seven Devils" Winter family! Shaking his head with agreement, we both had heard all the stories about the Seven Devils.
It was one of those moments when you have to try and talk around a good sized lump in your throat and your eyes tear up to overfilled, even if you try hard not to. Dad would have been overjoyed with shaking this man's hand, but I was the one there to do it instead. He smiled and said, "Hello there, cousin"! He knew that his line traced back to William 'Billy' Winters, our ancestor , as well, buried right up the road alongside of Shell creek on Roan Mountain. I knew then, that we were for sure, cousins.
He told me a tale about a William Zebedee "Zeb" Winters, who was the constable (Sheriff) there in Elk Park. He said he was ambushed and killed in the line of duty and after a quick search, sure enough I found him! Zeb was the son of John Winters and Lana (Mary) Cook Winters.
William "Zeb" Winters. Died in 1922 from what I can tell. He left behind three children and a young wife, Charlotte Abigail Hollis Winters (his third wife). He is buried in the small cemetery up on the knoll overlooking the town of Elk Park.
Zeb, as the story goes, was on his way to investigate a murder and was killed while going to the scene.
Zeb Winters has a memorial page on a 'Fallen Police Officer' site, but there is no mention of the guilty ever serving prison time. I spoke with someone that knew the circumstances and he assures that Charlie went to prison for the crime. He even saw him when he returned home.
May poor Zebedee rest in peace ~ This story only gets more interesting, and it reads like a movie plot for sure. More info soon!
This Buchanan cousin, that we happened upon in town and spoke with, initially, came down the line from John H. Winters, (one of the Devils) and brother to our Sarah Ellen.
There along a knoll overlooking Christmas tree farms on the mountainside nearby, rests our Winters clan.
As I often do when I find myself in these old burying grounds, my mind wandered back in time to a scene that had to have happened, when someone was buried up this steep slope. A horse and carriage no doubt brought the person up, and what kept the poor mourners from tumbling down the mountain I will never know.
I had to watch my step carefully, as I took pictures, the hillside was such a steep grade. Amazing.
The descendant that we met, told us that his mother, Virginia, still lives in the old home place in Elk Park. We found the road and took a picture of the sign, of course.
Virginia is 99 years young. I know with her passing , sadly we will lose more family info. It is just the way of things. I would love to have her stories, to document and preserve.
Our family's history is steeped into this area along the NC / TN line. Just up the road is Carter County, TN and about 8 miles from Elk Park is Roan Mountain, where the mother and father of the Seven Devils are both buried. William "Billy" Winters and Eliza Shell Winters. What a brood they had!
This family of ours had it tough. The many graves of their children attest to that. I see them intermingled in the cemeteries, young lives cut short because of the hard way of life. I feel proud when I think of how they must have struggled to survive in those harsh winters, but they did survive. They were sturdy people, strong willed, too, no doubt . That makes me very proud to be a descendant. I know some of that determination and drive was passed down to me. Just ask my sweetie about my stubborn streak...Grin.
Finding the final resting place of our kin has become so important to me and I have wondered about it, myself at times.
What makes this quest so consuming? Why is it so important to me?
What is this about, really, and where does it come from exactly?
Is it the search and the just knowing, along with placing them among the rest of the family in their rightful place? Yes, partly.
It is documenting the information for those that are yet to come, too.
Many markers are endangered and won't be there forever.
There is a ton of reasons, I guess, but the main one is just because I love this so, and feel like it is what I am supposed to be doing.
I am over the moon when I find more info and another search in the making. I am carrying out my Dad's wish. I am going back to the beginnings of me, the beginnings of all of us in our family. I feel so connected to those that have gone before me and I feel closer to the mountains than I ever have.
Documenting it here for others to find is another way of preserving our heritage.
What I can't accurately describe here is the way I really felt while I standing on the knoll, overlooking the mountains and knowing that my family lies here, in hallowed ground.
No wonder we, as a family, all love being in the mountains.
It is in our blood.
It is who we are.
It has been a part of our family, for generations.
It is our home , plain and simple.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I found some interesting stories about our ancestor. Whether or not they are true, now I can't rightly say. But you have to hear them, don't you? I think all stories passed down through the generations have to have at least one grain of truth, or else they are just plain entertaining and that is why they are retold.
There has to be a good reason for the retelling of all stories, after all.
You can deduce and come to your own conclusions. I want to believe that all of our ancestors were good, kind, and noble people . Never did a thing wrong in all their lives.
But, what are you to think when juicy stories abound? Grin.
Dad had heard about the 'Seven Devils' and he was the first to mention it to me. That started me looking and the looking led to the finding. I found a tidbit here and a smidge there. Putting them down in one place seems fitting for the generations yet to come. Afterall, that is my main reason for being here, folks.
William "Billy" N. Winters was born on Canoe Creek, Burke County, North Carolina, about the year 1819. He was the oldest of nine children born to John and Nancy Daniels Winters. William was married to Eliza Shell, daughter of Daniel Shell. about 1836-1837 Eliza's mother was a Miller. They lived in the Shell Creek area of Carter County Tennessee where they raised a total of fourteen siblings; seven girls and seven boys. (Father of our Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood)
William, and Eliza, have the distinction of being the parents of the famous, 'Seven Devils', the Winters brothers. I'm not sure that their notoriety as being labled Seven Devil's is a true reflection of their character. I would prefer to think of them as hard working men who couldn't be pushed around. I have heard all kinds of stories about their meanness, whether true or not, I can't say. I do know that at least one of them was killed by a man, Alfred Briggs, who hit him over the head with a shovel. One of them who's name was Nathaniel, and was known as blind Nat Winters, died as the result of being runover by a train, severing his head from his body. Carrick Nelson went blind but died a natural death.
One lady, a relative, I met while living in Canton, Ohio, told me a couple stories about William N. Winters that was somewhat amusing. It seems that William loved to engage in a good fist fight. She told of William while standing talking to a group of men in the town of Elk Park, N.C., and on one occasion, he suddenly looked at his watch, and looking somewhat exasperated, said," I'm due for a fist fight in Fields of Toe in seven minutes" and he broke into a dead run heading for the place of engagement. The place where the fight was supposed to take place was about six miles distance away.
She then related this story to me. She said, Eliza asked William to go out back and bring her in some wood for her cook stove. William very dutifully arose, and went out the back door. The problem was, William was gone four years before he returned, with the wood. He came back through the same door he had left through with a arm load of wood and said to Eliza, "Here honey, is your wood".
No one ever knew where he had been all that time he was gone.
Many stories are around about how tough the Seven Devils were, some about how mean.
I like to think they weren't so much mean as determined not to be pushed around. One son was killed by Alfred Briggs, who hit him over the head with a shovel.
One son, Nathaniel, was blind, known as 'Blind Nat Winters'.
He was ran over by a train, reportedly the accident severed his head.
Sadly, Carrick Winters went blind as well , but he died of natural causes.
Wouldn't you just love the opportunity, to sit and talk to Sarah Ellender
and hear what she has to say about her Dad and her brothers??
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Photo Credit: 911digitalarchive.org repository
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This photo was enhanced as best I could get it to go. The original is a less than two inch square photo!
Hilda was in possession of this old photo. I was just a baby girl when this was taken.
I hope I have the names attached to the right lady, if not, please let me know!
Hilda really favored her Mom at this age. So neat to get to see this one.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
David M. Hull (1815-1902) is buried here. David is the son of William Hull and Catherine Cline Hull, who are both believed to be buried at Mount Vernon Church in Vale, Lincoln County, North Carolina.
William of course, was a brother to my ancestor, Abner Hull. Both of whom are sons of Benjamin Hull and Sarah Hutchison Hull, buried at Hulls Grove.
David M. Hull and Nancy Hoyle Hull's daughter was Catherine Ellis Hull. Catherine married Thomas Newton Owensby and they are both buried in Antioch, near David Hull. They do not have markers bearing their names, sadly, but descendants verify they are indeed buried here. Nancy is buried at Pisgah.
Finding David was exciting and placing him in his rightful space on my tree, was just wonderful. This link linked me to a friend of mine, who is also my neighbor. Just a few doors away from me and we are linked several ways in our trees, forever friends and also family. Her family and mine intermarried through the years, and wove a colorful tapestry from the country land of South Carolina to Gaston County and Cleveland County in North Carolina. The story just keeps on going.
I recently went to a family reunion up in the mountains of North Carolina very near the Tennessee border. Never thinking that I was related to these fine folks, just sharing in friendship by accepting their gracious invitation. I got to talking to a nice couple, and sure enough..found a relative..This relative and I have several ties to the same families and the list just continues..Amazing stuff, this family tree searching.
|Thomas Newton Owensby |
Catherine "Catie" Ellis Hull Owensby
My path of searching had taken me to the graves of the ancestors of this sweet lady, in years past, and my path and her path were definitely supposed to link up, eventually. It was just ordained in the stars, no doubt.
Now, we can share all of our wonderful finds together. Join forces, so to speak. Now, how wonderful is that?
Her grandmother married a relative of mine, her grandmother's two sisters married into my tree, and her grandmother's brother married the daughter of my 3rd great grandfather.. Mind boggling that we never knew the connection before...
Can't wait to see where this will take me next! Stay Tuned.
Monday, July 18, 2011
The markers are ancient, leaning over and some stones are not even legible. I wandered out among those in this field of silent souls, and found a gem to take back home with me. A gem carried not in my hand, but in my heart.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I thought about the 'other' John Henry Arrowood, buried there in the Arrowood Cemetery in Poplar.
This John Henry was the son of Samuel Arrowood, Jr.
John Henry married a gal named Mattie Cooper and they had at least eight children that I have found so far.
I searched for anything really, thinking I could locate the final resting place for Mattie. I did not find her there in that tiny Arrowood Cemetery on the mountain of Green.
I typed in their names and up came an obituary for their daughter, Pearl Lee Arrowood. Pearl married a Robert Flowers. Sadly, Pearl passed away on the second anniversary of my Dad's death, July 20, 2010.
She is buried at the Monte Vista Cemetery in Johnson City, TN. We passed by that huge cemetery on the way to find Uncle John Henry and I so wished for a week or so of time, just to go through it.
I just knew that we had family buried there and of course, we do.
In Pearl's obituary was a wealth of clues. First, her descendant's names and those that survived her were listed there.
I saw that her sister Helen was still living and on a whim, I did a search on 'People' search and found a matching listing. Excited, I called the lady. I told her that we were related and what I was doing and she exclaimed.."Oh, you sound like my son, David". He is researching, too.
BOY HOWDY! was that ever exciting.
Turns out that David does search for the tree and is living in Knoxville, TN. I called him up and he has a bad case of pneumonia and could not talk much for coughing. Bless his heart.
He and I are Third Cousins! We exchanged just enough info to get us both excited. I hoped to see an email from him soon.
Well, the email came the very next morning and attached was a great photo of John Henry, wife Mattie Cooper Arrowood and two of their daughters, Pearl (back row) and Helen, the mother of David that I have spoken with.
You can sure see the Arrowood resemblence in John Henry.
Finding his grave atop that little mountain was thrilling and so was finally being able to put a face to his name.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I have been searching recently for Mariah Elizabeth Arrowood Honeycutt.
She was the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood .
My generation's Great Grand Aunt. She was closest the sibling, in age, to our Welzia; a slightly older sister. The census records through the years, show her name as 'Mary Elizabeth', 'Mariah', 'Maria', and simply as 'Eliza'. Even as "Miriar". So the search is not made easy, with all those differences in names.
I found her marriage record to Joseph P. Honeycutt. They were married on October 21, 1877, in Mitchell County, North Carolina. Joseph was the son of Moses "Mosie" Honeycutt and Susannah "Sukie" Tipton.
Yes, the same Tipton family that our Correll family married into, the ones that first settled up in Cades Cove, Tennessee. Not too far from Happy Valley in Blount County.
Joseph and Mariah had at least seven kids that I have found records for.
Aaron Honeycutt , their son, was born July 31, 1880 and was a preacher man. He is buried at Big Crabtree Church Cemetery that I visited up in Estatoe. At the time, I did not know he was kin! I am just amazed at the path this search takes me on..I stood at his grave and took the picture of his headstone and remarked that 'those Honeycutt's married in, you know', grin. I will go back and pay proper respects one day soon. Not even realizing, when I was there, that he was my first cousin, twice removed!
Mariah and Joseph are found on the 1900 Census record, living in Harrell's Township, Mitchell County with six children , ranging from age 12 to age 1 year.
They had children: Susan, Aaron, Nathaniel, Russell, Lydia, Naomey, and Joseph.
Aaron's death record indicates:
Name: Aaron Honeycutt
Birth Date: 31 Jul 1880
Birth Place: North Carolina, United States
Death Date: 3 Jan 1960
Death Location: Spruce Pine, NC Rt #2, Mitchell
Spouse's Name: Nancy Tolley
Father's name: Joe Honeycutt
Mother's name: Miriar Arrowood
Aaron's death certificate states he was not seen by a doctor, but was believed to have been suffering from cancer.
It also states that he was a 'non-believer' in medical science, right on the death certificate, something I have never seen before . May you rest in peace, cousin Aaron.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
High above the ground, electrical and telephone poles and their connecting wires must seem to be made just for birds, like artificial trees with limbs that stretch on forever and ever. Sometimes a hundred birds or more will be stretched out along a wire, in a kind of high-tension convention.
As a child, I would look up at these birds, sitting there, all lined up on the wires, chatting.
I guess my sweet grandmother Maude, saw me gazing up at those birds and she told me what it was all about. Grandma's just know these things. The birds were attending prayer meeting and it is as simple as that.
I have never thought otherwise, after being told this fact by Grandma, bless her. Grandma just knew these sort of things.
When I told Russ that is really what they are doing up there, all lined up on the wires, he did look at me a little strange..But never mind. Prayer Meeting is definitely what it is all about.
My grandmother shared her sweet pearls of wisdom with me, all through my growing years, and for that I am eternally grateful. She never failed to have an answer for every question, even thought I was called the "Thousand What?" Kid.
I cannot help but smile when I see a flock of birds lined up , perched high in the sky and making lots of noise. Sometimes one is seemingly separated from the rest, he may be one or two wires higher than most..well that is the preacher bird, no doubt. Big Smile.
How come a bird on a wire doesn't get shocked?
But if a bird (or maybe line worker) accidentally touches an electrical "ground" while in contact with the high-voltage wire, that will complete an electrical circuit. A ground is a 'region' of just about zero voltage. The earth, and anything touching it that can conduct current, is, in essence, the ground.
Like water flowing over a dam into a river, current surges through the bird (or person's) body on its way into the ground. Severe injury or death by electrocution is the result.
That's why a little squirrel can run across an electrical line, but sadly die when its foot makes contact with the (grounded) transformer on the pole at wire's end.
All that 'electrocution stuff ' never really entered my child's mind, back then. I was just interested in what the preacher bird was saying that kept them at such rapt attention.
I would lie on my back chewing on a blade of sweet grass, and contemplate it all.
Can't you just about smell that field of sweet grass growing?
Can't you see the lazy clouds on a summer afternoon, just floating on by?
Come with me and we will go to one of those outdoor 'prayer meetings'.
I still wonder what that preacher bird is saying...
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sitting at my grandparent's side has always been on of my most treasured childhood memories.
Your parents are just so busy with "getting on with living" and they just don't have the time to reminisce like your grandparent's do. So children naturally migrate to the grandparents with more time for the little ones.
The stories they told were of another time and place, one much different from the one that I was growing up in and in my mind's eye, I was transported right there. With each story and scene described, I was there, right beside them both.
My grandparents were a wealth of stories.
My Aunt relayed one such story that I had not heard before.
In the 1930's , when the Great Depression had it's grip on the heart of America, times were hard.
My grandfather raised chickens, cows and an occasional pig, in order to feed his family and make ends meet.
Gastonia was not all that 'country' at that time, but country enough that it was allowed within the city limits to raise up chickens.
He lived not three miles from downtown Gastonia.
Now, sitting at my dear Aunt's side, is as close as I can get to those wonderful old stories once told by Grandpa.
She told of a pig , a sow, that Grandpa raised that had 10 piglets. The children oohed and aahed over the piglets, as kids will do, (this one included) and soon each and every one had a name. Small hands just could not keep away from those little pigs.
Grandpa warned them to not get too attached to the biggest and fattest of the piglets.
That tenth little pig was going to the preacher. It was how things were done then.
You are supposed to tithe to the church 'one tenth', you know. It's the Christian thing to do.
So those little piglets were hugged and loved and carried about, but the fattest one was held aside, special.
Imagine that world for just a moment and allow yourself a smile.
Now, imagine that grunting little pink pig in the offering plate next Sunday morning. Grin.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
A service at the tiny Mount Olivet church is a sweet, wonderful, inspiring experience. The wooden planks in the floor are rippled and wavy, the small slatted wooden walls are showing their age, but the stories that old wood could tell us, would be amazing.
The windows were once again propped open with planks, and the cool springtime breeze wafted past me in the pew. An occasional bumble bee floated in on the breeze, but I figured all were welcome here.
The bees politely stayed up in the high ceiling area and left us worshippers alone.
The oil lamps are positioned around the perimeter of the room. I was told they used to have a larger lantern to light the night services. I would have loved to have attended one of those!
This tiny country church first opened it's doors way back in 1879. It is on the Historical Registry as the 'only remaining one room wooden Methodist church' in Gaston County.
The winds came some time back, and they blew this tiny church nearly off her foundation but she still stands firm. The rocks were replaced with bricks and mortar and she remains where she belongs. Keeping her place in history and firmly standing where she will, hopefully, well into the future.
There are plans underway to keep this tiny church restored and the cemetery kept up with, as well.
Contributions to this cause are always accepted. If you wish to donate to the preservation of this tiny church attached to our family and to my heartstrings, just contact Judy Shannon at 704-867-4713.
This year, Joe Carpenter presided over the memorial service and Reverend Richard Cloninger gave the sermon. It was a beautiful service.
Old timey hymns were raised to the glory of the Lord, with the help of Wilma Craig, playing the old style pump organ. We all sang heartily with Wilma kindly requesting that we limit the number of verses sung on each hymn, because her leg was 'plain giving out' pumping that old organ. Grin.
It just doesn't get any more 'old-timey' than that, folks.
I took in the sights and smells of the wonderful old church ,as we sat there on those scarred wooden benches.
I let my mind travel back in time to a simpler place, when life was slower paced. I think I would have enjoyed living in that time, but I would have definitely missed the air-conditioning.
An old framed portrait of Jesus hangs on the wall, behind the pulpit.
The spirit of our Lord was surely in that place.
The average age of those attending this service was about 75, I would say. This is a sad fact to relay. The ones that truly love this place are getting older, and we are losing them one by one. I heard of a number of those connected to the church that have passed in just the last year. I was among the youngest ones there. We are the ones that will carry the torch forward for this tiny church. I do not want this torch to be laid by the wayside. I consider this place my heritage, too.
I spoke with Wilma Craig, who has vast knowledge of the history of this tiny church, about our Welzia and his possible role in this church. He is not officially listed among those that pastored here, but I feel sure that he must have preached here a time or two. His heart was surely here, or he would not have wanted to be laid to rest here.
I went out after service and paid my respects to him and Isabell..as well as Great grandma Sarah Ellen Winters Arrowood. Surely they were all smiling down from heaven, watching the service from above.
The crowd gathered after the service outside, inside the white picket fence that surrounds the cemetery.
They served cookies and lemonade to all in attendance.
I thought it was lovely to gather among those long gone, in fellowship.