~ 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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Louisa Catherine Winters Benfield ~ Daughter of Zachariah and Temperance

1829 ` 1907

Louisa Catherine Winters was born the daughter of Zachariah and Temperance London Winters on March 8, 1829 in Burke County, North Carolina. She died on May 17th, 1907, Burke County, NC.

She married Alfred Augustus Benfield , Sr. Son of Martin and Sallie Barlick Benfield.

She was my 1st cousin, Five times removed.

May she rest in peace~


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In Search of William Winters ~ Quaker Meadows ~ Canoe Creek NC

I went toward the mountains of North Carolina in search of Quaker Meadows . It is located in an area of Burke County that turns out to be very familiar to me.

We pass right through the area every year, heading up to see the fall leaves of the mountains, and again later, after Thanksgiving, to ride up and cut down our Christmas tree.

We have always admired the scenery of the mountains stretching out before us , in a blue haze, towering along the horizon in the distance, as we made that trek. We tend to take the country roads instead of the major highways, as it seems there is always more interesting things to see along the roadside, that way. Amazing, that I never knew that this very area was where my Great Grand times five, once settled.
Simply Amazing.

I have heard it said that each new day of your life is like a blank page, stretching out before you, just waiting for you to write something upon it. Well, this day was an exceptional day for “writing” something. This meant so much to me! I get all misty just thinking about it. Silly sentimental me, I am my father’s daughter. Do you reckon that sappy sentimental stuff is a Winter’s family gift? I will gladly accept that.

I gingerly made my way down a rustic road. Okay, scratch that…I slowly made my way down an impossibly  rutted-out, gully- washed, “road bed” if you can call it that. Grin. I followed the way to Canoe Creek. I passed by pigs and some turkeys. I passed by a large band of guinea hens, that clucked in dismay at my arrival - rather loudly, I might add, and I passed more than one yapping hunting dog along the way. Yipping and clucking and grunting, like you cannot imagine. All this “country” amazingly close to “city”. Each animal sounded the alarm that ‘someone that was not supposed to be here’, was in the vicinity.

I found the present-day owner to the land that once was William Winter’s old home place .  I was escorted to his final resting place and found myself amongst instant friends. The kind lady that lead the way, had also found her “way back home” in Erwin, Tennessee when she searched for her family,  and she understood how excited I was to finally “meet’ William Winters.

I told her of my Tennessee connections and we laughed that we may very well be cousins. I bet we are.

I struggled with briars reaching out to gain my attention and snag me, more than once. Barbed wire runs around the perimeter of the family cemetery. Inside this tangled patch of forest, was a tiny cemetery.

I made my way from stone to stone, touching the markers in greeting to those ancestors that I never got to meet in life. There , the two stones lying side by side, were William and his wife, Mary Belew.

What a moment to cherish. William and Mary, parents to John James Winters. My 5th great grands.

I wished once again that my Dad could have been right beside me for that meeting. Maybe he was, right there beside me, the whole way. I would love to think that he was. What a fine time my Dad would have had to have seen that.

William’s and Mary’s stones had fallen over, but with the help of a strong man, together we sat them upright, again. Once lying on the soft earth, it is only a matter of time before the earth lays claim to the markers.

I have seen markers fall over and totally disappear in just a couple of years time. I am determined that this will not happen here. These are my family lying in this patch of trees.

I brought a soft cloth and some water to wash away the dirt that had accumulated on the fallen stones. I worked carefully, as not to damage the fragile markers. Satisfied now, they are standing proudly and clean.

Mary Belew Winters' stone is sadly broken. We searched hard to locate the bottom half and the markers may have been relocated, as we found the second half about ten feet away from the first. Both pieces are together now, and I plan on returning to cement the stone back into one piece soon.

In my mind’s eye, I went back in time, to when the funeral party stood around while the departed loved one was lowered into the ground. I could almost feel them standing around me, heads bowed in prayer. I felt a hushed reverence in this place where the tangles are taking over the stones.

We cut briars and weeds around the stones and made them look much better.

William and Mary Belew Winters son, Stephen W. Winters and his wife, Sarah E. Duckworth Winters.
I have listed all gravestones located in this family cemetery in FindAGrave.com.

Some of the markers are just stones, large rough cut rocks. No writing on them at all. I know that those stones represent someone that is important to me, nonetheless. Other markers are rendered unreadable by time and the elements.

The deer come here to lie and rest, nestled out of sight of the road, in the tangled dense forest. You could easily see the impressions they made lying in the soft earth around the stones. They find comfort in this peaceful place, and so did I. I felt welcome and “at home” among my kin.

The land seemed oddly familiar to me. Maybe some things are just “in you”, passed down in your blood from one generation to the next. These mountains are in me, for sure. Thanks for that, Grandpa William.

Your Winters’ blood continues to flow in your many descendants….
Rest In Peace ~

Monday, March 12, 2012

Winters Family Bible Page ~ Zachary and Temperance

I recently "found" a wonderful document of the births within the family of Zachariah and Temperance London Winters.

What wonderful treasures of family information, these treasured old bible records.

If you happen upon one of the treasures at estate sales or auctions, please rescue it and offer it to it's rightful owners.