Searching painstakingly through the archives on Ancestry.com
the Lord has blessed me with quite a collection of very rare
photos and documents of our family’s history and lives.
I’m thankful for the ability to have kept up a membership with Ancestry.com
for two years.
Our families on both sides are very divided, we have only a handful of
hardcopy pictures of our parents’ family from when they were young.
I could probably count them all on my hands; that’s how scarce
pictures of our family are.
But the Lord blessed us to discover Ancestry and we’ve been able to
find many more pictures of our family – more on our Dad’s side than our Mom’s –
through this medium.
I am still looking for more, too, when I have time; especially for Mama’s side.
The first picture on this post is believed to be one of our third greatgrandparents
on our mother’s side.
Charles and Martha Tooley.
The second picture is of our great grandparents on our Dad’s side and several
of their children.
From right to left;
John Thomas Crouch and Meggie Ervin Crouch
Albert, Dot, Carro (our grandmother), and Lottie
This picture I have shared before.
It is of our 2nd great granduncle on our mother’s side being
baptized in the Ohio River shortly before his death.
This is Vira Kathryn; one of the Crouch girls not shown in the above
This is Lottie again.
Albert and Amanda Midkiff; Amanda was an Adkins before she married,
a great cousin on my mother’s side.
They lived in Midkiff, West Virginia.
Carthrine Worrel Irvin on the right.
Grandmother on my dad’s side who married into the Crouch family.
Uncle Bert as Daddy knew him.
This is on the steps of Columbus High School where my Dad attended
for maybe a week. 🙂
This was much earlier than Daddy’s day here, however; this must have been
in the early 30’s.
Henry and Elizabeth Adkins
Fifth great grand uncle and aunt on our mother’s side.
Looking back through the pictures of our family that I’ve been able to scrape up
has given me a greater light into our own lives.
Studying out where and how they lived – together with stories from both
my parents – have helped to form a greater idea in my mind
of what life means to me.
My mother came from a family who, though they ended up
residing in Ohio, were originally from Virginia – which became West Virginia
during the Succession.
They worked hard – mostly in coal mines – and lived hard.
They were true mountain people; moonshine, possum hunting, and coon eating not exempted.
My mother’s Dad’s family were the Daltons and Coburns of
Logan County, West Virginia.
Looking through the records of their occupation it is rare not to find a
coal miner or a logger.
My grandpa himself drove logging trucks and made moonshine.
My dad came from a family who have long kept roots in the
deep south; Columbus Georgia.
My grandpa on his side was a car dealer, but he was raised on a farm.
Dad’s mother’s family were all farmers.
The south then was rent deeply with the turmoil still stirred from the Civil War.
Segregation was daily life; my dad can still remember when water
fountains were marked ‘black’ and ‘white’.
Further back on the Lyons’ side, mill workers run strong in the family.
Men, women, and children alike worked long hours in the
factories – cotton and tobacco couldn’t support a family anymore after the war.
Industrialization had finally reached the south – long after it had
supported the north.
As I learn more about our families I am amazed by the lives they led.
To them, life was just life. But once they lived it, left their mark on the world,
and others study it a hundred years later….
their daily lives become living stories; chapter upon chapter to study on and learn from –
and to compare our own lives to.
I feel a great connection with these people.
Not just because, by blood, we’re related despite the separation of years,
but because their lives were so hard.
Our family has never, on either side, been well-to-do. Everyone has worked –
and worked hard.
My granddaddy Ted (Daddy’s dad), grew up during the Great Depression.
He recalled the days you could buy an acre of land for 50 cents –
but you only made 50 cents a week working twelve hours a day in a cotton mill.
|Columbus Georgia Mill Workers
My mother remembers visiting relatives – in the 1970’s – who still lived in
shacks in the mountains, worked in coal mines, heated by fire,
milked their own cows, churned their own butter, butchered their own meat,
hunted their game – not for points, but for food – and sat out on the
porch in the evenings with their fiddles and guitars ’till late in the night.
These people’s lives weren’t easy – and they had many mouths to feed.
Everyone married young, and a family of 18 was not uncommon – not counting the
three or four children who never made it past their toddler years.
I can’t judge whether or not these people knew the Lord Jesus.
I know that moonshining and serving the Lord doesn’t go hand-in-hand,
as neither does burning the town (which several uncles on my dad’s side were known for),
but many of them I believe had some sense of our Savior’s presence and
dominion over their lives.
I associate more with the women – naturally! – who stayed home
and worked the farm, fed their children, made their clothes, their soap, their butter,
gave birth to their children in their homes – usually only accompanied by a neighbor
or a sister – and then would be up the next day working again.
I can imagine how these women – at least even one of these women – knew the Lord
deeply and would seek Him for the Strength that He alone could
be in order to endure such a life.
We complain so much.
But we don’t seem to ever see how little we have to
complain about; and how much we have
to be thankful for.
Truly thankful for.