Gardening, Family, and Family History

This weekend was a long one for me. I had a three day which I wish I had more of. I accomplished so much!

The most exciting for me was that I was able to get in my yard and tend to my plants and flowers. Just deadheading, trimming, and planting bulbs made me feel so serene. It makes all the thoughts whirring in my head become silent. The bees were buzzing and there are so many different butterflies, it makes me feel good that I am helping nature.

Being in the garden is so beneficial for mental health, whether you have the most common of the 200 forms of classified mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression or you have a serious case such as bi-polar or even dementia. Gardening is such a great therapeutic intervention, an issue of hope. It is good for cognitive, social, and even physical aspects of life. For enduring. There is always hope.

So, cutting down the Mexican Marigolds and basil and deadheading the marigolds, roses, and cana lillies brings hope that new growth will occur and the planting of the bulbs brings the hope that new flowers will emerge in the spring. Hope springs eternal. ūüôā

I then worked on my lesson plans for Tuesday’s “Family History Detectives Club” at my school. I have so enjoyed hearing from the student’s parents telling me that their children are calling their grandparents and “interviewing” them. It makes my heart sing and I can only imagine how those same grandparents feel about receiving these calls.

Some parents even sent me pictures of their children interviewing the grandparents, one was Facetiming a grandparent, one had their pencil and notebook in hand, asking questions. These events are so very special to all parties involved. Others were interviewing their parents. A parent even told me that they are all now involved in learning their family history.

After working on the lesson plans, I helped my son with some personal business needing to be done; insurance, job, etc. It is great spending time with him. When he’s not working, he’s out with friends so these moments are few, but cherished. Mom actually was able to take the car and get out to an appointment and shopping. It made her feel so good!

I then worked on making videos to promote my online classes. “Roots to Trees” is the name of the program, but “Bare Roots” is the name of the first class; basic genealogy for children and anyone needing the basics. The next class will be “Emerging Leaves” and is currently being worked on. The “Bare Roots” class is $9.99 for 5 sections and can be worked on at your own pace in the comfort of your own home or wherever you choose to learn.

So, it was a jam-packed, fun-filled, productive weekend. I hope yours was too!

Expanding To The Library Family History For Children

My Roots to Trees- Family History Detective courses will be expanding. I had an appointment with our local librarian to speak to her about offering these classes for children. The discussion took a different turn than I was expecting, but not necessarily a negative one.  

I prayed before I went in asking God to help me have an open mind and lead me to where He wanted me to go. And, low and behold the discussion took a different turn than where I had thought it would go. I went in thinking I would offer paid classes and rent a room at the library.

The director asked me to join the library program! They offer genealogy classes to adults, but do not have classes for children and asked if I would be interested in joining the program and expanding it to tweens as well. I believe this will help me get my feet wet and learn what works and what does not work in teaching family history to this age group.  

With the wonderful support group I have at school and online, I feel it will be a great success. It will also help me in my lesson plans for my online course at the Genealogy Classes page, On Sale now for $9.99 for 5 lessons with more being added. Discover who you are and your family history.  

It’s a Small Tree Afterall

It will be two years ago Monday that I started my Family History Blog. It is amazing how far I have come and what I have accomplished. I started only as an outlet to share my ancestor findings with my family. It has grown to be so much more.  

It not only has helped me be a better researcher and storyteller, but it has also given me so much more insight into my ancestors and who they were and who I am.  

In October, I start a Family History Detectives Club at my school for 4th graders. I am very excited. I bought these little detective hats, magnifying classes, and detective badges. After we do the boring stuff of going over #Genealogy vocabulary words and learning what a pedigree chart is, I will have them pick an ancestor to investigate.  

When I was doing research into genealogy or family history for children, there wasn’t much there as far as actually teaching them. There were many activities and fun worksheets, but nothing teaching them on how to start researching, how to start investigating their family history. Nothing about sources or how to read them. 

That gave me an idea. After seeing the excitement in the children’s eyes about the club and not finding much help on the internet, I knew there was a need. So, I created an online Google Classroom course and am checking into giving courses at my local library. They had genealogy courses on their calendar, but for teens and seniors. Nothing for children. 

You may not think children are interested, but I promise you they are. Just today I had an 8th grader bring me his surname family history book. This thing was huge. His ancestors had published his family tree and had it bound into this beautiful book. He heard I was doing the club and wanted to share with me that he had an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.  

As I was perusing the book, I looked up this ancestor in the index of names. Just for kicks, I looked up Logan. Sure enough, there were several. Then one familiar Logan popped out at me. He was MY 1st cousin, 6x removed! This student and I are related. His mom happened to be in the office when I found the discovery and he came in not long after. He was blown away, as were all of us.  

It just goes to show, we are all related. The tree is a small world after all.

If you are interested in having your child join my virtual Google classroom event, Roots to Trees, go to my Genealogy Classes and register.

Thanks for reading!

Martha Ann Chadwick (Wescott Family)

My 2nd Great Grandmother

Wife of John Thomas Wescott

Her nickname was “Puss”.¬† Not sure why.

Born November 3, 1865 in Currituck County, North Carolina

Marth Ann Chadwick

                                           Photo Courtesy of Spence/Wescott family

She was born to William Davenport Chadwick and Lurana J. O’Neal.¬† Lurana was four years older than William.

Lurana’s family ancestor names are very rooted in North Carolina and the natives.¬† The Farrow’s, O’Neal’s, Midgette’s, Payne’s, Jennette’s, Woodhouse’s, and Pugh’s.¬† Most names being related to the Lost Colony. ¬† The ‚ÄúFamilies of Interest‚ÄĚ include the surnames of the colonists and families associated with historical documents with local Native American heritage. If the colonists survived and were integrated into native village life, DNA, matching that of the colonists, will appear within the descendants of the local Native American population.¬† More information on the Lost Colony is here

I can only find records of Martha Ann starting at age four.  They lived in Poplar Branch.  Poplar Branch is an unincorporated community in Currituck County, North Carolina.

Poplar Branch Map

Martha Ann was born during the Civil War and the Burnside Expedition. (See blog on John Wescott). She had three two older sisters (Maria, Luvina, and Rebecca) and one older brother, John.  Her brother, Edgar, was born when she was three.  Her sister, Lillie Dane, was born when she was seven and died three months later.  Her older sister, Rebecca, died when she was thirteen.  A year later, her mother, Lurana, died.  Her mother was only fifty years old.  A year after that, her half-sister, Arissia died.  Seven months later her father died, he was only forty-eight.  Such sadness in her life so far.   Five deaths by the time she was just sixteen!

No wonder when John Thomas Wescott proposed to her when she was barely 18, she gladly accepted.

I believe that Martha and John met through their fathers.¬† By 1884, John is showing in the¬†Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory¬†as the proprietor of the¬†Wescott¬†Hotel in Roanoke Island,¬†NC. This same directory shows W. D.¬† Chaddic¬†(Martha’s father) as a lawyer in Manteo. It also shows he owns the Manteo Hotel in Manteo.¬† Even though the elder John Wescott died in 1884, it could be him listed in the directory.¬† I cannot see this being John T. as he had just joined the Life Saving Service and had a 2-year-old daughter.¬† I cannot see him having the time to run a hotel too.

Marriage License John and MarthaMarriage Registration John and MarthaJohn T. Wescott and Lovey MarriageJohn T. Wescott and Martha Chadwick Marriage

Martha’s mother was married prior to marrying William.¬† She had four children with Nathan Etheridge before he died in 1856.

At age 18, Martha married John, 30, and helped raise Dora, 6.  At age 19, she and John started having their own children.

She and John had five children.

John T Wescott and Martha Chadwick's Golden Wedding ArticleAt age 68, they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

By the time she died at age 70, she had nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild if my calculations are correct.  She died of Chronic Nephritis.

Martha Chadwick death cert

She is buried in the Wescott Family Plot at Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina with her husband.

Martha Ann Chadwick headstone