Saturday, November 28, 2009

We're Home!!!

Finally. We departed Maryland early on the 22nd and arrived at the Ft. Stewart campground late the same day. We spent the week with our friends and made preparations for our move back to Berry Oaks at the end of the week. We and five other couples from the campground had our Thanksgiving Day meal with the troops of the 3rd Infantry Division at their mess hall on Ft. Stewart. What a treat to share that special day with those amazing soldiers.

This morning we packed up and made the 35 mile journey to Berry Oaks and began setting up. Our friends, Dock and Lori, helped us with that chore and made it quite a bit easier. We are pretty much set up, but we still have a day or two to get where we want to be. More to come when we get there. WE"RE HOME!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

On The Road Again...

Oh how we love to be on the road again,
The life we love is seeing what's
around the bend....
We love being on the road again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

In Preparation For Next Month

I was never a politically correct person. Maybe this is the reason I did not advance farther while working as a civil servant, but so what. I did not throw away my principals just so I could be seen as one who did not offend everyone. That being said, the following video is exactly how I feel on this subject. If the reader thinks they will be offended, do not play it and go to another blog, otherwise, enjoy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

Nearly Useless Factoid
by Suzanne Kubota

A Useful Factoid today: according to the Census Bureau, there are "over 23 million veterans in the U.S." Find one. Shake a hand, give a hug, buy them a cup of coffee. Any little thing to say "thank you for your service."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another Surprising Genealogical Find

The last post dealt with the Berry clan finding a cousin who is quite famous. This came as a surprise to almost all of us, although, many had it in the back of their minds simply because he is a Berry. The same question has been asked on our mother's side for the Mitchell family.

The Mitchells of this line were early settlers of Georgia. They had come from Orange County in North Carolina in the late 1820s with the aspirations of getting land that had just opened up in the Cherokee and Creek Territories. The Government had taken the land from the Native Americans and made it available through land lotteries. The Mitchells got some of this land and settled in and around Fayette and Henry counties. It seemed the Berrys who migrated from the same area in North Carolina and at the same time received land there, also. It was not frowned upon at that time for cousins to marry one another, especially if the cousins had different family names.

Fayette and Henry counties are due south of what now is the Atlanta Metropolitan area. Our parents and their parents grew up in these counties and after their marriage began their family there, too. There were many stories from the Mitchell side that a famous person was a distant cousin of theirs, but no one could prove it so it largely went as wishful thinking. During my early research on the Berry side, I found an ancestor, a great-great grandmother who was a Mitchell. It seemed odd that both sides of our family had the same Mitchell name, but at that time I dismissed it as coincidence. That was until this past January when I decided to see if there was some sort of ancestral link there.

I began with the information I had gathered through several years of research and information my cousin Fred had provided me. Through I was able to prove the Mitchell lineage back 6 generations. In doing this, I was able to match a Mitchell grandfather to both of our parents. It turned out they were fourth cousins and did not ever know it. This, again, was not uncommon.

During this process of building the Mitchell family tree, I came upon an unexpected correlation within the family lines. Our parents shared the same great-great-great grandfather, John Hinchey Mitchell. Their great-great-grandfathers, Jonathan and Thomas were brothers. While researching John Hinchey Mitchell, I became aware of his siblings, one in particular named William Mitchell. While William is a common name, it rang a bell in the back of my mind so I began to build a tree for his descendants. Bingo. I found it. William's son Isaac, had a grandson by the name of Eugene.

Most of the Mitchell clan in Georgia were farmers. We knew of no one who had risen much beyond that. Some had begun their own businesses, but none became big captains of industry or extremely wealthy. One Mitchell did, however, make herself quite infamous by writing a book. It was Eugene Mitchell's daughter. Her name was Margaret Mitchell and the book was called "Gone With the Wind".

Let us hope our next find and/or surprise will remain those who have become prominent. But I suspect there are some scallywags in the group, too.

Withdrawn From Contest

Regrettably, I have had to withdraw from the contest. Hopefully, I will re-enter in a later one. Thank you all for your support.

I have entered the "Cutest Labradoodle Contest." Please vote for me. You can do that by clicking on my picture on the left. It will take you to the voting web page. When there click beside my name and then click the red "Vote Now" button. This contest lasts for the whole month of November so I need you to vote often. You can vote every two hours. I am already in the lead, but I need those votes to stay there. What if I win? I get my picture on the page and two bags of doggie treats. And how I love those treats. Thanks for your support.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Surprising Genealogical Findings

As most of you know, I am very into, not obsessed, with genealogy. I have spent quite a bit of time researching both sides of my family. My cousin Fred got me into it first with research he had done on our mother's side, the Mitchell family. Later on my cousin Martha, whom I first met in 1990 at a Berry reunion in Georgia and the first family reunion I had ever attended, got me into researching my dad's side. I was amazed at the complexity of it all.

Many years later and with little progress I received an email from another cousin, Martha, who was a Berry family researcher in Georgia. Georgia is where my family came from. During the depression, our parents traveled north looking for steady work and found it in Manchester, New Hampshire. Manchester was where I and my younger brother were born. My two older brothers had been born in Griffin, Georgia. At the time Martha contacted me, I had no idea from where my Berry ancestors had originated.

Martha mentioned another family reunion in Cullman, Alabama and gave me another cousin, Jo, to contact. I did and both I and my brother made arrangements to attend. While at that reunion, Jo mentioned a reunion near Hillsborough, North Carolina. Hillsborough, it seems, was close to the original home site of a Robert and Elizabeth Berry. These Berry ancestors were thought, at that time, to be the originating ancestors of all our Berry families. She gave me another cousin's name, Ben, to contact there.

We attended the event with Jo and other cousins from Georgia and I heard of a Berry DNA Project that several of our cousins had participated in. I made arrangements immediatley to join this project. I was the third participant from this Berry line. Since then, nine more participants have joined and the results from these findings have drawn together many lines of Berry families to the one Robert and Elizabeth Berry of Orange County, North Carolina.

The DNA method is a finalization step in genealogy. It validates the research one has done. It does not take its place, however. One of the participants of the project came to us as a very big surprise. Most of the children of Robert and Elizabeth Berry migrated south through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and west to Texas. Descendants of one of their children, though, chose to migrate north through Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois and west. It was from this line our DNA participant claimed to be from. With the research they had available, they could only go back a few generations and were not able to connect with any distant ancestor line. Until the results of the test came in. They matched our Berry family line and it was proven through combined research they were the descendants of Robert and Elizabeth Berry. This participant was born in Moline, Illinois. This was in the direct migration path of these Berry descendants. The big surprise was his name: Ken Berry

Ken, our entire Berry family is proud of you and your accomplishments.

In the next few days I will go into another surprising genealogical find in our family.