Sentimental Sunday

As a child I was a tomboy and playing with dolls was not my favorite thing, though I would play dolls with my sister. But i also like to play fort with my brother.

mk & sibs in key westMy brother John, sister Nancy and myself.Key West, FL about 1950

 But I did have a thing for paper dolls. I liked cutting them out, changing their outfits and making up stories about them that brought then alive.


I remember on Saturdays, my dad would give each of us a quarter and take us to the Five and Dime store and let us pick out whatever we wanted that fit our 25 cent budget. I would head right to the paper doll section and and stand there in indecision until my dad said it was time to go and then finally pick out one book of paper dolls. But first I would have picked up each book and scanned through each page and decide if it was right for me.

Then i could not wait to get home and play with them. I would sit on the floor and cut them out. Cutting out is still not one of my best skills. I was and still am in such a rush to get the finished project cut out I do sometimes cut in the wrong places. But once the dolls and clothes were cut out I began to play. I especially liked celebrity dolls and the clothes they owned were enough to get your imagination going. I remember some of my favorites were the Lennon Sisters from “The Lawrence Welk Show” and Grace Kelly. From the  comic book world I liked Veronica and Betty from “Archie.” Of course there were generic ones with great clothes or just fun characters.

I coveted the Betsy McCall paper dolls that were in McCall Magazine. (The Betsy McCall link has scanned pages from the magazine you can print out.) But, I also made paper dolls out of images in magazines.  In fact I still like to cut up magazines, now they become parts of collages.

I read that the “Golden Ages of Paper Dolls” was 1930s through the 1950s. So my obsession with them was coincidental with their popularity.  Then I reached an age where I lost interest and moved on to other things. But I never lost my imagination.

If you are interested in paper dolls here is a great page with links to free printable paper dolls.


Wordless Wednesday


Surname Saturday

Update: Today I read a new theory that Patsey was Martha Davis’ sister and that Patsey married George Sain. They were active in the Blue Springs Baptist Church of Christ and died a year apart from each other in 1830 & 1831. Then Martha and Daniel, who was George’s uncle raised the boys. This theory makes more sense to me knowing what I know about the family. Anyway I have some new paths to take on this family now.


Today is Surname Saturday and I want to talk about the surname “Sain.” It was my mother’s maiden name. The Sains in my family can be traced back four generations to Elisha Reynolds Sain ( 13 Jan 1818, Coffee County, TN – 25 Sep 1895 Nashville, Howard, AR). All except my mother are buried in Nashville AR. Elisha’s parentage is a little hazy. Supposedly his mother is Patsey Davis and she had four sons all from different fathers, naming each son after their father. Louise McBride Kraut reports that Elisha Reynolds was a wealthy man in town who had an invalid wife. He apparently was known to visit Patsey,  Martha Davis’s daughter from a previous marriage. Elisha and his brothers were raised by Martha and her husband, Daniel Sain, a descendant of Caspar Sain (Zurn) the immigrant. 

So to go any further on this family line I really need DNA testing done by one of the male descendants.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          My uncle put up a new marker for Elisha and Sarah, as the old tombstone has become unreadable. But he put an A for Sarah’s middle initial instead of an E.

Treasure Chest Thursday

Today is Treasure Chest Thursday and at first I drew a blank. I could not think of a single thing I had that was passed down to me that was an heirloom or something that had been in the family a long time.  I did inherit some of my mother’s jewelry, but a lot of it was stolen when I lived in Atlanta.  Then I remembered the pictures that I have. I probably treasure these more than anything else I have and they are the first thing loaded in the car when we evacuate for a hurricane.

This picture was given to me by my Aunt Bertha Mae Taylor McGraw when I visited her a few years ago. Bertha was married to my uncle, Robert Edward McGraw (1918 – 1973).  On the left in the foreground is my cousin Bobby Sue McGraw Copeland (1947 – 1968) and on the right is myself. Look at that hair; my mother never knew what to do with it. But I love the spirit I see in my eyes. I am having a good time that is obvious.

My aunt could not remember who the little girl in the back was. This picture depicts the celebration of Bobby Sue’s fourth birthday.  Her birthday was August 24. My sister’s is Aug 27 and she would have been three that year.  I don’t remember this party. I do remember that I always stayed with Bob and Bertha when we visited Texarkana, TX and they had a giant antenna in their front yard so my uncle could get the St. Louis Cardinals on TV.  (I think this one of  the reasons that the Cardinals were my favorite baseball team when I was growing up). Bobby Sue and I would make mud pies on the side of the house under the kitchen window. This was the year my father was stationed in Naples, Italy. We must have made a trip to Texarkana before he left. We followed him to Italy in September.

My cousin Bobby Sue died tragically in a car accident when she was only 21. She had been married only a couple of months and they both attended Stephen F. Austin State College in Nacogdoches, TX, where my aunt and uncle had met.  This is definitely a treasured photo.

Transcript Errors

Sarah Jenkins McGraw (10 July 1888 – 2 December 1982)

One of the first areas of research for a genealogist is the death certificate. Of course you need to know that date in order to order that document.I have had a hard time researching my dad’s side of the family. But I did make some progress on his mother, Sarah Jenkins Mcgraw, Jenkins line recently. I found her parent’s dates of death information from the Rose Hill Cemetery in Texarkana, TX. The volunteer hours put in by those who documented this and other cemeteries is much appreciaated by this researcher. Charels J. Jenkins was interned  14 April 1941. I sent off for his death certificate on line

Because I had left something off of my request I received a phone call from a polite gentleman from the Texas Department of State Health Services. One of the questions he asked me was Charles Jenkins’ social security number.  I knew that he probably did not have one as he was a carpenter/ contractor and worked for himself. This was way before the days of mandatory social security numbers. Anyway a few weeks later I got the certificate and from it found he died in 12 April 1941, his birth date was 8 May 1857 and his father’s name was John Jenkins, and he died from cancer of the lower lip. He probably chewed tobacco. I did not get his mother’s maiden name.

But the father’s name led me to so much more information. In the process I found transcription errors on two censuses for Charles Jenkins. I cannot even count the number of times I have tried to find him prior to the 1900 census, even though I knew the family lived in the Rome Georgia area before they moved to Texarkana.  It was like he did not exist. But once I found out John’s name I was able to find the family in the 1880, 1870, 1860, and 1850 censuses, always in the Floyd County Georgia area.  I found the transcription error in the 1880 census. The surname was transcribed as Jennins  and another researcher found the error in the 1860 census. This time the surname was listed as Seveheus. When you pull up the actual record you can see that the handwritng is very bad, but you are able to read Jenkins and all the names fit my Jenkins family.

Listed living with John Jenkins in the1880 census is Amy Rhudy (1814 – 07 Jan 1886) , mother-in-law.(Her maiden name is Comer)  Another great find. So John’s wife, Caroline (b1840)  now has a maiden name. From here I was able to find a lot of information on the Rhudy family history and am still wotking on that line. There may even be another patriot in the bunch.

Regarding John Ballad Jenkins’ (1827 – after 1880)  ancestry I am kind of stuck. One genealogist has given his parentage as Abner G. Jenkins and Mary Cleghom because it seems to fit, but I have not seen any proof yet. I would love to hook into that family’s history because a lot of research has been done but until I get the proof it is only speculation.

I had not ordered Charles J Jenkins’ wife Mollie Mary Crawford’s (30 Aug 1853 – 5 Mar 1923) death certificate. That document  is next on the list of expenditures. I did find her family in the 1860 census in Georgia. On my dad’s side, there is one great grandparent who’s death information I have not found and that is Mary Johns McGraw (b1853 in SC – d betw 1920 -1930). She is probably buried in Eylau Cemetery in Texarkana TX, because that is where her husband, Christopher Malachi McGraw, is buried, but I have not found a record of it yet.

Bay County Public Library

The new library

As promised I visited my local library yesterday as part of the “52 Weeks to Better Genealogy.” and looked through the stacks. For a small town our library is fantastic. There is foresight there. Rebecca Saunders heads the Local History Department and the Genealogy Department. The library staff is knowledgeable and helpful. As a bonus plus they host a Genealogy After Hours on the third Thursday each January, April, August and October. The library is closed and only open to those doing genealogical research from 5 – 8 PM. Also a a library card holder you can also access Heritage Quest online at home.

In the stacks I found a large selection of books about Virginia, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, more than I could sift through in a day. Next time I will be more organized. While I did take my computer with all my data on it, I found it cumbersome to keep referring to it to see what families to look up in the various books. I need to have geographical areas, time spans and surnames outlined before I start.

Next time I will have to take pictures of the stacks.

Day 1

I have been wanting to start a genealogy blog for a while. Plus at the Bay County Genealogical Society’s Spring Seminar, I am going to be doing a segment on Genealogy Blogs so I figured I should have one.

Yesterday on We Tree mention was made of  52 Weeks of Better Genealogy. This weeks challenge is to visit the public library and make a list of all the books that might help you in your research. So I hope to do that tomorrow.

Today at GeneaBloggers is Madness Monday. The ancestor that is driving me mad is the father of Christopher Malachi McGraw (19 Dec 1852 -6 Aug 1933) whose  name is not know. Malachi is my great-grandfather and the earliest two records of him are a marriage announcement in a Union County church announcement and the 1880 census having him living in Fish Dam, SC.  I have a distant cousin who talked to my father in the 1970’s and my father said he remember’s stories of my grandfather’s about being a witness to the burning of Atlanta when he was a boy. This cousin also believes that the ggrandmother’s name is Elizabeth Dalman, but I have not been able to prove any of this. So I continue to search.  I hope to make a trip to SC this Spring and he is the main person I will be researching.