Thursday, January 30, 2014

#3 Getting my Driver’s License

Oh my . . . what a story!  My first driving experience/lesson was from my mom.  It was summer and we were working in the hay field.  Mom said I should drive the pickup back to the house (we weren’t going on any public roads – I didn’t have my permit yet).  This was Dad’s blue chevy pickup – standard transmission.  Need I say anymore?  Did fine driving up out of the hay field.  It was the sharp turn coming through the gate onto the driveway that did me in . . . didn’t turn sharp enough and ended up in the lawn . . . slammed on the brake and killed it (I forgot all about the clutch!).  Mom was cool, she just said start it up and get straightened out.   Ok, easier said than done.  I got it started and turned to get back on the drive way and low and behold . . . didn’t turn the wheel back to go straight down the driveway but instead went right through the barb wire fence into the hayfield.  Guess what?  I slammed on the brakes (again without using the clutch) and killed it.  I said forget it.  Mom had to drive it out of the field.

Dad’s take on it?   You and your mother will need to fix the fence.  This wasn’t a small mend but 30 feet!  Well, needless to say, come October, Dad was out there fixing the fence.  And I never lived it down!

When it came time to take Driver’s Education in school, went to registration and well . . . the sign said your birthday had to be before a certain date (it seemed like it was an October or November date and mine was in December).   So, I was trying to figure out what else I would take when my mom asked if I got signed up.  I told her I couldn’t and she said they changed the date . . . sure enough, I can sign up so off I went.  The first day of class we were filling out the paperwork to get our Learner’s Permit.  I got in an argument/discussion with my teacher about the county I lived in.  I was putting down Thurston and he said that was not possible.  It was Lewis.  (We actually lived in Thurston with a Centralia mailing address – our house was 1/2 mile from the county line).   During school, we did classroom work and had the actual driving lessons after school.  I had a really good teacher.  The car we had was a Dodge (I can’t remember anything else about it) with an automatic transmission.  Passed the class . . . now it was to get practice in so I can get my license.  Oh, wait, I don’t have a car to practice in.  That was in 1975.

Ok . . . we need to find me a car.  Did a lot of calling and asking questions and having Dad check things out.  We finally found one that met everybody’s criteria – a 1968 Custom Ford – 4 doors, automatic transmission and not the greatest color.  After doing some high financing with my parents (the total cost was $500 – I paid $250 and financed the rest with them), I had my car.  Mom went out on my practices and then we finally went to the local Dept of Licensing.  Paid the money and took the written exam.  I think I passed it the first time.  The Driving test was next.  Not so good.  I had to parallel park between two actual vehicles (I was lied to by my driving instructor in school – he said there would only be one).  Did okay but forgot to use hand signals when pulling back out.  Oh, and I didn’t exaggerate my looking over shoulder for traffic.  And my car had a tendency of stopping in the crosswalks.  All those minor points caused me to fail the exam.  I was heart-broken.  I so wanted my parents to be able to enjoy their wedding anniversary without us kids.  Took the exam a second time and passed.  That was in 1976 and I was getting ready to start my Junior year in High School.

Then I had to go to work to pay my debt and keep the car fueled.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#3 - Richard Keesee

Still working on my mother’s side.  This is another of my sixth great grandfathers.  Richard is believed to be the son of George Keesey (no definitive proof) born in 1720 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  He died 9 March 1793 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  Richard married Ann Fish (date and place unknown).  They had 8 children.  Some of the kids were born in King George County, Virginia and others were born in Amelia County or King George.

Richard or his son, Jesse, could be another possible patriot for the Daughters of the American Colonists if they were involved in the militia or provided support to the militia prior to July 4, 1776.

Some of my information about the Keesee family came from my visit with Mr. Clyde Runyon in Belfry, Pike County, Kentucky in 1980.  Clyde could not prove definitively about Richard being our direct line as Census records did not list family members, every generation had a Richard, George & Jesse (making it difficult to keep family lines straight).

Another source I used was from a Mr. Vincent Keesee in his book, The Keesee Family in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Let’s take a look at the counties and see if it is possible that the family didn’t really move but borders changed.  Again, I’ll use Wikipedia to get the history.  Westmoreland County was established from Northumberland County in 1653.  King George County was established in 1720 when land was split from Richmond County and that it was substantially reorganized in 1776 and 1777 when land was swapped with both Stafford and Westmoreland Counties.  Wikipedia doesn’t have history on Richmond County but their website indicates that they were formed in 1692 (more than likely also from Northumberland).  Northumberland was the “ancestor” of 116 counties that ever existed in Virginia’s history having been created in 1648.

Amelia County was created in 1734 and 1735 from parts of Prince George and Brunswick Counties.  Prince George was formed in 1703 from a portion of Charles City County.  What’s interesting here is that Brunswick was formed from Prince George in 1720.  Charles City is one of the “original” counties of the Virginia Colony, being founded in 1619.  That makes me think that the family was never in Amelia County but was in King George.

Pittsylvania County was formed in 1767 from Halifax County.  Halifax was established in 1752 from Lunenburg County.  Lunenburg was established in 1746 from Brunswick.
I’ll have to take a closer look at the various census records and see where they were taken and place it in a timeline along with the county formations to see if there was actually migrations or just boundary changes.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

#2 Grade 1

I still attended Grand Mound Elementary School and my teacher was Miss Ely (or was it Mrs??? – I’ll have to find my School Days memory book for the photos, etc).  It was exciting to be in the 1stGrade.  We got to be upstairs with the other classrooms (the school only went to the 4th Grade).   We had the Dick & Jane readers.  Because I already knew how to read, I was put in the “advance” series.  I think there were about 4 of us.  There was one boy in the class that was 4 years old (his name was Jay).

Lunch was eaten in the classroom.  I don’t think there was a hot lunch program at the school.  I didn’t have perfect attendance due to getting the mumps (there wasn’t a vaccine back then).  I can remember going back to school and not being allowed to go outside for recess for several days.  I can also remember playing in the play shed on rainy days.  I would bring some of my “Barbie” dolls to school and my friends and I would play with them.  On the nice days, I would play on the swings or we would walk around the playground.  I can remember another girlfriend and I would pick up these black rocks and put them in our pockets.  These rocks ate holes in our coat pockets.  I’m not sure what type of rock they were but might have been volcanic rock.

I don’t remember if there was a Christmas program that year but I’m sure there was.  But I do remember us having to write (actually print) what we wanted to be when we grew up – I wanted to be a teacher!  Didn’t most little girls?
Another memory is “field trips” to Rochester Elementary school to join up with the class there and learn how to dance in their gym.  I can remember going home in tears because one of the boys was mean and had torn my dress.  I can’t remember his first name but his last name was Cram and I found out he was “related” (he was the grandchild of my Great-Grandmother Lucy – she was actually my grandfather’s stepmother).
I rode the school bus to and from school.  I can remember a couple of times where the bus driver forgot to let me off and he had to take me to the house instead of my normal stop.  The first time was when I sat in the back of the bus.  He told me that I need to sit towards the front so that he can see me.  So, a couple of days or weeks later, I sat right behind him.  Guess what, he didn’t see me.  So after that, I sat in the third row.
Best friends were Susan, Margo & Cynthia Knickerbocker.

#2 Joseph Bevins (Sr)

My sixth great grandfather (also on my mother’s side).  Joseph was born in 1751 in Belfast, Ireland.  I do not know the name of his parents or his exact birthdate.  My notes indicate that he immigrated in 1770.

He married Mary Annie Noblett (born 1765 in Pennsylvania, died 1812 in Kentucky) in 1784 in Grayson County, Virginia.  They had 10 children (I descend from Thomas, their 6th child who married into the Porter family).  He died in 1824 in Pike County, Kentucky.

Wow . . . I thought I had more information than that.  Based on birth places of their children, they lived in Russell County, Virginia in the 1780’s and Scott County, Virginia in the 1790’s.  More than likely, they never moved as Scott County was formed from Russell County in 1814.

According to Wikipedia, Grayson County wasn’t founded until 1793 when it was separated from Wythe County.  Wythe County was formed in 1790 from Montgomery County.  Montgomery County was established in 1777 from Fincastle County.  Fincastle was created in 1772 from Botetourt County.  Botetourt was established in 1770 from Augusta County.  What’s interesting is that the State of Kentucky was formed from Kentucky County which came from Fincastle County in 1776.  Russell County was established in 1786 from Washington County.  Washington County was formed in 1776 from Fincastle County.  Everything comes back to Fincastle.  So maybe that’s where I need to do the research.

My great-grandmother was a Bevins and I got to meet several of her family when I visited Pike County, Kentucky in 1980.  I also learned about the Bevins family from visiting with Mr. Clyde Runyon and obtained articles that were written by Henry P Scalf in The East Kentuckian.

I would love to find out if Joseph did any of the following so I can file another patriot in the Daughters of American Colonist:

  • Original land Owner, not inheritor
  • Descendant of Covenanter from Scotland
  • Service in battle under Colonial authority
  • Service under the banner of Great Britain, in North America, in any of the wars in which the Colonies participated
  • All military and naval service of the Colonies
  • Furnished troops or funds

Saturday, January 25, 2014

#1 Kindergarten Days

I was 5 years old when I started Kindergarten at Grand Mound Elementary School in Grand Mound, Thurston County, Washington.  I attended the morning session.  A school bus picked me up every morning (I had to walk a half-mile to the bus stop) and then Mom or my best friend’s mom would pick us up at noon.

I always have trouble remembering the teacher’s name (without looking at the class photo).  I can remember the first day when my mom took me to school and introduced me to the teacher.  I can remember her saying “You are the second Marcella” and to prevent issues, the first “Marcella”  was known as “Marcie”.

We always had free time when we first arrived.  I can remember painting easels.  I always drew houses.  I think there were times we could look at picture books.  There were the nap times (sleeping on rugs we brought from home – mine was bright orange).  During nap time, the teacher would read us stories.

We sat at tables and did various activities.  I can remember playing with clay and making various things.  One time, the fire drill alarms went off.  I was so concerned about finding the plastic bag to put the clay in that I was late for line-up and had to be at the back of the boys’ line.  Yes, we had two lines – girls and boys.

Our classroom was in the basement and we had daylight windows that overlooked the playground.  All we could see were the feet and legs of the older kids when they were playing.  Our recess time was at a different time.  I can only remember being out on the playground a couple of times.

I did have a “boyfriend”.  His name was Kimball Fosnacht and I told mom when I came home from school the first day that we were going to get married right after 12th grade.

The school had a Christmas program where each of the classes did something for the audience.  It seems to me the stage was in the 2nd Grade Classroom.  We sang a song in German – O Tannenbaum.  Wish I could remember all the words now.  In English, it is O Christmas Tree.

My best friend was Susan Kuntz.

When I find my photos, I will add them.

#1 Patrick Porter

Patrick is my Daughters of the American Colonist patriot and my seventh great grandfather on my mother’s side.   He was born 1 May 1737 to Benjamin Porter Sr and Ann Campbell.  His place of birth is unknown.  He married Susannah Walker circa 1756 in Orange County, North Carolina.  They had 8 children (I descend from the oldest, Samuel).  Patrick died 28 April 1805 in Dungannon, Scott County, Virginia.

Patrick fought in the Revolutionary War.  He received a land grant in Fincastle County, Virginia in 1772.

W.M. Willis posted A Family Biography in March 1999 providing some information and disputing others.  According to his information, Patrick was born 4 January 1737, place of birth and parents unknown.  His marriage to Susannah occurred within the Walker Creek watershed in Augusta (now Rockbridge) County, Virginia.  After their marriage, the couple moved to North Carolina, settling on property owned by Susannah’s father on Moon Creek, a tributary of the Dan River in what was then Orange (now Caswell) County. About 1770/72, Patrick & Susannah, along with her family, relocated to southwest Virginia, settling on Falling Creek, Washington (then Russell and finally Scott) County.

Patrick was involved in his communities.  He appears frequenty in the records of Augusta, Rockbridge, Fincastle, and Washington Counties, Virginia (1772 to 1800).  The first record for him is in a listing of those who contributed to the pastor’s salary at New Providence Church in 1753.  His name also appeared frequently in the records of Orange County, North Carolina between 1760 and 1770.  At various times he is shown as a member of the militia.  He also served as one of the Commissioners of the Revenue for Russell County.

Patrick did serve in Dunmore’s War as he was listed on the roster of Russell’s Company.  His actual role is unknown.  He could have been at the Battle of Point Pleasant (Kentucky, 10 October 1774) or he could have stayed at Moore’s Fort under the command of Daniel Boone.

Some of the above information is also mentioned in Omer C Addington’s Patrick Porter:  An Early Pioneer of the Clinch.  According to his article Patrick was one of the petitioners to form a new county, Guilford, from Orange County in North Carolina.   In 1769, he visited Castlewood (Moore’s Fort) and part of the Clinch River Valley.  He was looking for free land and plenty of game and water.  He evidently found what he was looking for as he had been given a land grant of 214 acres by old Fincastle County, Virginia.  The family moved to the Clinch in October 1772.  He built his fort house on Falling Creek near the present site of Dungannon.  Just below the falls of the creek he built his grist mill in 1774 (granted permission by the court of old Fincastle County).

Other information about Patrick and his family can also be found in the book, Pickin’ Up the Porters by Henry G Martin.