Jane Whelden – Protestant Nonconformist

My previous article, posted back in September, was about a 10X great grandfather named Gabriel Whelden.  Over the years, researchers have be able to learn quite a bit about this man but very little about his first wife named Jane.  I shared some new documents back in September but no one could read them because they were written in Latin using Old English script.  Since then, I have been able to get them transcribed and translated and wish to share them with everyone.  To do this, I have chosen to take the appendix concerning Jane from Gabriel’s article and write her story as a separate document.   I would really liked to have met her!  Please download the article from the blogroll on the right called Whelden Part 2 – Gabriel’s wife Jane.  Enjoy!

New Friday Format!

I have begun a new format for my Friday postings that I think everyone will enjoy.  Each week I will be discussing someone related to the family.  It may be a direct ancestor, a many times removed cousin, or a distant aunt or uncle.  I am looking forward to this format because it will give me an opportunity to share the life and times of some of our very interesting kinfolks!  Please click on the Meet Your Kin” on the page bar above (it kind of gets lost in the artwork above).

The Life and Times of Gabriel Whelden

Today’s post is the story of an ancestor from long ago.  Gabriel Whelden was born about 1583!  It is not often that we get to look at the life of an ancestor who lived over 400 years ago.   Why the picture of a tree?  Of course there was no photography in the 1600s so this is an image of the general area where he lived before immigrating to Plymouth Colony.  This is a tree in Sherwood Forest thought to be 800 to 1000 years old.  Yes, Gabriel lived within the area encompassed by the forest made famous by the stories of Robin Hood.  I hope you enjoy what has taken me quite a few months to research and complete.  The document is a pptx file because the images look so much better in PowerPoint than as a PDF.  Please choose from the blogroll on the right “Whelden Family Part 1”

Note: Image source –By Nilfanion – Wikimedia UK, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47645360


Adrian’s final year in the Navy

During the past few years, I have been relating the events of ancestors from several generations ago, but now it was time to finish a story begun years ago.    This year would have been my Dad’s 100th birthday.  Since I had only one more segment of his time in the Navy during World War II, I wanted to finish this story for him now.  Many of his grandchildren may be surprised at just how much expertise with early computers he developed while advancing though his Navy Fire Controlman career.  Please choose Navy Part 11 – 1944-1945 from the blogroll on the right and enjoy.  

F. E. Fortenberry & Sons, Inc

I have finally finished a story I have been wanting to preserve for future generations of our family – the history of an amazing company founded by a father and six sons.  This story is dedicated to the seven of them.  Cousins – I have found some surprising discoveries along the way I think you will enjoy.  Yes, I know that at 74 pages, this article is long; but I wanted to make it as complete as possible as it could not possibly be written by the next generation.  Please feel free to print it so that your family has a “hard copy.”  Choose “F.E. Fortenberry & Sons, Inc.” from the blogroll on the right.  It is a PowerPoint instead of a PDF as that allows for larger images on the screen.  Enjoy and let me know what you think!


The Elusive Henry Falkenburg

This new story is my Christmas gift to all of you!  A few months ago, I made a completely new and unexpected discovery about one of our ancestors!  Henry Falkenburg (born about 1675) was the son of the Indian interpreter, Hendrick Jacobs Falkenburg and the father of the the men who later helped settle the Shenandoah Valley and the Carolinas.   It is especially exciting to find information never before discovered.  This is the journey you will read about on this post, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I am thrilled to share it with you.    

To help my immediate family understand how he is related from most current back through time: Adrian Fortenberry-Ferman Fortenberry-William Jackson Fortenberry-Burrel Taylor Fortenberry-William Jasper Fortenberry-John Falkenberry-Jacob Falkenburg-HENRY FALKENBURG (my 6X great grandfather).   The above photo is of Jacob Falkenburg’s land on the Shenandoah River, Virginia.

Please choose “Henry Falkenburg” from the blogroll list on the right.  It will download as a PDF so you will have to play with your settings to make it run like a slide show.

Merry Christmas everyone!  

Adrian and Wanda’s TWO marriages

It is strange to discover that something you always believed to have been true may not be exactly correct.  We have always known that our parents got married on November 19, 1939.  Evidently, that was not the whole story.  Today’s new blog article is about the events that necessitated a second marriage between Adrian Fortenberry and Wanda Werbicki.  Please see the blogroll article “Adrian and Wanda’s TWO marriages.”  I have left it as a PowerPoint in case anyone wants to copy a photo.   I hope you enjoy this unusual story!


Simmons family to the Mississippi Territory

Hot off the presses – I have spent the past few months researching Willis Simmons’s time in Georgia and his eventual move to the Mississippi Territory.  Along the way, I discovered my depth of knowledge about this topic was pretty shallow –  hence the need for several months!  Special thanks to cousin Allan Thomas for sharing some of his research with me!  Allan, it would have taken me a year without your help!  The setting of the story is the central Georgia frontier in the first decade of the 1800s.

My connection to Willis and Jane Simmons is interesting as both my paternal grandparents descended from Willis Simmons. That makes me “Double Silver Creek Simmons!”  Not an uncommon occurrence in rural areas over 100 years ago!

Please choose “Simmons family to Mississippi” from the blogroll on the right.  It will download as a pdf document.  When it opens, please choose the circle with the four corners so that you can view it slide by slide.  Use the page up/down keys to navigate through it.  ENJOY!

The Falkenburgs of the Shenandoah Valley


Yes, I know it has been a long time since a new blog article was posted.  I hope this new posting will make up for that.  Here is a little background.  This has been the most difficult topic I have ever researched and written including work done for my two graduate degrees, and it has taken 11 months.  What you will read is the heritage of every single Fortenberry, Falconberry, and Falkenberry (regardless of spelling) who can trace their ancestry to anyone of this name living in the South before the Civil War or Revolutionary War.   That is a lot of people!  I wanted this work to be contained in one document; consequently, it is very long (72 slides and 87 endnotes).  Feel free to print it and read at your leisure!  Take it to your Thanksgiving celebration and share it!  Let me know what you think!

The article, “Falkenburgs of the Shenandoah Valley,” can be found in the Blogroll list on the right.  When it opens as a PDF, locate a small symbol with arrows pointing in four directions.  Please choose this option to go to full screen per slide.  This will allow you to read a full slide at a time like in a PowerPoint using page up/page down or arrow keys.  Enjoy!

Fortenberry Buggy Ride circa 1902

Ferman, siblings with horse and wagon981smallToday’s blog post is a story derived from one photograph! Terry has always loved this photograph of  part of our grandfather Ferman’s family and wanted to share it with everyone.  It would have been taken in the Simmonsville area of Pike County, Mississippi.  Find the blog title shown above from the blogroll on the right.   Grab your hat and enjoy the ride!  


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