A Civil War Letter

Today’s blog article is a very special story.  We are not often given the chance to view distance family events from a personal perspective.   Today, you will.   While collecting pictures and stories during the 1970s, Daddy located and copied a letter written by a distant uncle during the Civil War.   Terry has spent many, many hours researching and writing about the events and people mentioned in the letter.  She has done an incredible job and has even written a poem you will NOT want to miss!  Please choose “A Civil War Letter” from the blogroll on the right.  Note:  The document is a PDF.  Once you download it, choose “full screen” from the View pull-down menu.  This will allow it to be viewed as a slide show.  Then you can use page up and down to move through the slides.  ENJOY! 

Christmas Eve – Polish Style

Love 1970sDuring the past few days, I have been remembering Christmas Eve with my family and missing my Mom and Dad.   As I thought about our traditions, I began to wonder about my Polish ancestors’ traditions too.  After researching the topic, I decided to weave a story of customs and churches for you to enjoy.   Please choose Christmas Eve – Polish Style from the blogroll!   MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

Polish Origins Adventure!

last chat with ZenonIMG_4251After several months, I have finally posted another story!  As you probably know, John and I went to Poland in September.   It was a once in a lifetime trip!  Today’s blog in a summary of the discoveries of the trip.   I have written it as a genealogy story, not as a travelogue.  To me, the importance of the trip was in discovering people, places, and documents, not in what we ate (though John learned to love a Polish soup called Zurek).  Please choose “Polish Origins Adventure” from the blogroll on the right.  Enjoy!

Back from Poland

Me and sign for KumelskIMG_3643


Last Friday I was evidently still suffering from jet lag and forgot it was Friday.  No Friday fun!  Sorry about that!  The picture above shows me standing in front of a sign pointing to Kumelsk located up the dirt road.  This was the last place of residence for my grandfather, Rajmund Wierzbicki, before coming to the USA in 1909.   Kumelsk is located in northeastern Poland about 100 miles from Lithuania and Belarus.  Today there IS a Friday Fun.  Enjoy!

Great Reunion!

screen up DSC00908What a wonderful time we had!  There were about 120 of us there – all because Ferman Esco Fortenberry and Nellie Mae Simmons decided to marry and then had six sons!  Please see the three photos under Friday Fun.  As many of you know, this will be my last posting until the beginning of October.  Have a fantastic September-catch you on the other side!

Reunion is just around the corner!

I hope everyone has been keeping up with the Friday Fun and Reunion information!  This reunion is going to be a once in a lifetime experience.   As most of you know, there has not been any new blog articles in a while due to all my planning for an upcoming visit to Poland.  I have been spending lots of hours getting all the Polish genealogy organized for the genealogist/guide who will be taking me and John around Poland for ten days.  Wish Mom could come with me!

Another Story from the Civil War

Today’s blog was researched and written by Terry.  Thanks Terry for being willing to work so hard in helping me bring our family stories to light!  As we go through life, our personal experiences range from joyous to tragic and the same was true for our ancestors.  To me, the point of genealogy is not a list of names and dates or a hunt for “famous ancestors.”  It is finding and telling the stories about those who came before us.  

The story you will read today is about Mary Jane Washburn who was our family link to the Pilgrims!  Please choose Mary Jane Washburn from the blogroll on the right.  As with the previous post, it is a PDF.  After loading, you will need to find the toolbar, choose the box with the four arrows going toward the “margins” and click on it.  This will allow you to view the document in full page format and to use the “page up” and “page down” arrows.

Don’t forget to check the Friday Fun.  Also, the site for the F6 family reunion has been booked and we are in the planning stages.  We have a Facebook page with info.  Please visit it when you can!  It is called Fortenberry Reunion.

Family Origins

Hello everyone,

Today’s post was written to include our extended family – really extended – as in back to the early 1500s!  Because this document will be read by many people outside our immediate family, I have saved it as a pdf file to have some measure of document protection.  This means that it will not open as a Power Point and hyperlinks cannot be directly accessed with a click.  Web addresses of places I would like you to visit will have to be copied and pasted.

If you are reading this and do not belong to my Mississippi Fortenberry family, please skip forward to the records of North and South Carolina.

From the blogroll on the right, please choose Family Origins.  Once the pdf has downloaded, you will probably need to choose the icon on the toolbar that is a square with arrows in 4 directions.  This will make the slide fit the screen.  Also, use the “page down” button on the keyboard so that you do not have to scroll.

Note added on  April 16:  I made a correction from the information at the end of the document.  At 12 generations, we have 4096 direct ancestors.  That’s a lot of grandmas and grandpas!

New weekly posting!

smileHappy Friday everyone!

Because I would like for everyone to visit my blog a little more often, I am going to do what most bloggers do – I am going to publish some kind of post every week.  In the past, it has taken me quite a few weeks to get a story ready, particularly one that required a lot of research.  This meant that there could be a lot of “dead” time between posts.  Not anymore!  Every Friday I will be adding something small.  I have many, many photographs and stories that will not be used for a particular story line – but I think you would like to see them.   If you have a story or photo you would like included, just let me know!

Teaser:  The next full post will be about our connection with the Van Valkenburg family of the Netherlands!

You will find the weekly posts on the blue bar above called “Friday Fun.”



Picture1Finally!!  After four months of research and writing, I have finished putting together what I hope is a coherent explanation of some of the information found in Raymond’s DNA.  You will probably be able to feel my “science teacher persona” coming through loud and clear.  Please choose “Our DNA” from the blog roll, get comfortable, sit back, and pretend you are in a very personal biology class!

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