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!


Granny Fortenberry

granny middle age done701Today’s story is about Granny Fortenberry.  She was the wife of Ferman Esco Fortenberry and the mother of six wonderful men, among them, my father Adrian Fortenberry.  This one is written especially for the 25 of us that are Fortenberry first cousins.  I have kept this one as a Power Point so if you would like to copy some of the pictures, it would be easier to do than with a PDF.  Please choose Granny Fortenberry from the blogroll to the right.

Gasua tintype 917Today’s blog article is about a rifle barrel currently in the posession of Regina Fortenberry Cross.  One day while showing it to me I began to wonder about it.  What kind of gun was it from?  How old was it?  Who was the original owner?  As it turned out, the barrel actually had a lot to say!  I really did not expect to write an article about it, but here it is.  From the blogroll on the right, please choose “Rifle Barrel from the Past” and enjoy!

Society of Mayflower Descendants

mayflower-8Terry has recently completed the process of becoming a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants.  This group is open to people with a direct line to someone that arrived on the Mayflower in 1620.  In this case, direct line does not mean an ancestor with the same last name (ie: Fortenberry/Van Valkenburg), but anyone who would be your grandparent many generations back.  For Adrian and Wanda’s grandchildren, our Mayflower ancestor would be your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather.  Yes, that is 11 greats!  The genealogical shorthand for that would be 11X grandfather.  Please choose “Society of Mayflower Descendants” from the blogroll and enjoy.  Maybe you would be interested in joining. Terry has done all the work that would make it easier for other descendants of Mae and Ferman Fortenberry to join!  Her article even explains the process you would follow.  The society even awards scholarship money!

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! 

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!