Off To Mississippi

progress high school062 doneReggie, Terry, Barbara, and I are heading to Mississippi tomorrow.  We are going to have a wonderful time!  There are several cemeteries we would like to visit, new cousins we will be meeting, and a Pike County Bicentennial Celebration to attend.   I haven’t been to Mississippi since 1984!

Photo taken by Daddy on a visit in the late 1970s of Progress High School.


Adding new discoveries to old articles!

1937 Adrian head986After finding new photos and information, I have recently updated two of the early blog articles I had written about Daddy’s first two years in the Navy.  I think you will really enjoy the new additions.  Please choose Navy 1 Adrian joins the Navy and Navy 2 USS Helena Shakedown Cruise from the blogroll.  (Yes, I know I have stopped at 1944 on his Navy story.  I promise I will finish!)    Enjoy!

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!

Polish Lace

mushroom hunting for articleToday’s blog article is about lace.  I have been on the “hunt” for this particular item for about three years.   Choose Polish Lace from the blogroll on the right.   The article is a pdf.  After downloading it, please choose “full screen” from the “view” pull-down menu.   Enjoy another small piece of family history!

Emigration and Immigration!

Wedding 1920 grandparentsToday’s blog article is called Leaving Poland.  After visiting Poland in September, I realized just how radically different life became for our ancestors when they chose to move to America.  Going from rural  farming areas to Brooklyn must have really been difficult.  Because of additional information discovered since I began blogging four years ago, I have updated some articles that carry the stories through the entire process.  Please begin with “Leaving Poland” from the blogroll on the right.  I wouldn’t mind hearing what you think since feedback is always helpful.  Enjoy!

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!

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