Monday, February 25, 2013

Pictures – Day 24 of the Family History Writing Challenge

Sheldon Livesay, who runs Of One Accord, an outreach ministry and food bank in Rogersville, Sneedville, and Church Hill, Tennessee, is my 2nd cousin. He is a busy man who has joined me on my journey and found, like I said in an earlier post, documents and pictures. He has been scanning photos into his website.

The photos are a treat. People who were just names have faces. They lived in homes and played on the river. There is a picture of my grandfather’s brother, Victor, being baptized in the river. They photos offer comfort.

My grandfather left Tennessee and moved to Montana, far away from the family. Cut off from the Tennessee family, us kids grew up without knowing much about them. We were an insular family with just the three brothers. My uncle Ralph, stayed in Montana, married Bernice, but had no children. My uncle Howard, move to the San Francisco area and had five kids. My parents moved to Southern California with just my brother and I.

I have been playing with genealogy for a long time and I can recite names and dates from memory. Now, for the first time ever, these have become real people. Today on day 24, I am posting some of these remarkable images.

Let’s start with Sheldon. I cannot say how grateful I am for his help.

Sheldon in the grandson of Victor Edwin Rhea, brother to my grandfather William Ogden Rhea. Victor married Cornie Hutson.

Victor and Cornie had three daughters. The oldest is Jewelle. In the letters my great grandmother wrote to my grandparents, she mentioned that Jewelle sucked her thumb. Before ever seeing a picture of her, she had already become a real person. Tidbits like that make the research fun. Opal is the next sister and Mossie (Sheldon’s mother) is the youngest.

We don’t have many pictures yet of Washington Floyd Rhea, another of grandpa’s brothers. I am also in search of pictures of Martha Jane. I have two in my possession but Sheldon posted another.

This is Floyd Rhea, his wife Elisa and three of their seven boys, John, Guy, and Homer. Martha Jane Rhea is on the left. Floyd’s youngest son, Robert is 90 and still living. His wife June and I have begun writing to each other. She says they have been married for 71 years.  

This is so exciting. What is even better is I am not alone anymore. I have help from my cousin Patty and Sheldon. Even June is willing to help although Robert has dementia and doesn’t remember much, she has shared a little of her life and childhood. I appreciate her so much.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to have these photos of extended family. I've taken on my mother's archives and need to really get to work sorting what she accumulated (88 years worth).