Sunday, August 11, 2013

2013 Family History Vacation

It is not everyday that I willingly post a picture of me that is not composed to show only my smile. However, this is a 1848 Hawkens rifle that was used in the Civil War. My son bought this rifle recently and while he and my brother are gun collectors, my interest is centered around family history. The Hawkens is a muzzle loader and was made in St. Louis, Missouri. My great grandfather was murdered using his own rifle. I don't know if it was a Hawkens but it was a popular gun used in the war and very common in Eastern Tennessee. I was surprised at its accuracy but can't imagine having to reload it for each shot. The picture was taken on our family history vacation in Missouri. Christopher is showing me how to use it while Niles is loading one of the pistols in the background. Chris is my youngest son and Niles is my grandson.

View of downtown Eldon, Missouri. This is where my grandmother grew up. In terrain, it is similar to Sneedville, Tennessee although not as green. The area is more rocky and I imagine that farming was a little more difficult. I have a better understanding of my grandma's background after visiting the area. I have no idea where she lived, (it wasn't in town) but there was a town to go to for supplies and not as cutoff as my grandfather in Tennessee.

This is the courthouse in Carthage, Missouri. In 1914, my grandparents came here to get their marriage license. I had seen pictures of this courthouse but pictures don't do it justice. It sits on a square surrounded by Victorian and Craftsman homes.

We had a great trip. We met new family (my husband's missing siblings), spent time with my family and got a better understanding of the history that made my grandmother who she was.

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