In Nora Byrd’s Kitchen

The summer’s found me traveling from Queens, New York to Macon, Georgia to visit my Aunt Nora Kirksey Byrd. There were no cousins in New York but there were five us during the summers in Georgia. On certain days, we would pile into the car and head to the Farmers’ Market. Aunt Nora would select bushels of ears of corn, snap beans, butter beans, and black eyed peas.

That’s when vacation ended and work began. She would get us seated in a circle, give us bowls and brown paper bags. We would begin snapping the beans and putting them in a bowl and the tips and strings would end up in the bag. If it wasn’t beans, we did the same with butter beans and black eyed peas by popping the open and dropping the beans or peas into the bowl and the pods into the bag.

The corn was a different story. She would husk the corn. Some of the ears of corn would be prepared for freezing and some of the ears she would scrape and make cream corn.

Nora would blanch the vegetables and then chill them in ice water and put them in pint or quart bags and she would put them in the big chest freezer to be used during the year.

What fond memories I have of hanging out with my cousins, Connie, Dicky, and Mike and my brother Joe, preparing vegetables for freezing. Today, I still enjoy scraping corn and shelling and snapping beans to use during the winter.

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Favorite Photo of Lukas and Tyler

What fun it is to go out with grandchildren. My boys, Lukas and Tyler, like trains so we headed out to the Science Museum to check out the model train exhibit. They, and the children of all ages, were captivated with the trains but at the Science Museum there is always more to see. This photo is a reminder that the entire world is at their fingertips and all the opportunities the world offers is out there waiting for them to explore.


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Namesakes in the Kirksey Family

There is one branch of my family that was very patriotic and a number of the family members were named after historical figures, including the founding fathers. My double great grandfather’s name was Andrew Jackson Kirksey and he had a brother named George Washington Kirksey and their oldest brother was Benjamin Franklin Kirksey.

My Andrew Jackson Kirksey was the grandson of Elisha Smith Kirksey who was born around 1783. I can make a guess as to whom his father is but it is not proven. If my guess is correct, Elisha Smith had brothers named Christopher and George Washington. The Christopher has been handed down a number of times in other branches of this family and, in fact, one was Madison Christopher Columbus and then there was a James Monroe.

This family loved their history and the founding fathers and other historical figures.

#52Ancestors, #Kirksey, #Namesakes

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Family Legends – Philmon or is it Filmon?

There are not too many family legends in my files but there is one that is interesting. It was told to me by Marvin Philmon who was born in 1879. His father was James Philmon. James was married twice and Marvin was the youngest of the second marriage.

Marvin told me that his father said that our immigrant Philmon ancestor who came to America in 1840 was a shoemaker from Holland. I knew that couldn’t be right because James was born in 1820 in Anson County, North Carolina and was a farmer.

When the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society had a library in Manhattan, I would visit the library and roam around the stacks of books for different states. One day I was in the Pennsylvania section and I picked up some tax record books. Checking the index I found the name Filmon in the index. Turns out there were some family entries by that name in 1740. Some of the first names were Yost and Conrad. Were they from Holland and was one a shoemaker? It is very possible they were from Holland and one was a cordwainer or shoemaker . So perhaps as the story was handed down, the father telling the story became more recent and 1740 became 1840.

One thing to remember about legends, there could be a kernel of truth in the story. You just have to find it. And is it Philmon or Filmon, it can be both and more including Philemon and don’t forget, it can be spelled with an “a” as in Philman and more.

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Beginnings – Edward Kirksey – North Carolina

My surname of interest is Kirksey. We have a one name study and over a hundred members at one time or another we were sharing information. We were trying to piece together the beginnings of the Kirksey family in America and connect all the loose leaves of the family to the tree.

Edward Kirksey first shows up in 1750 in Bladen County. He applied for a survey for a 300 acre land grant. In 1752, Orange County was carved from Bladen County. In 1755 he appears on a list of tithables in Orange County with two males. Then in 1770, Chatham County was created from Orange County. Edward kept a low profile. His next and final act was to sell the 300 acres to Isaac Kirksey. The deed does not state that Isaac is his son and no wife’s acknowledgement of her dower rights appears in the document. This would indicate that he was a widower.

Living in Chatham County are Christopher, Gideon Kirksey and Isaac Kirksey and their families. There is said to be a daughter Sarah who was married to William Griffin. Here again, we have found no records indicating relationships. The early researchers believed that Edward and Rebecca were the parents of Christopher, Gideon, Isaac, and Sarah. No proof was cited. The only record we have that ties them together is the power of attorney described below.

Long time ago, in correspondence with researchers, the story was related that Edward was married to Rebecca Rickman who was said to be the daughter of Thomas Rickman. The will of Thomas was described in a post about Rebecca Rickman. The wording in Thomas’ will says his children are Christopher, Gideon, Isaac, Sarah, and Rebecca. (No last names were given, everyone else in the will had a last name. What does this mean?). Many of these early researchers said Rebecca was the mother of the four children. The 1800 power of attorney in Chatham Co. adds confusion to this story.

More information on these families can be found here:
Kirksey information page

The following is a transcript of the above Power of Attorney dated 1800 recorded in Chatham Co, NC.

Gideon Kirksey legatee of Rebeccah Richman [Rick]man alias Kirksey, Edward, John, Sarah and Isaac Kirksey heirs of Isaac Kirksey (dec’d) and his wife Mary, and John Griffin, Poel Breazeal and his wife Rebeccah, Michael Blocker and his wife Rossey, Kennon Breazeal and Hasky his wife, heirs of William Griffin and his wife Sarah (dec’d) appointed their trusty friend Christopher Kirksey attorney to collect and receive their claims against the estate of Rebeccah Rickman alias Kirksey (dec’d). Witnessed by William Kirksey, Drewry Hearn, and Benjamin Clement.

About that List of Tithables, it looks a little like David but it is Edward.

Link to Rebecca’s post

So, who is this man and what is the rest of his story?

#52 Ancestors, #Kirksey, #Rickman, #Bladen County, #Orange County, #Chatham County, #North Carolina

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Out and About

Today I was out and about. I traveled around the county to do some shopping. First the bookstore where I wanted to purchase a book wasn’t open yet. Then off to my second stop and they didn’t have what I wanted but I did pick up a small grater. The one I am using now, a Mouli grater, belonged to my parents and is becoming dull and more difficult to use. But while in the store I received a call from my daughter, Julie, about picking up a pair of socks for Zena who had cold feet. That was my next stop, an outdoor craft show where they were. My daughter-in-law is soooo crafty and her oldest girl is following in her footsteps. She made earrings for the show. From there I stopped at Magnolia Grange. The museum house was open to the public today for tours. The house was decked out for Christmas and Santa was there as well waving and greeting visitors from the second floor balcony. There were vendors there as well and I am fond of music boxes and she had repaired and decked out a couple of very cute ones. I treated myself to one.

Christmas Music Box

#Magnolia Grange, #Craft Shows, #Chesterfield, #Music Box

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After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving turned out to be a beautiful day and, of course, spending the afternoon with family is a big plus. There were eight of us but we spaced out somewhat. There was plenty of food and conversation. The boys are growing up so quickly but they sure are picky eaters. I will say it was a great respite from the talk of pandemic and politics. As usual, I didn’t take any photos.

#Thanksgiving, #Holidays

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More on Helen Wilderman Hall

Although my mother-in-law left us in March of this infamous year, 2020, she appears in odd moments. I’ve been weeding through piles of files and saved articles to be read at a later date. It was on this occasion that I found a newspaper article dated January 9, 2013, in the Village News. On the front page there is a photograph of Mom doing her thing, volunteer work at the Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield. She was 88 at the time. She continued volunteering for two more years.

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Where were you when the lights went out?

Genealogist, Thomas MacEntee, sent out an email with this headline. It brought back quite a memory for me. On Nov. 9, 1965, my best friend (and she still is), Gerry and I headed to Manhattan to the art museum. I had a paper to do for art class. The trip from our home in Far Rockaway to the museum was an almost two hour subway train ride. We did OK getting there but half way home, the power went out. It was rush hour. The train was packed. Even if you fainted you would not have hit the floor that is how crowded the train was. It was standing room only.

So, we’re in the dark, on a crowded train, no idea what happened. Finally after five hours or so, they finally led us off the train onto the tracks and into a community we were totally unfamiliar with at 10pm. Fortunately, someone who we had never met from Far Rockaway made it to a telephone booth (remember those?) and called home and made arrangements for someone to pick her up. She offered us a ride. That’s what we were doing when the lights went out.

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Recently, I began recalling proverbs that I learned as a child in school. They were a mainstay in our education; something we had to memorize. Then today as I went through a pile of saved stuff from years ago, I came across a page from a magazine with many of those proverbs. Do you remember “A penny saved is a penny earned,” “Neither a lender or a borrower be,” or “All that glitters is not gold”? The appropriate one for me at this time is, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

As we all know, this has been a strange year. Since the pandemic and quarantine began and everything shut down, my enthusiasm for most things has evaporated. Hopefully, now that my knee replacement surgery is behind me, I will begin writing again.

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