As during the Spanish Flu Pandemic, the entrance into the new year brought little change. Our country has passed the halfway mark for deaths of the previous pandemic. The weariness continues, but there is hope. I'm fortunate to continue my work from last year. The challenges and history of western Virginia keep my mind busy and my heart full. Brick walls broken, parentage for a client's grandfather discovered, and the parentage of a great-grandfather, all through extensive research and DNA analysis. There is much to look forward to in this new year ahead.
The crazy year of 2020 continues. As we watch the number of infections continue to increase and a slow close of the election, the county and world are weary. I'm sheltering at home and working on my portfolio. Genealogist have been fortunate to have our teaching institutes offer classes virtually during this difficult time in our world. I took the Advanced DNA course in July through GRIP, it was great!
My research the past 9 months has been centered on many southwestern counties in Virginia. Roanoke, Franklin, Bedford, Botetourt, Henry, Montgomery, Pulaski, Giles, and Smyth. The history of these counties and the people will forever be a part of my heart and soul. Some of the surnames I'm working on are Merriman, Paris, Wertz, Garst, Parrish, Harkrider, Mills, Burton, Trent, Hazelwood, Patsel, Neighbors and so many more. If any of these names strike a note with you and you'd like to reach out, please email me! There have been many surprises, broken brick walls, and mysteries, but isn't that the best part of genealogy‽ I look forward to taking some time to explore the countryside of these wonderful counties once it's safe to travel!
Stay safe and keep digging!
Experiencing Granville County, North Carolina
Granville County is a land that still retains the beauty and simplicity of the past. Just take a walk deep into the woods, and you will understand why our ancestors moved to this place. Granville County, created from Edgecombe County in 1746, is rich in our state's history. Please feel free to send your memories and experiences to be added to this page.
During the time of 2015-present, I have walked many an acre of our Satterwhite ancestors' properties. Not just the Satterwhite land but also their collateral families: Knott, Norwood, Wilson, Strum, Hunt, Davis, and the list continues. All of these families lived nearby, and their everyday lives intertwined for generations. They were farmers, merchants, soldiers, and politicians.
The first Satterwhite men that came to Granville County were Captain Michael Satterwhite, Thomas Satterwhite, and John Satterwhite. They lived among men that shaped not only our state but also this country, such as John Penn (1741-1788) and Thomas Person (1733-1800).
If you are ever in the area, it is worth the trip back into the woods to see the John Penn Memorial located on his original land. While his remains are now in Guilford County, the experience of being at the original site is well worth the time. It is humbling to see the burial grounds for the enslaved souls.
I spend most of my time in the upper east quadrant of the county. The area still holds the feel of timeless history. If you need to research your ancestors, the courthouse is in Oxford, NC, and the Richard H. Thornton Library is within walking distance. You will find the history room well equipped, and Mark Pace, who heads the genealogy department, is the best!
In a need to get out of the house, take a break from ProGen homework and the computer, I decided to take a spur of the moment trip over to Chatham County, NC. The person of my assignment this month, Thomas Sidney Richardson, was from this county before moving to Norfolk County, MA. Thomas's first wife and stillborn daughter are buried in Chatham County.
I've been thinking about how many mothers and babies seem to be lost in the past. Most often their deaths were due to childbirth and illness. Many buried in unmarked graves but even those graves we can find seem to be lost and forgotten until we make it a point to search them out. Today is the day I felt the need to find Louisa "Lou" F. Martin Richardson and her baby girl and let them know they are not forgotten.
Lou's gravestone was large and the inscription read, "Tho lost to sight in memory dear". She is buried beside her mother, father and daughter. Lou's father died before her so that meant her mother may have stood there with Thomas and other family members in such heartache of losing these two precious lives.
Thomas and Lou had been married in Browns Chapel United Methodist Church on 14 Aug 1886, she was nineteen. Lou died on 8 Feb 1887, not yet reaching her twentieth birthday. Lou and her daughter are buried in the church graveyard.
As often happens in the course of research, I have conflicting information. Lou's gravestone has a death date of 8 Feb 1887. Their daughter's gravestone states she was stillborn on 7 Mar 1887. Did the stone cutter get the dates switched? Did he get one of the months wrong? If the baby was stillborn she wouldn't have been born a month after Lou died. More likely, if they didn't die within a day of each other, the baby would have died and Lou would have died the next day or within the next month.
Today they received flowers and a part of my heart in the form of glass heart cabochons made in my kiln. These hearts often go to those I hold dear to my heart in life and also to those who have passed that I will carry in my heart. I like to bury these hearts about a foot down into the grave.
I hope Lou and baby girl Richardson have traveled happier journeys since their sad days in 1887. Thank you both for the opportunity to discover your lives and for today to make a new memory.
"Tho lost to sight in memory dear"
Tonight I said goodbye to my very dear friend and cousin, Dennis Lee Satterwhite. He fought an incredibly brave battle against cancer for the last six months. We were with him to the end of this journey and sent him, with love and care, to the next.
For nearly three years Dennis and I have spent countless hours researching our Satterwhite ancestors in Granville County, North Carolina. Our boots were on the ground doing miles of hiking in heavily wooded areas and hands-on research on every record we could find. We found and walked the original properties of our beginning ancestors: Michael, James, Howell, Solomon, and Nathan Satterwhite. We found lost burial grounds and uncovered records that have changed the past research of this amazing family. My search will continue but it won't be the same without Dennis. I know he will be walking with me in spirit and who knows, perhaps guiding me towards the other mysteries yet to be solved.
Dennis, I hope your new journey is fantastic.......
The more I research, the more Satterwhites I find in so many places! Hanover County, Virginia where I'm searching for biological family in the Mallory bunch has led me to find they married into the Satterwhite family of Caroline County right next door! I knew they were in that county but wasn't expecting them to pop-up with the Mallory, Tate, and Childress lines. What a small world!
I'm on the coutdown to my first trip to Salt Lake City for a learning experience of a lifetime! SLIG stands for Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The course I'll be taking is by Thomas W. Jones, Advanced Methodology. This should be not only an exciting time but will help me in my quest to become the best researcher I can possibly be.
On July 17, 1891, the Oxford Public Ledger Newspaper printed the first "Satterwhite Sayings" column. The newspaper in the "Old" days was like the FaceBook of our time. Besides the daily news, it was the place to go for all social doings, comings, and goings. In the Oxford Public Ledger, a section called "Around Granville" with each community let the people of the county know what was happening. Stem Siftings, Bullock Breezes, Dabney Doings, Dexter Dots, and others spread the news of small communities in the area. Old newspapers are a wealth of information for a researcher and a valuable resource. On the first day of Satterwhite Sayings, the following was the opening for their little space in the paper:
"Since you allow space in your very instructive paper to county correspondents, we feel assured that you will not deny us this privilege. Although we may be a little obscure to the world at large as we have no railroad as yet through our section, still we feel ourselves as prominent as any of the little places. Our location is high and consequently very healthy."
And so it began! Weekly bits of everyday life in the neighborhood! This space on the Satterwhite Genealogy website will be a little of the old news and a little new! If there is something you would like to have published to our Satterwhite community, drop me a line, and I'll put it in for all to see. I'll also add bits and pieces from all around the county of Granville from the old newspapers for anything I find on our Satterwhite and collateral families!