One of the most sought after treasures by genealogists, is memory. Not computer memory, although that is nice to have too, but the memories someone shares. When a person tells a story of the past, either vocally or in writing, not only does the family historian get valuable information on events or persons from the past, but they get a unique perspective from the story teller. This colored lens, gives insight into the storyteller, a family historian will find invaluable.
Here is a short narrative given by my grandmother Virginia Abrams Fall. She is describing her maternal grandfather, John Thomas Guthrie:
“Memories of my grandpa are real good ones. He always made me feel loved. He was a great story teller. I used to set on his lap in the cool of the summer evenings in the back yard. He would always have his pipe and he would hum softly or tell me stories. He was very gentle. He had the bluest eyes that could sparkle and dark hair which turned to grey later on. His cheeks were a bright pink and of course being a farmer he was always brown.”
Thank you for reading,
Memories of those who have passed, are more valuable than a chest full of gold. Virginia Abrams Fall, my grandmother, was kind enough to write down a few memories of her own grandmother, Martha Matilda Morgan.
“My memories of Martha when I was a child was that she raised hundreds of White Leghorn chickens. I loved to make them fly and it was very easy as they were of a skittish breed. She finally convinced me that it wasn’t the thing to do. I used to go with her to “help” her deliver eggs and some of her home-made butter. If I was real good she would buy me a Nehi strawberry soda pop at the little store that she delivered eggs to. I spent a number of summers with her. In the afternoons, it was so hot and she didn’t have an air conditioner, so she would put a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan and I would have my afternoon “rest” (I really think it gave her time to rest). I would lay there on the floor in front of the fan and she would tell me stories. The one I remember most was the stories of my Great Grandpa and Grandma, whose pictures were on the wall. I would look at them and try to figure out what it was like when they were alive. She would always remember my birthday and send material for my Mother to make me a couple of dresses. She would send pats of butter, a box of dates and a bag of pecans to us for Christmas. I have so many good memories of her that there isn’t room here for all of them.”
A little bit of back story. Martha Matilda Morgan was born on 2 February 1882 in Golden Pond, Kentucky. She was the fourth child of George Washington Morgan and Margaret Benson, fourth out of thirteen kids. That many children is a little hard to fathom. The Morgan family moved around a bit between Kentucky and Arkansas, mostly staying in Kentucky. In the 1900 United States Federal Census, they finally settled down in Lake City, Craighead County, Arkansas.
In November of 1900, Martha married a tall good looking guy, John Thomas Guthrie. They were married for almost 48 years old when Martha passed away in 1948 at sixty-six years old.
Thank you for reading,