Valle Crucis, NC

Part of the serendipity that carried us into the mountains of North Carolina can be found in the following description I discovered so long ago.

Nestled high in the mountains of North Carolina is a little known corner of the world called Valle Crucis (pronounced valley crew’ sis). First settled over 200 years ago, the Vale of the Cross is a place that historians and visitors alike have called “uncommon.”

At the time I first read those words I wasn’t aware of the personal ancestral tie I had to those early settlers. It was only a couple of years ago that I became aware that the Linville’s of Linville Creek out of Villas just down the road from Valle Crucis were the very same Linville’s I descended from. If I am correct in my map skills, one of the open green areas I can see from the top of Nettle’s Knob above Clarks Creek is the Linville Creek watershed to the north.

Visit what Charles Kuralt called “a destination,” the original Mast General Store.

Sit and play a game of checkers by the pot bellied stove or treat yourself to a bottle of the spicy ginger beer. Don’t forget to pick up a calendar for the wall back home…

Located in Watauga County near Boone, only hours from the hustle and bustle of the big city, day and weekend getaways are possible, but we are sure you’ll return eventually for a much longer stay.

And so the “Dream” began. And grows here on the web until the day it grows in the Mountains that gave it birth.

Source: Valle Crucis, North Carolina’s First Rural Historic District

First White Settlers of Watauga.– A letter from Lafayette Tucker, of Ashland, Ashe County, states that the descendants of the original Lewis who settled in that neighborhood claim that he came as early as 1730. Thomas Hodged, the first, came during the Revolutionary War and settled in what is now called Hodges Gap, two miles west of Boone, and Samuel Hix and James D. Holtsclaw, his son-in-law, settled at or near Valle Crucis at that time or before.

It is a matter of record that a family by the name of Linvil—probably an economic way of spelling Linville—were members of Three Forks Baptist Church and lived on what is now known as Dog Skin Creek, or branch, but which stream used to be called Linville Creek. The membership of that church shows that Abraham, Catharine and Margaret Linvil were members between 1790 and 1800, while the minutes show that on the second Saturday in June, 1799, when the Three Forks Church were holding a meeting at Cove Creek, just prior to giving that community a church o its own, Abraham Linvil was received by experience, and in July following, at the same place, Catharine and Margaret Linvil also were so received. Several of the older residents of Dog Skin, Brushy Fork and cove Creeks confirm the reality of the residence of the Linville family in that community. In September, 1799, Brother Vanderpool’s petition for a constitution at Cove Creek was granted, Catherine Linvil having been granted her letter of dismission the previous August.

Source: Watauga County, NC by J P Arthur

More to follow…

Serendipity in the Mountains

When I first started blogging I posted some photos from my North Carolina trips over my Photo Blog. One of the photos has consistently pulled in search engine hits. This is that photo..

Brinegar Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Built circa 1875 by Martin Brinegar. He and his wife, Caroline, raised 3 children, hogs and cows and chickens, bees for honey, corn and flax, and a vegetable garden for 50 years. Caroline sold out to the government in 1935, ten years after Martin died of pneumonia.

Martin and I share kin with some kin. Martin’s grandfather was Jacob Brinegar. Jacob’s brother, John Brinegar, married Lucretia Linville. Lucretia was the daughter of William Linville and Eleanor Bryan. William, for whom the Linville River was named, was the brother of my 5th great-grandfather Thomas Linville…Small world isn’t it.

The serendipity of another connection to the Blue Ridge Mountains…

My original WebLog circa Nov 2000

Before there were Blogs there were WebLogs. My first self-published writings on the web were my genealogy research at the old GeoCities. Just for the fun of it I thought I would put up the original weblog here for your perusal…At that time my WebLog was not a daily journal. I doubt I was online daily in those early years.

I found these posts at the Internet Archive. These posts were archived on Nov. 28, 2000,

WebLog Page

This page will contain my thoughts and the comments I generally make on my revised Home pages. As the home page is updated the comments there will be moved here. Hopefully this will become a journal of my Genealogical Odyssey. My main hope is that this will force me to update these pages with a little greater regularity than in the past.

26 November 2000

Thanksgiving is over and the update to these pages is about concluded. I probably have a few links to fix and some additions to make. I want to link the reports to the family pages as they were in the old web.

On a family note Thanksgiving at my Mom’s this year was less stressful than some have been. All of the children (my sisters and brothers and I) made the trip. As we gradually migrate further from home, these get to-gathers are getting harder to pull off. Christmas’s have been minus Sandy since she and Nigel moved to the lake. It looks like this year will be the year we children begin our own traditions with just visits to Mom’s. All of us have adult children now so the family continues…

Happy Holidays to all of you who bother to look at these pages.

12 November 2000

Beginning again.

It seems to be the nature of the internet. Always beginning. Always evolving.

This is the first major evolution of this site. Whether it is any better than the last, you will have to be the judge. The main thing that has changed is my database has been updated to remove some of the non-relatives that had been there since my very early days.

I’ve staked my claim to my homestead in cyber-space. It’s a lot like the 1870’s in Texas when my Great-Great Grandmother Eliza Freeman Boyd was allowed to stake her claim on the land she was already living on.

Other than wanting to put my genealogy out where other researchers can find it and possibly make a connection, I don’t have a definitive reason for doing this. But, come to think of it, I might have just typed the key to the Internet subliminally. After all, isn’t the entire reason for the Internet to make connections?

June 2000

It’s been another year and the 41’st Annual Boyd ~ Cox Reunion was held in Wallis, Texas this year. As always I enjoyed meeting with the family and the visit was rushed as always. The core group doesn’t change much each year. It would be nice if we could encourage a greater participation. If we don’t recapture some of our cousins, we could see the end of this family get together in a few years.

Next Years Reunion will be back in East Bernard at the Community Center / Library. This annual event is held on the second Sunday in June every year.

March 2000

Made a trip to North Carolina for work. I had a chance to spend a couple of days up in the mountains. It was my first trip up into the Smokies and I must admit I was impressed. While I don’t have any records to tie my line of Linville’s to the area, I did enjoy driving through Linville, NC and I made a side trip to Linville Falls. Beautiful… It almost makes you wonder why anyone would leave the area and go further west.

November 1999

What with a fire that destroyed our offices at work and all of the rebuilding going on there, I haven’t had much of a chance to get a lot done on my research. I was able to spend a few days in central Texas doing a little research…

I spent a few days running down some leads in the County Court House of Brown County Texas. I was looking into the death of Phillip Caleb Cox. I wish to thank the very helpful ladies working in the County Clerk’s Office, They made it very easy to do some research.

After going through the probate records, I could find no record or mention of the rumor of the murder of Caleb Cox Sr. by his brother-in-law. All I could find was several petitions to be appointed executor and a final listing of his estate. It does appear that Caleb Jr may not have survived his father for very long. I will eventually put the transcriptions on this site.

October 21, 1999

Since I last worked on this site a number of things have happened…mainly work related, that have kept me from working on this site or tracing my roots.

As I mentioned in my last opening…we did the Boyd-Cox Reunion in June. It was fun seeing all of the family that attended, I wish more of the younger generation would attend. That above statement makes me really feel old, as it wasn’t long ago that I considered myself part of that younger generation. I need to thank my cousin Jim Boyd for the copies of the original land patent papers for Great-Grandpa Silas Wilson Edward Boyd. Both he and his mother Elisabeth Freeman Boyd homesteaded in Coryell County, Texas along Beehouse Creek in the 1870’s. I am planning another courthouse trip to that area next month. I’ll let you know if I find anything new after I return.

One nice thing about this site is it leads some of my cousins to me via email. I have had a few messages from Kenneth Dupay correcting and adding some of the info on this site. I have made the changes to my database, but, I will not be updating this site until year end. Please, be aware that I have used a privatizing program to strip out any data about living people in my database that would violate their right to privacy. So all of the blanks you come across in the data on this site is not necessarily unknown. Although, anyone wishing to feel in the holes, please email me or leave a message in the guestbook.

I have also been in touch with my cousin Shirley David Smith. She has spent years researching our common Sewell Ancestors. I have spent days reading the info she has put together, and now feel I really have an example to follow in how to make this more than just data. Shirley, if you see this, Thanks for the inspiration.

July 1999

The past 2 months have been fruitful for my Pearson / Cox research. I finally was able to find a connection between the Benoni Pearson Family and Phillip Caleb Cox. It seems that both Benoni and Caleb were listed on the Tax Lists for Polk County Arkansas in 1845. From the evidence thus presented we have Benoni in Johnson County, Arkansas in 1840, in P

olk County, Arkansas in 1845, my bible record has him dieing in 1845, his widow and sons are back in Johnson County in 1850 while Caleb and Elizabeth are in Texas in Limestone County. By 1860 the whole clan is in Austin in Travis County Texas.

June 8, 1999

OK…OK. I have been very busy and have not updated this page or anything else in six months. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been shaking that family tree as often as I could.

If anyone is interested… The Boyd – Cox Annual Family Reunion happens this Sunday in East Bernard Texas. I will be attending with my family and will try to post anything new next week. In honor of the occasion the picture above is Sarah Cox and James Boyd’s Marriage License. Also, my wife’s family will be holding a Yount Reunion in August, and we hope to attend that one also.

As I stated above, this has been a very busy time and I really haven’t updated or posted any new info to this site. I hope to have more time this summer to spend getting my files in order and new info posted here.

I have had some minor finds in the first half of the year. I have spent quite a bit of time on my Pearson Family. They traveled west from North Carlina to Indiana sometime in the early 1800’s. Started raising families before packing up and moving to Arkansas. They ended up in Texas in the 1850’s, along with a group of families they met up with along the way.

I am still not having much luck tracing my Boyd ancestor, Edward. I have found reference to his marriage to Eliza Freeman in Collin County Texas in 1853 (thanks FamilySearch.org my first search on the site). If anyone out there can help with information on this man it will be very much appreciated.

December 1998

And thus begins my sojourn on the world wide web. And, since I never start small, this site began life as about 2,500 pages. Granted most were automatically created by GedPage, (which I still need to register), the program I chose because it gave the most elegant output to my eye. I hope that the info I publish will be of use to someone else out there.

June 12, 1998

The following is the forward to the Family History Book I published (in very limited editions…like about 5 a year – for our annual Boyd – Cox reunion). I decided it might be something relevant for these pages…

TEXAS

There is a mystique about this land that has endured for the two centuries settlers have been packing their belongings to leave family and acquaintances behind to start a new life in this land of promise. What was the attraction that caused our forebears to pack all their worldly possessions and leave the settled (relatively) and familiar setting of their homes to travel to the wilds of frontier Texas? Yes, when our ancestors arrived in this land we have grown to think of as our own, it was frontier. Limestone and Lampasas Counties in the 1850’s and 1860’s was still prone to wandering bands of Indians. The entire western edge of civilized Texas was a very rough place to be living during the Civil War. This was due partially to the withdrawal of the troops from the Forts along the frontier.

So, the question remains what were the attractions that brought our ancestors to this land? Most of what I have learned about our folks places them in the same class of people as Daniel Boone, always moving along just at the edge of civilization, looking for a better life, better land, better living conditions. I suppose it says something about Texas since once they arrived they stayed.

When I think about the travel conditions these people had to deal with, I am amazed that they managed to settle anywhere. The distance from Northeast Texas where most of our folks entered Texas to the area they settled is now a matter of at most a days drive, but, in their day the trip by oxen and wagon would have taken months. If they were lucky, some relative or neighbor had already made the trip and sent back a description and directions.

At this date, the earliest ancestor of ours that I have found who was born in Texas was Benjamin Franklin Cox (Benoni Cox). The 1850 Census for the County of Limestone has him listed as being 1 year old with his place of birth listed as Texas. This same source tells us his father was Phillip Caleb Cox born in Missouri about 1824, his mother was Elizabeth Jane Pearson born in Ohio about 1826. From this source we also can make the assumption that Caleb and Elizabeth were living in or passing through Arkansas in 1844 because they state that their daughter Sarah A. Cox was born there.

As we celebrate this anniversary with our 40th Annual Boyd / Cox Family Reunion, I hope that some of the facts and stories that follow will allow some others the chance to build upon the legacy our forebears left for us.

I know that in my search for information, I have had the opportunity to spend time out making the acquaintance of both the land on which our folks lived, and, the land on which they were laid to rest. I think I shall never forget the day this past March when on a visit to the Capitol in Austin I came across the record of the death certificate of Wilson Edward Boyd and read where he was buried in the Driftwood Cemetery. I went from Austin to San Marcos, where I had a copy of the certificate made, to Driftwood. Once at the Cemetery it was a short search to discover Great-Grandpa’s grave beside his oldest daughter Viola’s. As I sat there on that rainy and cold March afternoon, I contemplated what he must have seen in his lifetime and how nice and peaceful his resting place was. I have now found out that it is highly likely that our Grandpa James Pleas probably spent a part of his time growing up within ‘hollarin’ distance of that very hillside. It gives you a since of belonging, even to a place you have never been.

I do want to promise that I will continue to enlarge upon the data and the stories that the data contain. I know I will never have the full stories of these lives, but, I have discovered that most of the real joy of this type of learning is in the search and the unintended stories you learn as you hunt.

Gary Boyd

Sunday Thoughts

If my posting slows down a bit in the coming weeks, chances are it’s due to a bit of a family crisis coming to a head. Nothing life threatening (at least for now), just parental control running up against teenaged thoughts of adulthood. Youngest daughter has taken the opportunity of her 17th birthday to remove herself from the family household. Seems in Texas even though the law says children don’t become adults until 18, the police do not consider them runaways at 17 unless you suspect foul play. So now we wait to see where this goes…

On a more positive note, it appears the question of what’s happening to the bees is moving into everyday Americans living rooms this week. I heard on the TV this morning that the prime time evening news is making the disappearance the “Disaster of the Week”. That will either move it into the attention span of the average American or make it old news before anyone even has a clue as o what is causing the problem. I must say the possibilities I have seen so far seem a bit far fetched but anything is possible.

The only news out of the Republican “Debate” that really caught by eye was that three of the candidates actually did raise their hands when asked how many did not believe in evolution…How do you feel about these three controlling the budgets for the different departments scientific research? The Department of Education? Just asking…

I better get up and do something…Even if it’s not “the” right thing.

A Sunday in Spring

I thought I’d just drop a picture here…Grandson at the Grandparents in Spring…



Yardwork mostly done…just enjoying the sun.

Monday Evening Wine Muses

It looks like I am running a bit behind today…

The sad thing is, I had nothing started I can even half finish to throw out with the wash water.

I haven’t had time to run my blogroll and see what’s happening out there as I have been playing grandpa a bunch this last weekend. When I came in from work the little bit was in Grandma’s arms. After I changed and checked on the new kittens on the back porch I grabbed the grandson and bonded some more. The little toot is now in the living room with the grandma type person having his supper bottle.

Looks like the winter weather is coming to an end. It’ll be back up to 80 again tomorrow.

Looks like a number of folks in my daily reading list have been tagged with the “Thinking Blog Award” this past week. Congrats to all…I knew I read all you folks for a reason. And following the links on in your own awards has led to some interesting reading…

The wine glass calls so I’ll catch y’all on the other side of the dark…

Spring brings thoughts of gardens…

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” – Wallace Stevens

Barbara Damrosch has a new column out. It seems to be timed to remind all the gardeners out there to start thinking tomatoes. Particularly the small pop’em in the mouth kind.

Cherry bombs, the exploding kind, must have been named after cherry tomatoes, the edible kind, which burst in your mouth with a charge of candy-sweet juices. Pop one in and another must follow, whether you’re raiding the shopping bag in your car or gorging your way down a garden row. The outdoor route is pure luxury, when the little orbs are warmed by the sun, their vitamin C at magnum force.

I can remember a time not many years ago when I couldn’t help but wonder at my lack of luck with these little ruby colored jewels of the garden. My plants were beautiful, flowered profusely, even set little green fruit in large numbers. For some reason though, there were never more than a handful of ripe tomatoes. Then one day I spotted youngest son in the garden by the cherry tomato plants, and as I watched he stripped all the ripe ones off the plant to eat right there in the garden. I quit wondering then and there and the next year I planted more plants…

Source: A Stalk on the Wild Side – washingtonpost.com

Reading Barbara’s column led me back to her and Eliot’s website
where I reread Eliot’s “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming” article from The Mother Earth News.

The label “organic” has lost the fluidity it used to hold for the growers more concerned with quality than the bottom line, and consumers more concerned with nutrition than a static set of standards for labeling. “Authentic” is meant to be the flexible term “organic” once was. It identifies fresh foods produced by local growers who want to focus on what they are doing, instead of what they aren’t doing. (The word authentic derives from the Greek authentes: one who does things for him or herself.)

Eliot goes on to lay out specific standards for the term “Authentic” to be used as a descriptive label for food products. He has spent a lot of time in the Organic movement and a lot of thought has gone into his standards. He closes the article with this statement…

“Authentic” growers are committed to supplying food that is fresh, ripe, clean, safe and nourishing. “Authentic” farms are genetically modified organism-free zones. I encourage all small growers with local markets who believe in exceptional food to use the word “Authentic” to mean “Beyond Organic.” With a definition that stresses local, seller-grown and fresh, there is little likelihood that large-scale marketers can steal this concept.

Go spend some time with Eliot and Barbara, it’ll be time well spent.
Source: “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming”

Spring brings thoughts of gardens…

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” – Wallace Stevens

Barbara Damrosch has a new column out. It seems to be timed to remind all the gardeners out there to start thinking tomatoes. Particularly the small pop’em in the mouth kind.

Cherry bombs, the exploding kind, must have been named after cherry tomatoes, the edible kind, which burst in your mouth with a charge of candy-sweet juices. Pop one in and another must follow, whether you’re raiding the shopping bag in your car or gorging your way down a garden row. The outdoor route is pure luxury, when the little orbs are warmed by the sun, their vitamin C at magnum force.

I can remember a time not many years ago when I couldn’t help but wonder at my lack of luck with these little ruby colored jewels of the garden. My plants were beautiful, flowered profusely, even set little green fruit in large numbers. For some reason though, there were never more than a handful of ripe tomatoes. Then one day I spotted youngest son in the garden by the cherry tomato plants, and as I watched he stripped all the ripe ones off the plant to eat right there in the garden. I quit wondering then and there and the next year I planted more plants…

Source: A Stalk on the Wild Side – washingtonpost.com

Reading Barbara’s column led me back to her and Eliot’s website
where I reread Eliot’s “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming” article from The Mother Earth News.

The label “organic” has lost the fluidity it used to hold for the growers more concerned with quality than the bottom line, and consumers more concerned with nutrition than a static set of standards for labeling. “Authentic” is meant to be the flexible term “organic” once was. It identifies fresh foods produced by local growers who want to focus on what they are doing, instead of what they aren’t doing. (The word authentic derives from the Greek authentes: one who does things for him or herself.)

Eliot goes on to lay out specific standards for the term “Authentic” to be used as a descriptive label for food products. He has spent a lot of time in the Organic movement and a lot of thought has gone into his standards. He closes the article with this statement…

“Authentic” growers are committed to supplying food that is fresh, ripe, clean, safe and nourishing. “Authentic” farms are genetically modified organism-free zones. I encourage all small growers with local markets who believe in exceptional food to use the word “Authentic” to mean “Beyond Organic.” With a definition that stresses local, seller-grown and fresh, there is little likelihood that large-scale marketers can steal this concept.

Go spend some time with Eliot and Barbara, it’ll be time well spent.
Source: “Authentic Food – Authentic Farming”

The Middlewesterner

This paragraph from Tom Montag really hit me between the eyes. I have been having the same thoughts pretty regular these days as I look in the mirror of a morning. It’s not that I look that much like dad…But their is enough of a resemblance to cause me to remember bits and pieces.

A fellow starts out to become his own man. He wants so much to be his own man, to make his own way in the world, to become his own unique self. The longer I watched my father in the hospital bed, the more that we talked, the more I recognized I was seeing myself there, my own future self. My father has shaped me indelibly. I am not complaining, I’ve been marked by a good man. It’s just surprising to see how little of me there is in the world, and how much I take from my father, from my family, from the land, the world I come from. Nature or nurture? Ultimately it doesn’t matter exactly how it gets stirred; we seldom end up very far from where we began.

Unlike Tom, we said goodbye to my dad going on 11 years ago. I guess I too was marked by a good man. Thanks Tom, for the words I couldn’t have said but can feel way to well.

Source: The Middlewesterner

The Middlewesterner

This paragraph from Tom Montag really hit me between the eyes. I have been having the same thoughts pretty regular these days as I look in the mirror of a morning. It’s not that I look that much like dad…But their is enough of a resemblance to cause me to remember bits and pieces.

A fellow starts out to become his own man. He wants so much to be his own man, to make his own way in the world, to become his own unique self. The longer I watched my father in the hospital bed, the more that we talked, the more I recognized I was seeing myself there, my own future self. My father has shaped me indelibly. I am not complaining, I’ve been marked by a good man. It’s just surprising to see how little of me there is in the world, and how much I take from my father, from my family, from the land, the world I come from. Nature or nurture? Ultimately it doesn’t matter exactly how it gets stirred; we seldom end up very far from where we began.

Unlike Tom, we said goodbye to my dad going on 11 years ago. I guess I too was marked by a good man. Thanks Tom, for the words I couldn’t have said but can feel way to well.

Source: The Middlewesterner