Thanksgiving Is Family

Thanksgiving is such a special day. We all give thanks in different ways – different customs, different foods, different groups getting together to celebrate. That’s the beauty of being a melting pot culture of various countries. I am, first and foremost, thankful for my family. Family is such a beautiful word and brings to mind such smiles of delight from memories we have created together over the years. And to me, it is not only the family I have known throughout my time here on earth, but the family that went before me, those I never met but have come to know through my research. What would we be without family?

What is your celebration of Thanksgiving? Throughout the years mine has changed, as I’m sure it has with everyone. When we were very young I remember going to my grandparents for Thanksgiving. Mom and Pap, my dad’s parents, lived in a house that was probably far tinier than what I remember. But no one seemed to mind. Everyone was together, playing, talking and laughing, while wonderful smells wafted from the kitchen from food that was cooked on a wood stove. It was usually cold outside and Pap had the stove in the living room filled with coal, keeping everyone toasty. And when he added another chunk we could see the red flames and sparks flying around inside the stove. Then we would step closer, holding our hands out to the warmth, and giggling, turned around to let our backside heat up. We were never really cold; it was just a ritual, a satisfying part of being in the warm cocoon of a loving family. And Pap would sit in his big chair, grinning at us. He was the first to teach me the value of family.

As I grew older, as well as my grandparents, we had Thanksgiving at home, with my immediate family, my mom and dad, my sisters and brother. Sometimes the family of an aunt or uncle would also be there, but generally it was the basic family unit. Mom always had a large turkey roasting in the oven, a large pan of her delicious dressing, sweet potatoes, which would later be topped with marshmallows, a pot of green beans that had cooked all day, cranberry sauce and rolls. Then there were the pumpkin pies. My mother, as most women of the day, made her crust. It wasn’t a store bought, frozen piecrust – that would never do! Usually the pies were baked the day before, so we enjoyed two days of scrumptious smells coming from the oven!

As we grew older and married there were more and more family members around the table. More dishes were added to the menu as we each found favorite dishes to share. I love making my own cranberry sauce with chunks of fruit and nuts. My sister is famous for her potato salad, another for her deviled eggs, and another for a pretzel salad. My brother just liked to eat.

When my dad died at the age of 50, there was one less at the Thanksgiving table. But we carried on. More children were born to my siblings; eventually some married and even had children of their own. What a boisterous bunch by that time – everyone talked at the same time, all with different opinions on whether the sweet potatoes should be mashed or cut into chunks, should we make another salad, what else could we make for dessert?

The last five years have produced different Thanksgivings. Ritchey had to work Thanksgiving Day each year. Linton, living in Indianapolis, was unable to come for the Thanksgiving weekend due to retail work and Black Friday. My mom’s health was failing, and with Alzheimer’s, was unable to cope with a house full of family. One of those years I spent the day with mom, cleaning her house, and not thinking about a meal until late afternoon. I decided to take the easy route and pick something up at a restaurant – and found everything closed! At Wal-Mart I found the last roasted chicken, some mashed potatoes and green beans at their deli. It wasn’t the homemade meal we usually had, but mom and I were hungry and enjoyed it thoroughly as we talked about past times.

My mom passed away in March and this will be the first Thanksgiving without her. There will be a tinge of sadness, but my mother lived each and every moment to the fullest, and I know that is what she would want for me. During her last years she would talk about living until she was 100 – because life was so much fun. Even illnesses didn’t get her down. But when she told my sister, about a week before she died, that life wasn’t fun anymore, I knew this was serious.

Since my daughter will feast with the in-laws, Ritchey and I are going to his brother’s family for Thanksgiving – along with their children and grandchildren, and other Brown family members. It will be another day of everyone talking at the same time, jokes abounding, laughs, hugs and games – and so much food! Saturday my very pregnant daughter and her husband are coming to our house – reminding me that next year, a new little face will be at our table. For a Thanksgiving dinner? No, a Thanksgiving brunch! Frittatas, blueberry muffins, fruit, sugar-dusted beignets, bacon and sausage. Not your traditional Thanksgiving fare, but just as delicious! Besides, just having those two special people in our home is Thanksgiving to me and Ritchey – and we mourn that fact that Linton is not. But I am extremely thankful that for each Thanksgiving since he’s lived in Indy a German family has adopted him for the day. The family of a co-worker, he is reminded each year that there is a place for him at their table. Such special people!

Any holiday is not mandated by date or time or place. The day that Ritchey and I are with our children is Thanksgiving or Christmas or birthday – no matter what day it actually is. Whether we are at home, meeting half-way in Louisville, at the beach or at either of the children’s homes, at that place, at that time, together we celebrate. We celebrate family.


Nathan Lawson – Mary Hill Marriage


Marriage License – The Commonwealth of Kentucky

To any Minister of the Gospel, or other Person, legally authorized to solemnize Matrimony.  You are permitted to solemnize the Rites of Matrimony between Nathan Lawson and Mary Hill, the requirements of the law having been complied with.  Witness my signature, as Clerk of the Washington County Court, this 23rd day of February, 1853.  John B. Sturr, Clerk

Scan_Pic0180Certificate of Marriage

This is to Certify, That on the 24th day of February, 1853, the Rites of Marriage were legally solemnized by me, between Nathan Lawson and Mary Hill, at Jane Hill’s, in the County of Washington, in the presence of Jackson Sinclair and Daniel Duggins.               Signed Daniel Burnes


Marriages – Boubon County, Kentucky

Marriages – Bourbon County, Kentucky

  • Robert Abbott married Nancy Pritchard – February 6, 1826
  • Joseph Ackerman married Susannah Shultz – April 27, 1816
  • Henry Acres married Susanna Bullin – December 19, 1809
  • Jesse Adair married Nancy McCaunehhey – January 18, 1823
  • Thomas S. Adair married Sarah Young – April 30, 1833
  • William Adair married Peggy Adair – March 1797
  • William P. Adair married Ann Griffith – January 22, 1810
  • Aaron Adams married Nancy Renell – January 17, 1808
  • Aaron Adams married Nancy Riffle – October 18, 1808
  • Francis Adams married America Branham – June 18, 1810
  • Francis M. Adams married Elizabeth Johnson – August 12, 1830
  • John Adams married Charlotte Thacker – October 1, 1832
  • John Adams married Mary Thompson – November 6, 1787
  • Thomas Adams married Polly Kenny – August 23, 1834
  • Thomas Adams married Catherine Watson – December 16, 1794
  • William M. Adams married Mary Jane Brown – August 26, 1849
  • John Adkins married Elizabeth Stockwell – March 21, 1789
  • Allen Adnisam married Polly Coyle – March 12, 1816
  • Thomas Agg married Mary Button – April 2, 1798
  • Moses Aiken married Isabella Johnson – May 12, 1797
  • John Aikman married Polly Barr – June 17, 1804
  • Adam Ailkire married Margaret Hornbeck – October 21, 1788
  • George Airlewine married Mary Snapp – February 13, 1787
  •  John Alcorn married Rachel Eubanks – April 24, 1799
  • Aaron Alexander married Elizabeth Campbell – April 14, 1797
  • Andres Alexander married Sara Eberman – September 22, 1797
  • James Alexander married Polly Henry – July 19, 1823
  • Matthew Alexander married Elizabeth Morin – February 21, 1816
  • William Alexander married Judith Dykes – April 1, 1808
  • William Alexander married Jane Stamp – December 18, 1815
  • Jacob Alker married Margaret Sydnor – June 27, 1799
  • Adam Alkine married Margaret Hornback – October 24, 1788

Biographies of Daviess County, Kentucky

from Perrin’s County of Daviess, Kentucky, Historical and Biographical, 1884

Joseph Hall, born in Henderson County, Kentucky, September 2, 1829, is a son of William Hall, a native of Virginia, and an early settler of Henderson County.  They came to this county in 1845, where they have since resided.  Joseph Hall owns 145 acres of good land, and is engaged in farming and stock-raising.  He is serving his second term as Justice of the Peace of this county.  He belongs to the Masonic fraternity.  October 12, 1854, he married Joanna, daughter of John Waltrip, an old settler of this county.  To them have been born ten children, nine now living – William H., Millard F., Benjamin F., Eugenia F., Mary E., Alberta, Elizabeth, Robert L. and Nellie.  Mr. Hall is a member of the Christian church.

Richard Hall, born in Henderson County, Kentucky, October 26, 1835, is a son of William Hall, a native of Virginia, who brought his family to this county in 1845, where they have since resided.  Richard was married April 1, 1862, to Mary J., daughter of Thomas Ransom.  To them have been born eight children – Anna, Nora, Hannah J., Thomas E., Katie, William L., Bettie and Theodore.  Mr. Hall owns a good farm of 147 acres.  He is a member of the Christian Church.

Thomas L. Harl, son of Thomas L. Harl, was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, September 1, 1854.  When twelve years of age his parents moved on the farm, two miles southeast of West Louisville, where they still reside.  He was married February 12, 1878, to Eliza A., daughter of Matthew Alvey.  Three children have been born to them – Mary E., James V. and Thomas L.  Mr. and Mrs. Harl are members of the Catholic church.  He owns a farm of 156 acres.

Thomas L. Harl, son of Hypocratus Harl, was born October 22, 1824, in Hardin County, Kentucky.  He was reared on a farm and received a common-school education.  He came to Daviess County in 1850.  The first eighteen years he lived in Owensboro, working at the carpenter’s trade.  He then moved to his farm, near West Louisville, where he has 100 acres of good land.  He was married November 15, 1850, to Eliza, daughter of Francis D. Blandford.  Ten children were born to them – Frances H., Thomas H., Sarah, James B., John W., Ella, Emma, Edward, Charles and Paul.  His family are all members of the Catholic church.

A Visit To St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery

IMG_0039A Visit To St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky

St. Thomas Catholic Church and Cemetery is located in rural Nelson County, Kentucky, just off US31E south of Bardstown, on Highway 2227.  This road ends at the church.  It is a very beautiful place, very quiet and peaceful.  Fields are farmed around St. Thomas, indicative of the life lived by the early settlers.  The Howard family was one of the first to arrive – coming to the area in 1787.  In 1810 Thomas Howard willed his farm to the church.  The cemetery is beautiful and taken care of very well.  The few stones that have broken are placed on a concrete slab where the original stone sat.  These photos were taken October 11, 2013.

IMG_0044Sacred to the memory of Joshua Greenwell, born August 17, 1819, died September 9, 1879

IMG_0047Charles L. Smith, born 1861, died July 21, 1889 – God took thee in His mercy, and thou art sanctified

IMG_0049Nancy Mudd, born February 3, 1837, died June 6, 1884

IMG_0051Mary A. Tewell, born September 14, 1838, died July 18, 1866

IMG_0052Joseph Boon, born October 15, 1802, died April 1, 1865

IMG_0055Martin Tewell, born April 27, 1827, died January 6, 1892

IMG_0001Jemima A., wife of H. Holtshouser, born October 19, 1837, died February 7, 1880


Cora Marcella Rudd

Scan_Pic1320 2What a darling little girl!  Look at the beautiful white dress and knitted booties!  May I introduce you to Cora Marcella Rudd, born July 24, 1921, in Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota, to Minor Wilson Rudd and Della Rudd.  This photo was taken by Hanes Studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, November 24, 1921 – Cora was 4 months old!

Cora married Elmer William Zoltak, 1910-1979, August 16, 1939.  They had two children, Dennis Edward Zoltak, 1941-1942, and Elmer William Zoltak, Jr., 1942-1987.  Cora outlived all her family members, passing away December 11, 2007, at the age of 86.  She is buried in Solon Springs, Wisconsin.

Does anyone know this family?

Bowmar-Burbridge Bible Records

Today I have bible records of the Bowmar and Burbridge families from Adair County, Kentucky.  The parents were born during the exciting year just before the Revolutionary War began.  Could Benjamin and Polly’s fathers been in the war?  Very possible.  Also note there are four deaths during July and August of 1833 – during the cholera epidemic.  So sad to see a family lose that many members at one time.  I have marked the Willis information as ‘other’, but they are probably grandchildren of Benjamin and Polly.

Benjamin Bowmar and Polly Burbridge Bible Records

Adair County, Kentucky

I will state from a record of my father, Robert Bowmar, that I was born on the 6th day of March, 1775.  I will also state from record my wife, Polly Bowmar, was born March the 16th, 1776, which made nearly one year difference in our age, and died June the 28th, 1842.

Benjamin Bowmar departed this life July the 25th, 1858


  • Harriet Bowmar, born May 15th, 1797, died May 20th, 1837
  • Nancy Bowmar, born February 11th, 1799, died October 28th, 1834
  • Julia Bowmar, born February 3rd, 1801, married January 15th, 1824 (Adair records:  Elijah Cravens)
  • Cyntha Ann Bowmar, born October 20th, 1806, married January 15th, 1824 (Adair records:  James Murrell), died November 14th, 1847
  • Almira Bowmar, born May 5th, 1809, died July 3rd, 1809
  • Celesta H. Bowmar, born August 18th, 1810, died March 9th, 1871
  • Oliver L. Bowmar, born March 29th, 1813, died July 14th, 1833
  • Benjamin W. Bowmar, born December 24th, 1815, died July 20, 1833


  • Ann B. Willis, born September 12th, 1812, married July 2nd, 1835
  • Benjamin Willis, born October 4th, 1814
  • Mary Jane Willis, born April 11th, 1817, married February 1st, 1843
  • Almira Willis, born November 27th, 1819, died August 17th, 1833
  • Julia Frances Willis, born January 31st, 1822, died July 25th, 1833

Polly Burbridge Family:

  • Ann Burbridge, daughter of Thomas and Easter Burbridge, born December 1st, 1755
  • John Burbridge, born October 24th, 1757
  • Elizabeth Burbridge, born April 13th, 1760
  • Sarah Burbridge, born June 1st, 1762
  • Benjamin Burbridge, born January 26th, 1765
  • William Burbridge, born August 1st, 1767
  • Jeremiah Burbridge, born August 30th, 1769
  • Francis Burbridge, born August 30th, 1769
  • Elijah Burbridge, born August 16th, 1772
  • Polly Burbridge, born March 16th, 1776, and died June 28th, 1842, between 10 and 11 o’clock a.m.
  • Molly Burbridge, born May 15th, 1780