Friday, October 30, 2009

Emily Bolin Dodson

Emily Bolin was my great-great grandmother. She was Belle Dodson Grimes McCloud Cole's mother who was the mother of my grandma Virgie Grimes Webb.

I know she married my great-great grandfather, Sam Dodson, in the late 1880s. (I found the exact date in a marriage index, but I haven't seen a marriage certificate.) Not much is known about Emily.

When Belle became widowed in 1914, she moved from Whitwell, Tennessee to Sparta, Tennessee to live with Emily. Belle had two children, ages four and two, and one on the way. The one that was on his way is the lad in this picture, my great-uncle, Lonnie Edward Grimes. Uncle Lonnie looks to be about three or four in this photograph, so that puts the year about 1918.

This picture was given to me by my great-aunt Lena in 2004, the last time I saw her. She gave me this picture and a couple of pictures of great-great grandfather Sam Dodson. I love knowing where my mother got her high cheek bones. We always assumed it was from Sam Dodson, but now I see they were a gift from Emily. My mother also has Emily's eyes, set deep and close.

It amazes me that all the summers I spent in Crossville, Tennessee at great-grandma Belle's house with my grandma Virgie, nobody ever mentioned Emily. It never even occurred to me that this woman existed until I became interested in genealogy, yet I most surely carry her Mt DNA as it passed from her to Belle to Virgie to Reba (my mother) to me. Emily's life matters now. It is her existence that ties my life to a greater purpose. Although, she was of simple means and certainly not one for the society pages, Emily was here, and I hope I can honor her.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Angels in the Midst

I am just so happy! I'm happy as a pig in slop! I have a ten year old laptop computer that has about four years worth of research on it that has been dead for over a year. Talk about losing inspiration!
Finally, one of my husband's friends (and yes he has a few) said, "Paula, if you want, I can take the hard drive out of that laptop and see if I can retrieve your data."
Uh, what was that? Did the sky just open? I really thought I heard the sound of wings, because this little offer has changed my life - or at least the life of my research. In fact, this single little act brought my research back to life. I am no longer shackled with the notion that I will have to retrace my steps through history in order to retrieve the 24,000 plus names in my database. I have birth dates, death dates and burial information. I have pedigrees and registries. Where once I was lost, I have found my citations and they are complete.
Burdens have been lifted from my shoulders by my husband's friend. It just goes to show, there really are angels among us.