Thursday, January 8, 2015

52 Ancestors: Carlie Leon Sawyer (#1)

Post #1 in my goal to participate in 52 Ancestors this year. I'm not sure yet if I'll follow the themes. I hope to discover more about this branch of my family this year.

My Great Grandfather: Carlie Leon Sawyer

Carlie Leon Sawyer was born on March 13, 1887 in Coffee County, Alabama, the son of Carter Sawyer [1849-1913] and Lucy McLean [1856-1920]. On September 22, 1912 in Coffee County he married Maude Amanda Crumpler, the daughter of Jefferson Davis Crumpler [1861-1939] and Josephine Ilena Crumpler [1869-1940]. 

To this union were born the following children: David Glenn [1913-1939], Pauline Inez, Agnes Lizelle [1919-1976, married to Daniel Union Stafford, [my grandparents], Lillian Lucille, Raymond C. L. [1927-1980] and Hazel Jeanette. 

Carlie and Maude moved to Holmes County, Florida in the late 1930’s. Carlie passed away in Holmes County on March 13, 1947 and Maude passed away on November 20, 1950 in Okaloosa County, Florida. They are buried at Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Coffee County, Alabama.

Carlie Sawyer Maude Crumpler,
Maude & Carlie ~ Wedding Day

Dear Teresa

This week is the 8th anniversary of my sister, Teresa's, death. While prepping for the Genealogy Do-Over project, cleaning my files, I came across this document. I don't remember trying to put my grief to words, but I'm glad I did.

Cremation Urn,

Dear Teresa:

It has been 4 months since you left us. My grief has not faded. Your headstone contains the date of your birth and the date of your death. Those dates are separated by a “dash”. You, however, are not defined by those dates, but the life lived …between the dash. As children we were friends and shared much laughter. Other times you were a bratty little sister and tattletale. I recall the times you skipped school and I signed the notes to keep you out of trouble. As adults our lives took different paths and we didn’t agree on much. Still, I hope you know – I need you to know, that I love you, regardless of our different choices in life.

For your children…may they never look further than their heart to find you.

For the times I judged you…May God forgive me and I ask for your forgiveness.

You gave me a gift many years ago that says “Sisters are Forever”. Yes, we will be and I am saddened that I will grow old without you.

Teresa Stafford Love,
One of my favorite photos from our childhood

More posts with or about Teresa.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Genealogy Do-Over: Week 1

Week 1 begins in a few days! I carved out some time to put some plans to paper. I may add/edit through week 1 as I review my progress.

Week 1 – 2-8 January 2015
  • Setting Previous Research Aside
    • Use records ordered/purchased as needed.
    • Otherwise do not refer to old research notes.
  • Preparing to Research
    • Cleaned my desk!
    • Created a new master family tree file in RootsMagic 7.
    • Learn more about the features in RM 7, especially creating citations.
    • Prepare my research binder - to keep me organized and in one place.
    • Prepare my resource binder, to include lists, tools, maps, etc. (I created this many years ago and will review for updates).
    • Review book - Crash Course in Family History by Paul Larsen. I ordered and received this book a week or two before Thomas announced GenDoOver!
    • Evernote - learn to use it (finally).
    • Personal genealogy library - review the books I have and create a Library Thing catalog. (Wow... I'd forgotten about some of the great books/resources I have). 
    • Research log - reviewed and updated.
    • Create new digital genealogy folders (when I transfer my old computer contents to my new computer this week).
    • Re-sort my paper files. Purge as needed. (Why did I think it was a good idea to merge them?) Maternal: Howard/Smith & Snell/Holmes. Paternal: Stafford/Benton & Sawyer/Crumpler.
  • Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines
    • Consistency: 
      • File naming (digital).
      • Document naming (digital).
      • Research methodology of each person (research log/resource checklist).
      • Scan & File as I go... do NOT allow a holding bin.
    • Collect, analyze and enter data in RootsMagic.
    • Record negative search results.
    • Cite my sources (properly).
    • Create to-do list for follow-up research.
    • No branch hopping! Stay focused.
    • BLOG (and share).
George Washington Stafford Photo
George Washington Stafford
Paternal Great Grandfather ~ Brick Wall 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Back to Normal

red button
My research has sat dormant for more than 5 years while I waited for things to get "back to normal". I've since realized that isn't possible. With each life event "normal" takes on a new look. I've decided that I need to schedule time for my blogging and genealogy research.

With this plan in mind for 2015, feeling as if I was starting over since I've been out of touch far too long, I was (secretly) happy that so many others felt somewhat the same as we all jumped on board with Thomas for the big Genealogy Do-Over starting next week.

It is still overwhelming when I think about it as a whole... so, I won't.

I hope you'll stop by in 2015.

research files
Paper files in our basement storm room

Find all the details here: Genealogy Do-Over

Sunday, January 5, 2014

52 Ancestors: Sara Snell Stafford

As I begin to share 52 of my ancestors over the next 52 weeks I begin with my sweet Mama. 

Oh, how I miss you, Mama! You are free from sickness and pain. For that I am grateful. Until we meet again.

When I started this blog my very first post was for Mama. 

In another post I shared this, from her funeral:
I will cherish every day I was blessed to have Mama. Her hands tenderly cared for me. Her kisses healed my pain. Her hugs calmed my fears. Her voice was a melody in my ear. Nothing compares to a mother’s love. It guided me through life in my early years and waited in the wings in my adult years. Mama has left us for a little while but her love will always be with us. Close your eyes and open your heart and there you will find her.
In 2012 I installed a Memory Medallion on her headstone. I need to update and add to the data and check it the next time I'm home for a visit.

New Year ~ Fresh Start

I've missed research, genealogy and blogging and plan to change that in 2014. I feel like I'll be starting over even though this will be my 15th year of researching my family. I didn't get this blog off the ground, before having to take a break to handle aging parent needs, and hope to make it a place where I can connect with others that share my family lines.

Don't forget to take a cemetery walk with me over at

I need to spend some time getting my blog reading list re-created in Feedly, so if you have a genealogy or cemetery blog please leave me a link in the comments.

I'm going to accept the challenge, found over at No Story Too Small,  ( to blog about 52 ancestors over the next 52 weeks. I will post that a little later this evening. I knew right away the first one would be for my sweet Mama. Next month will be 5 years since she stepped into eternity and my heart aches like it was this morning. Oh, how I miss her.

by Amy Johnson Crow

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day

I hope you are enjoying today and making memories with family. I'm hoping to get back to blogging here later this year.

Meanwhile, we are counting down the weeks until Clay's second deployment to Afghanistan is over.

Piney Woods & Prairie Winds, Gale Wall, Gale Wall Photography