Dec 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

1.  Find James Parks, my great great grandfather.
2.  Finish my heritage scrapbook albums.
3.  Finish Aunt Bonnie's four albums and get them copied and shipped.

I'll be busy!!

Dec 16, 2013

A Glimmer

I’ve had a teeny breakthrough in my James Parks research! A new newspaper has come online in Indiana – a Farmland paper, which is spot on.  Unfortunately, so far the paper’s articles start in 1888, long past James’ lifetime and death.

However I found this article which got my heartbeat going:

1902 May 23, Farmland Enterprise, P5, Farmland, Indiana

Rev. W. F. Mullen and wife (the wife is Lydia Parks, my great grandfather’s sister) were called to Nottingham, Monday, to attend the funeral of the latter’s sister, Mrs. Martha Harshman, (this would actually be a half sister) who died Sunday, after an illness of fourteen weeks from dropsy.  The deceased lady was about seventy years of age and had many friends living in this vicinity.  Her maiden name was Parks, and when a young woman she taught school at Cedar and the Lindsey schoolhouse, south of Neff.

This Martha Harshman would be a daughter of my elusive great great grandfather, James Parks, by his first wife.  [I am descended from his second wife.]  A couple trees on Ancestry give the name of James' first wife as Susannah Johnson.  Since Martha named a couple boys with the middle name of Johnson, I'm inclined to believe that information.  Will 2014 be my lucky year?

Dec 15, 2013

2013 Christmas Card

Only one Christmas card hand made this year.  It's for friends in Connecticut who hang our cards on their tree.  This one features Graphic45 papers.

Dec 12, 2013


WOOHOO!!  5:00 p.m. laundry room pipes have begun to thaw on the hot setting.  Cold runs fine; Hot will take a little more thawing.  There may be clean clothes in this house next weekend after all!!

Dec 11, 2013

The Desert

New definition of "desert."

Dec 10, 2013

More Frozen Pipes

Another lesson learned . . . shut off landscaping water when it's this cold.  At 5:00 a.m. Bill discovered water running down the street from our landscaping water box, even though it had been covered with a heavily-insulated fake rock.  He nearly froze his hands getting the valve shut off.  And the laundry room pipes remain frozen tight.  Our space heater doesn't seem to work from inside, and there is no thaw in sight in the near future.  Rats!

Anyway, our wonderful gardener/handyman came and fixed it all.  Not only had the plastic pipe broken, but the brass fitting had also cracked!  It's still only 20 degrees, so we won't be watering the plants soon!  

Dec 9, 2013


It was FIVE degrees on our back patio this morning.  Southern Utah is not well prepared for this weather!  We have bathroom cabinet doors open, a space heater aimed at the pipes in the laundry room (which froze last year in kinder weather), and our outdoor spigots are covered.  Doesn't mean we won't have issues when the thaw comes.  It's difficult to remember 100+ temps of last August. Oy!

Dec 8, 2013

It Never Snows in St. George


 15 degrees right now!  Has anyone ever heard
of something called "a winter coat"??  I've heard they're useful.


Seriously???  No one out there has ANY information on James Parks, born about 1790-1791 in Virginia and located in Blackford County, Indiana in 1850 and Delaware County in 1860??  No one?  Well, I can't say I'm surprised.  I've been hunting this elusive man for a decade.  But if you find him, PLEASE let me know!  Seriously!

Dec 1, 2013

Jeremiah E. Brown - Ireland to Iowa

Jeremiah E. Brown, a Mystery!  Jeremiah E. Brown (1818-1839) supposedly was born in Ireland (family lore; possibly Armagh), became an orphan around age 5, He was taken in by a family named Brown (family lore says they were not related to him) who immigrated to Chazy, Clinton County, New York.  It is unknown what happened with the Brown family but Jeremiah was "bound out to" Lemuel North and raised by the Lemuel North family in Chazy, Clinton, New York.  Jeremiah referred to Lemuel North as "Dad North."

There is a question as to the birth name of Jeremiah E. Brown.  He did not know whether it was his birth name or whether he took on the Brown family's name, which seems more likely.  It is difficult to find Jeremiah's birth records without that birth name. 

In 1842, Jeremiah married Mary Courtney in Chazy.  They had six children in New York and then migrated to Iowa, where they had seven or eight more children.  

One of their children, Walter Perry Brown, married my great grand aunt, Sarah Jane "Sadie" Burrill, in 1887, in Le Mars, Plymouth County, Iowa.  Here is their portrait:

I have tried to follow the Lemuel North family in Chazy, Clinton, New York and find nothing on Jeremiah being a member of that family, adopted or otherwise.  From my research, I learned Lemuel married Polly Jones around 1800 and had five children.  Lemuel died suddenly as referenced in the following news clipping:

1847 (Possibly September), Evening Journal, Albany, New York
Sudden Death:  Lemuel North, Esq., of Chazy, Clinton county, died very suddenly at the Borough on the 16th inst.  Mr. North had been attending the fair at Saratoga and was on his way home.  On getting out of the cars at the Borough, he was seized with apoplexy and died in a few minutes.  He was about 60 years of age, a man of irreproachable character, and highly esteemed by all who knew him.  {Argus}

It was around the time of Lemuel's death that Jeremiah migrated to Iowa and took up farming in Jackson County, Iowa.  Jeremiah's FindaGrave memorial number is 31273318. 

If anyone has any information on Jeremiah's background, I would love to make the connection.