June 2020 is the month to “Create!” for Elizabeth O’Neal’s Genealogy Blog Party. I am the first to admit that I’m not artistically creative or inclined.
In spite of my limited artistic abilities, I have two creations to share. The first is a project that I worked on for twenty long years, mostly before the internet, and one of which I am very proud.
My husband’s great grandmother was Minnie Mae Williams, born in Texas, the daughter of John C. Williams. Finding John’s father – he had been born in Arkansas about 1848 – was a job in itself, but taking the line further back was even tougher. His father was William Williams!
This all happened back in the 1980s and early 1990s. It took many trips to the Los Angeles Family History Center and much correspondence with various branches of the family as I uncovered new clues.
I was encouraged to write a book by distant cousins and did so with the intent of sorting out all the Williams people from as far back as I could document up to the end of the Civil War. After 1870, these people were pretty easy to follow through modern records.
The book is self published (I used a CA company that had a focus on university dissertations) and I donated a half dozen copies to libraries. Since its publication in 2001, I’ve added over 100 more pages of family history to the original Word document.
Just about every fact in the original 150 page is documented by footnote AND the reason I am so proud of this book is that a number of people have contacted me wanting to join a big, very well-known lineage society. They were directed the the society genealogists who approve applications to either read my book or contact me since my work is so well documented.
In my mind, that is the ultimate compliment. 🙂
Okay – a book isn’t really a “creation” in the artistic sense. It is an authored volume and , in my case, more or a directory of Williams family members.
However, I did create one item that fits the artistic theme of creation. When my son was a baby, he had so many cute little outfits and outgrew them so quickly. I hated to give all those clothes away and kept a handful of my favorites.
Nine of those outfits turned into a keepsake:
The IPad didn’t capture the color too well, but my favorite block is the 4th one (second row, first one), which is the front of his Easter overalls. The Easter bunny is 3D and even has little cottonballs on it.
This is one of the few quilts that I’ve finished. (I have enough fabric stash to open my own store, but genealogy fills my days!) The nine blocks and backing were machine stitched together, but the quilting stitches were done by me, all by hand. You can see the sets of 3 curvy lines in the dark blue sashing around the blocks.
It’s not at all elaborate, but brings back wonderful memories of when my 30-something son was an infant.
Create! was a fun theme for this month’s genealogy blog party.