Friday, December 16, 2011

Family Friday 2

Secondary Roads

When I was a college student on the West Coast, on occasion someone would ask me, "What part of Alabama are you from?" Well, the part that does not end sentences with a preposition. At the time, I had never been in Alabama in my life. That oversight has been corrected now with numerous visits to that great state.

The point is, if there is one, that I had grown up in Colorado, and yes, I was, and still am, rather slow of speech. It might be characterized as a drawl, but not at all as "Alabama," y'all. Why this rambling introduction to Family Friday? No particular reason.

As we discovered last week, my parents were married in Hartman, Colorado. Nineteen months later, I was born in that same town in the home of my grandparents. Soon after, our little family of three moved to Southwest Virginia. The move was precipitated by the terminal illness of my mother's aunt. That household was in need of assistance which Mama proposed to provide. And of course, the people of the hills were in need of the gospel, and Daddy was the very one to deliver it to them. We are not going to explore today the challenges of life for outsiders in a closed community. Leave that to the sociologists.

I, of course, being only a year old when we moved from Virginia, do not remember any of the experiences the family had while there; but Dad was a wonderful observer and storyteller, and my sisters and I grew up on his tales.



Uncle Chris, Aunt Laura, daughter Iris



This impressed me. Over Clinch Mountain a matter of some miles resided the doctor who was charged with the care of Aunt Laura. In that time and that place there was little to be done for a cancer patient other than to make an attempt to keep the suffering to a minimum. When the medicine supply was running low, as Dad told it, he would walk over the mountain to obtain a refill from Doc Barrett. who in addition to being a physician, bore the given name "Doctor." Now there was a man whose parents believed in the power of the name! Using online resources for genealogical research, I have verified that the man's name was Doctor.

But what really sticks in my consciousness is this. Doctor Doctor Barrett was born in 1857. Thus, my own father, after I was born, had direct face-to-face dealings with a man who was born before Abraham Lincoln was elected president! Yet I am not old.

Laura Morrell died in February, 1935. We moved from Virginia to Nebraska in June.

This account qualifies as "family history" on the genealogical level, too, for Doctor Barrett married my maternal grandmother's father's sister. His daughter married my grandfather's uncle. You figure it out.
Uncle Chris was my grandfather's brother; Aunt Laura was my grandmother's sister.

8 comments:

Grace said...

I can never figure those things out in my head - I have to use pen and pencil and draw boxes...one of the delights of my working life was sending out my bosses Christmas and holiday cards - he had a friend who was a doctor whose last name was doctor. So I addressed the envelope - "Doctor and Mrs. Doctor". Then his wife became a doctor so the cards were addressed "Doctor and Doctor Doctor" - made me laugh every year!

Jim said...

I'm impressed by your link to a man born before the Civil War. The generations only seem to flip by quickly.

John Cowart said...

Hi Vanilla,

Must be something to that name thing. I once knew an attorney whose given name was Laws. And I knew a pastor whose name was Scripture.

It's a shame my parents didn't name me Millionaire Cowart.

Vee said...

Wonder what kind of "drawl" you would have acquired had you stayed in Virginia.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

Fascinating!

Secondary Roads said...

I agree with Grace, and would also need to diagram those relationships. Does that make you your own grandpaw?

Sometimes names work and sometimes they don't. Friends were taking care of a doberman named Assault. I reached out a hand to get acquainted. Assault cringed away from me. Go figure.

vanilla said...

Grace, I, too, need a scorecard to keep track of the players. I like the “Doctor and Doctor Doctor.” We had a Doctor Docter who practiced at the local hospital, and back in the day of universal paging, it always tickled me to hear the operator page, “Doctor Docter, call 531.”

Jim, that made an impact on my thinking.

John, or rather, Millionaire, I am sure that you are rich in blessings not measured by the treasury. One couple amongst those hill people, at least according to Dad’s story, couldn’t narrow it down much, so they named their daughter Sarah Alexena Ocadilla Florabelle Lily-of-the-Night Queen-of-the-Dell Ann Marie Lawson.

Vee, not sure. It might have not been much different.

Rebecca, family stories can be intriguing!

Chuck, no, that doesn’t make me my own grandpaw, but there are other stories...
Perhaps the power of the name thing works only in the human realm.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Some of those connections boggle the mind don't they? I had a heck of a time figuring out my greatgrandmother's line until I realized that she married a cousin and then it all made sense.