Stories from the Pedigree Resource File (1)
The Pedigree Resource File contains many first-hand accounts and family stories passed down through generations, never before published. They are filled with humor, courage, hardship, tragedy and love. Only available on CD or DVD! Here are some samples.
An unconventional proposal
"There was a large dinner. Susan was cooking and serving food to everyone, working very hard and Patrick said to her "If I decide to keep a woman this winter, I think it's gonna be you."
Patrick Connelly (and Susan McBride), see more on CD 1
Courage & Bravery
"Served in the US Air Force. Was a hero for opening a back door that was locked during a tornado in Kansas City, MO making it possible for everyone inside to escape."
Jackie Jean Yates, see more on CD 68
"Called dare devil Dick, he would do anything if challenged to a dare.
"Being of an adventurous nature he would jump on horseback over level crossing gates when they were closed to traffic. On one final occasion being drunk and not in control of his thoughts, he attempted to hurdle the gates whilst driving a coach. The result was chaotic and he received severe injuries, although he hung on to life for another 13 months."
Richard James Barker, see more on CD 65
Kindness & Generosity
"He was a very charitable man. He loaned money without interest to the poorer Jews of the region. Many impoverished people came to him for help. On one occasion, in a bad mood, he asked a Jew from Schweinsberg to leave without having given him any money. After a quarter of an hour, he regretted his actions and followed the man and gave him the money after all.
"Then a poor Jewish woman from Schweinsberg came to sell him cloth at a very low price so that she would have some money for her son to use for his emigration to America. Baruch declined the offer. The woman had originally paid 36 Taler for this cloth and when she unpacked the cloth on her return to Schweinsberg, she found 36 Taler which Baruch had wrapped up in the parcel.
"He was very learned and very clever. He had never taken anyone of another faith to court. He took French lessons while growing up in Kirchhain. For his time, he was an extremely learned man. He was much loved and when, after 30 years, he resigned from the post of Kreisvorsteher of Lirchhain, a vote was taken and he was unanimously re-instated.
Baruch Strauss, see more on CD 62
"I walked from the grave of SOLLOMON WINKLER to hers, stepping in the center of her grave where you see the stone in the upper left. The only trouble was: MY LEG WENT INTO HER GRAVE UP TO MY THIGH!"
Mary WINKLER, see more on DVD 126
Helpful info for researchers
"Bride has reversed her Christian names as she did on her children's birth certificates."
Walter Morris Jones, see more on CD 68
"Jimmie Kate Cole penned most eloquently the manner in which her great Uncle Babe died, although tragic, describes a generation of individuals surviving the period of reconstruction."
"Matthew Donald and a Mr. Kelly were drunk, dodging around bales of cotton at the gin in Woolsey, shooting at each other. Uncle Babe was drunker; so his aim was worse and he got killed."
Matthew Donald Sams, see more on DVD 132
"This is a story about an insane driver in his early twenties. He had just acquired a car called a Hudson Terraplane built by General Motors (I think). It was the first design incorporating an all aluminum body. It was light. So light it flew, although that was not its designed intent. Wings were not provided. Neither was a railroad bridge with an approach consisting of a thirty degree incline, with the cross over being flat. This insane driver decided he wanted to test his new car, for some idiotic reason the nature of which no one ever learned. So he took it to about 80 MPH and hit that incline. Up he went. And up-and up. When he reached the top he kept on going. One can safely predict that when one reaches the apex of his trajectory he can plan on coming back down. Well! He did. But not onto the road. The car decided to veer to the right and it landed on a patch of grass already occupied by a very large tree."
"Now God must have had something more beneficial in mind for this insane young driver because he wasn't seriously injured. That's right. He lived through it. He went on to a long and fruitful life. He helped people and people loved him. His name was Robert G. Washburn. He was one of my favorite people. A total inspiration to me.
Robert Griesel Washburn, see more on CD 68
"The SS Tuscania troop ship was sunk just after sunset February 7, 1918, a distance off the Irish coast. The true story of my experience in this World War I disaster, has never been told before..."
John Francis Patterson "Pat" Booher, see more on CD 69
"His work was hard. As a wheat lumper, and until his death, he still held the Australian record of 1500 bags a day up a 22 bag stack (in height) on four consecutive days without an elevator."
Michael William Murphy, see more on CD 74
"Her love of the absurd and the bizarre were a constant source of laughter in the home. An anecdote she loved to relate highlights this. It concerned the marriage of her daughter Flossie (Florence) to her stepson Charlie Wilby in 1941. The family assembled en masse in St. George's Church in Morden and the ceremony was duly carried out. The bride and groom kissed before a beaming vicar and by the colour of his nose you could guess that he was no stranger to the bottle."
"He the invited them to come into the registry to sign the necessary documents. Emma and her husband Harry Wilby along with some others accompanied them to act as witnesses. The bride and groom signed, then it was the turn of the witnesses. The vicar said, "Will the parents of the bride come forward and sign." Emma and Harry Wilby stepped forward and duly signed."
"The vicar then said, "Will the parents of the groom now come forward and sign." Again, Emma and Harry Wilby stepped forward. "Just a moment," interrupted the vicar, "you have just signed as the bride's parents." He laughed jokingly and added, "You can't be the parents of both the bride and the groom, now can you?" It was a very reasonable assumption. "Yes we are." said Emma."
"The vicar's beaming smile was replaced by an ashen look as he blurted out, "Dear God, I've married a sister to a brother. The Bishop will have me defrocked."
Emma Hetty Maher, see more on CD 68
"Grandpa smoked roll your own cigarettes and a pipe until his death at 97. He went blind from drinking bad moonshine in his seventies."
"During proabition [sic], when grandpa was the ferry operator, he had a side business of selling moonshine. He strapped a hot water bottle to his back and tied two hoses down his arms and put his fingers over the ends to [h]old in the whiskey. Our father was young and carried the whiskey glasses and walked down Main Street with Grandpa and they would sell whiskey for a quarter a shot."
"Grandpa was a painter and got the contract to paint the county court house steeple (he was 75). Well, he climbed up all the scaffolding to paint and decided to get drunk at the top of the courhouse. While up there he had a heart attack and was so drunk he could not get himself down. He stayed up there for over two hours before he could climb down. A month later he finished the paint job."
John Marcus Lyons, see more on CD 68
(PIN 408 531)
First-hand account of pioneer life
"Written by herself and completed June 1963"
"I was born December 10, 1895, in North Ogden, Utah in a an old log cabin on North Washington Blvd. The same log cabin in which my father was born 23 years earlier."
"When I was five years old, we moved to the old pioneer home in what was called the fort. (In the early days, there was a fort there to protect them from the Indians)."
"I got along very well in school, and had a very happy childhood. Our home was full of love and my parents were kind, yet stern about our behavior."
"There was no television or radio in those days to entertain us evenings, so we would all gather around Mother and Dad to listen to stories. Mama had a sweet voice and would sing to us and tell about when she was a little girl."
"Mama told us was about her father bringing home a baby bear. How they played with him until he grew so big and old and cranky that they sold him to a circus. Dad would tell us about the Indians. How one time he was sent after the cows that had strayed and how the Indians came. He lay down in a ditch of water, and the grass on the bank hid him until they had all gone."
"One day, Dad came home with an Edison phonograph with a big blue morning glory horn. You'll never know the excitement we experienced. We were never allowed to touch it, but Dad would play it evenings. How we enjoyed it! I still remember some of the songs it played for us."
"When my brother Raymond was thirteen years old he died and left our home filled with sadness."
"Dad loved his children and was never too busy to do things for them."
Marva Spackman, see more on CD 95
Real-life "Cold Mountain"
"Phillip Waite was killed by a draft-dodger at Vandiver. During the war many poor Southern families felt that they had nothing at stake in fighting what they felt was "a rich man's war." They hid their boys out in the hills to keep them from going to the army. It was Phillip Waite's assignment to ferret them out and send them to the Confederate Army. He learned that several boys were hidden out near Vandiver. Their hiding place had a very narrow passageway leading to it that only one person at a time could go through. No officer could have entered it to apprehend the draft-dodgers. He would have been killed before getting in. One day when one of them slipped home, Phillip Waite was on watch near the boy's home and tried to capture him. He was killed in the effort."
"Many of those boys did have to go into the Confederate Army and some of these who were forced to go against their will, purposely let themselves be captured by the Union forces. Mr. Denman Turner was one of them and I've heard him talk of it many times. He was a good conscientious person and his people were good people but they did not think that the South should have seceded. They were sincerely pro-Union in sympathy. After Mr. Turner was forced into the Confederate Army against his will, he watched for an opportunity to surrender himself."
"It came one day when he and a group of Confederate soldiers were facing a band of Union soldiers. Both groups were lying down behind bushes, logs and banks that separated them. The strip between the two opposing groups was only a few yards wide. Mr. Turner was on the end of the Confederate group. He gradually worked himself further away from his group and into some bushes out of sight. Just ahead of him he saw two boys in blue lying behind a log. He ducked lower and put a white handkerchief on the end of his gun barrel. Then he crawled forward and eased it over the log. Immediately, the Union soldiers looked over the log and beckon to him to come on. One of them said in a low voice,"
"Come on over, Johnny (Reb), come on."
"The other one said, "NO! Not with that gun. Drop your gun."
"The first one said, "He's all right. Let him bring his gun."
"So Mr. Turner surrendered with his gun in his hand that was against army regulations. He spent the remainder of the war years cooking for the Union army. There he had plenty to eat and was treated well. As long as he lived, he told his desertion story without shame. He had merely gone over to the side that he thought was right in the beginning and he had no regrets."
William Lee Wadsworth, see more on DVD 126