Saturday, August 29, 2015

Going Offline

Will be back when infusions are complete...we are just exhausted.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bath Time

Obviously this is not a picture of me, and, anyway, my daily trash bag wrap goes clear to my shoulder, but this is the sort of thing I have to wear every day to bathe.  

I do love a shower daily, but, man-oh-man, this is a pain in the patoot.  Poor Raf has to string me up with duct take and masking tape.  Then I have to hold my left arm up in the air, and lean it against the side of the shower, while washing all over and shampooing my hair.

So far, so good, though.  I haven't gotten any of the bandage wet yet.  The part in the next photo is what I must not get wet, and the covering you can see in the photo is the top of a man's sports sock.  They recommended tube socks, but, unfortunately, no one has heard of tube socks - guess they are a thing of the past!

As you can see from this photo, too, my office/studio/whatever is a mess, as usual, but you get the idea about the size of the bandage.

One more interesting thing is the shirt I am wearing.  I bought this one from Ulla Popken, and I liked it so much I bought 3 more when they came on sale - not knowing I would have to have a picc line.  This was one more little God-send!  These shirts have worked great for each infusion!

Today will be my seventh day of infusion, then I just have seven to go - God willing.  I will have to keep the picc line in, just in case, for about a week while tests are run.  Then we shall see.

God's will be done.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Routh Family

R.D. Routh with sisters Mollie and Mattie in front of Brown County Courthouse

Routh Family, from A Short History of the Family of Routh, by Lt. Col. H. C. Edric Routh, R.A. (retired) of “Little Copse”, Long Sutton, Basingstoke, Hants, England. Published 1953

The Routh family is fortunate in that our Norman ancestor, Richard de Surdeval, was entitled to bear arms and that his descendants followed suit.  For, apart from land tenure, heraldry has proved to be the most valuable aid in tracing descent up to the time when parish registers became available.

The Routh family has one other very valuable source of information which has given them a great advantage in this respect.  At the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII, many of the records were lost or destroyed, but those of the Abbey of Melsa or Meaux (which was originally called Routh Priory) survived almost intact and have been put on record in the British Museum.

The “Melsa Chronicle”, as it is called, contains records of the family Routh for many generations from 1100 to 1300, a period over which other records are scanty; this was due in large part to the fact that the land on which the Abbey was built was adjacent to the village of Routh and that there were many land transactions between the Cisternian Monks and Meaux the lords of the Manor of Routh.

The Rouths have always been a prolific family and their pedigree is exceptional for its breadth, i.e., the number of branches shown even from the earliest times.  As some of the early branches became extinct through a lack of male issue, other branches and sub-branches were established in England, Ireland, Wales, and other parts of the world.  At least six branches are known to have been established in Canada and the U.S.A.

Our ancestor Sir Peter de Routh was born about 1300 and was a son of Sir William de Routh of Bainbrigge in Wesleydale, County York, and a grandson of Thomas de Routh who was born in 1265 in the old Manor House of Routh and was in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.  Sir Peter de Routh’s brother, John “FitzWilliam” Routh founded the Irish branch, and his brother Thomas founded the Leicestershire branch of the Routh family.

Since 1039 members of the Routh family have borne seven coats of arms.  The arms adopted by Sir Peter de Routh in the 14th century:  “argent a chevron sable inter three lions’ heads argent” with creast: “out of a mural crown gules a talbot’s head argent” are the arms which our line of Rouths have borne continuously from the time of Sir Peter de Routh to the present day.
§ § § § §
Early Rouths in America, by Maj. Gen. Ross Routh (retired) of El Paso, Texas, entitled Routh Family Revisited

The first record of a Routh in America was a John Routh who landed in Virginia with a group of immigrants about 1650, but no further record of him or his family has been found.  The Rowan County, North Carolina, 1759 Tax List (earliest settlers in entire NW section of North Carolina) listed a Jeremiah “Ruth” and a Zachariah “Ruth”, but neither of them was found on any later record, and it is believed that they are the same Jeremiah Routh and Zaccheus Routh who received English land grants in the Natchez District (which was then a part of British West Florida) of 500 and 1,000 acres on 13 October 1777 and 16 January 1779, respectively.

The earliest Routh about whom a family record was found was Lawrence Routh, a member of the Bainbrigge and Hawes branch, who accompanied his cousin, William Penn, to America with his wife and two children.

Lawrence Routh was born about 1660 in Hawes, married Ann Metcalfe 24 May 1683 in Hawes, and became the father of Thomas (born 9 June 1685 in Hawes) and Lawrence (born 16 Jan 1687 in Hawes).  The family left England early in 1688 and landed in Maryland, where Rachel was born 28 Oct 1688 in Easton, Talbot County.  The family then moved to Chester County, Pennsylvania, where Francis was born 21 Oct 1690, and the elder Lawrence died 16 Jun 1691.  His widow, Ann, later remarried Humphrey Johnson, the family attorney who settled Lawrence’s estate, and had several more children by him.

Thomas Routh, son of Lawrence, acquired land at “Spaniard’s Neck, Queen Anne county Maryland, and about 1713 married a young widow, Jane Pratt, who had children by her first husband.  Thomas and Jane became parents of one son, Christopher Cross Routh, and Thomas died in Queen Anne County about 1738.  Christopher Cross apparently never married, or had no issue if he did, for his will dated 17 Feb 1775 and proved 15 Feb 1776 left all of his property to cousins, none with the surname of Routh.

Francis Routh, born 21 Oct 1690, youngest son of Lawrence (1660) married a Barbara (surname unknown) about 1714 and was the father of at least five children by her.  All available records, including his will dated 30 Sep 1767, indicate that he and his descendants remained in the Chester and Delaware County area of Pennsylvania.  A Francis Routh who served with the Pennsylvania troops in the Revolutionary War was apparently a grandson of Francis (1690).

Lawrence Routh (1687), (our ancestor, we believe) son of Lawrence (1660), married a Mehitable (surname unknown) and in 1710 moved to Piscataway, Middlesex County, New Jersey, where their four sons were born:  Thomas (born 5 March 1710), Edward (born 25 March 1713), Zacheus (born 3 December 1717), and Lawrence (born 26 June 1719.

No record has been found of whom the three elder sons of Lawrence (1687) married, or where they settled, although diligent search has been made in civil and church records of that period (including Quaker records).  So many records were destroyed by fire and during the Revolutionary War that no proof remains.

Lawrence Routh (1719), youngest son of Lawrence (1687) and his wife Mehitable, married Elizabeth Smalley on 19 September 1745 in the Piscataway Seventh Day Baptist Church, but there is no record of issue.  His father deeded his property in Piscataway to the younger Lawrence shortly before his death about 1752, indicating that the older sons had moved away.

The last record of Lawrence Routh (1719) was a notice published by the High Sheriff of Middlesex County in 1750 and again in 1753 offering a reward of five pounds for his apprehension after he escaped from debtors’ prison.  This notice described him as a “short, slim fellow, thin faced, and one of his eye lashes is half white; had on when he disappeared a patched corduroy coat, a gray homespun jacket, is a shoemaker by trade, pretends to be a merchant, and did live in Boundbrook.”

The first Lawrence Routh (1660) was a friend (Quaker) but none of his sons were found in Quaker records so apparently did not adhere to that faith.  Records of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society of Plainfield, New Jersey, were also search, and no Rouths were found.  However, cousins in England believe that 60% to 80% of the Rouths in America were descended from one of more of these sons of Lawrence Routh.

Genealogy of our Rouths:

Lawrence Routh was born about 1660 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England, and died June 16, 1691, in Chester, Pennsylvania.  He was married to Lady Anne Metcalfe who was born in 1665 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England and died about 1748 in Chester, Pennsylvania.  They had four children:

Thomas Routh, born June 9, 1685 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England    
Lawrence Routh, born January 16, 1687 in Hawes, Yorkshire, England and died about 1752 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey.
Rachel Routh, born October 29, 1688 in Easton, Talbot, Maryland
Francis Routh, October 21, 1690 in Weston, Chester, Pennsylvania

Our ancestor, Lawrence, married Mehitable, who was born in 1709 in England and died in 1752 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey.

Their children were:

Thomas Routh, born March 5, 1710, in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
Edward Routh, born March 25,1713, in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey, and died in 1803.
Zacheus Routh, born December 3, 1717, in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey
Lawrence Routh, born June 26, 1719 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey

[Here is one part of our story.  I cannot decide or find evidence of which of these stories is true.  Here goes:
An Edward Routh was born in Middlesex County, New Jersey, on March 25, 1713.  He married a Miss Hamner/Hammer.  They had three children, Joseph, born ca 1747, Isaac, and Jane.  There were twelve other Edwards, but none so close to this date.  If this Edward is our Edward and he was Jacob’s father, Jacob could have been born between 1731 and 1751 or so, and then could have married Martha Redfern, at age 18-20, in 1769-1770.  Isaac was born in 1772.  Also a Joseph, son of this Edward, married Mary Redfern, the daughter of James Redfern. According to some papers Mary and Martha were sisters, and logically they could have married the Routh brothers, Jacob and Joseph.]

Or our Ancestor Edward married Hannah Hammer/Hamner/Reemer in Rowan, North Carolina, in 1744.

Their children were:

Jane Routh 
Joseph Routh, born about 1747 in Anson, North Carolina
Isaac Routh, born about 1772 in Randolph, North Carolina

Of their children, Isaac was our ancestor.  He died in 1840.
He was married to Mary Blakley, born in 1780 in Montgomery County, Virginia, and died in 1840 in Tippecanoe, Indiana.

Mary Blakley is one of the question marks for on an old chart I received, her name is not given but Isaac’s wife appears to have been born in 1776 and died in Grainger County, Tennessee, before 1840.  Right now Mary Blakley is taken on faith!  However her parents may have been Charles Blakely and Margaret Davis.

Isaac’s children include:

Jacob, born 1795 in Tennessee
Stephen, born in 1797 in Sevier County, Tennessee, married Sarah Mc Cluskey on July 10, 1817, and died on May 20, 1871.  Hezekiah, born July 2, 1798, in Tennessee, married Elizabeth Posey on October 3, 1816, and died December 25, 1876
Jonathan, born July 4, 1800, in Tennessee, married Catherine Barringer on February 22, 1827, and died August 21, 1864
John born in 1805 in Tennessee, and married Sarah Benton on January 3, 1830.

Isaac, born June 4, 1809 in Tennessee, married Frances Gillihan on October 23, 1831, and died on December 7, 1875
Hugh (who traveled with Levin), born in 1813 in Tennessee, married Mary Elizabeth Brown on July 25, 1839 and died in 1866
Levin (our ancestor) born March 27, 1816, in Grainger County, Tennessee, married Violetta Brown, born January 6, 1816 in Bedford, Virginia, and died March 12, 1896, in Brown County, Texas, (sister of Mary Elizabeth, Hugh C.’s wife) on August 12, 1838 in Greene County, Missouri, and died September 3, 1890, in Brown County, Texas; I have a copy of their marriage license from Greene County, Missouri.
William Jeremiah born 1824 in Tennessee, married Hannah Elizabeth Mills on September 2, 1845
Susanna Routh, who married Levi Lakey

Levin and Violetta/Violet had the following children:

Amazhar M. born April 1840 in Greene County, Missouri, died February 11, 1925, married Mary E. Byrd on December 12, 1866. Amazhar’s second wife was Rebecca Manley.
Elmira born in 1845 in Missouri, married William Carter on January 30, 1868;
Dollie P. (Dicey) born in 1848 in Collin County, Texas, married Wiseman; 
Inez D. born in 1850 in Collin County, Texas, married Inman;
Rebecca J. born in 1852 in Collin County, Texas, married William H. Teague on March 31, 1870

Robert Devon (our ancestor) born February 28, 1854 in  County, Texas, and died December 2, 1944, in Brown County, Texas.  Robert Devon (R D or Uncle Bob) was our ancestor.  He married three times.  The first was to Rosa/Rosie Cane/Cain/Crane in Jack County, Texas.  She died in 1898.  He also married Martha J. Esters, 1877-1967, and Jennie Bolton (Aunt Jennie).
Elizabeth A. born in 1856 in Collin County, Texas, married George W. Faulkner
Nancy M. born in 1858 in Collin County, Texas
Mary Violette born in 1861 and died in 1944

R D Routh and Rosa had six children:

Lord Byron (Kaiser) born December 15, 1897, in Jack County, Texas.  He married Hattie Ethel Bowden on September 15, 1901, and died on November 13, 1964.
Lora Day (Bee) who was born January 14, 1882, in Jack County, Texas.  She is our ancestor.  She married Marvin Tilden (M T or Dock) Bowden, December 124, 1905, in Dublin, Texas.  She died March 23, 1959, in Dublin, Texas.
George C. born July 1884
Amazhar born December 1885
Mary born December 1888
Fred born September 1890

Lora Day and M. T. had two children. Marvin Tilden Jr. who died as an infant and Rose Elizabeth Bowden, born April 19, 1910, in Rising Star, Texas. 

Rose married John McBee Ficke who was born on October 6, 1913, in Wheeler, Texas, and died on November 2, 1961, in Gainesville, Texas, in a automobile accident.

Rose and John had one child, Johnette Sue, born December 18, 1942.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015


This is a fictitious tale about my great-grandfather, Bob Routh - fiction based on fact!  I published it several years ago.

“You ‘member Uncle Bob Routh, don’t ya?  He rode with the Texas Rangers down in Brown County durin’ the Indian troubles in the 1870s, right?”  

“Yup, he did that, and he sure had hisself an opinion on most anything you wanted to ask him ‘bout.  Even give his thoughts to the Brownwood Bulletin on more’n one occasion, and let me tell you, he was somethin’, that ole man.  He was somethin’.”

“Shoot, I ‘member when he whupped that preacherman from here to yonder. Rode his hoss right into the little Methodist Episcopal church, roped the feller, and drug him right outside in front of God and everbody.  Never did understand ‘xactly what happened there, but the rumor was that ole circuit rider had done messed with Uncle Bob’s oldest daughter, Mz. Bee.  Guess the reverend deserved the horse whippin’ he got, and that sure put the icin’ on the cake far as stories about ole Uncle Bob is concerned.”  

“Least-wise Mz. Bee married that Bowden boy what owned the furniture store.  Hope she had a happy life, but I heard she never was right after that, whatever that was.”

“Say, do you ‘member that time, back ‘bout 1875, when Dick Cheatham and Dick Smith run ‘crost that Comanche raidin’ party what kilt the whole of Bill Williams’ family whilst he was in town buyin’ supplies and what not?”

“Yup, ole Bill was one of them fellers what believed Comanches was jest misunderstood, peaceable folk with not a mean bone in their bodies.  Otherwise he’d never ‘ve left Mz. Williams and those two little mites there without some sort of protection.  Why I heard tell he didn’t even leave her with no gun!”

“That’s what I heard, and when he come home to his ranch, ‘member it was up on the Jim Ned, he found poor Mz. Williams a dyin’, one of the children dead, and the other poor little thing probably carried off by them blood-thirsty Injuns.  Never heard from her again, ‘s the way that story goed.”

“Times back then was dangerous, that’s for shore!  Times is better now.”

“Well, maybe so, but ole Bob Routh’s still a purty dangerous feller, and he’s, what, 91 or so.  Sure wouldn’t want to be held in jail there with him the jailer and Mz. Jenny cookin’ the food.  Heard she’s one terrible cook and meaner ‘n a snake on Sunday, you ask me.  But not meaner Uncle Bob!”

“Yeah, well, back to that raidin’ party o’ Comanches.  ‘member that there was the last Injun fight in Brown County, or so they say.  Took place, it did, up on Clear Creek, when Smith and Cheatham run acrost them Injuns.  Think it was right after they’d kilt Mz. Williams, but I knows for certain sure they didn’t have no children with them.”

“Yup, that fight didn’t last too long neither, and, ‘cept for one or two, all the Injuns was kilt, and Smith brought one dead Injun back into Brownwood and done set him up in the winder of Mr. Dave Hutchinson’s blacksmith shop.  They kept him there for a few days, ‘til the stink was God Almighty awful.  Then all the businessmen in town took that body out on the old Comanche Road and stuck it up in the big ole liveoak as a warnin’.”

“Oh, yeah, I ‘member what happened then.  The body finally fell outtin’ that tree down onto the ground and some of them roamin’ hogs done et it up.  Think that showed them Comanches who’s boss.  Never were no more raids after that.”

“But do you ‘member the time that old man, can’t ‘member his name, who kilt once too many times.  Shot his brother-in-law, carved a second notch on his gun.  Why, I hear tell he shot that feller in the mornin’ and went to a church picnic that afternoon.  Onliest thang was, Uncle Bob and ole Captain James found out all ‘bout it, and they shore went down to that picnic and arrested that old man.  77 he was, too, but meaner a snake.  Believe they hanged him before the next Sunday.  ‘course, Uncle Bob weren’t ‘fraid to bother church people, ‘specially after he horse whipped that preacher man.”

“Now, that Captain Jason James was a fine man, weren’t he?  Didn’t take nothing offen no body.  Not even ole Bob Routh!  Why, you know ole Captain James may ‘ave been a member of Quantrill’s Raiders. After all, his first cousin, Jesse, and Jesse’s brother, Frank, were both part of that band with the Youngers and all.”

“Yup, they surely was, but I don’t know about Captain James.  Mean as he was, he was always on the right side of the law, if you know my meanin’, and him and Uncle Bob was in some mighty scary situations, but they’s always after them Injuns or some other sorta bad guys.”

“One thing is for shore, Captain James looked ‘xactly like his cousin, Jesse.  Why they coulda been twins!  And he always carried a photograph of Jesse in his shirt pocket.  He told Uncle Bob onced he hoped he’d never have to go after Jesse, but I ‘spect he would if he hadda.”

“ ‘member the time James went down to Pecan Bayou to arrest that feller who was camped down there?  Believe that feller was a horse thief or some such, but Captain James went alone, way those Ranger always do.”

“Yup, he got down there to the Bayou, and the feller seemed all peaceable and such.  He told James he’d surely ride into town with him, and he asked James if he coulda got his coat outta his wagon.”  

“I ‘member.  James was bein’ particularly nice that day, I guess, and he didn’t cuff him or nothin’, let the feller go into the wagon, and the next thang he knowed the feller reached under the wagon seat, pull out his hand gun, and fired at James.”  

“ ‘course if was real close range, and James was hit hard, but he pulled his gun and shot back, and he kilt that sorry so-and-so.”  

“Yup, and Uncle Bob come along about then and carried James back to town.  James stayed at that roomin’ house over on Fisk what was run by Mz. Hattie Bowden, and it took him a few months afore he was back in the saddle and off rangerin’ again with Uncle Bob.”

“I think Uncle Bob took that shootin’ hard, and when his enlistment was up is when he gave up rangerin’ and went to runnin’ that general store with Mz. Jenny.”

“Well, one thing’s for shore.  Uncle Bob were one interestin’ feller.  Wish I knowed him better, but when I was a little ‘un I was plum skeert to death of him.  And I shore don’t want to get to know him from a jail cell!”

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Why Do I Believe?

John 6:60-69  60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Why do I believe that Jesus is the Holy One of God?  Of course, at age 73, I have certainly made up my own mind, but because of the people in the photo above, Rose and John Ficke, my parents, I was brought up in a household, a church, a community, a family that believes that Jesus is the Holy One of God!  Because of this I have never doubted that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of us all!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Adventure

This was done yesterday so that I can have 14 straight days of infusion antibiotic.  There is no pain and only mild discomfort - mostly from the band that is holding the tail close to my arm - and the act of bathing without getting the tail-end wet is another thing.  I covered the arm with a trash bag.  Now I smell like trash bag deodorant!

I am having these infusions in Graham, Texas, as Harmony House, and it sure beats driving through Metroplex traffic each day.

The Picc was installed yesterday at our local hospital.  Then we drove to Graham, 50 miles away, for the infusion which lasted about 45 minutes.  Harmony House is a nice facility, and they people who own it are very good.

I will endeavor to keep up with my writing, etc., although it is a little uncomfortable to type.

We are blessed with all the medical advances that make this sort of thing possible!

God is good.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Skywatch Friday

Following the cold front in Texas.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Infusion is On

Well, here we go again!  Or really for the first time.

I will be going to Harmony House Infusion clinic in Graham, Texas, for ten days of once a day antibiotic infusions.  We will drive back and forth.

Palo Pinto General Hospital will install a picc line in my arm so that I won't have to be stuck every day, and they are hoping that this will finally get rid of the e coli bacteria I have been carrying around since February.

I will be so extremely happy to get this over with!  I am thankful to have found a place sort of local, at least not in the city, where I can go and get this done.  Our daughter, Christi, knows the folks who run Harmony House and has led the way in our finding out where to go.

I am being referred by Dr. Rojas of the Tarrant County Infectious Disease clinic and by Carla Hay-Perdue, my nurse practitioner.

Please say a prayer that this finally fixes everything!

God bless you all.  God is good!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Retiree

All I can say is, "HA!"

Yesterday morning I got up before 8, as now that I'm retired I find I can't sleep past 8!   Whoever get up first unloads the dishwasher from the night before and feeds the cat - feeds the cat first, as a matter of fact, for else!

Then Raf makes his coffee, and I get our water.  We need to have water by us all the time.  I learned this when Mother was older.  Drink Water!

At 8 I made a new coffee cake recipe.  I baked bacon, and when it was done, we had breakfast.

After breakfast I began a pot of soup for supper, cutting up vegetables, glazing meat, and in general, making a stock for a good pot of soup.

I then bathed, and together with the cat who always sits with me when I read my Bible, I read a few chapters of Jeremiah.  I am slowly reading my way through the Bible, as I have never done that.  The Apocryphal books, included.

Following Jeremiah, I put a load of clothes on to wash.

Then I came into my office to write the next chapter of my new book, Murder on Dodson Prairie, and then I put up a short blog and wrote some about genealogy.

I did some genealogical research for my grandson, and then I did some writing for DAR.

I dried the clothes and prepared for supper.

Yes, I choose to do these things, but as my friend Margaret told me long ago, you are busier after you retire than before.

Rest in peace, Margaret!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Banners in Texas

This photo is from Traces of Texas, a Facebook page, with the following quote: Traces of Texas reader Doug Banner sent in this incredible photo of John Wesley Banner (seated) on his 100th birthday in Comanche, Texas.  This was taken in 1920.  John Wesley is surrounded by seven of his nine children.  He passed away at the age of 103 and is buried in Comanche.

My grandson, who is a policeman in the D/FW Metroplex, had a friend send him this photo.  It is of a group of people whose last name is Banner, as is my grandson's.  I was able to find information on about the old man, John Wesley Banner (guess he was a Methodist!).  As you can see I discovered that he was born in Virginia.  My grandson's people came from Banner Elk, North Carolina, and settled first in Jacksboro and then in Fort Worth.  As they married some of my McAnally family who came from Virginia, there may be a clue there.

John Wesley Banner was born on 12 Jun 1820 in Scott County, Virginia.  He married Martha Jane Broadwater (1822-1884) in Scott County on 20 Dec 1842.  His son William (1848-1935, seen right in photo) was born in Aug of 1848 in Virginia.  His wife died 18 Jan 1884 in Comanche, Texas, at the age of 61.  They had been married 41 years.  He died 1 Dec 1923 in Comanche and is buried there.

My grandson wants to know more about these Banners, so I am reaching out to anyone who might know this family.  If you do, please add a comment or contact me on Facebook.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015


As Barbara Good said to Tom Good on The Good Life (England) or Good Neighbors (USA), today I am fallopy!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Problem With Education

Photo of Houston Elementary School, Mineral Wells, Texas, the the Mineral Wells Index

Today our local paper explained in great detail that the school district, or ISD as we call them here in Texas, has a big problem because my former campus has low STAAR test scores.  Humph!

The reason, in my humble opinion, that many schools have low standardized test scores is because they have standardized tests which teachers have to teach to, rather than the trained teachers teaching! Leave them alone and let them teach! The teachers have to spend so much time being accountable to the state that they are no longer accountable to the students - to teach them reading, writing, and arithmetic!

Also, I believe that because many parents and administrators do not back their teachers, but, rather, send them to many, many extra days of training to teach them how to teach what they have been teaching for low these many, the kids are permanently injured, and teachers are no longer given free rein to teach in order to benefit each child!  After all, unlike what the government thinks, all kids are NOT the same.

Further, kids are no longer expected to mind, to be quite, to listen, to participate in an orderly manner.  Teacher can no longer punish kids, or even call them down - so UNLIKE what will happen to them in the REAL world.

Finally, if prayer and God were brought back into the classroom and morality, rather than "if it feels good, do it", was the order of the day, we would have far less violence and far more learning.

If each teacher would, and was allowed, to look at each individual student and think, "what can I do to help this child be a productive adult?", whether he's the highest or lowest in the class, the world would be a far better place in which to live.

Don't blame the teachers and principals at Houston Elementary, folks, blame the administration, the state, the government!  And change it.  

Government, tear down this wall of hazards to education!  And do it quickly!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Routh Family

I have always been extremely interested in my grandmother's family, the Routh family.  Grannie is on the bottom row, on the right.  Her name was Lora Day Routh Bowden, and she was known as Bee because her brother, the one standing on the left of their father, could not say baby when she was born, so he called her Bee.

The Rouths were so interesting.  They were pioneers.  The old man in the middle, my great-grandfather, Robert Devon Routh, was a Texas Ranger during the Indian Wars and died as the jailer of the Brown County, Texas, jail at the age of 94.

I have begun a Routh Family Facebook Page.  If you are a Routh, interested in genealogy, please join us!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dead or Alive in 1940?

OK, here's the deal.  My mother's brother was born and died in 1907.  However, in 1940 the United States Census shows him living with his parents in Brown County, Texas.  Can anyone explain this to me?

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Summer in Texas

Remember my Secret Garden blog less than a month ago?  If you don't, go back and look at the link!  Our garden was beautiful then, now, no matter whether we pour water on it or not, it is wilting and dying!

Now we are into 100˚F+ weather.  The hard surfaces radiate heat.  When you go outside you feel as though you've been hit by a blast furnace.  And, as I get older, I feel the heat so much more, and, amazingly, my arthritis acts up much worse in the heat than in the cold.

We have an excellent central air conditioner, which works so hard.  It was installed just a couple of years ago, replacing an old one, and it was check in the spring.  Our AC men are great (Choate, if you need AC in Mineral Wells), but our house, even with new insulation, still cannot hold the cool in.  After all this house was built in the 1950s, so it is an old house for old people who were born in the 1940s, We love the house, but the heat is really getting to me!

Thank God from whom all blessings flow for giving us rain this spring so we have water in our lakes.  Lake Palo Pinto, our water supply, is at 96% - it was down to 7% in the spring.  You can check other lake levels in Texas at Water Data for Texas.  And while we are extremely grateful for the water, it's still HOT.

Our daughter, Carolyn, said today, "But, Mom, you grew up here.  You should be used to it!"

I said, "Yes, but it still feels terrible.  Doesn't matter whether I grew up here or not!"

Today we needed to get out three times.  To a birthday party, to a political event, and to the "grocery" store - if you can call Walmart a grocery store!  We've been to one and are now resting between bouts.  I hope it will be slightly cooler by the time we get to Walmart!

So, now you have had the weather report from Mineral Wells, Texas.  Ain't no Secret Garden here, no more!  If it weren't for the dripper and bird feed in the back garden we would have no birds, either!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Skywatch Friday

This is the "blue moon" taken last week by my friend, Jennifer Porter, a photography student in Southern California.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 06, 2015


My grandmother was one of 17 children from Braymer, Missouri.  Her name was Harriet Elizabeth McBee, and she married my grandfather, John Ficke.  They settled in Wheeler County, Texas, and raised 8 children, the second oldest one was my father, John McBee Ficke.

A couple of years ago I took a DNA test through to discover more about my family.  After that I have made connections with many distant, and some not so distant, cousins.  I just received these photos from one of them.

Many of this family traveled the Oregon Trail, while my family stopped in Missouri.  This is probably a photo of Richard C. McBee and Genevieve Casterline who were married 23 December 1917.  They were part of the Oregon bunch.

Interestingly, one of my McBee/Ficke first cousins' mother married a man name Linebarger (her second marriage).  In the group of photos I received was this:

This is the funeral card of Elizabeth McBee Linebarger, 1837-1889, daughter of William McBee and Elizabeth Milligan.  

Small world, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Raf's Letter to the Editor of the Mineral Wells Index

Dear Editor,
It seems that Whataburger’s management and others have chosen to tackle one of the salient issues of the day, guns.  Although he claimed to defend American’s right to keep and bear arms, he just doesn’t want them to exercise that fundamental right in his restaurants. He says it’s because he’s afraid patrons will be afraid of the guns.
Fine! That’s no skin off my nose, I haven’t eaten in a Whataburger in years. I’m sure the loss of my patronage will make no difference whatsoever to our local store, let alone to the chain as a whole.
On the other hand, I do visit the Palo Pinto General Hospital frequently, and thus, I am inconvenienced by the 30.06 signs they have erected. Perhaps Harris Brooks is similarly frightened of the inanimate objects. What the management of Whataburger and Mr. Brooks have in common is their lack of critical thought on this issue.
When the Concealed Handgun law was passed in Texas, in 1995, several places were listed as places where carrying would not be permitted. As I recall, churches, hospitals and publicly owned facilities were among them.
Today, that is no longer the case. Why did the Texas Legislature elect to remove churches, hospitals and parks from the exemptions to the CHL? It was because in exempting those places from handgun carry, the earlier law was creating islands in our society where citizens could not protect themselves from predators.
If you will recall, the first handgun law was, in part, a response to killings at Luby’s in Killeen, in 1991. You may also recall that then-Gov. Ann Richards vetoed an immediate attempt to permit Texans to protect themselves, but newly elected Gov. George W. Bush signed a similar bill upon being sworn in.
Suzanna Gratia Hupp was present at the Luby’s shootings in which her parents were killed. She had a gun in her car 100 feet away, but could not carry it with her, legally, at that time. If she and perhaps other citizens had been allowed to carry guns, Henard, the murderer, could not have killed 24 people without interference.

One incident prompting the Legislature to remove some of these safe-haven zones where guns were not allowed was the incident in Fort Worth, right here, close by, where Larry Gene Ashbrook murdered seven people and wounded seven others at the Wedgewood Baptist Church. This incident was important because it demonstrated that laws prohibiting the lawful carrying of guns merely create safe shooting galleries for those who don’t obey laws.
Let’s face it, that 30.06 sign won’t keep a crackpot out of PPGH. It will only keep the law-abiding citizens from carrying in the facility. The one thing most likely to keep crackpots from shooting up our hospital, is the knowledge that there may be armed citizens there who would thwart their plans.
The same is true of Whataburger, their sign will not protect them like the fear of retaliation would.
Come on! Citizens of Texas who own CHLs have been investigated by the DPS and found not to be criminals or crazy (our own passion for Crazy Water withstanding). We are the good guys. We are the ones who have spent the money to be investigated, to take the courses, to demonstrate our ability to handle firearms safely and accurately. Those who choose to practice open carry are subject the same careful scrutiny that CHL holders are. We are not the danger! I have been told by law enforcement personnel, that once they’ve determined that a person has a CHL, they know they’re dealing with a responsible citizen.
Harris Brooks did not erect the 30.06 signs when they were first authorized in 1997. I don’t know exactly when those signs appeared at PPGH, but it was at least a decade after the laws changed. What happened that suddenly caused the hospital administrator to spend the money to have those signs made and posted? If there was an incident at the hospital, I’m certainly unaware of it, and the hospital board members I’ve spoken with do not even recall being consulted on the subject.
I call upon Harris Brooks and the management at Whataburger to reconsider their positions on this matter. Mr. Brooks, take down that sign!
Ralph Seibert, Mineral Wells

Monday, August 03, 2015

"I'm My Own Grandma" Genealogy

Every time I see this part of my genealogy, where Charles McAnally comes into play (he being one of my Revolutionary War ancestors) I think of the song Ray Stevens, and other singers, too, sang many years ago.  You see this part of my family tree shows that my ex-husband's family and mine were intertwined back at the time of the American Revolution.  

There weren't as many people here in America then, and if they lived in the same area, often folks married each others' relations.

Because of this, my three daughters have the same 4th great-grandfather on both my side and their father's side.  Seems strange now, but it's really true.  And, of course, it means my ex and I have the same 5th great-grandfather!

So, here's the song, if you haven't seen it before!

Many, many years ago when I was twenty-three
I was married to a widow who was pretty as could be
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red
My father fell in love with her and soon they too were wed

This made my dad my son-in-law and really changed my life
For now my daughter was my mother, 'cause she was my father's wife
And to complicate the matter, even though it brought me joy
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad
For if he were my uncle, then that also made him brother
Of the widow's grownup daughter, who was of course my step-mother

Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run
And he became my grandchild, for he was my daughter's son
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue
Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother too

Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild
And every time I think of it, it nearly drives me wild
'Cause now I have become the strangest 'case you ever saw
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa

I'm my own grandpa, I'm my own grandpa
It sounds funny, I know but it really is so
I'm my own grandpa

So here's the explanation:

  • The narrator marries the older woman.
    • This results in the woman's daughter becoming his stepdaughter.
  • Subsequently, the narrator's father marries the older woman's daughter.
    • The woman's daughter, being the new wife of the narrator's father, is now both his stepdaughter and his stepmother. Concurrently, the narrator's father, being his stepdaughter's husband, is also his own stepson-in-law.
      • The narrator's wife, being the mother of his stepmother, makes her both spouse and step-grandmother.
        • The husband of the narrator's wife would then be the narrator's step-grandfather. Since the narrator is that person, he has managed to become his own (step-step)grandfather. The "step-step" concept applies because the step-father of your step-mother would be your step-step-grandfather, making a "double step" event possible.
The song continues with
  • The narrator and his wife having a son.
    • The narrator's son immediately becomes the half-brother of his stepdaughter, as the narrator's wife is the mother of both.
      • Since his stepdaughter is also his stepmother, then the narrator's son is also his own step-and/or half-uncle because he is the (half-)brother of his (step-)mother.
        • The Narrator's son would then become a brother-in-law to the narrator's father, because he is the (half-)brother of the father's wife.
  • The narrator's father and his wife (the narrator's stepdaughter) then had a son of their own.
    • The child would then become the narrator's grandson because he is the son of his (step-)daughter.
      • The son would also become the (half-)brother of the narrator because his father is also the narrator's.


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