First Cousins

There are lots of “first” things in genealogy and “First” was the prompt for the week of January 1 this year. Guess I’m a bit behind. Here we go with a bunch of first cousins.

The Rohleder first cousins from my father’s generation.
Row 4: Andy and Jack Rohleder, Harold, Robert and Paul Abernathy, Grayson Johnston and Bub Rohleder
Row 3: Jacqueline Johnston, Gladys Abernathy, Lura and Jean Johnston, Faye Johnston and M. Ann Rohleder
Row 2: Calvin Abernathy, Mary Lou Rohleder and Ralph Abernathy
Row 1: Frances Rohleder
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The Inventor

Joseph Parks Primm

Joseph was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 12 September 1882, the second child and eldest son of James Alexander Primm (1856-1934) and Martha Ann Virginia Deaton (1860-1932). He’s my paternal grandmother’s eldest brother. The family lived in the area of Charlotte known as Seversville and also had a farm out in the country. He had eight siblings: Margaret Jane (1880-1969), Ada Estelle (1884-1965), Arthur Leroy (1886-1970), William Frederick (1889-1935), Oliver E. (1893-1894), Myrtle Odessa (1897-1959, my grandmother), Arnold H. (1898-1915), and Ralph W. (1899-1901). After two years of high school (at about age 16), Joseph dropped out of school to work as a machine repairer. And with all those siblings, the family probably needed the extra income. Continue reading

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The Revolutionary War Veteran

Though I have more than one ancestor who fought in the War for Independence, I’ve selected my 5th great-grandfather to fulfill this week’s prompt: Independence.

Tillotson O’Brien

The fourth child and second son of Laurence (1720-1812) and Frances (1725-?) O’Brien, Tillotson was born in May 1760 in what is now Richmond County, North Carolina. At the time of his birth it was Anson County, but around 1779 his father and several other nearby residents petitioned the state for a new county to make it easier to conduct business. Laurence and Frances had immigrated from County Cork, Ireland, to Queen Anne County, Maryland before 1740. Around 1750 he moved his family to North Carolina where Tillotson was born. There are two known siblings for Tillotson: Dennis O’Brien (1740-1800) and Lucretia O’Brien (abt. 1750-?). Two other names have popped up, Nancy and David, but I can’t find anything to confirm their existence. Continue reading

Posted in 52Ancestors, Casey, Lovin, O'Brien | 1 Comment

The Black Sheep

Everyone has a black sheep in their family (some may have more than one). There are probably varying degrees of black sheepness (a child who decided to drop out of school and avoid the family business is probably lower on the scale than the long-lost cousin in jail for murder), but whatever has put the family member on the outs with everyone else, the black sheep make for very interesting research. This is a good thing for genealogists. You don’t get to choose your ancestors; I might not have chosen this one. And now, introducing my family’s favorite “black sheep”: Continue reading

Posted in 52Ancestors, Ford, Rohleder | 1 Comment

My Grandmother

Since I’m named after my grandmother, this seemed like the time to write about her (this week’s prompt is “same name”). Besides my name, I got my coloring from my grandmother, and my crocheting ability. (If there’s anything else, someone tell me, because I can’t see it!) Almost everyone who knew my grandmother called her Miss Annie, even some of her grandchildren. Our family called her MaMa (even accent on both syllables), but with all the genealogy work I’ve been doing, I’ve gotten in the habit of calling her Miss Annie, too. Continue reading

Posted in 52Ancestors, McKenzie, O'Brien, Phifer, Reynolds | 5 Comments

My Uncles

It’s Father’s Day this weekend. My parents didn’t have any sisters, and, since I’ve already written about my father, I wanted to honor my uncles who became dads. (Daddy’s eldest brother died before he had a chance to have children.) Continue reading

Posted in 52Ancestors, McKenzie, Primm, Reynolds, Rohleder | 3 Comments

She Married Well

With a prompt of “Going to the Chapel” this is the perfect time to write about Lou, my first cousin three times removed. This is my maternal grandfather’s side of the family. Continue reading

Posted in 52Ancestors, McKenzie | 1 Comment

The War Hero

Andrew Hamilton Rohleder III

Ensign Rohleder in his dress whites.

Andy was always an enigma to me. The picture of the handsome young man in uniform on top of the bookcase at my grandparents’ house was always visible but never really spoken of. When asked about Andy, the answer was always, “He died in the war.” Continue reading

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The Universal Language

My ancestors are from England, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and Switzerland. Those countries cover just a few of the 6,900-plus languages in the world. That’s a lot of different languages! But according to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, there is one universal language: Music. Like most languages, music has its own system of symbols and the combination of those symbols produces phrases—or a composition—that can be interpreted by instruments or voices. Since music is such a big part of my life I decided to find other people in my family who also speak that language. Continue reading

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My Mother

Betty Lou McKenzie

On 24 June 1927, Annie Reynolds McKenzie (1902-1987) delivered her second child, a baby girl. She and her husband, Frank Ledbetter McKenzie (1902-1970), named her Betty Lou. The birth took place at home in Roberdel, North Carolina. When I was a young girl, we used to pass by that house every time we visited relatives and Momma would point it out. I’m not sure if it’s even still there, but I remember that it was very small. Continue reading

Posted in 52Ancestors, McKenzie, Reynolds, Rohleder | 5 Comments