May 21, 2008

Jane Marrs

Jane is Jennie's Great-Great-Grandmother. 
Jennie has this photo of Jane that her grandmother Pearlie left her...

Jane was Pearlie's grandmother.  Pearlie spent a lot of time with her growing up and loved to talk about her.  One of her favorite stories was about when Pearlie and Sollie,  Jennie's grandfather, got married.  They moved out into a little place of their own and Jane moved right along with them.

I haven't been able to find a lot of information about her yet but I did locate this newspaper clipping about her passing.  It is from the July 23, 1931 issue of the Pike County News. 

May 20, 2008

Registering for the Draft

The year is 1918 and World War I is raging in Europe.  Having entered the war the year before the United States finds itself in need of more soldiers.  A program of military conscription (Draft) is implemented and all across America young men  report to local Draft Boards to register.

On June 5th, 1918 one of those young men was 21 year old Ruey Ratliff from Millard, KY.  Here is an image of the draft registration card he signed that day...

Ninety years have passed and that draft card has gone from file drawer to microfilm roll and now to the Internet.   Those transitions have made it a little hard to read but it still tells us a lot about young Ruey Ratliff from Millard, KY.
  • His birth date was Feb. 11, 1897.
  • He was born at Millard, KY.
  • His fathers birthplace was Regina, KY.
  • He was employed by Winston Creek Coal Company at Regina.
  • His spouse was Grace Ratliff.
The back of the card tells us...
  • He was of medium height and slender build with brown eyes and black hair.
  • He had no disabilities.
Looking at the handwriting I suspect that the registrar, Mr. Bowles, filled out the card and gave it to Ruey to sign.  Ruey's signature looks different from all the other writing on the card, especially the capital R's.  The way the letters in his signature tilt to the left makes me wonder if he wasn't left-handed.

May 19, 2008

Naming Conventions

In looking back through the generations of our ancestors you notice pretty quickly that the same names appear over and over.  There are sure a lot of men named John, Joseph, George and William in our family tree.  For the women it's Elizabeth, Mary, Jane  or Sarah.

I recently ran across something that may explain some of this.  It was a tradition in many  families to follow a certain convention for naming their children.  There were variations in the conventions followed and some families followed more religiously than others it seems.  One of the most common conventions was as follows:

1st son = father's father
2nd son = mother's father
3rd son = father
4th son = father's oldest brother
5th son = father's 2nd oldest brother or mother's oldest brother

1st dau = mother's mother
2nd dau = father's mother
3rd dau = mother
4th dau = mother's oldest sister
5th dau = mother's 2nd oldest sister or father's oldest sister

It's interesting to look at 'what could have been' if Mom and Dad had followed tradition:
    • Being the 1st born and only son, I would have been named John.
    • Luci, being the 1st daughter, would have been Rachel.
    • Sherry would have been the only Angeline in school.
    • Jeffery would not have had a boy's name, she would be little Gertrude.
    • And since Mom didn't have any sisters, Michelle would have been named for Dad's oldest sister, Magaline.
Actually, I may like those names a little better.