Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Genealogy Jamboree in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee

Fern Lake, Middlesboro, Kentucky

Those of you with family roots in the tri-state area of southeast Kentucky, northeast Tennessee, and southwest Virginia may be interested in the 2013 Genealogy Jamboree.  This is becoming an annual event in the tri-state area and will be held this year on June 6, 7, and 8, in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.  While I have never been to the jamboree, I hope to go this year.  Included in the festivities are crafters, surname booths, professional and amateur genealogists, historical and genealogical societies and speakers, demonstrations, music, and food.  Sounds like fun to me--and definitely worth a visit to check out family history leads!  Also, if you've never been to the Cumberland Gap area, you've missed out on one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Mountains and valleys full of beauty surround you, and the area is full of history.  To learn more, check out the links below.  Hope to see you there!

Genealogy Jamboree Website
Genealogy Jamboree Facebook Page
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Monday, January 28, 2013

Roy B. Lane (Uncle B)

When I began this blog, I really didn't know where or how to start.  I knew, however, that if I didn't just jump right in and do it, I would worry myself to death trying to plan and make everything perfect--and the blog would never have come to life.  So I began with one of my favorite photos of my mom and that led to some recollections and details about her life.  Thus, my first blog post.  Since then, the blog has just evolved, and I guess it will continue to do so.  That's what's working for me, and I hope it will work for my readers, too.

Roy B. Lane
So, it seems I'm working my way back, youngest to oldest, through the eight children of William B. Lane and Martha Ann Pierce.
8.  Betty Jewel Lane--check
7. Myrtle Ruth Lane--check

Today, let me introduce you to #6. Roy B. Lane, my Uncle B.

Betty and Ruth's older brother, Roy, or "B" as he was always called, was born on October 20, 1914, in Anthras, Tennessee.  Yes, Anthras was yet another coal mining community my grandparents settled in so my papaw could find work.

Roy B. Lane
c. 1915

Growing up, B moved with the family from Anthras to Eagan to Pruden, and then finally into "town" in Lafollette, Claiborne County, Tennessee.

Roy B. Lane with baby sister, Betty Jewel
Pruden, Tennessee, c. 1926

As a young man, B went to work in a steel mill, and he married the beautiful Mildred L. Wagner (1921-2000).  B and "Millie" had their first son, Richard M. Lane on August 27, 1939, in Middlesboro, Kentucky.  By 1940, according to the U. S. Federal Census, B, Millie, and baby Richard were living with B's parents in Middlesboro.  Uncle B had developed tuberculosis, and he and Millie were expecting their second child.  Phillip David Lane was born in Middlesboro on October 1, 1941.  Sadly, B died only a few weeks later on November 26.  He was buried in the Lafollete (TN) Cemetery.

Roy B. Lane and son Richard
c. 1940

Mildred Wagner Lane
c. 1935

Friday, January 25, 2013

Family Recipe Friday: Ruth Lane Williamson's 24-Hour Salad

Ruth Lane Williamson

24-Hour Salad

Mix together the following ingredients and set aside.

pineapple chunks, quartered
1 pkg. miniature marshmallows
pecan pieces

Next, mix together the following ingredients and heat over medium high heat until thickened, stirring constantly.

2 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Add 2 Tbsp. butter to heated mixture, stir, and then let mixture cool.  When mixture has cooled, stir in 1/2 pint of fresh whipped cream.  Fold this gently into pineapple mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

A big thanks to my cousin, Joy Goins Lewis, granddaughter of Ruth L. Williamson, for sharing this recipe.

Happy Birthday to my precious Aunt Ruth who would have been 96 years old today.

Ruth Lane Williamson, c. 1940

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: A Letter From My Aunt Ruth

Letter  to Elizabeth Lane Lee from Ruth Lane Williamson, 1979

Thus begins one of my most prized possessions--a letter my Aunt Ruth wrote to me when I graduated from Middlesboro High School in 1979.  I've kept it in my grandmother's Bible for 33 years, but I had to bring it out for this week's Treasure Chest Thursday.

Page 1 of letter
Page 2 of letter

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: M. Ruth Lane Williamson

Gravestone of Ruth Lane Williamson
Hurst Cemetery, Middlesboro, Kentucky
Photo taken c. 2004
As I'm sure you've guessed by now, the focus of my blog this week is my wonderful Aunt Ruth.  She developed Alzheimer's Disease in her later years, and her daughter, Betty Jo Williamson McManaway, brought  her to live with her at her home in Harrogate, Tennessee.  Aunt Ruth died on July 11, 1997, due to complications from Alzheimer's.  She is buried in the William B. Lane family plot in Hurst Cemetery in Middlesboro, Kentucky.

Remembering Aunt Ruth

Love at first sight for both of us
Middlesboro, Kentucky, 1961
When I was a little girl, some of the neighborhood kids had come over to play.  While swinging in the backyard, one little girl began to make fun of me because I didn't have any grandparents.  Unlike most of the other kids, all my grandparents had passed away, you see.  I was hurt, but I said nothing.  However, my friend, Susan, who became a hero to me that day, immediately piped up and said:  "Well, she may not have any grandparents, but she has an Aunt Ruth!"  Yes, I had an Aunt Ruth, and she was a treasure.

Myrtle Ruth Lane was her full given name, though I didn't know that until I was a teenager.  (Aunt Ruth hated the name "Myrtle," and she never wanted my mom to tell me that was her name.)  Ruth Lane was the seventh of  William and Martha Lane's children, and was nine years older than my mom, Betty.  Ruth was born on January 25, 1917, in Eagan, Tennessee, another small coal mining community close to the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

M.yrtle Ruth Williamson

After graduating from Lafollette (TN) High School,  Aunt Ruth attended Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, for a couple of years.  She played basketball while at LMU and this was when women were only allowed to play half-court.  They played only offense or defense and only on one end of the court.  At the time, full court play was considered too taxing for women.

In 1940, according to the U. S. Federal Census, Ruth, then age 24, was living at her parents' home in Middlesboro, Kentucky, and working as an assistant photographer.

Joe and Ruth Lane Williamson
c. 1940

Aunt Ruth married Joe Williamson and they settled down in a log house on Pinnacle Road just outside of Middlesboro, Kentucky.  Their first child, Betty Jo, was born in 1942.  Joe enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1943 and fought in World War II, while Aunt Ruth continued to work and raise her daughter.  In 1949, a second daughter, Cynthia Ann, was stillborn.  Joe and Aunt Ruth divorced soon after.

Ruth Lane Williamson and
Betty Jo Williamson
c. 1947
Aunt Ruth and Betty Jo moved into Middlesboro, and this is where Aunt Ruth would live for most of the rest of her life.  She worked for many years as a social worker for the Department of Human Resources in Pineville, Kentucky, which is a short distance from Middlesboro.  After leaving this job, she became the first Director of the newly formed Cooperative Christian Ministries (CCM) in Middlesboro.  CCM was a combined effort of several area churches to aid disadvantaged people in the community.  Persistent health problems, however, forced Aunt Ruth to soon retire.

Me and my Aunt Ruth
Christmas Morning, c. 1978
Aunt Ruth's daughter, Betty Jo, and her children, Joy and Joe Goins, lived in Middlesboro for many years, as well, and were a huge part of Ruth's life.  Her grandchildren were her treasures.  Somehow she also found time for me.  My parents, Betty Lane and Frank W. Lee, and I lived in Middlesboro, too, and Aunt Ruth was a frequent and favorite visitor to our house.  She often took me for drives, and we would sing whatever songs we knew while cruising around town.  Throughout the year, she and I would regularly crouch down in front of our fireplace, look up the chimney, and yell for Santa Claus--just in case he might have stopped by for a surprise visit.  She was always at our house early on Christmas morning to watch me open presents and to see what Santa had delivered.  She was there, too, for every birthday, Easter, and other special day for me, and I loved her more than I can say.

Ruth Lane Williamson
Although I've always missed having my grandparents around, my friend, Susan, was right.  I had an Aunt Ruth--and she was enough.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Family Recipe Friday: Joyce Schooler Reedy's Buttermilk Pie

Joyce Schooler, c. 1944
When I got married in 1990, my first cousin, Joyce Schooler Reedy, gave me a copy of a cookbook she contributed to and helped assemble.  Joyce is a grandchild of William and Martha Lane, the oldest child of Gladys M. Lane and James Schooler, and the mother of Terry Keith Reedy, Pamela B. Reedy, and Rolf  Reedy.  AND she's a wonderful cook!  Below is her recipe for Buttermilk Pie taken from page 75 of the cookbook Oak Ridge Woman's Club Recipes.  Thank you, Joyce!

Buttermilk Pie 
(No Crust)

1 C. buttermilk
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. Bisquick
1/2 C. melted margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

Mix in blender on high for 30 seconds.  Grease pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Joyce Schooler Reedy (right) with her sister, M. Anne Schooler Derksen,
and their precious mom & my aunt, Gladys M. Lane Schooler
c.  1995

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Betty Jo Williamson McManaway

In my last post, I talked a bit about my cousin, Betty Jo Williamson McManaway. Today's post is a brief follow-up about her grave site which is located in Middlesboro, Kentucky.  Betty, who died in 2006, is buried in the William B. Lane family plot in Hurst Cemetery.  Her headstone, to be shared one day with her husband Michael, is located directly in front of the Lane family marker.

Headstone of Betty J. Williamson and her husband Michael McManaway
Detail of  Headstone (above)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Remembering Betty Jo Williamson McManaway

Betty Jo Williamson, c. 1947
Today my beautiful first cousin, Betty Jo Williamson McManaway, would have turned 71.  Like me, Betty Jo is the granddaughter of William B. and Martha Pierce Lane.  She's the daughter of M. Ruth Lane and Joe Williamson, the mother of Joy J. Goins Lewis and L. Joe Goins, and the grandmother of Megan Goins, Matthew Goins, and Olivia Johnson.

Born in Middlesboro, Kentucky, on January 13, 1942, Betty Jo spent most of her life in Bell County, Kentucky, and just over the mountain in Claiborne County, Tennessee.  Growing up, I always envied her gorgeous dark hair and lovely blue eyes.  It was always a joy to hear her laugh or to eat a meal that she cooked, and she was one of the hardest-working people I've known.  More than anything, though, I think Betty Jo loved being a mom to her two children and a grandmother to their children.  She died of a massive stroke on November 15, 2006, and is buried in the William B. Lane family plot in Middlesboro's Hurst Cemetery.

Betty Jo & Ruth Williamson
c. 1952
Betty Jo Williamson
c. 1960
Betty Jo W. McManaway & Joy Goins Lewis


Friday, January 11, 2013

Family Recipe Friday: Betty's Cornbread (via Martha Pierce Lane)

Cornbread was a staple in our house when I was growing up, and my mom's cornbread was delicious.  She always used the recipe below which she said was dictated to her by her mother, Martha Pierce Lane, in the early 1950s.  The recipe was written on a 3 x 5 inch index card by my mom.  In parentheses to the right of each ingredient is the amount of that ingredient needed should you want to double the recipe.  These were written by my dad, Frank W. Lee, because he got tired of telling mom how to add fractions every time she made a big batch of cornbread!  (Like me, mom was "mathematically challenged," and she hated fractions.)

Betty Jewel Lane's Cornbread Recipe, c. 1950

Mom always used a cast iron skillet when she made cornbread.  She would grease the skillet with bacon drippings (which she kept in a can by the stove), and then she would put the skillet in the oven to warm while the oven was preheating.  "This gives your cornbread a nice crispy crust," she always said.

While I don't have mom's iron skillet, I do still have a couple of the other items she used when mixing up a batch of cornbread.  The measuring spoons have lost their luster, and the old Pyrex bowl shows wear from years stirring, but I wouldn't want them any other way.  I use them, too, when making cornbread for my family, and I think of her every time.

Betty Lane's Mixing Bowl, Measuring Cup, and Measuring Spoons, c. 1960

Betty Lane's Well-Worn Mixing Bowl, c. 1960

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Family Group Sheet for William Bowman Lane

Today I want to share the Family Group Sheet that I've created for the William Bowman Lane family in Family Tree Maker 2012 software.  One of my favorite things about this software is the way it syncs with my Ancestry.com account.  Each time I open my Family Tree Maker, all the research I've saved on Ancestry automatically downloads and organizes itself onto my Family Tree Maker.  Sources, photos, information--everything can be shared between these two sites.  These have been really helpful tools for me as I research my family history.  Also, I LOVE the options on Family Tree Maker that allow users to create various genealogy reports such as the following family group sheet about my mom, her parents, and her siblings.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: William and Martha Lane

My grandparents, William Bowman Lane and Martha Ann Pierce Lane, are buried in Hurst Cemetery in my hometown of Middlesboro, Kentucky.  My mom, Betty Jewel Lane, the focus of my first couple of blog posts, was their youngest child.

Lane Family Tombstone, 2004

My grandmother died of a massive stroke in 1954, and was the first to be buried in this family plot.  My grandfather died in 1964 and was buried beside his wife of more than 50 years.

Martha Ann Lane's Headstone

My grandmother was seventy years old when she passed away.  Her children chose to have a verse from the 23rd Psalm (Granny's favorite) inscribed on her headstone:  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

William B. Lane's Headstone

I'm not exactly sure how old my grandfather was when he died, but I'm fairly certain the birth date on his headstone is incorrect.  My Papaw, you see, was so eager to be like his big brother, Andy, and join the Army, that he lied about his age when he signed up for service.  He served proudly in the Spanish American War, and he would have been so pleased with his army-issued headstone.

To find out more about Hurst Cemetery, go to http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=74540.  Hurst Cemetery is located in front of and adjacent to the larger Middlesboro Cemetery.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

Resolution for 2013:  Practice and Promote Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. 
As an amateur genealogist, I know what a treat it is to find another piece of the family puzzle.  Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) is not new, nor is it my creation.  Much of the credit for this movement should probably be given to Bridgett and Doc Schneider who established the RAOGK website several years ago and created a network for volunteers around the world to help genealogists find pieces of the their family histories.  From obtaining copies of documents to prove lineage to taking photos of old homesites or tombstones, these volunteers provided a valuable service.  The RAOGK website was a way to match requests to volunteers.  The website ceased to exist, however, in 2011 when administrator Bridgett Schneider passed away.  Volunteers have taken up the cause on other sites.  Facebook, for example, has two RAOGK sites--one for requests and offers to help in the U. S. and one for the international community.  Find a Grave also offers an outlet for volunteers to take and share gravesite photos in their communities with those requesting them.  Ancestry has a project going called The Ancestry World Archives Project in which volunteers can work from their home computers and transcribe records so they can be placed online for researchers to access.  Many other opportunities to offer help to genealogists exist online and in local communities.  Wouldn't it be great if more of us shared a bit of our time and resources to help others complete their family histories?  That's what I hope to do this year, and I want to share some ideas and opportunities about how to do so on this blog.  Following is my first random act of genealogical kindness for 2013.  Sometimes merely sharing what you have in your own family history will mean so much to someone else.

Recently, when I decided to create this blog, I pulled out of the closet a couple of old scrapbooks that my mom, Betty Jewel Lane, kept when she was a teenager and young adult in the 1940s and early 1950s.  What fun to see mom with her friends and family when she was a young girl!  The clothes she wore, her hairstyles, the places she visited, even her handwriting throughout the scrapbooks, all gave me insight as to who she was and what life was like then.

Photo Albums  Created by Betty Jewel Lane, c. 1940s and 1950s

Inside Pages of Photo Album (above right) Created by Betty Jewel Lane

Many of the photos in the albums are of the same pretty young woman and are labeled in my mom's handwriting as "Lu" or "Lunetta."  I remember my mom talking about Lu and what good friends they were when they were young.

Betty Jewel Lane (r) and best friend Lu, c. 1945

I also remember Mom saying how much Lu adored her son and how close they were.  Well, Lu's son and I went to high school together, too, but we weren't close, and it has been years since I've seen him or even heard anything about him.  Still, shouldn't these photos and memories of Lu be shared with her family?  So, I turned to Facebook.  I quickly found Lu's son there, and sent him a private message about the treasures I have to share.  Was he interested?  Oh, yes!  Maybe even more so because his mother passed away just a few months ago.  So my project this week is to scan the photos of Lu in mom's scrapbooks and burn them onto a photo CD for her son.  I'll be mailing that CD to him next week along with some of the original photos of his mom.

Have you performed any random acts of genealogical kindness?  I'd love to hear about them!  If you'd like to share your story, please do so in the comment section below or contact me by email at bsouthworth@windstream.net.  Thanks!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Betty Jewel Lane (1926-1992)

Red hair, blue eyes, an easy laugh, and sometimes a fiery temper, Betty Jewel Lane was the youngest of William Bowman Lane and Martha Pierce Lane's eight children.  My mom was born in Pruden, Tennessee, where her daddy worked as a coal miner and where the family lived in a company-owned house beside the railroad tracks.

Betty Jewel Lane (r) and her nephew Billy Schooler
Pruden, Tennessee, c. 1932

Her siblings were Gladys, Leland, Edith, Jessie, Nolan, Roy, and Ruth.  Mom always said that even though they were a poor family, they were happy.  Mom adored her parents and her brothers and sisters, and she was especially close to Gladys, who helped raise her, and to Nolan and Ruth.  With her family, she later moved to Lafollette, Tennessee, where she graduated from high school, and then to Middlesboro, Kentucky.

Betty Jewel Lane, c. 1945
Lafollette (TN) High School

In Middlesboro, Mom worked as a clerk in Lee's Drug Store where she met my dad, Frank Welch Lee.  They married in 1959, and I came along in 1961.  They also had another child, my little brother, Frank Lewis Lee II, who was born in 1962.  It was a difficult birth and my brother died when he was only two days old.  I don't think Mom ever really got over the loss of my brother, but I do think she loved being my mom.

1959 Marriage Announcement of
Betty Jewel Lane and Frank Welch Lee

Just Married, August 5, 1959
Betty Jewel Lane and Frank Welch Lee
Rose Hill, Virginia

When I started first grade, Mom, at the age of 40, started college.  Four years later, she graduated magna cum laude from Lincoln Memorial University with a major in sociology.  She worked for a number of years as a social worker in Bell County, KentuckyMom passed away much too soon in 1992 from acute plasma cell leukemia.

Betty Lane Lee, 1971
Graduation from Lincoln Memorial University
Harrogate, Tennessee

Mom was a voracious reader, she loved to play golf, and she was an avid Tennessee Vols fan.  She liked to talk, she laughed until she cried when watching Steve Martin's movie The Jerk, and she hated people who acted as if they were better than others. What I remember most about Mom, however, is how much she genuinely liked people.  She especially loved being around young people, always welcoming my friends and our neighbors into our home.  She was fiercely loyal to her family and her friends, and she was so proud of her heritage.  So I dedicate this blog to my beautiful mother, and I look forward finding out about my Lane family roots.  I also look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to connect and share information about our family.

Betty Jewell Lane, c. 1945