Bat Guano and the Demise of Levi STEPHENS

1864 Battlefield of Resaca GA by Matthew Brady

1864 Battlefield of Resaca GA by Matthew Brady

Levi H. STEPHENS not only survived the Civil War but became a prolific family man.  He had his first 2 children, William ’60 and Thomas ’64 with his wife Rachel during that time.  Son James was born in 1864 and daughter Martha (Mattie) Elizabeth about 1869.

Levi was born about 1834 probably in Madison County, GA to a farming family.  He married Miss Rachel, whose life events and surname are still being investigated.

The Civil War Website created by the National Park Service has a list of soldiers and sailors that fought in the Civil War.  Levi H. STEPHENS is found Continue reading


5 Benefits of Doing Family History

My Kindred Tree - "Becoming A Man" painting section by Ginger Dean

You may be wondering why people research their family’s history.  Well, here are 5 excellent reasons:

1. Get Rich Quick

Ignorance is cheap and is not bliss when it comes to ancestors.  Sure, you probably know something about your parents and grandparents but it’s a stretch beyond that unless you’ve made it a priority to educate yourself.  There is a certain richness that you can obtain by knowing your ancestors and nowadays, you can have it quicker than ever with resources available online.

2. It Helps Keep Families United.

Strong  families have Continue reading

All Families Need A History

The importance of having, keeping and sharing a family’s history is emphasized in this speech given by David Adelman at the last RootsTech Conference in Feb 2014 titled:

‘Storytelling Super Powers:  How to Come Off as Your Family’s Genealogy Hero’

Some highlights include how you can achieve ‘Super Hero’ status amongst your own family. David states that one person can make a huge difference in this life.  Studying your family’s history can be brought forward and made alive, pertinent, and useful to our own lives.

What does a Genealogy Hero look like? They are:

  • Determined – to fight for the truth and find the information they need.
  • Have Super X-Ray Vision – to see things others cannot and find mysteries.
  • Stealthy – with the ability to be various places and not be noticed right away. A Ninja quality to be behind the scenes and get people to open up.
  • Full of Stamina – like the Hulk who channels his determination into purpose and doesn’t give up.
  • Courageous – and tell the stories that might be painful when uncovered.

A Harvard graduate, David was so moved by the stories of his deceased grandmother gathered by his mother, he started his own family storytelling video company ‘’ a few years ago.

This video has clips of cartoon super heroes demonstrating the qualities of a genealogy hero. This might be a fun one for the whole family to watch.  

For more about storytelling, check out the following sites:

Storytelling Websites and Resources from the University of North Texas, School of Library and Information Sciences.

National Storytelling Network is dedicated to advancing the art of storytelling.

W.O.M. Stories of Western LINN & Martha GILREATH

Image courtesy of vintageprintables

Image courtesy of vintageprintables

What does W.O.M. mean?  Word Of Mouth.  The type of story that is verbally passed along. Interesting stories because they have the ability to expand and change by the addition of the teller’s words, intonations or opinions. Details might be lost or enhanced in the retelling but theses types of stories are like salt and pepper.  The spice for tastier food and a happy palate.  They add a new dimension to the saying “ye are the salt of the earth . . .” when it comes to talking about our ancestors.

From the mouth comes the story  that Western Hardy “Wheat” LINN liked to Continue reading

Western Hardy LINN

Western Hardy LINN began life in the year 1847 in the town of Whites, Georgia.  June 30th was his birth day and was the 6th child of 13 born to Alfred Martin LINN and Frances Ann HACKETT.

He was about 13 years old when the Civil War started and he married his neighbor,  Martha A. GILREATH on the 15 of Oct 1872 at the age of 24.

Western Hardy LINN

Western Hardy LINN

Western’s nickname was “Wheat”.  Apparently “Wheat” wore a hat because in the LINN family bible it states that his hat had a bullet hole in it!

Western and Martha had 11 children together, one of which was Max Augustus LINN.