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52 Ancestors – #9 Alfred Gatewood Hoskins

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks. I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my 3rd great-grandfather, Alfred Gatewood Hoskins. This is week nine, and my ninth post in the challenge.

Smithia Anderson, A.G. Hoskins, Wevie Anderson

Smithia Anderson, A.G. Hoskins, Wevie Anderson

And look who is in the photo with him? The same two daughters I mentioned last week that Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson left when she passed away. Smithia and Wevie Anderson, standing with their grandfather. Cousin Karen (Ball) Cowan had that photo, and I’m still surprised that there is a photo of A.G. Hoskins, but not one of his daughter, Mary Elizabeth. Not that I have found yet anyway.

Cousin Nell Blackburn had this photo of A.G. Hoskins.

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins

I also found this picture of my great-grandmother Wevie, and her stepmother, Eva (Dalby) Anderson. The photo is numbered, and I found this copy of the photo at the library in New Boston but never found a list of names to match the numbers. I wonder if #14, the man on the porch is A.G. Hoskins? It sure looks like him, but I don’t know if the time frame is right for it to be him as he died on 21 May 1897, and I believe Wevie was about 13 years old when he died. She looks older than that in this photo so I don’t really know if it is him or not.

Wevie (#10)  and Eva (#7) Anderson, possible AG Hoskins

Wevie (#10) and Eva (#7) Anderson, possible AG Hoskins

I’m not going to bore you with the census reports on A.G., mainly because you can see those on last week’s post about his daughter, here.

A.G. married Mary Lucinda Henri on 5 May 1836.  Mary was the daughter of George B. and Martha Henri.  This is where the original chain of Mary’s in my family began, and where my great-grandmother got her name of Wevie Henri Anderson.

A.G. and Mary had five children.  Four daughters, and one son, none of which would live longer than A.G.  Mary, his wife died in 1872, living A.G. widowed and to my knowledge he never remarried.  Their children were:

  • Martha Catherine (Hoskins) Eubank (1837 – 1881)
  • George Benjamin Hoskins (1838 – 1846)
  • Isabella Jane Hoskins (1841 – 1857)
  • Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson (1844 – 1891), my second great-grandmother and last weeks post.
  • Henri Anna (Hoskins) Wever (1848 – 1893)


He must have cherished his grandchildren, having lost all of his children.  Cousin Karen also had this photograph, and this is all the grandchildren of A.G. and Mary Hoskins.

Grandchildren of A.G. and Mary Hoskins

Grandchildren of A.G. and Mary Hoskins

# 1 is Anna (Wever) Lanier, #2 is Eddie Eubank, #3 is Wevie (Anderson) Ball, #4 Smithia (Anderson) Norman, and #5 is Lela (Wever) Sutton.

A.G. Hoskins was a carpenter by trade, and it’s my understanding that he built all the cabinets that were in the old Bowie Co. Courthouse. He also held the offices of District Clerk, Justice of the Peace, County Clerk, and County Judge for a number of years.

A.G. Hoskins died on 21 May 1897, after being bedridden for five months and evidently in a lot of pain, but what he suffered from I have no idea.  This is his obituary:

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins Obit

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins Obit

This is his funeral card. Thank you Nell for sharing this with me.

AG Hoskins Funeral Card

AG Hoskins Funeral Card

He is buried in the cemetery I mentioned last week that his daughter is buried in, the Hughes Knight Cemetery, the one you have to climb through the fence to get to it. I’ve talked to Nell since last weeks post and we are planning on going to the cemetery hopefully in March.

In parting, I wanted to share a poem with you about the HOSKINS name that Alfred Gatewood Norman had in his genealogy works:

In 1066, From Nurenberg, in Germany,

Came the Earl Hoyskne, in our Pedigree.

With all his soldiers, horses and fleet,

The Anglo-Saxons the helped to beat,

Aiding his kin, William the Duke of Normandy.


In gratitude, for lending his aid,

William the Conqueror, in land repaid.

In Dorset, Herfordshire, and Somerset,

Hoskins descendants live there yet.


The name marches on in histories pages,

Each had sons, down through the ages;

God fearing men who fought and swore,

To uphold Hoskins honor, in every War.


Of every station in life, of every degree,

their lines trace down, in our pedigree,

Ministers, Doctors, Farmers, and Friends,

Working for a better world unto their end.


Nicholas Hoskins to Virginia in 1623.

John to Massachusetts in 1630, to Windsor in 1633,

William settled in Plymouth in 1645,

Leaving generations of descendants, many still alive.


Robert went to live in the wild Barbados,

Same year Thomas, North Carolina chose,

There’s not a state in the union today

Where you can’t find a Hoskins in the U.S.A.


They all lived wisely and saved right well,

Always left behind them, sons to tell,

Of position of trust each Hoskins carried,

The homes they built, the good wives they married.


Americans all Marshall, Wilton, and Flyer,

Hays, Wolcott, Grant, Thompson, and Tyler,

Lincoln, Hamlin, Foster, Webster, all share,

Some Hoskins blood lines that four presidents bear.


From the rocky coast of Main, Frothing the Sea,

Hoskins sailed around the world, down to the Florida Keys;

To every border of this wonderful land,

Hoskins founded towns from Iowa to the Rio Grande.


None stumbled, Faltered, in lust or greed,

But gave their all, when the land had need.

Not all died wealthy, but all were rich in things,

that faith and right that honor brings.


Gather around my kinsman, proudly bow,

While a fore our Hoskins Ancestors, a prayer is said:

Ask God not for riches, glory or fame,

Just Hoskins courage to farly play lifes game.

By Alice Hoskins

Hoskins Descendants, Newberry Library

This is how I descend from A.G. Hoskins.

AG Hoskins to Me

AG Hoskins to Me

52 Ancestors – #8 Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson

I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks. I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

This is week eight, and my eighth post in the challenge. I wish I had a picture to share of Mary, but I don’t. It’s not from a lack of trying believe me but I have not been able to locate a single cousin that has a picture of her.

Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson is my 2nd great-grandmother. She was born on 4 Oct 1844 in Louisiana to Alfred Gatewood Hoskins and Mary Lucinda (Henri) Hoskins, the 4th of five children.

In 1850, I find Mary living in District 8, Bowie Co., Texas with her father and mother Judge Hoskins and Mary Lucinda Hoskins, sisters Martha C, Isabella J, and Henri Anna Hoskins. Also living in the household was William H Bohanan, and Joseph B. Gatewood.

1850 Census Hoskins

1850 Census Hoskins

In 1860, I find Mary living in Beat 2, Bowie Co., Texas with her father and mother Judge Hoskins and Mary Lucinda Hoskins, sisters Martha C, and Henri Anna.

1860 Census Hoskins

1860 Census Hoskins

In 1870, I find Mary living in Precinct 3, Bowie Co., Texas with her father and mother, Judge Hoskins and Mary Hoskins, and Miles Reese. Also living there were farm laborers, Henry Scott, Caroline Stewart, Green W Brooks.

1870 Census Hoskins

1870 Census Hoskins

Mary’s mother, Mary Lucinda passed away on 24 Jul 1872 so on the 1880 census I find Mary living with her father, Judge Hoskins, AND… wait for it, wait for it….. John Anderson, her husband!

But her name is Hoskins!

Wait, what?

When did they get married?

1880 Census Hoskins

1880 Census Hoskins

I didn’t understand this for a long time until a couple of years ago when mom and I went to New Boston and visited with cousin Nell Blackburn. Fortunately, Alfred Gatewood Norman, the grandson of Mary Hoskins Anderson and John Anderson had given Nell a copy of all of his genealogy work that he had done on the Hoskins line.  He also had a transcription of the Anderson bible and in his transcription he says that John Anderson wrote in the bible the following:

“In the year of 1879, on the 8th day of Jan I came to Bowie County, (on the first passenger train) and worked 2 years with my good old Uncle (Anderson Sherrill), in what is now Corley, Texas.  Moved to Boston where I worked for A.G. Hoskins and on October 28, 1880, I commenced to work for Massenberg and Wever and on Dec 7 I was married to a good woman, Mary E. Hoskins with whom I trust to go through life with joyously and happily.  I moved to our little home in March 1881.”

Now, I have not seen the original bible and I have not been able to track it down either.  I am not sure what happened to it after Alfred Norman passed away.  The dates do not match up in what John Anderson wrote and Alfred Norman made a note that after he checked all the notes and dates in the bible, he believed that John Anderson had only worked for his Uncle for one year instead of two, and that this would make all the dates match up.

Mary and John Anderson had two daughters.  Smithia Smelser Anderson, the oldest, was born 5 Nov 1881. Smithia married Arthur Caldwell Norman, Sr. and they are the parents of Alfred Gatewood Norman mentioned above.  They had two other sons, William Arthur Norman, and Arthur Caldwell Norman Jr.  The second daughter, and my great-grandmother, Wevie Henri Anderson was born 19 Dec 1884.  Wevie married Bye Ball and had three children; my grandmother, Mary Virginia Ball, Sam Hartwell Ball Jr., and Dorothy Ball.

The next entry in the Anderson bible by John Anderson reads:

“Mary my wife died on June 26, 1891, leaving Smithia S., Wevie and myself.  Thus the cup that held my joy is broke.  She is at rest.”

So sad!  To leave two little daughters, ages 10 and 7, I am sure it was so hard on them.

This is a photo that my mother has hanging on her wall, Wevie is on the left, and Smithia is on the right.

Wevie and Smithia Anderson

Wevie and Smithia Anderson

I have no idea what she died of.  I did find two obituaries and neither of them say, but they did give me a little more information about her that I didn’t know.

Mary Elizabeth Hoskins Anderson Obit

Mary Elizabeth Hoskins Anderson Obit

Memory of Mary Anderson

Memory of Mary Anderson

I know that Mary is buried in the Hughes Knight Cemetery in Bowie Co., Texas with her father and mother and sisters. I have never been to this cemetery, it is on private property. I’ve been told to get to it you have to drive to the end of gravel road, climb through a hole in a fence, and then walk a mile back on this property to where the cemetery is.  My cousin Karen Ball Cowan got the information for the owners and we will try to go out there on one of my visits to Texarkana. Hopefully the owner will drive us, or let us drive out to it, but if not, I’m not above climbing through that hole and walking out to it.

Three generations have been named after Mary, myself (Mary Susanne), my mother (Mary Helen) and my grandmother Poo (Mary Virginia).  When I was pregnant my mother told me if I had a girl, I had to name her Mary to keep up the tradition.  I never had a little girl though, so I guess the Mary tradition will no longer be passed on and that is very sad to me.

I hope to find that bible one day and maybe another cousin who might have a picture of her and know a story or two about her.

This is how I descend from Mary (Hoskins) Anderson.

Mary Hoskins to Me

Mary Hoskins to Me

52 Ancestors – #7 Mary Virginia (Ball) Parks

I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my maternal grandmother, Mary Virginia (Ball) Parks.  Week seven, and my seventh post in the challenge.

Mary Virginia Ball Parks

Mary Virginia (Ball) Parks

This post will be very hard for me to do because I was so close to my grandmother. She was everything to me and so I will tell you about some memories I have of her, and not get so much into the technical side of where she was on what census and so on and so forth.

Most of what I learned, I learned from my grandmother. Early on, until I was a teenager, she was “Nonnie”. Nonnie and Daddy-O. What great names for grandparents. I wish I knew why or how we started calling them that, but we just did. I wrote about Daddy-O last week on 52 Ancestors – #6 William John Parks so I figured I might as well go ahead and write about her and get it over with.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to tell you all about my Nonnie, but boy is it hard, it’s still so close to my heart.  I still miss her like she passed away yesterday, I don’t think it will ever get easier.

First I will tell you some factual stuff, just to tell where she came from.  She was born on May 24, 1913 to Bye Ball and Wevie Henri (Anderson) Ball.  My mother put in her obituary that she was born in Bowie Co., Texas but I was able to find her birth certificate and found that she was actually born in Forth Worth, Tarrant Co., Texas.

Mary Virginia Ball, Birth Certificate.

Mary Virginia Ball, Birth Certificate.

It always pays to search out information you think you know! When I went and visited cousin Karen (Ball) Cowan, she had a photo album from when Bye and Wevie lived in Fort Worth, and this is the earliest picture I have of my Nonnie.

William Norman, Mary Ball Parks,  Dorothy Ball Johnson,  Wevie Anderson Ball

William Norman, Mary Ball Parks, Dorothy Ball Johnson, Wevie Anderson Ball

That’s Nonnie in the middle held by her mother Wevie, Aunt Dorothy is on the right, and their cousin William Norman is on the left.

Then I have this picture, and I love this picture.  This is the same children, being held by their grandfather, John Edward Anderson.

Uncle Son, Nonnie, Aunt Dorothy, John Anderson, and William Norman

Uncle Son, Nonnie, Aunt Dorothy, John Anderson, and William Norman

There’s Nonnie in the middle, and yes! It does look like Uncle Son is wearing a dress, but that’s what they did back then. My grandmother told me so great stories from her childhood. She was also a Ball, which means she was very hot-headed, and so one time I remember when the movie Titanic came out and she and I were talking and my dumb self says, “Nonnie, where were you when the Titanic Sank?”

Big Mistake. Big. Huge.

She started ranting and raving, and said to me “Well, my word! Just how old do you think I am? I wasn’t even born yet!” And she was right! The Titanic sunk on April 15, 1912 and she was born a little over a year later. I did make sure and point that out!

I mean, Hey! My bad! I figured if you were around when you still rode in a horse a buggy, you might have been around when the Titanic sank, but it just wasn’t so. She did tell me that when they got their first car, if it was cold outside, they would heat bricks in the stove and put them in a pan in the floorboard to help keep them warm on the way to church.

She also told me that she spent one whole day hiding up in a tree because she skipped school and she was afraid of her Dad, and she watched him running around hollering for her all day. She said she got the whipping of her life that night when she finally came down.

Mary Ball, in New Boston

Mary Ball, in New Boston

This is my grandmother on the street in New Boston. I love this picture, boy does the town not show the time period or what!

You can read about the story of her elopement and how scared she was of her father here on Ground Hog Day Elopement, and Wedding Wednesday – Bill and Mary Parks.

Soon after she married Daddy-O, they had my mother.  I also love this picture.  This was at the grand canyon on a trip they took.

Nonnie, Mom and Daddy-0

Nonnie, Mom and Daddy-0

In this photo, Nonnie is in the back standing next to her father Bye, and Aunt Dorothy is on the front standing next to their mother, Wevie.

Aunt Dorothy, Wevie, Bye and Nonnie

Aunt Dorothy, Wevie, Bye and Nonnie

Now, I know Nonnie and Aunt Dorothy loved each other, BUT!! They fought like cats and dogs!! Even up until the end. They would squabble every time they were around each other, and if I asked Nonnie about it, I was done for! She had no clue what I was talking about, they didn’t squabble and she loved her sister!

This is Nonnie with her brother, known to me as Uncle Son, with his wife Aunt Melba.

Aunt Melba, Uncle Son, and Nonnie

Aunt Melba, Uncle Son, and Nonnie

I don’t know how Uncle Son made it out without permanent damage from Aunt Dorothy and Nonnie. She told me they were pretty mean to him at times. Oh! Remember I mentioned before about Nonnie and Aunt Dorothy squabbling? Well, when Uncle Son died we were all at his house for visitation and I will never forget this! It was 1989 and I was going to a technical college and had a brand new mustang gt car, which Mother and I drove to Texarkana to go to Uncle Son’s funeral. I parked my car, across the street a couple of cars away from Uncle Son and Aunt Melba’s driveway. Well, Nonnie and Aunt Dorothy decided we were all going to the funeral home together for visitation and we would ride with her. She was parked in their driveway, and when she barreled out of there, she backed right into a car parked there. I said to Mom, “Thank God I didn’t park there.” Nonnie, lit into Aunt Dorothy and they spoke words to each other all the way to the funeral home. Things like “Blind as Bat”, “Drive like a Drunk”, “Always talking, shut up and let me drive” and so on.

The visitation was very sad and every one was on edge because of the fiasco with the car. Aunt Dorothy and Nonnie, were crying and we all got back in the car, and well, I should point out that they were doing road work on the road in front of the funeral home and there were orange cones everywhere. They were fixing a drainage ditch right next to the exit of the funeral home, and it was a big hole. I mean big! When we pulled out of there, Aunt Dorothy, cut the corner and dropped the back right well right down in the hole. Nonnie drew in a breathe and was just about to blow it out and start in, and Aunt Dorothy gripped that wheel, looked over at Nonnie and said, “For once in your life Mary, keep your damn mouth shut!” Believe it not, she did! She shut her mouth and never said one word to Aunt Dorothy about dropping that tire down in the hole.  We had to pull over and remove an orange cone from under the car before we arrived back at Uncle Son’s and Aunt Melba’s house.

For the rest of my life though, every time Nonnie would tell me Aunt Dorothy was coming for a visit, she would say, “If she makes it here alive, they really out to take her driver’s license away from her.”

She had no room to talk!! Her driving skills were less than to be desired. She drove her orange Thunderbird (I found this picture, it looks just like her car) like a bat out of hell, blaring Eddie Rabbit (I love a Rainy Night – I still know all the words to this song and Driving My Life Away) while she played his 8 track (remember those people?) in her car and thought the speed limit through Indian Head Lake of 25 mph was utterly ridiculous. She said you could go clear across town in 10 minutes, and it takes 30 minutes to get through the neighborhood. She took out several signs, and there were times I would literally ride on the floorboard when I was with her. She did eventually quit driving though. I think Aunt Dorothy stuck it out for a very long time driving.

I would like to tell you all about how sweet my Aunt Dorothy really was, and so was Uncle Son and Aunt Melba, but I’ll save that for another time.  Boy, did I love them though.  I still miss them.

Before my grandfather died, we would go for visits to their house, and they would come for visits to our house. This was at their apartment in Texarkana.  Four generations!

John, Mary Helen, Susanne, Wevie, and Mary

John, Mary Helen, Susanne, Wevie, and Mary

Nonnie, Daddy-O, John and Susanne

Nonnie, Daddy-O, John and Susanne

Nonnie worked for the Collom and Carney Clinic in Texarkana for thirty years as a receptionist.  I found these photos of her at the clinic, celebrating her birthday, May of 1973.

Nonnie at Collom and Carney, May 1973.

Nonnie at Collom and Carney, May 1973.

Nonnie at Collom and Carney, May 1973.

Nonnie at Collom and Carney, May 1973.

Nonnie, and unknown lady at Collom and Carney, May 1973.

Nonnie, and unknown lady at Collom and Carney, May 1973.

This is John, Poo and myself about 1977, not long before Daddy-O died.

John, Nonnie and Susanne

John, Nonnie and Susanne

When Daddy-O died in 1978, she was changed forever. They had been so active, traveling and fishing and just living life. She came to live with us and it seemed her spirit died when he did. At first she and I shared a room, but then Mom and Dad built her a room on to the house and it was like her own little apartment. She had everything but a kitchen. She took us kids everywhere we needed to go. She did the laundry for Mom while they were at work, and she cooked dinner every night and Mom and I would clean the dishes. She moved through life, but she never embraced it like she did when Daddy-O was alive. Aunt Dorothy would beg her to join some clubs and make some friends, but she never would. Aunt Dorothy begged her to come and stay with her (they probably would have killed each other), and she wouldn’t. Ladies from the neighborhood would come and offer to take her to lunch or out to a movie, and she just wouldn’t go.

From the time she moved in, I literally thought she would die any minute because she told me so. Consistently! She’d say, “Now that Bill is gone, it won’t be long before my time is up. I’ve got these stomach problems you know?!” At first, I believed her but as the years wore on, I began to really realize how much she truly missed Daddy-O. He was the love of her life and she didn’t mind telling you so. “I just want to be with Bill!” She’d say.

Now, every family is not perfect and we had our moments, she and I.  John was by all means her favorite. It didn’t matter what he did to me, if I went and told her she took his side.


In this picture, I don’t have a clue what was wrong, but I’ll bet you some money, John either pinched me, pulled me, poked me, pinned me down and farted on my head, kicked me for no reason or drug me across the carpet to see how many rug burns he could give me. He’s probably trying to get my eye to tell me to “Shut up and say nothing or you will pay later!” and Nonnie is probably saying, “Well, what did you do to make him do that? You know it was probably just an accident.” I have no clue what Mom was happy about, but it appears I wasn’t.  That was a typical day for me until John decided to quit torturing me.

Nonnie, Susanne, Mary Helen and John

Nonnie, Susanne, Mary Helen and John

He was probably hugging up to her right then thanking her for taking his side! LOL

Nonnie and John

Nonnie and John

One particular day,  I went and told her that John was being mean to me, and she of course took his side. I screamed at her, “I’m sick of this and I’m going to run away!” and she was standing at the kitchen counter preparing supper, and she turned to me and said, “Do you want me to help you pack?” I told her “No, Thanks!!” I stormed up to my room, packed up my little red suitcase (with a doll and one pair of pants I think) and walked right past her in the kitchen with my suitcase. She never said a word. I got to the back door and yelled “Bye!!!!!” and she still didn’t say anything.

Out into the snow I went.

In sandals.

I walked all the way from our house at the back of Indian Head to the 7-11 that used to be right at the entrance of Indian Head Lake Estates. This was about 1 1/2 miles.  The further from home I got, and the closer to the store I got, I kept telling myself, when I get there, I’m going to beg for a dime and call my Mom! I was cold and tired!

Back home, panic was in full swing when Nonnie realized I was really gone but she wouldn’t drive in the snow, so Mom and Dad were on their way home from work (and madder than a wet hen), when a neighbor saw me and picked me up and took me home. When Mom and Dad got home, I got one of the two whippings I ever got from my Dad. I guess I deserved it, but man, at the time, I thought Nonnie did too! She did feel guilty though, and after that, she treated me a lot more fairly than she had and man I grew to love her so much.

She was steadfast!! She was always there, no matter what. If I was sick, she was there rubbing my head and soothing me. If I needed something, she made sure I had it. She sat for hours every summer in a lawn chair underneath a tree at the Indian Head swimming pool so I could swim. She took me to every Dr. visit I ever went to, she loved my friends and she loved us.

Most of my teenage friends will remember Nonnie like this.  Right before I got out of high school, we started calling her Poo, and that’s what she was called up until she died.

Nonnie, Christmas 1993

Nonnie, Christmas 1993

When her health began to decline, she decided to move to an assisted living center where she seemed to thrive. She started making friends, went to church and went to the dances they had and all of the activities. She was my old Nonnie again! I loved seeing her happy again.

We were lucky in that she got to know all of her great-grandchildren. This picture is of Jonathan, Justin, Poo, and William, with her holding my little Knucklehead. She considered Dad’s children from his first marriage hers too, and when asked about her family, she always proudly listed them out like they were her own blood grandchildren.

Poo with her great-grandchildren.

Poo with her great-grandchildren.

We celebrated her 90th birthday with her.

Mary Ball Parks 90th Birthday Poo

Mary Ball Parks 90th Birthday. “Poo”

We took care of our Poo, just like she had us for so many years. We visited her often, although she was very happy, she was always happiest when we all came for a visit. Although Knucklehead would have been much happier if he could have kept showing Poo his cartwheels this day instead of posing for a picture.

Poo, Susie and Knucklehead

Poo, Susie and Knucklehead

Aunt Dorothy came for a visit in 2005, and it was a hard trip for her to make and I remember when she left Poo looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, that is the last time I will ever see my sister, and she was right. Aunt Dorothy passed in 2006 and this really was the last time they got to see each other.

Aunt Dorothy and Poo 2005

Aunt Dorothy and Poo 2005

This was the last photo we ever took of Poo, she was almost blind when she passed away. She fought glaucoma most of her life.  She loved to read and read books all the time and it was a very sad day for her when she could no longer read.

Mom and Poo

Mom and Poo

Addie, myself and family friend Ashley were privileged to be with her when she passed away on November 29, 2007. We had the hospice priest come and read her the last rites, and I played “What a Wonderful World” by Luis Armstrong, one of her favorite songs on my iPhone which I laid on the pillow next to her ear. I couldn’t talk, and I had so much I wanted to say to her.

I called Addie out in the hall, and asked her to please tell my grandma to let go and go home to Daddy-O and our Lord. I asked her to tell her we loved her and we would see her again one day at the pearly gates. With the music playing, and Addie talking to her, with both of us holding her hands, she passed on. She took her last breath and was finally reunited with the love of her life.

Mary Ball Parks Obit

Poo’s Obituary

She was buried in East Memorial Gardens, in Texarkana next to Daddy-O.  I go and leave her flowers every time I visit the area. There isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her.

Poo and Daddy-O's Headstone

Poo and Daddy-O’s Headstone

I would have to say, she was one of the greatest loves of my life.

I miss you Poo!

This is how I descend from my Poo.

Daddy-O to Me

Tombstone Tuesday – Bathsheba A Ball

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Last April on our way back from Dallas, cousins Nedra Harris Turney and Karen Ball Cowan and I decided on a whim to see if we could find the old Ball Cemetery a cousin had mentioned to me when we passed through New Boston, Texas.

We got extremely lucky because they had just cleaned the Ball cemetery up the prior weekend and uncovered only two headstones. One headstone was that of Bathsheba A Ball.

Bathsheba A Ball Headstone


to the memory of

Mrs. Bathsheba A. Ball

consort of

Isaac M. Ball

who departed this life

the 24th day of June, 1851

aged 21 years 6 months

and 26 days

Earth lost her, Heaven found her.

And you know what’s really cool about this being the one of the two headstones in the Ball Cemetery that they found? The fact that I had just heard this woman’s name two days prior when Karen shared a note written with me by my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia Smith Ball. Here is part of the note.

Venetia's Notes Side 2

I highlighted the area where she talks about Bathsheba. She basically states that she was the first wife of her husband’s cousin, Isaac Mitchell Ball. She also states that her name is Bathsheba Hooks and that she is her cousin.

Here is another view of Bathsheba’s headstone.  The scratch marks are from the tractor that dug it up.  It was broken as they removed it from the ground.

Bathsheba A Ball Headstone

And here is a view of the cemetery after all the weeds and brush were cut back and the two headstones uncovered.  You can still see the shovel stuck in the ground and standing up to the left of the other headstone.  I wonder if there are other graves there?

Ball Cemetery - Old Boston, Texas

Is that luck or what? I hope there is a descendant out there looking for information on Bathsheba and can find it here because I’m telling you, it was a small miracle to get the note, and find the grave all on the same trip. A grave that had been covered up for a long time.

My 2nd great-grandmother Venetia Smith Ball was the granddaughter of Warren Hooks, for whom the town of Hooks, Texas was named for. There have been several people that have done extensive work on documenting the lineage of the Hooks family. I did not find Bathsheba’s name in any of these, so I don’t know how she fits into the Hooks family.

I asked cousin Diana Smith Walker if she had heard of Bathsheba, and she had not heard of her either and did not have her listed in any of her information.

But, as Diana told me, “I love a good mystery!”

Maybe we can dig up more on Bathsheba besides just her headstone!

Treasure Chest Thursday – Meeting Ross Perot

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Remember a while back when I told you I had some great things coming up in April?  Well, I did and I just now have time to tell you all about it.

Back when Ross Perot ran for president, I was laying on the floor in my grandmother’s (Mary Ball Parks) room and we were watching coverage on the elections.  My grandmother pointed to him on the television and said “That is my cousin.”  Well, lets just say I didn’t believe her at first.  She had never mentioned him before. At any rate, it turned out to be true.

Sort of.

Let me explain.

When my grandmother died and I got interested in all this genealogy, I always had this information in the back of my mind but I never really acted on it.  Then one day, Nedra told me about this news article that ran in the Texarkana Gazette about a barn that burnt down in Texarkana out on hwy 82, and this article mentioned Ross Perot.

Newsarticle about old Parks Barn

Just so happens this barn was built by my-great grandfather, Granddad Parks (John Triggs Parks).  This barn was magnificent .  Here is a picture of it back in the day, when Granddad Parks would show his trotting horses.

JT Parks Barn at his Farm on Hwy 82 Texarkana

Here is Granddad Parks, showing one of his horses.

JT Parks

When Granddad Parks sold the farm, he sold it AC Smith, a very good friend of his and now AC’s son, Lynn Smith owns the farm.  Anyway, the Perot’s came here to this farm and rode horses, and I’m not sure if it was the connection to my grandmother that brought them there, or if it was just the place to be.  My grandmother, Mary Ball Parks was married to J.T. Parks’ son, William Parks.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about my connection with Ross Perot, so Nedra got me the contact information for his secretary.  Rather than call, I printed up quite a selection of charts and genealogy and wrote a nice letter and sent it off to the attention of his secretary.

Three days later, (yes, only three days) my phone rings as I’m walking through Wal-mart of all places and I didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer anyway, and I hear, “Is this Susie Reynolds?” to which I reply, “Yes, it is.” and then I hear “Ross Perot, here.”

What, What???

You could have knocked me over with a feather, and I was very glad to have the cart to lean on.

I’m not sure what I really expected, but it wasn’t for him to call me up directly.  I figured that package of paper would go straight to the trash bin or junk pile, or I would get some kind of a form letter back.  That was not the case.  He called me personally three times that day and we finally figured out that our connection was through his grandmother, Maggie Anderson Perot Ball, aka Mama Ball.  Here she is.

Maggie Anderson Perot Ball aka Mama Ball

Turns out Maggie was married to Gabriel Elias Perot, with whom she had Ross Perot’s father, Gabriel Ross Perot, Sr.  After her husband died, she remarried my great-great uncle Wade Ball.  I do not have a picture of him.  Maggie and Wade did not have any children together, but my grandmother grew up playing with Ross’ father as cousins, even though there was no blood relation.

At any rate, Ross Perot had a wonderful lady in his office, Libby Craft call me.  She had been working on Ross’ genealogy for quite some time and she and I have traded information and she sent me the photo of Maggie above.  She graciously extended me an invitation to meet Ross Perot and I jumped at the offer.

So, Nedra Harris Turney and I, along with my cousins, Sam Ball III, and Karen Ball Cowan headed to Dallas and we met Mr. Perot, and Libby on April 15th.

Sam Ball III, Susie Reynolds, Ross Perot and  Karen Ball Cowan

Sam Ball III, Susie Reynolds, Ross Perot and Karen Ball Cowan

I don’t know why I didn’t get a good picture of Nedra with us, that was really goofy of me.  I guess I was just caught up in the moment but I did snap this picture of Nedra chatting with him while they were giving us a grand tour of his offices.

Nedra Harris Turney with Ross Perot

Here I am with Libby Craft.  I’m so glad that I got to meet her!

Susie Reynolds and Libby Craft

One of the things that struck me so about Mr. Perot is his obvious love for family which is why I’m so sure he was so gracious to us.  When I asked him about his father he smiled really big and he said, “He was my best friend!”

His father bought and sold cotton, and a long time ago he gave Ross a list of his thoughts on what it takes to be successful.  Ross had these printed up and gives each of his employees a copy of this.  Yes, he gave me one too!  Maybe now I can make something of myself! Ha!

All kidding aside, Mr. Perot has so many accomplishments that I couldn’t even begin to list them all here which is why Wikipedia is out there if you really want to know.  Also, he’s written some books, one of which he gave to me with his autograph, and it’s a great story of his life! Check amazon for that.

I have to say though, I have never met a more gracious, generous, or kind man.  As I walked the hallways of his office and looked at all the milestones and achievements of his life on the walls I was so amazed.  I’m a big supporter of our Veteran’s, but Mr. Perot is a man of action!  He gives freely his time, his money and his service to our Veteran’s and is instrumental in helping so many of them receive the care they need.

I’m so proud to have met him and that is why he is my Treasure Chest Thursday.

Here are a few pictures from around his office.  There were many hallways and we were there for two hours and only managed to see a few of them.

Hallway of Perot's Office



Oh, yeah!  He has his own Starbucks!


Maybe on another post I’ll share with you some of the military things that were hanging about, but for today these pertain to family.

His love of his wife Margo is obvious every where you go and this is just one of the many spots he has portraits of them hanging.


Here are some pictures about his sister Bette.


One of several family portraits he has hanging about of his family.


And my favorite wall pertaining to family:


Mr. Perot is a huge supporter of Texarkana College.  My cousin Karen Ball Cowan works there and years ago my father was a student there on a basketball scholarship.   Thanks to Mr. Perot and his generous heart, the college is still open.

I could go on and on about Mr. Perot and perhaps I will do another post in a day or two, but I thank Mr. Perot and Libby for so graciously welcoming us and sharing with us all things Perot.  It was such a great day and I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to meet a “sort of” cousin!


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