Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some Gave All...................

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

13th annual Angelina College Genealogy Conference in Lufkin, Texas.

13th annual Angelina College Genealogy Conference in Lufkin, Texas.
July 16-17-18, 2009.


Three special all-day sessions are offered as part of the full 3-day program -

OR you can register for "Saturday only" for either of the following. Note the

registration information; watch those dates .. No door registrations for the following.

1) DNA. If you'd like to know more, and possibly begin a Family DNA Study, this session is for you. The preliminary plan is that the 37-marker Y-DNA test will be reduced from $149 to $119 for the Angelina Conference. You will be able to purchase the DNA Kit at the conference.

2) CEMETERIES. If you have a family cemetery or are working to restore and preserve a church or community cemetery, this session will give you what you need to do it properly. Presented by the Texas Historical Commission, you will also learn how to apply for the official designation of Historic Texas Cemetery.

We'll also discuss genealogical research within & without the cemetery gate.

Note: There is no Saturday only registration for anything other than the two listed above. The two above may also be substituted for the multi-track Sat sessions at no extra cost with your full registration.

3) SEAT OF JUSTICE (courthouse research). John Sellers. This is *not* available as a Saturday only registration but you may substitute for the multi-track Sat sessions at no extra cost with your full registration.

13th annual Angelina College Genealogy Conference in Lufkin, Texas.

July 16-17-18, 2009.

Questions? Contact

Trevia Wooster Beverly
Houston, Texas

List admin Sue Skay Abruscato

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kathy Lyday-Lee on Will Allen Dromgoole

Kathy Lyday-Lee did her Phd dissertation on Dromgoole; here is an email we received from her concerning the article we posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009, from The Murfreesboro Post.

Kathy wrote:

Anyone who has read the Melungeon articles automatically assumes that these cost her the clerk job (some senators claimed that she “wrote agin' the mountains" (not Melungeons, as has been quoted sometimes)--that the women were barefoot and the men spoke a "diurlect," but an article in the San Jose Mercury, dated Sept. 20, 1889, seems to negate that by saying she lost her seat (the election of 1889) before the Melungeon articles were published (unless there are Melungeon articles no one has found yet). Ironically, I used this article in my earliest research (found in one of the Dromgoole material (boxes and "scrapbooks") in the UT library), but it has no date or newspaper name on it), The only story that I've been able to find that would be considered unflattering to mountain people in general before 1890 is an early and pretty sappy Appalachian Christmas story called “Mad Moses Heroism,” printed in 1887 published (as far as I can tell) only in the Birmingham Herald; others claim it was her story "The Heart of Old Hickory" that did the damage, but the date on that is 1891 (with the story collection appearing in 1895). When I did the Dromgoole entry for the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, I added possibly to my sentence about this because I couldn't for sure prove that the Melungeon articles caused her defeat.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Boro poet Dromgoole helped bridge generations

From The Murfreesboro Post
Thanks to Kevin Mullins for bringing this to our attention!

Dromgoole changed her middle name to Allen when she was 6, and throughout her life was known as Will Allen or "Miss Will." In 1876 Dromgoole graduated from the Clarksville Female Academy and studied at the New England School of Expression in Boston.

She began her writing career after the death of her mother and will caring for her aging father.

She published her first novel, “The Sunny Side of the Cumberland,” under the name Will Allen in 1886. Her first short story was published that same year and awarded a cash prize by Youth's Companion in 1886.

Her life then took an unusual twist for the day. She studied law with her father and won terms as engrossing clerk for the Tennessee State Senate. But an unflattering series of articles she wrote about the Melungeons of East Tennessee caused her defeat in 1889 and 1891 and she relocated to Texas where she wrote for newspapers.
Entire Article

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Melungeon Conference and Celebration, June 12-13

Tennessee Events
Melungeon Conference and Celebration, June 12-13

The weekend of June 12-13 will feature two events focusing on the Melungeons, the multi-ethnic people that have been a part of Appalachia folklore for over generations, and the subject of scientific research for the last half-century. The Melungeon Historical Society will hold their first annual conference on Friday, June 12, in Rogersville, Tennessee, while the Vardy Community Historical Society holds their Spring Fling at their museum on Vardy Road in Hancock County, Tennessee.

History, genealogy, and the latest DNA technology will come together at the first annual Melungeon Historical Society conference o June 12. "For nearly two hundred years, writers and researchers have speculated about the origins of the Melungeons," says Wayne Winkler, president of MHS. "For the most part, the story of the Melungeons has been told through myths and legends. The Melungeon Historical Society believes that answers will be found through scholarly research."
The public is invited to this event, which will be held at the Hawkins County Rescue Squad meeting room, 955 East McKinney Avenue, Rogersville, Tennessee. Registration begins at 9:30 am, and the conference will run until about 8:30 pm, with lunch and dinner breaks.

Presentations at the MHS conference will begin at 10 a.m. and will cover topics such as the origin and historical uses of the term "Melungeon," DNA research on Melungeon families, and other topics related to the multi-ethnic people first documented in the Clinch River region in the early 19th century. The use of DNA technology in genealogy will be covered by Roberta Estes, founder of DNAExplain, a Michigan company that analyzes and interprets individual DNA tests.

Other presenters include Jack Goins, Hawkins County Archivist and author of Melungeons and Other Pioneer Families; Kathy Lyday-Lee, a professor at Elon University who taught a course on Melungeons; and Kathy James, who will present DNA information on the Gibson and Collins families.

"This conference is of special interest to those who want to learn more about the Melungeons," said Winkler, "but it is also designed to benefit anyone interested in genealogy and especially in the use of DNA technology to trace family lines." The conference is free, but donations are suggested to help promote the work of the Melungeon Historical Society.

On Saturday, June 13, the Vardy Historical Society will hold its Spring Fling from 10 am until 2 pm. The location is the Vardy Church Museum, which features displays from the Presbyterian mission which provide education opportunities for Melungeon children from 1899 to the early 1970s.

The Spring Fling features Appalachian crafts such as basket and chair weaving, apple butter making, corn grinding, shuck dolls, hominy making, a tractor show, and plenty of music.

For more information on the MHS conference, contact Winkler at 423.439.6441 or For information on the VCHS Spring Fling, contact Claude Collins at or 423.733.2305.

Cont. here:

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