Reminiscing about the Beginning

I was a little sentimental this weekend. I’ve been cleaning out my external hard drive and I’ve found files I haven’t looked at in years. Not to mention 2 weeks ago we cleaned out a shed we haven’t been in for 3 years at least! So I’m just a big ball of sentimentality here.

One of my treasures is the photocopies I made of my Grandmother’s family tree. She kept the original but we went to the drug store and we made photocopies of the whole shebang. I have such a vivid memory of the original binder. It’s probably sitting at my Aunt’s house right now. She’s got a whole box of stuff she says she’s keeping for me, I’m sure that’s in there.

This is what the first page of the tree looks like. It started with the little blurb at the top.

James F., Vincent, and George Washington Webb were three of five known children who were orphaned at an early age by the death of both parents. There may have been other children. Upon the death of their parents, they were taken in by various families and were reared to adulthood on that basis. There is no information the other two children. James lived in Brown County, Ohio and died at an early age from Civil War wounds. Vincent moved to Romney, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. George lived generally in Brown and Clermont Counties of Ohio. And Pendleton County, Kentucky court records reveal that he owned land in that county. By some Accounts and by an entry in the Congressional Record, George Washington Webb is credited with discovering white burley tobacco. The family legend of their having one fourth American Indian blood has not been confirmed.

Since I’ve been researching I’ve found out many things about this blurb alone.

  • There were in fact two other children. One girl Alice Webb who married James A Bell. The last child I am less clear on. It may or may not have been a boy named Nathaniel.
  • The children were not orphaned at an early age that I can tell, but it is mere speculation on my part. In 1850 there is a Reuben Webb living with James and his family. He may or may not be their father. However, it’s always possible that it could be their uncle or even a cousin of some sort. Without birth and death records I can’t be sure. However, 1850 wasn’t exactly the record keeping age if you get my drift.

  • George did in fact “discover” White Burley Tobacco. A quick google search will turn up the same.

White burley, in 1865, George Webb of Brown County, Ohio planted red burley seeds he had purchased, and found that a few of the seedlings had a whitish, sickly look. The air-cured leaf was found to be more mild than other types of tobacco.1

  • I have absolutely no idea where the Indian blood rumor comes from yet.

What a wonderful little starting point for starting to research though! It gives you just enough information to be curious but nothing that has actually been proven.

As you can see this tree was put together in 1980. Obviously there have been changes between then and when I got the tree. It’s nice to see this was done before computers though. So obviously a lot of the research must have been done by word of mouth and on site research. I’m such a computer nut I can’t even imagine!

Back to the tree though. For every page of names, there is a ‘B’ page that lists the spouse of each person. In some cases it gives the spouse’s parents.

I can’t tell you how many memories I have researching these names. I feel like I know these people even though I don’t.  I’ve tried to show people how this system of the tree worked, but people just got confused. So I guess it’s not so great for a long term solution. How on earth do you even go about having a hard copy of your family tree? I mean just the thought of trying to figure it out makes me break out in hives.

There I am! Good ol’ number 6-54. This is how I know there have changes since 1980. :) I was born in 1983 and there I am. Not to mention that my generation wasn’t listed in birth order. So I imagine it was updated in bulk in the early 90’s. There’s a rumor that the tree I got was done by a distant cousin for a high school project. I don’t know if that refers to the original by WEDavis or if it refers to the updated version. It doesn’t matter, because I’ve been trying to verify it myself anyway. There are a great deal of errors.

I eventually made a new copy in Excel. I tried to update it and fix what I could. I printed it, put it in a new pretty folder.  Then I realized my family tree is forever changing and it’s a never-ending battle.

Still there’s nothing like having an old fashioned hard copy right?

Thank you WEDavis for all the years of joy I’ve found in researching and learning about my family.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_tobacco#White_Burley
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