We will be known forever by the tracks we leave…

Contemplating the events of the last week, I am drawn to that old Native man who called me Whitefeather. I talked a bit to my cousin Coni & she encouraged me to embrace my Native name, that it wasn’t done by mistake. So I started researching symbolism of a white feather.

On eHow.com is says that “To Native Americans a white feather represents purity and wholesomeness of heart. A Native American Indian given the name Whitefeather is translated to mean the bravest of the brave.” Bravest of the brave? Really? I was given this name when I was 6 or 7 years old… how could that man have given me this name?

In Texas there is a legend, a white feather if seen was a prediction of death. Oh wow! That’s comforting that I’ve never seen a white feather in person… LOL! Some places show the white feather as a show of cowardice. There is a movie entitled “WHITE FEATHER” Robert Wagner in it, about the story of the peace mission from the US cavalry to the Cheyenne Indians in Wyoming during the 1870s (Yeah right)! I found a book called Whitefeather about a young girl named Whitefeather who, along with her family, are taken on the Trail of Tears. There is a women who is an author named Sheri Whitefeather…. hmm that’s interesting!

I found a quote somewhere on the web that I wrote down, “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave!” I believe this is a call to arms for me. I believe it’s the echo’s of my ancestors that are calling out for me to find them & learn about the “tracks” they left for me to find. Also, it’s a challenge for us, to leave a legacy for our children, grandchildren & beyond… a legacy of purity, wholesomeness of heart & bravery.

Echo’s of Lost Footsteps

Tonight I witness something purely amazing! I went & saw a concert, now I know what your thinking… “How can a concert be purely amazing!” I had the privilege to hear RainSong Music and Storytelling at a church in our community. I was so excited when my new good friend, Dan, emailed me & said the “Indians are coming!” I was raised by my father’s parents, they were from English, Dutch, Irish, Wales & French-Canadian background. I had no knowledge of my Native American ancestry.

I remember when I was 6 or 7 years old, I was with my mother for a visit & she took me to a POW-WOW. I remember standing next to the drum set (very much like the one in the photo to the left) watching with intense joy the men beating on the drum, I could feel the drum in my heart… it was magic to me. Then something awesome happen, the oldest man in the drum circle looked at me (he had been watching me & smiling the whole I time I stood there) and when he looked at me he handed me his drumstick and said “Here little one, you beat the drum Whitefeather.” It was such a great time, me beating that drum! I had forgotten the memory of him letting me beat the drum… but not the name he used… Whitefeather! I remember thinking that was sooooo beautiful. When I was done with the drum, I handed him the stick and he tapped my small head & he said “Whitefeather, beautiful little one, princess.” He smiled and continued drumming & singing. Years later I went to my second POW-WOW, I was 14… stubborn & rebellious! I was too cool to stay with my mother & grandmother. So I walked around by myself looking at the different shops. I was so angry that I couldn’t bring a friend or least one of the cousin’s I liked. I was looking at some art work in a tent. The picture was of a woman on a horse and she was in white clothing, the horse was running or jumping and she had a single feather in her hair, it was long & white. An old lady that was in the tent, came up to me, looking at the picture said “This is Princess Whitefeather, she is beautiful yes?” As she said finished her question she looked at me and with eyes growing wide she said, “Whitefeather?” I didn’t know what to say, so I walked away. A few tents down another person asked me if my name was Whitefeather… I didn’t know what this meant but my 14 year old mind was starting to freak out. I found my mother & grandmother at a picnic table under a canapy. They were listening to the drummers… I sat there for a moment trying to process things I never understood… when one of the drummers said in English “Whitefeather you have returned dear princess!” That was all my mind could handle, I tucked it all away for another day.

Tonight’s concert reminded me of those drums & what my name means, for my birth name Sherry mean beloved, dear one, princess. One of the songs they sang tonight was Echoes of Lost Footsteps. It’s about wondering what happen to the people of the past. It’s one of the slower songs that they have, but as I listened to the song, I could hear deep in my heart that meant something to my Genealogy search. That’s what we do as genealogist, we never hear an answer or know what are ancestors were really like, (oh how I wish Time Travel was real, I would go visit my ancestors and get to really know who they were)! Our ancestors to us will only be Echo’s of Lost Footsteps in the Earth for us to search out & find.

That phrase touched my heart, Echo’s of Lost Footsteps, that I have renamed my Blog this. And I pray that you hear the Echo’s of the Lost Footsteps in your family tree.

The Patriot

I have tried for the past 3 days to blog. I will start something, then my perfectionism kicks in & I delete the whole post. LOL! The heat has been in the 100s for the last 3 days, today is still very hot, only in the 90s ha!

Last night my husband & I watched The Patriot with Mel Gibson & Heath Ledger.  Oh what a great movie!  We DVR’d it from the 4th of July Independence marathon.  It had pop-up’s telling about the war & the movie.  Very good!!  I recently found some documents on www.fold3.com & on the DAR website (http://www.dar.org/) about my ancestors Thomas Horton Sr., Thomas Horton Jr., Nathaniel Flint, Jonathan Flint, Elisha Wood & Henry Amidon.  All 6 of these men are from my great grandmother Viola Rebecca Neff’s line, spilt between Garner & Neff lines.

Thomas Horton Sr, Thomas Horton Jr & Elisha Wood’s connection is Clarinda Wood line, she married Jeremiah Garner, and their oldest son was my 3rd great grandfather Charles M. Garner who served in the US Civil War and died in Salisbury Prison in North Carolina.  Charles Garner married Mary Conley, they had two children before Charles died in the Civil War.  Albert Garner & Harriet Amelia Garner.

Harriet married James G. Neff. What bums me out on this is her death certificate says her father was Chine Daniels.  Her marriage record on 3 July 1880 in Dryden, Lapeer County, MI; they don’t have birth parents names & it looks like Gainer not Garner.  They divorced in 1912 in Shiawassee County, MI and remarried on 26 Nov 1914  in Corunna, Shiawassee County, MI and on that one it says her parents are Charles Garner & Mary Conley. Yipee!! It’s the very last entry on the document to the left.

Nathaniel & Jonathan Flint & Henry Amidon come from James G. Neff’s line.  James Gilbert Neff was the son of James C. Neff (aka: Calvin C. Neff) and Julia Henderson.  James C. Neff is the son of James Neff & Anna Flint.  Anna Flint is the daughter of Jonathan Flint & Mary Amidon.  Both of them had father’s in the Revolutionary War, Nathaniel Flint father of Jonathan and Henry Amidon.  Now off to prove it all so I can join Daughter’s of American Revolution!! 🙂

Ridin’ down the highway….

Today was a very fun day for my husband Martin’s 41st birthday.  We went with some friends through the country side.  This was the 1st Annual Orville “Rich” Bateson Memorial Ride.  Orville was a great friend that past away in May of this year.

The ride took us from Lennon, MI to Brant, MI & then back to Lennon.  As we drove through the Brant area I had a longing to do my “visiting” of all the places my grandma would talk about when I was young.  Lovers lane where Grandpa got us stuck one day because it was muddy & he was teasing Grandma.  We drove by the old “Homestead” on Marion Road.

It was a great warm day with friends & a song in my heart remembering all the old haunts of my family… I could hear them smiling down on us.

Lesson #2 – Learn from your ancestors

Today is one of the hottest days since school was let out at the end of May.  UGH!  It’s 90° outside, but it feels so much hotter because the air is so thick,  the humidity is at 39 %!  So last night, after all our running around, at 10:30 pm I started making stuff to eat today.  My grandmother used to “pre-make” items the day before when she knew we were gonna have a hot day.

So I took her old recipes and last night made some of the things we would eat on a very hot day.  I made some rolls for strawberry shortcake, I boiled some eggs for egg-salad sandwiches and my favorite is Macaroni Salad! Yummm-O! We also made some Kool-Aid & Ice Tea gotta keep hydrated!!

This got me thinking about all the things that are handed down from our parents & grandparents. The way we eat food, the expressions we say, the things we like to read, hobbys & habits that they did and so many more.  My grandfather used to take lettuce pour sugar into it & roll it like a burrito and eat it, sounds nasty right, WRONG it’s soooo yummy!!  My husband tells me he loves banana & peanut butter sandwiches because he knew someone who liked them.  My son picked up an expression that my father used call everyone, “Hot Rod.”

What will we pass down?  What are the things that have been passed down & we don’t even know it?

Dad… a son’s first Hero & a daughter’s first Love!

Sitting here with my kids getting their father’s day gift finished up & wrapped, I contemplate all the years I had with my daddy.  He died in 2008, this will be my 4th father’s day without him.  I miss him very much, and hope that I can make him proud of the wife, mother & woman I’ve become.

My daddy was a simple man, didn’t like a lot of “frill” as he put it.  He had the same white coffee mug since I was a little girl, he collected baseball cards, he loved watching sports.. I remember going to a Detroit Tigers game at Tiger Field in Detroit (before they tore it down & built CoMerica park), I don’t remember much about the game or the Field but I remember eating a hot dog looking up at my daddy! I think I was about 8 years old & I didn’t care much about baseball, I was just happy to be with him!  My dad, like his dad, loved to go fishing.  He sold fishing equipment for a living for a while, I got to go with him sometimes to do his “shows.”  They were like a tupperware or pampered chef party, he would display them & then tell the benefits of each item.  When I got to go, I got to be his Vanna White.

My dad was also a truck driver for a long time, so there were long period of times that I didn’t see him at all, but when I did see him I remember snuggling on his lap & listening to his stories from the road.  I have a few things of my daddys that remind me when memories start to fade of his love for me.

My dad wasn’t always the best dad in the world.  He was a recovering alcholic, that became really abusive when drinking or when he really wanted a drink.  He had his own demons that haunted him, like mine haunt me.  He had a really hard time expressing his feeling toward me or my siblings. He complained about my grades, about my friends, about the boys I dated and about my mother.

In the end lung cancer took my dad, the last few months of his life, my dad’s personality changed.  Everytime I saw him he would tell me he loved me, he hugged on my kids & told them that he loved them and he was sweeter towards me.  Like I said things weren’t always great & wonderful, but now that daddy is in Heaven… I choose to remember only good things about him.

Here’s a poem I wrote just after his death in 2008.

A Poem for my Daddy

More than a father,
more than a friend,
our love has no limit,
our friendship no end.

Although I cannot see you,
I known I’m not alone….
‘Cause my daddy’s always with me,
Even though we are apart,
I know because you told me,
you’ll forever be in my heart.

Sometimes when I close my eyes,
I see you sitting there in your chair
and I climb on your lap and lay my head on your shoulder…
and I am a child again.

Why Genealogy


My wonderful children Zac & Sky ❤

Genealogy is our families history our families stories, where we all came from.  I, ironically, came from a long line of story tellers.  My mother & grandmother would sit for hours telling & retelling family stories.  My father, grandfather & grandmother on my dad’s side would also tell me family stories from their side.  Our stories make us who we are.

I do genealogy so I can prove our family stories and pass them down to my children.  So in turn they can pass them to their children… so one day when my grandchildren have their own grandchildren they will know the foundation that was built in the farmers field, on the factory line, in the milking barn, along the railroad line and through the experience of everyday life, that holds them together.

Mmmm K!

The new word around here is “Mmmm K” sometimes said “Nn K” – WOW! Really??  This got me thinking about the slang that my parents & grandparents would say.

  • Grammy would say… “Go put that dirty glass in the zink.” (that’s a sink)
  • Daddy would say… “How are you doing Hot Rod Annie?”
  • Granps would say… “Can you get me the next fish out of the Ice Box.” (that’s a cooler)
  • Momma would say… “My father used to work at a boneyard?” (that’s a junkyard)

Wikipedia defines SLANG as the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker’s language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often used as a euphemism and may use informal lexicon to identify with one’s peers.

Here are some more slang from my childhood…

  • Wiggin’ out
  • Knuckle Sandwich
  • Slammer
  • Wicked (coming back since the Disney movie “The Incredibles”)
  • Plaster
  • Sofa bed (the couch, the sofa)
  • Wet Willie (who’s younger/older sibling didn’t do that to you!?)
  • Ace
  • Wedgie (again trick of the younger/older sibling!)
  • Thongs (In the 60’s, thongs were something you wore on your feet. We call them flip flops!)
  • Stud (as in a hot guy! LOL!), also stud muffin
  • Foxy or A Fox (as in a hot girl)
  • Steady, going steady with a guy/girl
  • Awesome!
  • Totally!
  • Stoked
  • Far out
  • Spazed out!
  • Slug bug… or bunch buggie…. my kids still play this game!!
  • Shot gun (orginally said on the old west, because the man riding shotgun actually had a shot gun! It means to ride in a place of honor in the front seat of a car)
  • Righteous (very cool!)
  • Peepers (my granps would say this about my eyes… “Girl you have the prettiest peepers!”)
  • Kissee (my gram would say this & I never knew what it meant, but I’ve found it’s a cross between a kiss-up & a sissy)
  • Hanky Panky… LOL!! It still means the same!!

Some cool links to look up slang are 60’s Slang, SlangSite.com, & The Online Slang Dictionary!

Lesson #1 – don’t sit out in the rain at a kids baseball game!

Hello all… summer is here in full force! Whew! Running to baseball games, softball games, church events & other fun stuff makes it hard to run around & do genealogy!! I am determined that I will go to cemeteries & research libraries!  Wednesday night I sat out at my son’s baseball game, it was a very close game (12-17), our boys were winning until the 5th inning (they play 6 innings), but it was sprinkenling & VERY cold!!!  By the end of the night my throat was sore, now Friday is here and I feel like my head is gonna explode!  So that is my lesson for the summer, DON’T SIT OUT IN THE RAIN AT A KIDS BASEBALL GAME!!

This weekend is filled with activity!  Saturday my 11 year old son, Zac, is play in a 3 on 3 basket ball tournament in the morning, afternoon we have an open house, then after that my hubby will be helping building a ramp at his grandma’s house.  Church on Sunday with hopefully a BBQ in the afternoon.

Kids are into their summer school program we do at home.  Right now we are doing just math books, but we will be doing summer reading starting next week & spelling words.  I don’t want them to fall behind or forget what they’ve learned this year in school.