30 June 2005

southern railroad and walden ridge - harriman tn

southern railroad - getting sidetracked near walden ridge in harriman, tn - photo date: sep 2003

14 June 2005

lucy bowling and free ebook with cherokee mounds in east tennessee

project gutenberg's free e-text, the problem of the ohio mounds, by cyrus thomas, originally published in the "Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology for 1883-1884" (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1894), contains information about some of the burial mounds in east tennessee.

i found the book today because i was answering a letter in which an ellis family researcher was asking me whether or not i had ever heard that lucy bowling (or bowlin) was part cherokee. i began describing the mounds near the old ellis land south of the river, near kingston, tn and thought i'd see if anything was on the internet about them. though i haven't yet discovered anything about the particular mounds i have in mind, i've had an enjoyable read in thomas' book (which, by the way, can be purchased via amazon from private publishers). though the gutenberg plain text version doesn't have the illustrations, i'm just happy to have the free reading ride.

a search of using google site search turned up 307 hits for the search terms "cherokee tennessee," for those who are interested. like me.

(for a photo album of the land of william monroe ellis and lucy bowling, see my rootsweb freepages - photo album: william monroe ellis & lucy bowling land & the
ELLIS family cemetery, south of the river, roane co, tn - | HERE|

help fight the NHPRC/NARA FY06 budget cuts NOW

the federal government is endangering your genealogy research again, and you really should act...soon!

for further information about the 2006 budget and how it will affect genealogy and historical research, please see this web page: NHPRC/NARA FY06 Budget

if you're hestating, think about whether or not you did enough to protest the current law which overly restricts distribution of vital records and hampers your genealogy research...

i've copied an e-mail call to action which begins to spell out what is happening and where you can go to read more and to begin to act:

----- Original Message -----From: "Haston Magnuson"

The following e-mail is of great concern to any genealogists who use archives. Please read, sign the petition, then send this to any other Rootsweb or genealogy lists you're on.

The President's budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2006 slash or eliminate more than 150 federal programs. In that budget, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has been targeted to receive NO funding. This includes no funds for the grants program and no funds for staffing to support the NHPRC programs. It effectively eliminates NHPRC.

The Council of State Historical Records Coordinators, the Society of American Archivists, and the National Association for Government Archivists and Records Administrators are working collaboratively to address this threat to NHPRC and NARA. Archivists across the U.S. are rallying to save NHPRC while also ensuring that NARA has sufficient funding to sustain its current programs and continue to advance in areas that benefit all archival repositories and every citizen of the United States.

As part of our efforts to continue to express to Congress interest in restoration of funding for NHPRC, we have created an online petition. Please consider signing this petition, and please forward it to any listservs, e-mail groups, or organizations and people you feel would be interested in helping with this effort. It is a quick and easy way for many people to assist. The petition will be forwarded to the House Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on Treasury, Transportation, HUD and the Judiciary in late May. The petition can be access at:

_www.savearchives.org_ (

Click on the "petition" button.

If you have not received a previous action alert on this issue, we encourage you to also write a letter to your members of Congress. For information on writing letters of support, see any of the following websites:

www.savearchives.org_ (

www.coshrc.org_ (

www.archivists.org_ (

Thanks for your efforts to save this important program for archives!

Members of the NHPRC Joint Advocacy Task Force Council of State Historical Records Coordinators: David Carmicheal, Sandra Clark, Kathleen Roe

Society of American Archivists: Nancy Beaumont, Peter Gottlieb, Rand Jimerson, Joan Krizack, Richard Pearce-Moses

National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators: Timothy Slavin

26 May 2005

Detail of the text on the memorial to the Rockwood, Tennessee boy scouts drowned 25 March 1929 in the flood at White's Creek, Rhea Co, TN (at the border with Roane Co, TN). (Photo taken 2004)

Allen Lafayette MONTGOMERY and Anna Laura BLAKE. Allen's parents were Jehu Chastain MONTGOMERY and Rose Ellen PATE of Roane Co, TN.

21 April 2005

slave district percentages in the roane county, tn area (knox, blount, mcminn, rhea, monroe, meigs...) from the 1860 federal census

17 April 2005

nasa world wind software and genealogy

okay, i said i'd post screen shots of world wind, and i will, but first i want to make sure genealogists hear about it, and so i'm pointing from this blog to my genielinks blog where i just posted a rather embarrassing gushing review of the new nasa software. you can go there to see what i think, or you can go to nasa and have a look 'round for yourself.

10 April 2005

31 March 2005

Sara Grasham MEE - Monroe and Lucy ELLIS descendant - died 17 Mar 2005

Sara Grasham Mee, 66, of Rockwood, TN died Thursday, March 17, 2005 in St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville, TN.
Spouse: Carl 'Cedar' Mee of Rockwood, TN
Daughters: Jennifer Mee of Nashville, TN (married John Woods); Charlotte Mee of Smyrna, TN (married Chuck Poston); and Phoebe Mee of Nashville, TN (married Keith Reilly)

Parents: James Ellis GRASHAM [deceased] and Rebecca Mae SMITH [deceased]

Brother: Jimmy Smith Grasham [deceased]
Sisters: Rebecca Grasham Woods of Spring City, TN and Joyce Grasham Tidwell of Kingston, TN
Grandchildren: Matthew Tyler Woods, Joshua Alan Poston and Katelyn Noel Reill

Father-in-law: Claude David "Shorty" Mee [deceased]
Mother-in-law: Jessie Mee of Spring City, TN
Niece: Margaret Woods LeMasters of Kingston, TN
Great-nephew and great-niece: David Alan and Rebecca Grace LeMasters

Funeral service: 7 p.m. Sunday, March 20, Rockwood United Methodist Church, Rockwood, TN, Rev. Charles Mattson officiating.
Graveside service and burial: 11 a.m. Monday, March 21, Oak Grove Cemetery, Strang Street, Rockwood, TN.
Funeral arrangements: Evans Mortuary, Rockwood, TN

Sara was a member of Rockwood United Methodist Church and memorial contributions may be made to the church at 801 N. Kingston Ave., Rockwood, TN 37854.

[source: roane county news]

10 March 2005

the police in harriman do the time warp again

a recent story from wbir, knoxville, tn brings home just what a time warp much of roane county still lives it.

the news item is about stacks of boxes piled up in harriman's police department and some new technology that might get them online. the paper-based department's records are tough to access and just as tough to share:

Without picking up the phone and calling and sharing information over the telephone, we're kinda operating in a blind, says [harriman police chief Jack] Stockton. And I think your career criminals definitely know it.

Even though Harriman is only seven miles from Rockwood, they don't often know what happens in each other's city's overnight.

sounds even worse to me than doing genealogy research in pre-world-wide-web days must have been.

26 February 2005

frederick gates and harriman - eerie coincidence

eerie coincidence or finger of fate? you decide.

in a recent post here, i wrote about arson as one of harriman's resident evils. well, today, with my morning coffee i was thumbing through my massive harriman, the town that temperance built by walter t. pulliam. i got to an early section on frederick gates, the entrepeneur who is considered harriman's founder, and i registered for the first time that he was also the founder of the diamond match company.

insert the background music: twilight zone theme.

by the way, this past week has marked the 115th anniversary of harriman's great land sale by the east tennessee land company. [you can read about roane county, temperance, and the east tennessee land company's great land sale in the online tennessee encyclopedia of history & culture | here |.

23 February 2005

genealogy and identity theft - a red herring - open the records back up please

an article published on better business bureau news and alerts is entitled "new research shows that identity theft is more prevalent offline with paper than online," and the title says it all.

the bureau links to more information about the studies which is available at .

green tower - porch - harriman tn

green tower - porch, harriman, tn, sep 2003

harriman and the dream - should we just roll up the streets and say it's over

in browsing the archives of wate news 6 in knoxville this morning, i came across an article from 2003 about a pothole twelve feet wide and ten feet deep on trenton street in harriman. what struck me was a poignant assessment of the situation in the article from harriman resident jerry burgess and the serendipity of my finding the article so close on the heels of my recent posting here about harriman ghosts:

Harriman resident Jerry Burgess said the pothole is symbolic of a city with a budget that's gone awry. 'It's a one horse town. All they need to do is roll up the streets and it's over.'

the larger implication, of course, is that the pothole is symbolic not only of harriman's budget but of the town as a whole - no pun intended. okay, so maybe one was...

but it's all very sad, really, the streets opening up and swallowing all those utopic dreams.

when i get the chance to go home, as i did twice last year, i get out of the ute and wander the streets where my ancestors lived and worked with my camera. i click away with the stunned fascination of one documenting a train wreck in progress. sadly, no amount of designating homes on historic registers or establishing hooray for harriman committees or posting websites extolling the utopic vision of its founders and earliest residents has saved the precipitous decline of the wonderful east tennessee town where i was born.

i work daily at a desk above which hangs a huge copy of the panoramic map of the town stamped 1892 inside a library of congress seal. when i'm stumped or when my eyes just need a break from the computer monitor, i look up and visit those houses where family members lived and raised their children, letting my eyes meander down those streets i love to walk.

oh, i love that map. i love it in part because each house is distinctly rendered, individualized. i can almost walk right up on people's front porches and knock on the door. and i love it in part, too, because i get sucked into what was even in 1892 an idyllic vision of the town. the idyll reminds me of all those dreams family members i haven't even discovered must have had. and not just when they moved into harriman but when they set themselves down to stay there among those smoky hills of east tennessee. when i finally draw my eyes away, i feel more centered, more grounded somehow. and romanticized or not, the harriman on that map is the one i carry with me as i get back to my genealogy research: harriman, my hometown, all circled round by that ancient hump-back walden ridge and the cradling arms of the emory. harriman, a town made of dreams.

22 February 2005

a harriman guy's blog and photos - PikeMurdy by Mike Purdy

i was checking out themes (web templates) for my new wordpress 1.5 installation at my new, and i came across not only a neat template (called quentin) but a blog and some harriman photos by the guy who created the template. the photos are small, but they are fun to look at - quirky, very harriman. another of mike's photo projects online centers on knoxville, where he's a designer. check out his projects for yourself: PikeMurdy by Mike Purdy- Projects.

20 February 2005

the house on walden street - harriman tn

the house on walden street, harriman, tn

harriman - haunted in roane county, tennessee

today i came upon a web page, haunted places in tennessee, that includes a site in harriman: swan pond baptist church.

according to the site called juicy news daily, the church is haunted by a pastor who hanged himself there seventeen years ago.

now, i have no knowledge one way or the other about the hanging or the haunting itself. in fact, as a genealogist loathe to post anything on the internet less than two generations old, i'm a little hesitant about passing on the story. however, i was drawn to write about it by my surprise that the alleged haunting is from such a relatively recent occurrence - genealogically, i mean ;-) .

of course, any ghost haunting a building in the town of harriman would have to be relatively recently deceased, i'd think. harriman is only a little over a century old, founded in 1890 as a temperance utopia by the east tennessee land company. the area it's in, though - roane county and its surrounds - is ancient, lore-filled land.

much of the early county was forged from the heartland of the cherokees who settled there first and whose burial mounds can still be discerned in what was known as the hiwassee district south of the tennessee river which snakes right across the county's belly. indeed, roane county is wrapped around the juncture of the tennessee, clinch, and emory rivers, vitally important to both white settlers and native americans in early tennessee history.

somewhere outside - on that land, i'd think - is where i'd be if i were a ghost. even in harriman - though the temperance building and the library would be sorely tempting.

but no, i'd likely stake out one of the craggy escarpments that for me set the character of the town. or i'd be up at the harriman cemetery, standing knee-deep in kudzu that's waiting until all the caretakers die away. and i'd be peering out over the county from the ridge edge just above the giles family plot. or i'd be
wearing an engineer cap, standing on the trestle bridge going into town, waiting for now diverted trains to churn right through me. or maybe i'd be down by the emory, dodging the poison ivy in webb park, dangling my toes from one of its memorial benches as i gaze across at the little waterfall spouting from beneath the road. or i'd be up walking in cornstalk heights, just around the corner from the house i lived in on walden street as a kid.

no - in truth, i'd likely be down in south harriman, wandering around the yard where the nightgown of the newly deceased baby clara floated in the dark and landed on the rose arbor. but absolutely no way would i be inside the house there, still standing, where the yellakin stretchers - those viscous yellow monsters brought to life in my childish mind by my grandmother- may still lurk in the attic room with the door that opens to nowhere.

oh, yeah, on second thought, roane county's towns do offer homes, public spaces, and factories fit for apparitions. and maybe this is especially true for harriman, its utopic vision now blurred in a vortex of decline.

roane street, once a jewel of the county with the princess theater at its center, has become a desolate few blocks of mostly empty buildings bought up by a health conglomerate. the hosiery mill has closed. what a declining economy and the destructive pine beetle hasn't accomplished in harriman, it appears, arsonists have. seems they always did have trouble keeping a school standing. and just last august, what remained of the paper mill burned to the ground [see footnote.]

footnote: arson seems almost to be a roane county pasttime. on this past new year's eve, the scarborough memorial free methodist church in midtown was the target of an arsonist. the main suspect is a former firefighter in the county. read today's news about it in the roane county news here .

16 February 2005 opening day - go see opening day. go see!

oh, there are still a zillion things to iron out, but i'm really relieved to have a space of my own up and running again.

so what's there? well, the same sort of genealogy information found in the tn type site you're viewing right now. the site, like this one, centers mainly on families from roane county, tennessee and the surrounding area.

a main difference bewteen that site and this one is that control of the design and content rest with me. though wordpress - a blogging software - limits me somewhat in structuring the site, it permits easy updating and consistency of design for most of the pages. anyone who's put up a website knows what a headache those elements can be for the webkeeper.

once i get a proper gallery area set up, visitors to tn type and kiddo ink will be able to visit (virtually, natch) many, many roane county cemeteries and view copies of some of my source documentation. please bookmark both sites and check them frequently for updates. by the middle of next week, they should both have quite a bit of data you can sink your teeth into.

tn type and kiddo ink - they're heeere

hooray. there's a start. i figured out how to get the new wordpress 1.5 installed on my brand new host for my brand new tn type domain.

not much there yet, but the next project is migrating this blog there. i'm working on kiddo ink, too. yes! i've got it baaack.... you can read a bit about what the current status of many of the tn type sites is by reading tn type's first posting, good news, bad news...

06 February 2005

tennessee clamps down on vital records access

the nashville city paper recently ran an article outlining the way tennessee has tightened the hold on dissemination of its vital records. as of 15 february, 2005, certified copies of the records will be available only to the person/s named on the record, their children, or legal guardians. others applying for copies must present notarized applications along with ample proof of identification.

authorities cited in the City Paper article say that the policy changes, made to bring the volunteer state into compliance with new federal safeguards against identity theft and fraud, mainly effect those applying via the internet for certified copies of birth and death records. well, i reckon that all us genealogists who had vital records ordering on one of our endless to-do lists are gonna find out soon enough exactly what the new parameters are, huh?

read the original nashville city paper article | here |.


26 January 2005

genevieve majors giles - tombstone photograph

genevieve majors giles, knoxville national cemetery, knoxville, knox co, tn - she shares her gravesite and stone with her husband, charles calvin giles whose name is inscribed on the other side of this tombstone.

21 January 2005

companion opening VERY soon

because i'm still trying to settle a registration dispute caused by my last web host's problematic domain registration habits, i'm still not able to open up kiddo ink. however, ta dah, drum roll, i have a new domain for my companion to this blog and it should be operable soon. i'm just trying to figure out if i'll be able to restore my postings from the bad news is that maybe i never will. the good news is that it was a new site, i'd only made a handful of postings before i discovered bloghosts was going belly up.

new companion site for this blog:

comment spam prevention might open this blog up to commenting soon

the google blog's recent posting on preventing comment spam might have me opening up my postings in this blog to commenting. can't work on it now, though because i'm working on something new. keep your eyes open!

trying to regain control of the kiddo ink domain

home page message at

trying to get my domain out of their clutches is one royal pain. shame on them...

12 January 2005

host woes for tntype at kiddoink

my apologies, but the host to a companion site to this blog - - went belly up. i've been sick and haven't relocated the pages yet. when i get the domain back online, i'll give you notice. meantime, peruse tn type's pages at rootsweb, why don'cha? alternatively, you're welcome to drive yourself nuts clicking the link in the right-hand column to the KiddoInk blog to check to see if it's there yet ;-)

(and speaking of driving folks nuts, whatever possessed me to think that blinking update text was a good idea?)

i promise