Leaves on this Family Tree

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What a Family

Each summer, when I was a child, Grandma, Mom, Lee and I always went to the Winegardner Reunion. Dad was normally working, or fishing if he was off, and when lee got old enough to be on his own, he didn't go either.

I always enjoyed it. I got to see people that Mom and Grandma talked about. I got to where I knew more and more of them every year. There was quite a bunch of those Winegardners . . . I have a newspaper clipping saying that 100 people attended one year.

Now that I am working on my genealogy, I understand more and more how this family worked.

I wish I had known my Great Grandpa Winegardner, he died in 1905. He came from a family of farmers and, as a young man, he received the calling", as they say, studied for and became a minister. He had quite a few churches that he ministered around the town I grew up in. All the while, he continued to farm.

He was married 4 times . . . which makes most people laugh . . . a minister married so many times. Here is how the marriages worked.

1st wife: Margaret Elizabeth Wiley. They were married 12 years In those 12 years, they had 5 children. When she dies, the oldest one, James Austen, was 12 years old and the youngest, Diadama Rosetta, was 3 years old. (Oh, Diadama is a family name.. It has been passed on quite a few time.)

2nd wife: Nancy Demos Scott. They were married 22 years and had 2 children. So, in actuality, she raised 7 children since her youngest was 16.

3rd wife: Caroline (Carrie) Graham Searight. Carrie was my great grandmother. She and the Rev had one child, Grandpa Earl. Carrie only lived a couple of months after Grandpa Earl was born. One of the Winegardner history's says she died of complications from the birth. I had always wondered if this is what happened.

Anyway, Grandpa Earl was born in 1879. By now, there were 11 grandchildren, 7 more grandchildren were born before Grandpa Earl turned 5.  One of these was "Aunt Ora." Actually, Grandpa Earl was her uncle, but she was born 1 year after him so they were raised more like cousins, thus, she became an "aunt" to Mom and to Lee and I.

4th wife: Esther Rebecca Coleman Wilson. They had no children (she was in her mid 40's) and in the 1880 census, Grandpa was the only child listed, so it doesn't look like she had any children.

I always had a hard time understanding how everyone fit into the family, since so many of the "older relatives" at the reunion were the ages of my grandparents . . . but now, by looking at the tree that is starting to form, it makes sense.

Great Grandpa "the Rev" had 8 children. These 8 children gave "the Rev" 25 grandchildren. Now, when it comes to great grandchildren, the numbers seem to E*X*P*L*O*D*E. There are 62 great grand children, of which I am  the youngest, born in 1951.. The oldest great grandchild was born in 1885.  WOW!  She was 66 when I was born!

When I look at these names, so many of them come back to life. "Aunt Ora" who was my Grandpa Earl's favorite relative. When she would visit, after she moved to Florida, she always sister "Aunt" Mae, Uncle Eck (really, his name is Ellis, but isn't Eck a cool nickname?), Uncle Lon and Aunt Net. Did you notice they didn't have quotes? Here is  another twist in the genealogy . . . Aunt Net was the 1/2 sister to my Grandma Goldie . . . who is Dad's mom . . . Uncle Lon is the nephew of Grandpa Earl, or the cousin of Mom. My brother wondered if that made us "inbred?" No, said one relative, we just act that way.

So, are you lost? I would be if I didn't have the sheets with everyones' names and who they belong to on them.

I spent all day yesterday trying to find as many of the grandchildren and great grandchildren that I could. Today, I shall search the archives of the newspaper in the town where I grew up. Every obituary for the 3rd generation I can find, I'll be able to add more 4th generation relatives. And, having a 66 year spread in this 4th generation, I should be able to find a ton of 5th, 6thh 7th and maybe 8th generation.

When I think of this family, I think of Great Grandpa, "the Rev" as being at the center of a spider web and as the web grows, so grow the generations.

Today's challenge, get all of the information I found yesterday added to the tree. Then, print out family sheets for each grand child and start looking for obituaries  so I can find the great grands that I don't already know.

So, I shall leave you with a spinning brain from what I wrote today . . . and hope that mine won't end up spinning more at the end of today.


  1. Wonderful information. My family has so many Jacobs down through the generations that it is hard to keep track of them. I also suspect that my 5x great grandfather may have been 2 people but haven't been able to prove it. Are you using Ancestry.com for your information?

  2. OMG - My Mom is one of 5 and they span 20 years. I have a 1st cousin who is 3 months older than my daughter.

    What a tangled web we weave huh? Have fun with those obits!

  3. Incredible. Yep, you DID have me lost for a little bit! ;-) Good thing you're keeping everything written down for the rest of them, too.


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