Sands of Time

Sands of Time

Sifting through the sands of time
Finding things of yours and mine
Gathering a unique selection
Called the Crabtree-Stanley Collection.

Searching through old record books
Among the many places that we looked
Turning back through endless ages
Getting lost among faded pages.

Rolls and reels of microfilm
Until our eyes were tired and dim
Writing letters by the score
Calling cousins up galore!

To our forefather’s resting place
In solitude of dawn’s gray light
The tombstones beckon me to come
They tell their names and when they died.

In this peaceful resting place I recall
Thing’s of my mother’s recollection
When they were young on Crabtree Fork
I call it the Crabtree-Stanley Collection.

Fannie Lane Steele

Your Name

Your Name

You got it from your father
It was all he had to give
And right gladly he bestowed it
Its yours as long as you may live.
You may lose the watch he gave you
And another you may claim
But whenever you are tempted
Be careful of his name.

It was fair the day you got it
And a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father
There was no dishonor there.
Through the years he proudly wore it
To his father he was true
And that name was clean and spotless
When he passed it on to you.

Oh, there’s much that he has given you
That he values not at all
He has watched you break many toys
In the days that you were small.
You lost the knife he gave you
And you caused him many a pain
But you’ll never hurt your father
If you’re careful of his name.

Its yours to wear forever
Yours as long as you may live
Yours perhaps some distant morning
Another boy to give.
And you’ll smile with pride and
As you look down on that baby there
Its a good name and a clean name
You are giving him to wear.

Author unknown.

Problems and Fun of Family Historians

Problems and Fun of the Family Historians

Every family has at least one
In this case you may count three
Plus the others who informed us
Of the twigs upon the tree.

When they listed all the children
Failed to note where they belong
Was it this one?  Was it that one?
All named Rawley, Sam or John!

When they didn’t give their grand-dad
Or the one who was his wife
What a problem was before us!
Couldn’t tell to save your life!

We have gone to lonely graveyards
For a name, a place, a date
Just to verify a grandpa
And his second unknown mate.

We have searched in courthouse attics
For the records hidden there
In the files and in the boxes
Fragile papers, old and rare.

Hunting, searching, looking, leafing
For a glimpse into the past
History was in the making
And for us our lot was cast!

Hazardous, the jaunts we’ve taken
Climbing fences, fording streams
Barbed wire, chiggers, poison ivy
Swinging bridges and bad dreams.

Parting bushes, chalking tombstones, Microfilms, a hundred reels

Husbands wondering if ever,
they would get some home-cooked meals

Books and folders, jumble, clutter
We have made a great collection
Deeds and wills and land appraisals
Now its called Stallard Connection.

Tell us, now the data’s gathered, Plus the pictures old and dim
Have we failed to have the right one,
Hanging on the proper limb?

Gladys J. Stallard

I Went Back Home Today

I went Back Home Today

I went back home today,
Where I was born and raised
Anticipation filled my soul
Nostalgic memories I embraced.

As I arrived upon the scene
I was filled with disillusion
I did not recognize the place,
My mind clouded with confusion.

There was nothing left but weeds and thorns,
Where once our house had stood
And the garden spot where we once toiled
Grew locust, briars and sourwood.

Where was the yard where we used to play,
And the path to the bubbling spring?
Where is the barn and the chicken coops?
The split-rail fence and the apple trees?

I turned to leave and looked around
To take one last glance and behold!
It was all there as clear as day,
The scenes of long ago.

A log house fastened sure and strong,
Against the winter’s wind
The field of ripened, golden grain
Lay lazily glistening in the sun.

Pa’s weather-beaten rifle,
Leaning against the old porch rail
Just waiting for the culprit
That spilled the milking pail.

And children’s melodious song,
Floating upon the morning breeze
The pungent smell of firewood smoke,
Filtering through the trees.

Mama calling from the doorway
In a voice so sweet and clear
It rang out to the hills above
“Its supper time, come here!”

I stood there spellbound in a trance
Reliving days gone by
Awakened by a teardrop,
Slowly trickling from my eye.

We hear the words, “You can’t go back”
That is what most folks say
Inside my heart I know they’re wrong
I went back home today.

Fannie Lane Steele

Dear Ancestor

Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished, marbled stone.

It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.

Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.

Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.

I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder  if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.

(Author Unknown)

Ancestor Song

Ancestor Song

I am a wandering pilgrim
A Stranger here to roam
I don’t know where I came from
And  don’t know where I’ll go.

Did my ancestors come from Ireland?
Or perhaps from Spain?
Was my great, great, grandmother
A lovely Indian maid?
Where oh where, and from whom did I descend?
I don’t know where I came from
and don’t know where I’ll end.
Oh, what blood through my veins doth flow?
Is it the blood of royalty?
Is it from friend or foe?

Did my great, great grandfather
come over from afar?
Was it England, France or Germany?
I wish I knew just where.
From what nation did I descend?
Perhaps they were great warriors,
Tell me who were my kin?

Were they leaders of nations?
Or leaders of the flock?
Did they contribute to society?
Or cast a stumbling block?
Could have been famous writers,
Who lived the way they pleased,
Or maybe bounding seamen,
Who sailed the seven seas.

I think they were rugged, brave frontiersmen,
Woodsmen who paved the way,
Into this great land of ours,
In which we live today.
What can I tell my children?
What can they tell their sons?
When they ask these same questions
The way that I have done?

Fannie L. Steele