Ganell serves as the Associate Editor of the Appalachian Quarterly published by Wise County Historical Society and works tirelessly with the set-up and lay-out of the magazine. Ganell puts in many hours of hard work each month putting material into page-maker, working with pictures and finally printing it out for final proof- reading.
Ganell was born in the Riverview section of Coeburn, Virginia. She was married to the late Darvin Marshall, They have two sons: Bill and John Marshall. Ganell lives in the Sandy Ridge section where she and Darvin made their home.
Ganell has put in countless hours in building and helping maintain the Sandy Ridge Old Regular Baptist Church and the old school building. She has taken on the responsibility of copying any old church records pertaining to the Old Regular Baptist Church that can be found. She has worked for about 40 years on her family history research.
Ganell has worked with crafts since 1960 making corn-shuck and apple-head dolls as well as serving as an officer in craft organizations. She is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, past and present member of Sandy Ridge Handicrafters; past member of Piedmont Crafts, Inc.; past member of the Blue Ridge Hearthside Crafts, as well as others. Her work has been featured on White House Christmas trees several times; in the Smithsonian Museum; in national magazines and special exhibits across the country. She and her husband Darvin, were active in the formation of the local community center at Fairview School on Sandy Ridge.
In addition to the Appalachian Quarterly, corn-shuck dolls, and everything else she does, Ganell enjoys helping others in learning to use the computer.
Nina Counts Mullins
Born in the shadows of the mountains in Dickenson County, VA on a blustery March morning, Nina Ruth Counts emerged into a family of five children. Nina being the oldest assumed responsibility at an early age. Nina was married at age 19 to Cossie Mullins, Jr. and they began their married life in Clinchco, VA, then moved Scott Robinson Hollow Road where she has lived since.
Over the years , after caring for four elderly members of her husband’s and her family and then Cossie who died of ALS she has dedicated her life to different organizations of service. She has been a member of the Home Extension for 30 years and was elected Homemaker of the Year for two straight years. She is a charter member of the Norton Community Hospital Auxiliary and has served as President for three years and current buyer and manager of the Helping Hands Gift Shop.
She is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Pound and is involved with feeding the elderly and disabled in the church community. She is a charter member of the Wise County Historical Society and helps in whatever capacity she is needed. She is our best sales person traveling to various community activities and helping set up tables and attending them selling books for the Historical Society to help keep it afloat.
Nina is a great cook, very good at entertaining and has had the Historical Society to her home for dinners and has catered certain social events presented by the Historical Society.
Above all she is a dedicated mother of one daughter, Sheryl, three grandchildren and four great-grandsons and is always there for whoever needs her.
Nancy has an abiding and deep interest in people, particularly in Southwest Virginia, their lives and their history. Her aim is to preserve the Appalachian heritage in such a manner that our children in future generations will know as much as possible about their origin and be proud of it.
Untold hours have been spent reading and transcribing microfilm records, digging through books and papers in courthouses and library archives. Miles have been covered while recording names and dates in long forgotten, overgrown cemeteries. Interviews with aged men and women have yielded priceless memories and knowledge.
Nancy serves as the Special Focus Editor for the Appalachian Quarterly and assisted with The Heritage of Wise County Volume II, from selecting photos, to lay-out to whatever needed to be done. She has co-authored several volumes of genealogy including the famous Stallard Connection and The Descendants of William Addington. She has also published several volumes of county records, such as census and marriages. She was Co-Editor and Co-Publisher of The Southwest Virginian magazine of history and genealogy.
Nancy is our resident story-teller, if you’ve got a topic, she’s got a story. No story’s too big…no story’s too little. She has published several of her stories from the unpublished manuscript, “You Can’t Get There From Here,” in the Appalachian Quarterly.
Nancy is married to Cecil Brown and they live in Longford Kansas, but she also has a home in Wise County where she comes often. Nancy is a Wise County native, born and raised in Pound before moving to Wise where she lived until she married Cecil. Her mother, Violet Clark still lives in Wise. Nancy has four children, three step-children, three grandchildren, and seven step-grandchildren; and two step-great grandchildren. (Update: After the death of Cecil Brown, Nancy is now married to Hays).
Wanda Rose is a charter member of the Historical Society and was instrumental in the compiling of the Wise County Heritage Book and The City of Norton Volume 1, and was Vice Chairman of the Book committee. She helped compile the book WISE COUNTY, VIRGINIA’S WORLD WAR II VETERANS: A Tribute, which consists of 928 pages, 6000 stories and 3000 pictures. She is now treasurer of the Historical Society, a job which she fills with great dedication.
It can truthfully be said, “Wanda is a gift to the Historical Society.” She can do most anything, and if we need help in solving a problem, Wanda is the one to call upon. You name it, she does it! She serves as our Circulation Manager and maintains our photo archives which was amply used in Heritage volume II. Wanda proof’s our Appalachian Quarterly and oversees the quarterly mailing of the issues to our many subscribers. She takes book orders and mails them out.. She is constantly on the phone, making trips to the post office or bank, and looks out for our financial status.
Wanda was a volunteer at the Wise Appalachian Hospital and was Gift Shop Manager and buyer for 20 years. She, along with Dorothy Witt, installed Lifelines in Wise and Dickenson counties for disabled people. She served as Director of the Arts and Photographer exhibitions for the Virginia-Kentucky Fair for several years. She currently belongs to the Wise Quilt Group which she helped organize.
Wanda is married to Stuart Rose, formerly of Banner, and they recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of three sons: Benjamin of Charlottesville, VA; Joe Fred of Wise and Steven, deceased, of Wise. They have four grandchildren, Penny, Autumn, Patricia “Trish” and Wesley and 1 step-granddaughter, Kate, and five great-grandchildren, Leah, Alexandria, Grayson, Damon, Shane and a step-granddaughter, Anatasia. Wanda and Stuart live in Wise, Virginia.
Wanda is very dependable, has a wonderful personality, and is great company.
A Tribute to William C. Gobble
William C. “Bill” Gobble-President of Wise County Historical Society
Bill is a native of Wise County, Virginia although he has spent considerable time living outside Virginia. Bill was born in Appalachia and grew up in Norton. He was in the U.S. Air Force when he married Lillian Hamilton. They spent the first three years of their marriage in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After his discharge he spent the next 33 years in Indianapolis, Indiana. Finally in 1987, he and Lillian moved back to Wise County, winding up in Crackers Neck, near Big Stone Gap. Bill and Lil have two children, Karen and Russ.
Bill was elected as the second President of the Wise County Historical Society and has served in that position from 1996 to the present. He maintains our PDF file of Wise County families and can generally connect anyone who visits the office back several generations. He has thousands of surnames on his database. He connects many to his wife Lil’s family and jokingly remarks that she is related to everybody.
Bill and Lil have conducted seminars on tracing your family and how to locate records. He has served as Librarian for the Family Life Center in Kingsport and still occasionally volunteers time. He serves as Treasurer for the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia.
He and Lil have copied and archived in the Historical Society office many volumes of records from the Wise County Courthouse. He has transcribed several census and marriage records into book form for sale at the Historical Society Office. He volunteers twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays for work in the office.
Bill makes our meetings fun and interesting with his good-humored manner and anecdotes.
We, the members of the Wise County Historical Society, would like to take this opportunity to offer a tribute to our first president, Dorothy Hall Witt. Without her foresight and perseverance the Historical Society of Wise County would not exist today.
Dorothy Hall Witt our distinguished first president and charter member of the Wise County Historical Society was instrumental in the compiling and publishing of The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton, Volume 1 and 2, among other publications. She was also instrumental in the establishing of the Wise County Historical Society. She served as the President of the Historical Society the first years of its establishment.
While helping on the Lee County Book Committee in the creating of the Bicentennial History of Lee County Virginia published in 1991, Dorothy felt the need for the same in Wise County, and was instrumental in forming a group of Wise County historians who published their own Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton Volume 1 in 1993. She was Chairman of the Book Committee and was elected President of the Wise County Historical Society when it was organized.
Dorothy is a dedicated member, wife, mother, and grandmother. She is good company and has a great sense of humor.
Patricia concentrated her Melungeon research on the medical maladies that are prevalent to this illusive group of people. She and S.J. Arthur were very thorough in their research with the Melungeon Ancestral Medical Task Force working with Clinch Valley College in Wise, Virginia, (now University of Virginia at Wise). Patricia was the proud owner of a Levant Waist Sash that had been in her family for 400 plus years- the origin of which is said to be-aTurkish Soldier in the mid to late 1400′s.
Family Reunions, after the passing of her mother, inspired Fannie to delve further into researching her family history. Her first genealogy book, Country Roads and Lanes, was published in 1991 and five years later in 1996, The Crabtree-Stanley Collection: A Memorial, was in print. These two books cover both her Father and Mother’s families. She is currently working on and is nearing the completion of a book of old time recipes, stories, games, herbs, songs, etc., which will be called, Our Vanishing Heritage. (Can be purchased at Wise Historical Society office)
Paul is knowledgeable in researching deeds, which are his particular speciality and has helped hundreds of folks coming to Wise County to research their families. In addition to his work in the court records, he has also visited and documented 95% of all the cemeteries in Wise County. If you happen to be in a Wise County Cemetery and meet a tall, thin man, with pencil and paper, that’s Paul. Ask him anything you want and chances are you can’t stump him with a question on Wise County History or its people.
Rhonda has conducted many seminars on genealogy. Rhonda along with Wanda Rose worked exclusively on Wise County’s World war II Veterans. She assisted with the publication of Heritage of Wise County Volume I and was happily working on Wise County’s Civil War Veterans when her work was interrupted to help complete Heritage Volume II. Rhonda formerly was the Co-Editor and Co-Publisher of The Southwest Virginian, a magazine of history and genealogy.