Silenced Only By The Dawn

Researchers of Grayson, Bandera, Bexar, and Kerr counties in Texas and Tuscaloosa and Randolph counties in Alabama, or Oktibbeha County in Mississippi as well as Doughty, Parker, Pritckett. and Lee families might be interested in a recently published book Silenced Only by the Dawn, A Gallant Woman and her Carpenter, A True Story, according to its author Merry Langlinais.
“The book tells the compelling story of one family, their westward movement from South Carolina and Southern Maryland in the 1700s to Georgia, through Alabama, on to Mississippi after the Civil War and finally settling in Texas,” said Langlinais.
More details are available at merrylanglinais.com or email at xroads@sprintmail.com or write to Merry Langlinais, P. O. Box 135, Medina, TX 78055. The book sells for $24.99 plus $4.00 shipping.

More on Sissy Spacek’s New Book and Wood County

County Line Magazine has a more complete review of Sissy Spacek’s new memoir with more details about people and places in Wood County. You can access County Line Magazine online at http://www.countylinemagazine.com/index.php. There will be a link to download a .pdf file of the May issue of the magazine. The review is on pages 10 and 11 and includes pictures of Sissy and her family.

Book Donation

Thanks to the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library of Beeville, Texas for the donation of a copy of A Pictorial History of Wood County to the society’s genealogy research room at the Quitman Public Library. This 1994 publication has pictures of families and sites sorted by county town or city.

QPL Catalog To Be Available for Online Searching

Exciting news from Director Delene Allen is that very soon we will be able to search the Quitman Public Library catalog of holdings online from the library website from our home computers connected to the internet.

This means that we can find what is available and reserve books from home. Also, we will have access to the library’s ebooks collection. The new Apollo Biblionix circulation software should be up and running soon. Keep checking the library website.

All of our resources which we have added to the library catalog should also be available for home searching. For those items not yet in the catalog, we need some volunteers to get them entered by computer in the library database. If you have some time and typing skills, we can get you training to enter the items.

Yet Another Thing To Think About

The post that follows this one is by Jeffrey A. “Jeff” Bockman. I ran across it over on Google+. It is one of those mindset changing things. I hope you will read it, and we can engage in a discussion in person or online or both. I think it has merit.

While going to Jeff’s site, I ran across a book of his which I think might just make a good Christmas present for someone you are trying to get interested in genealogy or your family’s specific history. You can take a look at it at this link: http://www.jeffbockman.com/gatj/giveaway. When you get there, click on the picture of the book, “Give Your Family a Gift Money Can’t buy.”

Deason

Life in The Piney Woods, Chapter 4

Life in The Piney Woods
By Ona Wood

Chapter 4
The Pines Whisper

Peter M. Gunstream loved the Southland of the United States. It was the place to which he had turned his steps when he set foot in America. He loved his home in the pines, and he and his family had worked hard to develop the land.

Although Mr. Gunstream owned some six slaves, he was opposed to the system of slavery and treated the Negroes very humanely. He worked them hard; he did not ask more of them than he could do himself, but Mr. Gunstream was not one to condone idleness.

He always gave the Negroes their Sundays to go anywhere they wished. If a young Negro, man or woman, married in some other section of the county, Mr. Gunstream arranged to buy his or her mate, or if the choice was to go to the mate’s owner, he managed to trade or sell.
He deeply deplored the fact that the south was planning to leave the union and did not believe that secession was right.

Each year since he and his family had lived in East Texas, they had strived to make their home more comfortable. His wife, though a little French lady, had been born in the Southland. Her people had become his people, and they had been helpful through the years; she had been courageous — a characteristic which befitted the life of every pioneer.

By 1862, the Gunstreams had lived on their land in Wood County for 15 years.
Mr. Gunstream had reached the age of 46 years and was still able to turn out much work, but with the South at war, he and his family would need to extend their energies a little further.
Pioneer women could never be idle. They had loved ones on the field of battle who were suffering hunger and disease.

In all the little homes could be heard the hum of the spinning wheel, the clicking of knitting needles, and the noise of the weavers’ shuttles. Cooking, washing and mending had to be done.
Though only 36 years of age, Mrs. Gunstream grew tired. Hard work weakened her body, and she became ill.

Few doctors were available; the difficulty of travel and the distance between settlements in East Texas made it well nigh impossible to have medical care.
Mary Alitia Gunstream died 24 July 1862.

Peter Gunstream had been called upon many times to make coffins for his neighbors, but he was now confronted with the sad duty of constructing a coffin for his lovely little wife.
They buried her on top of the hill about one-half mile from her home on the land she had helped to settle. She was buried near her son, Little Peter, who had died at an early age.

The grave site was in the deep woods where peace reigned supreme, and the fragrance of the beauty of the countryside pervaded the soft breezes as they stirred gently through the dense foliage of the woodland.

Mockingbirds whistled in the giant oaks, and redbirds nested in the green cedars. In the springtime, wild azaleas bloomed profusely; Sweet Williams fringed the hillside, and from their heliotrope blossoms floated a delicate perfume.

Buckeye with plumes of scarlet flowers and dark green foliage grew in the deep woods and added their queenly beauty to the haven; while from under a carpet of deep brown leaves, spread by the hoar frosts of countless ages, purple violets peeped modestly.

High above it all, like a canopy overspread, the tall pines whispered and moaned, but always they told a story of love.

Mrs. Gunstream left six children. Gustavas was just reaching young manhood; Belinda was 16 years old. The younger children were Andrew, Limuel, Christina, and the baby, Jerome, scarcely six months of age.

To Belinda fell the task of attending the younger children. Jerome, flaxen-haired and fair, was her pride and joy. To him, she devoted her untiring attention.

Continued on the Members-only page which can be accessed with the link at the top right of this page. If you have forgotten the member password, send an email to the Bulletin editor.

New Wood County Research Resources

Three books of abstracts of Wood County records have been at to the society’s Genealogy Research Room at the Quitman Public Library.

Wood County Unclaimed Marriages 1890 to 1960s is a listing of marriage certificates at the Wood County Courthouse in Quitman which have never been picked up. The data of names and dates duplicates some in our bound books of county marriages also in the research room, but these are actual certificates housed at the courthouse in the basement (at the time of the research for the book published in 2008). The certificates are “gradually fading away due to age and climate conditions” according to Patsy Vinson, president of the Organization for the Preservation of Historical and Genealogical Records (OPHGR) which published all three of these new books.Proof of relationship to the persons on the certificate is required to pickup a copy at the courthouse.

Mechanic’s Liens of Wood County, Texas Volume A names individuals and businesses involved in buying and selling of items such as building materials for houses and equipment and the terms of loans to secure the transactions. The book is indexed. The information was compiled by Laverne Howard Wyatt and pubished in 2009.

Misdemeanor Guilty Pleas of Wood County, Texas -1892-1946 Volumes 1 to 4 lists names of those who so plead, fines, jail times, and the nature of the criminal offense. Jail times ranged from none to minutes to multiple days. Some of the crimes included assaults, gaming, abusive language, killing quail out of season, and killing fish. The book is also indexed. The author is Patsy Vinson, and the book was published in 2008.

Wood County 1850-1900 Still Available

Another request has been received for the place to purchase a copy of “Wood County 1850-1900.” Members Shirley Patrick and Lou Mallory have supplied the request and answer for inclusion here.

They are available at several locations including from the Wood County Historical Commission (gmallory@suddenlink.net) the front desk at the Quitman Public Library, The Mineola Chamber of Commerce, and the City Hall in Mineola. The price quoted by Lou Mallory (chairman of the historical commission) last year was $15 per book and $4.00 for postage for each copy mailed.

Wood County Feels the Tug of War

Life in the Piney Woods
By Ona Wood
Chapter 3
Wood County Feels the Tug of War

The everyday affairs of life went on as usual in the deep eastern section of Wood County.

Mary and Peter Gunstream and their neighbors always arose long before the dawn and prepared breakfast. They ate by the light of candles which they had molded with their own hands from the tallow dried from the fat of the beeves that they had butchered on their own range.
Their breakfast was no meager affair; even if they did live in the woods of a sparsely settled country, food was in abundance: quail fried to a golden brown, ham from their smokehouse, sausage, red gravy and hominy, hot corn pone and butter.

As soon as the first rays of the sunlight dispelled the rosy tinted dawn, Peter went to the fields or to the mill. Everything seemed peaceful in the deep forest.

Far off in the distance a turtle dove cooed to its mate… Continued on the Member’s Only pages accessible from the link at the top right of this page.

County Native Learned It Here

Quitman and Wood County’s Sissy Spacek “says she learned all the truths that are most important to her before she left that little town in Texas,” according to an article in USA Today. The story is about the book which she has written which is to be published in Spring 2012. It will include “non-fiction short stories” about events in her life including those during her early years in Quitman.

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