Wednesday, July 7, 2010

50 Years of Genealogy

Hello All. This is my first attempt at blogging. So here goes. I have been tree climbing (doing genealogy) for more than 50 years. How this came to be is certainly a long story, but one I hope will be of interest to those who share such an infection. The past seems to rise in my mind, and since childhood, my imagination has painted many pictures of my families' stories. As one author once said:

"Visions of the days departed, shadowy phantoms fill the brain;
They who live in history only, seem to walk the earth again."

My families' stories are now many. They started one Christmas long ago playing hide-and-seek at my granny Ewen's. My mother's family was large (mother being one of 12!), and I had more than 30 1st cousins. We would gather every Christmas day and the children were pretty much left up to their own designs while the "adults" ate. Hide-and-seek was used to occupy much of our time, and a large bedroom closet was my target. Spreading the cloths and boxes, I sought the perfect hiding place only to be surprised by a large picture of a man looking out at me. He had a round face, receding hairline, and mustache. Who in the world I thought. Besides this picture was what appeared to be saddlebags. Wow I thought, saddlebags in granny Ewen's closet! (John Wayne and Roy Rogers were big at the time). I raised the side and found a pouch of various size bottles, some with corks, some with cloth plugs, and some just empty. What in the world? There were suppose to be guns, and stirrups, and whips; but little bottles? This certainly puzzled me and I gave up my hiding spot to investigate this finding further. Granny Ewen said that the saddlebags belong to my greatgrandfather Ewen who was a doctor in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. The bottles were his medicine that he used to help people. His name was George Washington Ewen, and he was buried at Nada. Wow!, a horse riding doctor. I had to find out more. It is now more than 50 years since this hide-and-seek game. I have that picture, along with his wife's picture over my fireplace as I write this. The saddlebags have been lost, but by sharing this, they may be remembered. The story begins.


  1. I loved your story and am so happy to see that you're blogging. I'll be reading your stories---thanks so much for making them public!!

  2. Great stories! Great writing! So sad about the saddle bags, but something that seems inconsequential at one point in time becomes important in another. So what do we save, what do we part with, and what might our grandchildren treasure?

  3. Great blog, great writing! So glad you decided to start blogging your family history to share with all of us, welcome!

  4. What do we save, what do we part with. I read once that a man (or woman) is defined by what they give their attention to. I suspect that we will leave our grandchildren what we give our attention to.

  5. Welcome to the world of genealogy blogging! You bring a lot experience to the world of research.

  6. Thanks for the welcome! I hope I can add something to the world of genealogy blogging.

  7. This picture is shown in an Auguest blog: The Sod Rest Lightly. Take a look.

  8. Dr. Jones - As a career advisor, your story is so intriguing in that it shows how a person's career and life callings can be so influenced or guided by the connections of current or past interactions. Thank you for inspiring me!

    1. A little ring
      Encompasses our lives
      And many generations
      Link the rings of theirs,
      Thus forming a chain
      That is without end.
      Goethe :-)

  9. You are off to a good start. I am looking forward to what lies ahead.