Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where Should I Go from Here?

I started this blog with the stories of Moritz and Marie Beyer because I had a lot of information, thanks in large part to my Grandpa Rudolph Beyer and Great-aunt Ella Beyer Hardi, whose notes and writings made up the most important parts of my posts.  I merely filled in the blanks and lined everything up by date.  It was a lot of fun.

Now I have to choose my next project and I'm a bit stymied.  There are several ancestral lines from which I can choose.  I don't have a wealth of personal stories for most of them like I do with Moritz and Marie Beyer, but I find them interesting anyway.

I want to write about my Harwell ancestral line someday soon, but not just yet.  This line in my family is marked by family interruptions that go back at least three generations.  My father, L. B. Harwell, Jr., lost his life to cancer at the age of forty-three, when I was sixteen.  He had been raised on a farm in western Williamson County, Texas, where the soil and social culture were a bit different from the eastern part of the county.  Not better.  Not worse.  It's just different. 

His father, Lonnie B. Harwell, Sr., died tragically at the age of thirty-one when my father was only six years old.  After that, my father and his sister lived for a while with their mother's parents while she, Dovie Vera Tucker, went to work in Austin.  Lonnie, Sr., (sometimes spelled "Loney") had grown up in Mills County, near Goldthwaite, Texas, in the community of Caradan where the soil is thin and making a life for family was especially challenging. 

Lonnie Sr's parents, Lee Edward Harwell and Etta Jane Reynolds, were married in Catawba County, North Carolina, not far north of Charlotte.  Lee and Etta moved to Mills County, Texas, in the late 1890s, along with her parents and his cousin.  Lee died at the age of forty-four, when Lonnie Sr. was less than three years old.

Lee's parents seem to be John Horace Harwell and Mary Ann Abernathy of Catawba and Lincoln Counties in North Carolina.  John lived eighty-seven years (1817-1904), so the pattern of family interruptions began after him. Indications point in the direction of this John and Mary Harwell, but I'm just enough of a skeptical researcher to ask questions when I see too many assumptions about who Lee's parents were.  When the trail picks up, it will continue through many generations back in time to England, as it almost certainly will.

I have more research to do, especially in Catawba County which is rich with several lines of my family heritage: Harwell, Reynolds, Abernathy, Fleming and others.  Several of my ancestors fought for North Carolina in the Civil War. 

Catawba County, North Carolina, is also home to a bunch of NASCAR race teams.  I may have to multi-task when I eventually make a research visit.

Grace and peace,


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