Posted in Family History, Stephens

Surname Saturday – Stephens

Needham Stephens was my 2nd great grandfather on my Mom’s side.  He has been my brick wall for a very long time!  I remember hearing my grandmother talk about him and how he died in the Civil War.  According to my grandmother, when his wife went to get his pension, she was asked how to spell the name Stephens.  She did not know how to read or write so she picked the biblical spelling of Stephens.  I have often wondered if this might be the reason for my brick wall…but I have tried other spelling as well!  Any help would be appreciated…below is the information I currently have on him.

Needham Stephens was born in 1812 in North Carolina, USA. He died in 1869 in Batesville, Independence, Arkansas, USA. When he was 40, He married Margaret I. Jones,daughter of William E Jones and Altha Leoner, on 11 Apr 1852 in Lafayette, Arkansas, USA.

He lived in Carouse, Hempstead, Arkansas in 1860.

Needham Stephens and Margaret I. Jones had the following children:

  • Elizabeth Hawkins Stephens was born on 08 Nov 1854 in Alabama Township,  Arkansas, USA. She died on 13 Feb 1944 in Rocky Mound, Arkansas, USA. She married William L Browning on 08 Nov 1878.
  • James Owens Stephens was born on 01 Sep 1856 in Alabama Township, Arkansas, USA.
  • William Thomas Stephens was born on 13 Nov 1861. He died on 27 Feb 1933. He married Mary Ellen Piercy on 24 Nov 1889 in Nevada, Arkansas, USA.
  • Nancy.
Posted in Family History, Fuller, Pyatt

Wedding Wednesday – Fuller/Pyatt

The Coffeyville Daily Journal, Wednesday Evening, November 24, 1920

“Miss Ruth Fuller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Fuller of Coffeyville, formerly living north of Chetopa where the bride was at times our Pleasant Valley correspondent, was united in marriage to Mr. Charles Pyatt, formerly one of the well and favorably known young men of this community.  While we have no particulars, we understand the groom has been employed in Texas and that they will make their home there.  The bride is a very attractive young woman, a graduate of our city schools, and popular with all.  The groom is a young man of good character and habits.  The Clipper, with their hosts of friends, joins in extending felicitations.

This is a transcript of the wedding announcement for my paternal grandparents.  Ruth Frankie Fuller was born in 1900 in Omaha, Nebraska.  She moved to Labette County, Kansas somewhere between 1910 and 1915.  Charles Alfred Pyatt was born in 1896 in Springfield, Missouri.  He moved to Labette County, Kansas prior to 1910.  They were married in Coffeyville and as the announcement states, they moved to Texas.  Unfortunately the marriage did not last.  They had one son (my father) and were divorced in 1935.


This is one of the few pictures of my grandparents together. Sadly, my grandmother destroyed most of the pictures of the two of them together after the divorce.

Posted in Family History, General, Pyatt

Eternally grateful to

My father passed away July 13, 2010.  He was a veteran from WWII.  He sacrificed a lot for his country.  He was 17 years old when he enlisted.  He lied about his age to get into the Army.  He didn’t join the army to go to war; but the war caught up with him.  He joined to be able to play his tuba in the Army Band…very plain, very simple.  Plus, by joining the Army he could get paid for what he loved to do – playing his tuba.  My father was in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked in 1941.  He was on the Bataan Death March.  He was a POW for 4 years.

When he passed away we had him buried at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery.  He received a moving and touching military funeral.  We knew it would be six months before his official headstone would be placed.  Unfortunately none of my family lives in California.  As the family historian I had tried several avenues to try to obtain pictures of his headstone.  I did not have much success.  Until I was reading another blog recently that mentioned that Find A Grave had photo request volunteers who take the time to go to local cemeteries and take pictures.  I put in a request and the very next day I received photos.  This was shortly after Christmas and the photographer was able to get a photo with the wreaths that are placed on each veterans headstone.  My family was thrilled to receive these photos.  I have now registered at find-a-grave and have become one of those volunteers myself.  I know what it meant to me to have these photos; I hope to “pay it forward” soon!

Posted in 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week 2

Week 2 – Paid Online Genealogy Tools: Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most? What special features put it at the top of your list? How can it help others with their genealogy research?

If we are looking at this as strictly online services, then I pay for two online genealogy services. and  When I first started working on my family genealogy I did not have a paid subscription to Ancestry.  It was very frustrating during searches to see that something was out there – just beyond my grasp because I did not subscribe.  I finally caved in and purchased a yearly subscription.  I have been subscribing now for 4 years.  I like the ability to find other collaborators searching for the same lineage.  I have corresponded with several other family historians on various branches of my tree through the use of Ancestry.  I have also used Family Tree Maker for many years.  I participated in the beta testing of the syncing function of the 2012 version.  While it is not perfect, it has alleviated my biggest complaint about having a tree online and a database that did not communicate with each other.  Double entry was driving me crazy!

Genealogybank is a recent subscription for me.  I like the focus of just newspapers, obituaries, and documents.  I have just recently realized the amazing benefits of obituaries in determining and possibly locating various relations.  Sometimes I am very successful on genealogybank and other times I come up empty handed…so I am still in the process of determining it value to me moving forward.

Right now I am happy with using these paid online resources.  I’ve seen others that might be interesting in the future.  But for the time being I think I will stick with these two.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

Posted in General

My new portable scanner – VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand

I got a new portable scanner today.  I based my decision primarily on Dick Eastman’s recommendation of the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner in his newsletter,  Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.  I am surprised how easy and quick it is to set up and simple it is to use.  This picture of my parents is from a very large and cumbersome yearbook from their freshman year in college.  The yearbook itself is very awkward to handle and almost impossible to place on a flatbed scanner.  It took me only a matter of minutes to scan, upload to my computer and add the text notes to the picture.  I think I am going to be using this scanner quite often!

Posted in General

Family Recipe Fridays – Peanut Butter Meringue Cookies

    • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.  In a small bowl, with electric mixer at highest speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Slowly beat in sugar until stiff peaks form.

Stir 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into peanut butter.  Gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, let stand for 1 minute. Remove from pan to cool.

These are, by far, the best peanut butter cookies around.  My Mom used to make these all the time because there were only 3 ingredients! Enjoy!

Posted in 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week 1

One of my resolutions this year is to start using Genealogy prompts to help me with my blogging.  There are a lot of them out there!  I found these prompts through Amy Coffin’s blog and have decided to give them a try this year.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy

Week 1 – Blogs: Blogging is a great way for genealogists to share information with family members, potential cousins and each other. For which blog are you most thankful? Is it one of the earliest blogs you read, or a current one? What is special about the blog and why should others read it?

Right off the bat I can answer this question.  It would have to be Daniel Dillman’s post on his Indiana Dillmans blogiversary yesterday!  He inspired me to put myself out there and start publishing this blog!  I also credit his blog with guiding me to these 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy prompts!  So, kudos to Daniel!

I have read many genealogy blogs over the last several months.  I joined Google+ back when it was still in testing and love the idea of using circles.  I still have a Facebook account…but I use that for games and keeping up with siblings/cousins/nieces/nephews/friends etc.  Google+ is where I go to find out what is going on in the real world!  I have found many genealogists are on-board with Google+ and have put their postings to their blogs out there too.  I have enjoyed reading them with great interest!  I never realized how many genealogist are out there – blogging away!  You are all doing a great job! So keep them coming fellow bloggers!

Posted in General

Jumping in, hope the water is fine!

I have been messing around on this blog since September of last year.  I have kept it quiet as I haven’t really been sure what it is that I am supposed to do with this blog!  But this year, I have decided it is time to jump in with both feet!

This blog is named after a family newsletter I used to write each month.  It was a hodgepodge of different articles about what family members were doing in their lives…a predecessor to Facebook in a way.  I always tried to include information regarding one of our ancestors.  This not only supplied the information to my family, but also gave me the opportunity to pull together some of the research I had been doing.  I intend to keep adding more information here as we go along…

I have been working on my family genealogy for many years.  What I like most about genealogy is that it is a bunch of little pieces that when put together creates a full picture of who one is and where they came from…I so enjoy solving puzzles!

I am going to look around and see what kinds of prompts I can get to help me along the way…I’ve heard they really help getting a blog going.

My husband and I are both retired and have begun to do more traveling to various parts of the world.  I intend to include that information as well!

Thus, a variety of flavors!

So today’s the day….I am finally going to do this…wish me luck!

Posted in Family History, Pyatt, Stephens

Zella Stephens Pyatt

It was 3 years ago today that my mom died.  I think about and miss her each and every day.  She was quite an amazing person.  She bucked all the trends as we were growing up.  She initially started college with the intent on being a Doctor.  Then, as so often happens, she met my Dad.  After having five children, and when I was just starting the 1st grade, she started working.  What a shock went through the neighborhood!  A working mom – rarely heard of in those days.  She continued working and started classes at University of Colorado, Boulder.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology.  She worked at a local hospital.  She was even named Medical Technologist of the year! We moved around a lot when I was young…part of my Dad’s job.  My mom would get things organized, houses sold, new houses found and purchased, moving done, kids enrolled at school, etc.  She continued working and again went back to school, Sarah Lawrence College, and received her Master’s Degree in Human Genetics.  She became a Genetic Counselor for people with high-risk pregnancies.  She worked until she retired many years ago.  She spent her last few years enjoying life, her dogs, working out to stay in shape, and any time she could get with her family.  She was an inspiration.  We talked every day on the phone…mainly about trivial things.  I sure miss those calls. Find myself picking up the phone to call her all the time…missing her a lot – especially today.

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

I created this video and it was played at her funeral, January 10, 2009.