• 1846 Homestead Renovation

    A Colossal Error in Concrete Staining

    We decided that stained concrete was the way we wanted to go with flooring in the new addition.  Stained concrete is inexpensive and it is durable..  Unfortunately, ours has big problems and I am not sure how to fix it. It Started Off So Well… Jerry and I went to Dallas to a concrete staining store.  They had everything we would ever need to be successful.  We looked at all the products, colors, and tools.  We were ready to commit that day to purchasing what we needed.  I had a clear idea of what I wanted the floor to look like.  Neither of us wanted a solid color.  We liked…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    The Stairs in the New Addition

    When the framers started to work on the second story, it was obvious that we needed to install the stairs in order to make their lives easier.  It did look strange to be building stairs to seemingly nowhere, but the decision was made that it was time for them to be installed and install them we did. The Design What would the stairs look like?  I really wanted to get the old staircase out of my great grandparents’ house.  It was the first banister I ever slid down (with the permission of my great aunt Margaret Jo and in spite of the disapproving look from my grandmother).  That was an…

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    Using The Church Handrails

    The Handrails My grandfather, Warren Ferguson, was an all around great guy.  He was funny and loving.  He was a hard worker.  As a welder and tinkerer in just about everything, he was an invaluable member of his small farming community of Mertens, Texas.  Many of the farmers in the area will testify that Warren (Dadaw) could fix anything.  Dadaw would hitch his welder behind his pickup and go where he was needed.  I loved him bunches. My grandparents were also life-long members of the only church in Mertens, the First Baptist Church.  My grandmother wrote the historical marker that resides in front of the church.  My grandfather built the…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Indenture Between James Wood and Samuel Candlish and Margaret Candlish 27 May 1866

    Background First, this and the other documents surrounding the estate of Hugh Wood, brother of James Wood, reveal an absolute mess.  Let me try and shed what little light I can on the subject. In a letter written by Hugh Wood to James Wood on 1 April 1852, Hugh indicates the following: James will need money to settle himself and his family.  Hugh states that he will make funds available to James once James decides the best course of action.  Hugh also tells James that if he has proof that he purchased land through Sir Edward Belcher (Colony of Kent), he can be reimbursed for the land price.  All he…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    John Reid Letter to Isabella Wood 29 August 1874

    Background James Wood sold his land in Scotland for $485 an acre and bought land in Texas for 25 cents an acre.  Yes, he paid for the land associated with the Colony of Kent, and yes, he lost all of that money.  After paying for transportation costs to Texas, was he out of money?  I would like to think not, but in his letter to his brother, Hugh tells James that he will provide money to cover any needs James has.  Notice he doesn’t say “I’ll transfer your money to you.”  So my original theory that James left his cash with his brother is kinda shot.  Hugh also states in…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Dr. Hugh Wood’s Letter to His Brother, James Wood 1 April 1852

    Background In this letter, Dr. Hugh Wood writes to his brother about finding a new place to live.  Hugh promises money to pay for whatever James decides to do.  He also indicates that James and his family are to be his heirs.  Unfortunately, when Hugh died, he did not have a will or a will was not produced and James and his family were not the sole beneficiaries.  This caused tremendous financial hardship (according to a letter from John Reid to Isabella Riddell Wood). Hugh mentions the starvation in the Highlands, the transportation of many to Australia, the discovery of gold in Australia, and other bits of news. There are…

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    James Wood’s Citizenship Papers (U.S. and Scotland)

    Background James Wood arrived in Texas in 1851, but did not become a U.S. citizen until November of 1856 according to A.Y. Kirkpatrick in his book “The Early Settlers Life in Texas”.  Above is the link to the Kirkpatrick book (to the actual page) where this is documented.  I don’t have official paperwork, but will go to the courthouse in Hillsboro eventually to see what I can find. Meanwhile, I do have a copy of the document where Scotland acknowledges that James Wood is no long a citizen of Great Britain. That document is presented below. The Document  

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    James C. Frazier Letter to James Wood 26 April 1869

    Background In this letter, James C. Frazier asked James Wood if he wishes to sell some land in Erath County.  Kimball, in this instance, is the location from which the letter was written and does not refer to Richard Kimball, the land agent.  James Cason Frazier (1831 – 1917) was the brother of Monroe Frazier who married James and Isabella Wood’s daughter Jane Mason Wood. The Letter Kimball April 26th, 1869 James Wood, Esq. My dear friend, I was up in Erath County last week and I saw a man that wants to buy 160 acres of your land on the Paluxy – he wants half of the part of…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Park

    Archibald Park Letter to Isabella Wood (His Adoptive Mother) 22 January 1864

    Background Archibald Park was the oldest son of William and Frances Smith Park.  The Park family emigrated to Texas with the Wood family.  While in Leon County, Texas, Mr. and Mrs. Park died.  Their four children were orphaned.  In a letter back to Mrs. Park’s parents in Scotland, Isabella Wood states that she expected to keep the children, but that another couple wanted to raise two of the children, William and David.  The Woods informally adopted Archie and his sister Lillias and raised them. Archie joined the Confederate army.  He was taken prisoner and held at the infamous POW camp in Elmira, New York.  He was transferred to the General…