• Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Land Transaction Between James Wood and Richard Kimball 25 March 1858

    Background Evidently, James Wood purchased land in Erath County from Richard Kimball (the land agent).  I have letters between Monroe Frazier and James Wood about selling land in Erath County, but I don’t know if this is the same property or not.  Other letters indicate that Monroe and Jane Wood Frazier lived in Erath County for a while before the outbreak of the Civil War. The Record Filed March 25, 1858 Richard B. Kimball Deed To: James Wood Filed in my office for record March 25 at 10 o’clock a.m. 1858 W.W. McNeil Clerk, C.C.E.C. Filed for record June the 1st A.D. 1870 at 10 o’clock a.m. and was duly…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Hugh Wood Letter to His Sister, Isabella 19 May 1858

    Background Again, this letter is written by Hugh Wood to his sister, Isabella.  It appears that Isabella’s friend, Ell, is Hugh Wood’s sweetheart.  It is a heartbreakingly sweet letter.  I don’t know who Ell is…yet.  Still searching for her in letters and census reports. The Letter Camp Scott May 19th 1858   Dear Sister, I pen these few lines as a token that you are still remember by your brother.  I hope it is the same with you.  May the distance that separates us never alienate our affections for each other.  I wrote to Ell last __________________ with deepest regret that I think of that time and distance that separates…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Hugh Wood Letter to His Mother, Isabella Dated 15 May 1858 Camp Scott, Utah Territory

    Background It is sad to me that we were told that Hugh Wood left home and was never heard from again.  This is untrue and paints an unflattering portrait of the young man.  What I have found, is that he loved his family.  He had hopes and dreams for his future.  Hugh had a sweetheart back home in Texas who he hoped to marry.  While his end was tragic, Hugh’s letters show how much he cared for and longed to be with his family and how strong his faith in God was.  He was a beautiful soul. This letter tells of his initial time in the Utah Territory.  Upon writing…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Hugh Wood’s Letter to His Mother, Isabella Dated 13 May 1857

    Background Not long after arriving in Texas, James and Isabella’s eldest son, Hugh, left home in search of either adventure or work or possibly both.  In this letter, he is in New Orleans waiting to go to Nicaragua as a mercenary.  He never went to Nicaragua as the action there ended before he could leave New Orleans.  When I transcribe a letter, I leave dashes if I can’t make out a word, and I try to leave the original spelling…but sometimes spell check corrects it anyway. The Letter New Orleans May 13, 1857 My Dear Mother, I write once more to you from this place and it is uncertain when…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    The Colony of Kent

    Background The following is a newspaper article about the Colony or City of Kent.  I believe that this article pertains to the Wood family for the following reasons: 1,  The organizer of the colony was Sir Edward Belcher.  In a letter from Hugh Wood to his brother, James, Hugh states that he has heard that money previously invested in land in Texas can be returned if James petitions Sir Edward Belcher after he returns from South America.   Our family history states that James and Isabella arrived in Texas to find that they didn’t own the land they had paid for and that they had been swindled.  Well….not exactly.  I believe…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Isabella Wood 1851 Letter to Mr. and Mrs. Smith in Scotland

    Background I search the Internet all the time for information about my ancestors.  For months, there will be nothing new and I will believe that I have all that there is to find.  And then something new will show up.  Jerry did a Google search for “James and Isabella Wood” and that search found a newly created website called “Heart of Texas Tales“.  This website is a project done by the Ft. Graham Chapter, Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (of which I am a member!).  The ladies who built this website received an email after its launch from a man in Scotland who asked if they would…

  • Family Genealogy Research

    Jana’s Top Genealogy Sites For Researching Ancestors

    Now that we are back home, I can go to the courthouse and local cemeteries to do some genealogy research.  But no matter where we live, primarily, I use genealogy sites to research my ancestors. There are so many sites out there to help with genealogy research.  Some store your information so that you have pretty little charts to show your friends.  Others are hard core “you have to know what you are looking for to find anything” sort of sites.  Here is a break down of the ones I use, the ones I fight with, and the ones that have made all the difference in the world. The Cemetery…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Single Board Walls Can’t Last Forever

    Wonkie Mystery House When we bought the house, there was so much trash inside of it.  You couldn’t really tell much about the structure of the house.  We didn’t know if it was leaning, sinking, collapsing and so on until we removed the trash and sheet rock and could actually see the house.  What we found was a wavy floor, with high spots and low spots.  We could see ceilings that drooped in the center and doors that would no longer close.  My motto was “only do what we must…keep it original!”.  Jerry and I first addressed the foundation issues so that we could level and raise the house. The…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Built To Last: Original Sill Logs and Floor Joists

      Old Construction Techniques The house was build in 1846 and certainly has outlasted any expectations for modern construction.  The house was soundly built, but time had illustrated that there were some significant issues with the structure.  For example, the front of the house was moving away from the main part of the structure.  You can read about that little fiasco on my blog post entitled Structural Issues in Our Dog Trot House.  In this post, I’ll tell you a bit about the floor joists and sill logs and how we kept the house as original as possible. The Floor Joists The original floor joists and sill logs fit neatly…