So, it’s the first week of August, 2018. This blog has been neglected for far too long.
I am going to try to jump into the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, even though this is week 31. The idea of this is to write about an ancestor each week throughout the year. Amy Johnson Crow (http://amyjohnsoncrow.com) helps by providing a bit of a prompt each week about what to write about. That way, this isn’t just a dry listing of birth, marriage, death and random facts.
This is Week 31 and the prompt for the week is “Oldest”.
I’ve been hugely blessed to be the current keeper of many family artifacts. I think the oldest artifact that’s tied to my family history is this rolling pin. Legend has it that it was carved from a single piece of apple wood in 1760.
It comes down through my Council line into my Bailey line, and ultimately to me. I received it from my cousin, Michael Bailey. His father, Norman Bailey, was the brother of my grandmother, Susan Louise Bailey Dickson. Susan received it from her father, Charles Council Bailey. Charles received it from his mother, Sarah Louise Council Bailey.
There’s where things start to get a little sketchy. Sarah Louise Council was born 29 Jan 1837 in Alabama, according to family records dating from the mid- to late-1800s. I can find her in Madison County, Alabama in 1850 in the home of her parents, Uriah Allison Council and Louisa Anna Green.
In 1858, Sarah married John Oliver Brewer in Arkansas. How she got to Arkansas is something I have not yet really got a handle on. Her father died in 1851. So, between 1850 and 1858, she ended up in Arkansas, either with or without her mother.
Sarah and John had two children, a son and a daughter. The daughter, Mary Angeline Brewer, died as an infant. The son, Phillip Dodridge Brewer, went on to be instrumental in the creation of the Supreme Court of the new state of Oklahoma.
John enlisted with the Union Army in northwestern Arkansas, but died in hospital in Fayetteville within months. This left Sarah a young widow with a young son.
In 1867, Sarah married Hume Field Bailey, a widower with children of his own. Sarah and Hume had six children of their own, with Charles Council Bailey being the eldest.
But, what about the Councils? As far as I can tell, Uriah Allison Council’s parents were Isaac Council, born 1785 in North Carolina, and Susan Allison Moore, born 1786 in North Carolina. They were married in 1806 in Roane County, Tennessee. Eventually, they moved down the mountain ridge from East Tennessee to northern Alabama. I assume that the rolling pin made that same trip.
And the rolling pin? Well, this is a family of practical people. What would you usually do with a solid wood rolling pin that was two hundred years old? My grandmother made biscuits with it every day I was at her house, that’s what! I think that’s what Sarah Louise Council and all of those Councils before would have wanted. They don’t want to sit on the mantel and be admired. These ancestors want to be active parts of our lives. I’m hoping that this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project will help bring more of them into our daily lives.