Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Fun: 52 Ancestors Week Three

This week is "Longevity." You might write something about the oldest person in your family tree...

This one is easy! My Great-Aunt Helen Ragsdale, of Greenville, South Carolina, lived to be 105 years old. I met her not long after I was born, and we were fast friends for 40 years...aunt/niece, traveling companions, lunch buddies. You name it. We covered it.

It was 1991 and I was expecting. I hoped that my first child would be a girl, so I could name her after Aunt Helen, and my grandmother, Elizabeth. And sure enough, I got my wish...and I almost got her into the world on August 1st, Aunt Helen's very own birthday. But my "Helen Elizabeth" was just as stubborn as her namesakes, and she arrived a little after 4am on August 2nd.

Aunt Helen was born in Fairfield County, South Carolina and received her early schooling there. She was graduated from Greenville Woman's College (part of what is Furman University today) in the young age of 17 (going on 18), and she was a school teacher and principal for almost fifty years after that. Her children, although she never married and had any of her own, visited her until the day she died. She was a beloved, influential woman of great strength...right up to the end.

And although loved by many, she was a stickler for good behavior and proper manners. Always. No exceptions. In this family video we are celebrating Elizabeth's 4th birthday and Helen's 102nd...but an etiquette adjustment was called for and delivered as the cake was "enjoyed."

I miss her every day.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Fun: 52 Ancestors Week Two

This week's prompt is to write about a favorite picture... So, here's mine!

Choosing a single picture to write about for this prompt is challenging. No, it's more than challenging. It's pretty much impossible. So, my choice will be the most intriguing picture of my favorites...a picture of my great-great-grandfather, Elisha Robert Ragsdale, of Fairfield County, South Carolina.

Elisha is actually buried here in Richmond, Virginia, at Hollywood Cemetery...where I, too, will be laid to rest one day. That's as close as we will be on this earth, but I very much hope he is someone I will have the pleasure of meeting in heaven. Elisha died in Richmond during the Civil War, a man of means from one of the most beautiful parts of South Carolina. Back in the day, plantations made the man...and although I do not know much about this man in his own voice (I have no letters or written records of his), I do know him through the words of others who knew him and who wrote about him. For instance, I know that he, as a young man/teen, was left to live with the Methodist minister when his father remarried and moved to Alabama. Back then he was known simply as Robert Ragsdale. The minister added the "Elisha." I also know that Elisha was married and had a baby...and his wife and child died. He remarried and had another child, who died not long after birth... followed by that wife, too. His third marriage, to my great-great-grandmother, Nancy Angeline Stanton, was a great success. They had three sons, two of whom were lawyers and served as a state senator and representative, and one (my great-grandfather) who was a successful planter and businessman. When the boys were little, Elisha joined other men from his county and went off to fight. His death was not due to battle, but to illness...and I think of it as a supreme sadness. To have persevered through such difficult circumstances to reach an amazing level of success and happiness, only to have it be taken away. He would have been so proud of his sons, and all they accomplished...and I am so grateful to have his picture, so I can "see" him in my mind's eye. You are not forgotten, Elisha Robert Ragsdale. I will make sure your story is told and told often. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Fun: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

One of the things I think will be fun as we go forward into a New Year, is to look back on our precious family memories...and find the "classic" moments that mean a lot to us and mark them in one way or another. I have decided to accept genealogist Amy Johnson Crew's national challenge to blog about an ancestor a week. In November 2016, when I participated in the 30 day writing challenge, I wrote about family and genealogy and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think this will be fun as well...

Week One's prompt is "Start."

Let's talk about Week 1 "Start." Some ideas include starting with yourself or whoever the "home person" is on one of your family trees. Maybe you focus on the person who got you started in genealogy or the ancestor you wanted to find first. You could talk about a relative who started a business. 

There are so many possibilities for this prompt...and so many people I want to write about. The one I will start with, however, is the one who is giving me the most trouble. His name is Richard Steele, and he is my great-great-grandfather. He was born circa 1805 in North Carolina (probably Rowan County). He was apparently married twice, and I descend from his second marriage...the great-granddaughter of the only child from his marriage to Parmelia Lightell, Benjamin Thomas Steele. The paper trail I have for Richard shows him in Rowan and Iredell counties, which is not surprising, since the part of Iredell he lived in was once part of Rowan. There are several of "my" Steeles in Statesville (Iredell County), North Carolina....but they are not (as far as I know) part of the other Steele family from that area...the Ninian Steele family, which is well documented. Since Steele is my maiden name, I am really hoping to break through this wall...and I have picked up a few more clues recently, so I have high hopes for the future! I will keep you updated as I move forward in 2018!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tuesday Topics

Ready, set, blog!! Should have written something earlier today, but I didn't. So...better late than never...nothing like posting at 11:45pm!!

Just wanted to stop by quickly and tell you that The Classic Preppy is not only going to be focusing on "old school" manners, fashion, decorating, etc...but that we're going to branch out a bit and focus on "keeping classic in the changing culture." That's a big topic...but I am sure we will find some fun ways to do it!

More soon... Cheers, Liz

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year : I'm Back!

I am back...and will be blogging in 2018. Lots of new things to write about as well as some "classics" we are going to bring back. Stay tuned for more!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A New Beginning

Dearest Readers,

My sincerest apologies for being gone for so long. On April 22nd, not long after my last post, my dear husband was hospitalized...and remained in the hospital for over three weeks. He passed away on May 16th, and my life since then has been one of focusing on our girls and laying the ground work for recovery.

I have taken a break from blogging and most social media, because I have desperately needed to be "away"...but I feel my strength being renewed each and every day, and the Lord has greatly blessed us with a peace that passes our understanding.

In the meantime...thank you for continuing to visit The Classic Preppy. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it! Please take a look back through the blog to entertain yourselves while I am away. I will be back, and Younger Daughter will be joining in on a more regular basis, to give you a Classic Millennial we see how the younger generation puts their special spin on things!