The Tough-As-Nails Regency Heroine Returns

Fortunately for me, I was able to start reading book two of the Olivia Featherstone Regency Adventures series right after I finished reading book one. “A Perilous Liaison” picks up right where “An Intriguing Deception” left off, and that was quite a cliffhanger.

In the second novel by Terry Ann Taylor, Olivia finds herself caught up in an international crisis. I will be honest; I knew nothing about the situation involving England, Greece, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire in those early days of the 19th century. Ms. Taylor explains as she goes, but I’m sure I did not grasp all the nuances, and really that’s fine. I quite enjoyed the action and romance without fully understanding the politics.

On this outing, we are treated to more of Olivia’s finesse with various weapons, her skill driving various conveyances, and her cleverness at getting out of deadly situations. Craven remains an enigma during his occasional appearances (he has good reason for being absent part of the time). Ms. Taylor has a way with words, as well, that make reading her novels extra enjoyable.

I highly advise reading book one in this series first, if you have not, because – as I said – book two does follow immediately after, and you’ll get all the proper introductions to the regular characters. Book two ends on a slight cliffhanger (in comparison to the last book’s shocking conclusion), and I am eagerly awaiting book three.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. That had no influence on my enjoyment and positive recommendation.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Negatives

I’m sure that tucked into photo envelopes here and there throughout my house and my mom’s, we have negatives that need to be scanned and preserved before they’re any more scratched and damaged than they probably already are.

That’s not the negative that I’m going to talk about today.

The current negatives in my life are mostly to do with my health.

I know I’m blessed to be recovering well from my thyroid cancer surgery and radioactive iodine treatment. I don’t know if the lack of energy I have sometimes is fallout from those things or the fact that, most weekdays I spend fully half the day getting ready for work, driving to work, working, and driving home (and the commute is under 15 minutes one way). At least I have the overtime to help pay the medical bills.

Something weird, though, happened the other day, and it really has me down. Here’s the sequence of events. on Sunday, April 24th, I worked noon to 10:45 p.m. I ate cereal for breakfast around 8:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 11:00 a.m., and a salad for dinner at work about 6:30 p.m. When I got home at nearly 11:00 p.m., I wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t think about having a snack or dessert. About midnight, as I was winding down, I suddenly found myself ravenously hungry, but I didn’t want to eat and lie down, so I didn’t eat.

This is not my head. It’s from Wikimedia. © Nevit Dilmen

I would guess it was about 2:15 a.m. when I awoke feeling like I was going to throw up. I hurried to the bathroom and stood in front of the sink, where I coughed a couple of times, but I didn’t vomit. Then I felt faint, so I sat down on the toilet and pulled the trash can over in front of me. I realized the garbage needed to go out, because it stank, so I pushed it away. I sat for a few minutes until I felt better, then I stepped over to the sink and washed my face. I remember catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thinking, “Wow, I look really pale.” Next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor.

The crash woke up my husband, who came in as I was coming to.

“What happened?” He asked as I lay on the floor.

I blinked up at him and said, “I guess I passed out.”

He helped me get up and I could already feel the aches and pains. I’m 56 years old, and the fall crunched my 5-foot length into a 3-foot space. My bones were not happy. Tim helped me into the bedroom, brought me water, fed me a few Jelly Babies and -at my insistence- a slice of bread. He kept asking if I wanted to go to the E.R., but I didn’t. I wanted to go back to sleep and feel better in the morning.

I hurt in the morning, and I already had an appointment for bloodwork for the thyroid thing. I said what I really wanted was to go to the chiropractor, but I kept thinking about this news item I’d seen years ago, about this lady’s parents suing her chiropractor because she went for an adjustment after an accident and what she didn’t know (according to the lawsuit) was that her neck was fractured, and the chiropractor adjusted her neck and she died. So, I didn’t want to die on the off chance I had injured myself worse than I thought, so I called my chiropractor to ask if they could arrange for an x-ray, which they did, so I had the x-ray, and I had the blood drawn, and we went to Culver’s and ordered food, and while I was waiting for Tim to come out with the brown bag so we could go to the park and eat, the chiropractor’s office called and said the radiologist said I had an unstable fracture in my neck and I should go to the E.R.

So, we drove to the nearest hospital, and I thought we’d eat before we walked in, but Tim dropped me off at the door with my food, and I got inside and the sign said, “Don’t eat or drink until you see the doctor” so that was that. I checked in and they put a brace around my neck and laid me out on a gurney.

They never would order a copy of the x-rays, though; they like to charge you for their own tests, so the doctor ordered a CT scan, and I got wheeled over for that (watching the ceiling tiles roll by like I was in a horror movie) and if my neck was broken, it would have been broken worse by the time I maneuvered myself from the gurney to the CT scan table and back.

They never put me in a room; I guess April 24th was a big day for E.R. visits, so I lay on my gurney in the hall and waited. Tim went to a doctor’s appointment that he had scheduled (he said he’d cancel and stay with me, but I told him to go). He ate his food (and part of mine, because it was just going to go bad), and returned in time for the doctor to say – basically – “Nothing’s broken. Go home and take some Tylenol.”

The thing is, I’d’ve felt a lot better if the doctor could have taken five minutes to get my x-rays and compare them to the CT scan so he could tell me why the x-ray looked like an “unstable fracture” and the CT scan was all clear. What was it the radiologist saw? I’ll never know, and of course, the chiropractor still won’t see me, because the x-ray showed my neck was fractured. (I did send over the CT scan, but like me, they have their doubts).

The E.R. doctor didn’t say not to go to work, so I did on Tuesday. I was allowed to work from home but after 10 hours and 15 minutes plus a 30 minute lunch break, I thought I was going to die. I got permission to work half days the rest of the week, and that helped. I was able to leave early on Monday (8 hours) and Tuesday (6.5 hours), and my schedule was different Wednesday through Friday anyway, so that I didn’t have to put in more than 8 hours. Sure, I probably could have called in sick all the time, I have plenty of vacation time if I used up my sick days, but for a number of reasons, I felt a responsibility to be there. (I’ve always been like that; for years I barely used any sick days at all, because I feel guilty when I call in.)

Just sitting here typing this up is putting an ache on me, so I’m going to wrap up.

I have been lucky with my health most of my life, so I think that makes the past six months that much more frustrating. I suppose if these are the worst health negatives I have, then it’s not really so bad. The doctors told me the kind of cancer I had was the “best” kind, so to speak, because it’s so easily treated. I could have broken my neck when I fell and ended up paralyzed or even dead. Hopefully, this is the worst I’ll have to deal with for a long time.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: How Do You Spell That?

This prompt (from Amy Johnson Crow’s #52Ancestors Challenge) immediately conjured up several thoughts.

Typing it, I remembered the old riddle: Railroad crossing, look out for the cars. Can you spell that without any Rs?*

I’m also reminded of people chuckling at me because saying my name and then immediately spelling it comes naturally when you grow up with a name like Auriette Hahn. Even my married surname has to be spelled, because Lindsey can also be Lindsay or Linzey.

My maternal grandmother’s maiden name is Stevens. The death record for James William “Billie” Stevens says his parents were Bill Stevens and Mollie Reed. The marriage record for her grandparents names them as William A. Stephens and Mary Reid.

As I was growing up, Mary Reid was always referred to as Grandma Muterspaugh, her married name from her third husband. That one took me a long time to learn how it was spelled, and I don’t think I ever really understood how she fit into the family until I began this hobby of genealogy.

Billie’s wife, Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” Pittman, was the daughter of Isaac Pittman, sometimes spelled Pitman.

My paternal grandmother was born Malzie Elizabeth Silcox, which in the records of her ancestors is sometimes spelled Sylcox or Silcocks or Silkcox or Silcock or Sillcock.

I have a Stephens or Stevens on my dad’s side as well. John Jordan (or Jurdan) Cooper married Arminta (or Armenta) Stephens in 1857. A doctor wrote about Arminta’s family in a medical journal, spelling the name sometimes with a V and sometimes with a PH in the same article.

And then there’s the Rainey clan. Or Raney. Or Rainy. Or Rayney. Or Raynie. I have them on my mother’s side, and my husband has them on his mother’s side. I tend to think this is why his mother and my mother are DNA cousins (19 cM), although I haven’t found the connection yet.

It occurs to me that looking up ancestors – whether you’re using a genealogy website or Google – is rather like the popular internet game of Wordle. It’s a logic game of remixing the letters until you find the records that can help you fill in the blanks in your family tree.

*For those who never heard that railroad crossing riddle before, the answer is T-H-A-T.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Check It Out

Faithful readers, I’ve told you before that my mother instilled in me a love of books and reading. It’s one of the best gifts a parent can give a child, I think. This week’s #52Ancestors prompt got me thinking about books and libraries – and that reminded me of a dark moment from my childhood.

We couldn’t always afford to buy books, certainly not new. That’s not to say that I never got new books, I did – I have a whole set of Ladybird classics for children that mom bought me weekly in Scotland, and I think most, if not all my Little Golden Books were new, because they were inexpensive. We also picked up books at yard sales and library sales as well. When I was in middle school we lived right down the street from a used bookstore where I got some of my first science fiction books, as well as my first historical romance novel – “The Pretty Horse-Breakers” by Barbara Cartland. I selected it because it had a horse on the cover and the word horse in the title, and I found that I really enjoyed them, partly for the horses, but also because of the descriptions of the fancy dresses they wore to balls.

As many books as we owned, though, we read many more on loan from the library. When we lived in Kirkland, while my dad was stationed in Seattle, I think we lived within walking distance of the library, and we went regularly. As I grew up, I read many Black Stallion novels and Marguerite Henry horse books and Robert Heinlein’s juveniles because I could get them from the library. I think I checked out “Brave New World” (now on some banned lists!) from the school library; that may have been in high school, but I’m not sure.

When we came back to Pensacola, when I was going into 10th grade, we got library cards and mom and I would come home with stacks of books to read. And here’s where things get disturbing.

My mother checked out a craft book on her library card. It was about wood appliques. I don’t remember much about it except that the author-artist had decorated her own coffin (planning ahead) with little wooden cutouts. My mom was fascinated by this book. When time was up, she checked it out again on my library card.

And she decided she wanted to keep it. On MY library card!

She didn’t steal it, per se. She told the library it was lost, and she paid for it. For decades I lived in fear that I’d be turned away next time I tried to renew my card. “You can’t be trusted with our books,” they’d say. Fortunately, they didn’t take my library card away, and the next time I applied for a new one, I guess they had left all those old records behind when they computerized, and they never questioned me.

I mean, if she’d only “lost” it on HER library card, that wouldn’t be so bad, I guess. I’m only writing about this now because she did pay for it, and even if she had stolen it, I think the statue of limitations would keep me from getting arrested.

Or, rather, keep her from getting arrested, because even though she’s turning 85 this week, I would roll over her in a heartbeat.

I turn my library books back in.

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Book Review: The Physician’s Dilemma

K. Lyn Smith became one of my favorite authors when I read the first book in this series, “The Astronomer’s Obsession.” Smith’s newest tale, “The Physician’s Dilemma” is similar in all the best ways. The heroine, Charlotte Grace, has worked for years alongside her father, a doctor. It’s a career for which she has passion and commitment. When her father retires, she quickly realizes she will have to give up her dream, because in Regency England, the idea of a woman doctor is unfathomable.

Enter Dr. Julian Grey, a physician who once studied with Charlotte’s father. He knows how talented and knowledgeable Charlotte is, but he also knows he’ll be a laughingstock if he suggests a woman can practice medicine. The two end up butting heads more often than not, but he and his friend Alexander Marchand (from the second novel in the series, “The Artist’s Redemption”) are willing to give Charlotte a rare opportunity to practice her craft.

The main thing I love about this book is how Charlotte Grace doesn’t care what others think – about her appearance, her choice to work, or her decision not to get married. She’s confident and comfortable with who she is. She has an abundance of care for others and a thirst for knowledge about how best to treat ailments.

I also appreciate the reasons why Charlotte and Dr. Grey don’t think they can ever be together – personally or professionally. I like how Smith develops the supporting cast by giving them quirks, personality traits, and little characteristics like the descriptions of their hair. She also delivers a few small callbacks to the previous books without being heavy-handed. If you haven’t read the previous books, you’ll be fine here, although I heartily recommend reading them in order.

I am grateful that I received a free review copy of this book, giving me the chance to read it before publication. I am leaving this review voluntarily and all opinions are genuine reflections of my enjoyment of the book and the series.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Sisters

When I read this prompt from Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, I thought of a few ancestors who had sisters, but my mind kept going back to a cousin I doubt that I ever met. I have a first cousin once removed on my dad’s side who is a nun.

Jenny McClarin is the daughter of Margaret Silcox McClarin, my paternal grandmother’s sister. She was born in Texas and lived up north while my family was moving around with the Navy. That’s why I say I probably never met her. We missed so many family gatherings when I was growing up and traveling with the Navy.

My mom talks to her mother, and that’s how I found out that Jenny is a nun. My mom didn’t find out many details, though; all she could tell me is that Jenny is in a convent or something like that up north somewhere. They grow and sell vegetables, my mom thought, and the sisters have very little contact with the outside world, just the occasional phone call home.

Now, yes, I could have called my Aunt Margaret and started grilling her, but I thought I’d try a Google search to see if I could find out more, and I was very pleased to find a whole page devoted to Jenny’s investiture.

We are close in age, Jenny and I, and reading over her biography, we would have had some things to talk about. She loved horses, as I did, although she actually got to have not one horse but two. She traveled the world because of her father’s job, as did I. She also loved music and took piano lessons. After college she worked as the editor of “Builder News Magazine” and reviewed mystery novels for “Booklist Magazine.” She worked in public relations for a time. I, too, am a journalist who has occasionally crossed over to work in public relations. I’ve reviewed books – including a few mystery novels – for several websites.

The article on Jenny’s investiture goes on to say that she converted to Catholicism in 2006 and entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis as a postulant in 2013. In December 2016, the Abbey celebrated her Monastic Investiture as Sister Christopher.

Detail of Window at Abbey of Regina Laudis

The Abbey is located in Bethlehem, Connecticut. According to their website, they have workshops for wood turning, candle making, soap making, pottery, and blacksmithing. They raise Belted Galloway cattle for beef and leather, and sheep for wool and sheepskins. They have dairy cows as well, and use the milk for making cheese, as featured in the Netflix series “Cooked.” They also, as my mother said, tend to vegetable gardens and fruit plots but from what I can tell that seems to be more a source for their own meals rather than something they sell.

They have a theatre, though it appears to be closed now because of the pandemic; the last production listed is “Godspell” performed in 2019, and in non-pandemic years, they display an 18th-century carved nativity scene featuring 68 figures.

It sounds like a peaceful life filled with hard work, prayer, and artistic creations. My Google search also turned up a blog post with a photo of my cousin feeding a wild bird out of her hand. I don’t know what drew my cousin – now Sister Christopher – to that life, but in this fast-paced, stressful modern world, I can certainly see its appeal.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Joined

In the early-1970s, my parents* bought a motor home. We’d had a trailer before we went to Scotland, and before that, we had a tent. My parents enjoyed seeing the sights and camping was an inexpensive way to travel.

Not too long after we got that camper, which I believe was about 28′ long, my parents, Bill and Zenova Hahn, joined the Good Sam Club. They were members of Low Country Sams in Charleston, South Carolina, and later they founded the Conquistadors in Pensacola, Florida. For years, we went camping with the local chapter once a month. I was quite often the only child there, but I had plenty of fun. We would usually take my cat Midnight and my dog Snoopy, once he joined the family. The campgrounds usually had a playground or swimming pool or other activities. Saturday night was the potluck dinner; I was a picky eater, but I always found plenty of good food to eat. Sunday morning with the Conquistadors we always had a simple church service and sang hymns.

Bill & Zenova in front of their camper.
Bill & Zenova Han in front of their camper. My mom sewed the flags. The one on the left was for the Conquistadors chapter and the one on the right was for the Low Country Sams. The stickers on the Plexiglas shows the places they’d traveled in the U.S. and Europe.

We often went to state or national Good Samborees, which were campouts on steroids. There were goody bags with advertising premiums. (I loved my Black Velvet plastic keyring, though it was probably entirely inappropriate for a little kid to have a liquor-based keyring). I remember one national event that was in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the campground had a fenced-off area full of prairie dogs. I loved that! I believe it was on that trip I got to tour Mammoth Cave, although I may be mixing it up with the caves in Marianna, when we were at a Florida state Samboree.

My dad reached the pinnacle of his involvement when he was elected the assistant state director for Florida.

From 1979 to 1982, my dad lived in the camper in Panama City; he was stationed at the then-Naval Coastal Systems Center, while my mom and I lived in the house in Pensacola that they built when they first got married. I don’t remember if that’s when the camping started to taper off. After my dad retired in 1982, he and my mom used the camper to travel around the country to craft shows, so they definitely didn’t do any camping during those years.

I know that eventually the members of the Conquistadors got too old to go camping every month and the chapter folded. Many of the Conquistadors were old friends. Some of them had been teachers with my grandparents years before they had motor homes, so they always stayed in touch.

We did other traveling in the motor home, visiting family and friends. One time my dad had some Navy business in Washington, D.C., so we all went along and we were going to spend a few days and do some sightseeing, but a snowstorm came along, so as soon as my dad’s business was done, we left.

Even though I was never an “official” member of the Good Sam Club, I have good memories of those times.

*I say “my parents” bought the motor home, but really it was my mom. I think the advertisement in the paper said $8888 for the price, and when she got to the dealership, they told her it was a misprint. She dug in, and the manager eventually relented and sold it to her for the listed price. We were talking about it recently and mom said that when they eventually upgraded to a bigger model, the were able to get pretty much the price they paid for it on the trade-in.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Flowers

The century plant, aka Agave Americana, blooms only rarely. My Mam-ma had one at her home in Midway, which is just east of Gulf Breeze, Florida. The plant grew by the front door of the cabin – the original cinder block house my grandparents, Hoyt and Willie Cook, built as a vacation home before they moved out to the beach permanently. Growing up, when I stepped out the front door of their brick clad home, the cabin was to my left. Sometimes when I would visit, I’d get the project of making flowers for the century plant.

To make blooms for a century plant, you need a Styrofoam egg carton or two. (Next time I get one, I’ll have to make some and take photos to illustrate this post.) Using scissors, separate the egg cups. Cut small triangles out of the sides of the cup, and you’ll see it starts to look like a flower.

The leaves of the century plant are long and sharp, sharp pointed. I don’t remember if we made little starter holes or slots in the flowers or if we just jabbed them on the ends. Either way, once they’re on, shove them down firmly. Spread the flowers around the leaves, and voila! Your century plant has flowers.

The color depends on the egg carton, of course. I think we’d usually work with three or four egg cartons. They came in pink, blue, yellow. The plant often ended up with multi-color blooms.

Century Plant (WikiMedia/Photo by Raul654)

Maybe someday I’ll come across a photo with that century plant and our homemade flowers on it. It’s one of those things that’s so everyday, I don’t think I ever thought to snap a picture. Here’s a photo of an unadorned century plant. Can you picture it with egg carton flowers?

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Worship

The Beginnings of Brentwood Methodist Church

My mother, Zenova Cook Hahn, has always been proud of her community church. Brentwood Methodist Church started with a group of people meeting in a house or in Brentwood School across the street.

Zenova recalled, “I was about 13 years old when we began having meetings about forming a Methodist Church in Brent. We held those meetings and church services in the auditorium at Brentwood School. Before this, we went to Richards Memorial Methodist Church in Brownsville. W.J. Hughes – the minister from St. Mark’s Methodist Church – was the one who started the meetings and preached for us in the beginning of the ‘new’ church.”

On May 13, 1951, the Pensacola News Journal published an article on the dedication of St. Mark Methodist Church. The same article said, “The St. Mark church is successfully sponsoring the building of the new Brentwood Methodist church which was organized four months ago and now has a membership of 71 members.”

Zenova said, “My grandmother, Molly Pittman Stevens loaned the money interest-free to buy some land right across Palafox Street from Brentwood School. There was a house on the property and the interior walls were removed. We had services there while we planned our building.”

Zenova Cook posing for a photo outside the church meeting place before the church was built on Palafox Street.

The May 13, 1951, article said, “Bishop Purcell will place the cornerstone for Brentwood church, located near the highway in Brentwood park, at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.”

The newspaper contains many mentions of Brentwood Methodist Church, although they are mostly brief announcements of meetings.

A few special events stand out, such as a fall festival, fish or spaghetti dinners, and a Halloween party for children who collected for UNICEF.

Thanks to the paper, we know the church celebrated Homecoming on September 4, 1955, with special music and singing, and a talk by Rev. W. J. Hughes in the afternoon.

My mother would be the first to tell you that hers was the first wedding in the church, on August 14, 1956. It was also supposed to be the first marriage, but just a few days earlier, another couple randomly walked in and asked the minister to marry them.

Zenova told me, “In addition to my parents, Hoyt and Willie Cook, and my brothers Aldis and Howitt, the families I remember being involved from the beginning are: Marcus and Sara Page, and their children Sue and Ray; W.C. and Ester Johnson; Mrs. Davis; Mr. & Mrs. Bush, son Billy and daughter Caroline; Roy and Elsie Padgett, children Rodney, Peggy, and Debbie; Eschol and Edna Burroughs, son Joe; Carnley and Ella Mae King, son Alan; the Thomases; the Wells family with children Peggy and Paul; The Terry family, son Ike; Mike & Edna Barnard; Mr. & Mrs. Frank Cobb; and Sue Wright.”

During my newspaper searches, I found a funeral notice for another church member, Sarah M. Jernigan, wife of Capt. Thomas Jernigan. We are missing many other names. Perhaps mom and I can go through the 1950 Census, looking at names in Brentwood Park, to pick out some of the others. If you know of any other members, or perhaps attended the church yourself, please leave a comment.  I would like to improve on this article and submit to the West Florida Genealogical Society magazine for 2023.

As I was growing up, we weren’t in Pensacola very often, but I’m sure I attended Sunday School or Vacation Bible School at Brentwood Methodist Church at some point. It all came to an end in the mid-‘70s. The United Methodist Church decided to close Brentwood Methodist and sell the property. It was purchased by Brentwood Assembly of God. I attended church there once with a neighbor’s child, and as we walked upstairs she said something that really rubbed me the wrong way, because this had been my mother’s church. She commented that they had installed carpet, so it didn’t sound like a herd of elephants. I didn’t say anything, but I thought to myself, “You wouldn’t sound like a herd of elephants if you walked property like a person.” Funny how things can stick with you for decades! Eventually they made over the outside of the church as well, so it looked nothing like the pretty church it used to be.

My mother said she had stopped in once or twice for something, to vote or for a charity sale, and she always saw in the foyer a table that her grandmother Mollie Stevens had donated to Brentwood Methodist. Very recently, I noticed a new sign out front for a different, independent church, and I wonder if that table is still there or if Brentwood Assembly would have taken it to their new location, or if they would even have sold it. I hope it’s still in a church, because that’s what my great-grandmother would have wanted, I think.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Females

Lucinda Ryals Cook

Lucinda Ryals Cook is one of my most distant female relatives for whom I actually have a decent picture. I must give credit to Paula Quintana, who shared this photo on her Ancestry tree, and God bless her and everyone who shares photos and documents on public family trees.

The earliest record I’ve found for my 2nd great-grandmother is the 1860 Census. She is listed as Lucinda Royal, age five, in the household with her parents John and Lotty Royal. The family is living in the Redbone District of Marion County, Georgia.

In 1870, she is 14. Lucinda is still living with her parents, given as John B. and Lota Ryals, but they’ve moved to Pine Knot, in Chattahoochee County, Georgia.

By 1880, Loucinda is married to John Cook. They are living in Pine Knot with three small children – Kyle, age 5; Mary, age 2; and James R., less than a year old.

Of course, we don’t have the 1890 Census.

In November 1898, we have a brief mention of her in the Geneva, Georgia, Enquirer-Sun. She had been involved in a shootout: “Dr. R. L. Boynton, of this place, was called last night to attend Mr. John Cook, who had been shot in a drunken row at Mr. Charles Palmer’s, eight miles south of here, in Marion county. He found Cook dead, shot through the lung. Cook’s eighteen year old son was shot three times, but not dangerously wounded. Cook’s wife was shot at several times, but not hit.” (Transcription courtesy my cousin Pat Lowe.)

In 1900, Lucinda Cook is living in Pine Knot, but now it’s in Marion County. We learn she has given birth to 12 children, with 10 still living. Seven are in the household with her – Lizzie B., age 18; Silas W., age 16; Lou Della, age 13; Arthur, age 11; Annie M., age 9; Maggie, age 8; and Emmett, age 3.

She was not alone for long. In 1903, Lucinda Cook married Charlie Hale, a man 25 years her junior. Their marriage is recorded in Chattahoochee County, Georgia.

The 1910 Census finds the couple living in Escambia County, Florida. They are living with Lucinda’s youngest children Maggie and Emmett. Lucinda’s son William is living just a couple of houses away. Another of Lucinda’s sons, my great-grandfather Arthur Cook, is also living in Escambia County but in a different enumeration district.

In June 1913, Lucinda’s youngest child Emmett died, just a few weeks after his 16th birthday. Family members have said he drowned in a mill pond. Perhaps that tragedy made it difficult to remain in Escambia County, for in 1917, when Charlie registered for the draft, he and Lucinda were back in Pine Knot. They remained there through the 1920 and 1930 censuses. Lucinda died in 1936 at age 82.

I wonder what drew Lucinda to John Cook. Both her husband and her oldest son were killed in shootouts, and I can only imagine what kind of men they were and what kind of woman she was. Then for Lucinda to marry a man so much younger than she – and he may have been her cousin, though I’m not positive about that. The little I know only makes her that much more fascinating to me. I wish I could know more about her life.

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