52 Weeks 52 Ancestors – week 8 – Heirloom

Catching up on postings once again.

Week 8’s prompt from Amy Johnson Crow  for 52 weeks 52 ancestors is Heirloom. Growing up there weren’t many items that many would describe as “heirloom’s” but there were several pieces of furniture that had been passed down to family members. One such piece is the “washstand”.

According to Naomi Parish Phillips, the “princess dresser” was purchased after a good rice crop  by her father James Monroe Parish for her mother Edrina Graham. Edrina passed away soon after receiving the gift.1


Parish Wahstand-wb

The “princess dresser”, which is now called a washstand, remained in the Parish family household and was used by family members. It was eventually inherited by another Parish family member, Nell Parish Smaihall. Nell placed the washstand in her daughter’s, Larnell, bedroom for.many years. As with most heirlooms the was cherished and children were warned to take great care when playing nearby as to not damage the chest.

Nell surprised everyone when on the eve of her granddaughter’s wedding  by announcing the washstand was being given to the bride, Melinda Dosch, as a wedding present. Melinda has lovingly and proudly displayed the washstand in every one of her homes.

1    Phillips, Naomi (Parish). “My Life Story”, 1972, Copy privately held by the Dosch Family Archives (Address for Private Use) Magnolia, Texas. 2015. 


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 7 – Valentine


Intelligence, humor, and loyalty are the major characteristics of my valentine, Doug Culpon. The stuffed dog is from the first valentine’s day we shared in 1981. When I received this gift Doug had “created” a sign with straws and taped it to the dog and it read simply “Happy Valentines Day” I love you.

Why would he give me a gray poodle? This is a joke between us – that I am a reincarnation of the dog he had growing up – Suzette

Favorite Name

Following the prompts of Amy Johnson Crow  for 52 weeks 52 ancestors- Week 6’s prompt is – Favorite Name

Name-Week 6

With a progeny of family names it is not difficult to choose a favorite. This name is unique and combines information from both mother and father thus tying this person to their family each day.


Larnell, [lawr-nel], is a combination of her parents names, Lawrence and Nell. Her mother originally spelled her name Laurnell however people kept prounouncing it incorrectly so the u was quickly deleted.

Having a unique name has it’s benefits and its’ disadvantages.When she was young her name caused confusion many times. However, if  pronouncing Larnell was bad trying to figure out how to pronounce her last name, Smaihall [smey-hawl], was worse.



Following the prompts of Amy Johnson Crow  for 52 weeks 52 ancestors- Week 5’s prompt is – CensusUpp-1910 census

In 1995 my father asked me to search for his biological families’ information since I was living in Ohio and that is where he was born. Find his biological father, Kenneth Upp, son of Josephine and “Squire” Upp.

I was fortunate to be able to accompany my husband on a business trip to Salt Lake City so I headed to the Family History Library. Finding a different copy of  this census record the information was the same but next to Kenneth’s name were the initials “ss”. Having NO training in family research I took this information up to the assistant at the FHL and asked, “What does ss mean?” to which he nicely replied “step-son”.

Sharing this information with my father at the time was fun but it also started a quest to find the biological father of Kenneth Upp. Information regarding “Mr. Haskins” was confirmed by cousins who provided primary information to support the census. This quest has been interesting to follow for the past 20 years. It is hopefuly that DNA and other information will help to discover the biological father of my biological paternal grandfather.

Invite to Diner

Butterfly Table

Following the prompts of Amy Johnson Crow  for 52 weeks 52 ancestors- Week 4’s prompt is – Invite to dinner

The one ancestor I would like to have dinner with would be my 2nd great grandmother Victoria Pevito.

Victoria was the first of 16 children born to Samuel Henry Pevito and Emily Margaret Bland in 1857. She married Samuel Parish in Orange, Texas on December 11, 1872, she was 14. Her first child, James Monroe Parish was born, June 8, 1874 in East Bernard, Texas.

According to family legend, Victoria was pregnant with her second child when husband became ill and died while working on a rice farm in Wharton County in 1875. She rode horseback over 160 miles to return to live with her parents in Orange. [Parish Family History by Naomi Parish Phillips]

Victoria’s second marriage saw her face the trial of her husband who committed embezelment and murder and his death four years later while he was imprissoned.

It seems she finally found some happiness with her third husband, with whom she spent the last ten years of her life and had 4 more children.

Her strength and determination to move forward with the obsticales life placed in front of her in the late 19th century is admirable.