September 21


I am sure you all have seen ‘Cousin Jerry’ commenting on my blog.   Cousin Jerry is actually my dad’s cousin.

Dad and Jerry’s mother’s, were sisters.

He is family.

His genes are my some of my genes.

Meet Jerry’s grandma.   My great-grandma.

Her name was Alta Bullard.

Alta married Walter Dean McCarty around 1922ish.

Meet Walter Dean McCarty.  My great-grandpa.   He is holding my son.  His great-great-grandson. (taken in 1990)

My dad and my son are named after him.

In May I had posted about playing on an old antique wood cook stove at my great-grandpa’s house. (Interestingly, I posted in May of 2007 almost about the same thing)  Jerry sent me a few emails telling me a bit more about my great-grandparents, and my dad’s side of the family that I am quite unfamiliar with.

I am so glad he did, because I love who I am and where I came from.

I thought I’d share it with you.

Aunt Etta (my great-grandpa’s sister) and Uncle John were my favorite source of stories to tell my kids. They never tired of hearing them. One thing I learned as a parent is that kids want to know how they fit in the world.
They want to know how they’re connected to the world and that they are an important part of it. Everyone should tell their kids about their ancestors.
Aunt Etta and Uncle John were originally from Portsmouth, Ohio.  She was a retired school teacher and he was retired from the highway dept.  They came to the Mechanicsburg area when Great-grandpa McCarty (my great-great grandpa) could no longer take care of his farm.
The farm was about a mile straight west of Treakles Creek cemetery on a gravel road named McAdams Rd. The house was an old two story farm house with no indoor plumbing. An old hand pump was the only source of water. The house was heated by an oil stove in the center of the house. The kitchen was heated with the old cast iron range.  Up until about 15 years ago, the only thing left of the house was the old hand pump sticking up out of the ground.
I don’t think your folks spent as much time with Aunt Etta and Uncle John as we did. One Saturday a month, our routine was getting up at 5:00 A.M. and going to Aunt Etta’s for a breakfast, and then on to Grandma’s (my great grandma’s~~first picture) house for the rest of the day.
Aunt Etta  had what I call a REAL old stove. When we would go out to visit, Aunt Etta would fix a platter of eggs (with a couple of goose eggs on top for good measure), a platter of fried potatoes, a platter of sausage and bacon and a platter of orange-drop cookies for breakfast. Aunt Etta cooked everything with LARD! But. OHHH was it good!  And it was all fixed on an old cast iron stove.  The stove must’ve had it’s own foundation, because I don’t know how their floor could support it. She had no running water except for a hand pump  on an enclosed porch. They had an out house and a chamber pot for the other necessities.

Too bad you didn’t get to know Aunt Etta and Uncle John(he had only one good eye). When my kids where little, they loved to hear stories about their Great-Great aunt and uncle. They were REALLY old-timey!

Aunt Etta was sort of a jolly person with a cackling kind of laugh (Martha has a similar cackle).
(This is Martha~my dad’s sister)
She never had kids of her own and really loved her nieces (Mom and Aunt Doris(My grandma)). She was not what I would call a very attractive person physically. She had two prominent moles on her forehead, and with her strong Scots-Irish features, I always thought she could play a witch-like character in a play.
Great-grandma McCarty (pictured here with my dad standing behind her) was a lovely person and lived with them on the farm. Mom(My Aunt Betty) and Aunt Doris (my Grandma) were her only Grand-children. Great-grandpa died before we kids were born.

Uncle John was a large man with a patch over his bad eye. He was wounded by mustard gas in WWI. He was a bald-headed man with no teeth and had an ornery sense of humor.
Nothing seemed to amuse him more than teasing us kids to tears. We would run and tell Aunt Etta and she would mildly rebuke him, but, that just amused him all the more. When my brother Dan was real little, my brother would say “More pie!” every time he wanted more food no matter what kind of food it was. Uncle John never forgot that and would say “More pie!” and laugh about it every time he saw us.

They raised geese, chickens, a few beef cows and goats (I think). They did their farming with an old Percheron horse named Joe-Joe. After much begging, Uncle John would occasionally let us ride on Joe-Joe’s back. They also had a big friendly English Spaniel dog that ran around the place. In about 1959, they had to sell the farm and move to town.
Shortly after they moved, Aunt Etta was diagnosed with cancer and died not long later. Great-grandma went to live with Grandma and Grandpa.(my great-grandparents)
We kind of lost touch with Uncle John after Aunt Etta died. There is no doubt that she was the heart and soul of the household.   As Uncle John got older, he became a little more grouchy and forgetful. He had a very over-weight cocker-spaniel for company( he fed her ice cream!). According to Grandpa,(my great grandpa) Uncle John got so upset at a villain on TV that he threw something right through the picture tube of his TV.
Eventually he had to be put into the veteran’s home in Dayton. He was well into his 90’s when he died- sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

Old Joe-Joe the horse spent the rest of his days in the pasture directly across from Treakles Creek cemetery where Aunt Etta and Uncle John are buried along with most of the rest of our family.

As I was saying earlier, after that big breakfast at Aunt Etta’s, we would go to Grandma’s(my great-grandparents) house for the rest of the day.  At the end of the day, we kids would put our pajamas on, go out to the barn and sit on the feed box in front of the cows being milked and watch as Grandpa finished
the milking. The smells were absolutely wonderful. Nobody can tell me we didn’t have a great childhood.
Ah well, those were the days.
Great memories.
Cousin Jerry
Thanks Jerry, for such lovely memories, and for letting me know more about my ancestors.

We need to get together some time soon.
Roots.   They go deep and spread wide, but the same roots feed the entire tree.

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Just an average wife, mother, and homeschooling woman

8 thoughts on “September 21”

  1. Thanks for sharing your family stories with all of us, Cousin Jerry and CC. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my relatives, due to living so far away and dad not being big on family get togethers. It gave me a taste of what it could have been like for me if we had lived closer to family. But then if I had would I be who I am today?

    Again thanks for sharing.

  2. Jerry, thanks for letting us know more. I, too, feel that it is important to know where you fit into the world. BTW, My family and I are coming up right after Christmas. It would be great to see you. I would love for you to see my kids -they are absolutely the best!(not a bit biased, here.)
    And thanks, CC for sharing the info.

  3. What wonderful family information for you. We all, in this modern age, tend to forget what hard lives our ancestors had – we can’t imagine no indoor plumbing or electricity. No washing machines, dishwashers etc. I have often regretted not asking my Mother more about family history, but I have made a collage of old family photographs going back to my great-grandmother and great-grandfather. I also did one for my sister, she was delighted with it.

  4. I am afraid to delve into my ancestors. There are probably some horse thieves or worse in there.Just kidding. My kids are interested in where they hail from too.That really was interesting about your family Tanya. Nice picture of you with our dad and grandpa, and Dean

  5. I like the part about Joe-Joe living out his days across from the cememtery where Uncle John and Aunt Etta were buried.

    P.S. I gave you an award, you can find it at my site. Honestly, if you chose not to display it, I don’t mind one bit. Just wanted you to know that I enjoy your blog.

  6. That was an awesome story! I enjoy stories from my family roots and I am so glad you shared them on you blog.

    Denise, Betty McCarty-Gossett’s granddaughter

  7. Hi Tanya
    So I have a cackle for a laugh! I remember the old farm house. It was good times. All except the geese that chased little children; I was terrified of them.
    Tanya this is a very interesting blog. You do have a gift of gab. Aunt Mary told me about Uncle John and Aunt Etta’s story on your blog.


    Aunt Marty

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