After seeing some old pictures of the Knox family a while back, I have wondered about one picture in particular. I’m never sure exactly why one picture stands out in my mind above all the others I have, but it does happen. This one is a picture of six Knox brothers, John, William, RM, Dr Nicholas, James, and SYT Knox. These men looked so strong and stern. I know that my husband, Bob’s Knox ancestors were both politicians and ministers, but that didn’t mean this picture had anything to do with either of those things. Then I came across a book about Hattie Goodman’s family history search, and found that these brothers were a missing link.
It seems that Bob’s 6th great grandparents John and Jean Gracy Knox, had seven children. They were Allison, John, Thomas, Delia, Mary, Squire, Joseph, and Benjamin. The only descendants that had been found belonged to John and Benjamin. I find it amazing that these family members didn’t know other family members within the family. I suppose that it is because of the fact that communications were no as easy in those days. Families lost touch, and the younger generations got to the point that they did not even know of the existence of great aunts and uncles that they had…especially if their parents and grandparents didn’t talk about them much.
That is probably one of the reasons people finally start looking for their ancestors. Pure curiosity. We know that family members are missing, and we want to know more about them. I think that is the reason most of us look for our ancestors. These brothers were at the Nashville Exposition in the summer of 1897, when they saw a copy of the Knox Tree, and realized that they belonged on it, since they were descendants of John and Jean Gracey Knox’s son, Joseph. They sent in not only their own names, but a number of others who also belonged on it, and ordered copies of the tree. It was at this point that the tree took on new life.
Whenever a new branch can be added to a family tree, it takes on new life. I have seen many parts of my own family history take on new life when, after months, or even years, of searching, someone connects something in their tree to something in someone else’s tree, and suddenly a link is formed. Of course, it is much easier to find those links these days, because of computers and the internet. I seriously doubt that I would be where I am in my family history were it not for those two tools. If people had to travel to all the different locations, or send out requests to all the different locations to get information, it would take forever to get anything accomplished. I’m glad the Knox brothers were at the Nashville Exhibition in 1897, because is made the process that much easier for everyone researching that line from that day forward, but it would have been a lot easier had computers been around. I suppose that I feel that way because of my own curiosity about my own missing links. I am quite impatient when it comes to that research. I want the information to be available, and when it is not, I am annoyed. Patience is a virtue, but I don’t want to have patience when I want information…do you?
For some time now, I have been quite curious about my husband, Bob’s maternal great grandmother, Eva Landis Noyes. I have been searching for her on Ancestry.com, and have found a little bit of information, but it has been minimal, and there were no pictures out there. That made me sad, because I have wanted to have as many pictures of our family’s ancestors as possible. Those people who have eluded me have been left to have just a picture of their grave, if that is even available, which sometimes isn’t the case either. I have come to learn…throughout my life, really…that perseverance usually brings success at some point…and sometimes when you least expect it.
I have been trying to scan all the pictures from my mother-in-law, Joann Knox Schulenberg’s childhood scrapbook, and because of it, I have found out a lot of information about my mother-in-law, and her personality when she was a girl. Her scrapbook has been a treasure box of little gems of information both in picture and words. She not only put the pictures in, but she told who and what they were…something so many people don’t do, and when they don’t, their descendants are left to guess about the people and events that are held within the covers of the scrapbook. It is a sad turn of events indeed, because we all want to know who those people are, and what was going on in the picture.
Today, as I was looking at the pictures there, I stumbled on two pictures that I apparently hadn’t really looked at before. I find that to be the case a lot. We look at the pictures, but assume that we won’t know those people, so we don’t necessarily read what is written there very carefully. Today, however, I noticed that was written there, and the light bulb came on. All this time I had been wondering what Eva Landis Noyes looked like, and she has been in that book, which I have had for almost a year now, and I just simply didn’t know it.
Today that all changed. As I read what was written there, the realization came to me that this woman was indeed none other than Eva Landis Noyes. One picture was of Eva, and her daughter, Bob’s grandmother, Nettie Landis Noyes Knox, and is captioned, “Mother and Daughter”. The other one is of Eva and her husband, Grandpa Orin Eugene Noyes, who went by Eugene; and Grandma and Grandpa Knox, Nettie and Bob. That picture is simply captioned “Anniversary”. Yes, they are just pictures, and it isn’t like I have had the chance to meet these great grandparents, but to me, these simple pictures are truly pure gold. Being able to see the faces of the people who, through their lineage brought my husband to me, is amazing. While this find has only served to spark the fire of my curiosity, rather than to put the fire out, I still feel like it is an amazing find, and about that, I am very excited.
Kids have always had a fascination with animals. Any animal will do, but pets don’t seem to fall into the same category as other animals. I suppose that the reason for that is that after a little bit of time with a pet, they become normal everyday parts of the family. It doesn’t mean the child doesn’t love the pet, because they do, but the pet is an animal they see everyday, often in the house, so it’s nothing special. Farm animals, on the other hand are something different. Here is an animal that isn’t a domesticated pet, and yet it isn’t afraid of people either. They understand that they need people to bring them their food and water, and they also understand that people aren’t usually scary. Yes, the animal could hurt a child, especially if it stepped on the child, but for the most part the animal is as curious about the child as the child is about the animal.
As small children, my dad and his siblings lived on a farm, so being around farm animals was a part of life. Still, that did not stop the curiosity about those animals from forming in their minds. When they went out to play, a part of their time outside always seemed to be spent visiting the other residents of their home. They would trek out to the haystacks where the cows would be feeding, and watch those strong, yet gentle animals eat, while the cows watched these tiny versions of the people who cared for them watching them. Funny how we all teach our kids not to stare, but when put in a situation like this, all that rudeness doesn’t seem to matter. Both sides are staring anyway, and since it isn’t a person…it just doesn’t matter. I suppose in many ways the whole situation was a lot like the petting zoos that most city children have been to as their only real interaction with farm animals.
When my girls were little, we too had a little place out in the country, and we raised a cow now and them. The girls were quite curious and really wanted to help with our cow. I had to be careful what they helped with, because when it came to grain…our cows always became pigs, and a tiny little girl could get trampled in the cows effort to get to what the cows considered candy. Most of the time the cows were a gentle as they could be, but the grain had to be given in a certain way, and very quickly, because they couldn’t wait to get to it. One cow we had named Rosie, due to her red color, was so excited that she was trying to follow me and still scratch her belly too. The end result was one good, but unintended kick to the back of my knee. It left a knot that stayed with me for the better part of 6 months. It was a good thing for Rosie that I liked her, and it wasn’t butchering time, or she would have been on our table in a matter of days.
Hay was always a very different matter. Little kids could be around cows eating hay, and there was not a dangerous rush to the food. I suppose that was the vegetables of the whole deal, and we all know how kids, which is what cows are a lot like when it comes to food, are with vegetables. The girls loved to help put the hay in the feeding troths for the cows, and then sit and watch them eat. I suppose it was an interesting sight. If you have never watched a cow eat, you might not know it, but they really are strange when they eat. I suppose that is why Aunt Ruth, Uncle Bill, and my dad were just standing there, out by the haystack when they could have been playing in the snow, just watching the cows eat.