Georgia Family History Expo – Nov 9 & 10

Just a little over a week away until the Family History Expo at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia (just out of Atlanta).   Some of the topics sure to interest all genealogist include:  An Introduction to the National Archives; Preservation Techniques for Documents, Newspaper, and Photos; Organization is Everything; Where Do I Start?; Using Mobile Devices for Genealogy; Recording, Preserving and Sharing Your Family’s Oral History; Discovering African American Lives; The DAR Library for All; Near or Far, Member or Not; Transform Your Note-Taking and Remember Everything with Evernote; and lots more!!

Make plans to attend — click HERE  for the entire line-up and information for registering.


Happy Birthday Mom!

October 29, 1932 marked the birth of my beautiful mother, Dalsie M. Mills.  She was born at home in Maury County, Tennessee.  She was the only child of Floyd Mayhue and Anne Elizabeth (Cole) Mills.

She was a gorgeous little girl with blonde spiral curls and long eyelashes.  She lived a simple life with her parents and extended family.  She especially spoke fondly of her great-grandpa, “Pa John” (John Francis Gilliam).  She had grand memories of spending time with her grandparents (Edward Dunnagan & Cordelia (Tucker) Cole and Milton Everett & Lunie Mae (Gilliam) Mills), aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, particularly in the summertime.

On July 19, 1947, at a very young age, Dalsie married William Marcus Byrd.  They had two (2) daughters.  They later divorced.

On December 8, 1956, Dalsie married Charles William Norman in Corineth, Mississippi; although they both resided in Maury County, Tennessee.  This was the man that she declared, “I loved him – to the depth of my very soul.”   In 1958 they moved to Gibsonton, Florida.  They had two (2) daughters.   Charles’ life ended abruptly with a vehicular accident on November 21, 1979.  Dalsie described her life after the loss of Charles like this — “Tragedy is one of the trials of life that must make us stronger or we perish.  I have always tried to be a survivor, and with family who rallied ’round … I kept the faith.”

Charles and Dalsie — & then just Dalsie — always lived life as a celebration.  Every holiday or sometimes just on a weekend — friends and family members gathered to share food, laughter and love.  Friends without family or “a place” to be for the holidays were always invited to their home.  They were strongly committed to family — they could not have loved their children any deeper.

Dalsie was an intelligent woman, with a heart of gold that never met a stranger.  She was very strong in her values, convictions and personal character.  She loved unconditionally and always sacrificed herself for the sake of others and their well-being.  Her faith and love of God/Jesus Christ was always enough for her — material possessions were essentially non-important.  She was a loving, giving woman that lived life to lend help to those in need and always had a smile to share.  Her family was her world.

Dalsie passed away on August 11, 2009 at age 76 in Brooksville, Florida, following  a battle of several years of illness.  She was surrounded by family.  In her final moments her family joined hands in a circle around/with her and thanked God for this wonderful woman and asked that He wrap His arms around her.

Funeral Services were held at Hodges Family Funeral Home in Dade City, Florida on August 15, 2009.  Her body was laid to rest next to the man she loved, Charles, in Floral Memory Gardens Cemetery, Dade City, Pasco County, Florida.

The words of Dalsie M. Mills Norman, written on the 25th day of August in 1994:  “Four grandparents, a father, a husband, a daughter and three in-laws now gone. All I really cared for.  None of them have I truly grieved for, but I am sure that too will come.  I’ve steeled myself against death, believing it is in God’s hands, and knowing I must be strong for the sake of others who need to grieve.  My time comes someday.  Remember the fun times.  Turn your back on the bad or sorrowful times.  Look ahead! Life is for the living.  We can’t go back and right any wrongs.  We can only go forward and make each day count to the fullest.”

“Lord, help me each day to do the very best I can at whatever I have to do.  Help me to touch a hurting heart and make it sing.  Help me to say a kind word that will cause someone to be happy — to be alive.  Help me to find my eternal place here so it can be with you when it comes time to leave my family and the love they’ve shared with me.  Amen”

Happy birthday Mom — each day I strive to be more like you — seeking your inter-strength, your faith and your ability to love unconditionally.

William Henry Gibson

William Henry Gibson is my great-grandfather.  He was born on April 3, 1867 in Tennessee.  He is the son of George Washington Gibson and Mary Cecelia Scott.

On December 18, 1889, W.H. Gibson married Susie Barnett, daughter of Pinkney Barnett and Mary Dial,  They were married in Maury County, Tennessee.  Susie was born December 18, 1870.  They had five (5) children: Emmett M. Gibson (September 1, 1891- May 31, 1937), William Louis Gibson (November 11, 1893 – April 21, 1968), Desdie Okelene Gibson (October 23, 1895 – June 8, 1974), Mary Caroline Gibson (March 22, 1898 – October 1, 1968) and Zena L. Gibson (May 22, 1900 – January 20, 1956).

Susie Barnett Gibson died January 1, 1902.

W.H. Gibson was a prominent farmer in Giles County, Tennessee for most of his life. W. H. Gibon dies Saturday in Giles.

“Funeral Services for prominent farmer that section held Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM. W.H. Gibson, age 63, prominent farmer of Giles County died Saturday evening, at 6:45 at his home in Gibsonville after a nine week illness. He was the son of the late G.W. and Margaret Scott Gibson and was actively engaged in farming up until the time he was taken ill. He was a member of the Methodist Church and was highly respected by all who knew him. Surviving him are his wife, Mrs. Martha Hickman Gibson; three sons Emmett and George Gibson of Giles and Louis Gibson of Columbia; and three daughters, Mrs. John Matthews of Giles, Mrs. W.H. Norman and Mrs. Ollie Foster of Columbia; three brothers, Cal Gibson of Giles and Jim and Felix Gibson of Maury County and four sisters, Mrs. Jim Trice, Mrs. Will Wiley, Mrs. Walter Lovell and Mrs. R.C. Horne of Giles County, also survives. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM at the Glenwood Church conducted by the Rev. Albert Holt and Rev. Moorehead with interment in the church cemetary. Serving as pallbearers were Felix Gibson, Cal Gibson, Jim Silson, Will Wiley, R.C. Horne, and Lock Lovell. Regen, Bethurum, Padgett and Prentice in charge.”

SOURCE: (presumed) The Daily Herald — clipping in the family bible of W.H. and Mary Gibson Norman.