One of my Favorite Veterans

Floyd Mayhue Mills & his wife Anne Elizabeth Cole Mills. This picture taken at Fort Smith Arkansas in 1944. Floyd was about 32 years old & Anne would have been about 30. Floyd & Anne are my maternal grandparents. Thank you for your service granddad & great American values that your family still upholds & appreciates. ūüíē #jennealogy #wwiivet #veterans #veteransday2016 #grandparents #proud #american #myjennealogy


Veterans’ Day – Dedicated to the Cause of World Peace

Norman Charles WAccording to, Veterans Day (November 11th) was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day – the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. Established by Congress in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’ The declared holiday honored the veterans of World War I. Then in 1954, following both World War II and the Korean War, the Act of 1938 was amended by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Today I think of all the those within my family that sacrificed so much to serve America in wars that have been critical for world peace. ¬†They were dedicated to the preservation of freedoms and liberties of our Nation and throughout the world. ¬†For over 235 years, members of my family have defended and fought for the sacred values held within their hearts, many of the same are written within the Bible and the documents of our Nation’s foundation. ¬†They have ¬†served and fought for freedom not only because they felt it was their duty, but because they knew it was a call of honor. ¬†Today I enjoy many liberties and freedom in America because of those who served and sacrificed for all. ¬† Thank you to many family members, particularly the following:

  • Thanks to my husband for serving in the Persian Gulf War, including service in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
  • Thanks to my dad, Charles W. Norman (1932-1979), for serving in the Korean War, as a member of the¬†U.S. Army.¬†¬† He entered into active service on February 20, 1953 in Nashville, Tennessee as a Private ‚Äď 2nd Class.¬†¬†He was promoted to Corporal (T) June 29, 1954. ¬†He was transferred to the US Army Reserves on December 18, 1954 through Fort Knox, Kentucky.¬† He¬†remained in the US Army Reserves, in¬†standby¬†mode, until he was fully released and¬†honorably discharged¬†on February 24, 1961. He received several metals for his service, including National Defense Service Metal (NDSM), United Nations Service Metal (UNSM), Korean Service Metal (KSM) and Good Conduct Metal (GCM).
  • Thanks to my great uncle William “Bill” Cole (1923-2002), a pilot serving in World War II. ¬† He enlisted in the Army ¬†on the¬†29th December of 1942, serving until October 17, 1945 as a Private.
  • Thanks to my granddad, Floyd M. Mills (1913-1981), for serving during World War II. ¬†My grandfather served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army.¬†¬† He was enlisted on April 8, 1944 in Camp Shelby, Mississippi as a Private.¬† I know from stories by my mom and grandmother that at some point my grandfather was stationed in Texas and later served in Germany.
  • Thanks to my great-grandfather George W. Gibson (1844-1923) for serving during the Civil War. ¬†He was wounded at Ramond, Mississippi in 1863 with a mini ball in his left shoulder. A small ¬†Bible in his pocket deflected the bullet away from his heart. He was a prisoner in Yankee Camps at Fort Donelson in Nashville, Tn in 1864.
  • Thanks to my great-grandfather John M. Tucker (1840-1888), for serving during the Civil War. ¬†He was captured, imprisoned and traded several times during his service. ¬†He was hit by a riffle ball in the hip, and although he was crippled from the shot, he continued to serve. ¬† Continuing problems with this crippling wound lead to his early death.
  • Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, James Gilliam (1733-1794), who served in military operations of the American Revolutionary War with the Colonial soldiers of Lunenburg County, Virginia, including rangers and militia.
  • Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Lafayette Norman (1750-1809), who is believed to have served during the American Revolutionary War, possibly within the North Carolina militia.

Thank you to all of the men and women who have served and do serve in defending America, the values of life, liberty and freedom, and the hope of world peace.

Anne Cole Mills – Happy Birthday!

On March 9, 1914 in Maury County, Tennessee Anne Elizabeth Cole was welcomed into the world by her proud parents Edward Dunnagan and Cordelia Tucker Cole.  There to greet her were her older brothers and sisters: Whitt Hight (born Aug 2, 1900), Berta Mae (born Oct 1, 1902), Nora Myrtle (born Aug 13, 1904), Ruby Irene (born Aug 17, 1906), John Arelous (born Apr 22, 1909), and Edward Lee (born Sept 13, 1911).

Anne was born the seventh child of twelve.  Following her birth were five (5) younger brothers and sisters:  Margaret Euginia (born Feb 19, 1916), Rose Itaska (born Apr 16, 1918), Mahlon Eldin (born May 16, 1920), William Lawrence (born Mar 14, 1922), and the baby of the family who is still living.

Anne was my grandmother.  We called her Mama Anne.

Mama Anne always talked about her childhood very fondly.  There were times that she talked about how the entire family farmed their small piece of land; each having their own chores or contributions to the efforts.  She told stories about her and her siblings playing music with their father.  Mama Anne played the spoons.  Her father was quite an accomplished fiddle player and well-known in the area for his talent, playing at many local barn dances.  Hight, Eddie and Eldin were also talented musicians and accompanied their dad as a band. 

She and her siblings remained close all of her life.¬† Today one might think, twelve children, how could they all remain close? Surely with that many siblings, there would¬†be a “falling out”.¬† Well – if there ever was, I never heard of it and Mama Anne generally spoke her mind.¬† Her love for her family and their love for each other was real and¬†truly amazing.¬† As a child, I enjoyed just being in a room (usually my grandmother’s dining room or kitchen) and just watching and listening to the sisters when they were together.¬† I admired them all.¬†

Mama Anne, like all of her sisters and brothers, had a very gentle nature.  She was loving and soft spoken.  She was a bit of a prankster, always funny and had a contagious laugh. 

If you talked to friends, neighbors, people from her church or other family members, I am sure that some — if not all —¬†would have to tell you that Mama Anne was a great cook.¬†¬† She canned jams, jellies, pickles, ketchup, pickled okra, tomatoes and more.¬†¬†These were all favorites for anyone lucky enough to¬†get a taste.¬† She baked cakes, breads and “angel” biscuits.¬†¬†

I loved the way that¬†Mama Anne would put a meal on the table.¬†¬†She would have¬†a small bowl of this and a small bowl of that.¬† Upon first glance, I would think – I am not sure there will be enough for everyone, but there were was and sometimes even¬†leftovers.¬† She¬†would¬†place the small bowls¬†on the dining room table and announce – “well, I not sure if it will be fit to eat, but ….”¬†¬†

I believe that¬†Mama Anne¬†enjoyed cooking and she knew that she was a very good cook, but mostly, I believe that she cooked to bring delight and joy to others.¬† She loved helping others and showing love through baking a special cake or sharing a simple meal.¬† It was her gift and she most enjoyed the¬†smiles on¬†others’ faces or being able to contribute “a little something” at a time of need or crisis.¬†

Cooking was one of¬†Mama Anne’s¬†many talents that she shared with others.¬† She also wrote poetry.¬†¬†From time to time would mail a poem to my mother or one of us ‚Äúgirls‚ÄĚ (the way she referred to the granddaughters).¬† In future blogs, I will publish some of her poems.

I long to hear her laugh, see her smile and hear her talk about the “old times” and the things that she¬†had seen in her life.¬† She was my inspiration.¬† She and my grandfather, Floyd Mills, are the reason that I love genealogy.¬† I long for the stories and my source of much family information that Mama Anne could perfectly recall up until about the last six months of her life.¬† I wish that she and I could take another drive over to find¬†some of the old cemeteries for the Cole’s and Harris’ ancestors in Marshall County.¬† I miss her dearly.

A Family Valentine of Joy & Love

Joy and Love
The sweetest joys in life to me
Are the ones more felt than seen
The joy that is within my soul
With nothing in between.
The Lord has given me this day
This precious love to share
And with this love He’s given me
Friends who really care.
Each tender moment of my life
Is giving and forgiving
And with each tiny bit of love
I learn the joys of living.
Anne Cole Mills
To my valentines
This poem¬†was written by Anne Cole Mills on April 12, 1988.¬†¬†¬†It was written on the back of a card¬†that she mailed to me in 1989.¬†¬†Unknowingly, I had lost the card.¬†¬†In 2004,¬†it was unexpectedly returned¬†in the mail by a friend a couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day.¬† The return of the card touched my heart.¬†¬† It was like the return of a long lost friend.¬†¬†¬†I created and mailed a Valentine’s card with the poem to many friends and family members in 2004, hoping to spread the love.
Anne Cole Mills is the mother of Dalsie Mills Norman.   Anne & Dalsie are the two women that I admire most in my life.   They continue to touch my heart and bless my very soul, although I long for their company, their words of wisdom, their voices and their laughter.  Everyday I miss their overwhelming gifts of joy and love shared only in the simple things of this life and through moments that change your very being and who you are.
Anne is my grandmother; Dalsie my mother.

 I wish you …. Joy & Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!