Saturday, January 22, 2011

Surname Saturday - MCDONALD 4

Surname Saturday - MCDONALD 4

This is a guest post by Karen BEVINS WINSLOW (a fictitious character in Back to the Homeplace). Karen is the oldest daughter of Frank and Mildred (MCDONALD) BEVINS, one of their four children. These four siblings and their families are the major characters of the novel: Back to the Homeplace. [This blogging exercise is a part of the research for the upcoming novel, "The Homeplace Revisited" by William Leverne Smith]

Karen came across the following report, apparently written my her mother when she was in high school, as she went through papers left by her mother in The Homeplace farmhouse that Karen and her husband, Jason were remodeling to become a Country Inn Bed and Breakfast (early 1990s).

A brief history of settlement in the early Oak Springs area and my McDonald family
by Mildred McDonald

My ancestor, Henry  McDonald, was one of four men who brought their families to this valley as the first settlers. My family has lived on our farm ever since that time, which was 1833. He was joined by the Eli Truesdale family, the Robert Baldridge family and the Blacksmith, Jake Patton, and his wife, who operated a general store next to the blacksmith shop. They apparently had not children. The town that eventually became Oak Springs actually grew up around that blacksmith shop and general store a couple of miles west of our place. Robert Baldridge built the first mill on the ridge northeast of your farm and his son, David, ran it for many years, as well. The McDonalds and the Truesdales were farmers.

David Baldridge, a bachelor, had one sister, Sarah, who married the older of the two sons of Henry McDonald and his wife, Laura. Harry and Sarah had at least six children. The stories they have passed down from Civil War times will make another interesting report. The younger McDonald son, Daniel was my direct ancestor. He married Jane Truesdale, a granddaughter of Eli Truesdale. Their son, William McDonald, was my grandfather. He was able to keep all the McDonald, Truesdale and Baldridge properties in our family so that my parents still have the original properties more than one hundred years later. We are all very proud of this accomplishment. 

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill ;-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Shadow and Chase

Shadow and Chase

On Flora and Fauna Friday, in the past, I have featured wildlife of the Ozarks; and I will continue to do that, in the future.

Today, however, I am featuring the breeding mare/riding horse, and dog, that will be introduced in "The Homeplace Revisited," hopefully to pique your interest in the upcoming second novel in The Homeplace Series.

We will rejoin Christopher having returned to Oak Springs from law school to join his father, Carter Ogden, in his law practice, where one of their major clients is the Bevins Trust. From "Back to the Homeplace," of course, you know that Christopher's biological father is actual Bart Bevins, one of the four siblings that now control the Bevins Trust. It is 1996, Christopher has been back in town a couple of years, and Jennifer, his half-sister, daughter of Bart and Diane, has just arrived back, as well, to set up her large animal veterinary clinic on her parent's portion of The Homeplace.

Shadow is a grey mare that Christopher purchased earlier in the summer and stables at the farm. It gives him a reason, and 'excuse' to spend time at the farm, regularly. 

In Chapter 4 of "The Homeplace Revisited" you will meet Christopher's other new animal friend, Chase. Chase is a beautiful black and brown German Shepherd dog with bright eyes, pointed, alert ears, and a moist black nose. You will love her.

The cover of the book: "The Homeplace Revisited" features these two new friends. Stay tuned for more peaks into this new family saga novel coming to you in the Spring of 2011.

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill ;-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Writing plans for 2011

As a retired 71+ year old person (professor), making "New Years Resolutions" is really not especially useful.

First, I am retired; I can do pretty much as I wish (if my wife doesn't object) most any time I wish.

Second, family comes first - grandpa, husband, father, brother, uncle, etc.

Third, I have a contract to teach an/my on-line university course in the Spring.

FInally, with the time left, I write.

1. I expect to complete and publish my second novel in the Spring of 2011. I will continue to promote both novels through appropriate activities throughout the year.

2. I will continue to write weekly articles for on both my topic areas: Springfield Genealogy Examiner and Ozark Cultural Heritage Examiner.

3. I will continue to research and begin to write the non-fiction Revolutionary War family history book on Sergeant Major William Kinnick.

4. I will continue to research and write the non-fiction family history book on my great-grandfather Michael Smith.

5. I will continue my primary blogs, with most entries related to the research, writing and promoting I am doing at the time.

Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories
Dr. Bill on Retirement
Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar
The Homeplace Series Blog
The KINNICK Project

6. As mid-year approaches, I will step up the Civil War research and writing for my young adult Civil War novel and "The Beginnings" novel in "The Homeplace" series.

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill ;-)