October 11, 2015

Bud Allen: Moonshiner and Farmer

My great grandfather, Eugene Narron ALLEN, has always been an enigma to me. His nickname was Bud and I've seen his middle name as Nebron and Newman. From all accounts, he was a rough fellow from a dirt poor family. He surely fit right in with his peers.

Bud was born 03 May 1880 in Wake County, NC. He was the fourth child of parents Henry J ALLEN and Armeda HUSKETH, who have proven to be as much of a mystery as their son.

He was definitely a bad boy, having served time in the joint for making moonshine. By that time, he'd been married to Elizabeth "Sissy" Ray for nearly 23 years and had 7 children. Bud and Sissy must have had quite the farewell just before he reported for 6 months on the road crew in November of 1927, because their last child Marvin was born 18 April 1928. Sadly, Sissy died a day after giving birth to Marvin, her 8th child. Bud must have been out of prison by then because he was the informant on her death certificate. 

He lived another 11 years and did not remarry. He was living with his daughter Mamie in Raleigh, NC when he passed away from pneumonia  and heart disease. 

Bud shows up on the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census. He was also a registered voter, per the 1902, 1904 and 1906 voter registration records, Wake County, NC. He registered for the draft in 1918 listing Sissy as his next of kin. He was 38 years old at the time of his registration. I cannot find any evidence he was called to serve.

He lists a variety of occupations along the way; farmer, dairyman, laborer.

Bud was buried on 05 Mar 1939 in the cemetery of New Light Baptist Church in New Light, NC in extreme northern Wake County, next to Sissy.

October 2, 2015

Davis Family Reunion

My Davis family reunion is tomorrow and I'm really excited about seeing the family. Unfortunately, the weather here on the east coast is very very wet and may impact attendance. For those hardy souls who are willing to venture out in the torrential rains, we'll have the requisite BBQ and tables of food.

I like to think of family reunions as more than just an opportunity for us to eat and chat. Reunions should honor those who came before us and give us an opportunity to learn more of our family history.

Sadly, many are just not interested in those who came before us or just want to see the pictures. I love sharing the pictures, but what is a picture if you don't know anything about the person? Or the circumstances that caused the picture to be taken? 

For example, what was going on in the picture below? Was this a family reunion? A church event? Or just Sunday dinner? Wish I knew!

I think heavily each year about how I can provide info on the family history without boring people to death. I'm not sure I ever hit the mark, but every once in a while someone will email asking about family history and that makes me very happy.

Ummm....this would be me.