About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Nathan Wilcox Business Card

In 1870, my great-great-grandfather Nathan Wilcox and his family lived in Decherd (near Winchester), Franklin County, TN. I found his business card in a box of ephemera, passed on to me by my father. It was only years later that I could figure out what it all meant and how it helped explain his migration from Franklin County, TN (where the card was printed) to Clarksville, Montgomery County, TN (where he claimed to be in business).

The Clarksville Courthouse (among other buildings) was burned in April 1878; I found Nathan and family living in that town in 1880, but the back of this card implies that he was moving there in May 1878 (see clarification below). The Winchester newspaper - The Home Journal - ran advertisements from Clarksville, asking architects and builders to please make bids on the the reconstruction of the destroyed buildings. No doubt, this was how Nathan responded to those requests (which were run throughout April and May, and possibly longer, in the newspapers throughout Tennessee and probably surrounding areas).

"Received 28th day of May 1878" "Franklin County, State of Tenn., Winchester"

This is a treasure on many levels:
1) written in Nathan's handwriting
2) explanation of when he moved to Clarksville
3) a priceless piece of history as the only known business card for him

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