Sunday, December 24, 2017

Kickin' it with Rachal Mills Lennon and the steel guitar

I was first introduced to the lineage of Margaret Ball in 2008 with the Elizabeth Shown Mills lecture, "Margaret's Baby's Father and the Lessons he Taught me," at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Philadelphia [F-144]. I followed up by reading the 1989 NGSQ piece and other corresponding articles on the Ball family. Southern research is a completely different animal than New England, and learning from the Mills's lessons eventually helped me with my Boone kin. 

When Rachal Mills Lennon was elected to the American Society of Genealogists as its 167th Fellow, I noticed that she had written a genealogy that I had not read yet, so I sought out a copy ASAP. I was not disappointed by this wonderful publication! 

Some Southern Balls from Valentine to Ferdinand and Beyond, published in 1993, is a road map for those of us looking to creatively and concisely document a southern line from beginning to end. Although it has endnotes rather than the footnotes we are used to, the endnotes take on a story of their own -- another story linking the past to the present (endnotes on pages 227-233 because I love any excuse to use Hébert’s Southwest Louisiana Records)! This book includes transcriptions, photostats of original records, maps and proof summaries to the hearts content. 

If you can find a copy of this book, scoop it up. 

I love the steel guitar. It is where Hawaiian music meets up with country (like a metaphor for my Grandma Reba and Grandpa Ned). Check out the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame album and dig Jerry Byrd's "Hilo March." Or Sol Hoopii -- which is wonderful on a cold winter day.

Donna Rachal Mills, Some Southern Balls from Valentine to Ferdinand and Beyond (Orlando, FL & Tuscaloosa, AL: Mills Historical Press, 1993). Some copies are available on Amazon.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, "The Search for Margaret Ball: Building Steps Over a Brick Wall Research Problem," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 77 (March 1989): 43-65.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, "Margaret's Baby's Father and the Lessons he Taught Me," Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference Footprints of Family History, 2008: F-144. Jamb Tapes, Inc. Out of Print. 

Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, on Amazon.

Sol Hoopii, on Internet Archive, specifically the 78 of "I Like You."