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Robert White of Messing, 1617

My 11th Great Grandfather from Grandpa Gray. Robert was born in 1558 in Shalford, Essex. He was married several times, but his first wife was Bridget Allgar on June 24th, 1585, in Shalford, Essex. the two of them had seven children. His Will is included here, as well as history relating to him from his great, great grandchildren. He was 59 when he passed away, and is buried in Essex. 8f365532-0ae6-4658-8dcb-d3bfc869e41a His coat of arms.



Here is a copy of the Last Will and Testament of Robert White…


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Christmas Blogging Miracle

No really, it is true! In 2008, I started blogging. I had a different name and many, many followers. I wanted to log our experience of trying to find a farm, winery, bed and breakfast, museum, along with sharing what I knew about our family history. I spent my nights commenting to other bloggers, every night was a competition with myself to see how many other blogs I could read and comment to each night.

The nights got away from me, and I was up until 3 and 4am. Something had to give. We were in escrow for the first place we wanted, and then it fell out of escrow. Our hopes faded a little, but my blog name had to change. I changed the name of the blog, but lost my followers. Oh sure, in hind sight, I could have emailed all my followers and told them my new URL, but I didn’t. So, I started over.

I have gone to blogging conferences, and I have had so much fun attending them. Bloggy Boot Camp is one of my favorites. I didn’t start my blog to get rich, I just wanted to share my journey. I then thought about sharing what I knew about…art, my new adventures in farming,  bee keeping, my new adventures as a winery owner, taking photographs, making Italian food, genealogy, stories of my kids growing up, gathering everyone for Sunday dinners, and life in our new county. I have many subjects of stories to share. Meeting other ladies at the conferences made the whole experience more fulfilling. Many of us started with Google blogging, and then moved to Word Press. We were meeting many of the people that were followers and friends on Twitter, Face Book, Word Press, Goggle, Tumbler, and Pinterest. We have watched others families grow.

Anyways, I blog in my spare time. I am not a professional, this is my outlet   that happens to be public. On Friday, I have “Family Friday”, it’s the day I share knowledge I have gathered about one of my ancestors. Just recently, my cousin found my site, and commented. She was given up for adoption and had been looking for her family. She knew some history, and enough that led her to find my blog posting. She then took it a step further and contacted me through direct message. I answered, and the two of us exchanged information. I promptly got ahold of my other cousin (her sister) to tell her, and she couldn’t wait to call her. The two of them talked and talked. Now, they are talking and exchanging stories It is a miracle, and a terrific Christmas present for all the lives that have been touched.

So, the moral to this story is, you just never know how you are going to touch the lives of others through your writing. My blog may not make me monetarily rich, but rich in spirit! I feel blessed, I have gained a cousin, and my cousins gain a sister! What could be better? Merry Christmas!!

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Dennis Bredow

Honestly, I have many favorite artists. I love art! When we were thinking about having a grand opening for the winery we wanted something that reflected us as the new owners of San Marcos Creek, and our family room is full of work from Dennis Bredow, so why not commission him to do another piece for us that will represent what we want to portray to people in the tasting room.

So, I sent him some our labels, and he infused the art piece with some of our wine. Which I thought was brilliant! san_marcos

The bundle of grapes is blazed into the wood surface, and the wine stains are real wine stains. Even though the winery was established much earlier, we wanted to stamp it with the year that we purchased the winery.

We are very happy with the results, and are proud to announce that we will have prints available for those that wish to have a print.



I am an avid reader, but I tend to like non fiction more than fiction. However, I do like historical novels, the weaving of historical information with the spice of some fictionalized characters. Although the death of characters I like in the story are a little hard to digest. Sometimes, I have to take a break from reading the novel to mourn the death of the character. 🙁


Recently, I have been reading “The Mirror of the Gods”, which takes us back to the thinking of the artists of the Renaissance period. The symbolism is rich in paintings throughout this period. The life of an artist is a hard life, one is counting on a commission from patrons with money. The patrons are all embroiled in political favor or disfavor. An artists had to be careful who they were in alliance. If the artist chose the right person, they could eat for life, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. If they did not chose the correct patron they would have to search for someone else that appreciated what they did.

Some of the best patrons to work for were “in” one month, and “out” the next. The Pope and Kings had the most power, and going against one or the other would amount to exile or death. Back then, whispers about someone could get a person killed. Imagine adding to a painting some Pagan aspects that were obvious to all… this could result in death too.

It was a fascinating time in history, like so many other times were. What is on your reading list?