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Nun Playing A Violin

Although this is a print, it is an antique print. The original was a painting from the Italian Renaissance. The painter and subject are unknown. The face of the nun appears very young. Which is not a surprise, since families often sent a daughter to the convent. Often, the families just couldn’t afford a dowery for more than one girl, and sometimes they couldn’t afford one. A young woman would go to the convent ready to serve the church. Gardening, cleaning, praying, helping the poor. Mother Superior was in charge of the fate of the young lady.

This print reminds me of an educated lady, grieving for her family. Maybe it is an evening of a full moon where the light hits the courtyard just right, and the echo of her violin playing brings tears to the eyes of the other young ladies that have come to the convent. Young ladies that miss their families, and their old way of life.

Of course, there were young ladies that came to the convent and had a better life after they were surrounded by other young ladies. There would have been young ladies that would be able to eat good food once they were in the convent. I was once told that city poor was much different than country poor. If you were poor and lived in the city it was a little tougher to obtain fresh food. If you were poor in the country one could glean from neighboring farmers, there were eggs from chickens, and one could grow some of their own food.

Looking at old images really makes me grateful to live here and now. I am so thankful, and appreciate our ancestors, each and everyone of them. The lives they had were not easy! The choices they had to make were so different, and so far removed from the world we live in today.

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Elizabeth Lovejoy

When Elizabeth Lovejoy was born in 1837 in Boone County, West Virginia, her father, Anderson, was 23 and her mother, Elenor, was 18. She had one son and five daughters with Luke G Adkins between 1857 and 1879.

America was her first born, 1857

Elizabeth would not have any children durning the civil war.

In 1866, she had a son, Benjamin F. Adkins. Another daughter in 1867, Mary A. Adkins. Barbery E. Adkins was born in 1870. Nancy Ellen was born in 1875. In 1879, her last daughter was born, and they named her Virginia F. Adkins.

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Cesarina XVI

One of the things I told Cesarina was that she was unforgettable. She told me over the years she should have gotten an Oscar for all the things she has been though, and the government of the United States should thank her for contributing so much money to help  it run. We had good times, we had bad times, but we had time together, and maybe that is the lesson in all the lessons I had learned. Family is family, you take them the way you get them. We are all flawed, imperfect human beings that want to be loved by other human beings. We are granted time in this realm for a short period of time. We all may as well make the most of it. Drink fine wine, and listen to those that have something to teach. We may not know in the moment that they are teaching us, that is why we have to listen.

She made me promise to never forget to treat my daughter in law more fair. I promised her, I will treat her more fair, and I will remember that she is another member of the family. I believe Cesarina would be proud of all that we have accomplished! I learned so much about cooking Italian food, real estate, and the real value of family. Thank you, Cesarina, you may have given me so much more than you will ever know. There is a part of you that lives on in your son, and your grandchildren.

It’s never too late for that Oscar! 😉

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Docia Stowers Lovejoy

The saddest aspect about finding your female ancestors…lack of information.

Docia was born in 1805 to Travis Lovejoy, who was 28. Her mother was Elizabeth Blankenship, and was 25.  Docia married William Lovejoy, and had 7 children with him. She died at the age of 65.

What’s worse is the research time put fourth to find so little information. I always keep a little hope that someone will come along and add some information.

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Cesarina XVI

We had to hire a nurse for Cesarina, she needed more than I could give her. The nurse came in at night, and we also had a hospice help us as well. Sergio was in Kindergarten, so after school we would go see her, and talk to her about school, and what was going on in our lives.

Hospice was one of the best things we could do for her. The people were so nice too. Oct. the 8th 2002 the doctor told us that Cesarina only had six months to live, but she made it for a year!

The last day that she was with us, was a beautiful day. The hospice people came and gave her a bath, and she asked for her medicine. One of the ladies took me aside and told me that since she was so restless, it wasn’t going to be long. I asked Roberto if we should call all her friends, and they could say good bye to her. We lit candles all around the room, and her friends came by to sit with her and talk to her. We had our priest come over and we said a group prayer around her. During the times that people were in other rooms, I would go read to her in Italian from a book on her nightstand. One of her friends that had been a friend of hers since they were school children in Italy ask me to make sure that she is read to when no one else is around, that way she is comforted. She lived he last moments being surrounded by the people she loved, and those people all go to say their last words to her.

The kids went into the room, and held her hand. They already knew she was sick, and they knew that she would no longer be in pain. Late in the evening she passed into another realm. We called the doctor, and the nurse called the coroner. They came to pick her up, and we made all the arrangements for her.

One of my favorite photos of her was this one…IMG_8600

Sergio took this photo of his Nona, and it was on his birthday. You can see the love in her eyes for him.

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Rebecca Lovejoy Hagar Adkins

Rebecca was born in 1838 in Cabell County, Virginia. She was the child of William Lovejoy and Docia Stowers. She was married three times, and had 7 children. She died in 1876 at the age of 38.


Her first marriage was at 17 years old. Her unsound died by the time she was 22. At the same time the Southern states secedes from the United States. In 1865 on April 5th. Rebecca married Luke G. Adkins, she was 27 years old.


In 1876 Rebecca died. She is buried in Lincoln County, West Virginia.

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America Adkins Woodrum Snodgrass

America was the daughter of Luke Adkins and Rebecca Lovejoy. She was called Merica by her loved ones. 34036262_123517411043 I believe this is a photo of her, but I am not 100% sure.

My 2nd great grandmother was America Adkins. She was born in 1858 in Scott, Putnam County Virginia. Her father was Luke Adkins and her mother was Rebecca Lovejoy. When she was 24 she married John Wesley Snodgrass.  The two of them had eight children in 16 years. Two of her girls, Minerva and Mary would go on to marry the Fizer boys in a double wedding.

It is always sad to me when there isn’t much information about the female ancestors. Leaving recipes, and notes that are passed down in a family are important clues about the personality of a person. I would love to know more about America. Why didn’t she marry earlier than 24?

I have since found that America was married at 14 to Sherman Adkins, he was 20 at the time of their marriage. At the age of 18 she was married to Balti Woodrum.

Are there any photos of her? If you know anything additional about Ameirca Adkins Snodgrass please let me know.


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Cesarina XIV

Cesariana, was making the most of her life. She was traveling all over Europe, and seeing parts of America that she had dreamed about seeing. She even visited San Miguel before we over here.


IMG_5912 When she came back from England, I met her at her mailbox, and we were chatting. She was so happy to see the kids. She told me that she wasn’t feeling well.

What do you mean you are not feeling well? She snapped back  “It’s not that heard to figure out that I’ve been sick.” I just want to know what kind of symptoms are you having I asked her. She then replied “I have been vomiting everyday. I told her “That’s not normal, you need to go to the doctor.” She asked “You think it might be something serious?” I told her “It would be better to get it checked, because it could be something very serious.” She then asked if I thought it was cancer. I told her, I’m not sure, all I know is vomiting every day is not normal. She then told me to stop wishing for her to have cancer. I reminded her that I don’t wish bad things to happen to people. In fact I believed that wishing harm for others backfires, and only causes wasted time and energy.

She went to the doctor, and called the day after. “Kimberly, guess what? I don’t have cancer, so you can stop believing there is something wrong with me.” I told her again…there is nothing normal about vomiting every day. I just wanted you to get checked out by the doctor. You have insurance, and pay for insurance, so you should use it.

The next day, I got another phone call form her. She told me that the doctor called her back, and they told her she had cancer. All of us went to the hospital with her. They told her she had stomach cancer, and they would have to operate right away. We were informed that during the operation she would also have lymph nodes removed and checked as well.

A tumor was removed from her stomach, and her stomach. She also had cancer in 80% of the lymph nodes that were removed. When she was awake, we all talked about what course of action to take. She told us that she did not want to suffer during this time, but she wanted to live. She was going to go through radiation and chemo.

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One Big Heifer


Here is Sabrina with Luna. Sabrina won second place with her heifer this year. She plans on taking two cows to fair next year. She will take another heifer, and a steer. Taking care of her animals takes a lot of time and dedication. I’m so proud of her, she is living her dream of being a farmer. She has said since she was little, she wanted to be a farmer.

Just recently, she said “Do you realize that I am living my dream?” I told her that I was so happy that she realized that she is living her dream.

Congratulations, Sabrina!

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Thomas Scudder 1596-1657 (10th Great Grandfather

John Scudder’s father was Thomas Scudder who was born between 1587 and 1596 in Groton, Suffolk, England.

Thomas married Elizabeth in 1614 in Darent(he) Valley, Horton Kirby, Kent, England. Elizabeth’s six children – John, Thomas, Henry, Martha, Elizabeth and William – were born in England.

Thomas and his family moved from England to Salem, Mass. about 1635.

There is tentative and highly ambiguous evidence that Thomas Scudder may have departed Kent after 26 March 1637 to avoid possible loss of a suit for heavy damages against him, going first to Colingbourne-Ducis (the home of his brother, Reverend Henry Scudder), and then to America.

The evidence is contained in the report of a damage suit in Chancery Court in 1640 (several years after Thomas’ departure) involving Sir Henry Neese and his wife, petitioners, against Mr. Chase, clergyman, and his father and brothers. Sir Henry asserted that while he and his wife were temporarily in London, Mr. Chase et al seized Sir Henry’s dwelling in Stone, Kent, called Stone Castle (about four miles north of Horton-Kirby), for a fortnight, consuming or embezzling his possessions, and denying him access or possession.

During this period, Sir Henry leased a second house, in Horton-Kirby, apparently owned by Thomas Scudder, in which to live. Sir Henry further maintained that the Chases, in “pursuit of their malice against him,” secretly conspired with Henry Scudder, clerke, and the said Thomas Scudder of Horton-Kirby, to deny Sir Henry access to the second house as well, in order to carry out their threat “to drive him out of that country.”

By the time of the 1640 Chancery case, Sir Henry had regained possession of Stone Castle and had recovered 30 pounds in damages from the Chases through “five or six courts of law and equity.” The apparent purpose of the 1640 action was chiefly to enable Sir Henry to recover additional damages to cover his costs, which he claimed in one statement to amount in excess of “treble the said 30 pounds,” and others to total in excess of 300 pounds

Thomas was granted land in Salem in December 1637 and became a proprietor.

Thomas died on 30 Sep 1657 in Salem, Mass. Elizabeth died on 9 Sep 1666 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts at the age of 80.

In Thomas’ will, dated 30 September 30, 1657: “By the will of God Amen, I Thomas Scudder inhabitant of Salem in New england, being sick, & weake in bodye, but of perfect strength of memorye, &understandinge, doe appoint, ordeeine, & make this my last will & testament. I doe therefore by these presents appoint, & give unto my well beloved Wiffe Elizabeth Scudder, duringe her life, all my wordly goodes, & usentles of what kind soever, & all personall estate whatsoever & I doe al lso ordeine, & make, & appoint her my said Wiffe, my full, & sole Execatrixe after my death only my desire is that after her death, what she shall leave, of any of my foresaid personll estate, it shal be valewed, & equally devided to my said Children, & Grandchild, & my said Grandchild to have as much as any one of them. Neverthelesse, one Cowe, which I formerlye gave my said wiffe, I doe in noe wise dispose of, butt leave it wholly to my said wiffe to dispose of tt, as shee shall thike good. And that this is my last Will, & testament I have hereunto set my hand, and seale, this thirtyeth daye of September, on thousand sixe hundred fiftye & seven:” his mark X Thomas C Scudder Witness: Richard Waters, Wilom Traske, Joseph F Boyse and Thomas Deutch.

Proved in Salem court June 29, 1658, by Richard Waters and Cap. William Traske. Essex Co.

Administration upon the estate of Tho. Scudder, which was left in the hands of his wife who lately deceased, was granted 28: 9: 1665, to Mr. Henery Bartholomew and Hillyard Veren, who were ordered to bring in an inventory, Salem Quarterly Court Records, vol. 4, page 152.

Inventory of estate of Thomas Scudder, deceased, 1657, taken by Thomas Gardner and Joseph (his X mark) Boys, and sworn to by his widow, Elizabeth (her X mark ) Scudder: His house & orchyard, 20li.; three Oxen, 13le.,; three Cowes, 9li.; foure sheepe & lambe, 7li.; two swine, 1li.; Axes & other tooles, spitts, one pott hanger, fire pan, & tonges, one feather bed & bolster & two pillows, 4li.; three sheets, 10s.; total 73 li. es. 4d. Buried in Southold, Suffolk County, New York.