• Uncategorized

    John Wood to Mother Isabella Wood 12 April 1863

    Background I am pretty certain that the major general mentioned in the letter is Lucius M. Walker.  I am basing this mostly on the fact that John Wood mentions both Marmaduke and Walker in the letter and he wrote the letter either  on his way to the Arkansas/Missouri area or from the area where these two men (Marmaduke and Walker) were also known to be. John S. Marmaduke  and Walker get into an altercation…really a difference of opinion over a battle strategy and they end up dueling.  Walker is wounded and dies.   The Letter April the 12, 1863 White Rock Hill Co Texas   Dear Mother, I have taken…

  • Uncategorized

    A. Y. Kirkpatrick Book “The Early Settlers Life in Texas”

    This book is an absolute gem!  A.Y. Kirkpatrick came to what is now Hill County with his father and siblings in the late 1840s.  In the book, he mentions E.S.Wyman (builder of the homestead), James and Isabella Wood, James Ransom Davis, Charles Davis, several Fraziers and many events that happened in the early years. The digital book is searchable.  You are welcome! A.Y.Kirkpatrick THE EARLY SETTLERS LIFE IN TEXAS 

  • Uncategorized

    Connecting the Old House to the New Addition

    Connecting the Old House to the New Addition When we purchased the old house, we knew that we were going to need to put an addition on it.  It was a tiny house (1100 sq ft) even with the porches enclosed.  And enclosing the porches didn’t really help us much as they basically added hallways and not rooms to the house.  Once we started the renovation project, we realized that the house was in need of a rest.  We planned to use the old house as gently as possible and made plans to add rooms that would be used daily (kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, etc.) in the addition. How many times…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson,  Uncategorized

    James “Squire Jim” Ferguson’s Account of Their Trip to California

    Background We’ve all heard about Robert Andrew Ferguson’s exploits as a cowboy.  He helped tame the wild West, had more horses under brand than any man in the world, and was one of the wealthiest men in Hill County.  Before all of that, he was a young man in Gaston County, North Carolina when opportunity in the way of a gold rush in California came knocking.  Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of the discovery of gold was first announced in San Francisco by a newspaper publisher in March of 1848.  Evidently, he walked through the streets with a vial of gold…

  • Uncategorized

    Using The Church Handrails

    The Handrails My grandfather, Warren Ferguson, was an all around great guy.  He was funny and loving.  He was a hard worker.  As a welder and tinkerer in just about everything, he was an invaluable member of his small farming community of Mertens, Texas.  Many of the farmers in the area will testify that Warren (Dadaw) could fix anything.  Dadaw would hitch his welder behind his pickup and go where he was needed.  I loved him bunches. My grandparents were also life-long members of the only church in Mertens, the First Baptist Church.  My grandmother wrote the historical marker that resides in front of the church.  My grandfather built the…

  • Uncategorized

    James Wood’s Citizenship Papers (U.S. and Scotland)

    Background James Wood arrived in Texas in 1851, but did not become a U.S. citizen until November of 1856 according to A.Y. Kirkpatrick in his book “The Early Settlers Life in Texas”.  Above is the link to the Kirkpatrick book (to the actual page) where this is documented.  I don’t have official paperwork, but will go to the courthouse in Hillsboro eventually to see what I can find. Meanwhile, I do have a copy of the document where Scotland acknowledges that James Wood is no long a citizen of Great Britain. That document is presented below. The Document  

  • Uncategorized

    Installing Sub-flooring, Insulation and Hardwood Flooring in South Pen

    The South Pen The south pen was always my “safe spot” to start.  It wasn’t as dark as the north side of the house and it seemed to be in better shape than the north pen as well.  It isn’t surprising, then that this room is the one that is most finished.  I don’t know that our 1846 Texas Homestead will ever be completely finish, but at this point, we are living here and that is all that matters…for now anyway.  Renovations are exhausting. But at one point, we were focused on things like sub-flooring, insulation, and selecting a hardwood flooring. But before we got there, we had a lot…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation,  Uncategorized

    Want DIY Experience? Here’s How To Get It

    Welcome to Square One It is an age-old problem.  How do you get DIY experience when you have no experience?  First time DIY projects can sort of feel the same way.  How do you justify the risk of a first time DIY project?  The potential of saving yourself labor costs is a motivating factor certainly.  However, DIYers must also examine the likelihood of them successfully completing the project.  To fail may mean having to hire a professional to do the job (and repair any damage) along with material costs for a second go around.  Successful DIY projects save money and add value to a home, unsuccessful ones can become nightmares.…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation,  Uncategorized

    South Pen: Original Floor Renovation Mystery

    When Details Tell Tales… The flooring situation in the south pen continues to be a mystery to me and one that I would love to solve because it would tell me so much about how the house was used.  The original floor had been covered with an oak floor during some past renovation.  They type of flooring helps to determine the purpose of the room and so this was a big mystery for me. When you begin any renovation project, there are going to be things that make you wonder.  Little mysteries that previous owners took with them.  In our home, built in 1846, we were surrounded by questions about…

  • Uncategorized

    Kitchen to Bedroom: Wiring, Insulation and Exterior Work

    Working From the Inside Out We were to the point where we needed to focus on some important elements of the restoration.  Things like electrical wiring, insulation installation and the first layer of the exterior of the house on the kitchen/bedroom corner of the house.  The interior walls were all original shiplap and  I didn’t want to touch it anymore than we had to.  I was learning that once we touched something, we caused three times the work.  Old houses don’t like to be messed with.  Therefore, the shiplap in the former kitchen needed to remain in place, ready for spackling and a coat of paint (hopefully, all it needed).…