The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 19
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I am still working on my quilt. It is no longer the one that Grandmother Ward
gave unfinished to my mother. This is another one, and it may never be finished. Every
time I find a new name to add to my ancestor charts, every time I hear another family
story from a cousin, I am adding another piece to the quilt --- our family quilt. It is full of
love and laughter, food and good times, but it is also full of tragedy and sorrow, of tears
and hard times. What is important, though, is that it survives, that it continues.
The facts I gather frame my family's story, but the family stories I collect provide
texture to the history that I write. The stories make me feel my ancestors' prescence. The
stories help me know them as I do my father and mother, my brother and sister. I believe
that such knowledge helped me recognize my great-great-great grandmother in the
Recognizing a distant relative may seem unusual to those who haven't studied
family history. But to those who have intensely pursued their ancestors, intuition plays an
important role. Coincidences abound. Recently, after discovering that I have a Stallworth
family connection, I obtained the name and address of a woman who has written about
the Stallworth family. Where does she live? Duncanville, Alabama.
The more I study my family's history, the more I see repeating patterns, the more
I see of me. I work to gather more stories, more pieces for this quilt of life.
I would like to thank the following people:
Winona Barganier Ward Matthews, mother, for her patience over the years, telling and
re-telling stories. I also thank her for the pictures she took and kept. I thank her for
holding on to all the old letters, too. And, most of all, I want to thank her for keeping the
quilt squares and for trusting me to put them together.
James David Ward, father, for keeping the letters from his mother.
Jan Ward Acker, sister, for asking the questions that got me started in genealogy.
Lois Barganier Fielder, maternal aunt, and Jennie Ruth Ward Hunter, paternal aunt, for
their patience with my telephone calls and helping me with stories.
Annie Laurie Ward Hartgrove, paternal aunt, for preserving the family Bible over the
years. She provided me with the only known pictures of both Jennie Rankin Ward and
Almira Cotton Rankin.
Elaine Branham, cousin, for providing stories and copies of the Clanton typescript which
included letters from Henry G. Redding.
Olive Cadenhead, cousin, for providing information and, most of all, for the copy of the
painting of Elizabeth "Betsy" Waterman.
1996 19 DGS Journal
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/25/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.