Some Of Our Ancestors

Some Of Our Ancestors

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AncestryDNA…..Expanding my genealogy research…

Some time ago I placed my name on a list with to participate in their AncestryDNA beta testing program.  I was notified a few weeks ago that a kit would be mailed if I still wished to participate.

Click on the link below that explains it much better than I can. Basically it will give me my genetic find out where my ancestors came from. As a member of ancestry my family tree is then linked to the data base of my DNA test results and matched with others.

AncestryDNA Beta

I am soooooooooooo excited……received my kit and my DNA sample is on it’s way.  Hoping it will not take long for my results.
Looking forward to expanding my research……….
by:Louise Wilson Bernero

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Surname Saturday: WATKINS

Jincy M ? WATKINS, born abt: 1816, North Carolina.

Jincy was married to Henry WATKINS.  Henry was born, abt: 1792, North Carolina. 

Henry and Jincy lived in Township 10, Range 10, Neshoba, MS.  Henry and Jincy had a son, Wiley WATKINS, b: 30 Apr 1850, d: 21 Aug 1925.  Wiley WATKINS is my husbands ggrandfather.

I do not know Jincy’s maiden name.  Some family information handed down suggest she might be Cherokee.

Would love to hear from anyone with additional information.

by:Louise Wilson Bernero

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Brother-In-Law Bill



William J. Lakey, b:17 Aug 1921, d:23 Jan 1994 

Married: Georgette (Polly) Wilson, 15 Nov 1959


by:Louise Bernero

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Follow Friday: Shelby County Archives


I have chosen a site that has been a great resource in my research of my husband’s family.  I am a beginner in genealogy research and this site has provided many records and clues.  I’ve found marriage records, death certificates, land records, etc.   The  Shelby County Archives offers a wealth of information.


Tennessee Vital Records
Death Records Index 1949-2005
Divorce Records Index 1980-2005
Marriage Records Index 1980-2005

Shelby County Records
Birth Records 1874-1906
Chancery Court Divorce Index 1945-1997
Circuit Court Indexes 1893-2000
Memphis City Directories 1859-1901
Death Records 1848-1958
Marriage Records 1820-1934
Marriage Indexes/Images 1920-1989
Naturalization Records 1856-1906
Memphis Census 1865
Probate Court Loose Paper Index 1820-1900

1938 Historic Aerial
1949 Historic Aerial
Dr. Martin Luther King Assassination Investigation
James Earl Ray Court Audio Files
Buck Boshwit Civil War Stamp Collection
Health Dept. Milk Supply Reports 1920-1958
Ray Holt Memphis School Article Collection
Shelby County Schools 1922
West TN Historical Society Papers 1947-2005

Dr. Martin Luther King Documentary
Elmwood Cemetery - Reflections of Memphis
Overton Park-A Century of Change
Shelby Farms-America's Great 21st Century Park
Memphis Belle

Follow them on Facebook………they are very good about answering your questions!!

by: Louise Bernero

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday – Boyd & Ruth Bernero

bbernero2Boyd Eugene Bernero, b: 14 Dec 1902, d: 2 Jun 1984

Ruth Mae Canady, b: 24 Jun 1909, d: 5 Sept 2000



Boyd & Ruth were married 18 Jul 1930 

18 Jul 201080 years

Boyd & Ruth are my husband’s parents.

by: Louise Bernero

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mary Jane DOVE – Sister Mary Arona

This is a continuation of my story Another Piece of the Puzzle:

I first contacted the  School Sisters of Notre Dame Dallas Province Archives at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, MS.  The good sisters provided me with a big chunk of this family puzzle.  Mary Jane’s religious name was Sister Mary Arona.  She died 7 Mar 1922……her final resting place……School Sisters of Notre Dame Motherhouse Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

srmaryarona2Photo by:  Eric Kreft & Karl Kleen of Find A Grave

They, so graciously, emailed me her obituary.

Obituary of Sister Mary Arona Dove:

"For the grace of God our Savior hath appeared to all men." St. Paul.

Among our dear Sisters who departed life in the year of the Lord 1922, three were born of Protestant parents. One of them was our beloved:

Sister Mary Arona Dove  whose father was a Methodist and the mother a Baptist. The family lived in Barbour County, Alabama, where Mary, our late Sister Arona, was born in the month of  May, 1853.  Mr. and Mrs. Dove were religious in their own way and endeavored, as well as they knew, to instill the fear of God into the hearts of their children. The mother was a very industrious woman and skillful in handling the needle and spinning wheel. At an early age Mary was taught to spin, and each day a certain amount of work was assigned her, and the little spinner knew that not until the work was finished and well done, would she be permitted to run out for play. Thus our dear Sister Arona acquired in early life that steady application and real love for work which we all admired in her. For a short time she attended the public school, but when the Civil War broke out, and her teacher was called to arms, her books were laid aside. Her father, too, was compelled to enter the army, and the mother, in the hope of saving her sons from being drafted, moved to New Orleans. This was evidently a kind dispensation of Divine Providence, for it brought little Mary into the Fold of the true Church.  Shortly after her arrival in New Orleans good Mrs. Dove, worn out by worries, died a peaceful death. Charitable neighbors took charge of the children. Mary was then brought to our St. Joseph Orphan Home.

A new life now unfolded itself to Mary - "The grace of God our Savior" drew the innocent heart to Himself, and although only ten years old she pleaded to be made a Catholic. She was instructed and successively the holy sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and Holy Eucharist were administered unto her. At the age of twelve years- Mary was unusually strong for her age·- she began to assist the Sisters with the work in the Home where all hands were overtaxed on account of the ever increasing number of orphans. Having completed her sixteenth year, she manifested a desire to spend her life as a religious and received the candidate's bonnet. While a candidate Mary was taught shoemaking, an occupation for which she entertained a special liking all through life.

In 1878 we find Mary in the Motherhouse at Milwaukee preparing herself for the reception into the novitiate which she entered on August twenty-second. She loved the Motherhouse and in later years often recalled the happy days she spent there.  As novice she returned to her first convent home, St. Joseph Orphanage, New Orleans. A smile flitted over her countenance when she learned that her old friend, the shoemaker's bench, was awaiting her return.  Having filled this post for twenty years, she was summoned to Louisville.  After two years her health failed, and it was necessary to send her back to the South. This time obedience assigned her to Chinchuba. Ten years Sister plied the needle and awl in behalf of the deaf-mutes and when a few moments of leisure were hers, she lent a helping hand to her companion Sisters. Her next mission was Chattawa, a place for which she soon conceived a strong attachment. Here in company with two other Sisters she took charge of the convent dairy.

The obituary of our dear Sister Arona would not be complete if the following incident remained unrecorded. During her years of labor at the Pines, Sister and two of her companions built a little house in honor of St. Joseph. They constructed it of lumber taken from discarded cracker boxes. Sister's purpose in doing this was to spread devotion to Saint Joseph and to provide a shelter for those engaged in the field, for often their labor was intercepted by sudden rains. While waiting for the rain to cease, fervent prayers were offered to St. Joseph whose statue occupied a prominent place amid ferns and woodland flowers. Dear St. Joseph was not unmindful of his client's attention. He manifested his pleasure singularly in her last moments.

In 1897 Sister Arona was called to the Motherhouse, Sancta Maria in Ripa, in the hope that a change would relieve her from an obstinate cough which annoyed and weakened her. While at the Motherhouse she made herself useful in the Sister's refectory.

Although transferred to the northern clime Sister Arona's heart and mind seemed ever to be in the southland. She was often heard to express her wish to return, but God did not direct her steps that way, for He knew that "the day was far spent."  In the month of March, 1922, some of the community were stricken with a mild form of the grippe and good Sister Arona was one of them. Apparently her condition was not serious or alarming, and therefore she continued to occupy her cell in the community dormitory. The third night of her illness one of the Sisters heard her breathing heavily and she inquired whether she could be of any assistance. On closer investigation she saw a decided change in her features; having awakened some of the other Sisters, she hastened to summon the Sister infirmarian and Mother Provincial. After a hurried preparation the Reverend Chaplain came, heard Sister Arona's confession, anointed her and then hastened to the chapel for the "Bread of Life". She received her divine Spouse and future judge with full consciousness and peacefulness. After praying for some time all retired with the exception of one Sister. About 4:45 A.M. the infirmarian, Mother Provincial, and the Reverend Chaplain were again called; the prayers for the dying were recited and as the bell summoned the Sisters for their morning prayers the soul of our dear Sister Arona went to whisper its first Matins in the eternal mansion. St. Joseph did not forsake his client. He provided for her in her last hour which came in his own month. Sister died March seventh.

Although her death was a shock to all, it, nevertheless, called forth in every heart the desire to be as well prepared as she was. May our dear Sister petition dear St. Joseph for many spiritual and temporal favors for our loved Order.

R.I.P. Photo by:  Eric Kreft & Karl Kleen of Find A Grave

Thanks to all the good Sisters of Notre Dame for your assistance.  I will be forever grateful!!

by: Louise Bernero

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Piece of the Puzzle

Surname: Dove

Mary Jane Dove, b: 13 May 1852, d: unknown – father: James Henry Dove, b: abt 1822 – mother: Nancy McDonald, b: abt 1833

Putting The Puzzle Together: James Henry Dove is my maternal 2x ggrandfather.  During my mother’s lifetime I do not believe she ever knew his name.  I have been fortunate to establish contact on line with a descendant that shares the same 2x ggrandfather.  He passed on some information he had uncovered that helps piece this family together.  The story goes…….James Henry Dove had to go off to war.  He enlisted with the Confederate 32nd Alabama Infantry Regiment in April 1862 leaving his first wife and six children behind.  He survived and returned to find his wife, Nancy McDonald Dove, had died of  yellow fever.  Mary Jane and  two other children were placed in a Catholic Orphanage in New Orleans, LA.  It was believed that Mary Jane grew up in the orphanage and became a Nun. 

I was so fascinated with this story I immediately pointed my research in the direction of finding Mary Jane Dove.   They lived in Clarke County, Alabama when the war started so I am not sure how they made their way to New Orleans or when her mother died.  She was only about 10 years old when her father left so she could not have been much older when she was placed in the orphanage. 

I first found her in the 1880 census in New Orleans listed as Sr.(sister) Mary Dove.  The last page of the census listed the name of the orphanage as St. Joseph’s German Orphan Asylum and the street was Laurel St. in the Orleans parish.  I was so excited to now have a name of the facility.  My next search was to find out where she was in 1870.  I searched the Orleans Parish enumeration districts line by line and……bingo…..I found her.  The information is not completely accurate because her birth place is listed as Texas ……but ….I know it is her.  I also found her sister,  Ellen Dove, listed in this same facility……….another tiny piece of the puzzle!

I’ve researched St. Joseph’s German Orphan Asylum and found that it was run by the Sister’s of Notre Dame.   Yesterday I spoke with one of the sisters in charge of the archives……….hopefully we can find out when she became a nun, when she died, and where she is buried.

by: Louise Bernero

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