Monday, February 15, 2010

Ancestral Homes and Google Maps

For those of you that have been following Georgia Black Crackers, you know that I'm participating in the Winter 2010 Geneabloggers Games.

One of my goals for today was to learn a new task. So, I decided to take on Google Maps (Task A in the Expand your Knowlede Category). Until I read Google Maps and Carnival Posts at Bootcamp for Genea-bloggers and more!, I actually thought I new all there was to know about using Google Maps. It turns out that while I did some what already have an idea how to use this tool, I had not realized it's potential of incorprating it into my research and geneablogging. So let's get started.

View Jones Ancestral Home in a larger map

The big green house with the basement that terrified me is no longer there but this is where my grandparents settled after leaving their home county of Martin in North Carolina. It’s where dad and all my aunts and uncles grew up.

At a time that I can barely remember, there were frequent trips from the hometown to Winston-Salem to check on Grandma Jones. There are only two things I remember about those trips, the noxious fumes that seeped up through the holes in the floor of daddy’s old Ford and root beer floats. Root beer floats were a special treat I always got whenever we went to grandma’s and the trips to grandma’s was the only time that I ever drank them.

Eventually, grandmom’s health and mind begin to fail her and she was moved to my little home town where she stayed with her daughter, Aunt Martha, until her death in 1969, after which she was returned to Winston-Salem to be interred alongside granddad and Uncle Thomas.

Through the years, trips were made back to Winston-Salem for various reasons and activities but rarely ever included a trip by the ‘ole home place.

Eventually the big green monster that terrified me was torn down. I’m not exactly sure when it was torn down (I think it was after grandmom’s death) but I remember it coming down about the same time the “highway” was being build. The highway came right in front of the house. At the time, I remember being mad at whoever had the audacity to forever change the family home and even though no family home has been there in a long while, it still makes me sad.

For years, Aunt Martha, dad and my other aunt and uncles held onto the property thinking one of us grandkids would want it. By then, most of the Jones clan was far removed from Winston-Salem and had no desire to live there. Although my cousin Valerie lived in Winston-Salem for awhile, neither she nor the rest of us grandkids wanted the property. So, eventually, the property was sold.

The trips back to dad’s hometown aren’t that frequent any more, usually dad’s high school class reunion or an occasional football game at his undergrad alma mater. But whenever we go, time permitting, I usually have but one request, can we go by the lot?

How it looked then (1961)*
Aunt Martha and my grandmother are sitting on the steps. Cousin Lafrieda is holding me and cousin Valerie, who is two months older, and the lady picking up Valerie is her mother, Aunt Emanuline. Notice, I was the good baby!

*From the collection of O. Jones, mother of the owner of this blog.

 Until Next Time!


  1. Great post Mavis!!! Love the story and love that photo of a little girl who was the good baby!

  2. Yes Mavis, you were a good baby. And you're a beautiful baby too.

  3. Oh, how I love Google Maps! As soon as I find an address in my research I hit Google Maps. You are a wonderful storyteller. You bring details to life by appealing to all the senses. Great post!


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