Tankersley Family History & Genealogy

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Most Common First Names

  • James 2.9%
  • John 2.6%
  • William 2.2%
  • Robert 1.8%
  • Charles 1.6%
  • Mary 1.2%
  • J 1.2%
  • Richard 1.0%
  • George 0.9%
  • David 0.9%
  • Thomas 0.9%
  • Michael 0.7%
  • Henry 0.6%
  • Clarence 0.6%
  • Roy 0.6%
  • Martha 0.5%
  • Billy 0.5%
  • Helen 0.5%
  • Betty 0.5%
  • Ruth 0.5%

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Catherine Jewett WE LEARNED TO PRAY

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

How many of us learned that little prayer as a child? Millions, I guess. Can't you see yourself, hands folded, in bed or kneeling beside it, continuing the Prayer?
“God bless -“ mother and father, brothers, sisters maybe a grandparent, maybe a teacher, who merited special mention.

It didn't take much, or many people to keep us fed, clothed, content and loved, and keep us on the path to righteousness.

One can guess that it would be equally surprising to find how few children of the new century never learned that prayer, who never experienced the nightly tuck-in and kiss from a parent, or in my case, just as likely, an older sister. I wonder if children today always have someone to share with at the end of the day - for misdeeds or good deeds of the day. Sure they have purple dinosaurs and impressive action figures, but how warm and cuddly are they?

Our lives go on, in so many directions and with so many distractions, and maybe you have found your prayer list getting longer and longer. There seems to be so much to pray for and hope for - for our country, especially now since 9-11-2001, for our family and friends. But don't you feel sorry for people who don't have prayer to rely upon? If someone sees a better way to get our country back on track, he or she should hop to it, but if I desire to pray for the doubters and their families, why not?

Do I remember the” Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer? I still pray it
Truthfully, though, nowadays it's more likely to go something like this:

“Now I lay me down to sleep - and wouldn't it be wonderful if I could sleep through the night without cramps in my legs, trips to the bathroom, or waking up trying to breathe regularly? In any event,, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

“If I should die before I wake, and I really hope I don't , because there are lots more things I want to see and do, but if I do, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
Mar 14, 2004 · Reply
Catherine Jewett Mama's Christmas Surprise

It was the winter of 1938, and Cullman County, Alabama like the rest of the nation, was still suffering the Great Depression. I was eleven years old, in the sixth grade at West Point School. Miss Lois King was my teacher, and before we got out a week for the Christmas holidays, every class had a draw-names-and-exchange-gifts party. Miss King had let us make pomanders, with oranges stuck all over with cloves, and a ribbon attached to the top. She, of course, furnished all the materials for the project, but the class had chipped in to furnish cookies and juice for refreshments, and to buy Miss King a gift: a pair of gloves. Whoever got my name got me a notebook: a very practical gift, and since we were limited to fifty cents on the amount we could spend, it really was a very acceptable gift. Maybe my classmate knew my penchant for scribbling verse. I had written a poem about the first Christmas, which Mama was very proud of and brought out that Sunday afternoon, to read to relatives, but Grandma said I didn't write it, that she' d read it in a magazine. That hurt my feelings.

Johnny was nine, and a fourth grader. One chilly day just before Christmas we belatedly thought about buying Christmas gifts, at least for Mama and Papa, and maybe Jo, since she was the baby. There was just one serious catch: we had no money. Mama said it was hard enough getting us to do our regular chores, she couldn't pay us for any other work, but she'd see about letting us take some eggs to sell. Then Papa said if we wanted to pick "scattered cotton" we could have the money it brought. We grabbed our pick sacks and headed for the whitest spot we could: find in the picked-over field.

Unaccompanied by adults it was not our habit to attack any field job with vigor, but the cold wind hurried us along, and as we picked we discussed the possibilities for our purchases. Before too long we decided on a game for Jo, who was pretty sharp for a six year old, and could beat me at checkers and dominoes, but not Johnny. Parcheesi it would be. Of course the fact that the two of us wanted it had nothing to do with it. Johnny said Papa needed a new knife, but neither of us knew how much that would cost. We decided to go together on it. For Mama we couldn't agree on anything, so we finally decided to take the money remaining and each buy her something. The sun, shining through high clouds when we started, was no longer visible and the high Sirius clouds had been replaced by thicker, softer clouds we called 'snow clouds'. Sure enough, a few tiny flakes blew in our faces as we worked.

After a couple of hours our hands were numb, our faces icy, and our teeth chattered when we tried to talk.

"Do you think we have enough?", Johnny asked.

"Not enough, but I think it'll have to do. I'm freezing." When I said that, Johnny was already on his way to the house. True to her word Mama let us have a dozen eggs to sell, and we lit out for Jordan's store and gin, to market our wares.
The return was not great, but we determined to shop wisely and make it do. The next day Papa took us to town, and we headed for Yost 5 & 10 .We pushed our way through a bustling crowd made bigger by all the layers of clothing we all wore. The store was warm, and musty smells of people in close quarters mingled with the more pleasant Christmas smells.

. Evelyn was working at the first counter as we went in, but after a brief greeting she sent us on our way.

"1 can't stop to talk. Don't y'all break anything. I have to wait on customers", she said, uncharacteristically businesslike for Evelyn. Johnny picked up a bottle of Evening in Paris and sniffed it. "I may get this for Mama", but he put it back, and we separated after finding the game for Jo, each to pursue our own interests.

I moved through the store slowly, looking at every item, picking things up, being told, "Don't touch, " more than once, and finally worked my way to the basement. There I found the counter that sold Fostoria ware, and I thought how much Mama would love a beautiful vase. As I looked I could see a bouquet of Mama's beautiful roses arranged in it, and carefully placed on the library table in the hall. Or maybe a cream and sugar set- in Fostoria that would be lovely. But I looked at the price of each item. They were too expensive. I only had fifty cents, and nothing here was in that price range. Frustrated, and sad, I almost turned from the counter, but wait -there was something very small. I really didn't know what it was, but it was just the right size to put a few violets in, or maybe pansies, and Mama could put it beside her bed, or maybe on the sewing machine, while she worked. I picked it up and looked at the price: fifty cents!

I had my few packages in tow, and went to find Johnny. He was carrying the biggest sack I ever saw, A Christmasy sack, with YOST 5&10 on the side.

"What did you get for Mama?" I asked.

"I'm not telling. You'll have to wait 'til tomorrow when Mama opens it", and all the way home, no matter how much I begged, threatened and pleaded, Johnny would not tell what was in the big bag.

Everyone else in the family tried to get Johnny to say what was in the bag, but he kept shaking his head. He got a crayon and wrote MAMA on the bag before we went to bed.
The next morning, an excited crowd gathered in the living room, with a warm fire blazing, and even with only one or two gifts each, with ten kids and Mama and Papa, there was a load of gifts under the tree.

Mama insisted on opening her gifts last. She picked up mine and carefully opened it. Everyone oohed and ahhed, and Billie said; "Now that was nice. Even with a little bit of money you picked out that nice little tooth pick holder". I just smiled, not letting on that I didn't know what it was,(but the price was right.)

We all turned our attention as Mama carefully opened the huge bag from Johnny. She clapped her hands and said, "Just what I always wanted -POPCORN!". Everyone laughed and looked at him, while Johnny sheepishly grinned. Everyone knew who the popcorn lover of the family was!
Sep 19, 2004 · Reply
Catherine Jewett BICYCLES

People were riding bicycles fifty years before I was born. More than that probably. The gay nineties pictures I have seen show many kinds of bicycles: big wheel in front, big size wheels, and of course the bicycle built for two. That doesn't mean they were common in my youth. I can't remember anyone in my family having a bicycle until maybe Johnny, when he was twelve or thirteen. Before that Johnny rode Sonny Davis' bike sometimes, and I,too,really wanted to learn to ride.

Now, dirt roads are really no good for bike riding, and I learned that the hard way. Sonny and Johnny had taken turns riding, then the two of them headed off into the woods, chasing squirrels with a sling shot, or some such endeavor, and Sonny left his bike by the back porch. I looked at it for quite a while, and then decided to try riding it around the yard. No one stopped me, so I continued to ride a few feet, fall off, get back on and try again. The yard was no good, I decided. I couldn't pick up speed, and that was why I couldn't stay on. Maybe I would just take it out into the road. Of course the dirt road had deep ruts from a recent rain, but maybe, if I just stayed over to the side of the road, where it was relatively smooth, I could really ride.

At first it went very well, and I was pumping those wheels and going smoothly down the hill. But at that time the hill had not been leveled out and the road dropped steeply, and it was then I discovered the bike had no brakes. Faster and faster I approached the bottom of that long hill, with a huge mud hole covering the entire road just before the bridge. There was no avoiding it, and when I splashed into the water, the bike went one way and I went the other. I landed on my face, with red mud covering the entire front of my body. I picked up the bike and dragged it to the side of the road. Then I crossed the barbed wire fence, shaking and holding back tears. From the 'branch' washed as much mud off my dress and myself as I could, then followed the pasture cow path back to the house, so I wouldn't run into anyone.

They were waiting for me by the back door, Johnny, Sonny and Mama. Omeone, they said, had stolen Sonny's bike. At first everyone seemed angry, then it dawned on the family just what I had done, and I had to endure their falling down, roll on the ground laugh -even Mama seemed to think it was funny, but finally someone asked if I was hurt, and I was! Besides huge bruises on my side, the skin was gone from my right forearm, and my pride was hurt irreparably.
Sep 19, 2004 · Reply
RubyCatherine Jewett Cuban Missile Crisis threatens World War III.

I can't believe it was January, because the weather was so warm. At that time we had an Olds 98 convertible, a 1962 model, so it was new, and we had been to a drive-in theatre on 17-92 in Winter Park,FL to see a movie. The top was down. Both the chilren were in the back seat, and Cathy at age 2 was probably sleeping.

As we neared our home on Joanne Drive, just six miles north of McCoy Air Force Base, (which today is the site of Orlando International Airport) we started noticing many planes headed south. We sat in the driveway watching, and wandering what was going on. We must have sat there a half hour, and it seemed that a hundred planes passed overhead: bombers and fighters.

When we finally got out of the car, unlocked the front door and entered our living room my feet sank into water (we had practically new carpeting on the floor). I left George sitting in his wheelchair just inside the door, took Cathy to her bed, and as I passed the girls bathroom I could hear the toilet running. Someone had flushed just before we left, and all the time we had been at the movie and sat in the yard, water was filling our house. There was little I could do about it that night, so we went to bed. Next day I took a board and pushed water out the front door as long as I could. Then we knew the carpet and pad had to come out. Mr Spears and sons next door came over and helped me get the carpet out of the whole house, so it could dry out. (Good thing that it was so warm, we could open door and windows. ) That house was built on a concrete slab, with terrazo floors, so we just went back to the terrazo.. and as I recall, never recarpeted.although we lived there another three years.

Of course the news was full of the missle crisis situation, and Floridians were fearful of invasion! At school we taught the children to duck under their desks and cover the back of their neck with one arm. I have no idea why. I was teaching sixth grade at Englewood Elementary School, and had one of the best classes I ever had. In fact i think it was probably Carol's favorite grade school year, also. I believe she was in fourth grade and had a wonderful teacher at Conway.

Many people started building bomb shelters, putting all their money into gold, or silver, stocking up on staples, such as flour and sugar and coffee. It was a real scare.

President Kennedy's finest hour was probably when he called the bluff of Kruschev, and finally we heard that the missiles were being moved away from Cuba. On our black and white screen we watched the Russian ships as they carried away huge missles.
Dec 30, 2006 · Reply
Larry Brown I am an Tankersley descendent and would like share information.
Aug 22, 2013 · Reply
Tammy Clark My birth mother was a tankersley. I am looking for her, her name is Emma jean. She married my dad James e hipps in Alabama inn the early 70s.
Feb 05, 2015 · Reply