Like most everyone else, my story begins with my mother.

goldia davis 16 years

From Birth Certificate:
Name: Magnola Abbott
Born: 21 July 1927, Ritner, Wayne County, Kentucky
Father: Isaac Abbott, white, age 30 years, born in Ritner, Kentucky, farmer
Mother: Laura Jones, white, aged 29 years, born in Ritner, Kentucky, housework
Midwife: Lewis Vaughn (Laura’s maternal grandfather)

She was kind and true, she was strict, she was hopeful. She did not have an easy life, but she was always certain that things would turn out right. She beamed with inner peace. She loved her family. She loved to laugh! She is the person who has passed that I miss the most and think of daily.

Goldia Abbott was born in Ritner, Wayne County, Kentucky on July 21, 1927. She was the fourth child, and the third living child of John Isaac Abbott and Laura Jones. Her maternal grandfather, Lewis Vaughn, practiced midwifery in the community and delivered her, as well as several of her siblings.

My grandmother told me that she had intended to name my mother Magoldia, however her name was recorded as Magnola Abbott on the birth certificate. My mother chose to ignore her legal name and continued to use the name Magoldia formally, and used Goldia or Goldia most commonly throughout her life.

My genealogical journey began with my mother and her mother, Laura Mae Jones Abbott, both of whom loved to recall family stories. They both had a fantastic ability to remember everything – names, dates, places, the color of a dress, the make of an otherwise forgotten automobile. In the early 1980s, while I was in college, my mother and I would spend many weekends with her mother. One or more of her sisters would join us and we would pass hours at the dining room table telling family story after story. At some point I had taken to writing down the names and dates.

After my grandmother died, my mother and I began going to the state archives and visiting cemeteries to secure data that would support the family history I had recorded. All in all, my grandmother’s memory was really quite accurate when compared to the available census and vital records.

This first blog entry is a way of saying thank you to my mother, for giving me a love of family, and a love of family history.

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