Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I've Got Mail!

Something came in the mail today! I've known for a while now that my mom's cousin, France Davis - France, not Francis, mind you - wrote a book. I remember it being talked about at a family reunion a couple of years back, but I was too cheap poor and in college or a recent graduate and didn't buy it. Welp, you guessed it, I went ahead and ordered the book online a few days ago and when I came home today, it was waiting for me!

Cousin France is actually my mom's first cousin, once removed. What does that mean? Mom's maternal great-grandfather, Reverend July Cooper, was Cousin France's grandfather, or put another way, Mom's maternal grandfather Noah Cooper and Cousin France's mom Julia (Cooper) Davis were siblings. So, yeah, I get to use the fancy term "first cousin once removed" for them and if you throw me in the mix, he's my "first cousin twice removed."

Sings to self: I'm so fancy, you already know...Just kidding. I had to look it up on this chart to get the terminology right.

Anyway, I bought the book because at our last reunion, last summer, the suggestion was made that the next reunion be held in our ancestral town, Gough, (Burke County) Georgia. Then we could visit the land the family still owned, see the family cemetery, and really connect to the place we came from. (My great-grandparents Noah and Nancy (Thomas) Cooper moved from Georgia to Washington, DC in the 1930s.) And I remembered someone saying, on several occasions, that there was even a town named after us down there, a Cooperstown or Coopersville. It popped up in my mind a few months ago and so I did what everyone else does - I googled it. Lo and behold, France's book popped up as a hit, with the names of a bunch of my family members! So, I took a really long time to get around to it and bought the book.

One of my favorite photos of my great grandparents, Noah Cooper and Nancy (Thomas) Cooper.
I unwrapped the package, but my mom opened the book before I did! She very generously closed the book again until I sat down, though. Then we dove in and started looking at the pictures. (Just doing what I was taught in school - skim a thing first to get the general idea and then go back and read for details!)

It's pretty cool to see family members that I recognize in a published book. And of course my mom has more memories of these folks, especially of the older ones who've passed. There's even images of pages from my 2x great aunt Julia's family bible (earliest date 1858)! How neat!

I'm looking forward to sitting down and really reading this, both to learn about our Cousin France (who is still living, and is a pastor out in Utah as far as I know), and to learn about my Cooper roots. I haven't researched this branch of the family as much as I have others, because several other folks are already very capably doing so, but, hey, I want to know the stories, too!

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