Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As we honor our Veterans this week, I feel it's appropriate to post about an interesting find I had on a research trip. Daddy and I had driven in search of a cemetery off Wilhite, where he remembered attending a funeral as a little boy. I was looking for the graves of my great, great grandparents, but we stumbled across something else.

As we turned onto a small lane, we stopped to ask a man in his yard whether he could tell us about any cemeteries on that road. I explained that we were doing a little research on the family tree and mentioned some names. The man, whose last name was Branam, then said he had something I might want to see, and he brought out this flag. He explained that during World War II, Bethany Baptist Church had sewn the names of local soldiers onto the stars. There on the flag was my Uncle Doyle Loveday's name. To this day, I regret not offering to buy the flag, because I honestly think the man was almost suggesting that I might want to do that.

Other names include Hurst, Thomas, Webb, Rolen, Williams, Odom, Ball, Blalock, Elidge, and Branam. If you click on the photo, you can see some of the names a little better.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Speaking of Water Wheels

My Uncle Doyle Loveday is shown here with his wonderful water wheel he built on his property off Kodak Road. (He is also shown below as a little boy.) His daughter Lois (Loveday) Chesney told me that her dad was a mechanical engineer, "partially educated in the military, and just a natural," who was very knowledgeable about mechanical things. Among other things throughout his life, he worked as an auto mechanic and driver with Lewis Bus Lines and with Knoxville Construction Company (now APAC) as supervisor for the heavy equipment that was used on building the local interstate highways.

Building the water wheel was a dream of his, so before he retired, he had a pond dug. He built the wheel all by himself during the summer of 1989 and designed it so that the overflow run off from the pond would allow water to drip onto the wheel to make it turn. He put a swing beside it, and the site became a special place for dreaming and reflection. The family cherishes this monument of his work, and his granddaughter Denise held her wedding at the site this past September.

Uncle Doyle went with me on several "hunting trips" for family information in Sevier County over the years, and I have a precious recording of him telling about family history. I visited his water wheel several days ago and couldn't help but touch it to make it turn. It is so perfectly balanced, that even today I believe you could just blow on it and make it spin!

Friday, November 7, 2008


"Tuckahoe" is a Native American word for the large, truffle-like fungus that grew in the rich, moist soil along waterways, as well as for "tubers" like Indian Turnips. From those edible "bulbs," the Cherokees and others got starch to make their bread.

I am amazed that my Loveday ancestors from the 1700s lived along the Tuckahoe in Talbot County, Maryland, and then my Loveday grandparents coincidently lived along the Tuckahoe in Knox County, Tennessee!

Cousin Guy Merritt shares that all of our Tuckahoe and Thorn Grove area was once owned by the Derioux family. Peter Derioux was next in line to be the King of France, but when the French Revolution beheaded the king and his wife, Peter decided he should leave. He lived across the road from Thomas Jefferson, and Peter's grandson, also named Peter, came to East Tennessee, where he was a doctor in Dandridge. He owned many acres, and local families, including the Cokers, married into the Derioux holdings.

The Coker/Tuckahoe Mill stood just below the location of our grandparents' home place and was run by Guy's great grandfather William Lafayette Merritt. Mr. Merritt first ran a mill in Wear's Valley for Ahas Bryan and then moved to Newport to run the mill downtown there before eventually moving to Tuckahoe to run the one pictured here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Family Trees: The Effects of Decades

Lots of folks talk about their family tree, but our Lovedays have family TREES!

Throughout the years at my Loveday grandparents' home at Tuckahoe, many of us roamed the woods and left our marks on the trees there. (Thanks, Cousin Mike Loveday, for reminding me that they are BEECH trees!) Scattered along the hills and stream beds are names, initials, dates, and drawings from several generations, and they include my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their offspring, as well as some loves that have come and gone! The oldest ones I've seen are from the 1950s, when the land was bought. My particular line of carved initials I've found includes my dad's, brother's, nephew's, son's, and my own. Daddy carved mine when I was nine.

In the 1980s, I went back into the woods and took some black and white photos of the trees I could find.

After our recent reunion (11/1/08), a few of us went back to the woods again at the old home place, and I took more photos. (Thanks one more time, Cousin George Brooks, for being my hiking buddy AND for keeping me from sliding off the ridge into the creek!!)

While I was busy hunting old carvings, my husband Don secretly carved the initials (HB) of my new grandson. He didn't tell me what he had done until long after we had left the woods. What a special gift to me! Now I can take my grandson there some day and find it!! See here to possibly find your tree.

We Still Do

What was I saying about family, food, and fellowship? A week ago my cousin Ginger (Farmer) Evans woke up with an intent to get us all together for a Loveday reunion. How many kin can you herd in a week? I was amazed yesterday that we managed to have about 60 in attendance. The food was excellent, and the fellowship was even better! So good to see aunts, uncles, and cousins to the first, second, and third degree!

Can anybody total how many family members come from the Jesse and Jocie (Oakley) Loveday family line? They would be so proud!