I had a great fourth grade teacher, Edna Jagoe. It had been her passion to save the East Texas forest and
that passion saved The Big Thicket. But, that is not why I brought her up. She
taught our class this, “Your rights end where my nose begins.” I’m 55 years old
now, so I guess I’ve been keeping that thought around for 45 years. I believe
she meant it physically and mentally.
It came to mind recently over comments regarding my family and my family heritage. Just where should the line
be drawn when people start talking about your family? I am the third great
granddaughter of a Noble Anderson Sr., who was born in Pennsylvania in 1769.
With the help of friends and family members, a line of ancestors and
descendants has been well established, documented and sometimes photographed.
When someone adamantly claims I’m lying about one member, they cast fault on
the entire tree because the tree does not stand alone; it is made up of the
I don’t expect everyone to agree on everything. Some family members don’t agree with me 100% but we are able to
communicate, share the day’s news, encourage one another during sickness and
infirmity, express joy over good news and laugh at some of the crazy things we
tell one another. So, it works well. I believe it is called respecting one
another due to a common thread that runs between us.
Open discussion can be good. History will never change but you might know something I don’t. And, I might
know something you don’t. However, when folks begin to get to the point that
they are claiming to be close to proving I don’t exist to make their point, I
believe that has gone too far. That’s a good example of being over the line. It
When all one has to prove a point is one newspaper article and it tells a story no one had heard of before it
came out, more time needs to be spent on how it came about, who was involved,
how do other facts refute the article or support it. Especially when the
newspaper the author works for has the owner write his cousin in Missouri
saying he isn’t sure the article is true and wants some sort of corroboration,
which four years later, by the account of another article in the same newspaper
states, never happened. Not one person came out and recognized a man’s
photograph from Brownwood as the person they knew as Bloody Bill Anderson. You can’t tell the whole story by leaving
that part of it out.
When does it cross the line discussing a woman’s virtue? A woman is said to be the mother of two young boys in an old
cemetery in Brownwood. But, if you look at the dates on the graves, the boys
were born during her marriage to my great uncle but the story is perpetuated
instead of being researched. Do the
people claiming still that she is the mother of the two Roberts boys in Roberts
cemetery want to accuse her of bigamy, adultery…..it would have to be one or
the other for their story to be true. But, again, it is as simple as just looking
at the boys tombstones and reading their dates of birth to realize this poor,
maligned cousin of mine could not have been their mother. She was busy giving
birth to 10 other children with my great uncle. But, the people who believe I
don’t exist still continue to tell the story that poor, old Martha Anderson is
the mother to these two Roberts boys. It is a shame to do this to her memory.
But, that’s what happens when the line is crossed.
I could go on but there are too few here that really are interested in this silliness. I just wanted to say
that I think we should be careful when in the face of a family member; we take
one or two small foibles of their family history and try to tear down the whole
Sally Anderson Goodson