Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Day in History...

92 years ago today, December 29, 1918, my great-grandparents, Ira Emmett Hinshaw and Nannie Helen Jacks, became man and wife in a civil ceremony in Lincoln County, Tennessee. The story goes that Emmett "stole" (as her mother put it) seventeen year old Nannie from her bedroom window and the two eloped across the state line from Paint Rock Valley to Lincoln County, Tennessee, to marry. Their marriage would produce nine children - Etta Epsie (Bird), Mary Jane (Long), John Lawson, Lester Donald, Opal Ernestine (Craig), Bertie Lou (Stapler), Alvin Ray, Shirley Fay (Lohenitz), and Helen Dean (Young). Sadly, Nannie died hours after the birth of her youngest daughter, Dean. She passed away at the age of 43 years old at the family home on Alpine Street in Huntsville, Alabama, and was laid to rest in the Neal's Chapel Cemetery in Big Cove, Alabama, where the family had settled around 1922. Emmett moved to Florida a few years later and finished raising his family with help from the older children, a few of whom had already married. He eventually returned to Madison County in the mid-70's, settling near New Market, Alabama. He passed away January 22, 1982, at the age of eighty-five. He survived Nannie by thirty-seven years; but never remarried. Emmett was laid to rest in Big Cove, Alabama, beside of the wife he loved so dearly, Nannie.

This photo is of Emmett and Nannie Hinshaw and was taken in Big Cove, Alabama, around 1941. The little boy running in the side of the picture is their son, Ray.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

I hope you all have a wonderful WHITE Christmas!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

This Day in History...

I'm sure I'll post something about Christmas morning sometime tomorrow; but while we're busy getting ready for Santa Clause, I wanted to take a second to mention that 200 years ago on Christmas Day, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Dr. George Lee Bird, was born near Crawfordville, Georgia. He was the son of a wealthy plantation owner, and had a fairly affluent lineage and had but one child with his first wife, Salina Chivers. That son was George Marshall Bird, who left Crawfordville shortly after his father's death and just before the Civil War. It was this George Marshall Bird who eventually settled in the Big Cove Community in 1904.
Kellie and Mackenzie and I took a trip to Crawfordville back in 2003, just before completing the book I wrote about our lineage. There, we were able to visit Dr. Bird's house, which still stands on the Taliaferro County square, adjacent the courthouse, as well as Dr. Bird's grave - a story Kellie loves to tell - ha, ha! I blog about that later.
Off to finish our Santa prep's - Merry Christmas everybody!

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Day In HIstory... John Elbert Adams

Seventy-five years ago today, my great-grandfather, John Elbert Adams, passed away at the young age of only forty-two years. He was born August 24, 1892, in Roanoke, Alabama (Randolph County) , and was the third child of James Thomas Adams and the former Miss Martha Eldorada Butler . As a very small child, John relocated to Marshall County, Alabama, with his parents and siblings; and eventually settled in nearby Madison County.
John married Rosie Lee Winkles on February 10, 1910 , in Huntsville, Alabama. Rosie, whose name can also found listed in some media type as Rosa , was born September 19, 1896 , and was only thirteen years old when she married John, who was then seventeen. Rosie was the daughter of James Winkles and the former Miss Ann Brumbalow, and was an orphan at the time of her marriage to John.
Over the next eighteen years, John and Rosie became the parents of thirteen children. Four of these children – one girl and three boys – died shortly after or at birth. Their names are unknown; however, their graves are marked in the Moon Cemetery near Owens Cross Roads. The nine surviving children were Rachel M. (1912), Albert Lonzo (1913), Bertie Lorene (1914), Ruby Nancy (19--), James Walter (1919), John Junior (1920), Sammie Ligie (1922), Rosie Virginia (1926), and William Jasper (1930). All of these children were born near Owens Cross Roads, Alabama.
John Elbert Adams died December 17, 1935 , at his home in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama. According to his death certificate, his death came almost five months after undergoing a nephrectomy (surgical removal of a kidney). The actual cause of death and minor contributory thereof is not clearly legible on the certificate; however, the cause is listed as “(unclear word) of left kidney”. The death certificate also indicates that John was a forty-two year old farmer (he was actually forty-three), lists his parents as J.T. Adams and Martha Butler, and lists his surviving spouse as Rosa Adams. The informant is listed as S.F. Adams, which is John’s youngest brother, Santford Adams.
John was buried in the Moon Cemetery in Owens Cross Roads, on December 18, 1935.
The photo below is of John Elbert Adams "Poppa", and Rosie Lee Winkles Adams "Granny".

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Give the Gift of MUSIC!

Still looking for some great (or maybe just "good") stocking stuffers?!? Give the gift of MUSIC! We have the following CD's still available for sell:

  • The Alvie McKenzie Family: Not Another Tear ($15)

  • The McKenzie's: Volume II ($15)
  • Chosen: Power in Believing ($10)

  • Christmas With... (an all NEW Christmas CD featuring several of your favorite groups... and us!) ($15)

  • New Harmony: The Journey (some of our friends from Huntsville) ($15)

If you're interested in any of these projectss, give us a shout and we'll hook you up We'll even do FREE shipping for the rest of the month!


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

This Day in History...

On this day in history, December 8, 1964, my great-great-grandmother, Mattie L. Black Stapler, passed away at the age of 85 years. My mom, who was raised out of state, remembers seeing her great-grandmother a time or two growing up; but of course, she passed away before my time. Grandma Stapler was laid to rest in the Green Valley Cemetery in Big Cove, next to her husband, Willias Silas Stapler. Here's a couple of pics of her. One of her as a young woman, and the other is of Grandma with her sister, Leona Hodges.


Monday, December 06, 2010


I don't know why, but for some reason, it seems like we can fit more activities into a two day weekend than we do the other five days of the week. Saturday, we photographed my niece, A.J., for pretty much all day. We were going to do pics of my girls that evening for our Christmas card, but it was rainy all day, so we didn't get around to it. We went to church Saturday night, and rescheduled our pics for Sunday. I try not to ever miss church on the account of pictures; but I knew if I didn't get something done yesterday, we weren't going to have cards this year. So Sunday morning, we get the kids all dolled up and took them to Chattanooga for pics. First, we had to run to the mall to finish-up their outfits; but we finally got over to the downtown area; and what do you know - it starts SNOWING! Not much, but it was spitting snow. That's how cold it was! We were freezing - especially the girls; and so we barely got enough pics for me to build a card with. We came home; and I built the cards and got them ordered. Kellie and the girls went to church at Higdon; and as soon as I got finished with the cards, I took off to the funeral home at Huntsville. When I finished there, I went to church at Big Cove, and then went to visit my parents for a few minutes afterwards, and got home at midnight. So there's my quick weekend update; and here's one of the pics we got Saturday. We hope to do a full session with them if we can catch a warmer day in the coming weeks!


Monday, November 29, 2010

2nd post for the day...

Okay, a little more detail from last week. Saturday, I photographed some bridal photos in Big Cove, then rushed home and picked up the wife and kids and we set-out to the Smokies! Sunday, we re-visited the Gatlinburg aquarium. We've been before, but I'm not sure if Makayla has ever been and Mackenzie couldn't remember going. The girls had a blast! If you've never been, they really have a great aquarium! Ashley and Brooke came up that evening, so we met up with them at Texas Roadhouse for supper.
Monday was Makayla's actual birthday, so Kellie cooked pancakes in our condo and we gave her a present. I can't even remember what we did for the rest of the day; but I think we shopped and hung out in Gatlinburg some more. I still can't believe Makayla is five! I think I mentioned in Mackenzie's birthday post about the kids each having four names. Makayla's is Makayla Kellie Lorene Byrd. Her name was "supposed" to be Madeline, called Mattie; but Kellie and I couldn't agree on the spelling so we just went a different direction. Makayla actually came from Dr. Quinn Medicine woman; but it went good with Mackenzie so all was cool there - ha, ha. I pretty much begged Kellie to let me use Lorene as the third name, as that was my late grandmother's name. We were unsure of the second name and Kellie just decided last minute (after Makayla was born) to use "Kellie". No, it doesn't flow too good; but hey, it works! :)
Back to our vacation, Tuesday was when we were headed out, and we gave the girls one more treat. For some reason, Mackenzie has become fascinated with the Titanic. I think she must have watched part of the movie at my mom's or something. She has asked me countless questions about it! So we took them to the new Titanic exhibit in Pigeon Forge. It was awesome; and the girls loved it - it was the highlight of the trip for both of them! Of course, anything that has to do with history is right up my alley, so I had a blast myself. I even transcribed part of an old letter that the currators of the museum had previously been unable to read. I've read so many old wills and census records and letters that it was very easy for me to understand. I looked at it for like a minute and was able to tell what it said, so I went and got an official and let them know. It was cool.
Wednesday, I worked on Christmas pictures all day - ALL DAY! We went to church that night; but I spent an exhausting day at the computer!
Thursday, we did Thanksgiving at Kellie's grandparents and took Mackenzie that night to Scottsboro to meet my parents, who were going to keep her a couple of nights.
Friday, we shopped. We got up like at 3 a.m. and went shopping. We were in and out at Wal-Mart; but Target was a different story! I stood in line for almost three hours there to get an iPod for Mackenzie. And now stinkin' Santa Claus will get all the credit for it! Grrrr! :) Anyhow, we shopped all day long and got home that night and went to bed.
Saturday, we went to Big Cove to get Mackenzie and hung out with my parents all day, and then spent all day yesterday at church.

This Day in History...

Thirty-five years ago today, November 29, 1975, my grandmother, Bertie Lorene Adams Bird, passed away at a Huntsville hospital, after a long and tiring bout with diabetes. Unfortunately, this was about three years before I was born, so I never got to know her; however, I have missed her for my entire life. I wonder sometimes how different life would have been for me had she lived as long as Granddaddy did (he passed away in 2003). I've heard so many wonderful things about her from my family and others in the community - I know that I really missed out now knowing her.

Also, I learned today that Mr. Mark Tucker passed away this weekend. Mark played Santa for a few Christmas shoots that Marty and I did at New Hope and Owens Cross Roads Schools over the past few years. He was always a pleasure to work with and genuinely enjoyed his role as Santa! Our prayers go out to his family during this Holiday season. Here's one of my favorite Santa photos of my girls with Santa Mark - I think from 2007!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We all have so much to be thankful for - I know I do. I've got everything I've ever truly wanted! No, not a new car, new house, plenty of money in the bank. But everything I ever truly wanted - a great wife, healthy beautiful children, and most of all, a loving Savior. And on top of those things, I'm thankful for our 2002 Ford Escape with 230k+ miles on it - until now, we've never really had a minutes trouble out of it and never had to spend a bunch of money on it (besides gas and tires) to keep it running good. A nice home that keeps me warm and dry - one that I can afford. And this coming February will mark ten years that I've been at my present employer - they are really good to me and I while I don't make a bunch of money, what I make gets us by week to week. And there is so much more besides this that I could name.
This past Saturday, Kellie, the girls and I went to the Smokies for a few days. It was the first time just the four of us had gone somewhere in a long time. We did the aquarium in Gatlinburg, shopped some, and the highlight of the trip was probably our last day. We went to the new Titanic museum - Mackenzie had BEGGED us to go. She loved it. Makayla did too! It was really neat. And, while we were gone, Makayla turned FIVE! I can't believe it. I still plan to post more about her soon; but right now, we're fixin' to head out to Kellie's grandparents' for Thanksgiving, so I'll have to do that later. They're calling me to "come on!!!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Fifth Birthday Makayla! Will blog more later - in Smokies! :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Harmony in concert with THE ISAAC's...


I got my tickets today to see my friends, New Harmony, on stage in April 2011 with THE Isaac's! Tickets went on sale today and are selling out fast. If you're interested, better hurry! I'm in the middle of the third row; and can't wait!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weddings are BACK on the menu...

I should probably change the name of my studio to Wishy-Washy Photography! :) In the past year, I cut out weddings altogether and intended to focus more on family photography; however, due to a variety of circumstances (if you want the boring details, feel free to ask) including my latest health set-back, my plans have changed. I'm swapping horses (again) and planning to ditch a large portion of family photography and invest most of my time in 2011 in weddings. I started out in the business shooting weddings; and after some not-so-gentle urging from some of my friends and peers, I've decided to return to my roots and add weddings back to the line-up. Although it's hard work and time-consuming, it does have it's perks and it is always an honor to be included in such a special part of people's lives. SO - more details to come on that as the year rolls around. If you are planning a wedding for 2011 and would like more information about our wedding services, please drop us a line!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This Day in History...

Eighty years ago on November 16, 1930, my paternal grandparents – Walter Lee Bird & Bertie Lorene Adams – were joined in holy matrimony in a double civil ceremony in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama, with Granddaddy’s first cousin, Winfred Bird, and his bride, Lorene Rhoden. Granddaddy was eighteen and Grandmother was sixteen. Over the next thirty years, their marriage brought forth ten children; and in fact, Granddaddy and Grandmother were still having children after they had already become grandparents!
They were together for forty-five years when the death angel called Grandmother away in 1975; and even though Granddaddy married again to a lovely woman several years later, his love for Grandmother never diminished. I still remember well, sitting in the back-yard swing with Granddaddy in the 1990’s, asking him about the day he married Grandmother. And as he began to tell me about it, his dim eyes lit up and he smiled as he spoke. I could tell in his voice that although she had been gone for many years, he still held her very close in his heart.
I never knew Grandmother; and Granddaddy left us in 2003 – but the love they had for one another is still reflected in the lives of their children, and fortunately, passed down still another generation – to my generation – in their grandchildren; and I hope to instill that same love in my own children as the years go by.

The photo is of Granddaddy and Grandmother holding my dad, Ronald, in 1954.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Makayla...

I don't have a lot of posting time this morning; but I did want to throw a few pics up from Makayla's 5th Bday party, which we had this past Saturday. Her actual birthday is not until November 22; but with that being so close to Thanksgiving, we bumped up the party a couple of weeks. She had a great turnout and got lots of great presents! All the little girls dressed-up in their princess costumes, and some of the little boys even dressed up like princes and kings! :) They play "crown the princess" (kind of like pin the tail on the donkey) and a few other games. My mom made an AWESOME castle cake, from which we took the top layer off and froze it until Makayla's "real" birthday. All the kids, especially Makayla, seemed to have a great time!
I'll blog more about my precious little five year old closer to her real birthday!
See ya!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Day in History...

Ninety-nine years ago today, November 11, 1911 (yes, 11/11/11), my great-grandparents - Wiley Virgil Bird and Willie Ann Josephine Hunter - became man and wife in a civil ceremony in Huntsville, Alabama. Wiley was eighteen and Josie was seventeen (the couple had the same birthday, May 21, with only one year difference in their ages). Wiley was a native of Walker County, Georgia, and had settled in Madison County in 1902 after his father was shot and killed in a well dispute near Monrovia. Afterwards, he lived with his grandparents, who settled in the Big Cove Community in 1904. Josie was born in Grundy County, Tennessee, and settled in the Big Cove Community with her parents sometime just prior to 1900.

Their marriage would produce ten children and last thirty-five years, until Wiley's death in 1947, at the age of fifty-four years old. Josie survived her husband for thirty years, but never remarried. She passed away in 1977, at the age of eight-three, and was laid to rest beside of her late husband in the Neal's Chapel Cemetery in Big Cove, Alabama.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Eight years ago today – we thought this was it! Kellie’s doctor recommended that we go ahead and be admitted to the hospital so that our little Mackenzie could make her way into the world. And what a perfect day! It was my late grandmother’s birthday; and being the sentimentalist that I am, I couldn’t have planned it any better! Mackenzie was due on Halloween, so we had already waiting longer than we expected and then here we were – about to become parents for the first time. Only problem… there was no room in the inn! Erlanger hospital was jam packed, so they sent us home to wait. Then we got the call that they were going to admit us to East Ridge Hospital at midnight! So we got everything ready, and Vicky, Kellie, and I took off to East Ridge, and settled in thinking we’d have a baby sometime early the next day. Wrong again! After thirty hours of relentless labor, Kellie was finally wheeled into the O.R. for a C-section; and moments later, the most beautiful child I had ever seen was wrapped in a blanket and laying in my arms! And she was HUGE – she was nearly 9 pounds (I don’t remember all of the details – that’s what momma’s are for)!
You want to talk about love at first sight?! Kellie had been able to bond with the baby for the past several months; but a brand new spot in my heart that I never knew existed had been awakened – the spot that’s reserved for the love of a father! I was a daddy! I was crying and just overly emotional (typical for me – I squalled watching the Walton’s last night); and I took her over to the head of the bead and bent down and showed her to Kellie. I said, “Look at her she’s beautiful!” Well, Kellie, who was exhausted and heavily sedated just glanced over at her and was like, “yeah”. But I was in love – and have been ever since!
It’s hard to believe that she’ll be EIGHT years old on Sunday. She's growing up so fast. She wanted to go to the Top of the River (a restaurant in Guntersville), to celebrate - so that's what we're doing tonight. Time flies. I already have regrets; and I know I’ll have many, many more before it’s over. But I’ve tried my best to be a good dad, though at times I know I’ve failed miserably! I really meant to be a whole lot better than I have been; but like Uncle Roy Guffey was quoted as saying, “It’s easy to TALK a good life!”
Overall, I thank God for Mackenzie Leigh Anne Byrd. She is beautiful, smart, healthy, and one of the most morally conscious children who has probably ever graced God’s green Earth. She’s just a good, good child; and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Okay, you’re probably wondering about the name. #1 – I said that each of my children were to have four names, so that when they grew up and people asked them why they had four names, their answer could be, “Because my daddy loved me so much and thought I was such a special child, I needed a special name!” Makayla’s full name is Makayla Kellie Lorene Byrd – yeah, that’s a mouthful. Mackenzie’s first name is obviously for Kellie’s maiden name, McKenzie. Leigh is for Granddaddy Bird (Walter Lee). Anne is because it’s a third name that goes well with Leigh and my Great-grandmother Bird’s name was Willie Anne Josephine Hunter Bird – and besides all that, my sister’s name is Shawna LeAnn.
And, as mentioned earlier in the post, this day in history was also the birth of my paternal grandmother, Bertie Lorene Adams Bird, who was born on November 5, 1914. This picture is of Grandmother holding my dad, probably around this time of year in 1954. Ironically, it was taken on Sand Mountain, near where I live today, at the home of Monroe and Olgia Knight, my dad's sister, Peggy's, parents-in-law.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Here's my little witch and Halloween fairy thingy. Mackenzie will be eight on the 7th, and Makayla will be five on the 22nd.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Walk...

One day when Mackenzie, our oldest daughter, was probably about two or three years old, we were playing in the backyard at our house, when I noticed a huge commotion down at the pond. There’s a large – I’d say probably two or three acre – pond that stretches between our house and Kellie’s grandparents’ house. After taking a closer look, I saw that the commotion was two huge turtles in the edge of the water and figured Mackenzie would get a kick out of seeing them, so I grabbed her and we crossed the fence, and went down to check it out. We watched the turtles for a few minutes and I asked her if she wanted to just walk around the pond since we were already down there; and that sounded like a good idea to her. So off we went.
Not long after we started, Mackenzie (whose attention span is shorter than her pinkie finger) started noticing everything around her in the pasture. She got behind me because she was stopping to look at a flower, or follow a butterfly, or see what was over here and what was over there. During all that time, I kept saying, “Come on, Mackenzie, keep up!” And she’d come running a little closer; but then it wouldn’t be a minute later, something else would have her distracted; and I’d have to call for her again, “Come on, Mackenzie, keep up!”
This went on until we were probably about halfway around the pond. Then she started realizing how far we had walked and got to complaining about how tired she was. Then from the complaining, she set in to whining. But I kept cheering her on, “It’s not that much further, come on – you can make it!” And the further we walked, the worse she got until she was just crying, “I can’t make it, Daddy, it’s too far!” And I just kept telling her, “Yes you can, Mackenzie! You can make it! It’s not that much further!” She’d lag way behind me, and nearly stop, and just cry because she was so tired and didn’t think she could take another step; but I would just stop, turn around, and call her a little closer again, “Come on Mackenzie, you can make it – it’s not that much further!”
I could have probably picked her up and carried her; but by that time, I wanted to prove a point to her that she COULD do it because she wasn’t a “baby” any more. I waited on her, and was patient with her – firm at times; but I tell you what I wouldn’t have done for anything in the world… I would have never just walked off and left her there.
The last little ways of the walk, the Lord took my mind; and I could see myself as Mackenzie. When I started in my walk with Him, I was eager and willing and just glad to be with Him. And then as we walked along, cares of this life began to distract me; but all along, He would call me up a little closer. And a few years further into it, I got tired and didn’t know if I could make it, but He, so patiently and lovingly, kept reminding me that I could. And even now, when I feel so tired and the end still seems so far away, I know that He’s not going to leave me in this wilderness, but instead, if I just keep following in my Father’s footsteps, I know I’ll make it home - it can't be that much further.
Just felt like sharing…

Friday, August 13, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

Well, it's been a busy few weeks - births, deaths, and lots of traveling! Last week, we said good-bye to a dear, sweet man - Bro. Jerry Sadler. Bro. Jerry had fought ALS for the past few years and finally was released from his fight last week. Bro. Jerry's daughter, Bree, was in my grade at school and was my homework reminder for years (I could never remember what my homework was, so I always called Bree to find out). Bro. Jerry also was a help to me in school. He was a math wiz and I was a math flunkee, so helped me study a few times. And then his son, Jarod, who was in my sister's grade, has been one of my best pals since pals since about 1995. It was sad to see Bro. Jerry go; but his suffering is over and I have great hope of his reward!

Then early this week, I got word that Bro. Windell Gamble had passed away suddenly from a heart-attack. Bro. Windell was such an encourager to me when I was young! He was always happy and smiling and always cuttin' up! His greeting was usually, "Hello, uglier than I am!" or "Why there's my little Byrd-brained buddy!" And then he would just laugh and laugh. I sure will miss him!

Tuesday, Mackenzie started back to school! Second grade! I went into work late so that I could go with her - I figure it won't be many more years that she'll WANT me to go with her, so I'd better enjoy it while I can. Makayala doesn't start kindergarten until next year, so I'll get to enjoy "first day" with her for several years, even if Mackenzie gets tired of me coming up there hugging and kissing her in front of her friends! :)

Wednesday evening, I went to Huntsville to Bro. Windell's visitation, where there was a line that circled inside the large funeral home. I waited for two hours to see his family. You spend your life being good to people, like he was, and that's what happens! After that, I went to the hospital to see A.J., my niece; and I got to hold her for the first time! AND, Shawna told me that I was the first one to hold her besides her and Derrick and the two grandmothers - so I felt priveledged! :) She is SO pretty!!!! While I was there, Shawna told me what all Mom had cooked for supper; and I just couldn't resist! I hadn't had supper and mom's house was only 15 minutes away, so I went over and had a huge plate full (at about 10:00 p.m.)! My mom is an awesome cook and that supper was no exception! I probably got there, ate, and was out of there in 15 mintues, and got home at midnight.

Tonight, Jarod and Lisa are meeting me and Kellie here in Chattanooga to supper and to hang-out for a little while. It is HOT outside; and I hope it cools off a little this afternoon so we can walk around downtown without the blistering heat!

I've got a session in the morning - nine month old little girl; and so watch for pictures soon! It's been a while since I've photographed a baby - I hope it goes good!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Here's a few pics that I took of A.J. this past Friday night. She was 24 hours old and still in NICU where the lights were all but out! And to complicate things, they didn't want us to use a flash, so it was mighty difficult to get a good pic!! But anyhow, here she is - all 3 pounds 9 ounces of her! She's doing great and I wouldn't be surprised if she's not home within a week!

Friday, July 30, 2010


I went to church last night at Grassy Mountain, and on into the service, someone came and got me and told me that Kellie was outside and that my sister was soon to become a mother! Shawna had gotten bad with preeclampsia and the doctor decided he couldn't wait any longer before taking the baby. So they took her in last night and before we could get to Huntsville, Addison Jane Shockley (or "A.J." as Uncle Byrd plans to call her, regardless of other family members' protests) had made her appearance! She weighed in at 3 lbs. 9 ozs. and measured 16" long. Considering her small size, she's doing really well; and Shawna is recovering nicely too! By the time we got to go back and see her last night in NICU, they had asked us not to use flash photography, so I couldn't get a good picture - but I will soon! :) She's tiny; but very well developed and proportioned and had a great color and she's just doing really, really good! Shawna texted me this morning and said that she was off of the cpac and ventilator for now, which is great!
Okay - some personal thoughts of this child's birth, etc. #1 - Shawna and Derrick have prayed for this baby for a long, long time; and God has finally given them their hearts' desire, which just tickles me to death! About a year or so before Shawna found out she was expecting, I had a dream that they had a little girl and when my mom took me in to see her for the first time at the hospital, she had on a little purple dress. Well last night, when I got to go in and see her, she didn't have on a purple dress - but she did have on a little purple hairbow! :)
I thought it was cool that she was born in the same hosptial where Shawna and I were born. My poor children were born in Tennessee - ha, ha. And, being the genealogist that I am, I can wait until she gets older and I can point out how far back her middle name (Jane) goes in our family. She was named for my mother, Pamela Jane, who was named for my great-aunt, Mary Jane (Long), who was named for my great-great-grandmother, Harriet Jane (Jacks), who was named for her mother, Martha J. (Robertonson) - so that's like seven generations! And no telling who bore the name in our family before that! Anyhow, I'm probably the only one who thinks that's cool; but I can't help it! ;)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crankin' Up Again...

I’M BA-AAACK! After taking some time off through the summer, I have decided to take a limited number of sessions for the Fall. You can begin booking your appointments today (call 423.802.9314 or email! For the first (paid) appointment that I book, I’ll give that session a FREE 11x14! Folks – that’s the cost of your session right there!
Fall is a GREAT time to do family portraits outdoors! The weather is cooling off a little bit and everything’s still nice and green! And for those of you wanting some Fall color, we usually have a pretty narrow window of that around here; but we CAN work something out there too!
Christmas Cards? Yeah, we’re doing them – and if you want some, you’d better book your appointment soon (I know it’s only July; but these things take time)!!!
I’m also reopening my Baby Steps program and will accept a VERY small number of new little’uns for the year long program! I’ll soon have a new niece; and she’ll probably break me in pretty good on baby pics again!
Weddings… hmmm… I’m not sure. I’ve turned down more this year than I shot last year! J They can be brutal; but if you catch me at the right time and in the right mood, I MIGHT take a wedding or two!
If you have any other questions about what we’ve got going on, just shoot me an email!

AND, just to start things off right, I’ll give away a free outdoor session to the first person who emails me with “CRANKIN’ UP AGAIN” in the subject line (minimum order applies)!

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pictureless Update...

Been a busy few weeks. Been in revivals, funerals, and more! This summer, our pastor has seven revivals in eight weeks; and we usually try to go as much as we can, which sometimes leaves us (or at least me) going every night of the week. Tiresome? Yes; but I love it. I've been to the funeral home for three deaths in the past week, including my dad's first cousin, Larry Byrd (no, not the basketball star) and my great-aunt, Pauline Bird, who was pictured just a few posts ago on this blog with her husband, Uncle Daniel. Two days after our family reunion, she started having problems with her heart and never was able to recover. She was a fun aunt; and I will miss her a lot!
The first weekend of the month found me traveling to Kansas City! That's the furthest west I've ever been (prior to that, it was probably either Memphis, TN, or Ocean Springs, MS, so I didn't have to go far to earn a new record - ha, ha). I've been working here for nine years, and have never really had to go anywhere on business before; but in the position I'm in now, I have a client in KC that I was able to go meet. We flew into KC, MO, on a Sunday, and then drove about fifty miles south of the city to Overland Park, KS. We had meetings all day Monday, and the first half of the day Tuesday, and then flew out Tuesday afternoon. I was SO tired! I DID get to eat at a couple of good restaurants though! Hereford House is one of the orginal Kansas steak houses; and I had a great rib-eye there; and then had some awesome BBQ at Jack's Stack. When I flew into Chattanooga, Kellie and the girls were waiting for me at the airport with little signs they had made with pictures of me and them and the words "Welcome Home Daddy! We love you!" It was actually hard to leave them on Sunday. I've never had to go anywhere ALL alone before. Before I left, I couldn't help but think about soldiers who leave their family to go overseas, not knowing when or if they might see them again. Here I was leaving my family for three days and about to cry like a baby. Nevertheless, it was a sweet homecoming; and I was glad to see mountains again! :)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Two Years...

Today is the two year anniversary of Alvie's death. This whole past week has brought about a lot of memories - some good, some bad. I've relieved those final moments over and over in my mind. And just looking back at everything that has changed since he left us... it's just unreal. We miss him every single day; but a few months ago, I finally got to a place to where I can honestly say that I wouldn't call him back. Two years ago, his worry ended - and I wouldn't want him to have to come back and pick up that load again. So the ONLY choice is to just wait our turn until we can go where he is.
It's a hard day for Kellie, so if you think about her throughout the day, just ask the Lord to wrap His loving arms around her just a little bit tighter for the day.

I'll probably right a little bit more later; but for now, I just wanted to mark the day.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Few Changes...

In an effort to conserve some overhead throughout the summer, we have disconnected our home phone and internet service. We'll probably leave it off for three or four months and then have everything turned back on like it was before. In the mean time, if you need to talk to us - call our cell phones! You can still email me at; but a response might not be as timely as normal.

Friday, May 21, 2010


This past Sunday, we had a Bird Family reunion at my parents' house in Big Cove. It was great to see a lot of family who we don't see very often. There were, I guess, between 200 and 300 people there. My great-grandfather, Wiley Bird, had ten children - nine who lived into adulthood and had children; and several of those had a lot of children, including my granddaddy, Walter Bird, who also had ten children. And several of his siblings had very large families too. So that just makes for a BUNCH of cousins! Here are a few pictures. 1 - Uncle Daniel & Aunt Pauline Bird. This is my granddaddy's brother. He is ninety-six years old! Aunt Pauline will be 90 this year; and they will soon celebrate 72 years of marriage! Wow!

2 - Granddaddy's living brothers, Uncle Lester, Uncle Daniel, and Uncle Willard. Aunt Estelle and Aunt Rocine weren't able to make the reunion this year; and I was so disappointed not to see them.

3 - My dad's living brothers and sisters. Standing: Nancy, Ronald, & Kevin. Seated: Phyllis, Jane, Peggy, & J.W.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


just sigh...


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good-bye, Wezy...

Our precious little cat, Wezy (Mackenzie's spelling, pronounced Weezy), was killed this afternoon. I hate getting pets because I get attached and then they die. Now I'm not one of those crazy people who grieve over a pet like it's a human or something; but I am sad that Wezy's gone. I was just petting her and loving on her a little bit last night. And my heart REALLY breaks for Mackenzie. Wezy was HER cat; and she loved her so much! Kellie plans to tell her when she picks her up from school this afternoon; and I know it's going to be a tearful evening at the Byrd House. To make matters worse, Makayla JUST got a new kitten last night - that looks JUST like Wezy! It's actually Wezy's half-sister.

Here's Wezy's obituary...

Wezy Byrd
FLAT ROCK – Wezy Byrd died Tuesday, May 18, 2010, a victim of vehicular homicide. She was about ten months old. A short graveside funeral is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon with Shannon Byrd, her owner’s daddy, officiating.
Wezy was a very loving, playful cat; and everybody who saw her considered her one of the most beautiful felines they had ever seen. She had been a member of the Byrd household since August 2009.
Wezy is survived by her owner, Mackenzie Leigh Anne Byrd; her owner’s sister, Makayla Kellie Lorene Byrd; her owner’s sister’s kitten, and Wezy’s half-sister, Angelica “Angel” Byrd; her mother, Momma Cat; and host of other extended family and friends.
Wezy will lie in repose this afternoon at the home of Momma Cat’s owner, Emmery Brown, in Flat Rock, Alabama. Interment will take place at the holler behind the Byrd House. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to your local animal shelter.

Friday, May 07, 2010

New Harmony...

This week I had the honor of photographing some of my best friends and one of my favorite gospel groups of all time – New Harmony, out of Huntsville, Alabama. I’ve known most of these guys for my entire life and have had the fortune of calling them close friends during that time. The four “core” (original) members of the group have been singing together since they were probably like five years old. Most anybody who reads my blog probably knows them; but just in case you don’t, let me introduce you to the group. Standing at camera left is the group’s pianist, Chad Cantrell. Ain’t he pretty? :) Not only is Chad one of the absolute best pianist I’ve ever seen sit at a keyboard, he also genuinely one of the most naturally nice people I have ever known. He’s always been the same – just a great, great guy. Next to him is my brother-in-law and favorite bass guitarist, Dustin McKenzie. The dude is smooth on them strings; and don’t tell him I said this (since he’s my brother-in-law and all), but I think he’s a pretty cool dude overall. And then standing next to him is one my best friends and business partner (he put the Brant in BrantDale Music Publishing Company), Dustin Kelly. Dustin played the piano on our Not Another Tear project and is one of the most talented people I know. And besides that, he’s one of the most giving, considerate, and caring people I know. If you have a friend in Dustin Kelly, then you’ve got a FRIEND. Kneeling at camera left is Dustin’s twin brother, Justin Kelly. Justin stood in my wedding and used to hang out at my house a lot when we were young and single. He’s hilarious! If he can’t make you laugh, then you better check your pulse because chances are, you’re dead. I love him – another great, great friend! Seated just above Justin is Erica Davis. She’s a cool chick who puts her heart into her great singing. She sings the high part with the group, and the girl can rocket. But my favorite feature of hers would have to be her husband, Todd! :) Another one of my best friends! He’s not in the group; but I would be remiss in not mentioning his name at least once in this post! :) Seated next to Erica is Cassie McKenzie. Cassie is married to Kellie and Dustin’s first cousin, Clint; and she recently recorded with us on our project. I pick on her a lot; but the girls’ got a voice with a heart to match it – big! We love Cassie and were so glad she helped us with our tribute to Alvie! And then last, but certainly not least… ladies and gentlemen… make welcome THE Joe David Cantrell! One of my favorite singers, one of my favorite people – Joe David and I have been together though a lot of blessings and a lot of trials. He sang at my wedding, and if I die before him, he’ll probably sing at my funeral. He has such a gift – I’m not even sure he realizes the full potential in it himself… in fact, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. He’s helped me out so many times when I’ve had a bad day or just needed some encouragement. He just one of those people who can make you smile when you don’t feel like smiling. So anyhow, that’s New Harmony. If you’ve never heard them – find a singing they’re going be doing, and go. You will NOT be disappointed! And BE SURE to get one of their new CD’s!!! It’s going to be awesome (just like their past two have been); and besides sounding AWESOME, it’s going to LOOK great too! :) Seriously, I could go on and on and wouldn't be able to say enough good about them - I love them all very, very much!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Another Saint Gone Home...

I received word this morning that a dear friend, Sis. Edna Earl Jones, went home to be with Jesus; and while I sit here with tears in my eyes, I know it’s not for the loss of Sis. Edna – it’s for the rejoicing I have in her hope. Her husband, Bro. Will Ed, left this world just a few years ago; and I remember having the same rejoicing for him. This is why – they were probably some of the poorest people I’ve ever known. People say that they’re poor; but they have fine homes, nice cars, and good clothes. None of that describes Bro. Will Ed and Sis. Edna. I remember when I was a kid they lived in one of those old houses around the Dairy Farm in Big Cove. They were in rough shape then – just a cabin. Today, they look like nobody has lived in ‘em for 100 years. Their circumstances in life were so very different than probably anyone who’s reading this post; and for those of you who knew them, you know what I’m talking about. But, oh look what they’ve traded for a mansion! With their passing, my mind runs to the riches they have now inherited. The pleasures in life that they never had anyway, are no match for the untold beauties they are now a part of. Just fourteen years ago, they came in and received salvation and then struggled on through life. Bro. Will Ed finishing his course first, and then Sis. Edna Earl’s battle ending today. I feel so blessed to have known this precious, precious couple; and I hope that when my race on earth has ended, my friends can have the hope for me that I have for Bro. Will Ed and Sis. Edna Earl. I will never forget them; and hope to see them someday in a land where there’ll be no poor folk!

Friday, April 30, 2010


A friend of ours found this picture and sent it to us a while back. I love it! Check out that shirt! :) This would have been made sometime in the early 70's, I guess. I think it was in an old high school annual or newspaper or something. I just ran across it again this afternoon and though I would share!

Happy Friday!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Break...

Well, we started out Spring Break in a five-star hotel in the middle of Manhattan, and ended it in a pop-up camper in Winchester, TN. Yes folks, that's from one extreme to the other. I'll probably write more about our NYC trip later; but I'll just give you the highlights for now. Ashley, Brooke, Kellie, and I left flew out of Chattanooga early Saturday morning for an extended weekend in NYC. Our hotel room (on the 40th floor) was overlooking Times Square and we appeared to be about level with the famous "Ball" that drops at New Years. The view was awesome! Saturday evening, we had dinner at "The View" - New York's only revolving rooftop restaurant. It was actually on the 46th floor of our hotel and we had a beautiful view all around Manhattan. The food was very overpriced; but we had a good time. That evening, we saw "Mary Poppins" on Broadway. Sunday, we toured and we toured and we toured. Monday, we toured and we toured. I have tons of pictures and gobs of stories; but I can't fit them into one post. Tuesday, we got up early and went to the Today Show, where we were not only spotted on camera; but Al Roker actually stopped and talked to us for a minute on camera, so I got my fifteen seconds of fame. We came home Tuesday night and then got up Wednesday morning and grabbed what we needed to join our kids and my parents at Tim's Ford State Park in Winchester where we camped until this morning. We had a good time camping too! Thursday, I had to leave early and go to Big Cove to photograph the wedding of my good friend, Marty, who was RE-united in Holy Matrimony to her now former ex-husband, Lee. Congrats to those guys; and I'll probably post more about that, along with pictures later. I feel like I've been around the world and back this Spring Break!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bro. David...

Today my thoughts are on Rev. David H. Jones, who passed away from our sights one year ago today. To say that Bro. David was special would be like calling the Holy Ghost good - that just ain't word enough for him. Where the Bible talks about having ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers - Bro. David was one of my absolute true fathers in the Lord. Had it not been for him, I might still would have been in the altar to this day; but he took a little time with me and encouraged me and then got to be right down there with me the night I made it. He was just my hero of heroes.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family today; but like I've already told Joe David this morning - today marks one year since Bro. David has had a worry or a care. One year since he's had any pain or suffering. One year since he's shed a single tear. Yeah, our hearts are heavy this morning because of how much we miss him; but wow, it's been a great year for Bro. David! I could blog on for hours about him - he was, in my eyes, probably the greatest preacher of my life time; and I want to be sure and remember his life and use it as a pattern for my own. Bro. David - you changed the world!!! I love you so much; and my children and grandchildren will know about you and your life for as long as I live!!!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter...

Glory to God - He IS risen!

What a beautiful day today! I was reading in Luke this morning regarding the resurrection. Can you imagine how those disciples felt? Some were elated because they believed the prophesy immediately. Some were confused - they just didn't know what to think. You can blame them -these kinds of things don't happen every day. Some had a hard time believing, even after they saw Him - old Bro. Thomas even had touch his side to know it was him and not a ghost! I'm listening from the other room to an old recording that Alvie, Vicky, Kellie, and Dustin did probably about 11 or 12 years ago. Playing right now is "Comforter". How approriate. For after He had risen, He gave the disciples the promise of another comforter, which they soon received at Pentecost. I'm so glad that I received that same comforter at Huntsville now almost fifteen years ago!

Gone to church - see ya...


Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday...

And all of it led up to this day – the day on which He was crucified on that cruel cross on Golgotha. But that’s not where the suffering began. Before He was ever led up that lonely hill, He had already been tortured and beaten until his face was absolutely unrecognizable. Alvie used to talk about how they scourged Him. They took a whip that had a bunch of strands of leather, on which was tied little sharp fragments of bone, maybe metal; and they whipped him with it – every lash ripping the flesh from His body. He had already been betrayed by those He loved – some of the very ones who knew exactly who He was. Yet, they turned their back on Him. He was shamed and humiliated by the multitude. And one of the things that really gets me is that He knew all of this was coming; but He was still willing to do it all – for me. HE DID NOT WANT TO GO TO THE CROSS. He knew it was His Father’s will and His own purpose; but He still had to go to the Garden three times. There, He prayed that perhaps God would find a different way – that the cup would pass from Him. Alone there, He prayed in the garden until His sweat ran down as great drops of blood. But in the end, He got willing to go. And there, angels came and ministered to Him. Wow! That’s amazing to me. I like to think that maybe the angel came and spoke words of encouragement and comfort to Him – something like, “You can do this! Yes, it’s going to be hard; but it’ll only last for a little while, and then you’ll be glorified and back home with us in Heaven!” And after He got willing, it all fell into place. You know the story. At least I hope you do. If you don’t, PLEASE go read it. Even if you know the story, it would be a good day to read it again and just remember His death and His suffering – because He did it all for us, folks.
On Sunday, we’ll celebrate Easter. The kids will come out to church, all decked out in their new clothes. They’ll have Easter baskets, get candy, and hunt Easter Eggs. But what we’re celebrating is that over two-thousand years ago, an angel rolled away the stone from a borrowed grave, walked over to body of Jesus; and I like to think he placed his hand on His shoulder, gently shaking Him, and said, “Master… wake up.” And He did. He woke up! Thank God, He arose! But still to me, the greatest part of the story, is that He knew what was coming, yet He was willing to go through it all – not just for the ones who would receive Him, but for the sins of the entire world. Probably the greater majority of people since that time have denied Him – and He knew they would – but He did it anyhow. What a precious, loving Savior.

Friday, March 26, 2010

From my sister...

My sister, Shawna, had this to say after reading my comments from yesterday. I thought it good to preserve them here too...

"I think about mom and it makes it all worth it, cause I remember her always being there for us and that means so much more than material possesions. She was there when we got home from school and was at all our school functions. She made us dinner every night and every morning made sure we had our breakfast. She wasn't too tired to help us with our homework in the evenings and sometimes made us rice krispie treats and would bring them to us as we watched TV downstairs! I can only hope to be such a wonderful mother.Dad's sacrifice was working so hard so we could have our mother at home. He got up every morning and I can't remember him missing a day of work whether he was sick or just tired (like I do now!). I remember him loving to horse around with us in the floor and giving me wisker burn! They love being our parents.Its worth everything you have to do without. I'm sure they would say the same." -Shawna Byrd Shockley


Thursday, March 25, 2010

This Day in History...

On March 25, 1977, Ronald Dale Byrd and Pamela Jane Stapler were united in Holy Matrimony at the Big Cove Free Holiness Church in Big Cove, Alabama. Rev. Hoyt Dalton officiated the service, and apparently did a good job as thirty-three years later, they're still married. I have known this couple as Mom and Dad.
I'm so thankful for my parents and everything they have done for me. For my whole life, they've been nothing but givers - both sacrificing unselfishly so that my sister and I could have not only our needs, but also a lot of our wants. Spoiled? No - never spoiled, as they also instilled in us the value of working for what we have and taking care of what we've earned or been given. My dad worked hard the entire time I was growing up - sometimes more than one job, so that my mom could be home with me and Shawna. Mom kept probably two or three church dresses at the most, so that she could buy us nice clothes for school and church. I never knew how much to appreciate these things until now.
They raised us to fear God and to trust in Him. They taught us to respect our elders. They taught us to love one another. They taught us so many things that I will never forget - through the examples in their lives.
Did they ever fuss? Yep - don't you and your spouse? But what I remember more than that, was that my dad kissed my mom every day before he left for work. Of course we thought it was gross at the time; but now, I look back at how special that is. My mom mentioned the other day that Dad STILL kisses her every day before going to work... it just made me feel good. So anyhow, that's just a few random thoughts about my parents on their special day.
Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad - two of the most successful people I have ever known.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I was sitting here at my desk today and ran across some emails and pictures I had saved from back in October – days after some of my best friends and their children had been involved in a horrifying accident in Florida. Anybody who might be reading this probably knows who I’m talking about and all about it; but just in case someone doesn’t, Dustin, Melissa, Konner, and Kensley Kelly were on their way home from Disney World when they hydroplaned on I-90 near Pensacola, Florida, causing their car to leave the road and flip. Dustin and Melissa were trapped in their vehicle – but Konner and Kensley were ejected from the car. Dustin, Melissa, and Konner were all banged-up pretty bad; but Kensley sustained a very serious, life-threatening head injury and her life hung in the balances for what seemed like an eternity. More about the accident and everything that has occurred since, can be read at

Today, when I found the pictures and thought back to what kind of condition she laid in for SO many days, I just kind of got overwhelmed for a few minutes. The outcome could have been SO, SO, SO very different. You don’t like to think about that; but to be truly thankful for the way things ARE, you MUST consider how things could have been.

If you don’t know this kid, you’re missing out! She is a mess and little more on top of that! Whenever I’m around her (and from what I’m here, whenever I’m NOT around her too), she never stop talking! Praise the Lord! We didn’t know if she’d be ABLE to talk – I think the only thing about that’s she’s not able to do is STOP talking! She fell this week and broke her wrist. Praise the Lord! The doctors weren’t sure that she’d ever walk again; but she IS – and that’s how she fell and broke her wrist! She’s still a little under 100%; but we all believe that with more time and prayer, she’ll get there! She’s just a miracle as she is.

I’m just sitting here today with a thankful heart and teary-eyes.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Not Too Baaaaaaaaaad... :)

Okay, that was corny! :) But that stinking goat (Marty said it was a lamb) baaaaaa'ed all day LONG! :) Here's a few samples from our Easter pics! Let me know what you think!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coming soon... The McKenzie's - Keepsake

I have almost completed everything for the McKenzie's compilation album; and I'm already getting inquries about them, so I thought I'd go ahead and post about it here!

The McKenzie's, Keepsake - Volume II, will be available HOPEFULLY by Friday, March 26th! This CD contains all twenty songs recorded by The McKenzie's on their 1990's albums, In Memory of Daddy and Thank You For Loving Me. These were transferred from cassette-tape and edited to attempt to remove some of the tape-noise, then professionally duplicated. I think it sounds GREAT!

The songs included are:

  1. Somebody Touched the Lord
  2. I'm Trusting In You
  3. Christ Is Precious To Me
  4. Holy Power
  5. He Just Picks Me Up
  6. He Walked Upon the Water
  7. Go Get My Children
  8. He Leads Me
  9. Take Me Home
  10. Fountain of My Soul
  11. Get On Board
  12. Oh, What a Savior!
  13. Thank You For Loving Me
  14. Shield of Love
  15. I Will Sing a Millions Years in Heaven
  16. Give Up
  17. He's All I Need
  18. Don't Ever Let Go
  19. He Will Stand By Your Side
  20. King's Highway

Copies of this album will be available for $15.00. If you're interested in reserving yours, please email me at



Thursday, February 11, 2010

This Day in History (Again)...

February 11, 1978! BIG day in our family. Ten years ago today, Kellie and I stood before God and man and exchanged our wedding vows, entering into Holy Matrimony. Aside from receiving salvation, it was the best day of my entire life! I love Kellie more today than I did then because our love HAS been tried by fire! It's easy to love somebody when everything's going sunshine and roses; but when you can still love somebody and receive love from somebody through the BAD times, then you know that love is true and WILL last forever!

And as if that wasn't enough to celebrate on February 11th, it's ALSO mine and Kellie's birthdays! Yes, you read it right! Kellie and I share the same birthday AND we married that day! I was born February 11, 1978; and Kellie was born February 11, 1981. Unique? Yeah, I guess so!

Also, this day in history, my dad's brother, Alton Wayne Byrd, was born in 1940; and my first cousin, Clinton Wayne Knight (yes, named for our uncle Wayne, who was killed in a motorcycle wreck in 1957), was born in 1958.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This Day in History...

100 years ago today, February 10, 2010, my great-grandparents, John Elbert Adams and Rosie Lee Winkles, stood before an official in Huntsville, Alabama, and exchanged their wedding vows. John was seventeen years old and Rosie was all of thirteen years old, contrary to family history that she was only twelve at the time. Per the 1900 US Federal Census, Rosie was born in September of 1896 – NOT 1897, as reflected on her tombstone. Ages and birth years were often confused in this era; and Rosie’s was further complicated in the fact that she was orphaned at a very young age. Regardless – she was VERY young at the time!
How could she marry at age thirteen? She had written consent. Having personally examined their marriage license in the Madison County Courthouse, I found still attached to the license a small handwritten note from John’s father, James Thomas Adams, giving permission for John and Rosie to marry. I also found it odd that it was John’s guardian granting permission for the marriage, rather than Rosie’s; but by 1910, both Rosie’s mother and father were dead.
Regardless of the circumstances of that day, the marriage produced thirteen children over the next eighteen years – only nine of whom lived past infancy. John Elbert Adams died December 17, 1935, following complications from surgery to remove a kidney. More than twenty years later, Rosie Lee Winkles Adams, passed away on March 15, 1959, from complications with diabetes and heart disease. Both are laid to rest in the Moon Cemetery in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Valentine's Mini-shoot

We're doing the Valentine Mini-Shoot again this year in Hampton Cove on Saturday, January 23rd! There is no sitting fee; and packages are priced WAY cheap!! A variety of Valentine Cards will also be available! Email me at or call me for more info!!! Sessions are booking up fast, so if you want a spot, you better move like Cupid! :)