Barbara Lee Dowell c. 1954

Barbara Lee Dowell circa 1954, before she was Barbara Fleagle and my mother.

My mother was sure she had given this photo to me and so for months now I have been periodically turning my closets and cabinets upside down and rooting again through every box and shelf and pile where I might have laid family photos, each time coming up empty. Continue reading


Mayberry School, 1899

The students of Mayberry School in 1899. The teacher is my great aunt Lillian, the second oldest of my grandfather’s siblings. He and several other siblings are in the group.

I’ve been looking for this image of the Mayberry School student body of 1899 for many months. I had a bad photocopy of a bad photocopy of it, and I was sure there must be a better printing out there somewhere. I became aware of this photo, like its twin from 1896, only recently when I was going through the genealogical research papers of my Uncle Dick. The bad photocopy had “Taneytown Record, circa 1957” handwritten across Continue reading

John Lewis Dowell Sr. (probably)

John Lewis Dowell Sr., my great grandfather. Or maybe not.

John Lewis Dowell Sr., my great grandfather, we presume.

My mother believes the image above is of her father’s father, the first J. L. Dowell. She doesn’t remember him and there’s nothing written on the photo, so we cannot be sure. It sticks in her mind that that’s who it is, so I assume that at some point she was more certain of it, that perhaps someone gave her the photo and identified her grandfather at that time, but she has forgotten that moment. Continue reading

Miriam Evelyn (Fleagle) Linker

Miriam (Fleagle) Linker, 1920 – 2017. This is the photo the family submitted for her remembrance in the newspaper after she died. I would pin the date to the mid-1970s perhaps, which would put Miriam in her 50s here.

My Aunt Miriam, my father’s eldest sister, died peacefully in her bed with her children around her on February 21, 2017. She was the matriarch of the James and Jennie branch of the Fleagle clan after her own mother died in 1989, not only because she was the oldest female among the descendants of that union, but also because of her perennial presence at the center of family goings on. Continue reading

Janette, Jamie, Rena, Ruth and Mother Martha

The younger Fleagle siblings with their mother, Martha Jane (Harner) Fleagle.

The younger Fleagle siblings with their mother, Martha Jane (Harner) Fleagle. Contrary to labeling on the back of the photograph, the young man is James, not Ben.

This photo, taken at the Colonial Park house, is of the younger Fleagle siblings as they repose with their mother on the grass “on grandmother’s side of the house”, as my Aunt Miriam confirmed. I guess she can tell because the house had two entrances at the front end, where her Uncle Ben lived, and one entrance at the back end, where her grandparents lived. Pictured from left are Janette, James, Rena, mother Martha Jane (Harner) Fleagle, and Ruth. On the back in pencil is written “Aunt Janette, Ruth, Uncle Ben,” but I checked with Miriam recently Continue reading