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

Runny Meade Farm (a.k.a. “the Fleagle farm at Mayberry”)

The farm at Mayberry, which was sometimes called Runnymede, circa 1908.

The old family farm at Mayberry, which may have been called Runny Meade, circa 1908.

Here are two images of the Fleagle farm in Mayberry, Carroll County, Maryland. I don’t know if this farm was regularly called Runny Meade by anyone. The first time I saw the name attached to the place was in James Ezra Fleagle’s truncated autobiography, which I only became aware of quite recently, a year or two before my father died. In that document, my grandfather states Continue reading

2750 Fenwick Avenue

City living. 2750 Fenwick Avenue.

City living ca. 1920. My grandmother on the right with unidentified woman and children at 2750 Fenwick Avenue, Baltimore.

What’s exciting about most of these photos is the possibility, maybe even the likelihood, that no one alive now has ever seen them before. I discovered them when I opened two tiny manila envelopes – smaller than seed packets – that had been sealed long ago and upon which someone had written “Fenwick Ave.” Continue reading