Baily’s forlorn little stone at Frizzellburg

Frizellburg Bible Church was originally the Church of God, but I’m not sure exactly which parts were original. Definitely the middle, maybe.

At the far end of a grassy field in Frizzellburg, Maryland, bowered and barely noticeable beneath the outer boughs of a little wood, are thirty gravestones in two neat lines. A good number of them are small stones marking children’s graves, Continue reading


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