Heritage Series Volume 1
by Susan Diane Black Blackmon
Genre: Historical Fiction
lay very still, her eyes tightly closed. Sometimes - if she
concentrated - she could make out her Momma’s face.
She was the youngest child of eighteen. She had barely been two when her beloved Momma died. Papa had managed to keep body and soul together for a little more than a year, not an easy task with four little ones underfoot. The older children had been a help to him, especially Betsy and Maggie. The bigger boys had helped with the farm’s never-ending chores, but it was never enough.
Papa was different. Losing Momma had hurt him deeply. His gentle eyes were sad. Even when he had given her horsey rides, his smile had never quite reached his eyes.
Emma supposed they shouldn’t have been surprised when Papa had come home one day and brought them a new ‘mother.’ Honestly, her memories of that day were fuzzy. She knew much of what she recalled was from what the older children had said in hushed voices behind ‘Mother’s’ back.
No one had wanted Papa to be sad, but why did she have to be their new mother?
Based on her maternal great-grandmother and some of the events in her life, much of the story is fiction. However, there are threads of reality woven throughout Emma’s story.
The real-life Emma was, in fact, the youngest in a family of eighteen children, which included three sets of twins and a set of quadruplets. Yes, the article in The Austin Weekly Statesman suggested the fair association should invite the family to attend as “honored guests” when the quadruplet girls were born.
As to the rest, it is up to the reader to decide, fact or fiction.
Daniel Brown Boultinghouse & Mary Jane Russell:
A Collection of Civil War Letters and Family Documents with Genealogical & Historical Commentary
Compiled by Susan Diane Black Blackmon
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction
Brown “D. B.” Boultinghouse and Mary Jane (Russell), his wife,
migrated from Scott County, Arkansas to Texas sometime between March
1849 and June 1850. We know that in 1850, their neighbors in Lampasas
County, Texas were Mary Jane’s older brother, D. W. Russell and her
For thirteen years, the only remarkable events that were documented in their lives are the births and deaths of six small children. As if that were not enough to crush the souls of this young couple, in 1861 their lives were changed forever by the American Civil War.
Hidden away for 158 years, the letters that chronicled their daily lives quietly passed from generation to generation, until finally making their way into the hands of the author. The unrealized dream of D. B. and Mary Jane’s great-grandson, Joe Lee Mankins, was to share these family treasures with his family and the world.
Blended with family documents and stories as well as historical commentary, the reader will be caught up in the story and transported to a simpler yet more difficult era. Ninety-one pages of letters, many with images of the originals, are transcribed for ease of reading.
Who knew that a Junior High School History assignment would turn into a passion for genealogy which has become a love of historical fiction stories?