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Black Family History Books Are In!

The first of Lorene Sturgill's history of the Blacks in Alleghany County, North Carolina.
The first of Lorene Sturgill's Black Family history books

We’ve received the first batch of the Descendants of William Black and Nancy Allison family history books, and we couldn’t be prouder. For information on the book, we invite you to visit Star Route Books. Or order your own copy here.

From Changes Wrought by Time by Dr. O. R. Black included in The Descendants of William Black and Nancy Allison:

“The last time I was here the cemetery looked like a beautiful flower garden, made possible by many who have loved ones resting in this Silent City of the Dead. I was glad to note that no grave was slighted. This was as it should be – flowers for all.

Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Piney Creek, North Carolina. (Photo by Jeff Halsey)
Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Piney Creek, North Carolina. (Photo by Jeff Halsey)

“I read names on many markers that were not here forty years ago when I left. Names of many of my associates, school mates, friends and relatives were noted – so many changes wrought by time.

“As I look back over the dim vista of years, when neighbors, relatives and friends gathered at the old church for Sunday School and Church service, many walking several miles, there was then that feeling of love and friendship displayed that has never been forgotten. I can almost imagine that I recognize now several voices in the choir singing “Nearer My God to Thee” and “How Firm A Foundation Ye Saints of the Lord.” As I visualize my boyhood days at church I see the congregation on bended knees, and hear the earnest prayers and supplications offered by many of the faithful in the church. I cherish many sacred memories of my boyhood days in Sunday School and Church work at Mt. Zion Church.”

Mt. Zion Church Cemetery. (Photo by Jeff Halsey)
Mt. Zion Church Cemetery. (Photo by Jeff Halsey)

From the Acknowledgements Page:

“On July 1, 1961 many of the descendants of William Black, who came to America from Glasgow, Scotland around 1817, gathered at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Alleghany County, North Carolina for the purpose of establishing an organization of the Black family.

“Although this idea had been considered by many of the group before this time, it was Dr. Oscar R. Black of Landis, N.C. who became keenly interested in effecting the organization and gave impetus to the idea.

“At the initial meeting each relative identified himself and his relationship to William Black. A special welcome was given to visiting cousins from Scotland and from South Africa. These were the Rev. James Hamilton, his wife, Olive Black Hamilton, and their daughter Allison, of Glasgow, Scotland, who came to Asheville, N.C. in the summer of 1961. The Rev. Hamilton came as an exchange minister to the Beaver Lake Presbyterian Church.

“Naomi Black, originally of Glasgow, but now residing in Durban, South Africa, is serving as a nutritionist in a government hospital there. She joined the Hamiltons during the summer. Olive and Naomi, sisters, are great-granddaughters of James Black, brother of William Black.

“The story told by Olive Hamilton of finding old letters in the attic of her father’s home in Paisley, Scotland from relatives in America written many years ago was of great interest to the group. Her interest in these letters resulted in correspondence with Hazel Black Linn, daughter of Dr. O. R. Black, and eventually led to a visit to America by Olive and her family…

“The committee wishes to acknowledge each contribution and to thank each person who has contributed in any way to the information compiled for this book. We are deeply indebted to the late Dr. Oscar R. Black who spent endless hours in research and compiled the first history of the Black family. Without this history it would have been impossible to present many of the facts given in this book.”

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Missouri Daughters Honor WWII Women in a New Book

Imaging Specialists is working closely with the Missouri State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution on a new book about working women in World War II. Friends and family members have written stories and supplied photographs of honorees to be included in the not-yet-titled project.

The ladies are called  “Rosies” in the book, after “Rosie the Riveter,” a term that Wikipedia says “was first used in 1942 in a song of the same name written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb. The song was recorded by numerous artists, including the popular big band leader Kay Kyser, and became a national hit. The song portrays “Rosie” as a tireless assembly line worker, doing her part to help the American war effort.

All the day long,
Whether rain or shine
She’s part of the assembly line.
She’s making history,
Working for victory
Rosie the Riveter

J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!” poster is planned to be featured on the cover with some minor typographical changes.

Also according to Wikipedia, “In 1942, Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller was hired by the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee to create a series of posters for the war effort. One of these posters became the famous “We Can Do It!” image—an image that in later years would also become “Rosie the Riveter”, though this was not intended at its creation. Miller based his “We Can Do It!” poster on a United Press photograph taken of Lansing, Michigan, factory worker Geraldine Doyle. Its intent was to help recruit women to join the work force. At the time of the poster’s release the name “Rosie” was not associated with the image.”

From the MSN website: “For years, Doyle signed Rosie the Riveter t-shirts, posters, and more. While many profited from her image, she never charged a penny to fans, her daughter said.

“She would say that she was the ‘We Can Do It!’ girl,” Gregg told the Lansing State Journal. “She never wanted to take anything away from the other Rosies.”

Thank you to Mrs. Doyle and all “Rosies” everywhere. May your stories of service and sacrifice help to inspire a new generation.

Imaging Specialists is proud to be a part of this patriotic project to honor these homefront heroes.