Thursday, June 28, 2012

What I've Been Reading

My most recently completed genealogy project was to trace the ancestry of a male in-law. This was a fun one. After I found each set of ancestors and entered their names and other pertinent facts into a database, I googled those people's names to see what else I could learn about them. There was plenty to be found.

My favorite folks in his family tree lived in the mid-18th century in an area of Tennessee  near what we now know as Nashville. They helped to settle that area during a particularly dangerous time in our country's history. In 1780 the father of the family was killed by Shawnee Indians, who kidnapped his daughter, Mary, on the same day. The mother and one son were killed in a separate Indian attack several years later, and a second son was killed by Indians in still another incident. (Think about how scary it feels to walk through a well-lighted parking lot after dark, then imagine how you would have liked to do your daily chores while a group of riled-up savages lurked behind the trees. Not blaming the Indians here, just saying I'm glad I didn't live under those conditions.) Not to mention that all this happened at the same period in history when the patriots also had to watch out for the British.

The member of this family who intrigued me most was the kidnapped daughter, Mary Neely. She lived with the Shawnees as their slave until they delivered her (for a fee) to a British prison. I was captivated by Mary's story. There are plenty of articles about Mary on the Internet, but I was tickled pink when I discovered that she was the inspiration behind two works of historical fiction:

Songbirds Are Free by P. M. Terrell:

River Passage, also by P. M. Terrell:

For a description and reviews of either of,
these books, click on its image above.

I downloaded both books to my Kindle as soon as I found them. The first one was very exciting, even though I'd read enough about Mary to know how the book would end. I haven't started the second one yet because, once again, I'm racing to finish my library books, but River Passage is definitely up next. I can't wait.

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