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Ed Butler is fortunate to know many stories about his ancestors. Some of the stories have been handed down for several generations. Others are his experiences. Often they bring to mind more questions than they answer. If you were homesteading land in 1821 and your husband went to clear land one afternoon and totally disappeared, how would you survive? Could you survive a fifty-mile trip in an ox cart, much of it through swampy woodlands, with three small children? The youngest was not old enough to eat solid food! Do you know anyone fourteen years old that left home and was gone for nearly six years before returning. Ed states that his Dad is the only person he ever knew that had traveled and lived in a covered wagon and the only person he knew that had trained and worked three yokes of oxen. His Dad milked cows for sixty-two years and was an “animal whisperer” long before the term “horse whisperer” was coined. Ed’s Mother had a two-year teachers certificate and taught school in a one-room schoolhouse before she got married. She sure knew how to maintain order in her classroom! Have you ever eaten dried Tennessee strawberries? How many people that you know have owned a horse and top buggy and have driven it in a local parade?

These stories and many others are told in this narrative. Often, Ed provides details and explains the terms he uses so today’s reader can understand how we was raised and how eight generations survived the hardships they encountered. He is amazed that a number of people that read the first edition, have commented that some of the “old folks” in their family have told similar stories about their hard times and hard work. His stories as well as the stories of how your ancestors survived are all a part of our American history. It is hoped that you will preserve your family history also!

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