Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gizzard Cove, Tennessee - Finding our Roots!

Some of my cousins and I have always wanted to discover our roots by visiting our grandmother's birthplace in Gizzard Cove, Tennessee also called The Gizzard. Martha Comfort Pyburn Riley was born in the late 1880s. In this picture she's 18 years old. Her mother died when Martha was 16. Not long after her father remarried. His new wife forced Martha and her brothers to move out of the family home. She moved to Texas to live with relatives where she met and married John Riley.

We knew the log cabin where she'd been born was still standing and occupied by another family. Fortunately, we'd contacted cousins in the area, whom we'd never met, and they showed us around. The house is now stuccoed.

Our great-grandmother was a Anderson so we visited the Anderson Cemetery to look for her grave. It was overgrown and we got into bull nettle and were miserable for a few hours. We also had to watch for rattlesnakes.

I'm so glad we made the trip and can share our experience with other family members. How about you? Have you searched out your roots? Leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

Thanks for Reading and Writing!



  1. Love the blog!

    Fortunately for me, my sister loves to research family history. She has it traced back to the arrival in the USA of Dad's family. Seems they got kicked out of Ireland in the late 1600's for stealing horses. Sometimes you found out things you really didn't want to know.

  2. Awesome, Allison. Yes, we do find out unsavory things. I wish we'd started looking while some family members were still alive and we had someone to ask.

  3. My mom is big into geneaology and I know quite a bit about my roots but my husband is another matter. Story goes, his great grandfather was a horse thief who ended up changing his name to escape the rope. Or something like that. So - his true origins remain a mystery. Too fun.

  4. Did you find you g-g-grandmother's gravestone?
    Great blog Linda!