I was born in Beckley, WV. I am the son of Linda Halstead Bowman, grandson to Lillie Basham Halstead and Ed Halstead, great grandson to John Wesley Alexander Basham (yes, that's his true full name!) and Ida Jane Albatine Lilly, and great great grandson to Alexander Basham and Mary Jane Pack.
I went to college at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. I am a teacher (please, support teachers!). I have taught history, and, currently, I teach English (Reading Language Arts). Before entering the profession, I worked for the airlines followed by a stint in banking. I longed to return home to West Virginia. I have discovered that many, like me, leave for greener pastures only to return home. In my opinion, the beauty of West Virginia has no equal. I also needed tranquility and peace in my life.
My grandmother (Lillie Basham Halstead) would often talk about growing up in Streeter. She had some spooky stories to tell me when I was little. One involved her and her sister walking back from the meat house and being followed at a distance by a panther late in the day. "Mawmaw Halstead" always spoke with reverence about her father, John Wesley Basham. How he was a teacher, a general store owner, and a farmer.
During the Summer, we would go down to Streeter for the reunion. Pawpaw and Mawmaw Halstead would set up in "the camp" - I still remember the musky smell of that old cabin. It has since fallen in. I remember Pawpaw playing croquet at "Aunt Ula's and Uncle Lester's". I once kicked one of the balls - Pawpaw scolded me.
Why do I do this blog? Initially it was a way of sharing photos and stories with my immediate cousins. It seemed to grow a little after that. I don't profess to be an expert. Genealogy is a journey that is never really complete. In reality, our genealogies stretch thousands (really hundreds of thousands) of years. We are lucky to have the few stories we do have. You will not find many kings...or queens. You will not find many extraordinarily rich or famous people. What you will find are some of the first people to settle in West Virginia, some of the first to come to America, some were brave men who fought in wars of freedom, and some made good and bad choices in extremely difficult situations. Life in early America was extremely hard for most pioneers.