Fifty-five years ago today, a woman named Corrillie Spencer passed away when she was eighty-six years old. She was the second wife of Richard Allen Spencer (1881-1973), my great grandfather. Recently I have begun to research Corrillie’s life. She was known to my family and many others as “Aunt Rillie” and I had no idea the many trials Rillie had faced. The records have revealed a challenging life in which she outlived three husbands and at least one child. Here is what I have discovered of her story thus far.
For many years I have been drawn to the story of my third great uncle, Richard Tolliver Southard (1844-1934). His early life had to have been traumatic, seemingly always in turmoil. The challenges to his family began before his birth and would last through the early years of his marriage when he and his wife lost three of their four young children. His is a story of pioneer life on the Missouri prairie.
This morning I read an email from a fellow genealogist Thomas MacEntee. He said “Don’t give up on 2020” and explained how even in these uncertain times we should stay positive. I couldn’t agree more! While the world seems so negative around us, we need to find and share hope and positivity that does exist and to remember not to allow politics and division to define us as Americans.