About the Authors
I am Kim Wright. I live in Cherokee as does my son and his family. My family roots in Alabama span back to before it was a state. It was known then as the Alabama-Mississippi Territory. It was often referred to as the new country. My Murray family line goes back to 1811 as far as documentation has been preserved. One of my My Isbell lines follow a similar path. This line goes back as far as service in the Revolutionary War. Many among this line were preachers. Both of these family lines started out in the state of Alabama in what is now Jackson County, but both lines wound up early in Franklin County, portions of which are now Colbert County. Many descendants of these family lines still reside in the Sheffield and surrounding areas.
John M. Murray, one of my great-grandfathers and likely his brother joined Andrew Jackson in the battle of Horseshoe Bend. Later, when Andrew Jackson was given the directive to remove the ‘squatters’ from Indian lands just as Alabama was about to reach statehood, he recalled the service of those who had battled along with him. Unwilling to disobey orders from headquarters, Andrew Jackson meandered along on his way to remove the ‘squatters.’ This gave time for the state to be formed which made them citizens of a state instead of ‘squatters.’ Problem solved.My picture may be familiar to some of you. I am an Instructor of Math at Northwest-Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. ________________________________________________________
Carolyn Murray Greer
I am Carolyn Greer and I now live in central Florida, but my heart is in Sweet Home Alabama. I am a native of Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama. I lived in Colbert, Lauderdale, and Madison County in Alabama. There are generations of memories from back home. And if you would share your memories and photos with all of us, I would be in high cotton.
My profession for twenty plus years was teaching. I taught in the Sheffield School System, the Colbert County School System and the Huntsville City School System. The last four years that I taught I had the distinct honor of teaching as Adjunct at Northwest-Shoals Community College where my daughter teaches. That was a highlight of my life.
There have been numerous teachers in my family lines, dating back to the 1860s from John Murray who taught at the Rock Hill School and Lizzie Murray who taught many generations of students. They taught in the Colbert County School System that was in Franklin County, but has been in Colbert County since 1867. My creative skill set was put to use doing cross-stitch, painting portraits and constructing designs for saddles at Running P Saddlery in Muscle Shoals. I designed the logos and graphics on the computer. Then a laser cutter was used to engrave the designs into the leather components which were then hand tooled and assembled into a saddle. These were mostly for championship rodeos and were trophy saddles. Ty Murray has one of the saddles with my graphics on it. I loved doing that.
I have also been a Realtor here in Florida. I had the distinct honor of teaming with my youngest son who was also a Realtor. And then the housing crash happened nationwide. It was especially disastrous for Florida. So, now that son is attending college majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
I had written a book on the 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA. I can not count how many close kin and other relations who were in that regiment, or who were on the Union side in the 1st Alabama Independent Vidette Cavalry Regiment shooting at them. Ancestors were also in other regiments. Many, many descendants of the soldiers of the 16th still live in northwest Alabama.
I have often said that it is a wonder any of us exist because future great-great-grandfathers were shooting at other future great-great-grandfathers. And given that they were very accurate in their aim and fire; it is miraculous that we even exist at all. I also have a keen interest in WWII as my Daddy was an underage soldier in some of the most pivotal battles. He fought in the Pacific Theatre under General Douglas MacArthur. I had composed a book on his military service for my children at Christmas one year. I never knew what a hero he was until now. So, forevermore, I will hold the military and those who have, are,or will serve in the highest esteem. I always tell someone in uniform that s/he is my hero. Sometimes they smile. That brightens my day.
I have deep roots in Sheffield, Alabama. Our family is large, or used to be. Extended family was everything when those of my generation were little. My youngest child has never known any grandfathers because both had passed on before he was born. That has always put a squeeze on my heart because my grandparents on both sides were my favorite people. When Gran, Robert Peebles, died every one of his grandchildren thought they were his favorite grandchild. He had eighteen grandchildren. Little did they know the favorite grandchild was me. Part of the reason for this endeavor is to help the younger generations know their roots and learn about their family history. We must give them roots as well as wings. I have worked on family history for more than thirty years; and after the older ones had passed the information about family just dried up. I was fortunate to have gleaned information from a lot of them. I cherish that knowledge. Besides, I just love nostalgia. So, join me and my family in learning our history of where we came from and what life was like the, as well as what life is like now. There has been a dramatic change, not for the better in some cases. My children for the most part never knew what extended family was about; my extended family has always been a huge part of who I am and what I became. I want that kind of Norman Rockwell life that we actually lived out in Sheffield, Alabama to be remembered. Would you help me?