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little surprises

Sometimes – little surprises – are  – surprising.

I opened a book I’ve not read in several years – probably (one of the surprises) since 2002.

There were a couple of pieces of paper serving as bookmarks in different places in Spiritual Notes to Myself Essential Wisdom for the 21st Century by Hugh Prather.

One ‘bookmark’ was torn from a September 24, 1999 e-mail message about my “Sammon Family in Gwinnett County, Georgia” and I could read only the first part of the message:

“The Elizabeth Sammon I am searching marrie”


“I need HELP to sort this all out, are you my a”

This was between pages 74 and 75 and the following paragraph on page 74 caught my attention:

Turning to our peaceful mind is an unremarkable process.  The shift is not accompanied by strong emotion.  It’s nice when I experience God’s peace and presence consciously.  But if on many occasions I receive it only unconsciously, I don’t want to waste an instant’s thought on that fact.  Let me simply continue my spiritual journey and be assured that the light of heaven still shines in me and all about me.

The second marker (between pages 40 and 41) brought back memories of breakfasts at Johnny Mac’s on Court Street (which – alas, is no longer there).

Quotations from those pages:

The reason it isn’t helpful to go around talking about our healings, visions, and other spiritual fireworks is that such conversations tend to be separating and unloving.  The little mind gets involved, we start feeling special, and the other person thinks he wasn’t invited to God’s party.

The saints of God dare to be ordinary.

Such a nice surprise between the pages of an inspirational book on this day: Friday, October 22, 2010.

Page 39:

Don’t give “feedback.”  Give truth.  The fact is that most people really are asking if they are wonderful, and my truth-filled answer is YES!  Each of God’s children is cherished and beloved.  Even though I know in my heart and prayers that truth doesn’t play favorites, I am dealing with one person at a time.

page 38:

When I’ve lost all interest in controlling outcomes, I finally will be free to love everyone my mind rests upon.

family history

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BTF (before the flood), I had a first edition of John Salmon “Rip” Ford’s book; however, I am thankful to have ANY edition of Ford’s memoirs.

Ford was the son of William Ford (17895-1866) and Harriet Salmon (1791-1845).

Like so many surnames, there were various spellings and Harriet’s father George Salmon was the brother of my ancestor John Sammon.

Rip’s grandfather was John Ford and his grandmother was Ann (surname perhaps Hiller).  John Ford was born in Maryland and died in Greensville County, Virginia.  Note:  my research is certainly not written in stone and I have had difficulty tracing the Ford lineage.

John Salmon Ford was called “Rip” because, as a Texas Ranger, one of his duties was to inform families of the deaths of their loved ones who were killed while doing their duty as Texas Rangers.  He writes “Rest in Peace” at the beginning of each letter informing the family of a death.  This was eventually shortened to “RIP” – and this became his sobriquet.

At the beginning of Ford’s book, he writes a STATEMENT OF PURPOSE ‘by the author’ –

When a man assumes to place the matters connected with his career in life before the public, he is actuated by some motive.  The real motives including the writer to tell his story are as follows: he has been an humble actor in the transaction of many affairs that happened in Texas from 1836 to almost the present date and believes that a large majority of the residents of this State are but little acquainted with the incidents which have given her people a reputation for gallantry in war and considerable insight in the management of public affairs; he knows that many men displayed a notable spirit of patriotism in the service of a noble State, and, feeling that they have been forgotten, he wants to offer something that will aid his fellow citizens to do justice to their memories and thus aid in arriving at the truth of history.

His main purpose will be to write the truth, to do injustice to no person, and to let the action of men be the facts by which we may judge them.  The itching which some writers seem to feel to place themselves forward on all occasions will be avoided.  The writer will not endeavor to become the hero upon all extraordinary events and to let the book speak of himself alone.



One of Rip Ford’s traits is quite recognizable (humor intended) in my maternal lineage:

“He possessed the capacity to get into fights with the boys, to fall in love with the girls, and to take a hand in the deviltry set on foot by his playmates.  The old ladies of his neighborhood looked upon him as a sort of prodigy, and predicted he would be killed for his general ‘cussedness’ before reaching the age of maturity, or hanged for some infernal mischief  he might commit.”

John Salmon "Rip" Ford - 1858

John Salmon "Rip" Ford - 1865

Will of Matthew Wynne

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My Sammon family is related to just about everyone in Greenville County, South Carolina – I think!

My ancestor, John Sammon, Sr., [ son of William Sammon] had a sister – Susannah “Sucky” who married Matthew Wynne.  His will below:



In the name of God Amen, I Matthew Wynne of the State and Dist. afores’d being in my perfect Health and of a sound mind & memory and calling to mind the Mortality of my body & that it’s appointed for all men to die. for the better Settling of my Temporal affairs, Revoking & Disannulling all other Will or Wills before made by me I do make this my Last Will & Testament in the maner & form following Viz —

Item — I lend to my loving Wife Susanna Wynne during her life the land and Plantation whereon I now live together with Stock of every kind household & Kitchen furniture & plantation utensils, also four negroes Dick Silla, Jane & Ann, and after her death the above mentioned Negroes & increase if any to be divided between my five children follows–Sucky, Franky, Patsy and Minor Wynne and Robert Wynne to them their heirs and assigns forever and the land mentioned at my wifes death to be sold and the money arising from the sale thereof divided between all my children viz, William Wynne, John Wynne, Thos. Wynne, Polly Todd, Matthew Wynne, Betsy-Ana Smith, Richard Wynne, Sloman Wynne, Clemons Wynne, Sucky Wynne, Frankie Wynne, Patsy Wynne, Minor Wynne, & Robert Wynne, equally.

Item – I give to my son William Wynne one negro boy named Charles, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son John Wynne one negro boy named Daniel to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my Daughter Polly Todd, one negro girl named Lucy to her her heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Matthew Wynne one negro boy named Balais to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my daughter Betsy A. Smith one negro girl named Judy to her her heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Richard Wynne one negro girl named Harriot to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Sloman Wynne one negro boy named William to him his heirs and assigns forever.
Item – I give to my son Clemons Wynne one negro man named Pleasant to him his heirs and assigns forever.

Item- my will is the above mentioned Robert Wynne come in Co. Heir with the above Sucky, Frankie, Patsy, and Miner, if it should not be well understood by the above interlined, Rob’t & five, I desire that my debts be paid by the profits of my estate and lastly I nominate and appoint my Wife and two Sons John Wynne and Thos. Wynne to execute this my last Will and Testament in witness whereof I hereto set my hand and Seal this 8th day of July 1810.
Signed Sealed and Acknowledged in presence of: Test
Matthew Wynne (l.S.)

J. H. Joyce
Nimrod Underwood
Tho. B. Williams
E. B. Benson

Recorded in Will Book A – page 203
Apt. 8 – File No. 504

Probated December 3, 1810
D. Goodlett, O.G.D.