Beverly Dennis Justice learns her roots
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Beverly and Bill Justice wanted their three sons, Robert, Andrew and Denisen, to know of their family roots, which have deep ties to Shelby County.
Today, thanks to the genealogical research of the Family History Center of the Columbiana Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, both Beverly and Bill have beautiful bound books of their family’s history.
“I appreciate Ricky Harmon so very much who was responsible for the initial help to research our families,” said Beverly. “Bill’s was done last March 2014, and Lynn Schlick recently finished my personal research. Lynn did a superb job.”
Beverly’s family history was presented to her at the Shelby County Historical Society quarterly meeting by members of the LDS Church: Schlick, Harmon, Clem Muck and Eddie Blake, director of the Family History Center.
Shelby County Historical Society President Bobby Joe Seales has been instrumental in encouraging family research through the combined efforts of the society’s vast Shelby County archives, both hard copy and digitalized, at the Shelby County Museum and the LDS records available at the Family History Center.
The Justice family was in attendance including Beverly’s sister, Lavonda Dennis Bryant. Schlick was able to take back Beverly’s lines back to 1728. She found two land grants signed by U.S. presidents: Harry Horton’s 80-acre land grant signed by President Martin Van Buren and Captain William James Barnett’s 40-acre land grant signed by President John Tyler.
She also found records that Beverly’s grandfathers fought in the Civil War, War of 1812 and Revolutionary War. The book included a generational ancestry chart, 16 photographs of people, tombstones, ancestral landmarks, Confederate pension application and Draft Registration cards.
“Both Bill and my families come from Shelby County pioneer roots,” said Beverly. “Bill grew up north while he father worked in paper mills. I lived out west while my father moved surveying oil fields. We have come full circle back to our Shelby County roots. I appreciate so very much our family history that the LDS did for us. Now it is up to our sons to keep it current.”