Saturday, January 11, 2014

#52Ancestors Challenge - Week 1 - Tennie Belle Holcomb

I recently ran across a blog on by Amy Johnson Crow called "The 52 Ancestors Challenge" and decided it would be a wonderful way to take my years of genealogy research to a new level.  I'm not a professional genealogist, but I've been researching my family for about 13 years.  To be quite honest, it's a bit of an obsession of mine, but I've accumulated about 2000 people in my records!!

I do not claim to be a great writer, and writing this has taken me completely out of my comfort zone!!  This is my very first blog...ever, so please bear with me. 

The first ancestor I'd like to write about is my beautiful grandmother, Tennie Belle Holcomb.  Don't you just love her name!!  I remember everyone calling her Tennie Belle, not just Tennie.

Tennie Belle Holcomb was the youngest of 5 children born to Benton Rogers Holcomb (or Jake as he was known) and Mamie Estelle Locke.  She was born on June 2, 1927 in Tahoka, Texas and shared a birthday with her older sister Mary Inez (aka Inie).  Her father was a farmer and owned a store.  In 1929 her father also worked as a deputy sheriff.  I remember a few times when her, and her brother Jake, or Buck as we knew him, would talk about when they were little.  One of the stories was about a horse named Tony.  Buck, and their brother Chester (aka Chet...everyone seems to have had a nickname), used to tease Tennie Belle and have the horse chase her around the outside of the house!!  The horse would even follow her into the house, at which point Mama (what everyone called Mamie, their mother) would shew him back outside.
After the death of her father in 1946, she went to California with Mama to visit some family who had moved there.  There at a dance, she met William (Bill) Frank Gibson.  He was in the navy and stationed in the area.  They wrote many letters to each other after that, and then on December 19th, 1946 they were married in Tahoka, Texas.  The ceremony was a double ceremony with her good friend Winnelle Meeks who married R.M. Dodson.
William Frank Gibson and Tennie Belle Holcomb 1946
Eventually, Tennie Belle and Bill would make their home in Baldwin Park, California.  There they raised 3 children.  She lived in Baldwin Park for about 50 years, until she became sick and had to move in with her daughter.  On December 30, 2001 Ms. Tennie Belle died in Kirkland, WA.
Mary Inez Holcomb Meeks and Tennie Belle Holcomb Gibson
My grandmother was a remarkable lady.  She could sing and play the guitar.  My grandfather and her were known to be pretty good on roller skates, and really great dancers too!!  Not to mention, she was a great cook!!  Everyone loved her fried chicken and homemade tacos.  Whenever I'm making tacos, the smell takes me back to her house, and every time I have a glass of sweet tea, I am reminded of her!  She was loved by everyone and is dearly missed.  



  1. This is really good Aymee. I love and miss her so much. Think of her every day too.

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  3. I love this thank you!! Everytime I eat lemon mirange pie or drink tea it reminds me if her.. or whenever I bake n go to lick the bowl it reminds me of her saying "hurry lets lick the bowl before the boys come back" <33

  4. You're welcome! It's been fun writing these. I know what you mean...sweet tea and banana pudding make me think of her too. She was so fun!! Miss her!!

  5. I remember Tennie Bell well from our visits to California and uncle Billy back in the 1950 and 60s. I may actually have a few pictures of her.

  6. Thank you for your posts. Mary Inez was my grandmother. Hurley Grady Meeks (2nd) is my father. I will be spending time with him this week and he will very much appreciate the work you have done here.
    Feel free to contact me.
    Brent Meeks