Greetings To Friends of Bartholomew!
Please allow me to catch you up on the details of our living blog, give you some insight on the status of Bartholomew Stovall – The English Immigrant, and finally I will solicit your help, asking how we can proceed with a number of topics in order for our living blog to continue.
Bartholomew Stovall The Novel – One Year After Release
The beginning of 2014 saw a flurry of activity generated by the release of my novel, Bartholomew Stovall – The English Immigrant. Most everyone advised me that if I maintained a reasonable level of news and information releases it would take six months for the book to gain exposure. Since I released in May of 2013, I can now advise that their estimate was spot on.
The interest it has generated from Stovall’s all across America and throughout the world has been overwhelming. Sales for the novel have been modest at best, but this is not an indication of the novel’s success. I have received inquires and heartwarming stories from all over the US and the world. I will admit that the volume of correspondence has been overwhelming. One gentleman told me he is on the third reading of the book. Another gentleman informed me that his ninety three year old mother will not return the book, forcing him to order a second copy. A Stovall from North Carolina ordered six copies for gifts at Christmas, and a young girl in Uganda placed an order. When I advised her that, due to the cost of shipment, it may be better for her to order an ebook, she insisted that I mail and autographed copy.
For those who requested autographed copies most were via a personal letter with a check enclosed. Almost everyone included a brief letter, thanking me for the effort and then went into detail about their lineage via Bartholomew. Probably 20% of the requests for autographed copies were through Paypal.
Our blog has generated so much attention that I receive daily emails and phone calls from people who are interested in their Stovall lineage. Many question the details of what I’ve written, while others confess that the novel is so convincing that they find it difficult to determine the truth from fiction. I’ve received dozens of emails from folks wondering if I am in possession of the Stovall Family Bible.
I do answer every inquiry, but there are times where I simply don’t have resources to give inquiries the attention they deserve. Normally I suggest they go back to the county of the individual’s birth and start with historical records. It’s been my experience that, if an old family Bible is not available, the county archives are the most reliable source of information.
Stovall Family Database – A United Effort
As I stated earlier, the creation of Bartholomew Stovall – The English Immigrant afforded me the opportunity to meet descendants of Bartholomew from around the globe. At last count there were over two million of us who claim ties to Bartholomew. Can you imagine what could be accomplished if we combined the efforts of half, or even a third of these individuals to answer the unsolved questions about our lineage?
Having said this, I feel more strongly now that there should be a centralized Stovall Database that would be a reliable source of information for all Stovall’s regardless of their line from Bartholomew. Through the correspondence I have received I’ve found there is a tremendous surge in the popularity of the sir name Stovall, and many individuals are involved in efforts to capture lineage information to various renditions of a Stovall Database. Several of the people I have talked with make this their hobby, while some do it full time as a concentrated effort. Other editions of the database had to be the result of someone’s lifetime passion, as all lineages are represented.
In all cases, this is an ongoing process that is either an error filled venture or one that is so large that it may be impossible for a single individual to reach the end. Yes, it does seem like an impossible task, but that does not offer as an excuse to abandon the effort.
Moving Forward Using a Combined Effort
Recently I was asked by the Stovall Family Association to consider the position of Publisher for their Quarterly journal. I accepted this request and my name will be submitted to the SFA Board for appointment at the next meeting, July, 2014.
For those who are not familiar with the Stovall Family Association I would suggest you visit www.stovall.org. The SFA does not vigorously recruit new followers and is not a group with a member list as large as one might expect. Although they have a relatively small member list (slightly over 200) this organization has a clear mission statement and a very strong infrastructure.
They have a board of directors, a journal that is published quarterly, a stated set of by-laws, and a detailed attempt at a complete family database. Every three years they hold a national reunion with planned activities that normally stretch over a long weekend.
As far as I know, this is the only national Stovall family grouping organization in existence.
Just recently there has been a change in some of the SFA leadership positions. I’ve talked with the newly appointed President and was encouraged that one of their primary goals is to increase membership. She also requested that I submit ideas to modify the format of the journal to broaden the appeal for the anticipated new subscribers to SFA.
I willingly accept the challenge of producing and enhancing a journal and will approach this task with appreciation that I’ve been asked to guide this effort. I also request that all the readers of this blog entry consider joining the SFA and support the effort to increase membership. I also ask that each of you consider the list of items below to help make this venture a success..
- It will be impossible for me to produce a meaningful journal unless I have contributions from you. I would appreciate any submissions that are Stovall related, but will also welcome any articles you think would be enjoyable and informative to readers of the journal. I will gladly give you full credit for articles used in our quarterly newsletter. You can forward submissions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by sending them to my personal address to :
172 Castleair Ct
Kennesaw, Ga 30144
- I am keenly interested in any and all attempts to create lineage information for Bartholomew or his ancestors. Please notify me if you are involved in an ongoing effort to define your lineage or are in possession of some form of updates such as a family Bible, old correspondence (letters etc), or anything else that has been passed to you. This could possibly be used to fill in some gaps for a unified Stovall Data Base. Might I add that I am aware of three specific projects currently underway to complete Bartholomew’s lineage in totality. I welcome all these efforts and will work with the authors or agents of this information and present them to the SFA board to determine how they can be used to complete a comprehensive Stovall Data Base. May I stress that currently there is no “Officially Sanctioned Database” for the SFA. It would be my suggestion to take the most complete effort and adopt it with additions and updates that have been validated.
- As stated earlier, we need to concentrate on increasing our membership numbers in the SFA. Everyone could help if they contacted relatives or friends and made them aware of our existence. Visit www.stovall.org for complete information on how to join the SFA and start receiving the quarterly Stovall Journal.
- Please help to keep our living Blog active. Visit WWW.BARTHOLOMEWSTOVALL.COM and click on the Blog tab. It is my goal for this to be a two way dialogue between blog users and myself. I will strive to include a new entry at least once a month with articles ranging from updated Stovall news, historical references to the life and times during Bartholomew’s period, updates on lineage information for the Stovall Data Base, and other relevant information.
Thank you very much for viewing this long post, and remember the next scheduled activity is the Stovall Family Association, Inc. 2014 – National Reunion in Richmond Virginia. The dates are July 18, 19, 20. Please view www.stovall.org for details on this event.