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Clay Tester (#47663787)
 member for 5 years, 8 months, 2 days
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Messages left for Clay Tester (10)[Leave Message]
Mildred Havrilla
Parks/Tester family
I have the two books you mentioned. I have gone through them once and have found errors. The errors cannot be a reflection on the author because he relied on word of mouth in many instances. I believe the source was confused or just made an honest error. I am in the process of trying to make corrections using valid documentation and am updating this information. I will have an index. What I need is numbers associated with your family in the Harmon books. I am more than happy to share with you what I have.
Added by Mildred Havrilla on Feb 13, 2012 3:19 AM
Wow, I was reading your bio on your family and looks like we are cousins all the way around.

I do not research as much as I did I started in 1992, but went back to work full time in 2001 but I try to check my messages from others seeking information or correcting my errors as Thomas Harman did on my find the grave info and I saw your post.

First that struck me was Oakes I was speaking with my grandmother today and we were discussing Laura Brown Oakes who was a sister to my great grandmother Nora Brown, and I was looking at her info today and when I saw you mention Della I thought is that one in the same? Wow what a small world.

If you noticed my last name "Dotson" sure I am connected to your first wife's family.

If you would like to correspond my email is or I can call if you prefer.

Added by Melanie on Dec 29, 2011 7:26 PM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Tester - Harman Cemetery (Upper)
Well, that explains why I couldn't find all of your sisters.

It's always interesting to me to learn how and why the various family members moved from one locality to another.

My g-grandfather, William Roby Harman, who was born in Sugar Grove, traveled to Springfield, MO in 1887, along with several half-uncles. They all got jobs with the Frisco Railroad. He married the following year in a double wedding, along with the youngest half-uncle, to two sisters.

My grandfather and father were both born in Springfield. I was born in Lamar, MO but have been in TX since 1981.

Thank you for all the additional information about your family.

If you would like to communicate by direct email, my address is

Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 29, 2011 3:54 PM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Tester - Harman Cemetery (Upper)
I've learned that it really is the "Valley of the Cousins". Wiley Albert Harman/Harmon is a brother to my 3rd g-grandfather, David Tucker Harman.

So your mother would be my 4th cousin once removed, as well as a 6th cousin and 6th cousin once removed.

I had Bill Tester listed as the son of Henry Clay and Vertie Alice Warren Tester, but his birth record did not include his birth date, so that is why I did not immediately make the connection.

You mentioned 3 sisters living in Tyler. I have you and two brothers in my files, but the only sister I had was Kristina. That is from using the birth records on and that is not complete.

Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 29, 2011 10:39 AM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Tester - Harman Cemetery (Upper)

I'm at work right now and don't have access to my files, but I'll check in the morning to see what I have on Bill. I know I have your grandparents in my files. (I just got through updating their information after finding their tombstone photos on Find A Grave.)

At the present time, my wife and I live in Midland, TX, which is halfway between Fort Worth and El Paso. Used to live SE of Austin.

I was born in MO and I think my direct line is about the only ones that still go by the Harman spelling. Used to think if it wasn't spelled that way, then not related. Found out otherwise.


Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 28, 2011 8:28 PM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Tester - Harman Cemetery (Upper)

Could you tell me the name of Bill Tester's parents?

I've got more than one Bill Tester in my files and I want to make sure I have the right one connected to Billy Ray.

Thank you,

Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 28, 2011 12:14 PM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Tester - Harman Cemetery (Upper)

Again, thank you very much. I live in TX, so trying to sort out all of my extended family in NC has been a challenge.

I appreciate all your help.

Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 28, 2011 12:05 PM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Tester - Harman Cemetery (Upper)

Thank you for this additional information. I have sent a message to the photographer who took the latest photos in the cemetery, to see if she has any information that might help identify any of of the photos as being the one for Billy Ray Tester.

Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 27, 2011 12:50 PM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Tester - Harman Cemetery (Upper)

Would this happen to be the child you were referring to? The death certificate lists burial in Sugar Grove Baptist Cemetery, but there is not a cemetery on Find A Grave by that name.

North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975
about Billy Ray Tester
Name: Billy Ray Tester
Gender: Male
Race: White
Age: 0
Birth Date: 19 Jul 1970
Birth Place: North Carolina, United States
Death Date: 19 Jul 1970
Death Location: Lenoir, Caldwell
Father's Name: Billy Tester
Mother's Name: Mattie Pearl Eggers
Residence: Lenoir, Caldwell, North Carolina

Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 27, 2011 7:58 AM
Thomas L. Harman
RE: Harman Cemetery (Upper)

Thank you very much for this additional information. I had sent a letter to the present property owner requesting any information about the unknown graves, but never received a reply.

I was sent photos of 14 graves marked only by field stones. The photos do not show location in regards to nearby stones and none show any trees, so I'm not sure if this particular grave is represented in one of the photos I have posted or may have been missed by the photographer.

I do not wish to duplicate memorials, but I definitely want to document this child's grave.

If you have any additional information that pertains to the two Harman cemeteries (Upper and Lower), it will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you again.

Added by Thomas L. Harman on Nov 27, 2011 7:44 AM
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