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Hartselle Enquirer

Morgan County graduate pens memoir

Former Morgan County High graduate pens a memoir “Searching for Nannie B?” The book tells the story of Nancy Owen Nelson’s search to find out about her grandmother Nannie B Russell Chandler, who died in childbirth with the author’s mother Nannie B Chandler Nelson. Chandler is buried in Bethel Cemetery near New Hope.

The book holds information about Nelson’s search to find about who her grandmother was, as well as understand the impact of her grandmother’s loss on her own mother and herself. Little was know about Chandler since family or friends did not discuss this. The book is about the author’s journey to find her roots and delve into the mystery of her grandmother.

The book allows its readers follow a fascinating trail as Nancy Owen Nelson searches out the mystery of a gap in her own female linage, a grandmother who is never spoken of. The journey starts with her mother, the second Nannie B and then winds through real places and graves, through Ancestry.com and through countless conversations as she tries to solve the enigma of the first Nannie B, her mother’s mother. It is a trail that, at its end, cannot help but lead her to a better understanding of herself.

Nelson has ties to Hartselle with her grandfather Stephen Mae Nelson serving as mayor for two terms in the early twentieth century and as justice of the peace. The author is named for her great grandmother, Nancy Jane Thomasson Owen, wife of her great grandfather Robert Goodman Owen. Mammie Owen, as she was known, taught Sunday School at the Methodist Church for 40 years. Her parents, grandparents and great grandparents are buried in Hartselle City Cemetery. Nannie B Nelson, also known as Bee Nelson, taught at Morgan County High School in the late 1920s and met her husband who served in the military. Author Nelson attended Birmingham Southern and Auburn for her undergraduate and graduate studies.

Bee Nelson remained in Hartselle after her husband’s death and tutored many in writing and languages.

Nelson will host a talk and reading about the book Mon., June 29, at the Hartselle Fine Arts Center at 6:30 p.m., sponsored by the Hartselle Historical Society. She will also conduct a book signing at the event.

The book is being published by the Ardent Writer Press and is available on Amazon and as an eBook on Kindle.

Nancy Owen Nelson| Special to the Enquirer
Nancy Owen Nelson| Special to the Enquirer

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