Thelma Welch Swanson
Thelma Welch Swanson (1917-2000). Speaking of Thelma Swanson, she too, is a John Ray and Nancy Sumner descendant). She was a enthused compulsive family researcher. She contributed a lot to the Macon County, North Carolina, Historical Society and wrote a several family genealogy books, one which I bought, DESCENDANTS OF JOHN RAY AND NANCY SUMNER. We have visited her several times, which she gave us tours of the back roads of Macon County, and cemeteries.
Although Thelma was not related to the Trammells, she knew I am and knew my Trammell kin were all over Macon County at one time. Whenever she came across Trammell information she passed it on to me. One time she wrote and told me she found something that stated that Revolution soldier William A. Trammell (my g-g-g-g grandfather) is buried in the First Methodist Cemetery in Franklin, but went there and could not find it. We planned a time and I took my sons Rocky and Adam up with me. Thelma, as usual, gave us a short tour, then we went to the First Methodist Cemetery. We looked at every marker and could not find his name. Of course some of the markers were weather beat and unreadable. We decided to go to the local K-Mart and buy some drawing pads, and crayons to rub the markers to read them. While at K-Mart we decided since there was a Burger King across the street, we would drop by there and have lunch. After lunch we went back to the cemetery. When we drove into the part of the parking lot closest the cemetery. The sun had shifted and shiny its beams in new directions and even bouncing them in other directions. The new lights illuminated one tall stone under a huge oak tree - it was shady all around it but seemed to glow. I felt like Indian Jones holding up the cross on a shaft. We looked at the tall marker, it was William Trammell. I felt it was meant to be for me to see it. Eerie!
Thelma is the daughter of Thomas Floyd Welch and Annabel "Annie" Lee Ray. She was widowed to Ray Marshall Swanson. She and her sister Pauline "Polly" Welch Buie lived in a duplex, each having their own apartment..
Eric Rudolph is known as a mad terrorist bomber. He is in prison for exploding the Family Planning clinics, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and other places. He was on the run from a large manhunt and hid out in the wilderness near Murphy, North Carolina. Murphy, North Carolina, is close to Franklin - just over some hills. At the time I read speculation that local folks in that area of North Carolina might be allowing him to hide on their property. During that time we went to see the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. There, we saw "UNTO THESE HILLS". It is about the TRAIL OF TEARS and how one Native American, Tsali fought the soldiers when one of them killed his wife. Tsali and his sons fled for the wilderness and stayed hid and encouraged people on the trail to resist,. There was a manhunt out for him.
On the way back the next day we stopped in Franklin and visited Thelma. I brought up Eric Rudolph hiding nearby. She said she used to Eric when he was a young boy and had nothing negative to say about him and said people in that area would gladly hide him from the law. That reminded me of Tsali hiding out from a man hunt in the area. She said her ancestor Albert Alonza Welch his Tsali hide in his barn. I asked, jokingly, were she going like her ancestor with Rudolph.. She changed the subject. .