Monday, March 29, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: McPherson History, Letters from Uncle Ralph

Amanuensis: a person employed to take dictation or copy manuscripts.

I read about Amanuensis Monday in Heather Rojo's blog "Nutfield Genealogy," who read about it in  Randy Seaver’s blog “GeneaMusings” and he read about it on John Newmark’s genealogy blog “TransylvanianDutch”.  That said,  for me this is a great way to transcribe and post my Uncle Ralph's letters.

My McPherson genealogy work has been taking a back seat -- for a number of reasons. So it seems to be an excellent idea to follow the lead of a number of people who are using Monday's for transcription.  The following two letters are some of my Uncle Ralph's shorter missives; the first is just a one-pager and the second, a four-page chat about nothing in particular, which he likens to "junk mail." Olive, Verna, Helen, Margie and Bertha are his sisters; Leone, his daughter.

Dear Olive and Norman,

Just a line as I received you card & note yesterday & I had just mailed you a letter. Also had a letter from Verna & she said they were pulling a U-Haul trailer & were leaving the 20th.

(Husband) & Leone are taking us out to dinner tonite. Do us good to get away from the place. Norman isn’t the only one that should walk more often. I really need to.

Looks like the sun is trying to come out shore hope so, I don’t like dreary weather.

Well this is just a note will let you know how I get along.

Ralph & Sally

~ ~ ~

Dear Olive & Norman
So nice to get your letter & thanks for making out the list of birthdays. Found a book of Margies listing Birthdays, anniversaries & xmas card list, but there must be a 1000 people on it & she crowded everything in so it s hard to make out. Some of it, needless to say I didn’t know 4/5ths of the people on it.

Had a nice letter from Bertha yesterday. I think she is getting better aquainted and playing a little bridge so maybe she will like it better. Also she said her places was air conditioned so guess she will be comfortable as 100% heat and 90% humidity is rough. We are having beautiful weather, 85 to 95 but a cool breeze from the ocean so mostly we just have to run the fan & don’t have to use the compresser.

Also over the news San Diego is the highest priced place to live in the US. 9% higher than the next highest. Also on the census figures San Diego County is the fastest growing county in the state with an increase in population of 668,000 in the last 10 years with North County in the lead. Escondido close to 80,000 & still only the 5 largest in the county.

I am feeling fine now. No bother at all except I have to go back to Dr. Riffle for an examination every couple of mos. Next visit the 15 of Aug.

(Husband) and Leone & the 2 youngest are on vacation now for a week or so. She said she would call when they got back. We haven’ been making any drives thru the back country lately but Sallys sister & brother in law will be down to Salana Beach as soon as the races start at Del Mar so we will go over a couple of times then but not to the track although Del Mar is going to a 5-10 set up the same as TiaJuana.

Felt any quivers up there from Mt Lassen, these so called experts are all excited now & figure theres abut 8 or 9 mts from St Helens to Lassen that could blow their top. I think mostly the tops are on the experts. Last time Lassen erupted most of the rocks went down the N.W. side mostly no one knows wether all that Lava rock is from Lassen or Mt Mazuma (Crater Lake) because no one knows when she blew but when she did she threw rock in every directions for 300 mi & not small pebbles either.

Tell Verna I’ll write to her & not wait till her finger gets OK &; tell Helen I’ll write to her also. All you people up there is like being on vacation, but theres enough work to be done it do(unreadable) boring.

Almost time for the mail man so guess better get this in the mail. Write when you can.

Ralph & Sally

{An upside-down note at bottom of page}This is almost like getting junk mail

~ ~ ~ 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Carnival of Genealogy, 92nd Edition: A Night of Dancing at the Crazy Horse

The topic for the 92nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is Dance! along with its great poster from fM.  Dance lessons as a child? Parents danced on a Saturday night? Traveled to see Nureyev, Twila Thorpe, Ruth Jamison, and Baryshnikov? School dances and Proms? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Dance was king.

For me the following story is about dancing at a very unique time and place. The year was 1962, the summer of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Marilyn Monroe’s death, and Jacqueline Kennedy's White House tours; John Glenn orbiting the earth in Friendship 7, U.S Military presence in Vietnam rising to 2,646,and James Meredith attempts to enroll at University of Mississippi. However in Oregon's high desert basin in Klamath County, the world news is indeed a world away. Ours was a world of local news; the biggest local impact was that most of the Klamath tribe chose to sell their portion of the Tribal lands to the U.S. Government. However for the most part, our lives revolved around the day to day work, tending the land, crops and critters; a world of family, friends and dancing on Saturday nights. 



My hair still damp and steamy from the shower, as I coax our three children to eat their dinner while ironing my tiered dancing skirt. Smiling with anticipation as each stroke of the iron brings the starched skirt to life, ready to twirl tonight, Saturday night at the Crazy Horse. Now a lick and a promise with the iron to the matching camisole, with its little shoulder straps and then I move through the house gathering the children’s overnight clothes. Humming to myself as I remember our first first dance --- I was but 14 and he, a year older. We have always danced well together, even though we laughingly call it our “one-step.” Over the years we have perfected the “one-step,” until now we move as one, twirling and whirling our way through slow dreamy love songs, or an elegant waltz, or the heavy beat of the country rock.

He nudges open the kitchen door and deposits his tools and work boots by the door. Ruffles my hair and gives me a quick kiss as I finish pressing his western dress shirt.

Mm mm, that’s a nice greeting.” I mummer. “Hurry and take your shower, by the time you are ready, I’ll have dinner ready for us.”

Overnight cases and sleeping bags were stacked by the door, by the time he sat down to eat his dinner. The sun was down and shadows had lengthened across valley, before we finally had the 57 Chevy station wagon packed with children and everyone’s overnight gear. The trail of dust along the dirt road signaled the start of the 75-mile trek to Klamath Basin. The station wagon ate up the miles across the flats, and soon leaving the behind the little “wide-spots-in-the-road” of Hidelbrand and Dairy. The halfway mark at Olene Gap, heralded the children’s fussing and asking how soon they would be at Grandma’s house. We were all looking forward to this evening of fun; the children being pampered and spoiled at Grandma’s house; and he and I, an evening of dancing.

After trundling the children into their Grandma’s home for the evening, we headed to downtown Klamath Falls and the Crazy Horse Bar and Lounge. “Funny, when we lived over here in the Basin, I don’t remember the Crazy Horse being such a good place to have fun on a Saturday night,” I mused.

“It wasn’t much of a place then. It’s just since the Indians got their money, that the Crazy Horse has turned into the hottest spot in town. The Crazy Horse is just making sure that they get their share of the Indian money, what with a good band and lots of booze.”

The car hums in the night air as we cross the bridge into town and I nodded. It was sad that most of the Indians had decided to sell their portion of their tribal lands. And it was true; everyone, not only The Crazy Horse, was trying to get a share of the Indian money that was flowing throughout Klamath County like milk and honey. Shaking my head and those somber thoughts away, my attention turned to the dancing. “The Crazy Horse does have good band with a solid beat, and that old-fashioned western feel. A fun place to go on a Saturday night.” For us, the music and the dance floor drew us back every Saturday night.

The incessant beat of “Proud Mary” greets us, as we walk through the dimly lit lounge. I toss my shawl across a chair to hold our table near the dance floor. He beckons to me with a crook of his finger, and taps his well-shined dress cowboy boots. A toss of my head and a swish of my skirt answers him and we move onto the dance floor. The beat goes faster and faster, twirling and whirling, I follow him across the dance floor. After the final turn and lay back, we breathlessly leave the floor.

A short-skirted waitress takes our order, a beer for him, a diet coke for me. The waitress doesn’t mind our paltry order, as her dark skinned customers from the reservation lands are far more important. Customers who will fill the tote around her waist with hundreds of dollars in tips. She smiles and brings more drinks, takes more money, and takes more orders.

The laughter and voices are building ever higher; the night is coursing with a current that zaps back and forth across the room. The band takes its cue from the noise level, and begins a cool down with a slow’n’easy Patsy Cline song of love lost. We again take to the dance floor. He cradles his arm around my back and we move dreamily across the floor. The crowd quiets a bit, except for those raucous guys in the back fringes. Now the band’s beat of Ike and Tina Turner’s “Honkey Tonk Women” draw us again to the floor. The music and the dancing goes on and on --- “Ramblin Rose,” ---slow and nice, good for wonderful long swooping whirls across the floor. “Ode to Billy Joe,” “ King of the Road” and “Big Bad John” all have that great western swing beat, syncopated steps mixed with fast turns and twirls. Now the band mellows back into slow dancing. Now we sway and swirl around the floor to Ferlin Husky’s “On the Wings of a Dove,” Bobby Goldsboro’s "Honey," and Tammy Wynette’s "Take me to Your World."

As the evening goes along, more and more dancers join us on the floor, enjoying the beat of songs like “I walk the Line,” and “ Abilene.” The crowd favorite is the heavy beat of “ Proud Mary” and they call for it again. Then “Galveston”, “Wichita Linemen,” and “Sixteen tons” are greeted with glee as the dancers, hungry for the beat, continue weaving their way around the dance floor. We are breathless and brows damp, but ready for more, as we join the crowd pleading again for “Proud Mary,” as well as Jerry Reed’s “When you’re hot, you’re hot,” Everly Brother’s “Wake up Little Susie.” Another round of slow dancing gives us time to catch our breath before the dancers call again and again for the beat of “Proud Mary.” The tempo rises to a fever pitch; the noise level goes ever higher, the drink orders ever faster. We are oblivious to all but the beat and the music.

A fight breaks out in the back. Hard liquor, drunken cowboys and Indians, sometimes one and the same, are a ready-made recipe for a bar fight. We keep on dancing, still oblivious to the high voltage atmosphere building in the room. Then the music stutters, the last notes awkwardly, haltingly end. The ruckus on the back fringe of the Crazy Horse has erupted into a full-fledge brawl that sprawls out onto the dance floor. Dancers back away. More noise from the back as the fight heats up. He protectively puts his arm around me as he guides me back to our table, pick up our things, and slip out into the cool night air.

We left the Crazy Horse much more subdued than when we laughingly took to the dance floor a few short hours ago. The tempers and vagaries of the time and place ended this night of dancing --- and perhaps the innocence and naiveté of dancing at the Crazy Horse.

NOTE:  The Crazy Horse is a fictional name for the bar, which is long gone and I can't remember it's name.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fearless Females # 25 & 30 Words of Wisdom and Childhood Lessons

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 25 & 30. Tell how a female ancestor interacted with her children.  Was she loving or supportive?  A disciplinarian?  A bit of both? Did you receive any advice or words of wisdom from your mother or another female ancestor? 

March is running short for me, so this will be my final post for the Fearless Females Series, which has been interesting, fun and sometimes surprising as to what wells up to the forefront of my brain.  The following is my response to the above two prompts.


Round little tummy,
wiggling arms and legs,
not much for coordination,
but the eyes are watching.

No crooning voice,
no hugging nor teasing ways
to teach a tiny babe,
so the eyes are watching.

Toddler legs and arms
learn to run and grasp,
no cues of words or praise,
learning is from watching.

Schooling's a pain,
teachers talk and talk,
and never do the walk, 
outmoded ways not to work, watching.

Now another tiny babe 
hears no mother's voice.
 T'is not right, this silence
that starts anew the watching. 

Years go by, learn to give voice
to thoughts and feelings
Still, old ways remain.
Understanding others - by watching.

No to glassy stares, clenched jaws,
'n' the heart beat in the cheek.
Give me your voice, will not guess
by watching and watching.

Then the shock anew,
talkers talk and talk, 
assault the ear with sermons,
whines, pontifications, chatter;

Drone on with harangues, blather,
monologues, prattle, innuendo,
bombast, gossip, rumor, trash,
and still the watcher, watches.

Does the talk match the walk?
Does the outside meet the inside?
Congruent of heart, mind, and action?
The watcher only knows by watching,


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fearless Females # 20 Something There Is That Doesn't Love A Wall

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 20 Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall?

"Something There Is That Doesn't  Love A Wall."  So says Robert Frost.  So listen up my Elizabeth, you might be  Cherokee, or could be Chocktaw or Chicasaw, but "let that frozen ground swell up under my wall, let it fling stones to the ground."  I want a gap through which I can enter your world.  So Elizabeth Duty, tell me the names of your mother and father, "spill the boulders into the sun", and I a good great-great-great granddaughter will  be.  That wall will become a path over which we both shall trod  --- you leading the way, me placing stones where I shall follow.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fearless Females # 17 Social Butterfly? I Think Not!

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 17: Social Butterfly?  What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to?  Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge?  Describe her role in the group.

Social Butterfly?  Not my mother. Not her mother, or her mother's mother or her mother's grandmother, and not her mother's great-grandmother Those stoic women were born and bred to be loners.  Following the Trail of Tears from Tennessee, homesteading in the hills of Missouri and Oregon did not give great opportunity for socialization.  So generation to generation to generation, these were women who kept their own secrets and dreams, worked hard, raised families, but never talked much.  They did not "do" sewing circles or church groups --- even though they might quilt every evening and read the Bible.  Even when the opportunity to visit neighbors arose, these women were reticent.  If one learned from these women it was by watching and learning by how they lived their lives.  It seems to have worked well, but I don't think they had much fun.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fearless Females # 16 Lunch with Mary Burns McPherson

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 16: If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?

Dreamworld is a wonderful place, between here and there.  A world where all things are possible .....

"Who's that a'bangin' on mi door?"

"T''is me, Grandma Mary," says I, as it is just too much to say Great-great-grandma Mary, even in a dream.  "Joannie, your Jim's great granddaughter."

"Come in, dearie, and sit a spell.  I was just getting ready to have a  bowl of soup." 

Oh, my, I dinna mean to impose ..."

"No trouble at all, there's always enough for one more at my table."

I enter through the rough hewn door of the log cabin.  (It must be around 1855 or so, certainly before the frame house was built in 1862.)  Grandma Mary, shoos 5-year old Annie, and  3-year old Lizzie  away from the table where they were practicing their letters, and deftly hooks wee  Mary Jane under her arm as she clears a place for her and me at the table.  The pot of soup is simmering over the fire in the huge rock fireplace.  I offer to hold little Mary Jane (it doesn't seem strange at all to be holding my great-great aunt).  Mary has placed heavy crockery bowls of steaming vegetable and beef soup (actually more of a stew than a soup) and a plate of her Scotch shortbread before us and tells Annie to go to the cold spring house for some nice cold milk.

"Dearie, now tell me why you have come all this way to see me and my wee ones?"

She is so direct.  No small talk, but then she has a lot to do, what with taking care of 6 children under 12 --- and it looks as though the seventh will soon be joining the brood -- and she sews and knits for extra money.  So as to not to take up her valuable time, I start right in.

"Grandma Mary,  I've puzzled for years about how your name your children."

"Shouldna be any puzzle about that.  Billy is named William Burns McPherson for his grandpa, my father William Gibson Burns.  Now Jabe is named Jabez Burns McPherson for .."

"Oh, I know that one, he is named for your brother,  Jabez Burns, who was named after his uncle, the famous Baptist minster."

"Ah, for a young one, you do know your history.  Now Jim, your great grandpa, carries the name James Burns McPherson.  His father is James.  Now do you know the of history  of that name, young lady?"

I was ready to show off. "Yes, indeed, I do.  Your husband James Peter was named James for his maternal uncle James Spink and his father Peter McPherson."   I was on a roll here.  Now to get down to the real questions.

"Grandma Mary, I understand about the naming of the boys, but what about the girls' names?"

"Well, my dear, what about them?"

"I know that you named this cute little Elizabeth after her grandmothers,  Elizabeth Spink McPherson and your mother Elizabeth Herrick Burns  --- and baby Mary Jane carries your name, but  what about Annie ---and ..."

I hesitate here.  Is it okay in a dream to tell my Great-great grandma about children she is yet to have?  Well, sure,  it's a dream, you know.

"Grandma Mary, I know that names are important to you.  So who is Annie, Ann Adamson McPherson, named for --- and the wee one who will  be soon born, she will be named Jessie Stewart McPherson,  and then there will be Emma Ellen, Harriet, and the last of your babes, Margaret --- who are they named for?

"I'm thinking that Jessie might be the name of your sister or a dear cousin, but Stewart and Adamson --- I don't know those names.

"Please, Grandma Mary, please tell who are these people of your past that are so important as to carry on their names with your children?"

"Now, now, don't get yourself in a fret.  Have a cup of coffee and I will tell youuuuuuu --- "

Drat, Colldubh, my black shepherd, thrusts his  cold nose into my ear and nudges me awake. Five o'clock and he wants out -- now.  Drat.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fearless Females # 15 Sarah's Six Word Memoir

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 15:Write a six-word memoir.

Sarah Almira Duty Brown
b. 1834 Jan 4, Giles Co TN
d. 1923 Feb 15, Wheeler Co OR

Born Tennessee poor, died Oregon proud.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fearless Females # 14 News worthy: Aunt Gail and WASP

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 14: Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?

Since the birthday of my Aunt Gail, on February 9th, this is the fourth post about my aunt. She was a graduate of the Last Lost Class of the WASP, class 44-W-10. There has been much in the news over the last month about the WASP and that they are finally receiving recognition from Congress and the nation, in the form of the Congressional Gold Medal.

Today, I will provide links to the following posts:

Happy Birthday, Gail

Newpaper Article on Gail and WASP This article also has a great picture of Gail in her flight suit.

WASP Speak which has some great videos on the WASP. I intended to publish this piece as the March 14th post, but did so on March 10th, the day that the WASP received their Congressional Gold Medal in Washington D.C.

I do wish my Aunt Gail had lived to see this day.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fearless Females # 13 Sarah's Courage

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 13: Moment of Strength: share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.

The following family story has been told, and retold over the years -- with a few variations -- however, the gist of the story remains the same. My historian's bent backgrounds this story, however the story of Sarah remains true to family lore.

The Shoshoni battles of the early 1860s had subsided and the Shoshoni were mostly relegated to the Indian lands near the Steen Mts. or the Warm Springs Reservation. Things were not good for the Shoshoni. Promised food was not provided; trailing herds of sheep and cattle trampled their native food, the camus; the seemingly endless swarm of emigrants had seriously depleted  the herds of deer and elk; hoplessness permeated Shoshoni lodges.

By the summer of 1868, it was fight or starve. The battle chief, Has No Horse, and one of his war chiefs, Pony Blanket, fought a blizgreg type battle. Has No Horse and his braves fought a hit and run campaign against the U.S. Army, while Pony Blanket and his braves started moving the women and children on their flight north to Canada. Has No Horse and his band hit the soldiers and ranchers all over eastern and southern Oregon -- in such a wide circle that the army could not believe it was indeed one fighting band. Even though Has No Horse tried to distract the army with his wide spread attacks, still the army hunted, followed, and fought against Pony Blanket and his band of warriors -- and women and children.

It was amidst this background, so the story goes, one of the Shoshoni braves came to my great-great grandmother's door. He had a broken arm. Great-great-grandmother Sarah, who was reputed to be part Indian, Cherokee, was well known as a healer in the area, and she set the man's arm. The result of this act of kindness was when the skirmishes were closing on their eastern Oregon ranch, Sarah was warned to take family and friends to Ft. Dalles. And so women and children, loaded into wagons, made the more than 150 mile dash to the Fort and safety.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fearless Females # 12 Working Girl: A Bookkeeper?

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 12: Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

When I was a child we lived on a large commercial potato farm in rural southern Oregon. My father was the Manager; about the time that my sister was born, our mother became the bookkeeper for the Oregon farm. She always said she luckily fell into the job, as she had not finished high school and had no training as a bookkeeper. Her office was a small room just off of the dining room of our house. She kept the time records and wrote checks for the farm-hands, as well as providing the necessary financial reports for the corporate office in California. In later years, she would attribute her ability to run farm finances to the training that she got from this farm corporation. The corporate officers in California were like an extended family; they were mentors to my parents, as well as friends.

As a children, we knew better than to bother our mother if she was "working in the office." She continued this job for about 8 years, until the youngest of us four siblings was born. Then my Aunt Gail came to the farm and took over the bookkeeping. The "office" was moved to the old bunkhouse, which was made into a real office with a counter separating farm-hands from the "office staff" (my Aunt Gail.) Then our mother once again turned into a "full time" mother and wife.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fearless Females #11 A Death Too Soon

Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the great Fearless Females prompts for the month of March. Prompt # 11: Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?

Previously, I had written about my great grandmother Agnes Aurelia Brown Keyes. Today, my topic for ponder is the effect that her untimely death had on my grandmother and possible effects on my mother and her siblings, as well as any residual effects on the current descendants.

My grandmother , named Agnes Laura, was born to Agnes Aurelia and James E. L. Keyes on June 7, 1881. When she was but 7 days old, her mother died, leaving three small children - James A, age 3, Almira Jane, 1 1/2, and baby Agnes Laura. The babe's father nicknamed her "Pet" and called her by that dear name for all of his life.

Raising three young children meant that their father had to have some help, besides the chinese cook and the ranch hands. He called on his wife's older sister, Sarah Ellen Brown, to come and take over the household. Within a couple of years, James E.L and Sarah Ellen were married. They had more six children over the next years.

How the loss of her mother affected my grandmother, Agnes Laura Keyes, I am not sure. She was stoically private, a trait that has been passed on down through the line. Things that I do know, or have been told to me by my mother, are:
Agnes Laura was very close to her maternal grandmother, Sarah Duty Brown.
She never referred to Sarah Ellen as her mother.
She was very close to her father.
She resented having to take care of the younger children.
She did not have a picture of her mother in her treasured picture Album.

As I look at this list, I am no closer to understanding my grandmother's feelings about never knowing her mother than I was when I started. Recently, I found a picture of her mother, Agnes Aurelia, in an album of a younger sister of her mother. I wonder why did she not have a picture of her mother? Were there any pictures of her mother in the house as she was growing up? An amorphous cloud shrouds my grandmother, Agnes Laura, anytime one gets too close to how the real Agnes Laura felt about her personal life. She was cryptic, harsh at times, and let one know only what she wanted them to know.

No answers. Just questions in the clouds.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fearless Females #10 My Religious Melting Pot

“What kind of religious upbring did you have?”

That's how the question goes.

“Not much, just a bit of Presbyterian, Methodist, & Baptist --- and a smattering of Pentecostal, ,you know,” says I.


This was the conversation that brought a sense of puzzlement, and a tad bit of embarrassment to me as a child --- and even as an adult. At this stage of my life, I look back and see the beginning in the weird religious mix that made up the church in the community where I grew up. The image of that little white clapboard church with its ostentatious steeple and bell still comes to me every Easter. I know it was Easter because I had the new pink organza dress that my mother made and shiny patent leather Mary Janes. I know it was Easter because I was mortified because my Aunt Gail would not come into the church.

She plopped herself down on the uncut grass, crossed her arms and said, “I can hear the old curmudgeon quite well while sitting here. His yelling will hurt my ears if I get any closer.”

I cringed because my Aunt Gail was just as loud as the Pastor. It seemed to me that the two of them were trying to outshout the other. He inside; she outside. I wanted to go in --- to show off my new Easter finery, but I knew everyone would turn to look at me, and snicker about my strange one-eyed aunt. As much as I wanted to go in and show off, I would not give them the satisfaction of whispering in their snide way about my Aunt Gail.

That fire and brimstone Baptist preacher gave way to a gaggle of new preachers; the strangely serious Presbyterian minister who always wore a very large black glove on his right hand. He was very serious, and he wore a black suit and black hat – to go with the black glove I thought to myself. He wasn't a loud as the Baptist preacher, but he was scarier. I only went a few times when he was the minister. Then there was the serious quiet old man, who I think was a Methodist, followed by the nephew of one of our neighbors who needed his first church. He may have been a Baptist, but he didn't stay around long. There was hushed grown-up talk about him having to leave.

About this time, this scattered rural community raised enough money to build a new church. That was a good thing too. The little pot bellied stove that was the old wooden church's only source of heat in the winter would turn bright red and had a most terrifying roar. I always wanted to sit in back so I could get out in case of fire, but the Sunday School teachers made all the kids sit up front. So we could be toasted, I suppose. The new boxy, dreary concrete-block church had one feature that intrigued me. When my best friend, and a regular church goer, showed me the structure, I was really excited. A swimming pool!

“I didn't know the church had a swimming pool!”

“No, silly, it's the immersion pool for when the Baptists get baptized”

“Have you ever seen them, you know, do it?”

“No, of course not, I'm a Presbyterian.”

“But, but, this is your church, right?”

“Yeah, but Baptist and Presbyterians are different. We even have a few Methodist here too.”

I was confused, and didn't think it was so interesting going to church if I couldn't use the new found swimming pool --- hidden behind the heavy blue drapes.

Not long after the swimming pool phase, my Aunt Wanda, who was a frenetic Pentecostal, manged to scare any real interest in churchgoing out of me. She told me stories of fire and brimstone, of little children who didn't believe (believe what, I dinna know) would roast in Hell. With all of that going on in church, I thought it best to keep as far away as possible. So my church going days tapered off, except for weddings and funerals.

Later on when I had children, the buzz was on. “The children needed some religious upbringing,” came out of some deep recess of my mind. We were at the university at the time, and the college Presbyterian Church seemed quite mild and people were quite friendly. Sunday mornings became filled with the quiet, though rather restrained music. A nice counterpoint to my Aunt Wanda's vision of church. We became involved enough in that church, so we were each baptized in the Pullman University Presbyterian Church. Even though this was a very nice church with quiet educate folk, my church days of thundering Baptists, pious Presbyterians, and the whatever method of the Methodist, laced with Aunt Wanda's Pentecostals left me always questioning the basis of religious folk idea of who was saved and who was not. So those church going days too tapered off.

My next religious epiphany came one night while we were still at the university. I sat bolt upright in bed! I understood religions! (Of course, it helped that I was taking a class in comparative religions at the time. )

I shook Ric awake. “Honey, I understand --- God is the same.”


“Ric, this important.”

“Joannie, go back to sleep --- I have early morning rounds at the clinic tomorrow.”

“Those dogs and cats can't be as important as this --- we are all the same.”

“ Joannie, for God's sake, go to sleep.”

He rolled over and began to snore. I stayed awake and looked out the bedroom window in wonderment at the moon and stars. By morning, the earth shattering importance of my moonlight epiphany went unnoticed – but still I held that glimmering in the back of my mind.

Over the next couple of decades, church and religion gave way to self help books, 12 step programs, and gurus of varying ilk. Then I started my family historical research. Gad Zooks, I had a whole passel of Huguenots, Mennonites and Puritans peopling my past. German Pietists and Puritans morphed into Lutherans, Methodist , hard-rolled Baptist, and later into religious benign neglect. What remained to me of those staunch and stalwart pietists was a silent rigidity of my mother's people, the unspoken right vs wrong, good vs evil.

To complicate the matters, my family religious melting pot tossed in the Cherokee naturalism/mysticism, which many historians say easily mixed with the missionaries' Methodist, Presbyterians, and Baptist. I think not. From my mother, her mother, and her mother's mother and grandmother – back to when the moccasined ones talked to the shaman and the beloved woman, came and unstated but ingrained belief in the purity of nature – trees, water, animals; the belief that good was rewarded and evil punished; and of course, the Stomp Dance, actually more of a shuffle. My mother would, not often, but periodically lapse into a gutteral ugh,ugh type chant combined with a strange stompy-sort of shuffle. This did not seem unusual to me – I thought perhaps she saw it at a movie, or wild west show – I thought everyone's mother probably danced like this in the quiet of their homes. In later, years my Aunt Gail, mother's sister, told me of an instance where their mother did this same shuffle-type dance with the chant. She said that their mother learned it from their grandmother. When this dance is done for real and serious, the stomp and guttural chant come from deep within the person – connecting the inner self with the earth itself. I don't go to Pow-wows and do Indian dances, but I have experimented enough that I know the difference between just doing the steps, and actually stomping/shuffling/chanting to make the connection between the center of self to the earth.

My Scots-Irish forbearer's brought another facet to the mix, a different brand of Presbyterianism. They dinna care what anyone else believed so long as they kept it to themselves. Of course, in my family the Scots-Irish kept marrying the the German Pietists, Lutherans and their later incarnations, who were proselytizers. O, Lordy, what marriages are made in church – or not.

Over the last couple of decades, I made my peace with the religion-church dilemma of my childhood and of the multifarious religious background of my ancestors. I followed my Cherokee great-great-grandmother's lead towards a naturalism/vague mysticism---without the chanting and shuffling, combined with my college epiphany that all religions tend to ask the same thing of their followers; to lead a good and true life, do good works, and be compassionate to one's fellow beings. The path at times frightening, torturous, and funny, but now tantalizingly simple --- sometimes punctuated with a chant and a shuffle.

Fearless Females # 14 News worthy: WASP Speak

Today, March 10, 2010, a group of women, ranging in age from 85 to the 90s, gathered, along with families of their deceased comrades, in Washington D.C. These women are WASP (Women Air Service Pilots) and they were part of the ceremony in which the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the WASP recognizing their combined efforts in World War II. The gold medal will reside in the Smithsonian Institute, and each WASP received a bronze medal. This recognition comes more than 65 years after the WASP were disbanded on December 20, 1944 and the records sealed. This was 13 days after the graduation of the last WASP class, 44-W-10.

Gail G. Sigford, my dear aunt, was a member of this "Last Lost WASP Class." Never having the opportunity to serve her country with her hard earned aviation skills was, to her, rather like an unfinished melody. My Aunt Gail died May 2, 2007 - never to see the last chapter of the WASP saga. Today, she and the 1074 WASP are being honored in Washington D.C.

In the following clip, you will hear some of the women of the WASP telling their stories and memories. Women like these led a 30 year effort to gain recognition of the WASP contribution to their country during World War II. It was not an easy task.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fearless Females #8 Grandmother Sigford's Love Affair With Words

March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters?  Share an entry or excerpt. Thank you to Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist for the prompts for Fearless Females celebration of Women's History Month. Although I don't have a diary, journal or a collection of letters from my mother or grandmothers, I do have memories of wonderful words.

One of my early blog topics centered around My Mother's Poetry Book. The family love affair with words started with my mother's mother, Grandmother Sigford, born Agnes Laura Keyes. As I look back among Grandmother Sigford's folks, I think it must have been the influence of her father and his family. The Keyes were a well educated family for that time and place and from the handwritten wills that I have examined, the older men, who were raised in Tennessee, wrote with a fine hand. In eastern Oregon where my grandmother was born and raised, it was not unusual for Keyes young people to be sent to Salem or Corvallis for their high school education.

In about 1896, my 15 year-old grandmother left the family ranch outside of the small eastern Oregon town of Mitchell to go to high school in Salem, the state capitol. There she honed her love of words. I remember as a child that if I promised to be very careful, she would open the glass-fronted book case and lovingly take her high school Elocution Book from the shelf. She would then place the book on the kitchen table, which of course had been wiped clean. Then, if my hands were very clean, I would be allowed to look at the pictures, read the poems and stories, and -- once in a while -- she would read to me. Her voice was softer and more like a song during these sessions. I am so fortunate to have had these experiences. The images of those short moments have stayed with me all of these years.

In my collection of family treasures, I have my Grandmother's Children's Friend,which was given to her in 1888, as well as the poetry book she gave to my mother. I still mourn the loss of the wonderful Elocution Book that I remember from my childhood; it was lost due to water damage. However, I do have and will always have the love of words that my Grandmother gave to me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fearless Females #7 Grandmother McPherson's Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My mother told me that her mother-in-law, my Grandma McPherson, made the best cakes she had ever tasted. My father's favorite was Grandma's Pineapple Upside-Down cake. Mother and my McPherson Aunties collaborated on this recipe, which was included in my 2004 Cooking Up Memories cookbook.

Melt 2 TBS of butter in a cast-iron frying pan*, then cover the bottom of pan with brown sugar (1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar) On top of this places slices of pineapple with a cherry in the center of each pineapple slice. Cover the bottom of the frying pan with pineapple slices and cherries. Pour the following cake batter over the pineapple mixture in the pan:

Stir together 1 C flour, 2/3 C sugar, 3 tsp. baking powder and 1/8 tsp. salt. Then melt 1/3 C butter in a 1 C measuring cup, add two eggs and fill cu with milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix along with 1 tsp. vanilla. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

* Any oven proof pan or baking dish can be used. I love the thought of baking this yummy treat in a cast-iron frying pan, just like my Grandma did.

Carnival of Genealogy's Tribute to Women: Orena, The Forgotten Keyes Matriarch

Orena Cordelia Keyes, circa 1875
Privately held by J. G. Hill

A cold rainy-sleet of an April day pelted me as I walked the rows of graves in the old Mt. Union Cemetery. After making notes and taking pictures of old, weather-worn Keyes tombstones, I smiled in triumph at the large letters cut into the huge oblong gray granite headstone. DUNN. The letters jumped out at me. I took a close up picture of the flat marble stone to the right of the gray monolith, which marked the grave of Henry Clay Dunn, husband of Orena Cordelia Keyes Dunn. I moved to the other side of the DUNN emblazoned stone to get a picture of Orena's stone. There was no stone for Orena. Where was she? Buried someplace else? I had walked this old Keyes burying ground, row by row, so I knew she wasn't buried elsewhere in this cemetery of the Keyes. Where then?

Over the next few months, thoughts of Orena would surface. I began looking over Keyes family pictures, gathering death certificates, organizing my census reports, re-reading family histories, and searching for this woman …....

Orena Cordelia Keyes, born the 1st of November, 1852, was a mere slip of a girl, fifteen or sixteen years old in the fall of 1868, when her Uncle James came back to the the family farm. Not long after the Gold Rush of 1849, James had left this corner of Tennessee, a place where Boone, Siever, and Blount are historic names. He didn't strike gold in California, but instead he made his way to Oregon's Willamette Valley. There he did become rich, at least to the standards of that time and place. Now Uncle James had returned to Tennessee as he wanted to take some of his family back to Oregon to share in the riches of that land.

Orena's father listened with interest to his brother's stories about the Willamette Valley's fertile land which was "dirt cheap." In addition, after the stream of gold seekers had diminished, travel was also comparatively inexpensive. Stories were being told as how it cost less to live and travel to the Oregon country than to live at home during the winter in the eastern portion of the country. Orena's father, uncles, brothers and cousins were intrigued by James' stories and his willingness to take them back to Oregon. David Keyes, Orena's father, committed to go Oregon and welcomed the idea of packing up his family for the trek to Oregon with his brother James.

By the fall of 1868, Orena's father and brothers had made preparations to sell the family farm. Not an easy choice to leave this land where the Keyes were such an integral part of the area. Doran, Lowery, Ward, Hawkins, Shoun, Donnelly, as well as Keyes, had lived in these valleys for nearly a hundred years and were well known in this northeastern section of Tennessee. Orena's great grandfather Alexander Doran fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War. He had finally came home to die after being taken ill in the War of 1812. This precious corner of the world was just a valley or so away from Abingdon, Virginia, where her grandparents, Margaret Doran and James Keyes (father of Uncle James) met and married. Their ties to this land ran deep and wide, here where the Watauga River cut through the mountains and the names of Laurel Bloomery, Silver Lake, Grayson, and Butler are names of family and home.

Times were changing. The dislocations caused by battle between North and South had left the land and people broken and in disarray. Now, Uncle James had convinced her father that Oregon held riches for the family. Orena's mother, Susan Jane Ward Keyes, may have had some misgivings about leaving the valleys and hills of her family, her Methodist church, --- and the grave of her baby Benjamin. Though it was almost 5 years since the little four-year old passed away, Orena's mother's pain never seemed to leave her--- nor would it in Oregon.

At nearly sixteen, Orena would have been a great help to her mother when it came to deciding what to take or leave, packing their household goods, as well as the regular household duties. Thirteen year old Jane Rebecca, sometimes called Jane, and sometimes Becky, and the youngest, Margaret, would also have helped, but Orena as the eldest would have been her mother's strong right arm.

Emotions ran high, probably especially so for Orena's brothers, John Ward at nearly 20, James Edward Leonardis, 17, and even 14 year old Alexander Doran as they worked by their father's side preparing for the trip. Their heads filled with Uncle James' stories of the rich Oregon country, excitement of the adventure of a sea voyage and a trek to a new land mixed with the pain of leaving the people and land so dear. Before the Keyes left, they went one last time to Laurel Bloomery and the Keyes Cemetery to visit the grave of little Benjamin. Now they were ready to depart from their home in Tennessee for New York City.

Travel from New York to Aspinwall, on the east coast of Panama, had dropped significantly. In 1868, a cabin birth had dropped from $400 to $150 from the year before – and steerage was now only $50. When the family arrived in Aspinwall, the Keyes entourage would have debarked and perhaps stayed at one of the hotels that had sprung up for the American and European travelers.

The next day Uncle James and Orena's father would have purchased tickets to travel on the Panama Railroad across the 45 mile isthmus --- $25 per person plus 10 cents a pound for luggage --- for the 4 hour trip! While their mother may have fretted over the possibilities of theft, native riots, and the frightful “Panama Fever,” Orena and her brothers were most likely enthralled with the adventure; the jungle itself was full of new sights, sounds and creatures; Panamanian natives caught their attention with brightly colored clothing and signature straw hats; they might have come upon a more worldly priest dressed in silk robes – not like the somber black suited Methodist preachers of home. Once the Keyes family was aboard the railroad car, the unfamiliar sights of the jungle, numerous slides and reminders of the danger was overcome by the sight at the Summit of the Cierro Gigante. Here Orena and family, like Balboa, could see the waters of both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Once they arrived at Panama City, the Keyes embarked on the last leg of the sea voyage to Portland Oregon and went directly to Benton County by way of the Willamette River (according to a grandson of Zachary Keyes).

From The History of Benton County, David D. Fagan, Benton County, Oregon

Orena and her younger sisters had an adventure of a lifetime by the time they finally arrived in Benton County. Now the family energy would be directed to finding a place to live – probably with Uncle James at first --- unpacking and settling into a daily routine in the lush Willamette Valley. By 1870, her father had purchased a prime farm of 378 acres just 3 ½ miles south-west of Corvallis, Oregon. In short order, the Keyes farm took shape as shown in the picture above. The second story balcony in the front of the house was reminiscent of the Keyes' southern roots.

Even with all the activity devoted to getting settled into their new home, changes were starting to occur in the family. Orena's younger brother James was getting ready to leave the family home. In about 1872-73, he and his cousin Zachary had, with a loan from their Uncle James, purchased a herd of 600 Costwold ewes to trail to eastern Oregon's Wasco County. About the same time, the health of the uncles, John and James, began to fail and Orena, according to family stories, took on the role of taking care of her uncles. While the remaining four siblings went on about their lives as young people do, Orena took on the caretaker role that she would follow throughout her life

By 1875, the son of a prosperous Benton county farmer had met, courted and proposed marriage to Orena's youngest sister, Margaret Delilah. The marriage was the Keyes social highlight of the year. James E. L. and Zachary, brother and cousin, came from eastern Oregon for the wedding vows of Margaret and Abiathar Barrett Newton. All of the family gathered at the Philomath home for the wedding as well as a historic picture taking event that not only recorded the wedding couple but the Keyes family as it was in 1875.

circa 1875 Children of David L. & Susan J. Keyes, Benton County Oregon
Back Row, L to R: Alexander Doran, James Edward Leonardis, John Ward
Front Row, L to R, Margaret Delilah, Jane Rebecca, Orena Cordelia

Privately held by JGHill.

Change and sadness was on the horizon. Margaret left the Keyes home to establish her home with her husband. James and Zachary returned to eastern Oregon where they would build their homes and lives. Most distressing, the uncles health was failing even more. Orena was there, caring for them during their last days and months. John died in 1876, January 25th in his 74th year. Uncle James died in 1877, October 22nd at only 57 years of age. Notable was the fact that out of James' considerable estate of over $28,000, he left 25 year-old Orena an inheritance of $3,000. He was generous to his brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews; however his generosity to Orena, was at least three times the amount left to each of his other heirs.

While in eastern Oregon, Orena's younger brother James met, courted and married Agnes Brown in 1877. About the same time, her oldest brother John Ward Keyes joined his brother and cousin in eastern Oregon. The Corvallis homestead that had its full complement of Keyes young people was down by half, but still a vibrant place with young Alexander, Becky, and Orena herself. However by February 1881, tragedy once again hit the Keyes family. Orena's mother was taken ill. She died on February 20, 1881. Then a double hit, her handsome youngest brother Alexander was also felled by the illness. He died just three days after his mother. The Keyes family gathered once again, this time to take mother and son to join Uncles James and John in the cemetery on the hill, Mt. Union Cemetery.

2009 View of Keyes Burying Ground in Mt. Union Cemetery

Held privately by J. G. Hill

Orena's life now changed dramatically. No longer was she the lovely young daughter who helped her mother, but she now took over managing the household for her father. By late fall 0f 1881, Becky had met and fallen in love with a young man from back home in Tennessee, Roderick Nelson Donnelly. They were married and moved to the Mitchell area where James and cousin Zachary now ranched. Her older brother John was back and forth between Corvallis and Mitchell, but in 1884 he met and married Sarah Brumfield. Orena now was the unofficial matriarch of the Keyes family, running the household and taking care of her father till the end of his life. During this time, Orena, reportedly, did have at least one spot of joy in her life – her nephew Benjamin Newton, one of the sons of her youngest sister Margaret. According to family stories, Ben lived with Orena off and on throughout his life.

David Lowery Keyes, circa 1875
Privately held by J.G.Hill

Her father David Lowery Keyes died on July 20 1895, leaving Orena alone in the once fun filled home. Shortly after his death, Orena's life entered a wonderfully new stage, a man came into her life. By January 17, 1897, just a year and a half after the death of her father, forty-five year old, Orena married Henry Clay Dunn. Henry's family were well-known and prosperous Benton county farmers and his brother John W. Dunn, Jr., a Deputy Sheriff. Whether this was a marriage of convenience or not, one would hope that this was a life long attraction that finally had it's moment. The couple soon built a beautiful new two-story home across the compound from the old homestead house built by her father – on the property left to her by her father. Vibrant and elegant wall paper covered the walls and the stairway railing was graced by hand-hewn decorative railing. The dining room had a bay window looking out towards the house Orena's father built. She had finally come into her own, a beloved nephew, a husband and a lovely new home.

2009 Picture of the Dunn House under restoration. Courtesy of John Hoppner

However, by the December, 1908, her dear younger brother James E. L. came from eastern Oregon to spend the winter with her and Henry. James' health was failing and his family hoped he might do better in the warmer climate of the Willamette Valley. James seemed to rally and wrote encouraging letters to his family, but after the first of the year, his health was failing.

Corvallis Oregon

Dec 6th 1908

Mrs. Frank Sigford

Pet, I will write you A Short Letter today I am well I received A card from Ward a day or sow A gow they were all well there I got to Corvallice all right the Day that I left your place I did not find Phil till the Next morning as he was gowing to school he and Keyes were out to H C Dunnes and stayed three or four days thanksgiving I have been working some for Henry on the ranch running A grain Drill and painting his yard fence and Wool shed I am gowing up to Pilomath to Day to see sister Mag and her folks

With Love to all

from your father

J E Keyes

NOTE: Pet was his special name for his younger daughter by his first wife Agnes. Pet was living in Klamath Falls OR at the time of this letter. One of his younger sons Phil must have been going to school in the valley, as did his daughter Pet when she was in high school. Henry C. Dunn, Orena's husband had taken over running of the Keyes farm.

Mrs. Agnes Keyes

Pet, I will write you A few line to day I am well and hope your are well and that the Babies are over the chicken pockes and are well and harty

I had A Letter from home7th of this month the folkes were all well then the wetheir had been very Cold tier the themomiter was down to 24 below zero we had A least 8 inches of snow here the themomiter was down to 5 Above zero one morning the snow lay on the ground for ten dayes I am Chowring on the ranch for Henry Dun I started in to chop cord wood for him and the storm came on and I haven't choped since I will be down to see you as soon as he gets A hand to take mi place hands seemes to be scarse here that will work on A ranch I haven't saw Phill since New Years he was well then with the Exception of his fingers that he got cut they were healing up all right

from your father

J E. Keyes

Orena cared for her brother in those last months and days. Never again did he see his daughter, Pet. He died February 13, 1909. Orena and Henry had James body sent back to his home in Mitchell for burial.

The next year tragedy again struck. Orena's husband Henry died suddenly of a heart attack – just a year and a half after her brother James. By July 10, 1910, Orena was left alone in the lovely house she and Henry had built. She lived in this house alone until a few years before her death. Her nephew Benjamin Newton apparently ran the farm. He and his family lived next door in the old homestead house her father built. In 1930, Orena lived for a time with Benjamin's sister, her niece Margaret Stephens. In the fall of 1934, Orena fell and broke her hip. It seems that she never fully recovered. Orena Cordelia Keyes Dunn died on 7 May 1935. The farm that her father had bought and built up was reportedly left to her nephew Benjamin Newton.


On another typical Oregon spring day, with rainy-sleet pelting me, I again visit the Mt. Union Cemetery. A sadness slinks in and around me. Now I know for sure that Orena is buried to the left of the big gray stone with DUNN cut deep into the granite, but she has no stone. Orena Cordelia Keyes Dunn cared for her Uncles James and John in their last days, for her mother Susan and brother Alexander during their last illness before they died in 1881. She cared for her father from the time of her mother's death until David Keyes joined his Susan. Orena cared for nephew Benjamin throughout his life. She cared for her brother James E. L Keyes when he died. She was always there for her Keyes family.

Who cared for Orena? Was there no one left who cared enough to make sure that her last resting place had a stone that said,

Orena Cordelia Keyes Dunn

Born Nov 1, 1852

Died May 7, 1935

We remember

* * *

Orena Keyes" time line can be found here


The Keyes Family of Johnson Co. Tennessee:, C.B. Neal, 1956, Olympia, Washington.

History of Benton County, Oregon,” David Fagan, 1885, Portland, Oregon.

History of Wheeler County, ” Mac Stinchfield, editor . 1983, Times Journal, Condon, Oregon

Tennessee Records,” Vol 1, p.189

1840 Federal Census, Washington Co., Va

1850 Federal Census, Dist. 1, Johnson Co., TN, p. 4

1860 Federal Census, Dist. 1,Johnson Co., TN, p.3

1870 Federal Census, Dist. 1, Johnson Co., TN, p. 1

1880 Federal Census, Philomath, Benton Co., OR, p, 121

1880 Federal Census, 124th Dist., Wasco Co., OR, pp 10 & 12

1900 Federal Census, Philomath,Benton Co., OR, p. 6

1910 Federal Census, Philomath, Benton Co., OR, p. 1B

1920 Federal Census, Philomath, Benton Co., OR, p. 1A

1930 Federal Census, Philomath, Benton Co., OR, p. 3 B

1876 James Keyes' Will, Benton Co., OR

1895 David L Keyes” Will, Benton Co. OR

1910 Jul 7 Death Certificate, Henry Clay Dunn, Benton Co., OR

1935 May 7 Death Certificate, Orena Keyes Dunn, Benton Co, OR

Privately held Keyes Family photographs

Privately held pictures of Mt. Union Cemetery

Family reminiscences from Loise Stradtman, Joyce Williams, Ruth McPherson-Carson-Carland, and Gail Sigford (daughters of Agnes Laura Keyes Sigford).

2010 Feb 26 Phone interview with McHenery Funeral Home.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Surname Saturday - Timeline for Orena Keyes

The Keyes surname in my family can be trace with certainty to 1774. The following timeline is for my great-great aunt Orena Cordelia Keyes, whose history seems to be told via the historical occurrences of her family.

Note: Some dates are approximate dates, in which case I used the 1st of the month, if the exact date was not available.JGH