Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Research....Ok it was fun!

So my friend and I were going to take some photos in outlying cemeteries, you know pioneer type cemeteries, boot hill sorts of cemeteries - fun cemeteries!  If that sounds creepy you may have found this blog by accident!  :)  We were going to fulfill some photo requests from find-a-grave.com and have a fun day in the process.  We went to look up the requests and FAG was not responding, we checked to make sure it wasn't just us and the site is down for some reason.  So this meant we needed a fall back plan, a Plan B, so to speak!  We had to go somewhere, we had a cooler full of food and snacks!

The new plan then was chosen, we would go to Marsing to the new quilt shop "Sleepy Hollow", (had awesome fun looking at all the cool stuff and the quilts hanging on the walls), spent a little money since I found a fabric that is perfect for something for my oldest son.  (Don't know for sure what but it is perfect) Then we went south to Murphy to go through the museum they have there and on the way we went past a sign that said Guffey Ln.  We went to the museum, ate our picnic lunch (feast since Anita packed it!).  Enjoyed the glorious Idaho sky, and stopped on our way back and took pictures of the lane and the beautiful sky, and the snake river.
Guffey Lane looking toward the Snake River
Guffey Bridge taken on our visit to Celebration park over a year ago.
I had forgotten that there was a bridge over the Snake River called the Guffey Bridge, how you ask did I forget this, oh it was a couple of years ago, I wasn't researching Guffeys then and I am aging and could forget most anything at the drop of a hat (that last one is really unnerving I must say).  Our visit to the museum in Murphy reminded me and I had to come home and find out if this was one of my Guffeys that came to Idaho.  The answer is no....thought maybe we had found the rich uncle but no such luck.  Colonel James McClurg Guffey was the owner of Guffey Oil Co. and at one time the largest private oil, gas and coal producer in the country.  He was an investor in the Boise, Nampa, Owyhee rail line and president of the Trade Dollar Consolidated Mining Company in Silver City Idaho.  J.M. Guffey is in the line that I labeled as Line 4 in my May 15 post on the lines of Guffeys in the US.  According to the biography of him written when he was still alive, he was the son of Alexander and the descendant of William who came to this country in 1738 and fought against the French at Fort Duquesne, and settled on  Loyalhanna Creek and helped to start the first English settlement in Westmoreland county PA.  But alas not one of my relatives unless I find the connection in Scotland somewhere that will bring all of these lines together!  (hope springs eternal)
Looking south - awesome skies

Any day that includes this kind of beauty is a success in my book!

If I read the map right this is Guffey Butte

You never know - maybe I will find a connection to this famous Guffey, but until then the search continues for my Idaho Guffeys.  Next stop is Melba Idaho cemetery, I think some of them are there. 

So I will continue on in my search for the elusive...what?...too dramatic?...sigh..onward and upward!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Grandma Jo

I first met Grandma Jo Gates when my husband and I were dating.  She was an interesting person, I was this 'hick' from Wyoming who had just moved to California and was going through a sort of culture shock, she shared with me that she had moved to California with Grandpa Mel from Nebraska and that she had been born in Iowa.  I was born in Iowa and this made us instant 'kin'!  :)

I think she was already working on the genealogy back then in 1980, but I didn't talk to her about it until she started sending out questionnaires and then browbeating each of us till we turned them back in!  Maybe the appearance of great grandchildren spurred her on, whatever it was she was focused on getting as much as possible done before she died.  Born 6/26/1907 she was already pushing 80 when I met her and by the time she had great grands she was talking about getting things done before she died.  She ended up living to be 100 years old and in the last 20 years of her life she learned to use the computer, published a monthly family newsletter, compiled and edited her brothers diary, and researched the family tree back quite a few generations, went to Europe (amongst other trips) and served on the complaint board at the assisted living facility! 

Knowing her - none of the above listed accomplishments are really a surprise.  I will never forget the first time I saw her dance!  We had taken a houseboat trip, David and I, his parents and Grandma Jo, on the river delta near Stockton.  We had a wonderful trip and one night we stopped at a restaurant on the river that had a band that played big band era music and she and her son, my father in law (whom I knew as the very staid Rockwell engineer) 'cut a rug'!  They looked like 'Fred and Ginger', and I heard the story about how she had taught dance lessons to help earn money for her young family, and how her boys learned to dance from her. 

She worked as a telephone operator in North Platte Nebraska when she married Grandpa Mel.  When they moved to California he worked in markets and eventually had his own market.  She gave birth to 3 boys, was widowed at age 62 and left a lasting legacy. 

I wanted to introduce Grandma Jo because so much of the Gates side of the genealogy has been begun or worked on by her and she got most of the DAR paperwork ready for those who follow along behind her.  She and I had many discussions about family histories and I got to hear the stories from her directly.  What a gift!  In the next few weeks I will introduce some of the members of each of these 4 main families who told the family stories that got me interested in the history of these relatives as well as the names and birth dates of the ancestors!

Francis Josephine Kline Gates
1/26/1907 Malvern, Mills IA - 2/5/2008 Scottsdale, Maricopa, AZ
Grandma Jo 1987 with Wm Niel