Saturday, July 12, 2014

More Idaho "Guffeys"

Well after some more research I discovered that I had some more Guffeys in the local area cemeteries so I called my trusty (up for anything, when are we leaving) traveling companion Anita and we headed out to find the elusive pioneer era cemetery and we did find it, the cemetery and the area had interesting history and we were able to enjoy quite a bit of both!

Thomas Henry Guffey (son of Richard Guffey and Phoebe Adams) married Serena Emeline Roberts 1/16/1868 in Unionville MO.  Thomas was born in Clinton county KY on 1/7/1838 and was part of the huge migration from Kentucky to Northern Missouri in the 1840's and 1850's.  It seems that even the wild frontier that was Missouri at the time was too tame and Thomas moved to Idaho in 1891, the year after statehood.  In his local obituary he was hailed as one of the pioneers of the area and farmed in the Payette River valley the rest of his life.  He and his wife came west with the Callie Burt family from Exline Iowa and one of his daughters married a 'Burt'.  They came in a covered wagon and would have followed the Oregon trail to Boise and then swung a little north to get to this valley.  His obituary also describes him as over 6 feet tall and broad shouldered.  He passed away at the age of 90.

I knew that Thomas and Serena were at this cemetery but was surprised to find as well a daughter Anna Guffey Duggan.  Anna is their daughter, Anna Adelle, and Duggan is a 2nd (at least) husbands name, her first husband was I believe David Nickles and he is buried in eastern Idaho.  She is listed in the census records in 1930 as
'married' living in Boise as a lodger.  What fun for me, a bonus grave (is that too awful to say?)

This is a real pioneer type cemetery western style as there is no grass and all the graves were covered with rocks, bricks or cement.  (to keep the varmints from digging them up - no really!)

There are Stuarts here and the name is actually listed on the sign as the Stuart-Falk Cemetery.  The town of Falk no longer exists but it was on the corner of SR 52 and SR 72 now known as Hamilton Corners.  If you put Falk cemetery, Idaho into google maps it does take you to the correct location. 

This area is what is known as 'high desert'  Elevation about 2500 ft and semi arid, average less than 10 inches of rain or moisture in a year.  All of the farming is and was dependent on irrigation.  In this area they dug a canal, it took from about 1896 to 1905 to make a go of the canal and 2 different companies went bankrupt trying to get it done, but finally the Noble Ditch Company got it done including being lined with canvas as the soil was so sandy!  To get the water out of the ditch and into the fields they used water wheels, some of which are still in use today in the nearby New Plymouth area.  This seemed like a natural progression on our trip and off we went. 
These things are awesome!
We found 3 of the remaining water wheels turning away, easily accessible, one is on a private road and another appears to have been pulled out of the canal and is laying on the side of the banks.  What an interesting thing to see, this is not what I would have considered "water wheel " country, I would think Mississippi river for that!

Leaving the area and stopping for a bathroom/drink break at Fruitland, we decided to take the side roads home and not the freeway, so we meandered through Parma and Notus.  In Notus we stopped to take a picture of the historic marker which gave us information we had never known.  Hard to believe this "reddest state in the country" was once a Southern Democrat stronghold!  What a fun day of history and genealogy we had!
Click on the photo to get a larger view!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

I think that the 4th is more meaningful to me these days since I really got back to the immigrants on most of the branches of the family tree.  I was thinking of this last night and realized that knowing my relatives were there, knowing who they were, made a huge difference in my viewpoint, my feelings about the date!  This is true of all of the history of this great country for me these days but most of all for the 4th. 

I have a list of the Medlins who had land granted to them in Kentucky for their Revolutionary War service, the Hamiltons who were in the Pennsylvania Line and probably met George Washington.  The Guffeys and the Woodsons, the Carders and the Days, the Adams and the Harrisons.  I have yet to find a relative who wished to  go back to England or who fought for the English side, and within 30 years of the Revolutionary War all of my ancestors were part of the great westward migration. 

It is the story of America written in my own DNA!  My ancestors pushed west and settled in the vast open spaces, some made it as far as California, some went to Alaska and Hawaii.  They lived and died in the Gold rushes, they built in areas they had to fight for, they served their country in every branch of the military, the blood that runs through my veins is the same blood that stained the prairies and the mountains of America.  One hundred and thirty years later the other side of my family would come to this country fleeing tyranny and finding freedom.  The newcomers also fought, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East. 

Yes I definitely think that knowing who your family were at certain periods of time makes history come alive, I am not sure whether my love of history made me more interested in genealogy, or if the genealogy made me love history more but on a day like today when we remember the beginnings of our great nation, it just makes me proud!!