Tag Archives: Missouri

In Honor Of My Dad’s 101st Birthday!

me & dad

Me & Dad 

My Dad was the person who influenced my life the most while growing up. He showed me unconditional love, even through all the craziness of my teen years. I never really appreciated him until after he was gone. In honor of this remarkable man, this blog is to celebrate his life on what would be his 101st Birthday.

 

Benjamin Douglas “Doug” Hughes was born in Pettis County, Missouri, August 18, 1915. He

Douglas&Lenoard - Restored - Use

Douglas & Leonard 1918

was born the same day that his Uncle who, was blind, died. He was name after this uncle. He was the 8th of 11children born to Charley Hughes. They lived on a farm in rural Missouri, raising all their food, cows and award winning horses. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s they were fortunate enough to not suffer as others did because they were basically self-sustaining. They shared what they had with others in the community and I believe this is where my Dad developed his giving spirit!

Dad at 18At the age of 15 two events influenced his life. The first was he paid 25 cents and got his first drivers license. He said “In those days there was no driving or written test, as long as you had the quarter you got the license!”  He was always proud of the fact that in all his years of driving he had only received 1 ticket. The second event was when his family was living near Lexington Missouri. He along with his brother Leonard and two brother-in-laws Mitchell and Virgil where riding in a wagon going to town. A neighbor came out and an argument broke out between Virgil and the man. This man drew his gun and shot Virgil between the eyes, killing him instantly! This haunted my Dad his whole life.

In 1934-35 my Dad participated in the Civilian Conservation Corp implemented by CCC Camps DadPresident Roosevelt. He served in Lake Tahoe, California. Here he learned to work with wood and stone masonry. These skills helped him the rest of his life. During his lifetime he worked as a horse trainer, as a farmer, as a coal miner, he worked on the railroads, as a butcher and for the last 19 years of his life he worked in the construction field.

 

dad, mildred, lolaHe was married 3 times; the first time was when he was 22 years old in 1937. He married Mildred Shockley and they had a son Benjamin. Unfortunately Benjamin died at 2 months old from Typhoid and his mom died 3 weeks later from the same thing. My Dad was devastated. He married a second time in 1944 to Mildred McQuillen. She had a daughter name Loretta whom my Dad accepted as his own.Mom, Dad, Bro & Sis They never had children and I don’t know what happened but they divorced sometime before 1948. The third was my Mother, Emmajane Smith in 1948. My Mother had a son, Gordon and once again my Dad took him as his own. My sister Mary Leella was born in 1951 and I was born in 1955.

We left Missouri when I was 11 months old and moved to Southern Arizona. When I was 12 years old my Mother had a mental breakdown and the next 7 years were pure hell! My Dad refused to have her committed and he took care of her even through our moves back to Missouri for 2 years then out to California for 5 years. He showed me that you don’t give up on people because the situation is not ideal. He showed strength of character and resolve that I have always admired.

Dad and my oldest son.

In the Fall of 1973 my Dad went to the doctor for a cough that wouldn’t go away. After many tests and x-rays we were told he had lung cancer. He had surgery to remove his right lung then endured several rounds of chemo and radiation therapy. He lived for 9 months and he passed away at home on June 24, 1974. He was 58 years old. This was 42 years ago and I still think about him every day. I still strive to be the kind of woman, wife, mother and Grandmother that would make him proud. I know that I am proud to be his daughter!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Arizona, Charley Hughes, Death, Family History, Family Search, Farming, Genealogy, Hughes, Memories, Missouri, Story telling, Uncategorized

52 Ancestors weeks 11 & 12 William Riley Divine and Thomas Mason Divine – Same and Different

same but differentWilliam and Thomas Divine were the sons of James Marshall and Nancy (Calloway) Divine. Although they were brothers and they were the same in many ways however there was one issue that made them different.

Here is a list of the ways they were the same:

They were both born in Greenville District, South Carolina. Thomas in 1824 and William in 1819.

They were both Farmers.

They both moved their families to Morgan, Dade County, Missouri in 1857.

They each named a son for each other.

They both named a son after their beloved Grandfather Thomas Divine.

They both named a daughter Nancy after their mother.

They both enlisted and fought in the Civil War.

William

William

Thomas

Thomas

Here are the ways they were different:

William and Milly had 15 children; 10 girls and 5 boys. Thomas and Nancy had 6 children; 4 boys and 2 girls.

They were buried in different cemeteries; William in Friend Cemetery in Missouri and Thomas in Falls Cemetery in Oklahoma.

William

William

Thomas

Thomas

The biggest difference between these two brothers was that William enlisted as a private in E Company 14 Missouri Southwest Volunteer Cavalry for the Union  and he was anti-slavery. Whereas Thomas enlisted as a private in the 15th Calvary Missouri regiment for the Confederacy and he was pro-slavery.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under #52ancestors, Ancestry, Civil War, Family History, Genealogy, Missouri, Thomas Divine, William Divine

52 Ancestors Week #9 – Mary Leella Hughes – Close to Home

Mom, Dad, Bro & SisMary Leella “Le” Hughes was born on February 17, 1951 in Lexington, Missouri. She was the first child of Douglas and Emmajane (Smith) Hughes.  Le is my older and only sister and although our relationship was very rocky she was always the closest person to me. Because of this relationship it is very difficult to write about her. Try as I might, I cannot remember one good thing about her.

Me, Gordon, Le

Me, Gordon, Le

For the first four years of her life she was spoiled by everyone. We have an older brother, Gordon, who was fourteen years older than Le. He overindulged her. When I came along she was jealous, she was no longer the center of everyone’s world.

truckMy very first memory was when I was three years old. My maternal Uncle and his family had come to Arizona from Missouri for a visit. Le, three of my cousins and I were playing in the back of my Dad’s 1953 Ford pickup truck. To be honest, no one liked her because she was extremely mean, so the cousins were avoiding her and were just chasing me around the bed of the truck. Le got mad, picked me up and threw me over the edge of the truck. I landed on a 2×4 board that lined the driveway. My right arm was broken in three places, including having my wrist bone come through my skin! My Dad and Uncle rushed me to the doctor and he set my arm and put on a cast. I was so small that I used a regular sized bandana as a sling. Le never got in trouble.

1999

This was the first of many, many incidents that happened not only throughout our childhood but on into adulthood. Le never married or had children and she lived with our Mother until her death in 1999. Le had diabetes and had to have both of her legs amputated just below her knees. After Mother’s death she had to move into a nursing home. Le died on September 22, 2012 at the age of 61.

I struggle with writing about both my sister and my Mother, because of the broken relationships I had with them. Also, so many things happened during my childhood that sounds so unbelievable, I hesitate to write about them. So the question is how much should I write about them since there isn’t much nice to say. How much truth is too much truth? What does the future generations really need to know? So much about writing about my sister brings many things a little “to close to home”.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under #52ancestors, Ancestry, Arizona, Family History, Genealogy, Home, Memories, Missouri

52 Ancestors Week #8 – Rosa Lucille Hayes – Her Life of Service

Rosa Lucille Hayes

Rosa Lucille Hayes is my paternal Grand Aunt. She was born March 23, 1901 in Pleasant Hill Missouri to Hamilton and Elvira (Register) Hayes.  She was the youngest of 9 children. From a very young age she loved taking care of things, from the family pets, the farm animals and the others in her household. This desire began when she was 5 years old and helped nurse her ailing father who died later that year.

Rosie on horse

In 1920, at the age of 19 Rosie enrolled in Nursing School. This had been a lifelong dream. After graduation she began her career at Lexington Memorial Hospital in Lexington, Missouri.  Rosie was what was referred to as a “Modern” woman. She wasn’t interested in getting married and she never did. She enjoyed the dating and courting but she just wanted to live her life her way. She loved the outdoors and animals.

Rosie in lower right with her sisters

Rosie in lower right with her sisters

She dedicated her life to helping others. She took care of any relative that was ill and she sat by the bedside of her dying kin often being the last one to speak with them. She volunteered many hours taking care of children in the hospitals, and rescuing cats and dogs. She was a woman of great love and strength.

Rosies HS

Aunt Rosie died on May 9 1988 at the age of 87. Her Tombstone inscription says it all!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under #52ancestors, Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Good Deeds, Hayes Family, Missouri

#52 Ancestors – Week #5 – John Henry McGowan: He “Plowed Through” Tradition

farmer_with_plough_horsesWith this challenge I thought it would be easy to find someone to write about. After all the majority of my Ancestors were indeed farmers. So thinking of the term “Plowing Through” I thought about something to do with farming, viola! A match made in heaven. Then I started thinking of the other uses of this term and decided to go in a little different direction.

John Henry McGowan, my maternal Great Grandfather, was born May 10 1863 in the State of Missouri. His Great Grandfather, Francis McGowan had immigrated to this country from Dublin, Ireland when he was 13 years old and became a Naturalized Citizen in 1811 at the age of 17. Francis was a farmer and he owned a considerable amount of land in Tennessee. His son James D. McGowan was born in Tennessee but he moved his family to Missouri after the Civil War. He settled near the Missouri River where he too was a farmer. John was raised on that farm in Camden Missouri. He and his seven siblings worked the farm as was the custom of families in those days. He worked there until he was 24 years old.

Miners photo

In 1887 John married Asenath “Dolly” Walt in Wellington Missouri. He immediately went to work at Harris Coal Mine near Camden. His family had hoped he would be a farmer, but it just didn’t “suit” him. John and Dolly had eight children, one son and seven daughters. They never bought property; instead they lived in rented houses their entire married lives. His wife died in 1931 and he never John McGowan HSremarried. John worked in the Coal Mines for over 45 years. When he retired he bought a small home in Lexington Missouri and he lived there until his death in 1957 at the age of 93.

John “Plowed Through” the family tradition of farming. All of his siblings either continued farming or married a farmer.  He opened up new opportunities for his own family allowing them to decide for themselves what occupation they pursued.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available onAmazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under #52ancestors, Ancestry, Family History, Farming, Genealogy, McGowan, Missouri

Don’t Tell The Kids Our Family Secret!

J&J picA couple of years ago my Son-in-law Jake, asked me to research his Genealogy and to send his Grandmother, who was 87 years old, a copy of the results. I was excited to do so and gathered all the information that he knew about the family and eagerly began.

Jake is a second generation Wyomingite. His paternal ancestors came from Missouri and places on the east coast.  His Grandfather Jack Craig was born in Missouri in 1925 and moved to Wyoming in the 1940’s. The family’s ties to Missouri go back to the early 1800’s.

Dolph and Renda Craig

Dolph and Renda Craig

Great Grandfather, Dolph Craig owned and operated a saw mill in Winona, Shannon, Missouri. He married Renda Buff and they had 5 children. In following Renda’s line back through time, 5 generations to be exact, I stumbled on a very familiar last name….Rucker. I know that Rucker is a very common German name and that a lot of Rucker’s immigrated to America starting as far back as 1690. I was intrigued and began to dig deeper.

The first mentioned Rucker named in this line was Frances Rucker born in 1761 in Amherst Virginia. She had married John Canebrake Lea in 1786. Frances was the daughter of Colonel Ambrose Rucker. Frances’ name was not the least bit familiar, but Ambrose? That one I knew I had heard before. Upon further examination I found that Ambrose was the son of John Rucker and Susannah Phillips. John had been born the oldest child of Peter Rucker and Elizabeth (Fielding) Rucker in 1680 in KissinCousinsEngland. I became so excited I could hardly contain myself. Peter Rucker born in 1661 in Germany was my 7th Great Grandfather! That meant that he was my daughters 8th Great Grandfather and he was also my son-in-laws 9th Great Grandfather. My daughter and son-in-law are 10th cousins! Jake descended from John Rucker and my daughter, Jerusha descended from Thomas Rucker the 2nd son of Peter and Elizabeth Rucker.

Oh the fun I have had with this. I have relentlessly teased them about being kissing cousins. I even told their two sons about this unique coincidence and now they have even begun to joke about it. It is amazing that one person born in Wyoming and another born in Arizona somehow meet, fall in love, get married and have children and then discover that they have a common lineage. Here’s to Genealogy (raised wine glasses clinking and hand clapping)!!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Family History, Genealogy, Missouri, Personal Stories, Wyoming

Missouri State Fair 1968

Sedalia Fair

Me 1968

Isn’t it funny how certain sounds, smells or music can bring back a memory? When I smell Old Spice cologne I think of my Dad, when I smell chewing tobacco I am reminded of my Grandpa, whenever I hear a morning dove cooing I remember having breakfast outside at age 4.

I don’t particularly like watching television first thing in the morning. I like to start my days off with peace and quiet. My husband likes to catch up on world events as soon as he arises. So it was today. During some news story they played a snippet of the Rolling Stone song “Jumping Jack Flash” and memories from 1968 came dancing in my head.

Our family was living in Independence Missouri having moved there from Arizona the year before. They were having the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia and we were going. I was so excited, I had never been to a State fair and I had no idea what to expect. It was an 80 mile drive and I sat enjoying the scenery and listening to my parents talk. After a couple of hours we pull into the parking lot and I was astounded! There were people walking around with their farm animals on leashes, there was music in the air and you could see the large Ferris wheel located in the middle of the fair grounds. As soon as the car stopped I jumped out of the car, ready for a long day of fun.

sheep

It is odd the way most of the day is a bit fuzzy for me. I remember watching the judging of the sheep and pigs. For a girl who was raised in the desert this was fascinating. I had always thought that a sheep was a sheep; I had no idea of the variety of breeds. I can still smell the smell of the livestock pens. I remember the man who Dog at fairwalked around with a tiny Chihuahua who had a hat on and a little pipe in his mouth. Of course I have a picture of this to help with that memory!  I remember riding the Ferris wheel and the Hammer, screaming and laughing. I remember my sister, who because of her weight had to ride the Hammer by herself and she got sick and vomited while in the air. How bad am I that after all these years I still find this extremely hilarious?

Missouri_State_Fair

After my sister got cleaned up it was time for lunch. We found a seat under a canopy as my Dad went to get us hamburgers. While we were eating a band took the stage to the right of us and they began singing “Jumping Jack Flash.”  The teenage kids around us got up and began to dance. My Dad was horrified. I wanted to dance but he said “NO!”  So I sat in my seat and moved with the music and sang along as loudly as I could. I loved it.

I don’t remember much else about the day except after the fair we visited some relatives who lived in Sedalia and my Dad repeatedly proclaiming “How can they play that jungle music in public?” and “How can anyone call that music?” for the next few weeks.

Now every time I hear that song I am transported back to that sunny day in Central Missouri dancing in my seat and having a great time.

When you suddenly have a memory because of a “trigger” of some kind try to write it down as soon as you can. These are the parts of our lives that our descendants will want to know about and they will appreciate the details and feelings and descriptions of sights, sounds and feeling that go with it. Don’t you wish our own Ancestor had been able to do that for us?

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Memories, Missouri, Story telling