Monday, September 27, 2010

Family Traits

When my Mom moved from her farm at Lead Hill, I was faced with the daunting task of cleaning out the house that had been home to two generations. Dad and his brother Walton built the house at Lead Hill in 1949 when they came back from California. It was part of the farm that had been in my Mom's family since the early 1800's. After Mom and Dad moved to Springfield, Missouri her parents moved from the "old place," where Mom was born and raised into the new house. The move was simply across a couple of 40 acre fields, but it was a different world than they had ever experienced. It was 1952 and they had never lived in a house with indoor plumbing. Hard to imagine, huh? It wasn't the expense that kept them from modernizing the old house, it was stubborness on my Grandpa's part. HE WAS RELUCTANT TO CHANGE, I put that in caps so that you would see how stubborn he was!!

The first picture above is his Grandpa Abel Keeling (seated front row, 3rd from the left) with his family.  The second picture is my Grandparents, Clay and Selva Keeling. Abel Keeling was born in 1823 and died in 1911. My Great-Grandpa Thomas Weldon Keeling is seated on his father's left and was born in 1860 and passed the year my Mom was born, 1924. Not only do I know their birthdates, I know siblings, cousins, second cousins...even third cousins twice removed! How? Because my Grandma in her ultimate wisdom and precise penmanship, wrote down family history.

(click on document to enlarge)
My Grandmother loved geneaology. She was an only child who lost both her parents before she was 16. Her family was one of Boone County's oldest and she was diligent in journaling facts and memories to share with future generations.

Since I am now the keeper of the history, I have a new found interest in the information that Grandma felt compelled to guard so carefully. It's like a big puzzle when you first start looking at all the pieces...

Homestead Certificates signed by then President William McKinley

Tax receipts going back to 1898, WWII Rationing Coupons...

   Even a letter Grandma's father had written to his parents in 1892! You can click on the document to enlarge, but I'm not sure you can read the text. He was travelling in the Choctaw Nation, before Oklahoma was even a state...headed for the Cherokee Nation. He signs it C.W. Milum Checotah Indian Territory! That blows me away!!

Genealogy may not be your thing, but these are treasures... Mom's dog Fido in the top picture (precious because Mom was an only child and she loved that dog so), Mom's grade card 1936 and a picture at age 12. Grandma was a saver of memories, and I am a writer of memories. She'd be happy I shared these today!


  1. I love this kind of stuff! I have quite a bit of genealogy info on my family but have gleaned it from others & the Internet. My family was from Boone Co., MO. & some of the Pembertons moved to southern MO. & Arkansas. And some of my Fulkerson kin also went to Okla. My father's family, the Browns, left Warsaw, MO., to go to OK. to work in the wood mills & while living there in tents, my father was born! I have actually had 2 distant cousins visit here in my home since I started my genealogy research. Have fun with your treasures!

  2. Hi Joycee!
    I'm with Sheila...I love things like this. Your family history sounds very exciting and your Grandmother was a very smart woman to keep all those records for future generations. What a terribe shock to be without parents at so young an age and no siblings to look out for you. No wonder family meant so much to her. I knew my family history was interesting growing up but it wasn't until I was found by a sister in England that I never even knew that I found out the good stuff. My grandfather was a explorer/fur trader/cartographer/surveyor for the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada from the 1790's to 1822. Since meeting my sister I have been to the home site of my family in England and have seen the gravestones of family members dating back to the 1600's. You are so fortunate to live in the area your family lived for so many generations. I'll be watching for more posts! Have a wonderful week.
    Maura :)

  3. I can't tell you how happy I am that you have all these precious items! I would so love to have a few things like that from my family's history.

  4. Joycee--I thought of something after you left a note on my blog. My parents are now gone, along with aunts & uncles & of course grandparents. All that is left is cousins. And we now realize that any questions we might have about family can no longer be answered. If you have immediate family, be sure to talk to them & get the family stories you will someday be unable to hear. And...I have a great-great grandfather that is buried in National Cemetery in Springfield, Mo. His wife is also there & I was able to locate their marker a few years ago.

  5. This post was wonderful. I can't even begin to imagine having a homestead that has lasted through 2 generations. What fantastic history, what a legacy.

    My aunts, uncles and, of course, my parents are all gone now, and it's too late to resurrect so much of the family history that went with them. When you're young(er), you don't realize how much it's going to mean to you in later years.

    Thanks for posting this.

  6. So interesting. I've poked around some, but would have loved to have the kind of information you have.

  7. You're so lucky your mom saved everything! My daughter has just recently gotten me interested in our geneology and it is fascinating stuff.

  8. I've been thumbing through your blog and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it! Family history is also very important to me, and I love discovering little family stories that teach me so much. Thank you for keeping such a great blog. I'll definately start following!



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