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The Importance of Genealogy

My parents talking to my grandpa at the cemetery in Tyrone, OklahomaAs I write, I am travelling home through the panhandle of Texas after a full weekend spent with my relatives on my father鈥檚 side of the family. It鈥檚 been two years since our last family reunion, and this one was particularly special because it was held in the region where that family is from, and where my father and grandpa were born: Liberal, Kansas and Tyrone, Oklahoma. I can鈥檛 really say that the Bruces originated there, however. They lived in Springtown, Texas before then (which happens to be in my home county of Parker), from which place they travelled north by covered wagon to their new home in the Oklahoma panhandle. And before that, the family lived in Tennessee, and before that they were in North Carolina, and before that, somewhere in Europe (my unproved Internet sources tell me Languedoc, France). But regardless, it is in Texas County, Oklahoma, that the old Bruce home place may be found, as well as the old Bowers house. And it is that land that holds the most memories for my grandpa and his siblings who were our guides to the past during this weekend.

During the past two years since the last family reunion, one of my great aunts has been working on a book, which has been completed and was presented during this reunion. It is entitled Baby Turkeys in the Oven, and is a compilation of stories from my great grandpa鈥檚 family, as well as a good deal of genealogy. I have only had a chance to glance through it so far, but it promises to be very interesting and informative. A very unique quilt was also presented, the centre of which was a large, white five-pointed star. This represented my great grandpa and great grandma, E. F. and Geraldine Bruce. I knew Grandma Bruce in her old age, when she was living with my great aunt. By that time she had become like a small child鈥攕he couldn鈥檛 remember or say much, but she loved playing with her dolls. Even so, I am glad that I was able to see her before she passed on. Grandpa Bruce, on the other hand, died in the 1970s, before I was even born. Read More

In Memory of Uncle Preston Lewallen

The hand of Providence having removed a friend of mine from the scenes of his temporal labors, and his friends and neighbors who profited by his examples being desirous of testifying their regards for his memory and expressing their earnest and affectionate sympathy with the broken household that survives him, we therefore tenderly condole with them in their bereavement and devoutly commend them to Him who looks with pity and compassion upon the widow and the fatherless.

“Uncle Press,” as everyone called him, was born in Jackson county, Alabama, January 13th, 1832. He spent his boyhood on the farm with the family until he reached manhood, when he married and began to cultivate and cherish the universal desire of humanity to make his imprint upon the world. But it seemed that Providence had willed a cruel and desolating war, and Alabama’s sons were to play their hand in the tragedy. Read More