Tuesday, June 19, 2012

...is a shared dream.

"1982 - May 1983

Dear Family, 

The information presented here is more of a compilation of "notes" than a history of the family. Over the years my insatiable thirst for information about our forefathers has prompted me to ask questions - of everyone. Unfortunately, I have not always retained the answers so freely given, but I have kept some notes showing dates, places, etc.

I did not want the information to remain in my "Family History" file when some effort could be made to preserve and share as much of it as possible. It was then, in February, 1982, that I began asking different members of the family to provide what they could. It is that information, plus my notes, you will find here. 

It is my hope that some person or persons will share my "dream" to delve deeper into records to find more information on "our ancestors", and will share that information. I know my search will continue as I find new leads. 

My only regret is that I did not begin this project 30 years ago. 

This is a labor of love for me. I hope it will be of interest to all the members of the family.

My thanks to all those who have answered my numerous questions; those who responded so willingly; and a special thanks to my Harry who has supported and advised me along the way.

Juanita C. (McNamee) Auer"

I found this in the Thomas family binder. I have never met Juanita, and I wish that I could. I feel as though this was written for me. Is it strange that her motivation for this letter started 1 month after I was born? What a coincidence! I found that her beloved Harry sadly passed away a year after she wrote this, in 1984. My heart goes out to her, even though he's been gone nearly 30 years.

The next several pages (12 total) after this letter are typed notes and a list of the known family descendants of Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah Lucas that Juanita had found and their dates of birth, and their last known location. For privacy reasons, I will not be posting any of those, but I will post the notes.

The "notes" on the THOMAS / SIMS segments were compiled after many questions over the years with my mother, MARY JANE (THOMAS) McNAMEE, and my great-aunt, LUCY (THOMAS) FRANTZ. My aunt, NELLIE VIRGINIA THOMAS, continues to be a great source of information. She mailed clippings and scrapbooks for me to use in my research.

While working on this "labor of love" I have found that several people in the THOMAS family are also working on the family history. I have been in touch with LETHA THOMAS OSBORNE, who has done some research and provided me with additional information as well as some sources to be explored. 

Much of the information has been taken from the obituaries and clippings which I mentioned above, thus the "last known address" of survivors might not be the current one, but might help in a follow-up f needed by someone who wishes to pursue the "history".

The extensive information on the SIMS family comes from MYRTLE McCLUNG JOHNSON. She has done much research much more than I could ever hope to do. We are grateful for her part in providing insight into our forefathers. She responded to my question concerning the possibility of there being Indian ancestors in our family history history as follows:
  "If there were Indian ancestors in our SIMMS branch of the family it was back of Joseph Simms as I heard my grandmother, Mary C. Simms, (who was a woman of great integrity) discuss with one of her nephews, Ed Smoot. She knew Joseph and his wife very well and it was far back of them. Some of the early settlers did take squaws for wives, for instance, John Smith and Pocahontas were married and their family history gives more than 50 families who can trace ancestry back to them, but so far I have not been able to find any connected with the Simms in that list, tho there must have been many other such marriages not so well publicized."
 I have found the SIMS name spelled with 2 "M's" in many instances; witness Myrtle's references. Except for the direct quotes, I have used the the "SIMS" spelling, as that is the way it is used in references to our grandmother, ELIZA ELLEN SIMS THOMAS. 

As additional information becomes available it will be sent to you to up-date your records."


Jana Last said...

Looks like you are helping Juanita fulfill her dream of sharing her family history. Kudos to you!

Jodi Roessler said...

Thank you so much Jana! I hope so! Thank you for checking out my blog, there's so much to share, I've not even finished the first binder! Just wait until I get to transcribing the countless articles and letters Letha collected. :)

Rita Kerleroux said...

I agree Jodi, seems like she had you in mind when she wrote it. I believe "Things happen for reasons!" You are the chosen one!

Beth said...

Oh Jodi..Bless you in your endevour in this!! May all your leads be fruitful, and if they become frustrating..which I know oh so well how they can, may you be mindful to take a break, step back, and look to another day when things might become clearer.

Jodi Roessler said...

You've always been my champion and biggest cheerleader Aunt Rita! "Thank you" will never be quite enough! I just hope to keep it up. Will you send me some stories sometime of these folks? I'd love to know about them from people who actually met hem and knew them.

Jodi Roessler said...

Thank you so very much Beth! Such sage advice! I appreciate it.

Just you wait until I hit the Shuck binders and folders!! She saved what could possibly be every article John S Finley wrote on the Shucks and related families in The Meadow River Post...