Category Archives: Journal

Chronological posts of tracing my family roots

New Location for Crittenden Family Reunion

We have a new location for our reunion on September 1, 2019 from 3pm to 5pm. We will meet immediately after the First Families Reunion in Tahlequah. Our reunion will be on the Cherokee Heritage Center property in the Chapel. The chapel has tables, chairs, rest room, and is big enough to hold 30-40 people…..and is air conditioned! The heritage center closes at 5. Our start time is approximate based on when First Family Reunion concludes. We have access to the chapel as early as 1pm if needed.

I will be arriving in Oklahoma by August 20 and will post directions to the site for the reunion soon after that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cherokee Roots, Family connections, Journal

Descendants of Moses Crittenden Reunion plus Moore and West Updates

After a winter of organizing and tying up myriad loose ends, my summer is devoted to collecting new info. I am not sure why I am undertaking that as I still have so much research from prior trips to finish scanning and attaching to files.

However, the time is right as I have the summer on the road while I vacate my rental in Portugal to allow the owners to take advantage of renting it out at higher summer rental rates. While inconvenient, it is allowing me time to follow up on research on my Moore, West and Crittenden families. Here are updates on my summer plans regarding these three branches of my family.

Crittenden Family Reunion

Location Update for Reunion – See bolded italics below.

Get together for all descendants of Moses Crittenden on September 1, 2019. We will meet immediately after the First Families Reunion on the Cherokee Heritage Center property in the Chapel. The chapel has tables, chairs, rest room, and is big enough to hold 30-40 people…..and is air conditioned! The Heritage Center closes at 5. We have access to the chapel as early as 1pm if needed.

Our start time of 3pm is approximate based on when the First Family Reunion concludes.  Any Crittendens are welcome, including descendants of Moses’ siblings, cousins, etc.

Bring photos, stories, questions so we can all share what we know and what questions we might still be trying to answer. I have some news to share about my drive through Georgia where I located the general area of land that William Crittenden and his family were living on before leaving Georgia for Arkansas in the 1830s. I will post more about that here when my summer of travel is over.

Descendants of William L West (born about 1803 in South Carolina)

By the 1840s William was in Alabama. A wide array of his great grandchildren, 2x and 3x great grandchildren, and other extended family, are on the hunt for his parents’ names and records of his earlier years in South Carolina. Three of us met in Greenville in June to comb through documents in the libraries of three different counties. And while we found some interesting information and possible leads, nothing that definitively tells us the names and origins of Williams’ parents and siblings. More about that trip will be posted here later this year.

Descendants of Nicholas Moore Senior (born about 1712 in St Mary’s County, Maryland)

I am very fortunate to have a well documented tree of my paternal line laid out in Timothy O’Rourke’s book, “Maryland Catholics on the Frontier: The Missouri and Texas Settlements”.

However, how did they get to Maryland? Was it via England or Ireland? Where do we really come from? I am hoping to find answers to these questions when I spend ten days in St Mary’s County, Maryland in September.

So Many Questions

I started my genealogy quest with a few questions. I answered those questions long ago. With each answer, I had three more questions. And so it continues…

Leave a comment

Filed under Cherokee History in Alabama, Family connections, Nicholas Moore Sr Family, Research, William L West Family

Sorry for the Absence

It has been way too long since I have posted. I spent a lot of time last year solving a mystery on my father’s side of my tree with great results. Meanwhile, I moved to Portugal last Fall. It took a while to get settled in and then I have been traveling in the states since June. I will be back in Portugal in October and settled in one place starting November 1 for the next several months.

My goal is to spend my winter getting organized about tracing one lead at a time. I will also be planning two genealogy trips for next year, June 2019 I want to spend some time in Maryland following up on Nicholas Moore, born in Maryland in about 1712. I will be on a quest to trace back from Nicholas and find where in Ireland my branch of the Moore family started their migration to America.

In August and September 2019 I will be in Oklahoma for the First Families of the Cherokee Nation annual reunion (first time attending). Then to Mena, Arkansas where my great grandfather Moses Crittenden lived in the mid-1800s. Next to Guntersville, Alabama to the West side of my mother’s family.  And then to South Carolina where I hope to be able to go further back in our lineage from William L West who was born in South Carolina and migrated to Alabama in the 1800s.

Anyone with info on the Moores in Baltimore or Wests in South Carolina, please contact me.

Over the summer I did manage to do some additional research on the time spent by my grandparents James Richard West and Eliza Crittenden West in Roswell New Mexico in the early 1900s. More court documents on my grandfather. Once I have  a little more information I will post an update on the life of my very interesting grandfather!

4 Comments

Filed under Family connections, Journal, Research

Newspaper Archives Great Source for Family History

In my last post I mentioned finding surprising news about my grandfather, James R West, in newspapers from New Mexico in the early 1900s.  I have done many newspaper searches before, but never using NewspaperArchive.com.

I found dozens of articles that I had not find searching other newspaper sites. Although there is a subscription fee, I am finding this source invaluable. So far, I have saved twelve articles about James West from the site with many more still to review and save.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 12.08.07 PM

Interestingly, although I have never heard him referred to as Jim except by my cousin John, seeing his name as Jim West, as well as James West, in one of the articles that I found led me to start a new search under Jim West. Many more articles came up that were clearly about James. Remember to search in many ways for your ancestors in all document and newspaper searches.

Conducting more research on Newspaper Archive is my top genealogy goal at the moment. It is taking a lot of discipline to not start entering every ancestor’s name to see what I can find. However, I am determined to first pull every article about my grandfather that I can find and this in itself will take several sessions.

Happy searching!

Kathy

3 Comments

Filed under Journal, Research, Uncategorized

James R West – Man of Many Complexities

Finding out more about James R West, my grandfather, was one of the reasons that I started my genealogy research. James married my Cherokee grandmother, Eliza Crittenden, in 1903. I knew only broad strokes about their life together.

They married in Oklahoma Indian Territory in 1903. Sometime shortly after that they moved to Roswell, New Mexico where they lived until about 1917. I knew that James left the family in 1922 and, except for a one day visit to Tulsa in 1929, he never contacted my grandmother or his children again.

James R West

James R West

Since starting my research I have found out more about their life together, but I still have so many holes in their story.

Based on some correspondence with the Dawes Commission regarding my grandmother’s land selection, I had a feeling that James was not in the household during their last years in Roswell. In October of this year,  I finally made my way to Roswell to see what I could find.

IMG_0221

Chaves County Court House – Roswell

I started with the Historical Society and their very helpful volunteer. Janice found a newspaper article that led me to do some research in the property file archives at the Chaves County Recorders Office. I found many land transactions in which James was involved, ending with charges being filed against him regarding some of those transactions. This mirrored activity by James that I had found several years ago in Wagoner, Oklahoma. Pages of land transactions concluding with him being sanctioned by a judge.

So, I went back to the newspaper archives. I found two more interesting articles about charges being filed against James for various crimes. My next stop would have been the court house to find out more about these charges and their resolution, but sadly I had to depart Roswell and my travel plans could not be changed. The wonderful Historical Society volunteer is going to see what she can find at the court house.

This week I decided to conduct a more intensive newspaper search and was overwhelmed by what I found, coverage of multiple charges and trials involving James R West, including horse smuggling, jury tampering, and attempted murder!

Clearly, my research will continue. I know that I will find out more facts, and hopefully find the court records regarding these cases. However, will I ever know the story surrounding the facts? What led James, who appeared to have a successful livery business at the time, to his actions? How did it impact my grandma, Eliza?

JamesRichard.4thfromleft.Roswell.NM.ca.1912 (2017_08_30 07_25_36 UTC)

James R West – second from right in black hat

Some of James’ story can be attributed to the fact that much of Oklahoma and New Mexico were still the Wild West in the early 1900s. Yet, that is not enough of an explanation for me.

I fear I will always be left wondering about so many details and nuances of my grandparents’ lives. It is the search and the uncovering of surprises that keep me going. I know that there will always be something else to find out.

This trip also reminded me that there is nothing like feet on the ground when following your family’s story in many diverse locations.

Do any of you have family that resided in New Mexico in the early 1900s? I would love to hear your stories. Who knows, maybe yours cross mine somewhere in Roswell.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Family connections, Research

The West Family Cherokee Connections

When I started this blog I was aware that one of my West ancestors, Rufus Morgan West Jr (my great grandfather’s nephew), had married a Cherokee woman, Ellen Fain, and that my grandfather’s brother, David West, had married Rufus’s widow. What I found on my November 2016 trip to Guntersville, Alabama is that my West family’s Cherokee connection is deeper and more complex that I knew.

My great grandfather’s brother, Rufus Morgan West, married Nancy Merrill (interchangeably spelled as Merrell) in Alabama in 1843.

Rufus West and Nancy Merrll Licensce from Archives Office in Guntersville, Marshall County, Alabama

Rufus West and Nancy Merrell Marry in Alabama

My time in Alabama was full of discoveries, many of which I will share in future posts. The major finding was how deep my family’s Cherokee connections are in my West lineage. When I started this quest into my family’s history, I had compartmentalized my family’s Cherokee heritage on my mother’s side in her mother’s Crittenden line, not her father’s West line. But, of course, as we all know, tracing family lines is much more complex than we think when we start.

One of the most intriguing explorations for me has been studying the history of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama in the 1800s and early 1900s and finding out how often my West and Crittenden families’ histories were a part of some of the key events of that time, in both pioneer and Cherokee history.

I would love to hear from any West, Ferguson, Pollston, Merrill (Merrell), Stephens or other families who were residing in Marshall County in the general Guntersville area in the 1800s.

For more information on Alabama’s Cherokee history:

http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1087

History of Merrill Mountain:

history-of-merrill-mountain

 

2 Comments

Filed under Cherokee History in Alabama, Family connections

Descendants of Moses Crittenden -Where Are They?

Moses Crittenden, my great grandfather, had 17 children.

His children with Edith Quinton were:
James Washington Crittenden 1849–1922
Malinda Jane Crittenden 1850–1932
Clara Crittenden 1851–1881
William Crittenden 1852 –
Perry Crittenden 1854–
Martha Elizabeth Crittenden 1854–1892
Elizabeth Crittenden 1859–
Edith Elizabeth Crittenden 1861–1945

Great Aunt Edith Elizabeth Crittenden

His children with Margaret Howell were:
Mary Ann Crittenden 1868–1945
Palmira Vianna Crittenden 1871–1939
Sidney Crittenden 1873–1925
Nancy Alice Crittenden 1875–1941
Eliza Jane Crittenden 1876–1970 (my grandmother)

GrandmaElizaJaneCrittendenWest.ca.1950

Dora B Crittenden 1880–1968
Margaret Rebecca Crittenden 1882
Isaac Moses Crittenden 1888-1957

IsaacCrittenden

One child with Emily Crittenden Weaver:
Anthony Crittenden 1854-1909

I know there are hundreds of Moses Crittenden descendants. My hope is that eventually we will all  find each other online and share family stories, photos and missing genealogy facts.

Meantime, I will continue to post my discoveries about my grandparents’ ancestors; the Crittendens, the Wests, the Moores and the Cartmills.

With this post goes a big hug to all of my cousins out there, known and unknown.

 

21 Comments

Filed under Cherokee Roots, Family connections, Journal