Notes from the past…

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Monday Madness no more! (or, “…another one bites the dust…”)

Several years ago when I first got interested in genealogy, my Dad’s 2 grandmothers spurred my imagination. I had always heard tales of his “Cherokee Gramma” and his “Jewish Gramma”. “Cherokee Gramma” was responsible for our Native American heritage, and my Dad, then my brothers and I are Jewish because of “Jewish Gramma”.

Over the years, I have tried to “prove” those Cherokee and Jewish roots, with varying success.

I have yet to find any actual, factual connection of “Jewish Gramma” Ruth Carroll Carr to Judaism. No family Bibles or synagogue records, nothing. But a person can be Jewish without belonging to a synagogue or speaking Hebrew. It can be a state of the heart.

WilEHall wed3 As for “Cherokee Gramma” Dovie C McBurnett, I have found an indirect link, of sorts, to a Native American heritage. She and my great grandfather William Earl Hall were married in Cherokee Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1906 and their marriage is recorded in the Chickasaw Nation Marriages Index book located in the Ardmore, Ok courthouse. Does that make Dovie and/or William of Native American descent? Not necessarily. More research is definitely needed. William, however, is one of my brick walls. He is said to have died in some type of railroad accident sometime between 22 Jan 1906 (their marriage) and July 1913 (the date of Dovie’s marriage to Hubby #2 Ollie Stanley). The marriage certificate and a 1910 census entry are the only documentation I have of the existence of William Earl Hall. No death certificate, no headstone, nothing.

Dovie evidently believed herself to be a Native American. According to my Dad, she frequently dressed in Indian garb and her house was decorated in that fashion.

Dovie’s life after William Earl Hall was not dull, however. My Dad has told me that Dovie had several husbands. Well, so far, I have counted at least 6. Technically 7, as she may have married one man twice!

I have spent a lot of time documenting these men. For some, I have found quite a bit of data, for others, barely a name.DovCMCburnett stone1

But Husband No 6/7 has always been a mystery. Dovie’s last name on her death certificate and her headstone is Copeland. In fact her given name has morphed over the years from Dovie C to Ruby Dovie, but that is for another post…

But who was Copeland? Without a first name, date of marriage, date of death or headstone, he has been an enigma.

Until last night…

(to be continued)

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Women’s History Month, Day 3: A namesake

There are 2 Ruth’s in my family, and I have been told that I was named after each, depending on who is telling the story!

My great-grandmother on my Dad’s side was Ruth (Carroll) Carr (1890-1965). I don’t remember her at all, although I’m sure that I met her when I was a small child.

RutCarroll2 RutCarroll1

My second-cousin-once-removed from my Mom’s side (although much closer in the actual dynamics of my family) is Ruth Ann (Starr) Brown (1927-    ).


Ruth Ann is a very talented artist and her house was always one of my favorite places to visit as a child, even though the Browns lived in Los Angeles at the time.

Unique or unusual names in my tree? How about:

  • Mary Tennessee
  • Charley Belle
  • Serena Jane
  • Trilla Maryland
  • Zora Belle

I just love these old-fashioned names! If I was doing genealogy before my daughters were born, they’d probably have disowned me by now… :)