When my brother turned 50 he had a big birthday bash at a Mexican restaurant with friends, family, food, drinks, and Karaoke. It was a lot of fun. Knowing I was the next in line, people began asking me what I was going to do for my 50th birthday. I had a year and a half to think about it. Instead of a party, I decided to take an extended road trip to research various lines of my family tree. Although my birthday is in April, I wanted to wait for the summer so that I could take plenty of time and spend at least four weeks on the road. That’s one of the perks of being a teacher!
My Dad also loves genealogical research, and now that he was retired, he was able to take the time for a good road trip. We thought it would be fun if he came with me for part of my journey. Even Mom, who doesn’t especially enjoy road trips, made plans to meet us in Washington DC, one of her favorite cities. Pete stayed home to hold down the fort and look forward to our trip to England and Ireland after my return.
I have taken wonderful genealogy trips in the past. In 1983, 1986, 1989 and 1992, Dad and I attended Johnson cousin reunions in Nebraska and South Dakota. In 1993 and 1997 and 2002 Pete and I covered hundreds of miles together stopping at various research stops back east, in the south and in the Midwest. In 2000 I took a solo road trip to attend an Eastlick/Easlick family reunion in Michigan. On each of these trips, we spent about three weeks traveling to as many research stops along the way as possible.
By 2009 it had been seven years since the last major trip (not counting China in 2004 with the Washington Chorale, which was all about tourism and choral music, not genealogical research). My 50th birthday came and went in April, duly celebrated by friends and family at home. Then, when school and other obligations ended in June, I was out the door, bag and laptop in hand!
Here are notes from my wonderful 50th birthday genealogy road trip of 2009:
Tuesday, June 23. Starting at Mom and Dad’s in Seattle, after a few errands and repacking my gear, Mom drove Dad and me to SeaTac for our late afternoon flight to Chicago. We arrived before midnight, picked up the rental car and drove part way across Illinois to our first Super 8 on the road trip. Boy was I tired! It’s somewhat stressful driving strange roads at night, with construction and toll booths every few miles. But there was no sign of bed bugs so that was a good start!
Wednesday, June 24. We drove on to Dubuque, Iowa. Cousin Bonnie Sue prepared us a great lunch and we toured the campus where she teaches, but had to get indoors as much as possible… it must’ve been about 95 degrees out. Whew! Hot, hot, hot!
Thursday, June 25, took a day jaunt to Waukon, Iowa, about two hours north of Dubuque. That was AFTER we had to trade in our rental car for a different one because of a slow leak in one tire. This was a better car, anyway… I prefer a compact car rather than the larger SUV type they gave us at the airport. At the public library we found Goodykoontz land on township maps, and Oakland Cemetery records. Bonnie Sue put her research skills to work at the Allamakee County Genealogy Society in the (COOL) basement of the old courthouse, now museum. She found Goodykoontz obituaries on microfilm, Dad found Elisha K. Spencer probate records, including mention of his prized automobile, and I found records pertaining to Jacob Goodykoontz’ guardianship of the four Raymond kids after his marriage to second wife Sarah (Barnard) Raymond. Also, with help from the librarian, we saw the birth record of one of Wilson and Caroline’s children, Ruth Emma Spencer, born in 1880.
At the cemetery, a man on a lawnmower loaned us the cemetery map so that we could locate Goodykoontz graves. Also found Raymonds and Barnards of Sarah’s family and the E. K. Spencers. He told us another caretaker has a record called “Goodykoontz Accounts” that shows burial locations in the oldest part of the cemetery. They used this information to relocate stones that were piled down by the creek, at least Simon and Mary’s. We couldn’t find a stone for Mary (Ward) Goodykoontz, although her name appears in the records. How is it that cemetery headstones can be taken from their original locations and piled somewhere? Don’t the families of the departed have some rights to a perpetual resting spot for their loved ones? I don’t get it.
Friday, June 26. Said goodbye to Bonnie Sue this morning and headed to Bureau County, Illinois. First we went to the courthouse in Princeton to look up probate records for Jacob Eastlick, finding none. We did find a guardianship paper for the children of Mary Ann Sells, and stumbled upon Sylvester Eastlick’s divorce records, which were interesting.
We met up with a Lewis 2nd cousin, Alma and her hubby Richard for lunch at the Red Apple restaurant. Alma knew I was researching my maternal Eastlick family and gave me maps and an article about the school that Jacob Eastlick helped to start. She had an old property-owners’ map and a contemporary plat map marked with the route/road. We also picked up a contemporary tourism type booklet and map from the front counter at the restaurant. After saying our goodbyes to Alma and Richard, Dad and I were able to use the maps to drive right to the location of the Eastlick property. We drove past homes that were probably Eastlick-built and drove through a lovely, thick stand of trees marked “Eastlick Grove” on the old map. It took my breath away! Then we found the Bowen Cemetery where Jacob Eastlick is buried. Pete and I had completely missed these in 1997. Back then, we had wandered around on various roads in and out of New Bedford, and walked through a few cemeteries, but could not find Jacob’s headstone. We suspected it was long gone, but now I know we had been searching in the wrong cemeteries. Dad and I photographed Jacob’s headstone and those of other Whipple and Preston relatives. Delightful!
That night Dad and I pulled in at a Super 8 in Rantoul, Illinois, just in time for a brief power outage. We walked over to a nearby Arby’s and brought our dinner back to the hotel.
Saturday, June 27. Once we crossed into Indiana, we found our first Starbucks on this trip! Ah, vanilla latte, just like home! Then Dad and I spent a few hours at the public library in Anderson, Indiana, researching Goodykoontzes. Found some great land patent maps and obituaries, mug books, etc. It was a nice facility. The public library was bustling downstairs but the genealogy department upstairs was nice and quiet. Each heavy oak library table had a strip of electrical outlets to plug in laptops, a nice mix of old and new.
One good find was the deed abstract book. Original deeds are no longer available due to early destruction by fire. Thank goodness someone had abstracted the information from the old deeds while they were still available. We found our Daniel Goodykoontz and his brother Jacob on the list with their land parcel desciptions and date of purchase. Some were filed under K, as in Goody Koontz. You really do have to think outside the box!
After dinner at the Olive Garden we went looking for West Maplewood Cemetery. We had to drive around quite a bit before we found the cemetery, and stopped for directions more than once. There are TWO Maplewood Cemeteries, which made it confusing. Finally a couple of joggers directed us to the correct one. We got there before sunset and took photos of Goodykoontz graves, and those of collateral relatives.
That night we stayed at Greenfield, Indiana (outside Indianapolis) at the Super 8.
Sunday, June 28, we drove to Cincinnati to see Cousin Linda and family. We had a wonderful visit in the afternoon, a BBQ dinner, and a neighborhood tour complete with Graeter’s ice cream in the evening. Enjoyed hearing Jeff play the piano. We looked at the stars through his big telescope lens that night. That stop was all visiting and no research.
Monday, June 29, after a light breakfast we left Skip and Linda’s to head north to Logan County. Stopped further north for a late morning meal at a Bob Evans restaurant where Dad borrowed a phone to call Linda. He had left his cell phone at their house and she agreed to mail it ahead to one of our next stops.
By mid-morning we arrived in Bellefontaine to do some Logan County research at the public library genealogy room, a locked back room with one table and only four chairs. The room was quickly over-crowded with more than four researchers, but we found some good cemetery info and biographical resources on the Wylie family.
Then we went to the museum, having some trouble finding it from the librarian’s directions. Turns out the genealogy society part was closed but the museum files downstairs in the back of this beautiful historic home-turned-museum were open for our perusal. The one young man there actually left the room to us and two women we had met earlier at the library. I copied everything in the Young and Wylie files and Dad studied the Geneva Book (Geneva College) a Reformed Presbyterian Church college which our Wylies and related Pattersons were instrumental in founding. Years later the college closed and moved to Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
Northwood Cemetery... Ann (Wylie) Young stone flat on the ground; John and Elizabeth Wylie stone (round) not far distant
Then Dad and I drove to Northwood Cemetery, where my direct-line ancestors are buried: John and Elizabeth Wylie and their daughter Anna (Wylie) Young. It was so great to find these graves, but also disappointing to find apparent vandalism throughout the cemetery. We took pictures of dozens of graves with the names Wylie, Young, Patterson.
That night we stayed at Mansfield, Ohio after another busy, fruitful day of ancestor-chasing. Dinner was at a nearby Taco Bell.
Tuesday, June 30 we headed to Beaver County, Pennsylvania, home of my Wylie and Young ancestors before they came to Ohio. This is also the home of Joseph Otto, Jr., brother of our Emma (Otto) Lewis. We were caught in a downpour as we entered scenic Beaver Falls, and ran inside to eat lunch at a dark tavern. Between the pitch-dark restroom and the man at the bar looking for trouble, I was glad to leave that establishment. Besides, I was eager to find my Wylies and Youngs!
We re-parked the car and went to the genealogy society, upstairs above the library via the service elevator. This was a great stop! We spent a couple of hours retrieving good stuff. Dad found Otto obituaries (Joseph and son Homer). I first saw a deed abstracts book with early Wylie and Young records. Also there were property location maps, early tax records (1803 onwards) plus cemetery books, surname files, a great collection! The volunteers there were long-time genealogy library folks with lots of knowledge about their collections and were very helpful.
Then, we cruised north to a couple Reformed Presbyterian Church cemeteries but did not find the right one with our Wylies and Youngs. We couldn’t spend long, as we had to hurry on to make our dinner date with Cousin Kim and family.
When we found the appointed meeting place, we had a fun-filled dinner with several Lewis 4th cousins at a golf club restaurant outside Poland, Ohio (just south of Youngstown). Kim had found us in 1999 through genealogical sleuthing and we hit it off right away back then, enough for me to come visit her and Bob a year later and go on a jaunt to New York with her and another Lewis cousin, Diane. It was great to see Kim and Bob and meet other family members. There were fourteen of us all together. We stopped by Kim and Bob’s after to retrieve Dad’s cell phone, mailed by Linda. Thank goodness for helpful cousins!!
Because they already had a houseful, we did not stay with the cousins but took a room at the local Red Roof Inn.
Wednesday, July 1, we drove on to Crawford County, Pennsylvania. I’ve been to Meadville twice before with Pete, so we already had quite a bit of information on the Spencers and Eastlicks. In 1993 we researched Spencers at the historical library, before I even knew I had Eastlicks in that county. Then in 1997 I came away from the courthouse with several Eastlick wills and deeds.
Since we had to wait for the historical society to open, Dad and I decided to first drive up to the Conneaut Cemetery. We walked around in the drizzle looking for the headstones of Richard Spencer and his mother Nancy (Carr) Spencer. Just as on the prior visit, we found nothing. The Spencer headstones are either unreadable or no longer there. I guess I was hoping that perhaps somehow before we had overlooked them. No chance.
Next we stopped at a small library in Conneaut, which was closed, then headed back to Meadville. We spent some time at the Crawford County Historical Society library in Meadville, which was in a new location since my last visit. We found nothing new. The people there were not that helpful. They were more intrusive and offered irrelevant records. As a result, we sort of hurried out of there. I did photocopy some Beaver County, Pennsylvania maps (Wylie) and cemetery info (Spencers).
So we drove on to McKean County and found a motel in Smethport, the second of only two in this small town. The first was a shabby looking place on the underside of a tavern, which was booked up. I was relieved that we found the more pleasant Smethport Motel. Modest but clean. Went for dinner at the Cottage House, where Pete and I had gone for dinner in 1993.
Thursday, July 2. Stopped for a latte and rolls at a main street café, drove to the public library to find it closed for the day, then took photos around town. Such a beautiful place! We stopped at the McKean County courthouse for probate records and deeds. Got a lot of copies and notes and a terrific map showing Otto and related family parcels of land. Then while waiting for the genealogy library to open, took a jaunt out to the cemetery in Farmers Valley where our Ottos are buried. Stopped at a home (same one as in 1993) to ask permission to wander across their field to the cemetery, but the man told us there was now a road. So we drove through the high grass on this path to the cemetery, worried a bit that we might encounter mud or get high-centered somewhere.
Les between Joseph Otto and Mary (Brown) Otto headstones, Farmers Valley Cemetery
Once parked, we had to slather ourselves with bug repellent as it was quite infested with mosquitoes, same as 1993! The cemetery was in better condition, however, as the American Legion folks had come in and cleaned it up quite a bit and put up a flag pole. Unfortunately Joseph Otto’s stone had been broken in half since my last visit there. It was fun seeing that place with Dad since he hadn’t been there before.
Then we had a relaxing lunch back in Smethport at a restaurant across the street from the courthouse. Funny how a restaurant or hotel stop can feel like an oasis to recharge before the next adventure!
The genealogy library in the historic jail was okay, but I was getting tired of genealogy volunteers who think they know everything and like to have control of the materials. While one older gentleman helped Dad with a big map, I looked through books I mostly had already seen. I was disappointed at the condition of the clipping files. But I remember how chaotic it had been before at the old location in the basement of the courthouse when Pete and I were there in 1993. Maybe I was just disappointed not to discover where our Ottos had come from.
Then I went to another part of the building to view microfilm newspapers and struck pay dirt with Joseph Otto’s obituary right away, although I didn’t find any of the others I was seeking.
Normally I would make reservations for our night’s lodging via my computer at a research stop that has an internet connection. Not having done that, we drove on without reservations and stopped at a Comfort Inn near Mansfield, Pennsylvania. I was tired enough and worried about whether we’d find any other hotel down the road that I was glad to stop. It was a more expensive hotel and nice, but once we checked in, we found out the internet and phone there did not work. Dad asserted himself and bartered the price down for this reason.
Friday, July 3, we headed to Bradford County, Pennsylvania. We had coffee and a sweet roll in a café on the main drag in Towanda, waiting for the courthouse to open, which it didn’t. The holiday weekend took a toll on our plans. Both the courthouse and genealogy society were closed, but we did get in some time at the public library searching for Prestons. I was disappointed not to find out the name of Joseph Preston’s wife and he did not appear in cemetery listings. I did discover that Joseph’s real name, according to one source, was Stephen Preston. Apparently when he first came to Bradford County people called him Joe and it stuck. Rather curious, as most of the records call him Joseph. But his son Ederick named his first son Stephen, so perhaps this is true.
After our library stop we went back to the same café for lunch before heading south to Columbia County. In Bloomsburg we arrived only 15 minutes before the genealogy society closed. It was on the upper floor of the public library, so once it closed we just went downstairs to the library and were shown to a smaller, private research room to peruse the genealogy collection. No new breakthroughs here, but lots of details fleshing out collateral relatives. I copied records from a book with the Brown Cemetery. It was fun seeing the Beaver Book and Brown Book side-by-side on the shelf in our little private research room. These are two treasures that we have enjoyed over the years.
Dad called Cousin Eloise to tell her we were in the area. She wasn’t home so he left a message, but did not leave a phone number or location. He had met her years earlier when he had come to Columbia County.
We checked into our Super 8 in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania after a busy day of research in two counties. But before dinner, we we visited the Brown Cemetery. Dad had been there years before but couldn’t quite remember how to get there. After consulting our maps and stopping for directions, we finally found the enchanting hilltop cemetery with wispy, ghost-like blossoms growing amongst the historic headstones. John Brown, our ancestor, with his second wife, is buried there. I didn’t want to leave this beautiful spot. I love cemeteries anyway, but this one was extra-special.
After the cemetery we had dinner at a spaghetti place in Mifflinville.
Saturday, July 4. Bright and early, we woke up to a 6:50 a.m. phone call from Eloise. She had received Dad’s message from the day before and started calling around to hotels to find us. Fortunately Super 8 was the first one she tried, and she got us! We made arrangements to meet her across the street at McDonald’s for coffee. We checked out of the hotel, then ventured over across the street. Soon four Brown cousins arrived: Eloise and her son, and two of her sisters. We visited over coffee for about an hour. Eloise had brought notes, family papers and a rebound copy of the Brown book. She seemed surprised that we had seen that book before. It was great meeting these new cousins and they were so warm and gracious. How kind of them to take time out of their Fourth of July to meet us!
Then after doing laundry en route at a truck stop, Dad and I made it to Washington DC to meet Mom and spend the Fourth of July! We met her at the Dupont Hotel off Dupont Circle. So good to see Mom and catch her up on our adventures. The city was beautful and Dupont Circle was a fun area with great shops and character. We had dinner at an Asian place across the street from the hotel and dessert at the bookstore nearby. As we headed back to the hotel, fireworks lit up the sky in our nation’s capitol.
Sunday, July 5 was a relaxing “day off” from research. I phoned the DAR Library to find out their hours for the next day, only to hear that the library would be closed all week for their annual convention…. Murphy’s Law at work again!!! So Dad and I would go to the Library of Congress instead.
Monday, July 6. After our morning Starbucks, Dad and I left Mom for the day and headed off on the Metro to the Library of Congress. I researched Moravian records for Ottos and Irish records for Wylie. That evening Mom, Dad, Aunt Kathy and I went to Carrie and Rich’s for dinner. Carrie had just arrived home from Baghdad that afternoon! We were so grateful she got home safe and sound. It was great getting caught up with the three of them…. AND getting a “cat fix” with Miley and Scribbles!
Tuesday, July 7 was spent researching again at the Library of Congress. Then that evening Carrie took the Metro into Dupont Circle and joined us for dinner at a nearby Japanese restaurant and desserts after at Kramer Books. It was a beautiful night in DC!
Wednesday, July 8. We left Mom to head south into Virginia and she would catch her flight back to Seattle later that day. Washington DC is amazing. Dad and I took a wrong turn leaving town and had another chance to swing by the mall and all those glorious monuments. Kind of makes you swell with patriotic pride! We enjoyed the beautiful drive from DC to SW Virginia. We first stopped at Roanoke and spent a few hours at the public library, which has a great collection. We sought Wards and Goodykoontzes and made lots of copies. The librarians there were friendly and helpful. We stayed at Salem, Virginia, midway between Roanoke and Floyd. The Super 8 was next to a Mexican Restaurant, where we ate a rather disappointing dinner.
Thursday, July 9. Today we saw the Goodykoontz home in Floyd County, Virginia. The daughter-in-law of the homeowners met us there to let us in and look around. This home and property belonged to a brother of our Daniel Goodykoontz, and stayed in the family for a hundred years. The hilly countryside all around was beautiful and green. The home itself had seen better days. We went the nearby Goodykoontz Cemetery, in the midst of thick woods and difficult to access. Fortunately they had just cleaned out some of the overgrowth before our arrival. The stones were all mossy and hard to read. After that, Dad and I stopped briefly at the courthouse in Floyd but did not find anything helpful and it was all pretty overwhelming. We had lunch across the street in a little café to regroup. Then we visited the cemetery near the Zion Lutheran Church where Margaret Goodykoontz is buried. Her old headstone is gone and a more modern headstone marks her grave and lists all her children. We also stopped at the public library in Floyd. After that we visited the Kegley Memorial Library on the college campus at nearby Wytheville. The librarian there was very knowledgeable, and helped by supplying us with several record books in a short span of time. That evening we stayed at a Super 8 in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Friday, July 10. After our continental breakfast, we drove to Jefferson County, Tennessee. We first stopped at the library in Jefferson City, where I copied cemetery inscriptions, maps and directions, which is always a good idea before heading to an unknown cemetery. Then we drove to New Market, where Jacob and Sarah Goodykoontz had relocated after leaving Iowa. They are buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery there. Dad found Jacob and Sarah Goodykoontz’ stones and I found the Raymond stones.
View from cemetery at New Market
We both got emotional in that cemetery and at the church in New Market. Perhaps the emotion came from the thrill of discovery of our ancestor Jacob’s headstone on this our last stop of the journey, or from the beauty of that rural resting place, set quietly in the green countryside overlooking far off stretches of fields and hills in the late afternoon sun. Or perhaps we were emotional because our adventure together was coming to an end.
We stopped for a snack at a fast food place, then I dropped Dad off at the airport in Knoxville. We said goodbye with hugs and tears. It’s been a trip with him I’ll always cherish. How special to share a love of adventure in seeking out our ancestors! Seeking the ancestral counties gave us the destinations; the best part was the shared journey together.
Then it was solo from there on out. Instead of staying in Knoxville for the night, I decided I would drive on to Asheville NC. I had arranged to meet Cousin Ralph there the next day. What a BEAUTIFUL drive! Winding roads over mountainous terrain was like the Siskiyous in southern Oregon. I encountered occasional rain showers, but not the heavy downpours we had in northern Pennsylvania.
Saturday, July 11, I met up with Cousin Ralph at an espresso shop and bookstore in Asheville. We took a trolley tour of the city and were amazed at how magnificent the buildings are. It was beautiful and very interesting. We agreed though, that we wouldn’t want to drive around in it every day because of the hills. For me it’s just too big a city, but I will enjoy bringing Pete back in the future to see it. It was great to see Ralph again after nine year since the Eastlick reunion in Michigan.
Sunday, July 12. Cousin David drove all the way from Little Rock AR to meet me while I was on my road trip. We met in Nashville that Sunday after corresponding a couple years earlier by email regarding our Eastlick ancestry. It was fun meeting a new cousin! We had ribs for lunch, then took a tour of Nashville and talked about life and our ancestors before heading our own ways. David checked the weather report on the computer and noticed some bad storms up north, but I decided to head out anyway.
If I had known what I was driving into, I would have waited in Nashville! The rain was so heavy my wipers couldn’t keep up. Visibility was impossible. I could barely see the taillights of the car ahead of me, only enough to see that a lot of people were pulling over to wait until they could see the road. Thunder and lightning were severe. It was a SCARY drive through a HUGE downpour with thunder and lightning! Cars were pulling over left and right, some continuing on with their flashers. I did a little of both, gripping the steering wheel and hoping I wouldn’t get struck by lightning! So tense! I finally arrived safely at my motel in Cadiz, Kentucky. Really needed that glass of wine!
Monday, July 13. The next day’s drive was very pleasant in comparison with the storm the day before. I drove north and west to St. Louis and to the home of Cousin Cherie. She insisted I cancel my hotel reservation and stay with her in her home, so of course I didn’t argue! Cherie is a very persuasive cousin! It was so good to see her and visit again after nine years. We had a great time getting caught up. Can’t believe it’s been nine years since that Eastlick reunion in Bridgeport, Michigan. On the news was a report about the severe weather the day before, which I had experienced up close and personal!
Cherie and I had dinner at a Chinese food buffet and had a great visit.
Tuesday, July 14 After saying goodbye to Cherie, I drove north to Marion County, Missouri. I researched at public libraries in Hannibal, Missouri and Quincy, Illinois. Found a newspaper reference to John Crouch being brought back for burial in Warren MO after his death in Quincy. This varies slightly from other sources. No obituary, though. I stayed in Keokuk IA for the night.
Wednesday, July 15. Onward to Hancock County, Illinois, where I researched at the courthouse, library and genealogy society in Carthage, working on my Conner line. I also got to tour the historic Carthage jail where Mormon leaders Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed in 1844. My Conners lived in Hancock County for over 30 years until moving to Siskiyou Co CA in 1874. I often wondered if it was just coincidence that they were there when the Mormons arrived at Nauvoo. No evidence that they were Mormon, and in fact I did find reference to Constantia (Stephens) Conner switching from the Presbyterian to Congregational churches during the time before her marriage there. That night I stayed at the Super 8 in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
Thursday, July 16. I drove on to Washington Co, Iowa to research my Crouch, Young, Leasure and Reeves families. Found land locations (their names on an 1859 atlas!) and deeds for Montgomery Crouch, Samuel R. Young and Denton Leasure. Our Ephraim Leasure was nowhere to be found. I LOVED the helpful ladies in the genealogy department at the public library. And even though the woman in the recording office at the courthouse was reluctant, I won her over and got my copies!
Friday, July 17. I arrived safely back in Dubuque, having come full circle on this amazing trip. Bonnie Sue and I shopped for groceries, visited a bookstore and Starbucks, and she prepared dinner as we visited in her beautiful home.
Saturday, July 18 was spent relaxing at Cousin Bonnie Sue’s.
Sunday, July 19. Bonnie Sue had tickets for us to see “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Dubuque Opera House Sunday, which was great fun, especially since I had sung in that show years before. Dubuque is such a picturesque and historic city.
Mulling over the research findings from my most recent stop in Washington County, I discovered I may have had a breakthrough. After 12 states and multiple courthouses, cemeteries, genealogy societies and libraries, I had been hoping for a new ancestor. Just when I thought I would return home without one, I went back to the Washington County deeds. Montgomery Crouch had purchased a parcel of land in 1849 from John S. Reeves. Montgomery’s wife, Mary Reeves had been a dead end for years. Now there’s this John S. Reeves in Washington County, who could be a relative of hers. I found a Washington County history book online, including a bio of John S. Reeves, naming his parents and where they came from. If he is Mary’s brother, I may have broken through another generation going back!
Monday, July 20 I bid farewell to Dubuque and Cousin Bonnie Sue and drove on to Chicago. I arrived around 2:00 p.m., turned in my wonderful little rental car after about 4300 miles, and took the shuttle to my hotel. Finally got the internet to work (procedure varies at each stop), then had time to relax and read all afternoon and evening. It was hard to believe my amazing road trip was coming to an end. Sniff!
Tuesday, July 21. I saw some awfully beautiful scenes back in the Midwest, but crossing above the Cascades as our flight descended into Seattle was spectacular. It’s great to be back in the Northwest! There’s nothing like it.