by Rocky Macy
The first letter out of the mailbag this week is a general information query on the UNDERWOOD surname. Juanita M. JONES (4413 55th Street, Lubbock, TX 79414) had this to say:
"My mother, Buena Vista, was the youngest child of Thomas Levi UNDERWOOD and Mary Isabel LAWRANCE. Their other children were Florence, W.T., May, Eda, and Donnie.
"Thomas Levi was born in Missouri in 1840 to Cyrus and Fanny. In 1845 the family moved into Texas, and Cyrus was scalped by the Indians that year. There were several children."
If any of our readers can help Juanita, please respond to the address above.
Letter number two is from Anna Lee PARISH EMANUEL (Route 1, Box 39-D, Sulphur Springs, AR 72768):
Thank you for the Benton County Pioneer. I do have a copy in my files, but what a wealth of information it has. Also my thanks to Dorene for sharing her copy.
"You are doing the community a great service with your ROOTBOUND section.
"I would appreciate any help your readers could give me on the STARNS family. My great-grandmother was Melinda J. STARNS. She married John L. PARISH in 1871. She died in 1876 and he later married Mary L. COFFEE.
"1860 McDonald County Census for Rutledge Township
STARNS, Alexander - age 38 - farmer - born VA
Charlotte A. - 36 - TN
John N. - 12 - MO
Melinda L. - 11 - MO
Adam C. - 7 - MO
Margaret M. 5 - MO
"1870 McDonald County Census for Pineville Township
STARNS, Alexander - 52 - farmer - VA
Margaret - 24 - keep house - KY
Lottie A. - 3 - MO
Mary - 5/12 - MO
Melinda - 20 - MO
Margaret - 19 - MO
Adam - 16 - MO
"John must have been married in 1870 because he was not listed with family, but separately:
STARNS, John - 22 - farm laborer - MO
Sarah - 21 - MO
Mary - 4/12 - MO
"There is no hurry on this - just when you can best fit it in."
Well, Anna Lee, it's in. I'm glad that you weren't in a hurry because I only have one speed! Can anyone provide Anna Lee with information on her McDonald County pioneers?
Leonard L. DAMRON (Rt. 1, Box 118, Sulphur Springs, AR 72768) responded to "Dear Aggie's" query about the surname CATES in the Stigler, OK, area. He had some personal information on the name and the town which sounds promising. (Leonard also suggested that Aggie contact the Senior Citizens Center in Stigler. What an excellent idea for any researcher seeking information from a particular community!) I've forwarded the letter on to Aggie. Leonard, if your leads pan out, maybe she'll cross your palm with some no-bake Christmas cookies!
ROOTBOUND SHORTCUT: Christmas - a time of celebration and family gatherings. Why not use the opportunity to visit with the senior generation and harvest those historical family tidbits that otherwise soon will be lost? The generations to come will thank you for it!