Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mary Mays

I went to visit some of my Keeling relatives in Centerville, AR and learned a bit more about my family history last night.

My great grandmother (Nell Terrell Keeling) was from Searcy County. Her mother was Mary Mays Terrell and her father was John "Boy" Terrell. I knew that both Mary and John died before my great grandmother left home. I found out more details last night.

We think that John "Boy" Terrell had TB and probably died of it. Many people who lived around the Buffalo River had short lives due to TB and other diseases. Many of the springs/wells are contaminated with toxins, I think.

After he died, I believe that my grandmother, her remaining siblings and her mother went to Pope County, AR to work in the cotton fields. On the way home, Mary Mays Terrell got sick and died. They buried her on the way. My great grandmother has since gone back to try to find the graveyard where she was buried, but was unsuccessful in finding her. She did not have a tombstone, so it's likely that we will not ever find her final resting place. Her husband is buried in the Osborne Cemetery in St. Joe, AR.

Genealogical Mysteries to Solve

The following are areas upon which I am focusing my current genealogical research:

- Keeling Family: I have things traced back to Reuben Keeling of KY around 1867. Would like to trace the Keeling family back to England (or whereever they're from)...

- Cherokee Indian: I know that there is Cherokee blood on my paternal grandmother's side of the family. My great grandfather was William Ernest Keeling. His mother was Willie Bell Ivy (1874-1934)of Purdy (?), TN. I believe her father was Richard Ivy and I believe her mother's last name was Clendennan. Either the Ivys or the Clendennans were Cherokee Indians. I'm not sure which, but I suspect it's the Clendennans. I need to track this down.

- Johnston Family: I've traced things on my father's side back to Cecil County, MD in 1814. I am trying to trace things further back.