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FAMILY GENEALOGY - HARTSOOK, BALL AND CHANEY
Family Genealogy of Barbara Hartsook
I live in the beautiful city of roses, Portland Oregon, located in the northwest portion of the state. The Willamette River flows from south to North, down the center of the city, flowing into the Columbia River. The waters of the Columbia River flows westwards along the north side of Portland, seperating Oregon and Washington, and empting into the Pacific Ocean.
Oregon is the perfect place to live. The blue green waters of the Pacific Ocean. The Oregon Coast line has vast clean open beaches, for the public to enjoy. One of the wonders of the southern coast line are the Oregon Dunes, that stretch along the coast line for miles. Dune Buggy rides and Horse back riding are favorites among the visitors of this beautiful place.
The Willamette Valley, with some of the richest farm land in the state. Once the Hop Capital of the world, at the turn of the century, now is home to some of the finest wine producers in the state. The Willamette Valley, Oregon's leading wine region has two-thirds of the state's wineries and vineyards and is home to more than 200 wineries. It has been recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir producing areas in the world.
The snow covered mountain peaks, of the majestic Cascade Mountain Range, stretches the entire length of the state and holds some of the largest national forests in the state. With Mt. Hood and Timberline Lodge Ski resort, at the northern most part of the Cascade Range to Crater Lake National Park, in the southern part of the Range, paints a picture of what our beautiful state has to offer.
The high desert plains of Eastern Oregon, has some of the richest wheat farms and cattle ranches in the state. The John Day Fossil Beds and Painted Hills of Eastern Oregon are beautiful and have been photographed by many. Students from all over the state come each year, to visit the Fossil beds for school projects.
Visitors come from all over the world to see the picturesque Columbia River Gorge, with miles of scenic views and beautiful waterfalls. Visitors travel year round along the old Columbia River Hwy. always stopping for the views from the historic Vista House at Crown Point, then continue along the Highway to view some of the most beautiful waterfalls the state has to offer, like Latourell Falls. The most famous and largest is Multnomah Falls. My Oregon is rich in history, the end of the Oregon Trail, the place many dreamed of and headed to, to carve out a new life.
My family were Pioneers to Oregon, many were documented among the first wagon trains to travel the Oregon Trail. My father’s family arrived in Portland, in the late summer of 1910. All of my mother’s family were truly the pioneers, all arriving before 1875, carving out their own piece of the history of the Willamette Valley.
I am what you call a true Oregonian, born and raised here in Oregon. I have lived in Portland all my life and now live in a 107 year old home, the one my parents bought way back in the early 50's. My parents raised 6 children in this old house. I have one daughter, and three of the sweetest brown eyed granddaughters anyone could ever ask for, Angelica Marie, Sofia Lizet and Esmerelda, now all 5 of us live here. Even more now, I feel my parents around me, in every inch of this old house.
I have always been interested in family. I loved listening to Momma’s stories about her mamma, papa, Uncle’s Harley and Bailey, Aunt Bertha and Aunt Amy, her grandpa and grandma, I could listen for hours. It got to where you almost knew them yourself. So, it seemed natural that I would some day be interested in genealogy.
I got interested in genealogy back in 1987, when my father had suffered a heart attach. While recovering in the hospital, he suffered the first of about 30 mini strokes, that eventually effected his memory. I had no idea what I was doing or where to start. So I started asking questions, while my father’s memory was not too effected. There were a few of my father’s cousins still alive and my mother also knew a lot. So, I started to put the pieces together. I didn’t even know there were forms to record this information on, so I was doing all this by hand. I called every Aunt and Uncle, Cousin, second Cousin etc., gathering up as much information as I could on both the living and the dead. Then one day I discovered the Genealogy Forum of Oregon. I didn’t know what it was exactly, but knew it had to be similar to the Oregon Historical Society, so I went there. They were as helpful as they could be. Even tho, I had no idea what I was looking for. Where to look, or even what to do with all the books they had. They provided me with a little packet, which included a form to record the family information. So, now I had the basic form, but still wrote by hand all the information. Over the next three years, the number of hours spent calling people, Historical Societies, funeral homes and cemeteries grew, the cost of the long distance calls were astronomical. Trying to make time to do all this while raising my 4 year old daughter, was an accomplishment in itself.
I decided I was leaving my mother out, so I started recording her side of the family also. Starting from scratch again, I picked my mother’s brain for information. She could not remember when her uncle died. He died while living on the Poor Farm, in McMinnville, Oregon. So we decided to go visit the cemetery. The cemetery, is located adjacent to the Masonic Cemetery. You actually enter the Masonic Cemetery to reach this plot of land. We were told approximately where it was located, but could not see it. So we kept driving around and around and around, then I noticed a temporary marker laying on the ground. It was laying in overgrown weeds and blackberry vines. Among it were old empty milk jugs, rusted cans and garbage lying about. So we stopped and got out to take a closer look. To our astonishment this was the cemetery! You could not tell, there were graves dug that had not been filled in. Apparently the county would dig one long ditch, then as a burial occurred, the plot would be filled in, leaving the remaining portion of the ditch still opened. We walked around and found maybe 12 to 14 metal markers lying on the ground, some half buried, the writing on most were beyond recognition. Sadly though, we never did find a marker for my mother’s uncle. We gave up and went home, but this would not be the end!
I started on a campaign, to find out who was responsible for the care of this cemetery? No one would take responsibility, not the Masonic Cemetery, or the County, not anyone! So we went back, took pictures, and I wrote the Local Newspapers, Cemetery Board, State and Local Representatives, anyone and everyone I could thing of. About a week later, the McMinnville Newsregister, a local news paper, called us and spoke with both my mother and me. A week or so later, the newspaper sent us a copy of an article. Which ran in the paper regarding the conditions and our problem. It was about two weeks later, an envelope came with another newspaper, this one had the same article but this time, the county took responsibility. They had inmates from the local county jail cleaning up the cemetery, with pictures of their work. The county took steps to locate records of those buried in this tiny cemetery. As of this date, the county has kept their word, and has maintained the grounds. I got to thinking, how sad it was that everyone had forgotten about these poor old souls. How could anyone forget about their family? Maybe no one knew family members were buried there? Without proper records, no one will ever know where a person is buried!
In 1993, a whole new world opened up for me, I purchased a computer, and had access to the internet! With the access to unlimited information, I became obsessed and can’t go back now. My daughter is grown now, with children of her own. She helps me from time to time. Walking through cemeteries searching for grave stones, looking for long lost towns, communities and schools, anything to do with the past. Let’s face it, I am forever hooked on Genealogy!
As of April 2011, I have been ill for over 10 months now. But I am slowly getting better, both physical and mental. I am slowly trying to get back in the swing of things with the genealogy research. I will try and post some new updates as soon as possible.
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This Web Site was last updated May 27, 2012, thanks for stopping by!