Janice Williams

Where this blog is going?

In Genealogy records, General Musings on June 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Almost every day I am doing some research on the Cunningham family. On the days that I am not doing research on the Cunningham family, I am thinking about the Cunningham family. This in no way means I am an expert on the Cunningham family. I wish I were. But it does make me qualified to post interesting sketches about the oh-so-interesting people that we are related to in this family.

I was thinking last night about the people I am eternally grateful to for their previous research on this family:

Mrs. Howard B. Cox

It was years before I knew that Mrs. Howard B. Cox was anything other than Mrs. Howard B. Cox. But she was born with the name Alma Meadows and her grandmother was “Aunt Betty” of the original 12 Cunningham children, the oldest daughter. Alma married Howard Cox and they lived at Ozona, Texas, at some point in their lives, I believe and died in San Angelo and are buried there. She died there before I was born. My debt to her is for her first amazing effort at documenting the family history. She created a book in about 1927 with the family trees of each of the 12 children and historical information about the original family. Think about how one did research in those days before the Internet or giant genealogical libraries were available! But, by putting it down and having copies printed, that history has stood the test of time and has been the document that has been referred to time and time again. I will write a blog post devoted just to that book at some future time and I am curious how many copies of it now exist? I am lucky enough to own a very dog-eared and tattered copy.

F. Lee Lawrence

I met Lee Lawrence when I began attending the Cunningham Reunion in about 1986 after I had moved to Dallas and could go to the reunion on my own. He quickly got me involved in the planning of the 100th reunion and happily included me in the family. He had done research and study into the Cunningham family for 30 years before I knew what the family was all about and he was the driving force in getting the historical markers placed on Capt. Cunningham’s grave and restoring the original homestead. As I do research today I come across his name in historical journals and find that he had found out so many things I’m finding out now. I feel like I’m on the right track when I come across his name.

Ruth Adele Waggoner

Ruth Adele opened up her home for the planning of that 100th reunion and I began to get to know her then. She has been the secretary of the reunion for many years and her attention to the details of addresses and information is priceless. I know there were secretaries before her — Leona Armentrout used to send us the postcard each year before I knew what it was all about — but it is Ruth Adele that has been so helpful to me in keeping up with the information I am seeking.

Effie Birdwell

Effie was a one-of-a-kind woman and she was an avid researcher and knew so much about the family. She was the driving force, I believe, along with Bill Lawrence to put together the family tree book that came out for the 100th reunion. To update a family after 60 years of not having documentation of the children that were born and the deaths that had occurred was Herculean, but they managed to not only obtain tons of information, they put it together in a beautiful, usable format.

Margaret Waring

Margaret is not a direct descendant of “our” Cunninghams, but she is a cousin to us through the Tate family. She has been the librarian in Comanche for 50 years and if there is an answer that can be found in the Comanche Library, she is the person to turn to. She will steer you to the right documents, make you take good notes with source citations, and will continue to find clues for you long after you leave the library. She has become my good friend over these last 25 years of going to reunions and I appreciate her continued help in all my family research and her enthusiasm for all the projects I involve myself in.

* * *

What I hope to do in the coming weeks and months is to create sketches of individual members of the family. First, the original 12 children and what we know about their lives and then on to other family members and current events as well. While we are working on getting the information to more and more family members now that many have the software and the interest to look into the entire database of information, it is easy to miss the small stories about the Cunningham family member that was accused of murder, or the one that regularly sailed from Havana to New Orleans, or the many law enforcement officers and school teachers that helped settle, tame, and educate Texas. So many stories to tell. I look forward to sharing them with you.

  1. Love see all the history,,

  2. I think it is looking great. Keep it up. And start a Hood project. LOL

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