Bearded Men on the Family Tree


The prompt for the 52 Ancestors challenge was “beards,” so I started hunting through my family photos for bearded fellows. Wanting to be thorough and systematic, I started with the Kansas Vinings. It turns out that they were a pretty clean-shaven bunch.

I did find some handsome mustaches that must have been a popular look for the early 1900s.

Vining Family

Kennedy Family

I had better luck with the Kennedy family of Baldwin, Kansas. David Greacen Kennedy wore an impressive beard. His son, Jim, choose to go with a mustache.

Tower Family

For the Tower line in Kansas, my Civil War ancestor wore a beard most of his life. Abraham Bates Tower opted for the chin beard minus the mustache.

Martin Family

Three Martins with mustaches represent the Martin family.

McGhee Family

The McGhee family moved from Arkansas to Montgomery County, Kansas. Samuel Newton McGhee is the fellow with the mustache here.

Sam & Matilda 1903, with their children Clarence 7; Jesse 5; Roy 2; Bertha baby.

Women’s History Month – Marie Kennedy


It’s Saturday – Vintage Photo Time

For Sepia Saturday, the weekly inspiration photo was a scenic lagoon with strolling people. Here’s my answer for it, though mine has no water feature. It does have the strolling people.

My great-grandmother, Marie Kennedy lived with her family lived in Baldwin which isn’t too far from Topeka. Perhaps she visited Vinewood Park around 1900 like the people above.


Marie Kennedy

Here’s the Sepia Saturday Challenge photo. I’m guessing it is a seaside town in Europe in the 1930s.

Women’s History Month – Nearly Forgotten


Ancestor of the Week:  Marie Kennedy and Helen Martin
Prompt of the Week: 52 Ancestors week 12 – Nearly Forgotten

My great-grandmother, Marie Kennedy Joy, sent a keepsake to her granddaughter, Helen Martin Hunnicutt in California many years ago. It was a pen point that Marie estimated as being 140 years old. She wrote that it belonged to Helen’s great-great granddad.

David Kennedy_Marie Joy_Pen Point_Ireland_Dinnegal

The gold pen point and the letter is in the possession of Helen Martin Hunnicutt’s daughter, my cousin Lori. So, we are talking about our 3x great-grandfather. I sure wish that Marie had included his name. It could be Edward Kennedy, but he was born in Pennsylvania.  Edward’s father was born in County Monaghan, Ireland.

Our 3rd great-grandfather – Edward Kennedy
Born – 10 OCT 1789 • Philadelphia, Delaware, Pennsylvania.
Died – 24 MAR 1864 • Muddycreek Township, Butler, Pennsylvania

Our 4th great-grandfather is DAVID KENNEDY.
Born – 1752 • Monaghan Co., Ireland
Died – 17 DEC 1840 • Portersville, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA

Then I puzzled over the phrase “who came from Dinnegal.” I looked at the list of villages in Ireland, but there was no Dinnegal. I knew there was a County Donegal so I looked for information on that county. It said the Ulster-Scots called it Dinnygal. That fits, as I knew the Kennedys were Ulster-Scots or Scots Irish as Americans usually say.


Marie and Alfred Joy with their grandchildren. I’m not sure which one is Helen. I think the baby is my dad, Clyde Martin. About 1924 or 1925.

The 1942 date next to Marie Kennedy Joy’s name is when she sent the heirloom to her granddaughter. She died in 1945. Helen Martin Honeycutt died in 1989, so perhaps the 1981 date is when she gave this to her daughter.

I liked the last part where she said Helen’s great-great granddad ate potatoes, “skins and all.” I’m guessing that in the 1940s everyone peeled their potatoes. Now for higher fiber, it’s not uncommon or considered low-class to eat potatoes with their skins on.

Here’s a photo gallery of Marie Kennedy Joy

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Amy Johnson Crow challenges genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” This is week 12 of the 2020 challenge.


Women’s History Month – Popular Girl


Ancestor of the Week:  Cora Joy
Prompt of the Week: 52 Ancestors week 12 – Popular

I only knew my grandmother, Cora Joy Martin, as a sedate and rather stern, older woman. In searching for my family history in old newspapers, I found evidence of an active social life in her girlhood years. Cora’s mother, Marie Kennedy Joy, came from a very comfortable family in Douglas County, Kansas and her social inclinations likely came from that.

Although Marie and Alfred Joy moved a number of times, it seems that Cora’s mother created fun activities for her children no matter how small the town where they found themselves. These three stories are from their few years in Burlingame, Kansas.

Cora Joy birthday celebration. xCora Joy and mother - luncheon party. x

Cora and Harry Joy and teacher. xStories from The Burlingame Enterprise (Burlingame, Kansas) ·

The family lived in the Burlingame area from 1906 to 1908 before moving to Hamilton, Kansas. These small towns were still in their early years of development, but the early 1900s were times of progress. The Joy family had a telephone installed in 1906 and their number was 13-217. This probably made it more convenient to arrange visits and tea parties and “elegant luncheons.”

This was the era of hand-cranked ice cream, croquet on the lawn, and gatherings to pull taffy. There were Sunday School picnics, box suppers at the schools, and other social activities.

Alfred Joy gets a telephone x Thu, Apr 12, 1906 – Page 4 · The Burlingame Enterprise (Burlingame, Kansas) ·
Alfred Joy gets a telephone xAlfred Joy gets a telephone x Thu, Apr 12, 1906 – Page 4 · The Burlingame Enterprise (Burlingame, Kansas) ·

Slideshow of Cora Joy Martin’s Life

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Amy Johnson Crow challenges genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” This is week 12 of the 2020 challenge.

Women’s History Month – Joy Sisters


My great-uncle, Harry Earl Joy, married Mildred Evelyn Holland in 1918 and they had two daughters. This photo of the family was taken in the summer of 1925.

Orvetta Louise would have been three years old and Harriett Maxene was six.  The family lived at that time in the Eureka area of Greenwood County, Kansas. Harry was a farmer.

The Harry Joy family in Kansas

Harry and Mildred (Millie) Joy and their daughters Harriett and Louise.

I was looking for a picture to match the Sepia Saturday challenge photo showing a 1920s group at the beach. Since all my family was in Kansas at that time, a beach photo was unlikely. So, I’ve settled for a family group sitting on the front porch and hoping for a cooling breeze. The father sits on the porch swing while the rest of the family sits on the steps.

Here’s the Sepia Saturday photo. You can see the blogs that participated in the weekly challenge.

David Greacen Kennedy


The 1906 obituary for my 2nd great-grandfather, David Greacen Kennedy, shed some light on his work over the years. He was born in 1821 at Muddy Creek, Butler County, Pennsylvania. At age 20, he taught school, continuing that for seven years. When he married Elizabeth Rosebaugh at age 27, he changed careers to work as a bookkeeper in the Chess Brothers Tack Factory near Pittsburg,  Pennsylvania. Perhaps school teaching did not pay well enough for a family man. 

After ten years at the tack factory, he moved his family in 1861 near Black Jack, Kansas, famous in history as John Brown’s first battlefield. During pre-statehood days, the area was unsettled as Free Staters and those favoring slavery vied for control. Kansas became a state that year, entering as a free state.

“When the war broke out Kennedy enlisted, and although he was never called out of the state, he remained on constant service as a home guard during the memorable troubles of early Kansas.”

David Greacen Kennedy from Joe Kennedy

David Greacen Kennedy from the collection of a descendant, Joe Kennedy

From their place one mile north of Black Jack, they moved northeast of Baldwin where they lived for forty years. As an early settler, farming was listed as his occupation in the 1870 and 1880 census. 

douglas county map vinland from wikipedia

Douglas County map showing Vinland, Baldwin, Black Jack, and Lawrence, Kansas. (map courtesy of Wikipedia)

A local newspaper commented in 1892 that “D. G. Kennedy, of Black Jack, informed us that he was selling a carload of fine hogs that would average 300 pounds. As the market for hogs is over $6 per hundred, the load will net our farmer friend a neat sum, something over one thousand dollars.” Adjusting that for inflation from 1892 to 2019 dollars, it would be $28,215 according to the CPI Inflation Calculator.

In 1895, the newspaper reported, “The finest piece of wheat of thirty acres can be found on the farm of D. G. Kennedy.  Mr. Kennedy never does farming in a halfway manner.”

By the 1900 census, he was eighty years old and retired. His sons, Bayard and Walter, with the help of a hired man, kept the farm going. 

kennedy home in Baldwin KS

The Kennedy home in Baldwin, Kansas.

In May 1891, the Baldwin Ledger reported, “ The home of D. G. Kennedy was the scene of a happy family reunion this week, the occasion being the seventieth birthday of Mr. Kennedy. His children were assembled under the parental roof once more and there went forth a blessing for the prolonged life of the parent. Mr. Kennedy was the recipient of many presents; his family giving him an armchair in which to repose in his declining years. The guests also gave numerous presents of kind remembrances of the day.”

Walter Kennedy - new house builtHouse rebuilt Fri, Jan 4, 1901 – 3 · The Baldwin Ledger (Baldwin, Kansas) ·

In 1892, he and his wife Elizabeth moved to the small town of Vinland. It seems from the article above that both Walter and David Sr.  and their spouses shared a house at this point. His youngest son, David Greacen Kennedy Jr. owned a “mercantile business” in Vinland and had his own house adjacent to the store.

Vinland book 1974_page 77_kennedy

1974 book on Vinland.

Were David and Elizabeth Kennedy Sr. wealthy? Perhaps prosperous is a better word. It seems they had a good life and a long one.

Here’s a description of his last days,

“He knew the biographies of Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and many others almost by heart. He loved his books and spent the last years of his life surrounded by them. He lived to see both grand and great grandchilren and their presence and prattle was his greatest joy. On Saturday, January 13, 1906, “Uncle David” made a business trip to Baldwin, and although 85 years of age, was able to go unattended and see to his business. Monday afternoon he was taken with pneumonia and in spite of the best medical attention the disease claimed him as its victim.”

The Jeffersonian Gazette added this, “For some time he had been patiently waiting the summons and was willing to depart. On Wednesday evening his voice was very weak, but he knew and recognized his friends and neighbors, asking after the sick in the neighborhood.”

The Baldwin Ledger gave further details, “The funeral was held at the Vinland Presbyterian church, of which church Mr. Kennedy had been an active member for 65 years. And as the mourners slowly made their way over the Big Hill between the two villages. We thought how like the journey of his life which was to begin in a far away city and end in the quiet shade of Oak Hill Cemetry. Besides his wife and six children, two sisters and two brothers survive him.”

Elizabeth Rosebaugh Kennedy, mother of merchant David G. Kennedy, lived in a house across the street east of the Methodist Church.

Elizabeth Rosebaugh Kennedy, the mother of merchant David G. Kennedy, lived in a house across the street east of the Methodist Church.

Elizabeth Rosebaugh Kennedy lived 12 years longer than her husband. “Mrs. Kennedy remained in Vinland until a short time ago when she came with her son Walter. She was ninety-one years old, yet had a strong mind, at the time of her death.”


Elizabeth Jane Rosebaugh Kennedy – Photo taken in Wellsville, Kansas.

Their family background

Born May 14, 1821, at Muddy Creek, Butler County, Pennsylvania, he was a third-generation American whose grandparents immigrated from Monaghan, Ireland in the late 1700s to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His wife, Elizabeth Jane Rosebaugh, was a third-generation American whose grandparents came from Germany to the Colony of Virginia before the American Revolution.


  • Death of D.G. Kennedy, Sr. Lawrence Daily World, Lawrence, Kansas. 24 Jan 1906, Wed • Page 1,
  • Another Obituary of D.G. Kennedy, Sr. The Jeffersonian Gazette, Lawrence, Kansas.
    Wednesday, January 24, 1906,
  • Another Obituary of D.G. Kennedy, Sr. The Baldwin Ledger, Baldwin, Kansas. 26 Jan 1906, Fri • Page 1,
  • Death of Elizabeth Rosebaugh Kennedy. The Baldwin Ledger (Kansas) 08 Feb 1918, Fri • Page 1
  • The 1890 census was destroyed, so we are dependent on newspaper clippings for that decade.
  • Wheat Crop. The Lawrence Gazette, Lawrence, Kansas. 23 Apr 1885, Thu • Page 5
  • Hogs. The Baldwin Ledger, Baldwin, Kansas. 09 Dec 1892, Fri • Page 3.
  • 70th Birthday. The Baldwin Ledger, Baldwin, Kansas. 22 May 1891, Fri • Page 3
  • Vinland, Kansas Facebook Page
  • D.G. Kennedy Donation of Books to Library. The Baldwin Ledger, Baldwin, Kansas
    23 Sep 1887, Fri • Page 3

Vinland Library_1910 from Lawrence Journal

A photo from the Lawrence Journal in 1910 of the library in Vinland (Coal Creek Library).

(Please let me know if you have further information about the Kennedy family or if you spot any errors in the above account)

At the Cemetery – Marie Kennedy Joy


The 52 Ancestors’ blogging prompt this week is “At the Cemetery.” Appropriate for Memorial Day, of course, but a bit of serendipity for me. I’d pulled out a box of family memorabilia to sort and scan. The first thing out of the box was a yellowed envelope labeled “Deed to my lot in Blakely Cemetry – Marie Joy.” She is my great-grandmother on my father’s side of the family.

Inside was the deed form, nicely filled out and embossed with two seals. Very official looking. The lot was purchased in 1937, so probably at the time of her husband, Henry Alfred Joy’s death. It would have been a double lot.

The cemetery location in Greenwood County is known to me as many of the Martins, McGhees, and Joys are buried there. Their daughter Cora is buried there with her husband Charles Lorenzo Martin. Some of Cora and Ren’s children are there as well (Zella and Dorothy). Of the McGhees, there my grandparents, Clarence and Ruth McGhee and their daughter, Melba McGhee Harlan.

Also in the envelope was a list of expenses for a funeral. It’s unclear if it was from Alfred’s funeral or from Marie’s. The handwriting looks like that on the outside of the envelope so my guess is that Marie wrote this in 1937 after her husband’s funeral.

marie joy death burial 3

I’ll transcribe it here to make it searchable online.

  • Dr Fairbrother $5
  • Dr Manning $25
  • Lot in cemetry $10
  • Digging grave  $8
  • Minister  $5
  • Singer  $2
  • monument  $90
  • burial clothes $8
  • flowers  $5
  • Dr Lose  $38.50
  • Mr Cook $295
  • prescription, Dr Manning  $1
  • total  $492.50

So, it would appear that this includes the medical expenses for Alfred Joy’s last illness. A newspaper clipping tells that he was bedfast for 3 months before dying. One wonders if it was a stroke or cancer or another illness.

The newspaper also gave us the name of the minister (Rev. G. Russell Fosmire of the Madison Methodist Church) and the singer (Mrs. Lois Hamilton sang “Saved By Grace” and “Sweet By and By”).

The last bit of paper in the old envelope was labeled “Family of Mrs Marie Kennedy Joy.” Here’s the list (with my own notes in parenthesis):

  • Father – May 14, 1821 – 1906 (David Greacen Kennedy)
  • Mother – Nov 14, 1826 – 1918 (Elizabeth Jane Rosebaugh)
  • Ed – Feb 13, 1851 (Edward Newton Kennedy)
  • Jim – Apr 1, 1853 (James Kerr Kennedy)
  • Ella – Feb 20, 1855 (Ellen Kennedy)
  • B.T. – Aug 13, 1857 (Bayard Taylor Kennedy)
  • Walter – Mar 1, 1860 (Walter C. Kennedy)
  • Marie – Dec 1, 1864 (Marie C. Kennedy)
  • John – Oct 8, 1868 (John B. Kennedy)
  • D.G. Jr. – Jan 23, 1870 (David Greacen Kennedy Jr.)

marie kennedy joy list family dates

I started comparing the names and dates to the family tree that I maintain on Ancestry. Everyone matches up. I wish I had the rest of the middle names.

K Is For Kennedy and Greacen Roots


In 1915, The Kennedy family held a reunion in Pennsylvania. Here’s the newspaper article on that gathering. It was quite informative on the history of the family.

The annual reunion of the descendants of David and Jane Greacen Kennedy pioneers of Muddycreek township, Butler County, was held Saturday at Alameda Park. One hundred and fifty people were in attendance, A splendid dinner was served, after which a business session was held and officers elected.

The afternoon was spent in visiting and renewing acquaintances. The following are the officers: President C. H. Kennedy of Butler, vice president W. C. Kennedy of New Castle. Secretary and Treasurer Russell Kennedy of Pittsburgh.

Russell Kennedy, the historian of the family, presented a prospectus of the coming family history, giving a sketch of the family genealogy, and numerous portraits of the pioneers and scenes in Prospect, Portersville, Muddycreek Township and other places where the pioneers located. David and Jane Greacen Kennedy played an important part in the early history of the western section of Butler county.

They were natives of North Ireland and came to America shortly after the war of the revolution, first locating in Philadelphia. Four of five sons were born in America, Jesse the youngest in Butler county. The 5 sons were blacksmiths by trade and when the family lived in Philadelphia were engaged in freighting with the old Conestoga wagons between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Later, the family removed to Pittsburgh. John, one of the sons made the first iron nails, in his shop in Pittsburgh that were made west or the Allegheny mountains.

The Kennedy brothers hauled the first load of freight in 1804. The freight was consigned to John Potts, who opened the first general store here (Butler, Pennsylvania) on Main street on the site of the Odd Fellows’ Temple.


David Kennedy Jr. another son of the reunion pioneer, erected the first sawmill, grist mill and a fulling mill in Muddy Creek, where he had taken up a large tract of land.

Another brother erected the mill on Slippery Rock creek now known as McConnell’s Mills. The other brothers located in the western part of the county and were prominent factors in the early development of the community. The descendants of the pioneers are numbered by the scores and occupy important positions in business, industrial and professional circles in all parts of the United States.

McConnells_Mill at Slippery Rock PA - Kennedy history wikipedia creative commons image

Daniel Kennedy’s mill, later called McConnell’s Mill at Slippery Rock, PA.

Among those present Saturday were: Robert Kennedy of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. P. L. Miller of St. Petersburg, Florida; Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Kennedy of Clearfield, Pa., and Russell Kennedy and George Kennedy of Pittsburgh, and Robert Aiken Esq., of New Castle.

kennedy reunion 1915

Kennedy family reunion in 1915. From the Butler Citizen (Butler, Pennsylvania) 06 Sep 1915, Mon  •  Page 5.

I found a site that features some vintage postcards of the Kennedy Mill of Grant City, Pennsylvania, and there’s a covered bridge too. The mill was torn down in 1933.

Here’s more about the mill from Wikipedia: Daniel Kennedy opened a gristmill on Slippery Rock Creek in 1852. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1868 and was quickly rebuilt. Ownership of the mill was transferred to the park’s namesake, Thomas McConnell in 1875. He replaced the waterwheel with water turbines and the grindstones with rolling mills. This made McConnell’s Mill one of the first rolling mills in the country. The mill processed oats, corn, buckwheat, and wheat until it was closed in 1928. Ownership of the land transferred from Thomas H. Hartman to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1942. The conservancy then transferred the land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1957. Now a state park.

david greacen kennedy and elizabeth rosebaugh kennedy_studio po (1)

David Greacen Kennedy, a grandson of David and Jane Kennedy. DGK and wife, Elizabeth Rosebaugh Kennedy moved their family to Kansas in the 1800s. He died in 1906.

Line of Descent/How I’m Related to These Kennedys:

DAVID KENNEDY (1752 – 1840)
4th great-grandfather
Edward KENNEDY (1789 – 1864)
David Greacen Kennedy (1821 – 1906)
Son of Edward KENNEDY
Marie C. KENNEDY (1864 – 1945)
Daughter of David Greacen Kennedy
Cora Myrle Joy (1896 – 1969)
Daughter of Marie C. KENNEDY
Clyde Owen Martin (1924 – 2012)
Son of Cora Myrle Joy

Alfred and Marie Joy in the News


(From the Lawrence Gazette, Aug. 9, 1888) — “Teachers Institute. – The Institute now has an enrollment of 114, and the exercises are becoming very interesting…. [Discussion of sessions on grammar, physiology, history, school management, etc.] Marie Kennedy included in the list of those enrolled.

(Lawrence Gazette, July 16, 1891) “The County Superintendent yesterday issued certificates as follows, based on the examination held at the close of the Institute.” [Marie Kennedy, Baldwin, listed under “Second Grade.” Teaching certificates were issued as First, Second, and Third; these were based on your test scores and also on what subjects you were certified to teach, and they also determined how long you could teach before you had to take the test again. I believe a Second Grade certificate was good for six months.]

(From the Lawrence Gazette in August 1891) “No. 58: Director, Barnhart Kramer. Clerk, John Sturm, Clearfield, Treasurer, Wm. Brecheisen. Six months school, beginning October 5. Teacher, Miss Marie Kennedy.” (Marie Kennedy is also listed in the Lawrence Daily Journal on Aug. 24, 1892, as the teacher for No. 58, so she taught there for two terms at least.)

Alfred Joy had nine lives like a cat! These articles tell of some drastic injuries he sustained while doing farm work.

(Lawrence Gazette, Aug. 10, 1893) “Alfred Joy was badly, though it is not supposed fatally injured, one day last week. While helping to thrash at C. A. James’, he attempted to climb up on the wagon from the front, when one horse kicked him on the arm which made him fall to the ground and the wagon passed over him. Dr. Bishoff was immediately sent for and made him as comfortable as possible.” [This would be three years before marrying Marie Kennedy.]

A similar item from the Lawrence Daily World, Aug. 6, 1893, under the heading “A Boy Hurt.” “Alfred Joy was seriously injured Friday on the farm of J. H. Cox, near Hesper, by a wagon running over him. He attempted to climb on a wagon loaded with wheat but the team started throwing him under the wagon.”

Update from Aug. 31, 1893 Lawrence Gazette: “Alfred Joy is much better – is able to work a little; but it will be quite a while before he is as strong as before he was hurt.”

THEIR WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT! Lawrence Daily World, Jan. 18, 1896: “Alfred Joy and Marie Kennedy of Baldwin, were married by the probate judge this morning. The contracting parties are well known in that part of the county and are highly respected.”


Then they bought a house, I guess! In the real estate transfers for March 9, 1898: “David G. Kennedy and wife to Alfred Joy and wife nw ¼ sec 31, t 14, r 21; con $2,500.” [The sellers are Marie’s parents.]

Then they sold it in 1902: In the real estate transfers for March 31, 1902: “Alfred Joy and wife to J. P. Bell, w ½ of n w ¼, 31, 14, 21; consideration $3,000.” [Looks like they made a $500 profit in 3 years on it.]

(Lawrence Daily World, in the “Belleview-Keystone” local notes, Dec. 27, 1905) “Mr. and Mrs. Tom Oskel, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Douglass, Mrs. Alfred Joy and children took their Christmas dinner with Mr. and Mrs. George Joy.” [I wonder why Alfred Joy was unable to attend. I hope he wasn’t ill. George and Dacy Elizabeth Joy are Alfred’s parents. I’m wondering if Oskel and Douglass are also family. Maybe the Oskel should be Oshel. I have a Thomas Oshel married to Sarah Amelia Joy, a sister of Alfred Joy.]

Marie’s brother passed away in 1906, per this notice from the Lawrence Daily World, May 18, 1906: “James Kennedy died at the home of his brother, last Friday. He had been sick for some time but was only confined to the house for one week before his death. He leaves an aged mother, one sister, Mrs. Alfred Joy at Burlingame, Kan. And several brothers and many friends. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Gray at the Presbyterian church Sunday at 2 o’clock. Burial at Baldwin cemetery.”

The Madison News of July 3, 1937 included the obituary for Henry Alfred Joy. He was born and raised in Eudora, Kansas (Jan. 21, 1874). They lived in Baldwin City until 1908, then moved to Hamilton and later moved southeast of Madison.


His wife, Marie (Kennedy) Joy lived until July 6, 1945. She was born near Baldwin City, Kansas on December 1, 1864. “She attended Baker University for four years and taught for several years in rural schools in Douglas County.” She spent the last four years of her life at the Methodist Home in Topeka.


(Many thanks to Sarah St. John for searching the newspaper database. The scanned clippings are from Gail Lee Martin’s family history notebooks.)

Travels of the Kennedy Family Desk by Karen Kolavalli


“Awhile back, I did a piece on Squidoo, a writers’ website, telling about a special piece of family history that I am lucky enough to have in my home: it’s a lovely antique cherry wood slant-top desk from the mid-1800’s or earlier. The known history of the desk is that it traveled with my great-great grandfather David Greacen Kennedy, along with his wife and family, from Pennsylvania to Vinland in “Bleeding Kansas” in 1861 by covered wagon. In the piece, I follow the desk as it is handed down through the generations until it was passed on to me in 2002.

I also take the reader along as I explore resources to try to date the desk and discover its origins prior to 1861.

I wrote the piece as part of a “RocketSquid” challenge on the site (The RocketSquid program is a mentoring program for new Squidoo members). It was featured as one of the top lenses (webpages) in the challenge and subsequently earned a Purple Star.”

Purple Stars are fairy dust. They’re magic. They’re surprises. They’re trophies celebrating authentic, original, fantastic content on Squidoo. They’re given out by our editors and community organizers, whenever they find a lens that makes them smile. You’ll never know when or where a purple star will arrive–but you’ll get a special email if you’re bestowed with one. Squidoo

You can read the entire piece at Hubpages, since the Squidoo site closed down: From Pennsylvania to Kansas: Travels of Our Family Heirloom Desk.

Karen wrote this post a few years ago for a blog she had at the time.