Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veteran's Day Remembrance - Aaron Carey, My Grandpa

WWII Veteran - Aaron Carey 1922-2002

Aaron Carey enlisted with the U.S Army on December 11, 1942. He was attached to the 612th Tank Destroyer battalion and was part of the European campaign. On Dec. 17, 1944, at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, he was captured by the Germans at Honsfeld. After having his coat, gloves and boots taken away, he was marched toward the Prisoner of War camp. It was bitter cold and he had nothing to eat during the entire trip. He endured several months as a POW until he was liberated.

After the war, he returned to civilian life and raised a family like many other veterans. Carey never realized he had honors coming to him. Fifty-five years after WWII, he was presented 7 medals from United States Congressman Tom Coburn. Carey was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the POW medal, an European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal (with service stars representing the 8 major battles he participated in), a U.S. Victory medal, a Good Conduct Medal, a Combat and Infantryman badge, and a Rifleman Qualification Combat Infantry Army Award medal. He was also awarded a Cross of Valor by the State of Oklahoma.

Later when interviewed about his wartime experience, Carey said he felt it was important that the young people of today learn about the wars America has fought and the sacrifices made to keep the country free. He said he had told his children about it when they were young like many other veterans did, but he didn't know if the stories had been passed on to the younger generation. He said if given the opportunity to tell young people about WWII, he would advise them, "Let's not go through another thing like this again."


A news article about my grandpa receiving his medals - 

(The Wagoner Tribune; Wagoner, Oklahoma; December 2, 1999; p. 5A, 13A.)


You can read more about 612th TD, Company B by clicking HERE or HERE. 

You can read more about 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion by clicking HERE or HERE

Thank you to all the veterans who have served to keep our country free. You service and sacrifices are not forgotten.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2015, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Orphan Tree: The Lineage of a Cherokee Family Pt 4

When a parent dies, it is not uncommon for a child to lose contact with that side of their family. When multiple generations repeatedly lose the parent from that same lineage, a disconnect from that side of the family is not surprising. Big Dollar's descendant tree could easily be described as an orphan tree. While we may never know why his descendants were forgotten by nearly everyone outside his family, it's possible the high percentage of orphans descending from him could be the reason.

Sequoyah Guess (b. 1890) was an orphan. We know that from a previous post but he was far from being the only descendant of Big Dollar who was either left an orphan or who lost their Guess parent early in their lives.

Big Dollar died when his four children were eleven years old or younger. While those children were raised by their mother, Tianna, at least one, Nancy, became an orphan before reaching adulthood. It's possible the others were completely orphaned as well. Records aren't available to conclusively determine when their mother died. It is also not known how much information about their ancestry from their father's side had been shared with them.

Nancy, daughter of Big Dollar, lived long enough to raise her son, Peter Dennis, to the age of majority. Her brothers were not so fortunate. Robert died, leaving his two daughters, Nancy Nolen and Betsy Ketcher, orphans at very young ages. William died leaving at least two, possibly all of his children, Dave Guess, Nancy Sticks, and Alice Beamer, without their father before they were adults. Moses raised his son, Nelson, to adulthood, but left two other children, George Guess and Martha/Sa ke Boney, as orphans.

Over 75% of Big Dollar's children and grandchildren lost their parental connection with their Guess family before becoming adults. Sadly, the trend continued into the generation of great grandchildren. Dave Guess, son of William, left four orphans when he died, and Nelson Guess, son of Moses, left three orphans (plus one "too late" baby - to be discussed later), at the time of his death.

The image below identifies the descendants of Big Dollar, who as minors, lost their Guess parent. 
Click to enlarge
The tragedy is not just that they were orphans, but also that they were forgotten, not only by their extended Guess family, but also by Emmet Starr and some 'researchers' of today. As genealogists, it is our responsibility to ensure we have done a reasonably exhaustive search of records before we declare anything as fact. This is especially important before we proclaim that a person had no descendants. Each person in the diagram above has a story waiting to be told. It is our job to tell that story, not erase them from history by alleging they did not exist.

While time does not allow for extensive writing about all of Big Dollar's descendants, records of their lives indicate that most were taken in by extended family and raised by Cherokees who looked out for them and their best interest. Sadly, that was not the case for all.

There is one heartbreaking story that must be told. Not only does it serve as an example of how easily an orphaned Cherokee child could be exploited by unscrupulous people, it also exposes several instances of fraud either attempted or perpetuated against the Cherokee Nation by a deceitful, non-Indian couple.

Stay tuned for the final installment of The Lineage of a Cherokee Family where the sad story of one sibling group, the orphans of Nelson Guess, will be told.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2015, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Linda Wolfe To Receive Necessary Medical Care - Thank you, Cherokee Nation.

Today, Linda Wolfe was notified that the Cherokee Nation will cover the medical care she desperately needs. She would like to thank everyone who worked to help her. She also appreciates that she was in the thoughts and prayers of many during her time of need. 

I'd also like to thank everyone who had a hand in bringing this about. There were many Cherokees concerned over this situation. There was no political divide. It was not about only helping friends or family. It was not about what one could get in return for helping another. It was simply individual Cherokees getting involved so they could help another Cherokee who had fallen through the cracks. It was about working together for the greater good, something bigger than ourselves. This shows that when we put personal and political differences aside, good things can happen. 

To all who prayed, spoke out, shared Linda's story, or reached out to the Cherokee Nation administration and Cherokee Nation Health Services, thank you for your efforts. You made this happen.

I'd also like to thank Chief Baker, the Tribal Council, and those in the Cherokee Nation Health Services for ensuring that Linda Wolfe got what she needed. It is greatly appreciated.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2015, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB