My journey to find my family
I started looking into my family history partly to help my mom with her project. I was very surprised to find out how much it mattered to me. Family members I never knew suddenly became real people to me and I found myself more and more intrigued. I also began a new interest in history; which always seemed something I could not warm up to, it was just dull and dry. But as events in history began to be intermingled in my family's stories, I couldn't get enough! I have been able to trace my father's maternal line back to nearly 900 AD with reasonable surety. I am related to John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley on my father's maternal line. They came over on the Mayflower and were married shortly after. My great grandmother was Laura Luella Howland. I was really excited about that, because that was one of my history lessons I actually paid attention to and I remembered their story.
Elizabeth Tilley and John Howland were Quakers and they came to America for religious freedom. Elizabeth came with her parents who died shortly after arriving. She then became a ward of the Carvers until she married John Howland.
I have met a complete road block with my father's paternal line however. But, I still know tons more about my father and his father's family than I did before. When I started searching, I only knew my grandfather's name was Byron Davis. Family lore was that he was from Wales. He supposedly married my grandmother, they had a son Allen (my dad) and then left shortly after never to be seen again. No one was really certain of the legality of this relationship. I have one photo that is so bad, a face can't even be distinguished. Other than that, my father thought that his father was born and died in Montana.
So imagine my excitement when I found a marriage certificate for my grandparents, Byron Davis and Florence M. Yeager! It was hard to find because it was filed under Dorris instead of Davis. I would have missed it completely had it not been for my grandmother's name and Spokane being visible on the hint. It had all the usual information, but it also listed both of their parents...yeah! His father was Adam Davis and his mother was Belle White from Vermont. Since then I learned Byron's birth date (same day as my daughter) July 6th 1894 and that he died July 14th 1952 in a tragic car accident. His wife and one of his children died within a few days of him, all due to a drunk driver. He was being a good Samaritan; helping someone change a tire. He seemed a long time and respectable member of the community from the news articles I read. I was also able to find where he was buried and visit his grave recently. It blessed me more than I ever would have imagined.
I also had some great surprises on my mother's side as well. I will leave that story for another day.
If anyone has any information about my family from Avon, Montana I would be so thrilled.