Website Revamp

I am about to revamp the website so links may not work and pages may not display properly. Items with a * have not been reformatted yet and are more likely to display improperly. The gallery is still down. I thank you so much for your patience but I do hope it will be worth the wait. I am excited about the solution I have come up with and I hope you will like it too. Also, please ignore any references that you many find to contact Zoe Smith. She sadly passed away in 2018 and I was unaware until recently. She was a wonderful wealth of knowledge and it is a huge loss to Swisher County. Her Find a Grave Profile is here if you have been helped by her in the past and would like to send your condolences to the family.

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Quilt Update

I have just learned that the quilt I posted about earlier this year is in the process of being donated to the Swisher County Museum. It will make a great addition!

Posted in Swisher Families | Leave a comment

Flooding in Kress, Texas May 24, 1957

Flooding in Kress, Texas 1957. James W Moore Collection.

Flooding at a business in Kress, Texas, May 24th, 1957. Does anyone have any more information or photos that I can post?

Posted in Towns | 1 Comment

Robert Leonard Photo Collection Added!

Robert Leonard was an carpenter who designed and built a lot of homes and some businesses in Tulia. His daughter, Cora Leonard Speck was in Tulia’s first graduating class and became a teacher at Tulia Public Schools. Robert’s grandson, Jon Speck, just submitted a wonderful collection of his photos to the site! Click the photo to view a slideshow! If you are from the area, you may recognize some of the homes and businesses in some of the photos.

 Tulia Mademoiselles

Robert with a young tung tree

Robert McDonald LEONARD

“My great-grandfather, Robert McDonald Leonard was born in Ellis County, Texas, in January, 1858. On December 14, 1883, he married Adella Patterson (1864–1957) in Johnson Co. The couple had six children, Ethel (b. 1887), Cora Roberta (August 1890–1968), J. Lamar (d. December 9, 1934), Andrew Berry, (b. June 1897), Raymond (b. July 1898), and Alberta (b. July 1903).

Robert’s parents, John W. Leonard and Martha Elizabeth Berry Leonard (married in Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Ovilla, in 1856), moved from Ellis County to Johnson County between 1870 and 1880, and then by 1900 moved again to Randall County.

Robert’s family followed his parents to the Panhandle, settling in Tulia sometime in 1907. They joined First Presbyterian Church of Tulia where Robert was ordained Elder and served as Clerk of Session. He was elected delegate to Presbytery in Childress, 1911. In 1908, Adella was named the first president of Tulia Presbyterian’s Home Missionary Society. Robert was a carpenter, designing and building houses and other structures. He also served as Swisher County Tax Assessor. He made a formal appeal to the state Controller and Attorney General in 1909 to uphold his assessments when the Board of Equalization drastically cut the values of properties in Swisher County (Dallas Morning News 8-1-1909) . His daughter, Cora (my grandmother) was a member of the first graduating class of Tulia High School, 1910, along with Carl Hale and Velma French. Cora attended West Texas State Normal School in Canyon, and taught public school in Tulia. The family left Tulia for Tarrant County in 1914. Robert moved to Dowling Park, Florida. He built the first building for Advent Old Folks Home, an institution still in operation as Advent Christian Village. In 1924, he raised tung oil trees developed by the Experiment Station (University of Florida). After his death the trees were considered a noted success (Suwannee Democrat, 1-31-1930). Robert returned to Texas and died in Grand Prairie in 1929.”

Jon Speck, April 16, 2012

Do you have photos and stories you would like to contribute? Message me using the contact form or the email address listed in the image on the main page.


Posted in Swisher Families | Tagged | Leave a comment

The 1940 Census is Here!

Images for the 1940 Census have been released and published in various places online.

  • – free (username registration required) here
    • Not yet indexed.
  • (I think a paid subscription is required) here.
    • Index Status for each state here (towards the bottom).
  • National Archives – free (no username or subscription required) here.
    • No Index

Posted in Genealogy Tips | Leave a comment

1936 Friendship Quilt made in Tulia, Texas

As promised (finally), here is the information about the quilt.

          This quilt was given to me by Madalyn Stanford Williams (1919 – 2001.)  The quilt was given to her mother, Mrs. M. G. (Emma) Stanford (1889- 1976) in 1936 as indicated by the embroidered date in the center of the quilt.  Mr. Stanford was a well-known barber in Tulia,Texas, and Mrs. Stanford was an active member of many ladies organizations.  Some were church related (Methodist) and others were civic.  She was president of several of these clubs.

According to Mrs. Stanford’s daughter, Madalyn, this quilt was given to her mother by some organization as thank-you gift for being president of a club with the initials “L.T. D.”   The letters are not very clear, so perhaps the “D” is an “O.”

This is an example of a friendship quilt.  Each member of the group was given a pattern for a quilt block.  Everyone made a block and embroidered their name on it.  On this quilt the ladies also recorded their birthdates on the block, but only one woman was brave enough to put down the year of her birth.

According [to] “Miss Emma’s” granddaughter, Lou Ann Wimberly Williams, the embroidered names on this quilt were of prominent ladies who contributed greatly to the history of Tulia and the Panhandle of Texas.  One of the most recognized names is that of Mrs. C. M. Goodnight.

– Martha Council

A woman named Cathy Bradley is working on repairing the quilt. It was given to her by Martha Council. Mrs Bradley is researching the history or the quilt. Please contact me if you are a descendant of any of these women, the quilt, or the group these women belonged to.

The following names are on the quilt:

Mrs R M Allred
Grace Cline (or Clisse or Clime)
Mrs. Amy Daniel
Mrs. LM Woodard
Mrs RG Sullenger
Mrs GD Caldwell
Mrs Geo. E Richards
Mrs CC Blake
B Mulherin (Mullenn)
Lydia Young
Manny Dyche
Mrs. HE White
Ethel Edmondson
Mrs. JH Doty
Mrs MG Mathis (Mathes)
Mrs. RE Williams
Mrs. Bob Zelaman (Zelamon)
Mr. E Bennett
Mrs. Bowden
Mrs. Walter (I was told she was the chairman of the group)
Mrs. CM Goodnight
Mrs JO Bass
Mrs Bettie Rainer (Raines)
Mrs JF Hood
Mrs Clay Thornton
Mrs SP Atchley
Mrs Lansted (very had to read)
Posted in Swisher Families | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

New Headstone Website: Billion Graves

There’s a new resource for genealogists to find or obtain photographs of their ancestors and relatives called Billion Graves. The site calls for genealogists to snap photographs on their iPhone or Android and upload them to their website. It is still in its infancy, but tombstone hunter slash genealogy addicts slash iPhone enthusiasts have heard their call and have uploaded lots of photos so far… just not for Swisher County. What makes this headstone site different from the rest? It appears that the site uses geocode to map the plots.

Unfortunately, they are not displayed which could have been useful to some trying to locate headstones. Perhaps they display on the iPhone/Android application?

Swisher County Cemeteries are located at the following links:

Happy Cemetery — Happy, Swisher, Texas, United States
Kress Cemetery — Kress, Swisher, Texas, United States
Rose [Hill] Cemetery — Tulia, Swisher, Texas, United States
Wright Cemetery — Kress, Swisher, Texas, United States

We’ll see what happens with the website in the future.

Fortunately, Swisher County has had cemetery listings online for many years thanks to Zoe Smith and the former Tule Creek Genealogical Society. I’m am in process of getting them updated and organized.

Some other great resources for locating headstones:
Posted in Genealogy Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lesson Learned: Use Ebay and Facebook to Find and Identify Your Lost Relatives!

I don’t know why, but I have had the most amazing luck locating relatives of a certain surname on my dad’s side lately. They are the source of our family’s pronounced dimpled chins; the one that got me so much attention, both positive and negative growing up.

It all started with a response to a query I posted on at the beginning of this year. Through my grandmother’s obituary, various genealogy websites, and the Google News Archive, I was able to find a lot of information about the family. I traced them back to Lewis County, New York but I was unable to go further than the parents of my immigrant ancestors from Switzerland. So I posted what I was able to determine at the time. Sadly, there were no replies until last Saturday. A relative replied to my post and said that she was currently in Switzerland and she wanted to know if I had any other information. She had already found my personal genealogy website for access to my data. Since I had dreamed about one day going to Switzerland doing the same thing she was trying to do, I excitedly activated her username and waited with suspense.

While I was waiting, I decided to go to my tree on Ancestry to see if anything new had showed up in search. Immediately, I saw that someone had added photos to their data. Finally, I saw some faces! I knew it was my family because the photo I saw looked similar to one I saw the faint imprint of this relative’s passport application. I read the description and it said that it was being sold on Ebay and gave the link. My excitement briefly turned to horror when I saw the auction in sold status. I frantically searched to find out if the photos had been sold since that auction had ended. I was in luck! The seller had relisted a few of them so I bid on them and then contacted the seller to see if she had any more and mentioned I did not see a few of them relisted.

In the meantime, there was another response to my query. I thought it was the cousin in Switzerland, but it was someone else! How could it be? This cousin started listing off names I recognized and some living individuals that we could check with. From the names he listed, I knew that he was not a distant cousin, he had my dad’s last name, and he is married to my dad’s 1st cousin. You can’t get a whole lot closer than that!

Then the Ebay seller replied and sent me this photo:

She told me that she had about 20 more photos and there were some others on Etsy and that she had purchased them online at an online estate sale! I was thrilled… and it wasn’t easy to feel that way since my dog of 11 years had died the day before I got the initial response. I made her an offer on the remaining photos and then proceeded to Etsy to purchase those photos. She accepted the offer and listed the photos as a reserved lot and said she would send them priority mail ASAP! I do believe she was as excited as I was about them going back to family. In fact, she set up a username for the database since she had spent so much time researching the family herself. That way, she could see the end result. In return, she gave me access to her database so I could see what she discovered.

I decided to set up a private group on Facebook, since everyone seems to be on there these days, where I could post the photos once I received them and got them scanned. Then I could add any relatives that I find while researching. That way, we might be able to identify some of the people in the photos. So I got it set up, invited my immediate family to the group and then posted the link to it in reply to my query. For some reason, the moderator decided to remove that post so I contacted both cousins by private message with the link and told them to invite whomever they think might be interested. So far, the cousin in Switzerland is the only one on Facebook and has joined the group and she’s going to add her mother the next time she’s on. The second cousin is on vacation and said he will get back to me once he is home.

Then I get an email from another cousin; one that the second one had mentioned. He sent me an image that was written in German for our mutual ancestor. It’s apparently a church promotion certificate. He had requested a username to the website so I approved it and I replied back with the link to the Facebook page. He gave me some more information on his immediate family to add to the data. He also said that he has some Kohler family photos that he will scan and send to me! I can’t wait to see them.

My Ebay auction for the rest of the photos has ended now and I’m expecting them the first half of the week. Some of these have names so I’ll be able to pick them out in some of the other photos.

I hope by sharing this story that someone else might discover their ancestors on Ebay or Etsy. Or maybe if you find a photo for sale, you might be inspired to rescue it and attempt to find the family.

As always, if you have any Swisher County Photos you have found and would like to donate them, please contact me for a mailing address or email a digital copy to me at the address in the image at the top of this page. If you would like to try to identify someone in your photo or would like to share your family photos with everyone, you may email them to me as well.

Posted in Genealogy Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Bittersweet Goodbye

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Mrs Jo Nell (BOGGS) MOORE.

Mrs Moore was born near Kress, Texas in Swisher County; the youngest child of Eunice (COLLINS) AND Robert Dennis Boggs. She went to school all her life there. At the young age of 11, she learned to drive and took all the nearby neighborhood kids with her to school. “I was the school bus” she would say. Jo Nell grew up to be very tall and enjoyed playing basketball in high school. She did her chores on the farm which included going out to the chicken house and selecting one for dinner, killing it, and dressing it. She got quite quick at snapping their necks, she didn’t use a hatchet. The chickens really didn’t even know what was coming.

As all the girls did back then, Jo Nell dreamed of being the perfect housewife. She fondly told of meeting a handsome young man named James Winston MOORE (son of Minerva Mae WOOD and Furd MOORE) who recently came back to Kress on leave from the Navy, serving in WWII. He also was born and raised in Kress. She chuckled as she remembered how he always seemed to show up at her parents door just as she was getting in the bath. Showing up early naturally worries young teenagers even today, however, in those days, the bath was not in it’s own room. It was a large container which had to be filled by buckets. He would have to wait on the porch until she was decent. They loved to go out riding on his bike in the field and “jumping ditches” and flying in the family crop duster.

James and Jo Nell Boggs Moore

Jo Nell ended up marrying James before she finished high school. She remembers all her friends teasing her; saying that she wouldn’t be going on the Senior trip because she would want to be with her husband. She assured them she would be there, after-all, she was serving on the committee. But they did not believe her and did not book Jo Nell and one of her other classmates a room. She said one of the boys had to sleep on the bus so they could have the room.

After she graduated, James and Jo Nell made their home in Kress and had no intentions of leaving. They had a daughter and built half of a house until they could save up money for the other half. James drove a truck for his father’s company, but tragedy struck when his father unexpectedly passed away. They were forced to sell their father’s company and their new house they were in the process of building. James, his new bride and daughter moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where James had decided to go to school to become and aircraft mechanic.

After he graduated, James became employed at American Airlines and the couple went on to have five more children, one passing away at just a few months old. James worked at American until he retired. Jo Nell worked as a secretary for Camp Fire for a while when her youngest kids were a bit older.

James and Jo Nell lived out the rest of their life enjoying their time with family. Jo Nell lived to love and care for her family and when they came over, you would not find her out socializing too often, she was always busy in the kitchen, making their favorite meals. All three of her daughters grew up to be great cooks and wives, just as she was.

Survivors include two sons (a third died in infancy), three daughters, three sons-in-law, one daughter in-law, five grandsons, one granddaughter, four grandaughters in-law, one grandson in-law, two step-granddaughters, two step-grandsons in-law, five great grandsons, three step-great grandsons, nine great granddaughters, one step-great granddaughter, one adopted great granddaughter, one second great grandson and one great grandchild on the way.

James passed away in 2009 and Jo Nell had been heartbroken ever since. She was certain she would pass soon of a broken heart at least. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Early in 2011, she had a chest x-ray and it was clear. Since she did not intend to have treatment, she never went through with a biopsy. It turned out to be just a really bad case of pneumonia. The doctor had never seen one that bad. Though she was relieved not to have cancer, she had already made all the preparations of her passing.

Jo Nell was losing her mobility and became confined to her wheelchair, chair or bed. That was not the life she wanted since she could no longer care for her family. Her beloved companion Susie Q died a few months ago and she became more heartbroken than ever. She passed away quietly in her sleep on Thursday, September 22, 2011. She lived a long and wonderful life and will be greatly missed by her family but we are comforted to know she is where she longed to be.

James and Jo Nell Moore are the reason I came to sponsor Swisher County as its County Coordinator. I met and married their grandson and they welcomed me into their home as their own while he attended Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. To pass the time while he was away, they told me many stories, and showed me photos and documents about their family and of their beloved Kress and Swisher County. I have never lived there or even have been there, but I know it like I did through their stories. I know they both passed with many more stories that I will never hear, but I greatly treasure those that I did.

Their grandson and I divorced quite a few years after they welcomed me into their home, and it’s already been quite a few years ago. But they continued to treat me like family until the end. I’m sure they represent many of the families that lived and still live in that area. I am truly honored to have known them and to do this in their memory and for all the pioneer families of Swisher County.

~*~ Sharon Bart


**** If you would like to announce the passing of a Swisher County relative, please contact me at the email address in the image above or use the contact link in the menu. You can also comment to this page but it will not appear unless I approve it. I will just make another post and instead of approving the comment here (except of course unless it’s relative to the Moore family).****

Posted in Swisher Families | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Gallery and the Faulkners

Well, I’ve been back for a while, but the trip didn’t quite go as planned thanks to mother nature. I went through an earthquake and then saw the hurricane coming so I booked it back home without seeing my great-grandmother. It all was such a blur that I can’t even remember actually seeing much! It didn’t even kick in that I was actually there. I will attempt it again early next year.

I want to let you know what I’m working on though so the USGenWeb Project powers that be do not think I’m sitting idle. I do not want to lose my precious county again! That was a horrible, very tearful experience. I still do not know what happened! All I know is that I was working on one site while someone else was working on another. But that’s another story and it’s all better now…*wink*

So what am I doing now? I am loading photos into the new gallery, adding captions, tags and information. I will let you have a sneak peak but it is nowhere near finished.

Of course it will let you browse through and perhaps help you find that precious photo, however, there’s an alternate use. You’re about to see it!

What’s wrong? Bad neck like me? Well, ok then!


This lovely lady is only known as “Miss May Faulkner, Tulia, Texas.” She was rescued recently, or rather, her photo was rescued, by a wonderful gal named Judy ERICKSON who purchases photos and reunites them with their families as a hobby! How great is that? Due to the style of the photo (taken at an angle), she believes that it was taken in the 1890’s.

Here is the inscription on the back:

I wish that I could say with absolute certainty that I know who this is, but for now, it’s a mystery and I can only guess. From looking up “FAULKNER” in the book, “Windmilling in Swisher County, 1876-1977,” I can report that there was a Francis Marion FAULKNER (1856-1940) from Jamesport, Daviess County, Missouri who had eventually come to settle in Swisher County and was, in fact, very instrumental in the organization of the county and the town of Tulia along with his brothers Ferd, Marvin, and Siler.

Brothers Marvin, Frances, and Siler

(left to right) Brothers Marvin, Frances, and Siler as published on by mclark66_1 of Tulsa, OK

Frances had a daughter named Matie “May” Eva (1882-1960) with his first wife, Margaret “Josie” Josephine REYNOLDS (1857-1884), whom he married in 1877. Eva married Harry Norman NANCE (1876-1953) and they ended up moving back and ultimately dying where her father originally came from; Daviess County, Missouri.

Frances’ brother Ferdinand (1859-1930) married Sudie (1862-)and they had a daughter named Hallie Mae or May (1895-1921) and was born in Tulia, TX in Swisher County. His second wife’s name was Missouri (1861-1927). Frances brother Marvin’s first name was actually Lewis (1872-1939). His wife’s name was Blanche (1872- and they appear to only have had one daughter named Marie (1894-). Frances brother Siler’s first name was Ellis (1901-1958). He married Willie Clarence Wright (1904-1991) and they appear to only have had one son, Billie Joe (1936-1961)

Since Ferdinand’s daughter Hallie Mae would have only been an infant around when this photo was taken, my conclusion so far is that it is most likely Frances’ daughter Matie. If anyone has any other information or ideas, let me know! And as always, please let me know of anything needing correction.

Are you a relative to this family? I’d like to hear from you! You can message me using the contact form in the menu bar… and be sure to tell me how you are related!


Find A Grave:
Matie “May” Eva FAULKNER NANCE (1882-1960)
Francis Marion FAULKNER (1856-1940)
Harry Norman NANCE (1876-1953)
Margaret “Josie” Josephine REYNOLDS FAULKNER (1857-1884)

Francis Marion Faulkner,, Wilson Family Tree, by mclark66_1

Obituary of Matie Eva NANCE (Find A Grave)

Headstone of Matie Eva NANCE (Find A Grave)

The Book “Windmilling in Swisher County 1876-1977,” pg 281.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Posted in Swisher Families | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment