About two years ago, while researching my family history, I uncovered information about the small English colony in Wakefield, Kansas where my great aunt Alice Maude Young was born in 1885. I learned that my great grandfather was rector between 1881-1884 in tiny St. John's on the Prairie, the first Episcopal Church of Clay County. And then it was overwhelming to read a 1893 newspaper announcement, with the headline, "Rev J. H. Young is Dead."*
As a result of this quest for my roots, quaint Wakefield, Kansas was put on my list of places to visit: tour the historical museum, cemetery, and plots of land where family members lived and died.
However, my genealogy research slowed down and came to a halt when biopsies, multiple cancer surgeries, 30 radiation treatments, numerous chemotherapy infusions, physical therapy treatments 2-3 times a week, fatigue, and all the other side effects took over my life.
Current oral chemo therapy and my physical and mental state of mind have brought me to the point where I can now sort through these materials and share them with newly discovered distant cousins and immediate family members. We all have information that is exciting to share.
Today, I was making copies of the 1880 U.S. Census, the church records of the baptism of my great aunt and my cousins' great uncle, D'Arcy Teasdale Buckell, and other information about 'The Little Church on the Prairie.'*
This photograph shows the materials that were being copied. By the end of the day, 15 pages were sent to my four new cousins in Washington state. I'm so thrilled, because until recently, I didn't think I had any cousins!
* Sincere thanks to K. Geist at the
tiny Wakefield Historical Museum
for her help.