I became a member of the Find A Grave Community on December 13th, 2010.
I am a 3x great granddaughter of John and Rebecca (Baltzell) Burkhart who arrived at what is now Albany, OR in Oct, 1847. One of their sons, Leander Columbus Burkhart, married Melissa Ann, a daughter of Hezekiah & Melissa Davidson of Polk County, Oregon. They had come to Oregon in the same wagon train. Leander and Melissa had a daughter, Nellie Olivia Burkhart, who married & had a daughter named Pearl Laura Baker. Pearl fell in love with Harry Hoyt Taylor, a school mate. It was a match made in Heaven. They married and had 2 daughters; the younger one, Patricia, was my mother. She is buried with her parents at the Multnomah Park Cemetery in SE Portland, OR. I live in SE Portland, Oregon, with my younger sister, Nan, and our three cats - Lydia, Willy and Lucy; her son and daughter are both married, living in the area, and have made her a grandmother with three beautiful granddaughters. I also have an older sister and a son nearby, plus a niece, younger sister & brother-in-law living in California. My father, a retired Fireman & a WWII Veteran, passed away on July 9th, 2015. My mother passed in Dec 2002 from cancer.
I have been creating my Family Tree since mid Oct 2010; little did I know what I was getting into. I was able to use many of my mother's old records from the 1960s-1980s, but have been so thankful for the age of computers and also for "Find A Grave", which has helped me sort out so many of my Burkhart, Ellis, Baltzell, Taylor, & Davidson relatives on my mother's side, many in Oregon, and my Webb, Gatlin, Gholson, Warters, Uzzell & Lassiter relatives as well as all of the people they married on my father's side, many in Georgia & the Carolinas, plus my son's father's family. I truly appreciate all of the time and effort all of you have spent creating this site; it's right up my alley as I enjoy sorting things out, solving puzzles, doing research, etc. I was a Social Services Worker for many yrs., but retired due to severe migraines that will plague me for the rest of my days. I now have other health issues incl. Reynaud's, back issues, pretty severe leg problems & Arthritis. I spend what time I can doing research & rediscovering my ancestors who came to Oregon (stopping along the way in VA., TN., MO., ILL., Iowa, TX, WA, ID & CA) in 1847 as well as thru out Oregon and other places in the Pacific Northwest and California. I am finding, via Find A Grave, many more cousins throughout the USA, however, which is really exciting. I have found Jewish heritage under names of Davidson, Burkhardt, Mayer, Huepfer, & Freiburger going way back (to the mid 1600's) to when some family left Germany & Switzerland, ending up in Pennsylvania, America. I wish I knew more and will keep looking. My most recent DNA studies thru National Genographic, MtDNA & Ancestry.com show that I am primarily of Great British and Irish descent, then Scandinavian, Southern, Western & Central European descent, plus Central Asian which makes sense when I trace family names and branches of my family tree on MyHeritage.com which has well over 18,500 people on it, incl. those related via marriage. I do tend to get side tracked frequently, especially when it comes to the graves of "little ones", Veterans & others without any flowers; I often leave flowers, an Angel or other token for them, especially if they have none there, which I find incredibly sad. I ran into a Vietnam Vet in Summer, 2012, who rode at funerals (Veterans Patriot Guard). I actually was brave enough to go up to him, thank him & shake his hand; I told him about Find A Grave & gave him the web site address. I hope he looked us up! Thanks to all of you so much for all of your help as I am only human, am just striving to be better, One Day at a Time. When my computer was hacked July 2011, I missed Find A Grave the most! I have heard from a number of relatives whose ancestors came to Oregon about the same time mine did and they settled not too far from where my family did. It is great finding our connections! Talk About A Small World! May God take care of everyone. You are some very special people, as if you didn't know! I also use other sites which can be very helpful and have found a wonderful site regarding info on Oregon Pioneers from 1830's to 1855, researched & publ. by Stephenie Flora called "Oregonpioneers.com".
My gmail.com address has worked out much better although I am checking yahoo once in a while to deal with causes I believe in. Please continue to use my gmail address from now on and the edit key, which I try to check every day. Thank you so very much.
My Shadow cat was 14 yrs. old in April, 2014 and her whiskers had turned white a couple of years ago. I finally had to have her put to sleep on Dec 11th, 2014, due to severe pain that was out of control; she had no quality of life & it was the "responsible" thing to do, but I've missed her so very much. My sister checked different sites for kitties needing a good home and she & I adopted two 5 month old kitties, a brother and sister, in Jan 2015, named them Willy and Lucy, and thoroughly enjoy their playful antics. I was in a severe car accident on Feb 17th, 2015, which totaled my little Honda (& nearly totaled me). My right leg was broken in 3 places, the ankle shattered, plus numerous contusions across my chest, knees, groin, etc. Surgery was Mar 2nd & I have enough metal in me now to set off airport detectors for the rest of my life. I was w/out a computer until Mar 17th when a very dear friend brought me a lap top, exactly one month after the acc'd. I was in a care facility learning to do self care, etc. while my leg healed in a non wgt bearing cast, one of five I had before and after surgery. Interestingly, it was owned & operated by IOOF, an organization that many of my ancestors belonged to; many of them are buried in IOOF Cemeteries throughout Oregon and other states. I got home on Mar 23rd, 2015, have been so happy to be with my sister and kitties again. I used a wheelchair at 1st, then a walker, and finally a cane. One Day at A Time, by the Grace of God, as I understand Him, I'm gonna do this. I still had issues with my knees, right ankle & foot that need to be dealt with surgically. On May 3rd, 2017, my surgeon did 4 bone grafts to fuse & stabilize my right foot. Bones from Organ Donors were used and I'd like to THANK all who agreed to having their Loved Ones as ORGAN DONORS; I WILL NEVER KNOW WHO THEY ARE, but am GRATEFUL FOR THEIR SELFLESS DEED as their Loved One lives on in others!!! I also am an Organ Donor. I am still healing.
MY TIME ON LINE IS VERY LIMITED DUE TO HEALTH ISSUES. I WILL TRY TO BE ON LINE WHEN I CAN BUT IT WILL BE SPORADIC AT BEST FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. I MISS THIS SO MUCH!!
Thanks to all of you for your sweet notes, thoughts and prayers. They mean more to me than you'll ever know. <<<<
Take Care and stay safe, preferably with someone you care about. Spend Time with your Loved Ones while you have them. They are more precious than gold.
With All Sincerity,
Kathie L. Webb Blair,
29 Nov 2017