Laura Steele ☼

Member for
8 years 6 months
Find a Grave ID
48500098

Bio

(For years, my user/public name here on Find a Grave was "HistoryRainwoman" …a semi-long story.) As that user name might suggest, I LOVE history (and have some academic background—as well as decades of individual study and research—in it), so I do my best to be as diligent as possible about documentation and evidence in my research. Just as important, I am enough of a history nut that a website like this one feeds (and sometimes satisfies) my passion for all things history-related, as well as my rather insatiable curiosity in general.

Perhaps naturally, a love of history steered me into genealogy, a.k.a. family history. Little of my family and ancestry was researched by anyone within my family before my mom, an aunt, and I really started hunting back in the 1990s, so there has been plenty to do. Often through the diligent efforts of others, I have managed to find a lot of family. AND there is still SO much more—much more information and many more people—to find!

I think I picked up my love of history from my dad, as well as my earliest experiences in "tombstone tourism", all of which brought me to this site.

And what a website it is! It might as well be called 'Find A Relative' for all that it does in helping with family history—for many people, including me. Find A Grave has become a *valuable* resource for me, helping to answer questions and provide a whole lot of leads in my family history research. I know Find A Grave has done the same things for many others. As the recipient of many, many helps from other people (in many things throughout my life), naturally I am a big believer in "paying it forward"—and so at this site I do the best I can to make it an even better site and to help others find leads in their research, by doing (or suggesting) fact-based edits to memorials, creating new memorials, and linking people's memorials to those of their relatives. [Like FAG member Jane has so well stated, I also say: "…my goal in life is to connect everyone!!".] Anytime I see a memorial with no family connections (whether in my family or not), I am drawn to find at least some family for them. To be remembered is important, yes, very much, but to be known and then remembered by *family* I think is even more so.

Also, I completely agree with (and do) what FAG member Susan Bledsoe Crowe has so well-stated, "I leave flowers and tokens for strangers and family members alike. I may not be related even if it's the same name. Everyone deserves remembrance and respect."

My mind is boggled by so many Find A Grave members who have done—and so many who still do—so very much. What little I manage to do feels like a pittance. Thank you to all of those who make this site what it is ! ! !

I would *love* to connect with anyone who shares common ancestors or interests with me, and I'm glad to share whatever information, photos, documents, etc., I have with those who need or want them for their own family records; I simply ask that they share in a similar way.

My "Home Page" listed here is actually a shortened link to my Ancestry main page (if the link doesn't load or doesn't direct you to my page, please let me know). Also, I have GedMatch #PN5387879, for those involved with that site. I have a Wikitree profile but it is currently under-developed; when that changes, I will post that here, too.

Whatever images I have posted you are welcome to use, no attribution is necessary, with the one limitation that I do *NOT* give permission for my pictures to be used to put money in someone else's pocket.

Also, I am certainly open to correction by others—provided that they have documentation, evidence, a closer connection, and/or sound logic to support their corrections. Please send any corrections through the "Edit" button on the memorial page, but if you have more detailed or complicated information, feel free to use the "Suggest Other Corrections" and contact me that way, or by email. (Email is not as good as through Find A Grave, since it may take me a while to see your message, and therefore even longer to respond if needed.)

Most of the memorials I manage are for family or friends, but not all are, so PLEASE feel free to request a transfer if I manage the memorial for family or friends of yours. (And if we're *both* related to them, then we'll figure it out.) ☺

As for behavior, please just do your best to follow the Golden Rule, since that's already how I (try to) roll. ☺ Thank you. ♥

Some of my ancestors' surnames {just those back to my 3rd-great-grandparents} are:
Agee — French Huguenot➝USA — Paternal
Baker (far enough back the name was *Becker*, in what is now Germany)➝USA — Maternal
Campbell — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Crist — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Davis — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Dee — Netherlands➝USA — far enough back, the name was *Dai* in France [also been said to be French Huguenot]) — Maternal
Dickey — {in Ireland} — Paternal
DeGooyer — {Netherlands➝USA} — in the Netherlands, usually seen as *DeGooijer*
Hurst — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Kopp (some sources say it may have previously been *Cupp*) — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Kroon (far enough back the name was *Croon*) — Netherlands — Maternal
Leonard — ?????➝Texas, USA — Maternal
McKee — Ireland — Paternal
McLean — Ireland➝USA — Paternal
Miller — 2 separate ancestry lines — one ?????➝USA and the other just ????? — Maternal
Moon — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Olie (far enough back the name was *Olij*) — Netherlands — Maternal
Pilkes — Netherlands — Maternal
Poppenzyn — Netherlands — Maternal
Randall — England?➝USA — Paternal
Russell — Ireland — Paternal
Smith — ????? — Maternal
Steele — Northern Ireland➝USA — Paternal
Van Neck — Netherlands — Maternal
Van Roon — Netherlands — Maternal
Witham — ?????➝USA — Paternal
(Not all of these are currently represented/included in my Find A Grave virtual cemeteries, but I'm working on it.)
Some of my 'USA' lines are in the northern areas, others are in the southern areas, some are through the 'middle section', and some are a mix of places, seemingly always moving westward (as Americans have been prone to do).
As you can see, I have several ancestral lines tracing to the Netherlands, as well as to (mainly Northern) Ireland. I also have a couple of lines (one documented) that are Cherokee. I have seen leaps of assumption made by other people on some of my ancestral lines, but I personally only track where and to when the records show, with an assist by DNA.

My DNA results themselves have suggested that ancestors on *both* sides of my family came from England and 'Northwestern' Europe (so not just Dutch there), as well as from Scotland. Decent amounts point each to 'Germanic Europe' (mostly maternal but not all) and to Ireland (paternal only). However, all information I've seen points toward the Steeles (and potentially others) being Scots-Irish, so possibly not genetically Irish but rather Scottish, so it's hard to say which branches provided my Irish DNA percentage. I even have small portions of DNA that (currently on Ancestry) seem to come from 'Sweden & Denmark' (just maternal) and smidge from Norway (just paternal).

Please feel free to visit and leave respectful 'flowers' for any memorials that I have hyperlinked to my profile, as well as any I have added to any virtual cemetery.

And, speaking of virtual cemeteries, If anyone takes a gander at my probably-too-many of them, they will notice several things:
1. I find that my family cemeteries are of most use to me as they are organized, by family branch and level, as well as by some other distinctive elements.
2. As a daughter of a Korean War veteran and a granddaughter [see here & here] and a grandniece [see here, here, here, here, & here] of World War II veterans, I feel a strong sense of both connection and responsibility to those who have served in armed forces, so every service member's memorial I come across I try to bring into at least one of my cemeteries, and I have created virtual cemeteries for each major conflict that the United States armed forces have fought (and some died) in; I have general cemeteries for non-relative service members as well as family-only ones for my relatives who have been in the armed forces.
3. Also, as a teacher by profession, I feel a strong connection to teachers. And, in a cruel irony, the day that I completed my teaching degree was the very same day that Sandy Hook shootings happened, so I have felt a deep connection to all those lost in school shootings and such, especially to the fallen teachers.
4. I have lost a friend by non-school violence and some friends (including my first best friend) to car accidents, so I feel a need to gather and respect those.
5. I have lost a number of family members, as well as some friends, to cancer, so I have virtual cemeteries (separate for family and non-family) for all the cancer deaths I know of or find.
6. I am a fan of the TV show M*A*S*H (as well as a bunch of other shows, perhaps with other cemeteries to add sometime?). I love to read and also love my fair share of movies (including many of the ones adapted from books), including the Harry Potter books & movies.
7. Like many people, even though I didn't personally know anyone who died on September 11, 2001, I felt a terrible sense of loss and grief when so many died so abruptly and violently, and through Find A Grave I have a place to pay tribute to those lost.
8. As a seemingly-lifelong student of history, with a particular love of and familiarity with U.S./"American" history, I know that the character of my country has been shaped by many things, but *significantly* shaped and influenced by two factors: 1) the frontier, and 2) immigration. The many generations of immigrants have helped to make the United States who we have been, who we are, and who we are becoming, and any greatness we may have or hope to keep is dependent on our continuation as a free and *open* society. Therefore, I have family and non-family virtual cemeteries dedicated to immigrants. I am proud of my Dutch, Irish, and other immigrant roots, but I am humbled by their sacrifices and courage.
9. In addition to other things my dad introduced me to, he got me interested in and fascinated by human longevity, so I have a few "…Kept Death Waiting…" virtual cemeteries, categorized by age group.
And… 10. I have been a U.S. Presidents and Presidential trivia nerd for many years, and one of my 'bucket list' goals is to see sites related to each of the presidents, including their graves. So, not surprisingly, I have some U.S. President -related virtual cemeteries.
It should be noted that many, many of the people I have in my general/"Other" or "Non-family" virtual cemeteries are people I did NOT know, but I feel a need to gather and remember them.

[In case it is of any interest, a bunch of my non-directly-history or genealogy interests include: spirituality/living my beliefs, learning, teaching (not just professionally), traveling, humor, horses, calendars, flags, U.S. president-related stuff (as mentioned), reading, music, making dreams / setting goals (and working to accomplish them), service, trivia in general, racquetball, taking photos, collecting (things like patches & pins & magnets, and also jokes), Girl Scouting, …]

Happy hunting and searching to all!

(For years, my user/public name here on Find a Grave was "HistoryRainwoman" …a semi-long story.) As that user name might suggest, I LOVE history (and have some academic background—as well as decades of individual study and research—in it), so I do my best to be as diligent as possible about documentation and evidence in my research. Just as important, I am enough of a history nut that a website like this one feeds (and sometimes satisfies) my passion for all things history-related, as well as my rather insatiable curiosity in general.

Perhaps naturally, a love of history steered me into genealogy, a.k.a. family history. Little of my family and ancestry was researched by anyone within my family before my mom, an aunt, and I really started hunting back in the 1990s, so there has been plenty to do. Often through the diligent efforts of others, I have managed to find a lot of family. AND there is still SO much more—much more information and many more people—to find!

I think I picked up my love of history from my dad, as well as my earliest experiences in "tombstone tourism", all of which brought me to this site.

And what a website it is! It might as well be called 'Find A Relative' for all that it does in helping with family history—for many people, including me. Find A Grave has become a *valuable* resource for me, helping to answer questions and provide a whole lot of leads in my family history research. I know Find A Grave has done the same things for many others. As the recipient of many, many helps from other people (in many things throughout my life), naturally I am a big believer in "paying it forward"—and so at this site I do the best I can to make it an even better site and to help others find leads in their research, by doing (or suggesting) fact-based edits to memorials, creating new memorials, and linking people's memorials to those of their relatives. [Like FAG member Jane has so well stated, I also say: "…my goal in life is to connect everyone!!".] Anytime I see a memorial with no family connections (whether in my family or not), I am drawn to find at least some family for them. To be remembered is important, yes, very much, but to be known and then remembered by *family* I think is even more so.

Also, I completely agree with (and do) what FAG member Susan Bledsoe Crowe has so well-stated, "I leave flowers and tokens for strangers and family members alike. I may not be related even if it's the same name. Everyone deserves remembrance and respect."

My mind is boggled by so many Find A Grave members who have done—and so many who still do—so very much. What little I manage to do feels like a pittance. Thank you to all of those who make this site what it is ! ! !

I would *love* to connect with anyone who shares common ancestors or interests with me, and I'm glad to share whatever information, photos, documents, etc., I have with those who need or want them for their own family records; I simply ask that they share in a similar way.

My "Home Page" listed here is actually a shortened link to my Ancestry main page (if the link doesn't load or doesn't direct you to my page, please let me know). Also, I have GedMatch #PN5387879, for those involved with that site. I have a Wikitree profile but it is currently under-developed; when that changes, I will post that here, too.

Whatever images I have posted you are welcome to use, no attribution is necessary, with the one limitation that I do *NOT* give permission for my pictures to be used to put money in someone else's pocket.

Also, I am certainly open to correction by others—provided that they have documentation, evidence, a closer connection, and/or sound logic to support their corrections. Please send any corrections through the "Edit" button on the memorial page, but if you have more detailed or complicated information, feel free to use the "Suggest Other Corrections" and contact me that way, or by email. (Email is not as good as through Find A Grave, since it may take me a while to see your message, and therefore even longer to respond if needed.)

Most of the memorials I manage are for family or friends, but not all are, so PLEASE feel free to request a transfer if I manage the memorial for family or friends of yours. (And if we're *both* related to them, then we'll figure it out.) ☺

As for behavior, please just do your best to follow the Golden Rule, since that's already how I (try to) roll. ☺ Thank you. ♥

Some of my ancestors' surnames {just those back to my 3rd-great-grandparents} are:
Agee — French Huguenot➝USA — Paternal
Baker (far enough back the name was *Becker*, in what is now Germany)➝USA — Maternal
Campbell — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Crist — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Davis — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Dee — Netherlands➝USA — far enough back, the name was *Dai* in France [also been said to be French Huguenot]) — Maternal
Dickey — {in Ireland} — Paternal
DeGooyer — {Netherlands➝USA} — in the Netherlands, usually seen as *DeGooijer*
Hurst — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Kopp (some sources say it may have previously been *Cupp*) — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Kroon (far enough back the name was *Croon*) — Netherlands — Maternal
Leonard — ?????➝Texas, USA — Maternal
McKee — Ireland — Paternal
McLean — Ireland➝USA — Paternal
Miller — 2 separate ancestry lines — one ?????➝USA and the other just ????? — Maternal
Moon — ?????➝USA — Paternal
Olie (far enough back the name was *Olij*) — Netherlands — Maternal
Pilkes — Netherlands — Maternal
Poppenzyn — Netherlands — Maternal
Randall — England?➝USA — Paternal
Russell — Ireland — Paternal
Smith — ????? — Maternal
Steele — Northern Ireland➝USA — Paternal
Van Neck — Netherlands — Maternal
Van Roon — Netherlands — Maternal
Witham — ?????➝USA — Paternal
(Not all of these are currently represented/included in my Find A Grave virtual cemeteries, but I'm working on it.)
Some of my 'USA' lines are in the northern areas, others are in the southern areas, some are through the 'middle section', and some are a mix of places, seemingly always moving westward (as Americans have been prone to do).
As you can see, I have several ancestral lines tracing to the Netherlands, as well as to (mainly Northern) Ireland. I also have a couple of lines (one documented) that are Cherokee. I have seen leaps of assumption made by other people on some of my ancestral lines, but I personally only track where and to when the records show, with an assist by DNA.

My DNA results themselves have suggested that ancestors on *both* sides of my family came from England and 'Northwestern' Europe (so not just Dutch there), as well as from Scotland. Decent amounts point each to 'Germanic Europe' (mostly maternal but not all) and to Ireland (paternal only). However, all information I've seen points toward the Steeles (and potentially others) being Scots-Irish, so possibly not genetically Irish but rather Scottish, so it's hard to say which branches provided my Irish DNA percentage. I even have small portions of DNA that (currently on Ancestry) seem to come from 'Sweden & Denmark' (just maternal) and smidge from Norway (just paternal).

Please feel free to visit and leave respectful 'flowers' for any memorials that I have hyperlinked to my profile, as well as any I have added to any virtual cemetery.

And, speaking of virtual cemeteries, If anyone takes a gander at my probably-too-many of them, they will notice several things:
1. I find that my family cemeteries are of most use to me as they are organized, by family branch and level, as well as by some other distinctive elements.
2. As a daughter of a Korean War veteran and a granddaughter [see here & here] and a grandniece [see here, here, here, here, & here] of World War II veterans, I feel a strong sense of both connection and responsibility to those who have served in armed forces, so every service member's memorial I come across I try to bring into at least one of my cemeteries, and I have created virtual cemeteries for each major conflict that the United States armed forces have fought (and some died) in; I have general cemeteries for non-relative service members as well as family-only ones for my relatives who have been in the armed forces.
3. Also, as a teacher by profession, I feel a strong connection to teachers. And, in a cruel irony, the day that I completed my teaching degree was the very same day that Sandy Hook shootings happened, so I have felt a deep connection to all those lost in school shootings and such, especially to the fallen teachers.
4. I have lost a friend by non-school violence and some friends (including my first best friend) to car accidents, so I feel a need to gather and respect those.
5. I have lost a number of family members, as well as some friends, to cancer, so I have virtual cemeteries (separate for family and non-family) for all the cancer deaths I know of or find.
6. I am a fan of the TV show M*A*S*H (as well as a bunch of other shows, perhaps with other cemeteries to add sometime?). I love to read and also love my fair share of movies (including many of the ones adapted from books), including the Harry Potter books & movies.
7. Like many people, even though I didn't personally know anyone who died on September 11, 2001, I felt a terrible sense of loss and grief when so many died so abruptly and violently, and through Find A Grave I have a place to pay tribute to those lost.
8. As a seemingly-lifelong student of history, with a particular love of and familiarity with U.S./"American" history, I know that the character of my country has been shaped by many things, but *significantly* shaped and influenced by two factors: 1) the frontier, and 2) immigration. The many generations of immigrants have helped to make the United States who we have been, who we are, and who we are becoming, and any greatness we may have or hope to keep is dependent on our continuation as a free and *open* society. Therefore, I have family and non-family virtual cemeteries dedicated to immigrants. I am proud of my Dutch, Irish, and other immigrant roots, but I am humbled by their sacrifices and courage.
9. In addition to other things my dad introduced me to, he got me interested in and fascinated by human longevity, so I have a few "…Kept Death Waiting…" virtual cemeteries, categorized by age group.
And… 10. I have been a U.S. Presidents and Presidential trivia nerd for many years, and one of my 'bucket list' goals is to see sites related to each of the presidents, including their graves. So, not surprisingly, I have some U.S. President -related virtual cemeteries.
It should be noted that many, many of the people I have in my general/"Other" or "Non-family" virtual cemeteries are people I did NOT know, but I feel a need to gather and remember them.

[In case it is of any interest, a bunch of my non-directly-history or genealogy interests include: spirituality/living my beliefs, learning, teaching (not just professionally), traveling, humor, horses, calendars, flags, U.S. president-related stuff (as mentioned), reading, music, making dreams / setting goals (and working to accomplish them), service, trivia in general, racquetball, taking photos, collecting (things like patches & pins & magnets, and also jokes), Girl Scouting, …]

Happy hunting and searching to all!

Search memorial contributions by Laura Steele ☼