I decided to send some follow up e-mails to people I had connected with during my project, but hadn’t heard from them since. My cousin Shelby, told me earlier she was going to connect me to three cousins from the Oliver Family out in California. The e-mail she sent never went through and decided to call them. Shelby told me how enthusiastic they were about someone reasearching the family and renewed their interest. The first and only of those three cousins who has contacted me is Patty Powell, my first cousin twice removed. She is the last of my grandmother’s generation so I was particularly excited to hear from her. She sent me a packet of Oliver family information, which I received today and thus I will share its contents:

1981 red fay house-patty powell

Here is a picture of four generations of the  Oliver Family at Paul “Red” Fay’s home in Woodside, California in 1981. In the bottom row, left to right, my great aunt Patsy Goodlett, my grandmother Helen O’Neill, my great-grandmother Addie (Oliver) O’Neill, and my great-grandfatherMervyn O’Neill.

Another interesting inclusion in the packet was the information about General Connor. She gave me the bio from the Fort Douglas museum and pictures of him and his wife, his belt, and his swords, which she has at her house.

general connor-patty powell

johanna connor-patty powell

general connor's swords-patty powell

general connor's belt-patty powell

Pretty fascinating artifacts. Also included was a nice picture of my cousin Major Leo V Merle, dressed in his military attire,  standing over General Connor’s grave in the winter of 1950.

leo v merle and general connor

She also shared many resources on general genealogical research and listings of genealogical resources in California, hired researchers, etc. I definitely plan on one day going out to California to do research, so i appreciate what she gave me and was slightly unexpected.

She sent me the minutes of a series of meetings on the Oliver Family. In 2001, several Oliver family members (including Patty Powell) got together to try and create an Oliver family reunion. They brought together all of the Oliver family heirlooms, including Kate Oliver’s diaries, portraits, jewelry, etc. She gave me a list of Oliver descendants who are still alive, but is rather out of date, probably from before 2000. But I will write to people and see what other information I can get from them.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher