Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Day Two

First of all, a thank you to Barbara for her inquiry about her father Samuel Travis Russell. As far as I can tell he (and you) are not related to us. My database is not complete; I know there are a lot of distant relatives I don't even know about, but our Russells didn't come from Alabama and I just don't think we are related.

I received in the mail from my sister-in-law Mary her transcribed pages from Doyle Russell's diary of 1965. Doyle kept a daily diary for most of his life and we have saved some of them. Unfortunately, many were lost. This one for 1965 is almost complete and quite readable so Mary's transcription is valuable to those of us who love family history. I plan to find some family photos taken in 1965, insert scans of them into the text, and print the pages off for interested family members. I've done that already with some of Doyle and Frances's diaries from the '40s. I wonder what Doyle would think if he knew his diaries were being illustrated and printed for others to see. The diary entries are mostly about what he did, who he saw, and what he bought. They aren't the really personal sort of entries that could prove embarrassing. In fact, Doyle rarely tells about how he feels about something. Mostly, these are hard facts without editorializing.

Monday, February 26, 2007


This blog is about the genealogy website I have at http://www.viewoftherockies.com I'm hoping that anybody related to or interested in the extended Russell/Smith family will drop in to comment on our family history.

There are lots of Russells and Smiths out there, obviously, so I'll start by telling you a little about our Russells and Smiths.

Jennie Frances Smith (known by all as Frances), born in Craig, Colorado, in 1918 to a mother who died a couple of weeks later of the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918, married James Doyle Russell (known by all as Doyle), born in Cass, Arkansas, into a large family trying to eke out a living on the thin, rocky soil of northcentral Arkansas. Frances and Doyle met on the high, dry plains of eastern Colorado near Purcell about 1932 when Frances was only thirteen years old and Doyle was twenty-five. They married four years later and that's how the Russells of Arkansas/Tennessee/NorthCarolina/Kentucky/Virginia joined hands with the Smiths of Colorado/Oklahoma/Missouri/Texas to become our extended family.

Frances wrote the story of her life in a self-published book she titled "From There to Here". You can find it online at Frances Russell's Autobiography. Of course, there was a lot more to Frances's life than what she put in her book, and I'm hoping some of that will come out in this blog.

Doyle didn't write a book but he led a full life, a hard-working man who became a successful farmer/rancher and Colorado businessman until his death in 2000, one month shy of his 93rd birthday. What a story he had to tell, and tell it he did to his kids and grandkids and anybody who stopped in to buy car parts or grain or sell him a horse.

Frances and Doyle had four kids - two boys and two girls, each as different from one another as four siblings can be. They are all still living, healthy and hale, a living testament to the successful mix of genes in the Russell/Smith gene pool.