Trying to get a handle on the everyday lives of my ancestors it is easy draw conclusions about them based on the few scraps of “documents” that have survived in court houses and government filing cabinets. But is that the real story? How many spins can be deduced from those dry, yellowing pieces of paper? Here is a favorite quote that states succinctly how little we really know.
About “historians”, family or otherwise:
“Their greatest crime is that they presume to know what happened, how things come about, when they have only what the past chose to leave behind-for the most part, they think what they are meant to think and it’s a rare one that sees what really happened, behind the smoke screen of artifacts and paper.” Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber
This is a mural entitled Champoeg 1843, by Barry Faulkner, located in the Oregon State Capitol. It records the moment when the early Oregon settlers voted to become part of the United States. One of the participants was my ancestor George W. Bellomy. It took me many years and a lot of traveling to establish that fact.
After making history in Oregon George W. Bellomy went on to California, when it still belonged to Mexico. He participated in many of the exciting events leading to California’s statehood and the Gold Rush of 1849. He personally knew many of the men who became American legends of the Wild West.
My book is the story of his epic journey. Through energy and determination, like thousands of other unnamed heroes, he enabled the United States to fulfill its destiny to cross the continent from Atlantic to Pacific.
George W Bellomy, Pioneer of Oregon and California by Constance Daniels Graves
Available from: Connie Graves, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: (postage included) Hardback $35.00; Soft cover, $25.00.