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Fallen leaves

Genealogy, by it's very nature, is the story of those who have left us. Sometimes that includes fellow researchers we have come to know and care about.

Howard Vallance Jones was born April 6, 1922 at Chicago, Illinois to Howard V. Jones Sr. and Frances (Edmondson) Jones. Howard was a Harvard man, receiving all his degrees from the University including a Ph.D. in 1950. He taught history at the University of New Hampshire and later Iowa State Teachers College. Howard received many honors during his years at UNI including being the first elected Chair of the Faculty. Howard's love of history included genealogy and for many years he collected data on Washington County families. He generously shared his Buchanan and Edmondson work, and enjoyed analyzing the convoluted branches of these families. Howard died May 17, 2013 at Waterloo Iowa. He will be missed.

As a young child, Jim Faris spent many hours roaming the land farmed by his Clark ancestors between the Middle Fork of the Holston River and the Old Stage Rd. south of Glade Spring, Virginia. He pondered what the land must have looked like 100 or even 200 years ago - before cars or telphone poles or billboards. Jim was fascinated by the history of the land and of the people who lived on it. He generously shared photos, letters and other family documents for this website so that others might enjoy them too. Jim died June 29, 2012 after a brief battle with malignant melanoma. It is my hope to honor Jim's memory by continuing to research his Clark roots.

Willard Moffett died on July 4th 2008 at 103 years of age. Photos of Willard tending his garden at Kelso, Washington adorned this website on several occasions, as did birthday pictures in which he always looked amazingly dapper. Willard, with the assistance of his daughter, Mary Roundy, graciously shared Moffett research he had compiled over the years. And Willard took the time to do what most of us just talk about doing - he recorded the memories and experiences of his long life, and in doing so left a gift for all of us.

Betty Mealy was a very special friend to many Washington County researchers. Betty and I "met" online in 1998 and corresponded without interruption until late last year when her health failed her. Betty died on March, 22, 2008. She was a wonderful lady and a generous and careful researcher. I was fortunate enough to have met her in person some years ago and will always be thankful for her encouragement, and her warm and understanding ways.

Gladys Keys contributed information on the Wedding family to RamblingRoots through her daughter Martha. She also shared research compiled by her husband, George Keys, Jr. who died in 2002. Gladys, a native and lifelong resident of Washington County, died on Feb.13, 2008.

Roberta Yates was one of the first people I corresponded with when I "discovered" genealogy. For many years we corresponded on a regular basis about our shared Moffett ancestors. Roberta died in a car accident near her home in Estacada, Oregon on August 15, 2007.

Ralph Moffett was born on May 7, 1912 and died on April 27, 2006. He was my Dad. Dad and I shared many an hour talking about his childhood - what it was like to take a ferry from Oakland to San Francisco before there were bridges - how he used to watch the old Oakland Oaks play baseball through a hole in the outfield fence - what the depression was like for his family - about World War II. And we talked for hours about "Mr DeWitt" - Dad's mysterious grandfather who disappeared from the family long before dad was born - reappeared once when Dad was a young boy and then disappeared forever. We combed every record imagineable but Mr. DeWitt remained a mystery - someday I still hope to find him. UPDATE: Dec. 2009. I finally unravelled the mystery. It turns out old James DeWitt was a real scoundral - I think I'm glad Dad didn't know more about him after all.

Jack Niemann passed away on Nov. 25, 2009 following a long battle with cancer. He was 72. Jack was an ardent supporter of the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia. He and his wife Rubinette abstracted and published county records, supported the society's many endeavors, and contributed countless hours of volunteer time. When I visited Washington County some years ago I met Jack at the historical society library. Realizing I only had a few hours, he enthusiastically copied papers for me on his own time - just to help a fellow researcher. Jack will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.