I’m not sure why they keep calling it the “Jones Family Reunion” – no one with the current last name of Jones comes to them anymore, there aren’t many left alive now, and the few that are alive live far away and can’t make the trip. But, whatever, it is still the Jones Family Reunion and it is an annual event in Jim’s family. This year we met in Oklahoma where Jim’s Aunt Ruth and Uncle Wayne live. People started arriving on Friday evening when we (read Jim) grilled hamburgers. Ruth baked a couple of cakes and we got together for dinner at Ruth and Wayne’s place about 15 miles outside Kingston, Oklahoma. There were about 35 people here for the main event which took place yesterday at the Enos Community Center. We ate, talked, played games and talked some more. Then we migrated back to Ruth’s house where we talked more, ate more, and talked more. It was a wonderful time! This morning we all met at a local restaurant in Kingston for breakfast where we ate more and talked more before most families had to get on the road to return to their homes in Dumas or Lubbock Texas, or Durant, Oklahoma. The families from Gainesville , Texas and Moore, Oklahoma left yesterday afternoon and weren’t able to join us for breakfast today.
After breakfast, we came back home to the Castle to relax and start our preparations for travel day tomorrow. We’ll be driving about 140 miles to Keene, Texas where we’ll meet with some high school friends of Jim’s. I had a question from Karen on my last post about cooking in the crock pot while we travel. Yes, we have the inverter on while we travel. I use my computer on AC power, so I need to have the inverter since the computer battery would only last about 2 hours. That allows me to use the crock pot too, very handy! I set it in the sink to avoid possible disaster if we have to make any sudden turns or stops. The only drawback is once the food starts cooking, we get the wonderful aroma of whatever’s cooking, so we get pretty hungry by mid-afternoon.
Late this afternoon, Ruth and Wayne and Jim’s cousin Rusty came over and we had take-out Mexican food. All the guys visited while Ruth and I worked on some genealogy updates. I always seem to get motivated to pick up my research again when we attend these family events! I have a subscription to Ancestry.com, so I keep my files online there. This weekend I’ve added close to a dozen new records, mostly from Jim’s family. It’s interesting that for some family lines I find plenty of information, and other lines just seem to appear seemingly from thin air. Ruth was able to provide some interesting tidbits about the Jones family, so I have some new hints to follow. Jones was Jim’s mother’s maiden name, and following that line back, it seems that at least some people in this line were Native American (Cherokee), and possibly took part in the “Trail of Tears” journey that began for the Cherokee in North Carolina in 1938. It’s thought that at least 46,000 Native Americans were removed from the South to Oklahoma in the 1930’s, opening millions of acres of land for settlement by whites. Like many African American slaves, many Native American Indians took “American” names such as “Jones”.
We’ve enjoyed our short time here, yes, even the 98 degree heat! But,we’ve especially appreciated the time we’ve had to reconnect with family we don’t get to see very often. I haven’t gone through all of our pictures yet, but I will have some to post in the next few days, including some of the food we prepared. Although, to be honest, the food disappeared almost faster than I could snap pictures. Just a little sample – this is what was left of a 10 pound Brisket early yesterday afternoon (Yes, Jim was in charge of preparing the Brisket):
We’ll be ready to roll sometime tomorrow morning!