Brumley Branches Reunion was held in a park in Owensville, Gasconade, Missouri on June 16, 1985. It was an idea of my mother’s, Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik after two years of communicating by phone and letters with Edna and Effie Brumley.
Edna and Effie were my first cousins two times removed. What is that you ask? Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother’s first cousin are first cousins, twice removed. Confused yet??
My mother saw a picture of three men and only recognized two as her relatives, the other man was a question mark. She had only heard that we might have had relatives living in the Ozark area of Missouri but never thought a lot about it. We worked together to start a writing campaign to historical societies in the counties of Gasconade, Osage, and Maries. We did not get much response back, but a lady saw my mother’s query in Hermann, Missouri historical newsletter and passed it along to Effie Brumley Winthorst. It was in the early 1980’s when my mother and Effie began writing each other. Every letter they sent each other began to fill in the gaps of history in each of their lives.
My mother could hardly wait to call me to tell me what each letter said and how I should begin looking in each of the areas they had talked about. There were no computers yet and only landline phones, but my mother and I kept at it. Writing and sending queries out to areas Effie had suggested we look into.
Since I lived near the National Archives of Kansas City when I was available in the summer she would come to visit and we would take our pads and pencils and all of our family information we had collected and made it a day of research. There weren’t any computer programs to look at we had to do all of the research by hand. We would sit in a dark room and look at rolls and rolls of microfiche and talk with volunteer genealogists to help us find what we were looking at on a Census page. One of my best memories would be when we found something we didn’t know before on the microfiche, it was just like panning for gold and finally discovering a gold nugget to the family historian.
Finally, the summer of 1984 my mother and I decided to take a road trip down to Hermann, Gasconade, Missouri to meet Edna and Effie face to face. We were so excited about getting together with them to share our information and to gather more hints and clues into our family tree. They were so gracious to welcome my mother and me into their home and to share with us so many great stories. Effie drove us all around the area our relatives once had lived and to the many cemeteries where they were buried.
We were able to get one more road trip in to visit with them and then to decide it was time for a Brumley Branches Reunion. My mother organized her siblings and Effie and Edna organized their family members. We made color leaves for each member on the family tree we descended from so we could tell each other apart. We had the cake made that is pictured above to represent our branches.
On a beautiful Saturday in June we all came together in Gasconade County, Missouri. We shared all of our information we had collected so far and traded stories of what they could remember of the elder relatives. It all was a labor of love because we knew that we would be able to now tell the next generations about the Brumley family.
My mother, Edna, and Effie are gone now and it is left to me to keep the stories alive and share what I knew then and what I have learned moving forward. My grandchildren have given me a new name, the “Genealogy Guru” when they need a question answered about one of their family members.
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