Saturday, March 16, 2013

Minnie Lou Ella Allen Rogers

Minnie Lou Ella Allen was the daughter of Mary Catherine Finney and William Allen. In my Finney book, I had no information other than what Rosamary High Finney's book supplied - her parents and her husband on page 98.

Recently, her grandsons Dave and Gene Rogers, and their sister Jan Rogers Caputo gave me the missing information.

Minnie Lou Ella (or Louella)  Allen

Birth: 8 Aug 1889inTyro, Montgomery, KS
Death: 11 Feb 1922inMontpelier, Blackford, Indiana

Minnie was married to Grant J Rogers (in the book) and Joseph Grant Rogers in his records
          Birth: Feb 16, 1888inMontpelier, Blackford, Indiana

Death: July 30, 1957inCanon City, Fremont, Colorado, USA

Minnie Lou Allen (sure looks a bit like Clarissa Copeland - Samantha Jane Finney Copeland's daughter!)

Joseph Grant Rogers

The grandchildren are trying to solve the mystery of where Minnie was buried. She and her family lived in Colorado, but she must have been traveling when she passed in 1922. After sending for a death certificate, they discovered her place of death. They have written to the cemetery in Blackford, IN but have received no response.
provides a detailed and fascinating history of his life and times.

Minnie and Grant had one son.
Paul Loren Rogers
          Birth: Oct 21, 1917inHavana, Montgomery, Kansas, United States

Death: Dec 16, 1988inDenver, Denver, Colorado

Paul Loren Rogers

Mary Alta Cunningham as an airline hostess
also provides a fascinating memorial of his life and times.
Loren was married to Mary Alta Cunningham
Birth: Aug. 11, 1912
Elk County
Kansas, USA
Death: Dec. 29, 2011
Arapahoe County
Colorado, USA

The Rogers grandchildren have supplied a host of photos on the Findagrave web site, as well as When the Finney book is updated, I will include several. I have included some on this page.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Errata 2 - Copeland AND Finney books


In both books - how could this happen?? - in the long list of husband/wife and children, I have the wrong birthplace for Abner Copeland. He was born in Alamance, NC - and NOT Alamance, KS.

Copeland book - page 331
Finney book - page 138

Good grief. No matter how often you look, and your editors look, these things can happen.

I incorrectly cited that Mary Polly Long's Cherokee parents died on the Trail of Tears. This occurred after the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Lynn Stuter reminded me that Polly was born in 1776 and would have been an adult by 1830 (she died in 1872).

Born: Apr. 2, 1786
Grayson County
Virginia, USA
Death: Sep. 27, 1872
Parke County
Indiana, USA

However, unlike some people who believe that Polly was William Long's daughter by a Cherokee woman, I believe that Polly was full-blooded Cherokee? Why? As a Quaker child, she would have been taught how to read and write. I believe she was adopted as an older child and never could learn to read and write - because she signed her documents with an X, as witnessed in the copies of her application for a War of 1812 pension based on Joseph Finney's military service.

Errata 1 - Finney book

Barbara Williams contributed these Errata. You may wish to mark your Finney books at this time. At a later date, I will be publishing an update with erratta fixed and new information.
Cousette Copeland

Page 97-C, top George Marion Williams child B. is Forrest Edward Williams. He was named after both grand-fathers but they opted for a different spelling for Forrest.

Page 97-C, lower right photo , Inez and son, George Marion , last name should be Williams, not Hendrickson.

Page 97-d, photo, left to right, rear - George Marion, Forest Dale, Mary Inez, Forest Everett Williams, Wanda May Williams Morgan, Donald Henry Morgan. Boys in front are John Everett Morgan and Donald Gene Morgan.

Page 97-d, bottom of page, Shelley Kaye Kessler, not Shelley Kay.

Page 97-d, bottom of page, Connie Marie Leggitt, not Leggit.

Page 97-e, top of page, (2) Gillian Kaye Williams, not Gillian Kay.

Page 97-f, 2. A. Paulette Maxine Furnas married Paul Dean Sunley, not Supley.

Page 215, upper photo, little boy is Alonzo Keith Hendrickson sitting between his parents, George Hamilton and Myrtle May Hendrickson. Reunion was 1929, Forest Dale Williams was not born until August 14, 1934.

Page 294,first line, should be Forest Dale Williams (only one r).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Donald Vernon McKay - born Oct. 8, 1912 died - October 3, 1988

Also known as Vernon McKay
A remarkable career for a white kid from Independence Kansas to the State Department to John Hopkins University!
Credit: From the November 1988 issue of Perspectives on History, © The American Historical Association. Republished with permission. 

Vernon McKay "was born in Independence, Kansas, on October 8, 1912, the son of Peter Miller and Myrtle Ethyl Pierson McKay. He received his A.B. degree from Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas, in 1933. After receiving his M.A. from Syracuse University in 1934, he was appointed to the position of Taft Teaching Fellow at the University of Cincinnati for the years 1934 through 1936. In the summer of 1935 he traveled to Europe to study at the School of International Studies in Geneva and conduct research for his dissertation at the Bibliotheque Nationale, returning to marry Lila Buck on September 22, 1935. Upon completion of his dissertation on the French acquisition of Tunisia, Cornell University awarded McKay the Ph.D. in history in 1939.

"McKay was appointed lecturer in history at Syracuse University in 1936 and promoted to assistant professor in 1940. He left Syracuse in 1945 to become a research associate with the Foreign Policy Association. His first major publication, The Future of Italian Colonies, followed in 1946.

"In 1948, McKay joined the United States Department of Stateas chief of the Political Section of the African Research Bureau. He subsequently became deputy director of the Office of Dependent Area Affairs and served on United States delegations to the United Nations' General Assembly, Trusteeship Council, and Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories. During his years with the State Department, McKay remained an active researcher and scholar of African affairs, producing many important publications, including “Nationalism in British West Africa,”Foreign Policy Reports (March 15, 1948); “British Rule in West Africa,” Foreign Policy Reports (May 15, 1948): “The Impact of the United Nations on Africa,” in Africa Today (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1955): and “Too Slow or Too Fast?”, Foreign Affairs (January 1957).

"McKay resigned from the State Department in September 1956 to become Professor of African Studies and Director of the Program of African Studies at the School of Advanced International Relations, John Hopkins University, a position he held for more than twenty years. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, McKay participated in numerous professional activities and served as a consultant to the United States government and several private agencies during his tenure at Johns Hopkins. He also published several books and numerous articles about Africa, including: “External Political Pressures on Africa Today,” in The United States and Africa (New York: American Assembly, 1958); “Apartheid in a Hostile World,”Africa Report (December 1960); Africa in World Politics (New York: Harper and Row, 1963); “The Impact of Islam on Relations Among the New African States,” in Islam and International Relations (New York: Praeger, 1965); “South African Propaganda: Methods and Media,” Africa Report (February 1966); African Diplomacy, edited by Vernon McKay (New York: Praeger, 1966); Africa in the United States, edited by Vernon McKay (New York: MacFadden-Bartell, 1967); “The Research Climate in Eastern Africa,” African Studies Bulletin (April 1968); and“Southern Africa and its Implications for American Policy,” in Southern Africa and the United States (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968).

"McKay's professional affiliations include the African Studies Association, the American Historical Association, the American Political Science Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Africa Institute, the International Institute of Differing Civilizations, the Royal African Society, the South African Institute of Race Relations, and the Cosmos Club. He has served as a member of the United States Commission for UNESCO, 1960-1966; as chairman of the American Selection Committee, United States-South African Faculty Exchange Program, 1961; as president of the African Studies Association, 1961-1962; as chairman of the Advisory Council on African Affairs, United States Department of State, 1962-1968; as a member of the Advisory Committee of International Organization Affairs, United States Department of State, 1965-1969; as a member of the Board of Directors of the African-American Institute, 1965-1969; and as a consultant on African Affairs to the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, the International Cooperation Administration, the Grolier Society, and Project Africa of Carnegie Mellon University. Baker University awarded him an honorary L.L.D. in 1961.

"Poor health forced McKay to retire from Johns Hopkins in the late 1970s. He died on October 4, 1988." [1]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Papers, Vernon McKay Papers, accessed June 15, 2010.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


In 1923 and 1924, Duane was a high school student and basketball star at Independence High School in Independence, Kansas. He played the bassoon and he showed off a wonderful smile. Twenty years later, he would be in one of the most difficult battles of WWII - the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the 424 INFANTRY REGIMENT.

I am told that Duane was one of 150 captured prisoners, most of whom were shot dead by SS Soldiers. After that, the American military ordered that all SS Officers were to be shot on site.

Duane was buried at Henri Chapelle cemetery in Belgium. There is a memorial plaque in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kansas where his grandparents Benjamin Franklin Sr and Margaret (McKinlay) McKay were buried.

Sixty-nine years later, a man in Germany attempts to return Duane McKay's knapsack with mess kit to the McKay family in the U.S.


Explains history of how the Shearer family's 1821 letter from PA to Germany was presented to American military, which saved their village of Wormrath.

This is the e-mail thread (I removed the German language emails and left in the Google translations) and photos:


Thank you for replying to my inquiry. It appears that you are related to the McKay family that I am searching for. My relative in Germany emailed me last week and said that while cleaning out the attic of his recently deceased mother (she was 95), he found a WWII Army backpack and messkit. The backpack is clearly labeled as the property of Duane McKay. Heinrich does not know how it got there because this mother never spoke of it. We are from the Rhineland region (he actually living there, but that is my ancestoral home). I believe Duane was mortally wounded early in the Ardennes offensive, which is located about 30 miles west of Kirchberg/Womrath. Heinrich said that his uncles were fighting at the eastern Russian front and not at the Western front. He and I did some research and were able to determine Duane came from Independence KS. As a subscriber to, I was able to find Duane in the 1930 and 1940 census as well as his yearbook information and photo.

Attached are two pictures of the backpack and messkit. I believe Heinrich feels an obligation to repatriate the items with the family. Even though there was unimagineable horror and tremendous hate generated by the war, there were moments of humanity. Apparently, as the story goes, at the end of WWII as the Allies were advancing to Berlin, a group of released Lithuanian prisoners' of war wanted to torch the village of Womrath. (The village was largely spared damage through the war.) The villagers produced a letter written in 1821 by my ancestor from his home (and my current home) in Reading, PA to his family in Womrath and presented it to an American officer. It appears the American officer was convinced by or took pity on the villagers and prevented the Lithuanians from burning the village. He apparently stationed guards around the village to protect it. So you see why my relative has kind feelings for the American service men and would like to give the backpack and messkit to the McKay family.

I was not correct in the info on this brother Donald Vernon. I mistook a Vernon McKay in Leavenworth KS, who had a son Gary, for Donald Vernon. I am glad you are the correct lineage. I had hoped to get in contact with Donald Vernon's relatives, since they are more closely related to Duane. If you have any way of locating Kathleen's or Margaret's family that would be great, but I will pass this info on to Heinrich.

I'm sure that knowing the items are being returned to any proper relative will please him.

Thank you for all your time. Best Regards,

Jeff Shearer

Hello Cousette,

I got your address from Jeffand I will write you the same. I write with a simple German, so the machine can translate it well. My wife and mysons are not in the moment as much time to write inEnglish. Jeff told you the other story with the American soldiers in Womrath? The ancestors are from Jeff early as 1764 and 1769 emigrated from Womrath out to Reading. From 1820 there is a wonderful letter, which the emigrant John Christopher Scherer (Shearer) wrote.Years ago I set up this great genealogy. After my time as a teacher I have now dedicated to the genealogy and migration. In addition to the Scherer many other families have emigrated, you might say, in all parts of the world. A Johann Michael Imboden emigrated after 1882 Enon Valley. Last year, his descendants were with me in Womrath. It was verysentimental. I would love toget in touch with the family of the poor soldiers McKay. I still have not clarified exactly how the backpack of the dead Duane came 4 months later in our house. I suspect that American occupation soldiers have leftthe backpack in mid-March 1945 Womrath.

I look forward to a response and to further correspondence.

Heinrich Augustin


A second email with photos from Heinrich.

Cousette love and dear Jeff,
after I wrote to Cousette is, I remembered that
I still can not send you anything.
In autumn 2008, our youngest son for 3 months as a teacher at the
German School of New York. Unfortunately, it was not from the time
possible to travel to Pennsylvannia to our numerous
Shearer to visit relatives.
I send you now pictures of my birthplace, where the
Backpack on the memory was. That house is my 1858
Great-great uncle Jacob Schmidt emigrated to St. Peter Castle, where he died on
Zarenhof German and worked as a music teacher. Three images show
the house around 1920, 1960 and 1998. My wife and I have in
Kirchberg, 5 km from Womrath neuese 1981 built a house.
The next house is the house of my father, from the 1882
Emigrated Johann Michael Imboden after Enon Valley.
Then there's the house that Jeff might know, it is the house
the emigrant brothers Johann and Johann Christopher Nicolaius Scherer.

Hello Cousette

I saw in your blog and discovered that I sent you a week ago, the false images of my parents' house. Now when the correct images where the backpack was in the attic.

The other images: Manfred Augustin is the house of the two Shearer, relatives of Jeff and me, and then you see me with Sheri Button and her husband before the home of my father, from the Johann Michael Imboden has emigrated to Enon Valley. The air intake is our present house in Kirchberg.

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