Family History Is History

An Oklahoma Story by Ruby Beard Tuggle

By Ruby Beard Tuggle
My grandmother’s colorful autobiographical story of the accomplishments and struggles of new westerners settling Oklahoma. Claiming land in this frontier territory held a dangerous and unknown future for those courageous enough to try.

My intention for this web site is to remember and honor the amazing people who worked to provide me such a rich family history and wonderful life today. I offer family members near and far access to my genealogical research and resources with the intent to connect, share, and support one another in feeling and expressing our gratitude.

My Family History

Arriving in America at the beginning of the 17th century, some of my ancestors helped to establish some of the first non-indigenous settlements in the New World. They participated in the Revolutionary War for independence from England; then again in the war of 1812; later serving on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Meanwhile, some made their way westward across the continent. Norman brothers 1881In the early-to-mid 1840s, the Garrison and Lee families traveled over the Oregon Trail to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The Bennett, Creswell, Gowdy, Odell, Clark, Hull, Roelofson and Kemp families followed them in the “Great Migration” of 1851-3, settling in the warm and pleasant, breathtakingly beautiful, though often soggy Willamette Valley. 

Lyman Beard Family in Roff, OK 1906Some of my ancestors farmed the wide open spaces of the Midwest and stayed – leaving a legacy of meaningful contributions to country and community.


I’ve amassed a collection of family photos you’ll find in the Photo Gallery including photos from the Bennett, Creswell, Gowdy, Odell, Clark, Hull, Roelofson, Kemp, Tuggle, Helm, Beard, McCormick, Gates, Hurd, Warwick, Norman, Huddleston, Bardin, Mitchell, Luper, and Campbell families.

Grandpa Lloyd Bennette operated the first motorized stage coach between McMinnville and the Oregon Coast.


I’ve collected some Stories – and would love to receive more (feel free to share with me!). Some stories have been compiled into books, many of which are available as free downloads from my downloads page. I’ve posted my database to and and connected it to Please sign my Guestbook or leave a comment on any page or story.

I’m also a contributor to Most of my contributions are from the South Yamhill Cemetery in Masonville, a rural community southwest of McMinnville, Oregon.

My current research focus is George Beard (born c. 1785?, in TN or VA) married to Matilda Neal – still searching for documented evidence to connect him to his parents, Lewis(?) Beard and unknown mother.

I greatly appreciate any assistance with any line in my family history. Please feel free to contact me or sign my Guestbook.

Greg Bennette
Salem, OR

My Database

My Family Tree in FamilySearch’s Family Tree

You must create or have an account at to participate. Accounts are free. I participate in keeping the data in their family tree accurate and well-documented. FamilySearch offers me free and extensive access to billions of records. Their goal seems to be to create one all-inclusive family tree, a goal I share and applaud. Their tools are world-class. Fortunately, my personal genealogical record-keeping software, RootsMagic, facilitates my connection to the FamilySearch Family Tree. Disclosure: FamilySearch is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (of which I am not a member).

My Database on Rootsweb

Check out my database on
Check out my database on – free!

This is my WORKING database online at (no membership required). Although you can trust records in this database that are supported by good documentation, you should still check it yourself for accuracy. At you may download gedcoms of portions of this database (up to 10 generations in either direction) for use in your own genealogy application – for some ideas on which software to use, see my Resources page.

My Database on Ancestry

If you are an Ancestry member, you may find additional resources and links to documentation in my Ancestry database. Note: this database is not as current as my Rootsweb database.

About Greg Bennette

Greg Bennette
Greg Bennette

I was fortunate enough to have parents and grandparents who left a long and lasting impression of good on me. Though I miss those who have passed, I carry them close, in my heart – I think of and dream about them often.

I was also fortunate enough to marry an amazing woman from a sweet family. She is my life’s love and muse.

My family has taught me how to love deeply and to care about life. I cannot begin to express the profoundness of the gratitude I feel for these wonderful people in my life.

My family history tells the story of how I became what I am today – a jigsaw puzzle that fascinates and delights me. I love discovering and figuring out the placement of each puzzle piece. I especially enjoy reading, hearing, and sharing historical family stories and accounts that give color and perspective to the overall picture.

A Computer Genealogist

I built my first computer in 1968 and have been programming them since 1967 (PDP-8s). When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) came out with their free PAF genealogical database decades ago, I jumped on it. Today, I depend on Roots Magic (RM) as my prime genealogical software on my Windows 10 desktop. Every year, RM software gets more useful and better connected to major online repositories.

Thanks to online resources like,,,, and the LDS church’s free online resource,, millions upon millions of records are available to anyone with access to the internet. I encourage you to join me and the nearly hundred thousand other contributors involved in FamilySearch’s on-going indexing program – over a billion records indexed so far!

I Love Photos!

Thanks to my Dad, I have a huge collection of digitally scanned Bennette-Odell family photos to share with you. Thanks to my Grandpa (Paul) Tuggle, I have an even larger collection of digitally scanned Tuggle-Beard family photos to share. And thanks to the Norman Family of North Carolina and Virginia, I have a large collection of Hurd-Warwick-Norman family photos for you to enjoy.

If you have a photo that might fit into my collection, please contact me!

And Stories!

Stories substantiate families and societies with historical context. We understand ourselves by reading the history of our families within the context of the environments in which we lived. If you have a story to share about one of my ancestors or relatives, I’d love to pass it along. Please contact me!

Correct Me, Please!

I’ve gathered a lot of data from a lot of sources. Some of it is not supported with adequate documentation. I appreciate any and all assistance toward making my database accurate. Please feel free to contact me – I love communicating with relatives.

Please – Join me on Facebook.

Contact Me

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