Family History Is History

By Ruby Beard Tuggle
An Oklahoma Story by Ruby Beard TuggleMy 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.


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 quickly spread west 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. The Tuggles arrived nearly a century later in 1945.

Western Oregon is warm and pleasant in the summer, and soggy wet in the winter months. It is also breathtakingly beautiful, offering ideal conditions for farmers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Though hard, life in Oregon was the opportunity my ancestors sought and many made their mark on the history of the State and their communities.

Lyman Beard Family in Roff, OK 1906The Beard family farmed the wide open spaces of Kansas, then ran the race known as the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. They established several cities in Oklahoma and have left 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 Books page. My entire working database is available on and Rootsweb.comPlease sign my Guestbook or leave a comment on any page or story.

You’ll find my 46-marker DNA test results listed HERE and at (ID 9383V).

My current research foci:
  1. Thomas Bennett (born c. 1806, in England) – I believe he purchased land in Iowa in 1846. I have proof he married Phoebe Creswell there in 1848, and died on the Oregon Trail in 1852. Recent discovery of a Memorial Inscription in an obscure cemetery in Derbyshire leads me to believe he was born in the Simmondley area near Glossop.
  2. George Beard (born c. 1785?, in TN or VA) married to Matilda Neal – still searching for documented evidence of his parents.

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.

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