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.

My current research focus is on George Beard (born c. 1785?, in TN or VA) married to Matilda Neal – still searching for documented evidence of his parents. I hope to soon have some DNA evidence to work with. Many thanks to Mary Toliver for allowing me to use her DNA profile to confirm our Bennett ancestry in the Glossop area of Derbyshire, England.

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

My Database

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.

Surname List

This is a list of all the surnames (last names) in my database. If you find more than a few of your ancestors’ surnames in this list, you may find it useful to locate your ancestors in my database at Rootsweb (easier to find).

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!

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