Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oklahoma Road Trip, Part 2

Read Oklahoma Road Trip, Part 1 here.

On day 2 of our Oklahoma family history road trip, we drove through Velma on our way to Duncan. The town of Velma has a detailed history online. If you read the whole thing, just know that Frank Jones is my great-great grandfather. His future father-in-law, Christopher Colbert is my third-great grandfather.

My grandmother's middle name is Velma and I don't think it is a coincidence. Maybe her mother knew the Velma for whom the town was named.

After Velma, we headed on to Duncan, Oklahoma. My grandma was born here in 1914 and spoke of it often. Last time I was there, it was during freezing January temperatures. This time it was 100+ degrees and in the middle of an exceptional drought.

I spent some time in the Stephens County Genealogical Society Library. They were very helpful before and during my visit, assisting me in what to bring and what to view when I arrived. They are located at 301 North Eighth Street in Duncan, Oklahoma, 73533. 580-255-8718 or

They have a large collection of the Duncan Banner newspaper on microfilm. I viewed some 1936-1937 issues, hoping they would verify that my grandmother wrote the society column during that time. Unfortunately, the column was not credited, though everything else seemed to be. I have proof she worked for the paper and her wedding announcement mentions the society work. I guess I'll just have to be happy with that, though I did hope to see her name in print.

I did have success in the obituary category. I found announcements in the Duncan Banner for Nancy Bourland Colbert (my third-great grandmother) in 1912, my great-great grandmother Carrie Colbert Jones in 1958, and two of her daughters, as well as others in my family tree.

While we were at the genealogy library, my dad struck up a conversation with Super Volunteer Sandy. He talked about his grandfather, Dr. Sam Williamson who was a prominent physician back in the day and lived right around the corner from the library until the 1930's. Sandy mentioned the current owner of the house and offered to call her. She did and the owner of the house where my grandmother grew up invited us over to visit.

This is why the pursuit of your family history is awesome.

Oklahoma Road Trip, Part 3


  1. Good information - I gotta do an Oklahoma road trip one of these days - lots of Brinlees were there.

  2. "Velma" my mom hated that name. Another question I wish we could ask her.

  3. Your mom's birth certificate shows Velma as her first name. It is the only document I've ever seen with her names in that order.

  4. The people of Duncan are just one of the reasons that we love our community! What a great story that you were able to visit your great grandfather's home!!!