My Ancestors!

Ancestor LOGOSince this is a special week on our ancestors, I want to let you know about some of my family members, who I share with sister Filly, Linda Brody.

Although the Texas Panhandle was founded in 1875 when the town of Mobeetie was settled, Kasota Spring, Texas, didn’t come along until 2008.  Yes, 2008!  But in our minds, it was established in 1890 when our anthology Give Me a Cowboy, written by Linda and me, along with two other Amarillo authors, DeWanna Pace and Jodi Thomas, came to fruition. It is the second of the six anthologies written for Kensington by the four of us.

Since we decided to write all of our stories over the 4th of July rodeo weekend in 1890, we had some logistics to work out.  It also gave us the opportunity for Linda and me to write our stories with a heroine mother and daughter team, who were founders of Kasota Springs and lived on the same ranch. The name came from one of Tempest’s five deceased husbands who won the ranch in a poker game with four jacks … thus the Jacks Bluff Ranch.  The two women were as different as night and day.  The feisty, fun loving; yet, prime and proper Tempest LeDoux had one issue after another with her confident, sassy daughter Alaine Claire LeDoux, who would prefer to wear boots and shoot like Annie Oakley.

Linda Pix for Kasota Springs Family

I don’t know about you, but I think the picture I posted is definitely Tempest LeDoux and her daughter, Alaine.  The second picture (of the couple) I totally believe is Teg Tegler, the ranch foreman of The Jacks Bluff and Edwinna Dewey, who is Tempest’s aunt. They came up to Linda and me at the Cowboy Symposium a few years ago and I couldn’t believe how much they reminded me of the way I imagined Teg and Edwinna.  They asked that their book be autographed to the two characters.

Edwinna Dewey and Teg Tegler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last of the anthologies A Texas Christmas took place over several snowy days in Kasota Springs.  That’s where you’ll meet a lot of our characters who reappear five or six generations later in my contemporary romances.  There’s Randall Humphrey who is the blacksmith and made the belfry for the new church bell that Tess Whitgrove and Sloan Sullivan have brought to town. The town gossip, Edwinna Dewey reappears. This anthology has been released for the last two holiday seasons, so we’re hoping it’ll be released again this year.

The Jacks Bluff and Edwinna appear in my first small town contemporary The Troubled Texan where hunky sheriff Donovan “Deuce” Cowan almost arrests Rainey Michaels before he realizes they went to school together in Denton, Texas. She’s an LA ADA and is on the run from a murderer she prosecuted…a lunatic who promised to kill her. Deuce has to protect Rainey, although he knows she has lots of secrets. Small-town Texas isn’t big enough for both of them…or is it just right? You will also meet Sylvie Dewey who works for Rainey. Sylvie has a mysterious back story with a lot of hidden family secrets. She’s always let men use her and in her own book (planned to be book 4) things do not change in that regard.

Now for the fun, the second Kasota Spring Romance Into the Texas Night is full of fifth and six generation of the founders.  Avery Danielle Humphrey is the daughter of Mayor Humphrey and her mother is a Sullivan.  Deuce Cowan and his deputies from The Troubled Texan remain an important part of this story, but there are new deputies coming to town.  You will get to know Mesa LeDoux and her grandmother Johnson from the Jacks Bluff.  Granny is getting older and has to cut back on being a full time rough stock contractor. Mesa’s interest has turned to horse rescue. Deuce talks Brody VanZant, an undercover deputy, to come out of hiding and work for Bonita County full time.  He agrees and not to soon either. Danielle’s father pressures her to move back to Kasota Springs after her partner is killed while on duty and she can’t get over it.  The problem, she isn’t sure she can come back to the only job she knows … being a lawman, which she tries to keep a secret!

Kasota Springs, in many ways, hasn’t changed an iota since our first anthology in 1887 but it’s more modernized but is based around the same founding families with some new characters showing up.

I had my choice of two of my own family stories, but thought I’d bring you all up to date with what’s been going on in Kasota Springs over the last century and a quarter.  My stories were dull and I would have had to make up parts…most parts.  My maternal grandmother Womack was raised on a southern plantation in Louisiana and married my grandfather Johnson who came from a large family, including a grandmother who was a Blackfoot Princess. He worked building the railroad. We didn’t ask personal questions when they were alive, but I’m wondering how they got together.  I know the plantation is true and the town “Womack, Louisiana” is still on the map.  But one day, I’m writing their stories the way I wish they had gotten together.  Do you have any family stories you don’t know enough about but wish you did?

To two lucky readers, I’ll give away an autographed copy

Of your choice of an eBook or trade back of

The Troubled Texan

Phyliss
A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com
Updated: October 1, 2014 — 11:39 pm

27 Comments

  1. I loved the post today Phyllis. Thank you.

    Yes, I would love to know how my paternal grandparents got together, His family came over from Germany when he was very young. My grandmother had German roots as well. I would like to know the story of my Grandfather’s parents and why they left Germany. They were from the Alsace Lorraine region between Germany and France. We had a French name but German heritage.

    Have an awesome day!

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  2. I have lots of family stories I wish I knew more about. One of them is that two families from one side of my family moved from Germany to one town in I think it was Iowa and lived on opposite sides of the town. They didn’t know each other yet. Then they both moved to South Dakota at slightly different times to the same town, again on opposite sides of town. This time two of their kids met and eventually married.

  3. I don’t know much about any of my family. My family has never been very close and don’t talk much. So, family history has just about been lost.

  4. Whether our families are big or small or we have colorful histories or not, family is priceless!

  5. Hi Phyliss… love your post! Thanks for mentioning me and our anthologies. Tempest LeDoux was one of my favorite characters to write. She just exploded onto the page and took over my story. She wrote it suit herself. So, of course, I let her because she had quite a story to tell. Glad you could use the photo of me and my sister that was taken in Deadwood.

    I think it’s ingenious how the characters in your contemporary series are descendents of the ones in the two anthologies!

    Wishing you tons of success!!!

    1. Thanks, Miss Linda. I’m so glad we were able to write the two out of the six anthologies based on the same setting and activities. That really gave us some room to have fun. I think an exceptionally funny scene was in “Cowboy” when Tempest and Alaine had to share a hotel room for the rodeo and box supper. Tempest left a half eaten box of fried chicken and some pickles in the room. After the rodeo and Alaine and Morgan were muddy, she had to take a bath. Although she had a curtain around her the scene we wrote about the whole pickles and whether he liked a breast or leg best was so funny! Then I stole all of your characters (with your permission, of course)! Have a great evening. See you tomorrow morning early. Love, P

  6. I am loving all these posts this week! I do have stories I wish I knew more about, including the one where my grandmother claimed an Indian ancestor! Have traced her to a Jim Box of which there are several on Ancestory.com and several of those who are Indian but can’t figure out which one!

  7. Fascinating post. I used to love doing genealogy. We are a family of writers: me (romances), my brother Gerald Clarke (biographies), my late brother-in-law Martin Dardis(sports tell-all), my Inez Clarke (confessions) and my grandfather (bad checks!).

    1. Wow, Chelley, I’ve known a few family who had several writers in their family, but your’s takes the cake. And you grandfather writing bad checks is so funny! You made my day with your comment. Hugs, Phyliss

  8. I know bits and pieces. Both sets of grandparents came from Sicily and I got to hear many interesting stories. I never did meet my dad’s father because he died when my dad was 11. There was one distant relative who I never met who did do a genealogy on my dad’s side and supposedly went quite a bit back to show we came from royalty of some kind in Italy. I would love to know the real story.

    1. Hi Catslady,

      Great story of your family. I think you need to go back in genelogy and check out your family. If I ever stop writing, that’s exactly what I want to do. I’m afraid to start while I have deadlines because now just Pinterest take up a lot of time, but I love doing it. Let us know what you find out about your family … whether we should begin calling you Madam Catslady or what! Hugs, Phyliss

  9. Hi Cindy and Faith,

    I love your stories. I mentioned in the blog that I had two stories and the second one is my father and his heritage. I’ve got a lot of German in me, too. Daddy’s great-grandfather came over to the United States during the overthrow of Kaiser Wilhelm. The name was changed to Pannier (which is actually French). The genealogy that has been done (before the computer age) can only trace the name back to when they arrived in the U.S. Now there were always two theories. Daddy’s family was involved in the overthrow, thus escaped Germany and came to the U.S. or (and this is Daddy’s preference) we were royalty and came to the U.S. and changed our name for protection. Now isn’t that something! Most of our family is gone, but if I weren’t writing full time, I’d definitely be doing genealogy! You girls might be my cousins or something … who knows! Have a great day, my friends. Phyliss

  10. I am loving the sharing of the Fillies’ history, even fictional!
    My grandmother always claimed to have a native American ancestor but we have never been able to prove it. Wish I had asked more questions!

    1. Hi Connie J. I sure understand that, wishing to have asked more questions. One thing about my two basic ancestries … I inherited many of the characteristics of the American Indian side of the family and certainly the hips of the Germans. Hugs, Phyliss

  11. Enjoyed your post! I keep saying to myself that I need to look into my family’s history… I know there was Native American on my grandfather’s side… maybe one day I will find out some interesting tidbits…

  12. Fun post, Phyliss! I’ve loved all of the anthologies and can’t wait to read about the future generations of Kasota Springs.

    1. Kirsten, it’s been a lot of fun to continue their stories. Since I’m still writing for Kensington and with the approval of the authors of the original stories, I was given a wonderful opportunity to do this project. In “The Tycoon and the Texan”, although it was originally written as a cat romance, my characters ended up with Granny Johnson and Lola Ruth on the Jacks Bluff Ranch. Some people count that as the first Kasota Springs, but it really isn’t. “The Troubled Texan” is really the first that has the name “A Kasota Springs Romance” on the cover. I hope you get to read all of them. They all come in eBook and paperback. Big hugs and thanks for stopping by. I’m running late, late and apologize. Hugs, Phyliss

  13. Phyliss, I have enjoyed all the Kasota Springs books that took place in the 1800’s. The way the stories and characters overlap from book to book and author to author has made them especially enjoyable. I haven’t read the contemporaries yet, but it sounds like I will have to, good plots and characters. It will be interesting to see how they link back to the historical characters.

    We did ask questions of my maternal grandparents, especially since we kept hearing the ancestors were french trappers along the St. Lawrence and marriage to an indian was rumored. My grandfather refused to talk about any family history. “Why do you want to know about all that stuff?” was his usual reply. It is really a shame we don’t know more about the family history. He may have been thinking more about his past. We found out he was a rum runner from the Canadian border to NYC during prohibition.

    My brother has been doing extensive research into both sides of the family history. He has uncovered some interesting things. The indian connection is difficult to track down. They took english or french last names when the converted to catholicism in that area. It is a good guess if the name is one of about a dozen surnames used, but not proof. He is still digging. Another problem is they got caught in the English exile of the Acadians to Louisiana. It seems our relatives went into hiding either staying in Canada or returning. Either way, they changed their last names, sometimes multiple times to keep from getting caught. Their naturalization papers when they became US citizens have opened new questions. Names and dates do not match up with records and there are two couples with the same exact names (first, maiden, last) from the same place in Ireland. They were supposed to escaping English persecution of catholics, but they may have been loyalists which would have put them on the wrong side of most of the Irish here at the time. The details await in Ireland, we hope. If I can figure out how to do the research, we hope to take our big retirement trip to Ireland-Scotland-England next year and answer these questions and some from my husbands english ancestors. It makes history an interesting and exciting subject.

    1. Patricia, how interesting. Even with your grandfather saying what he did “Why do you want to know about all that stuff?” tells you a lot. Hey, we heard that on my grandfather’s side of the family one of his uncles, a judge, had to hang another of his uncles for who knows what. Like your grandfather, we never got a yes or not. I think now with the computer, many of our questions can be answered, but then some we may not want answered. I know I have one that went to my parent’s graves with them and neither one knew that I knew. Have fun with finding out more and more about your family. It can sure become addictive. Thanks for the compliments on our stories. “Cowboy” was the only book where we wrote pages for one another, all of the rest, we shared ideas and plots but wrote each individual story. We had so much fun and miss it, but all four of us are busy with contracts on our individual works, so there’s a good chance we’ll never do another anthology together, but we do read each others stories. Hugs, Phyliss

  14. I really don’t know that much about my family history. I know my grandmother had a lot of indian in her and my grandfather was Irish and that is about all I know.

    1. Miss Quilt Lady, those sure are strong characteristics! I love it. Thanks for dropping by and sharing. Hugs, Phyliss

  15. Phyliss, what a clever take on the ancestors’ week! I love it! Thanks for bringing us all up to date on the Kasota Springs gang. What a ton of fun!

    I’m so glad to have my computer back–having had one now in three days, so I’ll be playing “catch up” with comments.

    Much love to you, dear friend, and here’s hoping for many more Kasota Springs stories!

    Hugs,
    Cheryl

    1. Hi friend, glad you got your computer back up and going. I haven’t turned mine on for several days, so I’m in catchup mode. When we can up with this idea to bring in the founding families from Kasota Springs, I was so happy. It’s been fun. Everyone has been so helpful in getting information to me on their original chronologies, so mine would fit. Again, I basically relied on my characters, but used some of Linda’s with her permission. I think the story I’m working on now will be the strongest one yet, so I’m excited. Take care of yourself, my friend. Hugs, Phyliss

  16. Hi Janine, glad to see you here today. Unfortunately, that is what has happened to many families. I truly believe part of it is because it was rude to talk about “such things”. I know when I used “pregnant” in front of my grandmother she nearly had a heart attack and got me corrected really fast that I was “in the family way”! Have a great evening, Janine.

  17. Melanie,I absolutely LOVE what you wrote. You are so right. We may not know all of our family who went before us, but they made up the family we are today. Priceless for sure. Hugs, Phyliss

  18. LOL, I would have to make up stories to get anything interesting in my ancestral history too. 🙂 THanks for sharing!

    1. Good to see you, Susan. Some people have such fascinating members of their families and some just don’t, but it take all of them to make history. I bet you’ve got more to work off of than you think. Have a great weekend. Hugs, Phyliss

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