Collins Family Genealogy
The Collins Family is a line near and dear to my heart: my beloved great-grandmother, Grammy, was a Collins, and through her I feel even closer to relations I never had the opportunity to meet.
Letha Alice Collins was born in 1894 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, to Zachariah Taylor Collins and Mary Eldora Damewood. Letha married Raymond Oliver Perry in Alturas, California, in 1917, and they are both buried in Lodi, California.
Grammy loved her soaps and game shows and played thousands of games of Solitaire, but what I remember her for more than anything was her love and passion for the Dodgers. She followed the Dodgers on radio when they played in Brooklyn, and watched them on television when they moved to Los Angeles. I grew up hearing names like Tommy Lasorda, Steve Garvey, and Fernando Valenzuela. She would have dearly loved Mike Piazza, and I’m sorry that she died shortly before he arrived on the baseball scene. Her older brother, Lester Charles Collins, played catch with her when she would come home from school, and declared he would take her as pitcher on his team, if he had one. Lester served in World War I, and will be the subject of a future blog entry.
Zachariah Taylor Collins (1848-1933) married Mary Eldora Damewood (1861-1942). Zachariah was born in Washington County, Ohio, and Mary Eldora Damewood was born in Kansas. Both arrived in Oregon with their families by wagon train. Both are buried in Lane County, Oregon, in the Laurel Grove cemetery. Zachariah served with Captain Applegate as an Indian fighter in both Oregon and California in the late 1800s, and was recognized for his service in the 1930s. He was working as a cooper or barrel maker when he met Mary Eldora. In fact, he was making a delivery of barrels to Mary Eldora’s father, and her father invited Zachariah to stay to dinner. They married in 1882. Later, Zachariah bought and ran his own sawmill. Zachariah and Dora, as Mary Eldora was called, were evidently well-to-do: my grandmother described receiving a silver dollar for her tenth birthday, and this was during the heighth of the Depression.
Zachariah’s parents were Hezekiah Collins (1810-1884) and Sarah Jane Wood (1813-1891). They were both born in Virginia, and married in 1832, Albemarle County, Virginia. Hezekiah, according to Letha Alice Collins, had a twin brother, Malikiah. I have been unable to determine whether the name was actually Malachi, or even whether this twin actually existed. If the twin died at birth, as a baby, or even as a young child, there is an excellent chance that there would be no record of the twin. Hezekiah and Sarah moved first to western Virginia (later the state of West Virginia) to start their family. Their first-born, Mildred Jane, was born in Lewis County, Virginia. Their last-born, Zachariah Taylor, was born in Ohio, right across the river from western Virginia. From there, the family wagon-trained to Iowa, where Mildred met and married her husband, James Waggoner. After a few years, Hezekiah captained a wagon train to Oregon. Prior to this, Hezekiah had been a farmer. In Oregon, he was a hotel keeper for the first hotel in Cottage Grove, built by his son-in-law, James. Hezekiah’s final whereabouts are unknown, but Sarah is buried in the Fir Grove cemetery, in Cottage Grove, Oregon.
Are you related to this family? Leave a comment, and let’s compare notes!