Damewood Family Genealogy
My great-great grandmother, Mary Eldora Damewood, was born May 31, 1860 in Indiola, Kansas. At least, that’s what my great-grandmother told me. This location has been written down several times amongst various family papers by different family members, so after seeing it in print so many times it is indelibly written in my memory. Trouble is, Indiola, Kansas does not exist…now or then. I have done my due diligence researching this, and have scoured maps, checked web sites, and checked with historians and genealogists from the State of Kansas who all agree on the same thing: Mary Eldora must have been born in Indianola, Kansas, not Indiola.
I’m willing to accept this. It makes sense on several accounts. For one thing, Mary Eldora’s parents did not leave any writings behind indicating where their eldest daughter was born, and so we have only Mary Eldora’s memory to rely on…and she left Kansas at one year old. In fact, one of my favorite stories regarding Mary Eldora (She went by Dora, so I will, too) is her traveling to Oregon. Dora was born to John Damewood and Nancy Jane Cave. John and Nancy were both born in Indiana (John in 1829, Nancy in 1833) and married in Indiana. Then they moved to Kansas, had their first-born child in 1857 (a son named Leroy) and then a daughter, Dora, in 1860. A year later, they loaded up and joined a wagon train headed to Oregon. The thing is, little Dora, at a year old, had just learned to walk. Traveling through unknown territory, staying on guard at all times, Dora was not able to practice her new walking skills and thus, when the Damewood family arrived in Jacksonville, Oregon, Dora had to learn to walk all over again!
One of my travel goals this next summer is to attempt to find out more about the Damewood family while they were in Kansas.
Dora eventually met and married Zachariah Taylor Collins, a local cooper. They are buried in the Laurel Grove Cemetery, Lane County, Oregon.
John Damewood and Nancy Jane Cave are buried in the Silk Creek Cemetery, Lane County, Oregon, just outside Cottage Grove. John’s parents, Henry Damewood and Elizabeth Rader, were from Tennessee, and both died in Indiana.
Henry’s parents, John H. Damewood and Catherine Hoffman, were from Tennessee.
John H.’s father, Malachi Damewood, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and died in Knox County, Tennessee.
Malachi’s father, Heinrich Demuth, was a cobbler from Switzerland.
If you are related to this family, shoot me a comment, and let’s compare notes. I always enjoy meeting a new cousin!