Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Gathering of the Clan

In the mid-1850's, a family of eight brothers began their journey from their roots in Missouri to the western states.  There were eight brothers, ranging in age from 6 years to 28 years in age.  When the gold rush began, the older brothers set out to find their fortunes in the hills of California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington State.  

When the father, Thomas Rains, died in Missouri, the rest of the family set out on the Oregon Train to join the older brothers.  My great grandfather, James Polk Rains, was the youngest brother.  When he grew to adulthood, he settled on a farm in the remote area of Idaho now known as Warren.  As he worked in the field pressing hay, a local rogue band of the Sheepeater Indians came upon his homestead.  He was killed in the skirmish with the Indians, and is the last known settler who fell victim to the Indian wars of the late 1800's.  When he died, my grandfather was 6 years old.  He went on to become a doctor, serving the residents of the area around Grangeville, Idaho, before coming to Seattle to finish his years as a physician there.

Meanwhile, John Bunyan Rains, my great grandfather's older brother, returned to Missouri, and all contact between the brothers was lost over the years.

My third cousin, David George Rains, has been researching family history, and in his research, found our family.  On August 21, we gathered the cousins to meet David and learn some more about our family history from him.  He brought many really interesting documents he has found at libraries, courthouses, old newspaper clippings, family bibles, etc.  He truly is a wealth of information and probably knows more about our current families than we do ourselves.
We all fell in love with his delightful wife, Donna, who has helped him over the years in his historical search.
We had a great time with a congenial group of cousins, spouses, children and grand children. I love the family potlucks where the best cooks I know bring something special.
I got to see my cousin, David, for the first time since we were 14, and meet his wife, Phyllis.
More people, in no particular order:
Cousin Eddie
Niece, Teri
Daughter in Law, Tina
Grandson, Jesse, granddaughter, Sara, Daughter, Amy, and son, Tony. 
Tony, Sandy, Uncle Marvin, Eddie
Teresa, David, Phyllis, Marvin, Donna
Phyllis, Eddie, Lora, Teresa
Eddie,Donna, David, Lora, Jessie May
Donna, David, Lora, Jessie May, Susie
Sara, Amy, Lora, David
All the descendants of Thomas Rains that gathered today.
Eddie, David, Teri, Amy, Jesse, Sara
Jessie May, Rosemary, Susie, Tony
Teresa, David
Lots of fun, great conversation, good weather, and a history lesson.  Life is good!