BC: This book is not complete, as history is never complete...but always building and growing. I will live on in the memory of some future generation..through stories and pictures and perhaps...if this survives...through my words as well. May we all meet again in that circle that will never again be broken! Hallelujah....Amen!
FC: My Family History Paula Jeanette Elliott Fawcett | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
1: In contemplating the creation of this family book, I pondered how I should start. Do I just put pictures with no commentary? Do I just identify people and write nothing of their history? If I write too much (and we all know that I could), this would end up a novel and that should be left for another day. If I write nothing it will be only a collection of photographs with no life...no story to tell. The balance is the ultimate goal! There needs to be enough written history to balance the photographic chronicle without diminishing the story projected by the eyes, the smiles...or the telltale lack of smiles. So before the visual journey, let's embark upon the sea of words, the trail of statistics that bind us together in this family. Long ago there was a man...his name was Mark Johnston. He was born in Illinois and as the oldest son of a pious Roman Catholic family, he was slated to become a cleric. Taking vows was not what Mark envisioned for his life. He wanted to marry and have children. Would his devout family understand and support his decision? Well...not exactly. As a matter of fact he was virtually banished from the fold. Because of their harsh treatment, or perhaps as his own rebellious statement or to make sure that he was not found and brought back, he changed the spelling of his last name. No longer a Johnston...he would be henceforth, Mark Johnson. Some time later he met and married Carrie H. Turner. She was a dark-haired beauty and they would go on to have several children. There were five boys: Frank, Charlie and Jim, Joe, and Fred. The daughters included Florence, Bertha and Mary. I wonder if Mary was named after Mark's sister? Not many pictures survive of these cherished ancestors... just faint memories of the remaining grandchildren (Ila, Jean , and Sondra). But as long as life persists, and stories are told...they will remain with us...a shadow from the past, a glimmer of our own long ago!
2: Great-grandma Caroline (Carrie) Johnson with her daughter, my great-aunt, Florence Elizabeth Taylor Carrie was 91 years old
3: Caroline H. Turner Johnson was my great-grandmother (Bertha Johnson Newton's mother). She was born in Carthage ,MO in 1866 and died in Wichita, KS Oct. 23, 1958. My mother, Ila, loved her so much! All the grandkids did, and she loved them beyond everything! There were times when they would go with her down to where the boys would be cutting wood. They would find a fallen dead tree and sit with her and talk and talk. According to mom, they could ask grandma Carrie anything and she would answer all their questions! | Earl Newton, Carrie Johnson, Sondra Taylor, & Mike Wilson | Great Grandma Carrie holding Billie Joe with Pearlene Taylor standing by her side.. | This picture had the words, "for Bertha" written on the back.
4: In the limited space of this book I can't possibly address all of the ancestors who compose my family tree. At this point I have very little information about my Great Grandpa Mark Johnson and will focus more on the lineage coming through Great Grandma Carrie. Cyrus Turner and Safronia Jacobs met and married in the mid 1860's. Their children (in birth order) were: Caroline (Carrie - my great grandmother: born 1866), Florence, Gilbert, Mary F.,Clinton T., Bessie, and Hattie. Hattie was married to Lee Hereford and lived in Wichita Kansas. She is buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery on Hillside Ave. in Wichita, Kansas. Early censuses show that in 1920, Safronia lived with her daughter, Florence and her son-in-law, Asa in Ft. Dodge, Kansas. We have no death record, so we don't know where she was buried. Florence would have been in her 50's by that date and great-great grandmother Safronia would have been in her 70's. On an early military record, Cyrus is listed as being 5'8" tall, brown hair, blue eyes, and Protestant. Oh, to have a photo of these two would be so wonderful! To gaze into their eyes must await that day when the circle is unbroken and we are united by the beautiful shore and the throne of the Eternal Father!
5: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. | My maternal Grandparents: Bertha Lee Johnson and John Oscar Newton
6: The "Johnston" Johnson Family | Great Grandma Carrie H. Turner Johnson and Great Grandpa Mark Carroll Johnson
7: Great Grandma Carrie wrote a letter to my Aunt Florence Christie in 1946. She dated the letter 1926 but the envelope is clearly stamped 1946 so she must have gotten confused. What a joy to have an actual letter written by Great Grandma. Some of the letter is hard to read yet her love and grace shine through!
8: There are a great many stories about my grandfather. He was born, John Oscar Newton. As was the custom in that day and age, people were not always called by their given name. John Oscar was called J.O. and also the name Ott pops up as a common nickname for him. In the picture opposite this page we see what is probably the only Newton family photograph. Grandpa is standing next to his father, John Wilson Newton. I know that it was common practice in that era to never smile in photos. These relatives of mine, long lost uncles and aunt, don't just look austere..they look down right sad. Their eyes betray a hard, unyeiding life. My sister once said to me that she sometimes imagined how the people in the old pictures, went on with their lives after the photograph was taken. Did these relatives start laughing and talking? Did little Hilliard (the youngest child) start crying or did he wiggle off Sarah's lap to go and find a toy to keep himself amused?
9: Our Ancestors | The Family of John Oscar Newton | John Wilson Newton Family Photo taken 1892 Front row: John Oscar, John Wilson, Earl Jefferson (family called him "Pet"), Sarah Jane Rogers Newton, Hilliard Mckennon, Grover Cleveland (Cleve), Harve Archie back row: William (Bill) Monroe, Thomas Franklin (called Frank), Alice Martha Eliza Anne is not pictured, she was probably already married by the time this picture was taken.
11: Two pictures of my Great Aunt: Florence Elizabeth Johnson Taylor. She was a younger sister of Grandma Bertha Lee Johnson Newton | 1900 - 1996
12: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. | Earl Newton was the oldest child of Bertha (Johnson) Newton and John Oscar Newton. Earl was quite the dapper looking young man! | Uncle John (called Jack) Taylor holding his son Jackie. Aunt Florence is standing next to him with Pearline in front. Florence was Bertha Johnson Newton's sister and the daughter of Mark and Carrie Johnson. | The picture of the Taylor family was taken between 1928 and 1930. The 1930 census shows the Taylor family with a 10 year old girl (Pearline) and a 3 year old boy (Jackie).
13: Below is a picture of Earl Newton and Pearline Taylor. It was taken on Feb. 12, 1939. Earl would have been about 25 years old and Pearline would have been about 19. To the right is a picture of the Mark Newton family. Mark was the 5th child of Bertha and J.O. Newton. His wife's name is Cleo. The children pictured are Mark and Cleo's oldest two; Marka and Marty. This picture was taken around the mid to late 1950's.
14: The Newtons as young adults. Archie Newton is the first person on the left. Next to Archie is his older brother, Earl Newton. Ila is pictured next and beside her is J.L. Newton. Between Earl and Ila (in the back) is Ila's first husband, Cliff Price. | A somewhat sad looking family portrait. This is about the time that Ila and Cliff were divorced. Mom is holding Norma Jean, Clifford Ray is standing in front of mom and James Edward is is in front of his dad.
15: Feb. 1939 The Jack Taylor Family | Pearlene, Great Uncle Jack, | Baby Sondra, Great Aunt | Florence and 12 year | old Jackie in his | boy scout uniform. | Fran Johnson, and a neighbor girl. Frank was grandma Bertha's brother
16: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers | Lara (Chris) Newton Jean Newton SISTERS | Two Youngest children of Bertha and J.O. Newton | Ila (Newton Price) Elliott and James Elliott with daughters, Norma Jean and Bonnie Louise | One of Norma Jean's earliest memories of Daddy was him teaching her the song,"Mares Eat Oats" | taken circa. 1940 | 1943
17: Earl Newton, Mary Baugh, Gen Newton, Ola and Jim Johnson, Pearlene Taylor 1977 | Ila Newton Elliott, Earl Newton, Florence Newton Christie late 50's or early 60's
19: James and Ila Elliott, through the years. My beloved parents. Always and forever a part of me!
20: Ila Newton Price Elliott
21: Bertha and Ila Newton | Ila and her children (Norma) Jean, Clifford, (Jim) Buddy Bonnie, Joyce, Paula
24: Nancy Christie You will be fondly remembered by many. wife of Lyndell Ray Christie mother of Kathy, Michael, and Ricky
26: Leonard & Florence Christie They both look so very young!!! Florence was the third child of Bertha & John Oscar Newton
27: Aunt Cleo and Uncle Mark Newton with their son Kevin. Aunt Jean and Linda Kaiser are also pictured. I am not sure of the other woman's identity. They are at Grandma and Grandpa Newton's grave site. | Jean (Newton) Kaiser, Ila (Newton) Elliott,, Lara (Chris Newton) Taylor, Florence (Newton) Christie | SISTERS
28: Marzo Owens | Marzo was a cousin of my Mom, Ila. Not sure how he really fits in the family tree but Mom remembers him.
29: This picture was taken on one of my trips to visit family in Wichita. Pearlene's little girl, Joyce, was amazing. I thought she was the prettiest little girl I ever did see! She had flaming red hair and in my mind, she was just about perfect! Standing behind me are Pearlene and her husband Carl Wilson. That's me, Jean Newton, holding Joyce. There is Aunt Florence Taylor, Jackie and his wife (Alice) and their baby and lovely little Sondra down in front! A recollection of Jean Newton Kaiser
30: Newton Family Get-together | Back Row: Jean, Ila, Earl, Mark, Jewel, J.L., Elvis, Florence Front Row: Linda, Cleo, Genevieve, Lucretia, Kevin
31: The "girls": Jean, Florence, Ila, and Jewel
32: This is a picture of my Aunt Chris. Her legal name was Lara C. Newton, later to become Taylor. In this picture she was 12 years old. She looks sad to me. From all accounts, she had a hard life as a young girl. | Sisters and brother, Chris, Jean, and Archie Newton. Children of Bertha and John Oscar Newton.
33: Grandma Bertha died when Aunt Jean was only 11 months old. She always longed to know her mother and felt a particularly empty spot in her heart without her. She did have a good relationship with her father even though it was her sister, Florence who raised her.
34: Lara C. Newton Taylor
35: Bill Taylor was Aunt Chris's husband. Remarkable how much he and their youngest son, Ronald "Rob" look alike. I didn't realize that until seeing some old photos of Uncle Bill | I could, however, always see the family resemblance between Aunt Chris and their oldest son, Larry
36: Amanda, Vincent, and Stacy
37: Amanda, Vincent, and Stacy... Larry and Nancy Taylor's children | Larry and Nancy Taylor
38: On these two pages are pictures of Aunt Jean, my mother's youngest sister. Mom claims that she and her sister, Florence, named this baby, Imogene. But the birth certificate and Aunt Jean say that isn't so. I don't think she liked the name and was very happy that her parents didn't take the naming advise of her older sisters! | This was Aunt Jean's pet hog. Unlike Wilbur...there was no Charlotte to save him and he met the fate of other livestock.
39: Jean Newton Kaiser | Aunt Jean married a man named Elvis Kaiser. They had two children: Elvis Leon and Linda Kay | Bertha Lee (Johnson) Newton and John Oscar Newton's youngest daughter
40: Uncle Elvis Kaiser was a veteran of three wars:WW11, the Korean War and Vietnam. Here he is with some of his buddies in the Philippines during the second world war! | Uncle Elvis was such a cute little soldier boy in World War Two. Like many American boys he went off to war at the tender age of 17. No son should fight a war at 17! He was stationed for a time in the Philippines and did battle in other places in the South Pacific. | This is a picture of Uncle Elvis Kaiser and his older brother, Calvin. Both served in World War 11.
41: Leon was just a little baby when Uncle Elvis was serving in the Korean War. Aunt Jean took pictures of herself and little Leon in everyday situations so that Uncle Elvis could still feel as though he were a part of their lives.
42: This picture must have been taken in California...notice the palm trees? Uncle Earl Newton (in uniform), is flanked by Uncle Frank's wife, Lettie, and his daughter-in-law. Also pictured is Leonard Newton (Uncle Frank's son). | J. L. Newton: Fourth child of Bertha Lee Newton and John Oscar Newton
44: Jean Newton Kaiser then and now... | We ran into Jean's old friend, Sonny, while we were in Sikeston. When asked if he remembered her, he said that he did, indeed! He said she was very pretty and had a remarkable figure!
46: E | My dear cousins, Elvis Leon, and Linda Kay Kaiser
47: Jean (Newton) Kaiser and children Leon and Linda
48: J.O. Newton and one of his brothers. | Jewel (Newton) Lovelady daughter of J.O. Newton and his first wife. | Mark Newton son of Bertha and J.O. Newton | Wilson and Rachel Newton. Wilson was the oldest child of J.O. Newton and his first wife | Wilson Newton Jr. and his wife Barbara with Ila Elliott and Wilma Lovelady (daughter of Jewel (Newton)
49: I feel so blessed that a part of our family's history is finally being pieced together. However, I feel even more blessed that I am able to meet some of those people who are the leaves on our family tree! I put off for years trying to find this section of our history. I figured it would be too difficult to find anyone and they probably wouldn't even be here or if they were, they probably wouldn't want to meet me. How many excuses we position in our own path, preferring to take an easier road. How many stories are lost...never shared...forgotten in a long ago with people I could have met, but didn't? For those losses, I grieve. For these discovered treasures...these jewels...these family members...I am elated beyond belief. I discovered that my great-grandmother's legal name was Caroline...that is my sister's middle name, and my mother didn't even know that! That same sister shares her first name , Joyce, with a cousin that she has never met. I never fully appreciated the geneology of Jesus but perhaps now, will understand it's importance a bit more. We all come from somewhere...and discovering the people and places of our ancestry...well..it simply makes us feel more complete. I am here because of this, and this, and this. I will live on...not in a metaphysical sense only...but in the memories and the eye color and even in the mannerisms that are so genetic as to be frightening! Peace to us all...may our Creator smile upon our journey. May we always live in the present, with an eye turned toward the future, and with a reflective glance over our shoulder to the past.