A Way West, R.P. McAlister Family History and Genealogy, encompasses the history and genealogy of eight families: Brittain, Gibbs, Humble, Keller, McAlister, Perkins, Powers and Steinmetz. These are ancestral links to Raymond Powers McAlister (Ray) and Minnie Gay Humble McAlister (Gay).
As a child, I was told stories of connections to passage on the Mayflower, and roles ancestors played in the American Revolutionary War.
I learned how a great-grandfather fought in the American Civil War, survived and was left with a disabled hand. A different ancestor also served and kept a journal. My mother let me handle that leather bound diary and the eyeglasses the soldier had worn.
A grandfather, an architect, would draw ink drawings for me with his palsied hand. I did not know he was an icon, an architect to the film stars of the early twentieth century, a man who held a distinguished place in Montana and Wyoming history.
His wife came West by covered wagon to homestead. Her job as a five-year-old child on that journey was to gather dried ‘buffalo chips,’ bison dung, which the family burned for their campfires since the plains offered no wood.
These are the stories handed down to me. Now I share them with you.
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About the Author
An incurable traveler, Mary Schultz has trekked Chile’s Atacama Desert and Easter Island to learn about the visual astronomy of ancient peoples. Together with her husband, she has explored the Mayan ruins of Mexico and Central America, lived and sailed aboard a 41 ft. ketch, and camped from Alaska to the Panama Canal. Mary Schultz’ personal essays have been anthologized: When A Life Mate Dies: Stories of Love, Loss and Healing (Healing with Words Series) by Susan Heinlein; her short fiction has appeared in Yokoi, the Bozeman, Montana occasional arts magazine, and the Mendocino Review to name a few. If you are familiar with Apple Computer, City of Hope, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, publications focused on software solutions for architecture, engineering and construction, and Total Gym, over decades you have likely read Mary’s award-winning advertising & marketing writing.