Posts Tagged ‘Genealogy research’

Cheryl Capps Roach, author and artist

Cheryl Capps Roach, author and artist

The Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City was the scene last Saturday of our third and final series of presentations on Oklahoma women. During this spring series, the Museum graciously hosted three presentations by Heartland Fountain, LLC and special guest speakers.

Saturday’s program, Lessons from the Heartland: Spotlight on Women, featured noted genealogist and author, Cheryl Capps Roach, and Heartland Fountain LLC’s chair and author, Donna Le. The audience of fifteen represented several different states.

Cheryl spoke about her family history, particularly her grandparents (Glen and Bertha Beatty) who moved from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma during the oil boom. In 1929, Cheryl’s grandfather died working in a Drumright oil field the week before the stock market crashed. After the crash, Bertha learned the crash had wiped out all of the money they deposited in the bank. Cheryl wisely observed that we learn from those who don’t necessarily have charmed lives, but rather are survivors – like her grandmother.

Cheryl’s award-winning story about her grandmother, “An Ordinary Person in an Extraordinary Time,” won first place in the 2011 Story Writing contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Genealogical Society. Another of her excellent stories is “Searching for My Grandfathers: From the North Seas to the Oklahoma Oil Pools.”

Portrait by Cheryl Capps Roach (Cheryl on left, Donna Le on right)

Portrait by Cheryl Capps Roach (Cheryl on left, Donna Le on right)

For most of us, it came as a wonderful surprise to learn just how talented Cheryl is artistically. While searching her family’s genealogy, she came across an old black and white photograph taken of her grandmother on her wedding day. Cheryl decided to do the above portrait from the photograph. We think you’ll agree it is stunning.

Donna Le, author and chair of Heartland Fountain, LLC

Donna Le, author and chair of Heartland Fountain, LLC

Continuing the theme of wisdom learned from others, author Donna Le spoke about numerous Oklahoma women, reviewing their published non-fiction and fiction works. She encouraged attendees to daily strive to improve their lives, moving forward with endurance.

Reading from Robert Fulgham‘s 1990 book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Donna shared his list of some of the things he learned in the sandpile at Sunday School.

Donna reminded us of the statue erected in front of the Pioneer Woman Museum. Erected in 1930, it depicts a confident, dignified pioneer woman and her young son striding forward, into new and strange lands, ready to begin a new life. Hopefully, a better life.



Independent Landman at Gloria Belair, CPL

Independent Landman at Gloria Belair, CPL

P.S. Throughout our spring series, J.W. Cobbs Restaurant in Ponca City provided their famously-delicious pies. Thought you would appreciate the enjoyment we had from the pies as expressed by one of Oklahoma’s noted oil and gas landmen – Gloria Belair!


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Heartland Fountain, LLC and special guest, Cheryl Capps Roach, will be at the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City, Oklahoma, on Saturday, June 21st.  We will present a program, “Lessons from the Heartland: Spotlight on Women,” from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. If you reside in or near Ponca City, we hope you will be with us for this special event.

Cheryl Capps Roach, Genealogist

Cheryl Capps Roach, Genealogist

Cheryl is a well-known genealogist, and author of Searching for My Grandfathers: From the North Seas to the Oklahoma Oil Pools. You can visit her webpage on GenealogyWise website.

If you have never visited the Pioneer Woman Museum, this will also be an opportunity for you to enjoy the outstanding facility and its myriad historical collections highlighting Oklahomans.

Heartland Fountain, LLC, cordially invites you to be with us in Ponca City on June 21st to enjoy the special presentations, along with delicious pies from J.W. Cobbs Restaurant.

Hope to see you there ….

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M. Carolyn Steele

In Edmond yesterday, several writers and genealogists were fortunate to attend a lecture by award-winning author, M. Carolyn Steele.  Attendees came from Perkins, Tulsa, Luther, and Edmond.  Carolyn is widely recognized for her work which ranges from commercial arts to writing short stories, books, genealogy research, and teaching.

Drawing on many years’ work and experiences, Carolyn published an excellent book in 2008, Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations.  It is a guide for writers and genealogists “… from the beginning steps of crafting a story through the final step of publishing …”  Two years later, the book took First Place for non-fiction during the 2010 Heartland New Day BookFest.

Copious notes were taken by everyone during Carolyn’s presentation yesterday; below are just a few of mine:

Mine story ideas from family legends.

Be meticulous in your research recordkeeping and in crediting your text sources.

Three important things to do when writing about an ancestor — research, research, research.   Utilize the inter-library loan program. Past events will help perfect your research skills.

Weave jewels of information into your stories to make them interesting.  Utilize dialogue, jargons, scenes, and emotions to give flavor to your story.

When writing a story for a contest, address the who, when, and where in the first paragraph; grab the Judge’s interest immediately. A great opening paragraph creates a burning desire within the reader to know what happens. Try to incorporate all five senses in your story. Use active verbs rather than passive. Avoid overuse of adjectives; the story’s rhythm can be interrupted by excessive adjectives and adverbs. Contest judges look for proper dialogue construction. Follow contest submission requirements to the letter, and submit early. Judges’ comments are useful: “Take them to heart, but don’t let them break your heart.”

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Much more information and guidance is contained in M. Carolyn Steele’s book, Preserving Family Legends for Future Generations.  It will be a tremendous addition to your personal library and asset for your research and writing.

Visit Carolyn at:


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