Casey Family Association

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A Note from Mike

Michael R. Casey
(CFA President, June 1994 - June 1998 and June 2000 - Current Term)

I believe I join everyone in proclaiming that the recent 2000 reunion was the best yet! This leaves us wondering how it will ever be topped. The reality is that topping it is already in the planning stages. But the few of us who plan and organize these biennial events need your help. If all you can do is write or call, please let us know what you would most like to see happen during the 2002 CFA reunion/conference in Oklahoma City, OK.
It's very hard for me personally to pick the most memorable moment at this year's reunion. For Paula, it was the singing of the song, Company's Comin', by the Homestead Singers at Silver Dollar City as our group entered the park. My favorite moment may have been seeing and hearing from the actual keepers of the cabin, exactly what the Levi Casey cabin means to them and the millions of people who visit it annually -- the respect and awe in the voices and faces of the people who daily live in and around one of our ancestor's gifts to America -- an America that we all wish could be again -- a time when family, friends and values mattered more than selfishness, individual rights and materialism.
I thought it especially exciting that the Homestead Singers, the park people who live with the cabin and love it, have asked that we send them our newsletter so they can more accurately and knowledgeably tell the story of the cabin, its history and the families that it represents. Like they said, in many ways, the cabin is the heart and soul of the park and its people, employees, as well as visitors.
Thanks are in order to the staff of Silver Dollar City who made us feel special and pampered during our visit. When you return, please let them know how much we appreciated their genuine hospitality.
We would be remiss not to thank Allan and Mary Burlison, who through the past affiliation with the SDC Human Resources Director, were able to arrange this special part of our reunion.
On behalf of the members, officers and board of directors of the CFA, I humbly and respectfully accepted the office of President for the next two years. I also want to thank Bob (Robert Lowell) Casey for the outstanding job he did for the association for the years 1998-2000. We also thank outgoing CFA secretary, Joy (Gilbert) Tackett, for the wonderful job she did for the last two years.
The association's appreciation also goes to Sonya (Casey) Pelton for the wonderful job she did heading the 2000 reunion committee. It's a thankless job with many responsibilities and few rewards -- other than seeing such successful results. Thanks to everyone who helped plan the reunion, as Sonya would be the first to admit, it could not have been done by only one individual.
Paula and I also were excited to spend Saturday, July 1, and most on Sunday, July 2, at the weekend home of John and Nan Casey at Forysth, MO. Those who took the bus trip on the second day of the reunion will remember where they live, next to the Casey Cemetery. We had a wonderful time visiting and touring many of the historic family sites in the area, several of which were not included on the bus tour. If we had only known before the route was scheduled, we may have included a couple of extra stops along the way. But, that's hindsight. Perhaps in the future another tour of the area can be arranged for the whole group. Thanks to John and Nan for a wonderful visit.

Michael R. Casey,
President, CFA

A NOTE FROM MIKE

As you can see from our new membership column, the CFA is growing in numbers almost daily. For a family association with relative new beginnings, ours is expanding very rapidly. There are, however, several of our original members who need to check your address label on this issue of the Tidings to see if your membership dues have expired.
On June 7, (1997) we attended the Leslie, AR, ancestor fair with Allan and Mary Burlison and had a wonderful time. We made several interesting acquaintances and contacts, many of which expressed interest in the Casey Family Association.

Afterwards, we tripped over to the Walnut Cemetery in Newton County, where a regulation U.S. government military marker was placed for Zachariah Beckham (1824-1864), beside his wife, Elizabeth (Casey) Beckham's grave. We were assisted by, and had great fellowship with, Zachariah's great-grandson, Bill (William Ferguson) and his lovely wife, Roberta (White) Beckham. Lt. Zachariah Beckham's body was laid to rest in the Confederate Cemetery at Alton, IL, but there are no personal markers allowed, so his memorial was placed in the next best place, which was beside his wife and other relatives. For those unfamiliar with this line, Elizabeth (1825-1909) Casey Beckham was the daughter of Jesse E. Casey, Jr. (Jesse < Aaron Casey).
On the same Arkansas trip, Paula and I visited our cousins, Agnes and Estelle Shaddox in Harrison, AR, as well and Flora (Coleman) Turner in Ozark. As always, these fine ladies were very hospitable, and full of family information and stories. Near the Shaddox home in Harrison, we visited the Rosehill Cemetery, where we discovered the graves of John Edmond Casey (1886-1951) and his wife, Virginia Clyde (Eagle) Casey (1889-1971) and many of her family. As is our usual procedure, photos were made and documentation recorded. Mr. Casey's lineage: Alexander Franklin < Abner Ellsberry < Abner < Aaron Casey. We also stopped for a couple of hours in the Limestone Valley, where we had a very nice visit with Ira Spradley and his sons, Larry and Gary. Since we had not personally been to the Casey Cemetery, Larry offered to drive us up there in his pickup. It's a good thing, too! We never would have found it alone. The Spradley's have fenced off the cemetery to keep the livestock out, but it needs some serious work to restore it to good order. We would like to return in the fall, after a couple of good frosts, and help clear the underbrush and assist in general. Needless to say, the future of this important family cemetery is still very much in doubt. Contact Paula and me or Mary Lea Burlison, the "Cemetery Lady," if you can help, either physically or financially.
Don't let your family be a missing link! Our family history, when complete and up to date, will only be as good as the information shared by each and every family. As much as we would love to have the time and resources to contact every one of you personally, we cannot. Therefore, each and every family needs to take the initiative. Perhaps, appoint one of your family members to gather the necessary family group sheets and stories and send it in. DO NOT make the assumption that we have your family information and stories already or that someone else will provide it. Many of you have done this already, but if you check with others and find that it has not been done -- please, do not delay! When the finished product is finally available, don't order one and open it and find your important part, person or story missing. Nothing sent us will be sloughed off or discarded, although, more credit will be given to those of you who supply references and sources that verify your genealogical information. Although family stories and traditions are less likely to be verifiable, they are still very important to the overall picture. Any valuable family items; i.e., photos, documents or artifacts, are treated with the greatest of care, and will be returned promptly in the same condition if requested. Do it now!
Louise Casey of Porum, OK, advised us that her Casey reunion on June 29 was a success, although, the numbers were off this year. The weather was great and a lot of good eats were on hand. Present were the following relations:
Glenn and Shirley Casey of Las Vegas, NV; Gene and son, Brad Ray of Tulsa, OK; Betty Bohannon of Checotah, OK; Nel Hodge and friend of Noble, OK; Bill and Virginia Davis or Pottsville, AR, and, of course, the hostess.
For those of you with E-mail capability, contact me through the CFA address: < cfa@telepath.com >
Observed on the bumper of a car in Guthrie, OK, "Old genealogists never die, they just lose their census."

Michael R. Casey,
President, CFA

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