MEMORIES forever

from, “AUNT ODIE”


My interest for genealogy started when I was a child.  My mother, Ethel (Lee) McClure, (b. September 21, 1902 d. January 2, 1996) had a great memory and knew a lot about our family and gave it to me in the form of oral history.  I was raised as an only child; my sister died eleven years before I was born on September 30, 1939.  Being an only child my mother only had me to tell the stories about the family history.


I met my future wife, Marilyn Gordon (b. June 26, 1941 d. September 14, 1987) on November 17, 1957, she lived in Milan, Tennessee and my home was in Rector, Arkansas.  From December 29 1957, until we were married June 5, 1960, I made many trips to Tennessee. 


As a child visiting my Aunt Odie (McClure) Ray (b. November 8, 1880 d. Sep 13, 1962) I saw that she had our family tree hanging on her wall.  Each time I visited her I would wonder who these people were, often asking her about them.  She could not remember her grandfather’s name on the McClure side, but she knew her grandmother’s name was, Dicey C. McClure (B.1824 d. April 9 1882).  She often told stories about how the family moving from Hollow Rock, Tennessee to Arkansas. 


On my trips to Milan, Tennessee and remembering Aunt Odie’s stories I started researching our family.  I looked at original records in courthouses and micro film in libraries from Memphis to Nashville. 


After we graduated from Murray State College, we lived in Owensboro, Kentucky for three years, and trips from Kentucky through Carroll and Henry County only enhanced my desire to find my ancestries.


For fifteen years I searched for Dicey McClure and who her parents were, and then I determined that she might be a “Pace”.  My father’s sister had married a Pace and so I ask my mother if Zelmar Pace’s parents were related and she said, “Yes, they were cousins.”  It took another thirty-five years to determine who her husband was, he was Newt McClure.


In the fifty years that I have studied these families I have discovered many names and stories that will forever be remembered.


And oh yes, my Aunt Odie and her family came to my wedding in Milan.  That is my best memories.


October 11, 2009