Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My maternal grandfather, Forrest, as a young man of the 20th century. He was born in 1890 and died a year before I was born.

His mother Florence Alice (1850-1920) was the daughter of William J. Matthews (1820-1918), who was mayor of Collinsville, IL, for 14 years and, evidently, a big wheel. Great great grandfather William J. was born in Campbell Co. VA, and in the words of an undated newspaper profile of him "with a little satchel containing his clothes and other possessions he came West at the age of 16" before Collinsville was even platted. "His grandchildren recall that the old Mayor used to tell them 'You'll never live to my age. You don't eat right and you don't get the right exercise.'" (Sheesh, kids today!)

I think Forrest fell in the world after a relatively well-off childhood. He tried farming in Oklahoma in the 1920-30s, which was bad timing. He was once a revenue officer in Tennessee, which was bad karma, for it's the bootleggers everybody remembers.

You don't find may Forrests in the name list today, but on the paternal side of the family there was a Forrest, a.k.a. Forrey, who was my grandfather's brother. My older brother's middle name is Forrest.

BTW, the maternal line genealogy ends two generations before grandfather Forrest, when his maternal grandparents, George Blakiston and Ann Aydelott or Aydelotte, were married in Dover, DE in 1804. The trail grows cold.

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