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Not everyone is interested in those who preceeded them on this earth. To those who are related to me and are the least bit curious about our predecessors, this book represents a humble attempt to present what I have uncovered during my more than 20 years of research.

I began in earnest to collect photographs, letters, and genealogical information after the passing of my maternal grandmother, Loretta DeWitt Barber on April 7, l971. At that time I came into possession of several photographs and letters, some from her family and some from her husband's. I added these to photos and letters gathered from Eva Delia Gilbert, my paternal grandmother's, attic some four years previous. As no one else was very interested in these items, they came into my possession after her death, April 3, 1967.

As an adult, having always been interested in things genealogical, I had compiled, in conversations with both grandmothers, "temporary" family trees that have since been found to be quite accurate. They supplied at least great- grandparents and more.

I have kept a journal of my travels and discoveries and used the information from them extensively during the writing of this book so the reader could see how the research occurred. Knowing that it is inevitable that some mistakes in judgement and assumptions may cause errors and that more information remains to be uncovered, the reader should not consider this work to be 100% accurate even though I have endeavored to make it so.

I am grateful to my grandmothers for their love of family which made them store all their family keepsakes. I am also grateful to my parents; - to my father for his many family stories, told to me, that have brought to life, events that occurred before I was born; - to my mother for the numerous pictures, documents and newspaper articles that she saved in her scrapbook, without which much of the present day history recorded here would be missing.

To the spirit of genealogical research called "Cinders" - an unknown force that some genealogical researchers believe seems to guide them in their search - I am grateful for the instances where I was guided to the right place at the right time.