Monday, June 30, 2014

Matrilineal Monday - Mary Myrtle Behrle Rueff

I would like to introduce my maternal grandmother, Mary Myrtle Behrle Rueff.

Myrtle was born on 2 May 1913 to Dr. Raymond A Behrle and Pauline "Lena" Orth Behrle in Louisville, Kentucky. Her paternal grandparents, John and Mary Jane Hermann Behrle were first generation German-Americans. Her maternal grandfather, Conrad Orth was also a first generation German-American and her maternal grandmother, Katherine "Kate" Wilkie Orth was born in Germany and arrived in America in the late 1870's. Myrtle married my grandfather, George Kenneth Rueff on 26 September 1936 in Louisville. My grandfather was also of German descent. This first set of pictures are of my grandmother on the left age 6 and on the right as a young woman about 1935-1936.

When I see my grandmother in this second set of pictures several words come to mind such as beautiful, sexy and free. She looks almost wanton in the picture on the left as she gives that kiss to my grandfather! In the picture on the right she looks stunning as she rides on a boat with her hair down and blowing in the wind. The grandmother I knew and the memories I have of her are different from the woman I see in these pictures. Oh how I wish I could have known this Myrtle!

The Myrtle I knew was loving, funny and over protective of her grandchildren. She took us to Wishes Drug Store on Whipps Mill Road for a treat or two, she would take us mushroom picking at a local farm and made coca-cola floats for us. When it came time to play outside we never allowed to go past the Seng's yard on one side and the Cox's yard on the other. In this last picture is the Myrtle I knew, the one who never wore anything but "pedal pushers" (aka crop pants) and tops and tennis shoes. The way I will always remember her.

In the summer of 1976, my Mom was going home to Louisville for a high school reunion and I went with her. My cousin Becky was there too and my Uncle Kenny & Aunt Barbara and their family too. I would go with aunt and uncle to Memphis, Tennessee to visit with them as well. Little did I know that this would be my last visit with my grandmother.

Late in the summer and early fall of 1977, Myrtle would be diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. She died on her 41st wedding anniversary. 

I love you, Myrtle!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Little About Me...


I want to tell you a little about me. Somewhere deep inside my heart and soul I started preparing for my role of "family historian" at an early age. 

I feel as though genealogy has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I know it started as a result of listening to the adults of our family talking while visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins but of course we were suppose to be asleep. I also know that it comes from wanting to know about my "biological family". Yes, I am adopted and that is for now a story will be told at a much later date. However, more importantly I am the daughter of Bill & Nina and the oldest of their five children. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother and grandmother. Their family history is my family history because it is all I have ever known and it will always be that way.

One thing I remember doing as a kid was to read the obituaries in our local paper. I would wonder why someone had died so young. I would wonder what kind of life the "old" people had lived. To this day I still read the obituaries especially now that we live in South Carolina where my children's paternal grandmother's family ties run very, very deep.

I love cemeteries. We spent a year living in Ohio while my Dad was training with NCR when I was eleven years old. I found an old, fenced in cemetery behind a Hardee's near our apartment. I would go and read each grave marker and wonder what had happened to them. There are some very small church cemeteries near where we live that I fully intend to explore soon.

Over the years I have found myself as the "caretaker" of certain family members. Those who outlived their children, the ones who never married or the ones who married but never had children. I want to be sure that they are not forgotten in the story of my family. I will tell their stories here at some point in the future.

Take care,


Friday, June 20, 2014


My name is Dawn. I am new to blogging but not genealogy. I want to share what I know with my family and hopefully leave something remarkable for future generations. I also hope to meet others who are researching the same families that I am so that we may share information and learn from one another.

My maternal lines run deep in Louisville, Kentucky! The people and families I have been working on for years now are the descendants of William Rueff (c.1792-aft 7 June 1860) and the allied families of these descendants. 

My paternal lines also run deep and not just in Kentucky but also Pennsylvania, North Carolina, England, and a Caribbean Island or two. My paternal grandfather, William Elmer Williams line is driving me crazy but his wife, Peggy Scott Rich's lines have been documented very well and goes back to the 14th century.

And a very special thank you to Thomas MacEntee for suggesting the name of my blog!

Take care!