Tracing Oregon roots

There was snow on the road to town yesterday. Is it not April, officially spring? Weather here has been bizarre, a few minutes of sun, then hard rain, then hail, more sun. Just when you start to get warm, black clouds darken the sky, and it rains again. That’s life on the Oregon coast.

Oregon Stories is out now from Ooligan Books. I’ve got a piece in there. The book is based on stories submitted to the Oregon 150 website last year in honor of the state’s sesquicentennial (150 years). Start bugging your local bookstores for copies, especially if you have any connection to Oregon.

I wrote about finding my great-great grandparents’ unmarked graves in the Damascus, Oregon pioneer cemetery. They settled in Damascus in the 1800s. Jean came from France, where his family made chocolate candy, and Refucia Maria came from Baja California. I don’t know how they got together or how they communicated, but they had lots of kids, including my great-grandfather Joe Fagalde, who ended up in San Jose California.

Joe married Luisa Gilroy, of Spanish and Scottish descent. They had three sons, the eldest of whom was Clarence, who married Clara Riffe, who was German. Their oldest son was Clarence, Jr., aka Ed, who married Elaine Avina(Portuguese) and had me and my brother Mike. So we have connections in both Oregon and California. I like to think that when Fred and I moved north, we connected the family back to our American roots. One of these days, I plan to do more digging for the whole story of the Fagalde clan.

Meanwhile, check out Oregon Stories. It’s a good read.

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