Introducing Connie Lee Nelson McGee
Connie ’s maternal line traces to Solomon Barnes. Her mother Maxine E. Barnes Nelson (1920 – 2014) is the daughter of Claude R. Barnes (1893 -1976), son of Richard Oliver Barnes (1862-1933), son of William A. Barnes (1822/23-1890), son of Peter Barnes (1784-1866), son of Solomon Barnes (1749 –1807). She is a member of the Daughters of the Revolution through Ruth Fulkerson, the first wife of William A. Barnes. Her patriot is Pvt. John Fulkerson. Fortunate for her daughters, granddaughters, and herself, her mother did the research and application for the national society membership. Because her mother did the work, her interest in genealogy is fairly recent. She submitted two applications to NSDAR for Solomon Barnes and John Bryan/t as possible supplemental revolutionary patriots. Her applications were denied due to the lack of proof that William A. Barnes is the son of Peter Barnes- 5th generation connection. The application denials led her to contact Hugh Barnes for assistance. He has been a great asset, but the line is still pending proof acceptable by NSDAR. William left North Carolina for gold in California, and he was not included in his father’s will along with his siblings.
She was one of many babies born in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho at my grandparent’s maternity home during the WWII era. Her family tree spans far into North Idaho’s history, touching on just about every aspect of early life in the area – education, transportation, Fort Sherman, and more. There are currently six generations in the area. Her great-grandmother, Mabel Barnes, came to Idaho from California via Fort Walla Walla, Washington, as a 10-year old in 1879 when her step-grandfather, William L. McLaughlin, was part of the construction of Fort Sherman. Her grandfather, Claude Barnes (son of Mable Barnes), was a captain of the steamboat “Flyer” on Lake Coeur d’ Alene in the 1920’s and 30’s. His father, Richard O. Barnes homesteaded north of town, which is now Neider Avenue.
She left her hometown to attend college, graduating with a degree in education, married a career Air Force Officer, and moved back to Idaho in 1984 when her husband retired from the Air Force. As a dependent military wife, she became accustomed to new living situations, making new friendships through her Family Service volunteer work at each airbase, and experiencing amazing oversea adventures. The family especially cherish memories of their eight-year assignment in Germany. Connie and her husband, are the proud grandparents of nine.
She is a retired educator with a Masters in Elementary Education and Specialists in Educational Administration. After retiring from public schools, she was fortunate to work with budding teacher interns for the University of Idaho and High School Accreditation for Idaho. She traveled in the summer for 15 years with the People to People Ambassador Program, leading students in a life-time experience in China, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
As a retiree, she now has time to sit on several local boards, attend organizational functions, and research her lineage. Among these are her current service as Recording Secretary of the Idaho State DAR, Museum of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Board Member, and Kootenai Electric Cooperative located in Hayden, Idaho where she serves as Trust Board Member and responsible for the Round-Up Program.