Mary Elizabeth Andrews Graves
I attended school in Medford, Oregon and graduated high school there in 1962. My first job as a keypunch operator got me started in Data Processing and led to a 20-year banking career in data processing and in Trust Operations.
My husband Keith Lee Graves and I married in 1966, while he was in the Marines. Our daughter Brandy was born in San Clemente, CA where we were stationed at Camp Pendleton. We returned to Medford, OR in 1967 and in 1970 our son, Jason was born. Both children have families, and we have five granddaughters and one grandson currently ranging in ages from 25 to 10.
My husband’s career was in biology, and he spent 30+ years of it with the USDA Forest Service. At one point we moved to a remote area in Oregon and I “retired” from banking and went to work for the USDA FS for nine years in personnel. Keith became District Ranger of Nogales, and we moved to Arizona in December of 1998. The move allowed me to go to part-time work for about four years as an office manager for a home builder. In 2004, I had some health issues, and I retired from working outside the home.
In 2014, I turned 70 and realized I needed to get busy with my genealogy pursuit of all four sides of both Keith’s and my ancestors. We have both had DNA tests, Y and mtDNA and autosomal and I had the autosomal DNA done for our kids. It has been confusing and enlightening, to say the least. Always a surprise and it keeps my brain at work.
My father, Cowles, is my direct descendant to Eliza Jane Ferguson, who was his grandmother on his mother’s side. Daddy wasn’t much of a talker, and he passed away in 1967 when I was 23, so I have very little personal knowledge or experience with his side of the family. Everything I have learned is from my research and from what other relatives have provided who I have met either online or in person.
My 1st cousin Mary Ellen Andrews Ekblad of Virginia was one of the most influential and helpful to get me started on my genealogy quest about my father’s family. She had personal knowledge of the family, being raised with them in North Carolina and Virginia, and we actually met several times. She has passed on I am sorry to say.
Mary Ellen provided much information to pique my interest and get me started looking for the original Andrews immigrant to America. I have still not succeeded there, but I continue to research. Cousins in the Ferguson line JoAnne Johnson Libera, Jeri Ferguson Janke, and Charlotte West Dade have provided much information as well, for which I am so grateful.