By Dr. Danene Brown Vincent
- This is the story of a Pioneer family: A family that knew the wonders of a country whose frontier had just opened; a family that experienced the joys and the tragedies of life; a family of whom I am so proud, because they are my family.
- What prompted me to delve deeply into the past to expose this little known, but typical American family? I suppose intense curiosity was the primary factor. And, respect--for those who had come before and had worked diligently to make this country a better place for future generations.
- I deeply loved and respected my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Cook and Mr. and Mrs. Jesse O. Brown. My great-aunts and great-uncles also played an important and influential role in my life. Hours spent talking with them lit the spark of interest many years ago. I kept little notes on backs of envelopes and other scratch paper until the opportunity became available in my adult life to continue the search.
- The most difficult part of a genealogical search is knowing when to take a pause and publish. I feel now is that time. I'm certainly not finished yet. There are many questions yet to be answered, so my search will continue. But for now, I believe it is important to share what I have found with those in my family who have expressed an interest in their Rubottom ancestors. This volume will hopefully serve as a valuable aid to anyone who in the future desires to expand on the work or on those of allied families.
- A debt of gratitude goes out to the many persons who have helped along the way. I appreciate the Oklahoma Historical Society and staff, especially my friend Laura, for the tremendous resources and their guidance and assistance. The many hours spent working in the Research Library brought forth a wealth of valuable information. The librarians at the Rockville Township Library (Parke County, Indiana), Robinson Township Library (Crawford County, Illinois), the Greene County Library (Greene County, Indiana), and the Bedford Public Library (Lawrence County, Indiana) went beyond the call of duty in searching for Rubottoms, Spiveys, and Hindmans. (I actually found people who enjoy their work!) The Library of Congress in Washington, D. C., the Indiana State Library, the public libraries in Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City, and the Family History Center in Oklahoma City offered vast collections of historical books and documents found in a variety of formats.
- Also, to my friends and relatives with whom I communicated through the mail, many thanks are extended. Mrs. Mary (Sager) Nater, a cousin in Illinois, took the time to respond to a letter I had sent to her mother, who had passed away. Mrs. Nater provided information that answered many questions and redirected much of my search early in the investigation process.
- Most of all I thank Mark Vincent, my husband and best friend, who supported this project all the way. Rather than standing aside as an impartial observer, he jumped right in and helped, especially when time was short. When the clock was nearing closing time in county courthouses and local libraries, Mark was right there plowing through marriage records, death certificates, will books, and land records. Mark, I am so grateful. Thank you.
- This family history is dedicated to my immediate family: my Great-Aunt Anna (Hindman) Wiginton; my mother, Donna Sue (Cook) Brown; my uncles, Marion Gordon Cook, Clayton Leon Cook, and Royce Gene Cook; my sisters, Tresha Gayle (Brown) Vogt and Melissa Anne (Brown) Funnell; and all my many Cook cousins. It is also dedicated to my children, Mike and Sara Wilson, my cousins' children, and all their childrens' children...so that future generations might know a small piece of what it took to make this country great. And so they might appreciate better the hard work, the laughter, the sorrows, and the fullness of life.
[AUTHOR'S UPDATE: I would remiss in not mentioning the incredible research done by the person I consider "the original Rubottom researcher" -- the late Thomas W. Rubottom of Houston, TX. He was a great-grandson of Ezekiel Chandler Rubottom. He was born on 26-Feb-1904 and died 20-May-1991. In my search for Rubottoms, I have found Mr. Rubottom's work simply everywhere. The first time I was exposed to his work was in 1991 when I received a copy of an family history article published by Mr. Rubottom during the American Bicentennial (1976). Since that time, I have obtained copies of many of his letters and of works he compiled for other Rubottom researchers in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. His comprehensive work is much appreciated. I just wish he was still here so I could say "Thank you, my special cousin!"]