Connecting With Stephen Curtis’ First Family


Just this past weekend, Darren, Lindsay and I had a Zoom/conference call with two members of Stephen Curtis’ first family.

Talking with our new cousins was amazing! Before going any further, let me explain the First Family/Second Family thing

As far as we know for certain, Stephen Curtis had children by at least two women over his lifetime. Unfortunately, as of today, we have not been able to verify the name of the woman he had children with that we consider the first family. As for the second family, we know for certain that he married Adaline Curtis in 1867. We are fortunate enough to have a marriage certificate that verifies this.

Before our conversation, which lasted several hours, I had only heard a bit about the Manuel family and knew there was a connection to this branch of the family and the infamous and deadly Tulsa Massacre in 1921. These two ladies share Dollie Curtis, one of Stephen Curtis’ daughters as their common, direct ancestor. Dollie was Dwyla’s great great grandmother and Brenda’s great grandmother. Dollie’s daughter, Charlotte was Dwyla’s great grandmother and Dollie’s daughter Purnia (pictured here), was Brenda’s grandmother.

We learned a lot from each other about our family. We were also reminded of the importance of sharing our family history whenever we can. Unfortunately, it isn’t a priority in enough families. Everything is not shared because quite possibly everything is not known. While we all walked away from our wonderful conversation more knowledgeable, will still have many gaps to fill. And sadly, so sadly some of those gaps in our knowledge may never be filled. the lack records is heartbreaking. The 1890 census, for example, more than 90% of it was lost to fire. Then, of course, are other facts like if your ancestors were enslaved prior to the 1870 census, they likely were not listed by name.