Monthly Archives: June 2013

Obituary: Dempsey R. Graham

Originally published at the web site for the Southeast Missourian. Thank you to Pat Graham for alerting me to Dempsey’s passing.

Dempsey Graham

Dempsey GrahamMORLEY, Mo. — Dempsey R. Graham1, 93, of Morley passed away Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.

He was born Feb. 7, 1920, in Watts, Ark., to John Jasper and Silas Mandanna Copeland Graham2. He and Lillian D. Harris were married Feb. 21, 1946.

Dempsey was a retired truck driver for Halter Gas Co. in Oran, Mo. He was a member of the Church of Christ in Morley and a lifetime member of Morley VFW Post 5368.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Lillian of Morley; a son, Wayne Graham of Scott City; a daughter, Barbara (A.C.) Bell of Batesville, Ark.; a brother, J.R. (Corrinne) Graham of Memphis, Mo.; a sister, Delois Goetz of Sikeston, Mo.; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Denver Graham; and a sister, Berleane Cody.

Friends may call after 4 p.m. today at Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel3 in Oran.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, with Bill Bradley officiating. Burial will be in Forest Hills Memorial Gardens near Morley, with full military honors presented by the Missouri Honor Guard.


1. I haven’t yet found a reference for the “R.” Does anybody know his middle name?

2. Two things here: First, this affirms that Danner’s first name was indeed Silas, as reported on the 1920 and 1930 census. Second, “Mandanna” is yet another spelling variation of her middle name. Other variations include Mandanner, Midaner, Daner and Danner.

3. Curiously, the obituary at the Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel refers to Dempsey as “Dempsey R. Graham, Jr.” He was not a junior (i.e., named for his father). Otherwise, the text is identical to the Missourian’s obit.


Southeast Missourian, “Dempsey Graham,” published online Friday, 24 May 2013. Retrieved on Monday, 17 June 2013.

Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel, “In Memory of Dempsey R. Graham Jr.” Retrieved on Monday, 17 June 2013.


Something Borrowed

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here at Graham Ancestry, but it’s not because I didn’t have anything to write about. I actually have plenty of news to share, but I’ve been doing a lot of work lately for Uncle Sam… wait… let me rephrase that. I don’t want people thinking I actually have an Uncle Sam. Next thing you know it’ll turn up on By “Uncle Sam” I mean the U.S. Army. Anyway, on to the genealogy stuff!

In my previous post, I wrote about my DNA test at Family Tree DNA and how I had been presented with some possible matches, Tommy Graham and Keith Graham, who apparently descended from brothers of my great great grandfather Jesse Graham. I upgraded to a more accurate test, and the results came back with the same matches! Tommy and I were a near exact match, with only one marker being different. Same with Keith, though it was a different marker that mutated there. So, we’re all definitely related.

I’ve also been corresponding with Harold Graham, who is descended from the same line. He has amassed quite a lot of information in his decades of researching the family. I wonder if he could start his own Graham genealogy library. One of the items he has is a large chart that depicts the Grahams of the generations before my great great grandfather, which I was eager to see. Harold graciously loaned it to me. I was stunned by the size of it – it is huge! At first, I thought I could use a digital camera to photograph it, thinking that having a digital copy would make it easier to examine, but I found it too difficult and time-consuming to line up shot after shot, and the tiny by-hand printing was difficult to clearly capture. I finally decided to simply make a copy of it, and after a little bit of searching, ended up at an OfficeMax that had an architectural copying machine designed to make duplicates of large blueprints. A few attempts later (apparently not everyone at that OfficeMax had been trained on the architectural copying machine), I left with my own clear copy of Harold’s chart.

Harold and I were also exchanging e-mails during this time, and he decided to do a twelve marker DNA test at Family Tree DNA. When he got his results back, he and I were an exact match on twelve markers.

So, after all this time of me questioning whether “my” Jesse Graham was indeed Jesse Flournoy Graham, looking for records and not finding any, the proof was in the DNA. They were indeed the same man. And my family tree just got larger.

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