The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960

Book Reviews

County farmer and his wife repeated the experiences of unnum-
bered couples who had preceded them into the West where cheap
lands could be had. The story ends with the death of the narrator
in 1955.
The slim little volume is full of everyday experiences. Wind-
mills and dug-outs, prairie fires and prairie folk, plains mirages
and a woman's loneliness when "God was our nearest neighbor"
are the recollections of Mary Blankenship.
The printing is superb. Mrs. Thornhill caught the spirit of the
story in her illustrations. To one acquainted with the western
prairie scene, they depict life as it was. To one unacquainted with
the same scene, they will serve the imagination as a table of con-
tents for the story. The West Is for Us is an altogether delightful
addition to the growing literature of and about West Texas.
T. R. HAVINS
Howard Payne College
The Families Geddie & McPhail. By Jack Geddie. Dallas (Henry
L. Geddie Co.), 1959. Pp. 224.
Though lacking in several qualities of scholarly writing, The
Families Geddie & McPhail is obviously what a genealogical study
must be: a labor of love. The author spent twenty-three years
gathering his material and devotes somewhat more than the last
half of his book to detailed genealogical tables. The first portion,
however, contains a rather disjointed narrative of Geddie-McPhail
family history, and only rarely does an author describe his own
work as well as does Geddie, who says, "It's not a planned, co-
ordinated manuscript ... it is a collection of trivia, data, legend,
fact, and lore, with one binding tie, that of the Geddie and
McPhail families." An aspiring genealogist might do well to give
this work his attention for it should provide helpful ideas.
The Texas branch of the Geddie-McPhail family settled largely
in Van Zandt County, and to a degree, in Cherokee County.
Geddie quotes at length from letters written by his Texas pioneer
forebears to relatives in other Southern States. These letters,
written to convey family news, will be important sources for
local historians of Van Zandt County for they contain historically
important observations on conditions and the way of life in that

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/. Accessed December 26, 2014.