Emily and Those Hoy Boys

As rivers cut canyons through Rockies to bays
the Hoys traveled westward in pioneer days.
They fought for the Union
(Frank, wounded in battle),
Then homesteaded Brown’s Hole
where they branded their cattle.
They were ranchers and farmers and bull-whackers of yore,
horse breeders, schoolteachers, and miners of ore.
They were writers and poets, a politic few,
they were German and English, a Swiss woman too.

Herein are their timelines, their letters and lore,
with charts of our ancestors and children they bore.
Newspaper clippings, records, and wills,
excerpts and photos and warranty bills.
They all tell this history so much better than I,
this trail left behind from those now all gone by.
I penned tales about kin whom my brother explored,
he combing through records—the task I deplored.
Names, facts, and figures, yes, they interest me some,
but tis the echoes of tales that I yearn to plumb.

Emily S. Hoy, 1867

The Hoys sued each other, Grandpa gambled the ranch
(he, a fool with the whiskey—an ache through our branch).
Davis cheated on Emily and cared not the least,
Ada’s vows to Doc Chambers were undone by the priest.
J.S. while in France was castrated with knife,
caught in the act with a med student’s wife!
James perished from poison! Tracy shot Val and ran!
Harry fasted five weeks—up and died from that plan.
And the query that actually started this game
was, “What’s the “S.” stand for in Emily’s name?”

Some mysteries still linger, some relations not found,
like what caused Frank’s death and where laid in the ground?
What happened to Winnie? From what did she perish?
A tintype of her I truly would cherish!
A.A. had three daughters—what happened to them?
And what of wife Frances—his crème de le crème?
There’s no trace of Lizzie, in shadow she’s sunk…
disappeared like Minerva and J.S.’ trunk!

Missing records and pictures and letters of yore
keep me digging and searching—I know there are more!
One more trip, one more hunt, another call I will make
just to find out for clarity’s sake.
But does it matter if I know not all that occurred?
No, though at the end of the day you may rest assured
that I’ll let out a whoop and drop down on my knees
if I ever discover the answers to these!

© 2006. Catherine Sevenau.
All rights reserved.

Catherine and brother Gordon, research in Sanders, Montana 2006

Catherine and brother Gordon, doing family research in Sanders, Montana 2006

Hoy siblings, circa 1873 standing: J.S., Valentine, Adea sitting: Harry, Emily (my g-g-grandmother), Frank

Hoy siblings, circa 1873
back row: J.S., Valentine, Adea
front: Harry, Emily (my g-grandmother), Frank

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  1. Jim Chatfield says

    Your writing is always terrific and enjoyable. Thanks again.

  2. One more Catherine gift! A marvel to see!

  3. I will follow the link! That’s awesome! It is a fantastic combination. Poetry helps a person remember I think.

  4. This is wonderful Catherine! You are so gifted! Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks Rachel. I think we were attempting poetry in our writing class many a moon ago, so I went with what called to me, family history. I did a handful of them. They were fun to do. Some historical magazines printed a couple of them. I’m famous in the circles of the dead…

  5. Janet Sasaki says

    Love your work here too, the poetry and genealogy, is amazing!

  6. I adore the genealogy poetry. I want you to have your DNA done and write a poem about your discoveries.

  7. We never found out what the S stood for!!!

  8. Sandra Youdall says

    And so what does the S stand for?

  9. Find A Grave link to Henry Hoy, Jr. (1813 – 1855), the father of Emily and those Hoy boys.