Interesting story from a cousin


I am sending this email to the descendants of Charles and Emma Steward and other interested parties.  They, like many of us, have dirt from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or some other place in our blood.  I recently discovered that I have a familial connection to an iconic Hollywood actor from my home region.

In the event you have been living under a rock or are too young to remember the 1971 movie The Last Picture Show, this movie won both best-supporting awards at the 1971 Academy Awards.  The best supporting actor award went to a 53-year-old actor named Ben Johnson, Jr.  My second cousin married Ben Johnson’s sister.

There is a story within a story.  Ben Johnson Sr (on the left) is the father of both Ben Johnson Jr (the actor) and Helen Lee Johnson (who married my cousin.)  There is a 20-year gap between Ben Jr and Helen because Ben Sr was divorced from his first wife and married Helen’s mother.  Ben Johnson Sr (do you see a resemblance with Ben Jr.?) was a World Champion Cowboy…so Ben Jr was the second-ranked cowboy in the family!

See the attached relationship chart…

Here are some quotes from Ben Johnson, Jr:

[on leaving Oklahoma for Hollywood, where he became a horse wrangler for Howard Hawks on The Outlaw (1943)] I’d been making a dollar a day as a cowboy, and my first check in Hollywood was for $300. After that, you couldn’t have driven me back to Oklahoma with a club.

 [speaking about how his life was affected by winning the Oscar for The Last Picture Show (1971)] After I won that old Oscar, everybody thought I knew something. I didn’t know any more than I did before I won it, but they thought I did.

You just never know where family history leads…


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Lorraine here with more interesting information from my cousin. I sent the ancestry chart and asked the question: “Is this accurate?”  Below is the answer.

All the basic people are there and placed accurately.  Good job!  The Steward family, like the Showalter family, was large and filled with every variety of personalities, life decisions, and excitement. 

Attached is one example, Naomi Adcock, who I got to know from the Anna Gertrude Steward Adcock family.  She knew my mother very well, but I only got to meet her after I moved to California.  Also attached is a diagram that shows the connection of the Adcock family to my Vandiver side.  As it turns out Naomi’s first husband was a TRIGAMIST.  He was married to three women at one time!

There are so many dots to connect…but most of the dots will connect up if you dig deeply enough.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lorraine here to state that “cousin” is quite possibly **more** devoted to “ancestry” than yours truly. He digs deep into DNA so he knows the individuals better than Lorraine who relies exclusively on sources. It bears repeating: There are so many dots to connect…but most of the dots will connect up if you [we] dig deeply enough.”



Did you like the information researched and documented by my cousin?

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