“Truth is stranger than fiction”

Before I had my first sip of gourmet coffee, I checked my email messages. A cousin sent an astonishing message. The reader may not find the information exhilarating but the details will have me smiling all day. In my reply to my cousin, I said: Maybe only a person immersed in genealogy would find that “fascinating” but “I’m immersed.”


Lorraine,I advise you to check your sanity at the door and sit down.

Attached are two photos.  One is Raymond Franklin Showalter born in 1943 in Fort Defiance, AZ and the other is his brother Richard Alan Showalter born in 1950.  They are 100% Navajos born to Daniel Mariano Showalter and Marjorie Lillian Ayze.  How is it possible to have 100% Navajos named Showalter?

It appears that their father, Daniel, changed his name from Daniel Showalter Mariano to Daniel Mariano Showalter.  Why did he do this?  Did he want a German-sounding name for his children?  Was there a friendly Showalter who helped the Navajo Clan and they wished to pay tribute to this Showalter benefactor?  How did the name Showalter become entangled with these folks?

Anyhow, I stumbled upon this mystery when I saw that Richard Alan Showalter married Mattie Mae Christensen, the sister of Donna Mae Christensen.

Who is Donna Mae Christensen?  She appears to be the mother of Elmer Stewart Rhodes III.  Since we have lots of Rhodes in our respective trees, I thought I would connect the dots and discover the Showalter-Christensen-Rhodes connection in of all places on a NAVAJO RESERVATION.

But it becomes more bizarre…

Google the name Elmer Stewart Rhodes III

Now, dear blog reader, friends, and family, I suggest you do what I did: Google Elmer Stewart Rhodes III. I won’t provide a link because I want you to “feel” the mystery and anticipation.

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