Man donates family history to library
His journey took him many miles from Dogtown -- a community near Linton -- but James William (JW) Ringo's memories of those times remained close to his heart throughout his life.
After JW's death, that is why his son, James Joseph Ringo, traveled to Linton to donate his father's 13 volumes of Ringo genealogy to the Linton Public Library.
"This is only the second time in my life that I have been in Linton," said James as he talked about his father's love for Greene County, "but every day my dad spoke about this area and the things he learned while living here. He also loved these books, so I thought this (Linton Library) would be the best place to leave them. "
James explained that the Ringo family came to the area 200 years ago from Kentucky via Virginia, New Jersey and New York. JW's father was a coal miner who served in WWI, and his mother was the former Evelyn Janet Callaway.
"I want everyone to know that, most likely, their family history can be found here," noted James, as he pointed to the genealogy index volume with hundreds of familiar Greene County surnames.
And then with a smile added, "They might even find they are related to the Ringos."
JW left Greene County in 1932 and moved to Augusta, Mich., where he opened a men's clothing store and a pool hall.
After several years, he moved to Florida where he worked in real estate, bought a ranch and became president of a cattle association. He not only raised cattle but had one hundred head of Llamas.
"My father became interested in cattle while living in Indiana," noted James. "He ended up being very wealthy by saying he learned the basics of life in Greene County, which are don't lie, cheat or steal."
Not only will it be interesting for area residents to find their ancestors in the volumes of books but interesting to read the Ringo genealogy. The Ringo story begins in Ghent, Belgium in 988. James said some even jumped on a horse and joined the crusades.
From Belgium, they settled in Holland and then came to the United States in 1640. Their house was located in New Amsterdam on a street that is now Wall Street.
The Ringos then went up the Hudson River and settled in Indian Crossing, New Jersey that was later named Ringo Crossing.
"The Ringos helped bring about the Revolutionary War by having a meeting at their house in 1774 to write resolutions to King George complaining about the situation in America," James said and added that a Ringo has served in every war since that time.
After their house in New Amsterdam (New York) went into foreclosure, the Ringos traveled to Virginia. While in Virginia, Philip Ringo died at an early age leaving 7 children. The children went to live with an uncle in Kentucky, and as the children grew older, some of them migrated to Greene County.
He said as long as he can remember, his line of Ringos have loved studying genealogy. He didn't become interested until he began doing investigative work in the Air Force.
"I am still studying it and will always continue," he noted.
James retired after more than 20 years in the Air Force having served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He makes his home in Florida where he is a mortgage broker and real estate salesperson.