The Gainer Family Tree Newsletter

In Search of Our Past

Vol. One No. 1

April 1997



I have been attempting to locate and tie into our family tree Gainers wherever they may be. I have had many very pleasant conversations, these past four years or so, with Gainers from across our great country. I might add I have not had any unpleasant contacts at all. My research has been both enjoyable and informative. The contacts have emanated from a variety of sources, including leafing through the phone books in whatever town I find myself in. I have also received many phone calls from Gainers, or descendants of Gainers, all with an interest in our ancestors. I have attempted to share information with them, and more often than not, received more than I gave. The exchange of information in search of your roots is beyond value! Hopefully this newsletter will serve to facilitate an exchange mechanism that will help many of you who have a similar interest in our family tree. Later in this newsletter I will share a few of my meetings with Gainer kinfolk over the past few years and some of the interesting tidbits that I have picked up.

Family Tree research is much more than gathering numerical data on dates of birth, death, marriage, and other occurrences. It is also about the personal accomplishments, amusing anecdotes, and other information that makes our ancestors more than a name and a date of birth. Information about their personalities, accomplishments, and how they made a difference to their children and their communities adds much to understanding our family's past. After all, we Gainers have been a moving force, in this great State of West Virginia, as well as in many other states for more than two hundred years! So I ask each and every one of you to take the time to call, write, or otherwise convey to me stories and information about our Gainer ancestors and descendants. I will try my very best to put them in a newsletter and share them with all. The address to send them to appears at the end of this newsletter. In addition we can have a monthly section of those searching for information on various ancestors and for those with information to contact you. I am open to all suggestions concerning the content of this newsletter. Without further ado let me share with you some of people I have met in my search and some of what they have told me:

Mr. Dee Bee Gainer

Nashville, Tennessee

12/8/1899 - 2/21/1997

In 1992 I was in Nashville attending a seminar on Outlaw Gangs, (If you're wondering, I am a Deputy U.S. Marshal, I'll tell you a little about myself later) my mind however, was thinking of checking the phone book to see if any Gainers might live in Nashville. Once back at the hotel a quick check of the telephone book did reveal a few Gainers. The first one I saw that caught my eye was "DEE B. GAINER" who was located in the local area at a small town close to Nashville named Madison, Tennessee. A call to Dee Bee's number was answered very quickly. I advised Dee Bee who I was and where I was from. I told Dee Bee that I was searching for Gainers in an effort to compile a comprehensive family tree to determine if we all had a common ancestor. Dee Bee sounded very interested in Gainer Family history. In fact Dee Bee quickly informed me he and his family were originally from Montrose, West Virginia, near the town of Elkins. It became apparent that Dee Bee was very interested in talking with me further. I asked Dee Bee if I could come over to see him or if he would like to come over to my hotel room. Dee Bee checked with his son, Tyrus "Ty", and advised me that Ty would bring him over to my room for a visit.

Dee Bee was a very vigorous and sturdy man approximately 6 feet tall. He was well built and walked well. In fact, Dee Bee advised he walked four or five miles each and every day! Not bad for a man of 92! When I asked Dee Bee what was the secret to his long life and good health, he replied that he ate oats and had a banana for breakfast each morning, drank eight glasses of water a day, and walked four or five miles each day.

Dellas "Del" Gainer

11/10/1886 - 1/29/1947

As Dee Bee and I talked about his earlier years and work in the Randolph County, West Virginia area I was amazed at his memory and his mental alertness! No one would have guessed Dee Bee to be 92 years old. He could easily have passed for 75 or so. Dee talked about his 15 or 16 years as a Deputy Sheriff in Randolph County and also mentioned that he had a brother, "Del", Dellas Clinton Gainer, who had played baseball in the Major Leagues. Dee went on to relate that Del had played on the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox teams with the likes of relatively unknowns such as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb! A Gainer in professional baseball who had played with Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb!? I was really excited to hear more. Dee went on to explain that Del had played in the Majors for about 10 years. Del finished his career with St. Louis in 1922. Del was the 2nd oldest of eight children and was 13 years older than the baby of the family, Dee Bee. I could tell that Dee Bee was very proud of his big brother Del. I remember being amazed that such an important and interesting Gainer had never been known to me.

When Del finished his major league baseball career, he returned to West Virginia. In need of a job, his brother Dee told him of an opening for a Deputy U.S. Marshals job in Judge Bakers court in Wheeling. Dee had actually been offered the job, but having a good job in Randolph County as a deputy sheriff, and not wanting to move, he recommended his brother Del. Del served as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in Wheeling from 1935 to 1947. Del not only found a job in Wheeling with Judge Baker, he also married Pauline Alberta Edwards, Judge Baker's secretary. Del and Pauline had one daughter, Barbara Ellen "Bobbi" Gainer. Bobbi Gainer Lindquist resides in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I'm very proud to say that Dee and Del were my fourth cousins.

Look for more on these two very interesting Gainers in future issues.


Bryan K. Gainer, Sr.

Bryan K. Gainer, Jr.

George Washington Gainer

Daniel S. Gainer

Matthew Luther Gainer

Dee Bee and Dellas "Del" Clinton

In Search of:

Youtha Jean Maxwell Dunlap, of Houston, Texas is trying to locate information on John Davidson born circa 1837 and married to Nancy Henrietta Robinson, 1834 - Apr. 18, 1911. John and Nancy had two children, Elzara Jane and Sarah. Elzara was mine and Jean's Grandmother. Nancy Henrietta Robinson later married Francis C. Gainer on August 15, 1869. Francis and Nancy had two children, Lloyd and Myrtle. But Jean does not know what happened to John Davidson. Jean would like to know how, when and where he died.

Anyone with information can write or call Jean. Her telephone number is 281-876-0927. Jean's address is 13110 Kuykendahl #503, Houston, Texas 77090.

Gainer Reunion

Starting at 9:00 a.m.

Saturday, August 16, 1997

at "THE BARN" located at the Barbour County Fairgrounds between Belington and Philippi, WVA

I, along with Clarence Frederick "Fred'" Gainer, had the pleasure of attending this reunion last year on the same date and at the same location. Folks, it was great!! There was probably close to 200 Gainer relatives and descendants in attendance last year! The reunion was extremely well organized with games, cake walks, raffles, etc. The food upheld the best traditions of the Gainer Family! Fred and I were most honored to have been able to attend and meet lots of new Gainer relatives. I would strongly encourage those able to work it into their schedule to mark "August 16, 1997" on their calendar! Please bring a covered dish and any crafts you would like to donate for the raffles or prizes. For more information you can contact Raenel Gainer Forsythe at 757-934-2957 or Rena Gainer Booth Fekete at 412-221-6318.

John David Gainer

I would like to tell you a little about myself. I was born on October 5, 1950 in Glenville, West Virginia, the son of Francis Ivan "Frank" Gainer and Della Paugh Gainer. I graduated from Glenville High School in 1968 and briefly attended Glenville State College in the fall of 1968. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1970 and spent six years in the Navy. Upon my discharge in 1976 I became a deputy sheriff in Wood County, WVA. In 1977 I joined the WVA State Police and was a State Trooper until 1983 when I became a deputy U.S. marshal. I am divorced and have three daughters; Julianna "Julie" age 16, Melissa "Missy" age 14, and Heather age 10. I work and live in Charleston, WVA.

You may contact me at the following telephone numbers and address: 138 Candlewyck Drive, Hurricane, WVA 25526-8811. My work number is 304-347-5136 and my home number is 304-757-1380. For those of you with computers and Internet access my E-mail address is

If there are enough interested people who have computers and are online, we may be able to start a Gainer Homepage on the Internet. This would be one of the easiest ways to share information and keep everyone updated on reunions and other family news. If you have E-mail addresses please let me know and we will have a section in each newsletter for them.

Again, write or call and let me know of important dates. If you're interested in receiving this newsletter send me your name and address. Eventually there will be a nominal charge to help defray the cost of paper and postage. I will try and keep the cost as low as possible as I am not interested in turning a profit. Feel free to copy this newsletter and distribute it to anyone interested.

Please send your articles, suggestions, and questions.

HAPPY EASTER TO YOU ALL                                            

John D. Gainer