The Isely Information Project: Of-By-For-Ourselves Goes Digital

This server provides information about the "Kansas Iselys". We descend from Christian H. Isely, and Elise Dubach Isely.
This is a work in progress. All of Christian and Elise's descendents are invited to contribute. Please contact John Mattox if you have questions about what you might contribute and/or how to do so.

Content of Note

Here are links to content of note on this server.

Kenneth Isely

Christian & Elise Isely
Sunbonnet Days
A 2007 visit to the site of Christian and Elise's farm in Brown County Kansas
Henry & Frances Isely
Alice Isely
Fred & Mary Isely
Bliss & Flora Isely
Merrill & Mildred Isely
Merrill & Mildred in Turkey
Hypertext Kansas-Isely Descendent Database
Caroline Isely
Here are video records of the Kansas Iselys.

Contributions to this Project

This project would not be possible without the contributions of family members. In addition to acknowledgement at the point of use, we would like to acknowledge some contributions here.

David Mattox's 1995 paper entitled American Missionaries In Turkey is linked from the Turkey Page.

Many of the addresses we have for "contemporary adult Kansas Iselys" have come from Katherine and David McGuire - who distributed in 1988 a three volume transcription of letters, papers and diaries of Christian, and Elise, entitled "Uncommon Writings by Common Folk" - it would be worthwhile to post these on this web site - anyone like to prepare html files? (I have 18 five-inch floppy disks written with a TRS 80 model 4 by David with at least some of these writings.)

We use many of the family photographs digitized in 2003 by Glen Hermsmeier (a grandson of a grandson of Elise & Christian) from the photograph collection that he inherited from his grandfather Merrill (via his mother, Mary Frances). Here is Glen's photo directory.

Video recorded by Charles Christian Isely III as silent 8 mm home movies was supplied on VHS cassette by Katherine and David McGuire. John Mattox then digitized it using a PC.

The History of this Project

In 1939 the descendents of Christian and Elise produced a compilation of family biography and photographs entitled "Isely-Dubach Of-By-For Ourselves", which they described as the Isely-Dubach Photo Album and Who's Who. Twenty-five copies were produced (for 64 living descendents). The leaders of this effort (Bliss and Fred) referred to an earlier project, the "1928 Walkrigen Snap Book". Does any one have a copy? Could we digitize the images and post them?

In 1968 Christian and Elise's grandson, Merrill Isely produced an update of Of-By-For-Ourselves entitled, "For the Grandchildren of the Grandchildren." One hundred copies were produced. It contained reproductions of portions of the text in the 1939 book and a contemporary compilation of Christian and Elise's descendents. In 1996, John Mattox produced a hypertext data base from Merrill's 1968 census. In 1998, John worked with his 2nd cousins (once removed), Anne Bingham, Susanne McGuire Cooksey (great-granddaughters of Elise & Christian) to digitize Bliss & Elise's book, Sunbonnet Days.

In 2005, John Mattox secured the domain for the expansion of this project, to be called "The Isely Information Project: Of-By-For-Ourselves Goes Digital". When this site went live on 12/22/05, it offered 100 Mbytes of contents (up dramatically from the 5 Mbyte offered prevously through John's account with Time Warner's Road Runner).

What's New with this Project

We are eager to obtain up-to-date information about the Kansas Isely Descendents. We encourage you to print the Kansas Isely Descendent Information Form, fill it out, and mail it to the address on the form.

We are using a facebook group to connect. The group is called: Isely Family Reunion - of-by-for-ourselves 21st century.

We are also using the Isely extended-family e-mail list-serve to communicate.

Links to Other Isely/Iseli Resources

For information on other Isely (Iseli) families, see the Erich Iseli's Geneology Web Site.

End Notes

The project is coordinated by John Mattox. You can reach him via e-mail at Please report to him any mistakes, bad links, typos, etc. that you notice on this site.
Last update 1/6/2011.