Yesterday’s Mystery Solved… Mostly.

Apr 9, 2024 | 3 comments

Espy Coat of Arms… Perhaps

In case you haven’t been keeping up — yesterday I noticed that a “Joe Espy” from Idaho had signed the Guest Register at the Oysterville Church.  I hadn’t been home most of the day and wondered if he might have knocked at my door.

Yes, as a matter of fact he had, which he let me know about via Facebook this morning.  He explained that he was on a “spur of the moment trip,” was already on his way back to Idaho, and next time he’d give me more advanced warning.  He also said that he was Buck Espy’s son.  And part of the “Potlatch Espys.”

Aha!  Buck Espy, then a hale and hearty 83, had come visiting in June (I think) of 2016 with his grandson Jesse and Jesse’s wife Dina who (if I’m remembering correctly) was raised with her Basque parents who were shepherds in Idaho.  And did they all live part time in Idaho and part the in the Basque region of Spain? The Basque homeland, Euskal Herria, is a region between France and Spain, near the Pyrenees Mountains and the Bay of Biscay.    I think that’s what I remember and I also think that Dina is now a teacher. Or did I make that all up?

So I jumped to the conclusion that Joe must be Jesse’s father.  WRONG!  At this point Cuzzin Ralph weighed in and explained that Joe is Jesse’s uncle and went on to mention that he (Ralph) has “at least 250 descendants (not counting unrelated wives and hubbies) of Fat’s father Harry Walter Espy (brother of Lillie May Espy) in my database.”  Lordy! Lordy!  My mind boggles.

I had to quit there. Although Ralph does tell me who “Fats” is and a lot of other stuff… I had to leave the conversation.  I was suddenly on overload.  (Though I am curious about those “Potlatch Espys…)  But I’m a people person myself.  I don’t do data bases.  If all those Espys want to come visit Oysterville, I’m all for it.  Just don’t ask me to keep track of who and when…





  1. Cuzzin Ralph

    Cuzzin Sydney, Here is a partial family tree that should hopefully clarify all the “who begat whoms” of this blog entry and that of April 8, 2024 as well as the piece-meal conversation that you and I had via email about these so-called “Potlatch Espys”:

    (1)Harry Walter Espy 1879-1951
    …..(2)Jesse Wallace “Fat” Espy 1909-1968 [+5 siblings of “Fat”]
    ……….(3)Jesse Wallace “Buck” Espy 1932- [+8 siblings of “Buck”]
    ……………(4)Dewain Leslie Espy 1960-
    ………………..(5)Jesse Wallace Espy 1981- m. Dina Goicoechea
    ……………(4)Joseph Dean “Joe” Espy 1965-
    ………………..(5)Samantha Espy 1991-

    • Cuzzin Ralph

      Just 9 days after I made that post Harry Wallace “Buck” Espy passed away on 19 April 2024 in Pullman at age 91 (I’m sorry that I didn’t proofread and got his name wrong). He left behind a third son William Wallace Espy, not listed above.

  2. Cuzzin Ralph

    Cuzzin Sydney, I just looked at the Espy Coat of Arms and noted how the elements of that crest fit the Potlatch Espys—as well as my connection to the Espys via Great Grammy Lillie May (Espy) Kerns—to a tee!

    (1) Wheat and Bull: Lots of grain farmers and cattle ranchers among these Espy/Kerns in eastern WA and northern ID. My 3 x great grandmother Mary Cowden (Sharp) Espy and grandsons had first Hereford ranch in ID on 640 acres—now within Moscow ID,

    (2) Suit of Armor implies Horses: Many of these Espy/Kerns have been involved with horses in farming (before tractors), transportation (“Fat” Espy famous for pack trains, Robt Hamilton Espy—pa of Lillie—teamster in Butte Co CA), sport (rodeo competition and dressage), and recreation.

    (3) Three Silver Shells: Of course, referring to the Espys of Oysterville!

    But as you originally noted in blog entry of 23 January 2015 “Espy’s the name: E-S-P-Y” (which see) this crest was promoted by the infamous and unreliable Halberts Publishing Company so should be taken with grain of salt.


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