CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- U.S. Sen. Carte Goodwin, 36, comes from a family of lawyers and Democrats whose patriarchs got their start through hard work and rose in part with help from Goodwin's new colleague, Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
The well-known branch of the Goodwins descended from Robert B. and Lessie Goodwin.
Bob was elected to the House of Delegates in 1932 at age 21, the youngest ever at the time, according to family legend.
Shortly after World War II, Bob and his brother, C.E. "Bert" Goodwin, who both served in the Navy, came back to Ripley and founded the law firm Goodwin and Goodwin. Bob also served several terms as the mayor of Ripley.
Then Bob died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving Lessie alone with three boys: Joe Bob, the eldest, who was 12 when his father died; Tom; and Steve.
Lessie remarried and headed to Columbus, Ohio, then Kansas City, Mo.
Joe Bob is a federal district court judge for the Southern District of West Virginia
He is married to Kay, the head of the state Department of Education and the Arts. She was first appointed by former Gov. Bob Wise and reselected by Gov. Joe Manchin. Joe Bob and Kay were both drama majors at West Virginia University.
They have one son, Booth, who was recently nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Booth is married to Amy Shuler Goodwin, a public relations specialist at the Goodwin Group. She is a former TV anchor and reporter and chief spokeswoman for Bob Wise when he was governor and for Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign in the state. The couple has two young sons.
Tom, the second son, was a top official in Rockefeller's administration when he was governor of West Virginia. He is one of the founders at Goodwin and Goodwin, the family firm where he continues to work.
He and his wife Kathryn have two daughters.
Carrie Goodwin Fenwick is a lawyer at Goodwin and Goodwin with her husband, J. David Fenwick. They have three sons.
Carrie and cousin Booth both graduated in 1996 from Washington and Lee School of Law. She graduated magna cum laude
Tom's other daughter is Emily Goodwin Kime (rhymes with "lime"), who is the founder and president of Vail Legal Technologies in Charleston, which does courtroom graphics and video depositions. She is married to Evan Kime, an attorney with Charleston firm Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love. They have a son and twin daughters.
The third brother, the late Steve Goodwin, is Carte Goodwin's father.
Carte gets his distinctive first name from his mother's side. Ellen Gibson Goodwin's grandmother's maiden name was Carte.
Ellen's grandfather, Philip Gibson, was a four-term mayor of Sutton in Braxton County.
Steve, who died in April, was, like his two brothers, a lawyer. He was the 100th president of the West Virginia University Alumni Association and he was on the West Virginia Board of Medicine.
Steven was also the former chairman of the West Virginia University Board of Governors, a position he served in during the controversial selection and eventual resignation of university president Mike Garrison.
Carte has one brother and a sister.
His sister, Aly Goodwin Gregg, is the senior vice president and a principal at Charles Ryan Associates, a regional marketing and public relations firm. Her husband, Patrick Gregg, is the director of communications at WVU's College of Business and Economics, a position he took late last year. The couple has one son.
Carte's brother is T. Ryan Goodwin II, whose first name comes from his uncle Tom. Ryan does banking in Illinois. He is married to Aimee. The couple has a son and a daughter.
Carte is married to Rochelle "Rocky" Goodwin, the state director for Rockefeller. They have a son, Wes, who is nearly 5, and are expecting a daughter in mid-August.
The family is not all Democrats. Carte's second cousin, Carolyn Rader, Ripley's mayor, is a Republican.
But the three Goodwin brothers have a long affiliation with state Democratic politics, especially Joe Bob and Tom.
Tom first came to Rockefeller's eye in 1970 when he was getting his master's at Harvard University. The year before Tom had graduated first in his class at WVU's College of Law.
Rockefeller, who was then West Virginia secretary of state, called Tom to the Rockefeller Center in New York City for an interview. The two met in the office of Rockefeller's grandfather, John David Rockefeller Jr.
Rockefeller wanted Tom to join the secretary of state's staff. Tom turned him down, saying he wanted to practice law for a bit.
Tom has never been sure how he came to Rockefeller's attention.
"I'm not exactly certain how that happened," he said.
After he turned Rockefeller down, Tom headed home.
"I came back to West Virginia with a 1961 Chevrolet and a lot of debt," he said.
Tom and Joe Bob opened Goodwin and Goodwin offices in Charleston and Ripley simultaneously in 1970.
The firm had been given up after their father's death. Their uncle Bert had gone off to take a job with United Fuel Co., a forerunner of Columbia Gas in West Virginia.