Name’s the Same ~ 52 Ancestors #10

This prompt just so happened to fit into a blog I had already decided to write, so this one was really exciting. I have been noticing for a few years that when I am researching that I tend to find someone with a last name that I am sure is in one of my lines. So I will then go to my default tree, my paternal side, and do a search for that name. When I find it, I am usually disappointed because this information doesn’t match any of my ancestors.

I have had the thought in the back of my mind for a long time about taking some time and comparing the last names of my ancestors between my paternal and maternal sides. I have put it off because of the numbers of ancestors that would be. Just on one side I could have as many as 2048 9x great grandparents and on both sides there could be 4098. Yes, I know that the chances of having all 4098 9x great grandparents found and documented are slim. Even if I had ¼ of them, that is still 1024 ancestors. It would become a daunting task.

Another hindrance to completing this task was the common names I find in my lines. One’s like Smith, Brown, Johnson, Jones, and the like. So what did I do? I decided I would pull up both trees, side by side, and compare some of the uncommon surnames in them. I also pulled up my notes to see which ancestor information I had previously investigated that turned out to not be mine. What an eye-opener. Here are a few:

1a) Hughes/Hayes: John Graves my 6th Great Grandfather was born in 1680 in Essex County, Virginia and died in 1747 in the same county.
1b) Smith/McGowan: John Graves my 10th Great Grandfather was born in 1589 in Nezeing, Essex County, England and died in 1644 in Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

2a) Hughes/Hayes: John Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in Isle of Wright, Virginia and died on April 23, 1726, in Chowan County, North Carolina.
2b) Smith/McGowan: Colonel George Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in 1653 in Surry County, Virginia and died in 1718 in the same county.

3a) Hughes/Hayes: Mary Towneley my 10th Great Grandmother was born on May 13, 1614, in England and died on August 11, 1662, at Warner Hall, Gloucester County, Virginia.
3b) Smith/McGowan: Alice Towneley my 9th Great Grandmother was born in 1675 in Gloucester County, Virginia, and died on January 1, 1710, in Middlesex County, Virginia.

4a) Hughes/Hayes: Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin was born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. He married Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.
4b) Smith/McGowan: Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin was born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. She married Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.

As you can see from the first ancestors they had the exact same name. Numbers 2 and 3 had an unusual surname with different given names. The last one shows how one cousin from my paternal side married a cousin from my maternal side.

I also went through a few names on my “could be related” list and discovered that several of them did fit into one of the trees, my maternal side.

“Names the Same” is truly the right name for this blog!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Mondays for Me #58 ~ Number 400

Number 400. That is how many days in a row that I have written a blog. Last year before the end of January, things were going very bad in my life. My husband was very ill, and I was his sole caregiver. We had to prepare to move, my own heath was getting bad, and I was ready to give up on writing a blog that I had written for 6 years. Then I thought about the concept of New Year’s resolutions.

I then decided that for the next 365 days I would attempt to write a blog each day. I came up with a few weekly titles that I could write about. One’s like: “Thursday at the Cemetery”, “Sunday’s Salute” and “Hometown Tuesday”. To that I added the 52 Ancestors challenge by Amy Johnson Crow. I figured I could fill in the other three days with random blogs. It was difficult at first, but once I started I found I really enjoyed it. Soon I added other “titles” and I pressed forward.

Over the course of the year I had some people tell me that I should be more concerned about the quality of my blogs rather than the quantity. They were referring to my “Monday’s for Me” and the “Freaky Fridays” that I wrote. They also, reprimanded me for not citing sources. At first I was upset. I write solely about my family for myself and to connect with others who share my ancestors. All of my blogs will go into a book that I can give to my children, grandchildren and my great grandson. My daughter will have access to my trees so she will know where my information came from. So I ignored what had been said and pressed on.

At one point I did write more than one blog a day, so during the last 400 days I have written 427 blogs. It became a habit for me, something I really enjoy and actually look forward to every day. Since the first of the year I have thought about starting a new type of genealogy blog and I will need time to develop it. So, starting today I will be blogging only about 3 times per week. I am excited about this new adventure.

I have found so many wonderful friends, a ton of cousins and I have learned so much by writing these blogs. I look forward to sharing my “improved” blog with you in the near future.

OK, I know you many have discovered a couple of contradictory statements in the beginning of this blog. Yes, I did say I committed to writing blogs for 365 days in a row. I also called this blog number 400. That is because it is difficult to stop an addiction cold turkey, so when I got close to my goal I challenged myself to continue on till I hit the 400 mark. I hope I don’t get the shakes now and need a “write another blog” fix!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

“Beginnings” ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks #1

I am excited to begin this challenge again for my second year! I had such a fun time writing blogs last year, but I also had a few times that I became very frustrated. However, with each new theme I was stretched to do my best.

This year I am planning to start a new beginning in my Genealogy research. I want to start concentrating on just one family line at a time. Currently, I find that I kind of just jump from one line to another, following hints. I have found a lot of interesting ancestors this way and a plethora of documents and information, but I never felt like I had finished well enough. There were several loose ends I should have tied up, but I neglected them because I got distracted.

In my blog on January 1st this year, I stated that I am going to “hire” myself. I now that sounds strange but let me explain. I realized that I don’t always use the same focus when I work on my own lines as I do when I work on a clients’. So, by “hiring” myself (being paid in treats or something I really want) I am hoping I can break my bad habit of leaping into the rabbit hole.

I have developed a way to better document what I am pursuing, where I have found leads to more information and a plan to complete my task. I am hoping that this will help me stay on track.

I am really looking forward to this new beginning!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Shotgun Genealogy

It is amazing how life can change in an instant. I have been a Professional Genealogist for over 12 years now and I thoroughly enjoyed working with and for my various clients. Of course, this did not allow me much time to work on my own genealogy endeavors. Then, about a year and a half ago, a doctors’ negligent actions caused my husband to become disabled. For about the first 7 months I still had time to help clients, but then my husbands condition began to worsen every day, so I gave up working with others as I found myself becoming his full time caregiver.

I suddenly found that I had more time to work on my own trees on a more regular basis. I always had a disciplined method when I worked for others, but I found myself just diving in and following too many rabbit holes. It wasn’t long before I realized, it was more like a shotgun blast. I aimed my focus on one specific ancestor, then metaphorically I pulled the trigger. Next thing I knew, just like a shotgun shell, the pellets from the cartridge exploded and shot pellets everywhere.

So, here I would sit for hours, chasing each pellet, trying to place them back in the casing. I wasted so many hours using this method that I finally decided to just “hire” myself. I knew I had to stop this wasteful behavior quickly before it became ingrained in me. Yes, I should have been more disciplined from the beginning since I had already developed this form of research. It was just harder to maintain because of the times I would have to stop in the middle of something to go take care of my husband.

I finally sat down and wrote out a checklist to help me stay on tract. This method has helped me tremendously. Sometimes I fail to check off something I did, but it makes it so much easier to figure out where I left off. It has helped me be able to stay focused, and I am once again enjoying the search!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Resolution ~ A New Year ~ 52 Ancestors #52

I have really enjoyed this challenge this year. I tried to participate in it about 4 years ago, but I only completed about half the year. At the first of the year we got the news that my husband would never recover from the health problems that was caused by an arrogant nurse practitioner in July of 2019. I had been writing a Genealogy blog since January of 2012, but it was hit or miss at best, and as I found myself in the position of being a full time caregiver, I knew I needed something to help fill the hours. This was a perfect fit!

After a couple of weeks, I made the decision to try to write a blog a day. I was nervous as I didn’t think I could come up with enough to write about, but once I made the commitment and began to write, I found it wasn’t that difficult. Once I came up with a few themes of my own, it became easier.

Because of this challenge from Amy Johnson Crow, I have been able to balance out my love of Genealogy, writing and caring for my husband, which has helped me not to become overwhelmed, especially since the pandemic was thrown into the mix.

The bonus of this challenge was discovering so many interesting details about my ancestors. It pushed me to dig deeper, as well as casting out a wider net. I had gotten into the habit of just researching a few certain lines of my Dad’s side, ignoring the rest. Because of the specific prompts, I was forced to apply the same principles of research to my own ancestry that I apply to my clients. It has really opened up a new, more intense love for family history.

My resolution is to continue with my self-imposed challenge of writing at least one blog a day. I also want to begin organizing the blogs I have already written into a book that I can share with my extended family.

I want to thank Amy for the 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge. It has made a very difficult year a little easier. I look forward to participating in the challenge!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Monday’s for Me #41 ~ I’m Sorry You Feel That Way!

This blog is going to be a little different. Instead of a story about myself, I am going to address something that happened last week. I have posted 40 of these type of blogs since February and I never thought someone would respond to them in this way.

I received a message from one of my followers on my twitter account. This person has been following my blogs for over 5 years, and we have had many delightful conversations over that time. I think that is why this particular message bothered and confused me. She asked me, “Why do you think anyone wants to read these childish stories? I thought this was a Genealogy Blog?” I probably read her question 3 times before I could even begin to write a response.

I went back and looked at the blogs I first posted and I did include this statement “The purpose of this blog is to document the stories of my life. When I am gone my children, grandchildren and great-grandchild will have the memories of my life written by me. I am excited to begin this journey.” I personally consider this to be a Genealogy blog.

Granted, I haven’t included that opening for the last couple of months but even though I didn’t, I thought it was pretty evident that my “childish” blogs were Genealogy based, as they were intended to be passed down for the future generations. I guess, her comment bothered me more than I thought.

I responded politely, and thanked her for her input, but I guess my hurt feelings did eventually get a hold of me. I also included that now, because of writing this blog I have a great start on a book that can be passed on to my descendants. I then asked her if she can say the same. Yes, I hang my head in shame for being petty.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ A Quick Vent!

cousin1Last week I wrote a blog about my mistake of posting that I discovered that Barack Obama is my 10th cousin. I had posted it on my Facebook page, which is only for family. Some of my cousins were thrilled while some were not. The response to the blog was phenomenal. Most of the comments were great! However, I was surprised at some opinions some of the people gave.

One woman chastised me for posting anything about a living person. She stated that by Woman-Pointing-Her-Finger-006doing so I could damage the persons’ reputation or possibly cause harm to them. What? First, all I did was mention his name and say we are cousins. My blog was about my family and their reactions to the news. I gave no other information about him. Even if I did, his entire life is on the internet for all to read!

I was informed by another lady that I was a horrible person for disparaging a former President! She accused me of writing hateful comments about him. I went back and reread the blog and I don’t know which blog she read but I am 100% positive it wasn’t mine.

Agenda-692-800-800Last but not least, was a remark from a man who stated that political commentaries and agenda were not appropriate for Genealogy blogs. OK, once again I don’t know whose blog he read. Even on my Facebook page, I don’t do any commentary for or against any issue or person and my only agenda is to promote and encourage Genealogy!

I just felt I needed to vent a little. 90% of the people who read the blog and left a comment were wonderful and encouraging….Thank you! If you are part of the 10% may I suggest you read the blog through, thoroughly next time before commenting!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ My Big Mistake ~ Assuming Civility

facebook-logoFor over 10 years I have been using Facebook to keep my relatives informed about my Genealogical finds. I have posted some of my blogs and made inquires of those who may know more than me about family relationships. My personal Facebook page is basically for family only. Of the 140+ “friends” I have only met 6 in person. I wasn’t raised around family so most of these people are relatives who have found me over the years through other relatives. Most have expressed appreciation for all the history and stories I post.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about my 9x Great Uncle Jonathan Singletary who changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name of Dunham after he had gotten in Zachary Taylor 2some trouble. While researching I discovered that President Barack Obama and I share my 10x Great Grandfather Richard Singletary. I thought this was a find worth sharing with my family. I had previously shared that Daniel Boone is my 1st cousin 8x removed and that President George Washington is my 3rd cousin 8x removed, and also President Zachary Taylor is my 1 cousin 6x removed. Everyone had been so excited over this news.

Again, I reiterate that I do not personally know most of my family personally. I have my own very strong political beliefs which I have never shared on Facebook. I do not put up memes supporting or disparaging any candidate as this has never been my purpose for my page. I do have several cousins who regularly post their views, some very vigorously, but I do not respond to their posts.

HereticThat brings me to Monday evening when I naively put up the post about my discovery. I did make mention that regardless of your political views this was an exciting find and to please remember this is a genealogy post not a political endorsement of any kind. After putting the post up I had an errand to run so when I returned home about 1 hour later I was shocked to see what had happened. Immediately after I posted, I had gotten a barrage of “worst President, best President” responses, then the fighting began! I do not use curse words, ever! I was shocked by the cursing, swearing, name-calling, and yes, even the threats that went on. Some of the cousins even “blocked” each other. I felt so defeated as all I wanted to do was share my discovery. I took the post down!

I felt bad because I know some of my civil minded relatives would have liked finding out who they are related too! However, I am now hesitant to inform them of it as some of the ones who reverted to name-calling, etc were ones I also thought were this way! This was definitely a lesson learned. I think from now on I will only post about ancestors who were not famous or controversial!

How do you or would you handle such a situation?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

My “Favorite Photo”, Mathew Arvin Register ~ 52 Ancestors

Mathew A. Register new photo

 

I was not raised around any family, almost all of them lived over 1200 miles away. My parents were not the kind to talk too much about their families and neither of them were sentimental about photos nor memorabilia. It wasn’t until I began my Genealogy journey over 20 years ago that I came into contact with several “unknown” cousins who had been blessed with an abundance of photos. Thankfully they had no problem sharing.

I have a lot of favorites but this one warms my heart. This is my paternal 2x Great Grandfather, Mathew Arvin Register. It was taken around 1895 while visiting his farm in Alexandria Township, Kansas. Standing in the corn, he has a very content look on his face. I like that the two corn stalks are taller than him. At this time, he was in his 60’s and had led a very exciting life. Although he had been a farmer his entire life, he did not restrict himself to this one thing.

He was born in Bladen County, North Carolina in February 1833. Sometime before 1850 the Register’s packed up their belongings and moved to the St. Joseph, Missouri area. Within a couple of months, Mathew met and married Elisia Jane White. They built a home there and began to farm. Mathew was a singer and he established himself as a well-known vocal teacher in the area. Singing and teaching was a passion for him. He was known as a kind and compassionate man.

By 1855 he moved his family along with 2 of his brothers to Kansas and once again began farming. Within a few years, the Civil War began. Although the entire Register Family had several slaves they sided with the Union.  Mathew and 2 of his brothers, Owen and Sim joined the Union Army. Owen was soon captured by the Confederates. It was a custom of the rebels to sometimes make their prisoners fight with them. Because of this Mathew and Sim were always afraid of accidentally shooting Owen during one of the skirmishes. Thankfully all three of the brothers survived the war, however, while a prisoner of the Confederates, Owens’ fingers froze, and all of his fingers and thumbs were amputated at the first joint. For a wedding present, Mathew’s father had given them 2 slaves named Tid and London. After the War, Mathew bought a house in St. Joseph, Missouri for them.

In 1873, Mathew moved his family from Kansas to Perry, Oklahoma which was located in the Cherokee Nation.  He had obtained a government contract to deliver supplies and horses to the Cherokee Strip. Mathew started and ran a wagon freight line between St. Joseph and Perry for several years. He also raised broodmares on his farm in Missouri (which he still owned) and delivered them to the Army Fort in Oklahoma. The family only lived in Oklahoma for 2 years before returning to St. Joseph. Mathew continued with his freight business, running it from his farm.

In about 1880 they moved near the town of Dover, Lafayette County, Missouri. There he owned a farm with an orchard and grew Golden Seal apples. He would comb the hills around the town digging up wild Ginseng Root and he sold both apples and the Ginseng to the public. In 1902 his beloved wife died. In June of 1913, Mathew made a trip to St. Joseph to visit some of his married children. While there he fell ill. He died on 23 June 1913 at the age of 80.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Fresh Start ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks

FreshStart

I decided to participate in the 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge this year. I tried it a few years ago and although I enjoyed it I didn’t complete it. Let’s see how far I get this time!

The theme for this week is “Fresh Start”. I have hundreds of Ancestors who had fresh starts. Many came to Colonial America looking for a better life, and many more of my family moved west for the same reason.  Some remarried after the death of a spouse. So, the problem was, which one should I write about? After much thought, I decided to take a different look at a “Fresh Start”.

You see, I have one brick wall in my maternal line that has driven me batty since I first began researching my lineage. I have tried every method that could find and I did make a few minor finds, but I still only have minimal information on him.

confused-smiley

I decided to make a “Fresh Start” in the hunt for my Great Grandfather, Pleasant/Plesent Smith born February 14, 1853, in Hazel Hill. Missouri. My goal is to revisit all the information I currently have and to start thinking outside the box, looking for new ways to obtain what I need.

I have also made the decision to release my quest for trying to verify the family lore concerning him. I believe this may be what is hindering my searching.  The following is the story my mother told us about him when we were young children.

creek indianPleasant Smith was a Creek Indian Chief who left the tribe to marry my Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Page. They had one son John Pleasant Smith. Sometime after this, he was found murdered. His body was discovered dismembered and placed on the railroad tracks to make it look like he had been hit by a train. He was found before the train was to pass through town. The murderers were never found. A few years after his death my Great Grandmother received a letter from the Creek Tribe addressed to Pleasant Smith, but she never opened it. She sent it back to the addressee.

Let the journey to find the real Pleasant Smith begin!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.