Category Archives: Oddities

Freaky Fridays ~ The Royal Treatment

freaky-fridayI have been researching my family history for over 24 years with about 22 years of that using online genealogy sites. When I first began I had a handwritten tree that my paternal Aunt gave me that had 3 generations on it. It was not a complete list of names but it was a start. In the beginning, I took my time, finding information about each of my Dad’s 10 brothers and sisters and then their families and filling in the blanks. Once that was done I started my journey backward.

Before I knew it I became obsessed with all the trees that had my family included in theirs. Being naive I took everything they had in the tree at face value. No questions, no research, I just put it in my tree. Royal CrownOver several months I had traveled back in time to the 900s AD. I think I was related to every royal, conqueror, and historical figure in history. I bragged about my “connections” to all my friends and family, including my husband’s family. I made so many binders and printed out thousands of pages of fact sheets. The only thing I did not have was any documentation for any of these ancestors.

embarrassed1I began taking the courses to become a Certified Genealogist and I saw the grave error of my previous ways. I was embarrassed by all the bragging I had done. I realized how foolish I must have looked talking about my royal blood. So, I confessed to my family and friends and I scraped my tree and started again. This time I only moved forward or backward if I had the proper documentation. Yes, it has taken me 15 years to go back to the early 1600s but I am positive that each person in my trees belongs there. I had learned a valuable lesson. Don’t get me wrong, I do have quite a few “maybe” ancestors in my trees but they are labeled as “Needs further research and documentation” and I do not write about them.

Well, today a freaky thing happened. I decided to research a branch I had completely forgotten about. I gathered all my research for my 10th Great Grandfather Anthony Savage and I began to search for any documents. Everywhere I looked all I saw was the “Royal” lines of Anthony. The majority of them were undocumented, just like what happened before but to my surprise, I found a few that had documentation! They only went back 2 generations but there it was. Is it freaky that I am actually scared to look into the documentation? I don’t want to get caught up in spreading false information again. Yes, I am a professional Genealogist, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t make a mistake. After all, we are all human and that makes us capable of doing just that.

My plan now is to take it slow, verify, verify, verify everything, and see where it leads.

 

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.

4 Comments

Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Freaky Friday's, Genealogy, Oddities, Research, Royalty, Uncategorized

Freaky Friday ~ “We Were Cherokee”

ff imageGrowing up I was always told that we were part Native American. On my mothers’ side, I was supposedly Creek and on my dads’ side, I was supposedly Osage, Cheyenne, and Cherokee. For my mothers’ side, I can find no proof of being Creek. My Great Grandfather was our link to this bloodline, but unfortunately, he is also one of my solid brick walls, and the few documents I do have give absolutely no indication that he was. All of the “proof” we had were the far fetched stories my mother told us.

Now, on my dad’s side, there is no proof whatsoever that we have a drop of Native can you prove it questionblood in us. However, every cousin I have ever talked to or corresponded with swears we are Cherokee. So, for over 20 years I have searched the archives for any proof. When genealogy made it easier to find documents etc, I spent a multitude of hours researching. Still nothing. I had one cousin tell me that I apparently am not smart enough to figure out that we are Cherokee. I just laughed. I guess he didn’t realize that the fact that most people in our family have high cheekbones is not proof enough to claim we are.

A few months ago, I decided to revisit the rumors of our Native Heritage. I started with my oldest Hughes ancestor and began to slowly go over all of my documents and notes. I spent a couple of days making my way forward hoping to find one little hint. I took a break and called one of my two living first cousins to try to get more information about why the family believed the story. He told me that my Grandmother Hughes had told him when he was a young boy that we were Cherokee and that it came from our Hayes side a couple of generations back from her. He is the only living cousin who met our Grandmother, so who was I to doubt it?

George W Hayes Finished pic 2I returned to the search determined to find something. I abandoned my search of the Hughes’ and switched to the Hayes’. I was determined to find a link to our story. It didn’t take long. My 2x Great Grandfather, George W. Hayes (1817-1898) was where I found my answer. He was a wealthy man and during the Civil War, he provided aid by way of finances and supplies to the Confederate Army in North Carolina. In Burke County, North Carolina they had a unit called “Company A the Cherokee Rangers”. Although George never joined the army nor fought in any battles he was made an honorary Captain in the unit.

I can see how the “story” may have gotten started. He or his wife could have told a telephone-gamechild or grandchild that he had been in the Cherokee Rangers and just like the “game of telephone” each time the story is passed to another person part of it is changed. So, I can see why we came to believe that we were Cherokee. This whole concept is kind of Freaky because it makes one wonder what other family stories have been changed this drastically?

 

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.

12 Comments

Filed under Ancestry, Cherokee Indian, Civil War, Creek Indian, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Freaky Friday's, Genealogy, George Hayes Sr, Hughes, North Carolina, Oddities, Story telling, Truth, Uncategorized

Freaky Friday’s ~ “What is “Freaky?”

freaky-friday-logoHave you ever researched an ancestor and saw something you thought was “freaky”? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I guess that depends on what your definition of freaky is. The word was first used back in 1832 and the meaning hasn’t changed since then. However, in today’s world, something freaky oftentimes means something that is creepy. Merriam Websters Dictionary defines “freaky” as being strange or odd. So, when you find something in your family tree that is freaky it isn’t always a bad thing.

You may wonder “Why the language lesson”? I did it to make a point. The definition of this word has stayed the same although most people consider it differently. This is how it can be when we find something in our family line that we feel is freaky. We look at it through our 21st -century eyes and that makes it difficult to wrap our heads around it.

One example is in my Coffey line beginning with my 4x Great Grandfather, Benjamin. He1st cousins and his wife Mary “Polly” Hayes had 8 children. 4 of his sons married their first cousin and one marrying the daughter of his Grandfather or to put it in easier terms, he married his aunt! Within 3 generations this family had over 15 intermarriages of cousins. To me, I consider this strange, odd and freaky. These types of things are rare in this day and age, but back in the 1700’s it was a common practice for many reasons. Families lived close together in small communities that didn’t include very many non-relatives. So when it came time to get married they had a limited selection. Looking at the facts surrounding the time frame helped me to put it all into perspective.

emigrants 1700Another situation that could be considered freaky would be how entire families just loaded up their belongings and moved hundreds or thousands of miles away. Today it happens all the time. My husband and I have moved from Arizona to Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana and Tennessee and back again. That is 4 long trips and a lot of miles. However, the entire process was pretty easy compared to the 1700s. We could research information about the area, find housing and jobs before we left here. Moving, although tiring was simple, just pack up the U-Haul and go. We had detailed maps or GPS so we knew exactly how to get where we were going. My ancestors would make the decision to move, raise the funds, sell most of their belonging and if they were lucky within a year or two they could begin their move. They were basically in the dark when it came to what the destination looked like. They had “crude” maps and they just prayed it was correct. Instead of it taking 2 days to drive to their new home it would take weeks or months to get there. Then they had to build their home and plant their gardens and crops and begin anew. They were the brave, adventurous ones. If we had to do this most of us would never leave the area where we were born. Looking back, what they did could be considered freaky.

I am sure that you can think of many things your ancestors did that we would never do today. That in itself would make the action “freaky”. So when we look back on their lives remember, we don’t have to understand the why of what they did as it was a different time. I am sure if they could have seen into the future they would have thought we were all a little “freaky”. My search for the “odd and strange” will continue!

 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Freaky Friday's, Genealogy, History, Oddities, Uncategorized

Freaky Fridays ~ A Tangled Web!

Freaked Out Letters Funny A Little Crazy Word

I realize that the farther back you can trace your family the more likely it is that there may be some freaky things that happen. Especially in early Colonial America where there weren’t thousands of people to intermingle with. I have found where I have 2 sisters who are both my 8x Great Grandmothers. They each married and had children and I descend from both lines. This is strange enough, but tonight I found something even more strange.

Jamestown 1607-map

John “Dods” Dodson immigrated to Jamestown Virginia in 1607. He married a woman named Jane and they had two sons. Jesse Dodson was born in 1623 in Jamestown, Virginia. The next year Benjamin Dodson was born. At the age of 22, Jesse married Judith Hagger on May 7, 1645. I have only found documentation for one child born to Jesse and Judith, a son named Charles Joseph born in 1649.

Benjamin married Anne Simms in 1647. They had 3 children, two sons, Peter and Francis, and a daughter named Anne born in 1651. As with most families of the time, all three families lived close to each other in the small city of Jamestown.

cousinsIn 1680 first cousins, Charles Joseph son of Jesse, and Anne, daughter of Benjamin got married. They went on to have 8 children. Their second son, Thomas is my 6x Great Grandfather. So here is the breakdown:

 

Charles and Anne are 1st cousins.

Anne is the niece and daughter-in-law of Jesse Dodson.

Charles is the nephew and son-in-law of Benjamin Dodson.

Their 8 children are 1st cousins as well as siblings.

Each of the children are both children and nieces/nephews to their parents.

There is no denying that this situation is indeed FREAKY! No matter how common it may have been in the mid-1600s.

 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 8 times Great Grandparents, Ancestry, Colonial Virginia, Cousins, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Freaky Friday's, Genealogy, Jamestown Colony, John Dodson, Oddities, Uncategorized, Virginia

Over 300 Years Apart ~Freaky Friday’s #4

1610

jamestownMy 9th Great Grandfather Thomas Garnet (Born Dec 14, 1585, in Kirby Lonsdale, Lancashire, England) was brought to America from England as an indentured servant to Captain William Powell, a wealthy ships Captain and landowner in both England and Virginia. Between one-half and two-thirds of white immigrants to the American colonies came under indentures. Indenture lasted usually between 3-10 years. They were basically slaves and were treated as such. At one time Thomas told another person that William Powell was a drunkard and he was draggedPillory into court. He was declared guilty and was sentenced to standing for 4 days with his ear nailed to a pillar and then be publicly whipped every one of those days.  Captain Powell was killed by Indians in late 1622 or early 1623 and Thomas Garnett went on to be a free man, having paid off his debt and became a man who owned hundreds of acres of land, a large home, had a wife and several children and was a well-liked and respected man in Jamestown.

These two men’s paths crossed in such an unusual way and with such an unlikely outcome.

1948

Fast forward about 3 hundred and 38 years.

Dad & Mom ML from BookBenjamin Douglas (Doug) Hughes met Emmajane Smith when his younger sister brought her new friend home to their rural Missouri farm (about 1938). 10 years later, after both of them had been married, widowed and/or divorced; they fell in love and got married on December 13, 1948. They were married for 26 years when Doug died of lung cancer. From their union, I was born.

 

So what do these two events have in common?

Here is what I have discovered:

Thomas Garnett is my Maternal 9th Great Grandfather

Captain William Powell is my Paternal 9th Great Grandfather

Both lines came together because of life-changing events over 300 years apart, to me, this is absolutely amazing!! And it is just one more “Freaky” occurrence in my family tree.

 

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ancestry, Captain William Powell, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Genealogy, History, Hughes, Jamestown Colony, Missouri, Oddities, Thomas Garnett, Uncategorized, Virginia

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up ~ Freaky Friday #2

J&J picSeveral years ago, my Son-in-law Jake, asked me to research his Genealogy and I quickly gathered all the information that he knew about his family and eagerly began. His paternal ancestors came from Missouri and places on the east coast.

 

During the research, I stumbled upon a very familiar last name…. Rucker. I know that Rucker is a very common German/Dutch name and that a lot of Rucker’s immigrated to America starting as far back as 1690. I was intrigued and began to dig deeper.

Following the line backward I discovered the name, John Rucker. John had been born thecousin quote FF2 oldest child of Peter Rucker and Elizabeth (Fielding) Rucker in 1680 in England. I became so excited I could hardly contain myself. Peter Rucker born in 1661 in Germany was my 7th times Great Grandfather! That meant he was my daughter’s 8th times Great Grandfather and he was also my son-in-laws 9th Great Grandfather. My daughter and son-in-law are 1st cousins 10 times removed! Jake descended from John Rucker and my daughter, Jerusha descended from Thomas Rucker the 2nd son of Peter and Elizabeth Rucker.

Oh, the fun I have had with this. I have relentlessly teased them about being kissing cousins.

Then it hit me. Jake was my 1st cousin 9 times removed. Sorry, but this kind of creeped me out. Then I felt the heat rush through my face and it dawned on me, if he is my cousin then so are my 2 grandsons!!! What do I do now, have the boys call me Grandma Cousin? This is truly Freaky.

 

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.

17 Comments

Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Genealogy, History, Hughes, Marriage, Missouri, Oddities, Peter Rucker, Research, Rucker's, Truth, Uncategorized

Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Does this sound confusing? Well, it was for me too.  However, I have been having fun with it all day. Let me explain.

I sat down at my computer to see what “gems” I might find. Logging into Ancestry I wentAncestry Goof. straight to the hints (or the shaky green leaf’s) and there was one for my 5 times Great Grandfather. Something looked a little strange at the top of the page and I spent a few minutes trying to figure it out. Well, right under the name and dates of birth and death was the strangest thing I have ever seen on this site. Listed in the relationship to you line at the bottom it said, “You are the Father of Colbert Blair”. I probably stared at it for a minute before that sunk in. Then I started to laugh.

 

Ancestry Goof 3Being curious I started looking at some other ancestors. All of them were messed up. I looked at my 10 times Great Grandfather Benjamin Singletary and it had him listed as the “6th great-grandfather of husband of 5th great-granddaughter “! This one was especially confusing. As I searched backwards through my tree, I found this had happened to all my ancestors in my Hughes/Hayes tree. I went to my other trees and they were fine.

 

Ancestry Goof 2

I am still waiting on Ancestry to figure out what is wrong, and I hope it gets fixed soon. It is a little disturbing to know that my Dad in “My 6th Great Grandson”! In the meantime I am having lots of fun trying to figure out my relationships, it’s complicated!!

 

 

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Fun, Genealogy, Hayes Family, Hughes, Mistakes, Names, Oddities, Shaky Leaf, Uncategorized

Genealogy Oddities

question markI always find it fascinating how as we travel back in time through our Family’s history we can find so many things that seem “odd”. Odd things that happened, odd relationships and somethings that are just plain odd. I have come across a lot of really odd things through my lines. The oddest thing I found just this week.

 

In the past, I discovered that my Dad’s family and my Mother’s family have been crossingMayflower paths since at least the 1600s.  Two of my 10 times Great Grandfathers came over on the Mayflower together. William Brewster (Dad’s side) was the spiritual leader of the Pilgrims. William White, (Mother’s side) was the father of the first child born in this community. His youngest son, Peregrine was born aboard the Mayflower while docked in the harbor. Also, William White was one of the first to die during the first hard winter. His wife Susanna then married Edward Winslow the newly elected Governor of the Colony.

jamestownAnother odd thing I had discovered was my 9 times Great Grandfather, Captain William Powell (Dad’s side) arrived in America on the Third Supply mission of nine ships, which brought additional settlers and some supplies to the surviving colonists at Jamestown Virginia in 1609. My 9 times Great Grandfather Thomas Garnet (Mother’s side) accompanied William as his indentured servant. Between one-half and two-thirds of white immigrants to the American colonies came under indentures. Indenture lasted usually between 3-10 years. They were basically slaves and were treated as such. Powell was killed by Indians in 1622. Thomas worked off his indenture by 1619 and went on to marry, have children and become an upstanding member of the Colony.

Now to the oddest thing I have discovered. First a little explanation. When I had my oldest son, I made the decision to name him after the only Grandparent I ever met. My Mother’s father John Pleasant. We called him Pleasant until he was 16 years old. At this age, he wanted to be called J.P. When I was about 8 months pregnant with my next son I didn’t have a name picked out. I knew I wanted to have his name include my Dad’s name, Douglas, I just didn’t want it to be his first name. Because my oldest son’s name was unique I wanted this little boy to have a unique name also. So, I chose Starr as his first name. I had my daughter’s name picked out since I was 12 years old. The tradition in our family was my middle name was Jane, my Mother’s middle name was Jane and the tradition went back several generations. Therefore, any daughter I had should also have this middle name. I heard the name Jerusha in the movie “Hawaii” and decided Jerusha Jane sounded good.

My children always give the excuse that I was a “hippie” (I was not!) and that is why their names were so strange. This was the easiest explanation they could come up with. During my research, I discovered that my 7 times Great Grandfather Thomas Starr and his wife Mary Morgan had a daughter and named her Jerusha. Jerusha Starr! Now they can tell everyone they are named after their 8 times Great Aunt!!!

What are some of the “odd” things you discovered in your family tree?

 

BLOG PIC

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, History, Jamestown Colony, Mayflower, Names, Oddities, Personal Stories, Research, Uncategorized, Virginia