Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead & irritate the living....

Surnames: Calaway, Dunn, Evans, Johnson, Lindsey, Rollins, Short & Williams

States: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, S. Carolina, Tennessee, Texas

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Genealogy Angels....

I'm sitting here trying to come up with what to post about today, & though several things come to mind, I think I'll write about those folks who I call "Genealogy Angels". What are genealogy angles? I bet it is pretty safe to say that most of you have had one or two experiences with one. They are those kind hearted folks who have read one of your post on a genealogy message board(s), one where you inquired about a relative &/or a brick wall. Not only do they read your inquiry, but on their own do a bit of research to help you out & find an answer for you.

I'm not sure but I have a feeling a lot of our genealogy angels out there, have time on their hands & most of their own genealogy we all know, one's genealogy is "never" finished/completed....& they've come to love the excitement of busting through those pesky brick walls, wanting others to experience the same thrill. :-) For me, they are the best of the best & I will forever be grateful they are out there.

Here's my story with my own genealogy angel: To give a bit of back story first. Back when my Dad passed away & the family was all just sitting around in the living room chatting, my Mom looked at my aunt (Dad's sister) & made the comment, "You do know you have a 1/2 sister out there somewhere, right?" WHAT? Talk about grabbing everyone's attention, that is definitely one way of doing it. :-) My aunt was stunned to say the least.

Seems like several years earlier my Dad got a letter from a lady who said she thought they were related, as her father's name was William Dodds Evans....same as my Dad's dad. She was going to be in the area & would love to visit with my Dad. Well, he didn't take to kindly to this lady claiming she was related to him, he wrote her back telling her in no certain terms that they were NOT related & he didn't want her to bother us ever again.

You need to know that Granddaddy had a reputation of being a bit wild back in his younger days, such as taking a nip now & then. Then there is Grandmother who was very religious & wouldn't hear of anything that might soil her views.

Notice that my Mom didn't mention that Granddaddy had been married before, just that there is a 1/2 sister out there somewhere. So we're all thinking, especially my aunt, he was a bit wilder than just taking a nip here & there. Ever since Mom dropped that bombshell on us all, I've tried to find his 1/2 sister. My Dad passed away 12 years ago & my Mom could no longer remember any of the particulars since it was so many years ago when they got the letter.

After my Mom passed away last year, I thought maybe, just maybe, she had kept the letter. Yet after going through everything of her's, I found nothing. I guess it was about 6 months ago when I was talking to my older sister about not having any luck on finding Daddy's 1/2 sister, when she gave me another piece of the puzzle. Seems like when she was a teen, & all of the family had gone out somewhere, she got to snooping (as kids do) in Grandmother's (she was living with us at that time) room & found, hidden in a drawer, a divorce decreed for Granddaddy! was not expecting to hear that. Though it doesn't surprise me that Grandmother never mentioned it, there is no way she would want it to be known that he had been married before. Divorce was a BIG no-no back then.

Now I'm thinking I'll have better luck in my research on him. Yeah, in my dreams. I never could find anything about his 1st marriage or child. And being that, due to my life nowadays, I had to let my subscription go at Ancestry, which hinder my search even more. I didn't give up though! My thoughts were, most likely Granddaddy's 1st child had passed away by now, but maybe she had a family of her own & they are looking for us as well. I do what we all would do & leave a post on all of the genealogy boards that I knew of, inquiring about Granddaddy & his first family.

This is where my genealogy angel comes in. She lives in Kentucky & loves to help those with Kentucky inquiries, which mine did. On her own, she found a marriage license for Granddaddy, as well as few other things. But the ultimate find was, she spotted on their marriage license, this wasn't his "first" marriage, it was his second!!! So here I am jumping for joy to have their marriage license, as well as trying to wrap my head around the fact that he was married not twice but THREE times! Cause of my genealogy angel, I have found an obituary for his second wife, her father's name, her siblings & their child's name. I have yet to find anything on his 1st wife though. No matter, my genealogy files have been so enriched by this wonderful lady who just wanted to do a kind deed in helping someone else.

My genealogy angel has no ties what-so-ever to my family, but she took time out from her own life to help me. Dorann not only used the computer in her research, but she also spent time on the phone, for 2 or 3 days, to the court house. I will forever be grateful to her & all of her help. Thank you Dorann!!!

May you all be so lucky to have a genealogy angel in your life one day, if you haven't already. AND hopefully we'll all take a page out of her book & help someone out when we can.

Later, Deb


Greta Koehl said...

What would we do without those genealogy angels! Perhaps one of them can help me find a couple of "extra" wives (shown on the marriage number on the census, but I haven't found them, yet). Hope to read about that first wife of your grandfather's some day.

Deb said...

Greta....I hope one of those Genealogy Angels come your way too soon. Nowadays it does a heart good to know such nice people are still out there. :-) And they seem to come when we least expect them.

Later, Deb

Rose Mary said...

Aunt Deb, I think the 'Genealogy Angels' is the perfect term for those strangers that reach out to help us find our past! I just know, that eventually, Granddaddy's first wife will be 'found' and added to the family story!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Loved this post, Deb. Those angels are wonderful. I enjoy your blog and want to give you the beautiful new Kreativ Blogger Award. You can pick it up at Tennessee Memories.

Anonymous said...

Just loved your post. What would we do with our those Angels? I have a question about your Evans. You said Kentucky, did any of your Evans come from Tennessee into Kentucky?

Deb said...

Hey Tammy....I'm glad you liked my post. :-) I hope to one day soon to be a "Genealogy Angel" for someone too.

And yes, my Evans' did come from Tennessee! My grandfather (Wm. Dodds Evans) was born in Hardin County, TN. His parents names were Thomas J Evans & Alice L Trantham.

Their children: Unknown, Wallace, Benjamin F, Wm Dodds, Daisy Maude, Samuel Dewitt & Jesse T. Do any of those names sound familiar to you?

Later, Deb

P.S. If you'd like to email me privately, please feel free to do so.

Email: djsroom845ATyahooDOTcom