Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Common Ancestors

I could have tilted this Interconnectedness - Part V, but decided to go with Common Ancestors instead . . . just to stay a bit fresh. Ha!

Once again, updating my grandmother's (Mary Willie Boone-Sweat) siblings, and I find where her sister Mary Alberta Boone married Aloysious Delime Boone. Hmmmm . . . 

So, being the curious individual that I am, I had to backtrace Delime Boone's ancestry to see where - not if - they had a common ancestor.

Their common ancestor is Walter (aka Watty) Boone, my 4 x great-grandfather. Now, here's where it get's a wee bit interesting . . .

The two are descended from siblings, but not full siblings, half siblings, since Walter married twice. Delime is descended through Walter's first marriage to Mildred Edelen; while Alberta is descended through Walter's second marriage to Elizabeth Hagan.

The descent goes something like this . . .

Walter Boone 

- m - 

Mildred Edelen (1st)               Elizabeth Hagan (2nd)

John M. Boone - m - Elizabeth Howard    William Henry Boone - m - Rosena Hagan

William Joshua Boone - m - Elizabeth Norris      Miles N. Boone - m - Rosa Jane Duvall

John Walter Boone - m - Josephine Bowling    Victor Ivo Boone - m - Mary Willie Watson

Now, here's where things get a bit tricky because, there is one more generation on the descent through Mildred Edelen than through Elizabeth Hagan. So, what we have now is . . .

James Franklin Boone - m - Susan Mattingly

Aloysious Delime Boone - m - Mary Alberta Boone

And, there you have it for this bit of dancing with the ancestors. A Boone married a Boone, and they do have an ancestor in common, but the cousinal relationship is a bit skewed due to the descent coming through both the first and second wife of the common ancestor, plus the addition of one generation on Delime's side.

I just love a good mystery!!!

Interconnectedness - Part IV

As has happened many times before when I've been dancing with the ancestors, I've found another shared, cousinal (yes, I know, not a word) connection and - surprise, surprise, well, not really - this connection is through the Hagan branch of my family tree. Go figure! Ha!

I have a direct descent to Enoch Hagan and Tabitha Hagan (yes, same last name) through their daughter Rosena.

When updating information on my grandmother's siblings, I found that her sister Mary Kathleen Boone married James Paul Hagan. So, being the curious minded individual that I am, I decided to trace his descent backwards until I found a common Hagan. Trust me, in my family tree, with the name Hagan, it's not hard to find a common Hagan ancestor.

In this case, I traced back to Enoch Hagan and Tabitha Hagan, my four times great grandparents. So, the dual descent goes as follows . . .

Enoch Hagan - m - Tabitha Hagan

James Hagan - m - Lucinda McKune     Rosena Hagan - m - William Henry Boone

Thomas Enoch Hagan - m - Nancy Jane    Miles Nicholas Boone - m - Rosa Jane Duvall

Joseph Virgil Hagan - m -  Mary O'Bryan   Victor Ivo Boone - m - Mary Willie Watson

James Paul Hagan - m - Mary Kathleen Boone

So, James Paul Hagan and his wife Mary Kathleen Boone, have the same great-great grandparents: Enoch Hagan and Tabitha Hagan. So their children would not only be siblings, but fourth cousins. 

So, dancing with the ancestors is never dull . . . at least in my family tree.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Red Shoes

Dancing with the ancestors isn't solely about building a family tree, finding a skeleton or four in the family closet, or finding out the where/why a person came from. Dancing with the ancestors is also about the stories passed down from generation to generation . . . like the fact that two of my half-great aunts were murdered in Louisiana in 1947, and that a third sister living with them survived the attack, crawled under the front porch, and survived. 

But, not all stories are so dreary and depressing, some of them are quite amusing, such as the story of my mother's red shoes.

Luckily, there is not one, but three stories about my mom’s red shoes . . .

The one I remember is that when my mom, her sister, a cousin of theirs, and another friend, lived together in Louisville, Kentucky, is that my mom's sister Dorothy was famous (or infamous is perhaps the better word) for borrowing my mom’s clothes, shoes, and whatnot. Well, one night, my mom’s getting ready for a date (probably with dad, but you just never know – ha), and she can’t find her red shoes. She looks and looks and looks. No red shoes. Well, in walks Aunt Dorothy into the apartment . . . wearing mom’s red shoes, well, at least until mom made her take them off. Ha.

The second story, was sent to me by my cousin, Aunt Dorothy's son . . .

Back in the day before my mom moved to Louisville from the small town (Lebanon Junction, KY she grew up in), she commuted to work in Louisville. Well, when the cat's away, the mice will play. The cat in this case would be my mother, and the mouse would be my Aunt Dorothy. Well, the cat was at work, and the clothes and shoes in her closet were free for the taking, . . . and Aunt Dorothy took freely, and without asking permission. Anyhow, one day while my mom was at work, Aunt Dorothy borrowed the red shoes and went up to Taylor's Drug Store for a soda. My mom returned from work and noticed that her red shoes were gone. I'm taking it Aunt Dorothy was a repeat offender, and mom wasn't unaware of the borrowing going on with her shoes/clothes. Well, mom marched right up to Taylor's to get her shoes back! She did, at least, carry a pair of her sister's shoes with her to trade. She could have let her walk home barefoot. Ha.

The third story came from my double cousin (her grandmother and my grandmother were sisters, and we share a great-great grandfather on another branch of the family tree) . . .

It seems that, at some point, my mom gave some of her old things to her younger sister and a cousin to play with at a later date. The red shoes were in the mix. My mom's sister and cousin wore the red shoes around town even though they were way too big. They were at least 10 or 11 years younger than my mother (who was one of 10 kids). According to double cousin, her mom said they thought they were really grown up in those shoes. 

My double cousin's final comment about the shoes: Can you imagine so much history from a pair of shoes?

I can't, but think it's neat that the shoes Aunt Dorothy loved to borrow led quite the life afterwards. I can just see my other aunt - shoes too big - walking all around the very small town of Lebanon Junction.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why Do I Do Genealogy?

For the family members checking out my blog lately, you're probably wondering WTH with these different posts, rather than the family specific related posts I've been doing lately when dancing with the ancestors. Well, it's because I'm an Ancestry Ace - I'm not sure that tops Cousin of the Century which is my current title within the family since I wrested that title from my cousin Kathy (ha), but - and they keep putting out blog prompts and, well, I keep responding to them here.

Never fear, more family specific posts will follow, but more likely than not, it will be after I finish the prep for our upcoming family reunion at the end of June. Too much to do, and too little time.

But, back to the main question: Why do I do genealogy?

Simply put - because it's fun. I love the mystery. I love digging deeper and deeper, looking here, there, and everywhere, in search of an elusive ancestor. I love the brick walls that, more times than not, I've been able to knock down and discover what little skeleton was hiding behind the wall. Kidding. 

Okay, maybe not so much.

Seriously, it's not just about finding out about the past - where my ancestors came from, why they settled where they did, and then migrated somewhere else - it's about putting names to the ancestors . . . which is easier to do with Census Records that list the entire family, then further back when only the heads of households were mentioned.

Still, connecting the dates, finding my way through the maze, and all that jazz associated with dancing with the ancestors, is why I do genealogy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Do I Do Genealogy?

Why do I do genealogy, or, in my little world . . . why do I love dancing with the ancestors? Sorry, always have to insert the title of the blog into the post. Ha!

I love a good mystery, and what better mystery is there out there than genealogy? Who knew my many-times great grandpa was the marrying kind of man . . . five times, plus a sixth, so far undocumented, time, while he was still married to his adulterous fifth wife. And, also allegedly, she was the inspiration for Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. No, she's not a direct ancestor . . . just married to one.

So, I do genealogy, or dance with the ancestors, to discover the pieces of the past that put the puzzle together that is, well, me.

I'm fascinated that the paternal and maternal sides of my mothers family both ended up in Nelson County, Kentucky.

The maternal side migrated from Maryland to Central Kentucky because, at least for at time, in Maryland, being Catholic was not allowed. A good portion of the ancestors on my mother's maternal side were part of the League of Catholic Families that began a migration from Maryland to Kentucky in the late 1700s. In fact, one of my ancestors spent thirty days in jail because he was Catholic. Go, Religious Persecution! That's sarcasm in case any one missed it!

The paternal side migrated from the New England - MA, NH, ME - part of the country. So far, I haven't figured out the why of that migration. Whatever the cause, the Sweat (mother's paternal) and Boone (mother's maternal) lines ended up in Central Kentucky, where a huge portion of them still reside, married, and, well, you have me. Ha!

So, that's why I'm dancing with the ancestors . . . to solve a good mystery, to find out the where/why I came from, and to learn whatever I can about the past. Every time I begin dancing with the ancestors, I seem to stumble across something new that makes me go . . . wow!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Got Me Started . . .

. . . dancing with the ancestors

Well, I'm not really sure what was the first thing that made me start delving into the past of my family. I used to - in the days of youth and glory - laugh at my friends who were doing ancestor research. I believe irony was the oft used word from those same friends when dancing with the ancestors became my obsession.

Seriously, I was going to do the two week free trial, see what I could find, and that was that . . . done, finished, finito!

Ahhhh, but the seeds of obsession bloomed faster than I could dose them with weed killer. Next thing I knew I was renewing my membership for a second year.

Did you know my many times great Aunt Delilah was probably the original cougar? Yes, indeed! After her first husband died, at age 30 she married . . . and 18 year old. Go, Aunt Delilah. In fact, my cousin said she reserves the right to snag her a younger man, in honor of Aunt Delilah, at some point. Ha!

So, I guess, the thing that got me started was a simple curiosity, and a free trial on Ancestry. From there, well, I just couldn't stop. The further back I dug, the more information I found.

Did you know, my half-great Aunt Euphemia divorced her husband . . . pre 1910? Using FamilySearch, I stumbled across her divorce record. Come to find out . . . she divorced multiple times, in an era when divorces weren't as common as today.

As I've been dancing with my ancestors, not only have I learned a lot about my, well, ancestors, but also the struggles and hardships they've endured, plus found out the places - Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany, Switzerland - they once lived. 

Did you know one of my ancestors spent thirty days in jail . . . for being a Catholic? Neither did I until I stumbled across that information while doing research, and . . . he was proud of it, and there's a plaque to state that fact. Woo-hoo! This same ancestor, from Maryland by the way, and another ancestor, also from Maryland, both had chapels built on their property so the Catholics could worship freely . . . which wasn't allowed in Maryland at the time. Talk about religious persecution . . . the very reason many left Europe in the first place.

And, in a rambling nutshell, that's why I began dancing with the ancestors: curiosity! Yes, I know, it killed the cat, but the only thing it seems to kill for me is . . . free time.