Dancing with the Ancestors is never an easy dance. Okay, sometimes, but more often than not, it's a series of complicated dance steps that require spot-on concentration or . . .
. . . BAM! you stumble and fall!
Okay, the BAM is more like you hit a brick wall and can't proceed any further with certainty, which is - trust me on this one - a frustrating feeling.
Such was the case with my Mitchell line. It all started with Great Grandpa Charles A. Mitchell's death certificate which listed his parents as . . .
Mitchell and Forrest!
Oh . . . Great! Fine! Dandy! Last names only? Seriously? Can you make my life any harder Grandpop, aka Pop, Mitchell? Okay, in his defense, women are normally the record keepers of the family, and he was an only child, but . . .
. . . a wee bit more information would have helped your grandson, that'd be me, btw, once he decided to do the whole dancing with the ancestors thing. Just sayin' . . .
But, I digress, because . . .
. . . in continuing to do research on this line, I came across 85% positive documentation that my great-grandfather's parents were Martha Forrest and William Mitchell.
Martha was the daughter of Reverend Richard Albert Forrest and Sarah Matlock, or at least the Martha I was researching was the daughter of Reverend Richard Albert Forrest and Sarah Matlock. I just didn't have proof positive until . . .
. . . a little old thing called DNA!
Yes, the DNA test I took with Ancestry matched me up with a 4th to 6th cousin who has a direct descent from Reverend Richard Albert Forrest. This cousin is descended through Martha's sister Rachael Caroline Forrest!
But . . .
. . . the DNA and Tree Matches confirm my theory that Reverend Richard Albert Forrest is/was my 3 x great-grandfather!!
So, with confidence, I can now say that Charles A. Mitchell is the son of William and Martha (Forrest) Mitchell, and the grandson of Richard Albert and Sarah (Matlock) Forrest. It is also my guess that he was named after his mother's brother Charles Matlock Forrest.
So, when dancing with the ancestors pay attention to those complicated steps!