Sunday, April 24, 2011

Searching for one thing always leads you to another...

I felt like writing, so I figured why not blog about my Genealogy Frenzy this weekend.  First it started with me looking for a friend's Great Grandfather, census page after census page I found him and also his Great Great Grandfather for that matter.

While searching for his family I had been thinking about a recent meeting I had at my Genealogical Society with the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California AAGSNC, and this meeting was on those brick walls.  I've been frustrated with my Maternal Grandmother's side of the family as I'm stumped no matter which way I go I can't seem to get further than my 2nd Great Grandparent's names.  Now for some I know they will say how dare I get frustrated, some people don't get to that point, well it irritates me, okay? LOL...  Especially considering the wealth of knowledge I have gained on the other legs of my family history.

So of course the advice I was given is what I already knew, with the census it could be a mere misspelling of a name, both given and surname, search with the wildcard, search with the soundex - all of these things I tried and still no where.

This particular leg of my family, I've found in the 1930, 1920 and 1910 census, but could never find them in the 1900 - and I've been looking for well over a year.  I knew they were born in Kentucky, but in the three census' that I located them in they lived in Ohio.  So I figured maybe they lived in Kentucky and I did all my researching in the part of Kentucky I knew of.  Nothing...

Well in researching this friend's family it cleared my mind - I was looking for something totally unfamiliar to me and I seemed to be getting info everytime I searched.  As I thought about how freely this info was coming to me, I figured out why - I was calm and let everything come to me - yes, this research is detective work, but sometimes what you feel is the hardest thing that turns out to be the simplest.  Open your mind and expect the unexpected and you will be able to see something you've been overlooking.

After I did all my mind could contain w/ looking for my friend's family, I decided to take yet another stab at locating my Great Grandmother and her two children.  Her name is Alice (common), son's name is Walker (common as a surname, but not a given name) and daughter named Katharine (common, but hard to pinpoint because of the variations of the spelling) common surname JOHNSON.

So I figured... let's try Walker and leave the surname blank.  Put in what I felt his age to be in the 1900's and see what I would find. Bam! (As my lovely Goddaughter would say) - I found them... but living with another man AND... a different surname:

In 1900 Census, my Great Grandmother and her children lived with a man by the name of Robert HOPKINS.  I never heard of this man and in asking my elder relatives that may possibly have some info,  they had no idea of who he was.  The JOHNSON Surname is from My Great Grandmother Alice MCCOY marrying Samuel JOHNSON.  She was widowed sometime between 1893-1900.  This I knew just from what my family told me, but once I found this information, I did further research and found out that my Great Grandmother the widowed Alice JOHNSON, married a Robert HOPKINS on 29 Oct, 1897 in Clermore, OH; being the reason they showed up in the 1900 census with a different surname.

My summary of all of the above is sometime in between 1900-1910 Alice & Robert moved from East Liverpool, OH to Cincinnati, OH (assuming for work) and separated/divorced as well (haven't found anything on the divorce yet) but I know by 1910 Census she was living in Wellsville, OH which is in the county of Columbiana, the same as East Liverpool.

On the 1910 & 1920 census her marital status stated she was divorced - I didn't know why, as from what I knew she was widowed.  By 1930 she was stating she was widowed and her death certificate and obituary also states that she was the widow of Samuel JOHNSON.

I found Robert HOPKINS remaining in Cincinnati in both the 1910 and 1920 census', in the later census he was a patient in Cincinnati General Hospital - I need to find out what happened with him as it also contained inmates as well.

So I found something no one knew about her - she had remarried.  This is something that my Grandmother never mentioned to my Mother and her siblings (My Grandmother was Alice's 3rd child born in 1912 with a man by the name of William HAM(M)).  So this was one of those family, ah ha moments.

Did I find what I was looking for, yes and no.  What I wanted to find is her linked up with my 2nd Great Grandparents, but knew I couldn't really get that info until I answered that 1900 census mystery of did she live in Kentucky or Ohio.  Now that I know the answer to that, I'm getting closer and closer to that answer - too bad 1890 census is a goner, but 1880 census Great Granny Alice MCCOY JOHNSON HOPKINS, here I come!


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