Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A New Find... My 4th Great Grandmother Mariah Hounshell...
I know I've said it time and time again, but our Ancestors WANT to be remembered and found.  So much so that they sometimes fall in your lap!
Several weeks ago, I was playing around on Facebook when I get this message from this wonderful woman (Sasha Mitchell) that tells me we are DNA cousins.  I get those pretty frequently, so I try to keep my Ancestry.com open so that I can rattle off surnames as necessary to those that happen to reach out.
Well as we chat comparing Virginia relatives, she is chatting with another friend that recognizes the surname HOUNSHELL, in which case Sasha passes on the following link: http://www.afrigeneas.com/forumd/index.cgi/md/read/id/3705/sbj/hutzel-slaves/

Which pops up the message board for Afrigeneas which has this message regarding the HUTZEL SLAVES...  As I begin to read, I really don't recognize much about it until I get to Mariah's son's name of ANDERSON.  Anderson Hounshell - my 3rd Great Grandfather. 
She also sent me to this link as well on Genealogy.com http://genforum.genealogy.com/hounshell/messages/86.html

I found Anderson on the 1870 and 1880 censuses living in Pulaski, Virginia, but couldn't find anything prior to that because I assumed he was a slave and we know that 1870 is generally the first census where African American's were listed by name (if they were slaves prior to the 1870 census).  I couldn't find anything else on Anderson as there were no others around with that same surname, so I didn't know his mother's name or siblings only that he was the father of my 2nd great grandmother Martha.  I did find a marriage certificate of his marriage to Elenora Hendricks in 1869. 
I did find the surname HOUNSHELL in Wythe, Virginia - but those Hounshells were White.  Well... that doesn't make them NOT family!  And a big mistake on my part for not digging in deeper.

So now I'm hunting for the book Hutzel Heritage, because based on the above, they are family as well.  The book is no longer in print and actually obtaining a copy is like searching for a needle in a haystack - which I will gladly do.  :)

I know I have been terrible with my blogging and I need to keep at it, I actually enjoy it - but other things always seem to pile up on me and it always falls to the background.  So I think what I will do is make myself a promise to at least try once a month and end it with my "lesson(s)" for that particular blog entry - so here goes:

  1. Don't discount Facebook.  True, I was bouncing around doing things on Facebook that was not necessarily geared towards Genealogy - but I've had many breakthroughs that way.  So instead of feeling guilty, I'm going to embrace it.  I've found cousins and info and my family actually likes the Family Groups that I have created - so Facebook is a GOOD thing.
  2. Maybe if I had dug a bit deeper into those White Hounshells, I could have found the above info much earlier.  The thing is, with surnames I've learned that doesn't always mean that there is a connection and I have spent numerous hours researching surnames to come up empty handed.  But just the ONE time I decide to forget digging into that surname, its family members, etc - is the one I missed. 
  3. Message Boards are the next best thing since sliced bread.  I've always had luck with them and will be more diligent with using them for my research.
  4. Number one lesson and gift?!?  I now know who my 4th Great Grandmother is!  So now I know I need to find out more about her children, where they all ended up and I'm so grateful she had a son named ANDERSON, who had a daughter named MARTHA, who had a son named WILLIAM HART, who had a son named JOHN THOMAS, who had that wonderful woman I call Mom, LOIS MAXINE.
Until next time!  Happy research!

- Felicia

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Happy New Year - It's All About Connections!

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know it has been awhile.  I haven't totally been out of the loop of genealogy; although I have to admit I haven't been as active as I have in the past.  Well that is the keyword:  PAST.  I am back!  Yayy!!! 

I am setting my calendar to do more volunteering in genealogy.  Believe it or not it actually helps! I'm up against so many brick walls it is not even funny! But I find that when I help others I get more creative in research and then apply it to my own research and believe it or not, it does tend to help! I visit records I'm not familiar with from various states, which creates triggers on where I should be looking in my own research.  Taking a look at family make-ups, name variations and even handwriting! All of these help with my research, simply by helping someone with theirs.  

I've also been using Facebook to connect with cousins out there (mainly the ones I do not know).  I find that when you open yourself up personally to these cousins and they see your likes, dislikes, crazy comments, family pics -  you become more engaged with their lives and them yours.  

I also created two Facebook Groups for my family lines.  I've named them, "I AM ADDISON" and "I AM THOMAS" (don't kill me for creativity, lol).  I invited cousins and people that are in my friends list that have the surname or have some relation to that surname.  Then I had them add people from their friends list.  I am proud to say that "I AM ADDISON" is booming, "I AM THOMAS" is not as lively, but by this year's trip to Louisiana in April, I hope to remedy that situation.  

In my family groups I share my research.  I post pictures and/or documents.  I share stories of these ancestors or my vision of what their story may hold.  I find that sometimes when I stare at a picture or a record and read various things, I can imagine their story, yes even that helps with research.  

When I invite people, I have them introduce themselves and advising who their parents names are and their grandparents, and great grands (if they know).  This helps me by knowing where to place them on the family tree. I also invite others to post stories and pictures of their families and especially the old pictures (a sure way to get pictures I have never seen.). 

I've even invite other African-American's with the last name of Addison (since it seems that every Addison I come across there is a link in relation).  Sometimes you can't find the direct link, but it answers questions on who you are and aren't related to and you help another family in their research.  

You see where I'm going with this... help, help, help... Give and you shall receive!

So that is my quick summary for the beginning of this new fabulous year! So far I have the following planned for 2014: Blog more, February Black Family History Day for AAGSNC (www.aagsnc.org); April, Louisiana to bond with family and do some research.  Well I'm up to April so far! So I'm getting it in! 

Brick Walls were built to be bulldozed - if they can be built, they can be destroyed.  That is my new mantra in regard to my research.

Until next time - find your people, they are waiting!  

#GenealogyRocks #AAGSAR #BLOGFEST2014