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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.