Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rachel Guffey Where are You?

I'm getting ready for a research trip to Somerset, Kentucky with two of my genealogy girlfriends. We've been talking about this trip for 2 years now and finally decided to do it. I have 2 different family lines that came through Somerset, Pulaski County, KY. The first one which I've blogged about previously is my Bolens, which I've been through every thing that I could think of to check in Pulaski county the last time I was there. But I know new information surfaces all the time so I'm going to take another stab at finding more on that line while I'm there.

The other family I'm trying to find more on which I haven't gotten to do much research on is my Guffey family. My Guffeys originated in Wayne County, but I have one lady I've been trying to track down. My great grandfather's half-sister, Rachel M. Guffey, was born in 1863. She is the daughter of their father, Richard G. Guffey, and his second wife, Matilda Hughes. For a long time she just seemed to have disappeared. Most of the family moved out west to Macon County, Missouri. So I assumed since she was a part of the second wife's family she went with them, but could never find anything on her. But serendipity kept popping in on me in my research, prodding me with little hints.

I kept finding records with this Rachel Terry who was listed as a witness in many of the documents I found associated with family members still in Kentucky. Who was this Rachel Terry? Long story short, my curiosity got the best of me and I finally decided to find out more about her. And there it was, on a court document I found in the basement of the courthouse naming this Rachel M. Terry, formerly Rachel M. Guffey. Normally I never would have dug any deeper on this witness except her name kept popping up in all these other documents. I've never found a marriage record for her or any other documents relating her to my family. It had to be my missing great grand aunt and checking in the census there she was living right next to the rest of her family that stayed back in Kentucky. After I started digging into her the pieces just started falling into place. I couldn't believe it. You just ask yourself, why didn't I see all this before?

Now I'm going to Pulaski County to find her final resting place. She had moved there toward the end of her life with her family in the 1920s. Her husband was John A. Terry and her children were: Addison Ragan, John Logan, Etta, Evaline, James Ardell, Tilda, William Samuel, and Robert Terry. I've been able to find more on 4 of her children: John, Evaline, James, and William.

Namely her daughter, Evaline "Eva" had married back into my Conner line from Russell County. There's a lot of family info on her line that I've gotten from on-line cousins. And her son, William Samuel Terry who I've found some info on. And both of them are buried at the Burnside Cemetery just south of Somerset. I've always believed in whole family genealogy. I know genealogists always advise to research the neighbors, friends, even witnesses on their documents. But I always thought that was way too much work. Now I'm a firm believer! Whatever it takes to find that last missing person is my life's passion now. So I'll be elbow deep in old musty records next week, with my trusty digital camera, and hope my two traveling companions have enough of their own family research to keep them busy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My name is Rachel Guffey :) After reading through your posts, I have come to the conclusion that there is probably a link somewhere in our Guffey ancestry. I have 3 Ephraims (sp?) as ancestors, none of which are Ephraim Hardin; they are Ephraim Monroe, Ephraim Underwood, and Ephraim Monroe again. We know that our ancestors stopped in Kentucky before settling in what would become Guffey Cove on Gunter's Mountain in Alabama. My grandfather settled in what is my hometown, Lookout Mountain, Georgia. We have a book that the husband of one of my cousins put together. It traces our family back to Ephraim Monroe Guffey (possibly McGuffey, I'm not near the book right now so I can't double check that) who came over from England in the 1700's. Learning about my family history is something I've always enjoyed, especially visiting old grave sites. Your blog is very interesting. I would love to try and find the link between our families, assuming there is one!