Monday, October 15, 2012

A Personal Connection to Your Ancestor

Every time I find a little book on local history or an historical diary my curiosity gets the best of me. I've done my bit on gathering names, dates, and places in search for my genealogical origins, but there is so much you can do at any one time without traveling to the out of the way places. So when I find one of these historical accounts I want to jump back in time and ask, which of my ancestors could have lived here while this was going on?

Our neighboring county, Monroe County, Indiana called me a few months ago and informed me they were downsizing some of their collection. So I made a visit to their History/Genealogy library to see what they had. I was determined to find some good items and bring them back to share and hopefully place in our local library for visiting genealogists to use. I wanted our local Genealogy Society to have use of them for a short while before they went to the library for a permanent home. Much of it was historical accounts/genealogy records from other states that covered local items such as church records, marriage records, etc.

My latest find was a short little booklet of a diary of a Surveyor traveling down the Ohio River in 1774 by Thomas Hanson. This brought to mind several of my ancestors. My Conners were surveyors when they moved into Kentucky territory. Traveling down the river is how many of our ancestors traveled especially when the forests in the wilderness was so dense that daylight hardly made it to the ground. I had even previously found an account written by a neighbor of my Booths that described the lower part of Indiana just this way. I just knew my John Booth had seen the same sight! For a short minute I found a way to make a personal connection to him.

My Samuel Stalnaker is mentioned in another historical account as having inhabited wilderness areas in southern Virginia. The accounts are made by travelers in the wilderness that came upon Stalnaker's cabin. It is a short mention of him, but at least it is a glimpse into his life. I guess what I'm seeking is to somehow make a connection to my ancestors that lived so long ago. After all their blood runs through my veins. I want that personal connection more so than just a cold DNA relationship.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Which Haithcock is Charlotte's Father?

1790 Chatham County, N. Carolina Census

I had made a short-lived attempt the last time that I started doing research on Charlotte's family. Truthfully, I was a bit more inexperienced. I'm going to delve into this again with a little more determination this time. Charlotte Haithcock/Hathcock/Heathcock is my 4th great grandmother. She married Charles Riggins somewhere in North Carolina. From my last post I related my quest on the internet to see what I could find. According to the posts that have been copied over and over again her father was a Scout for General Francis Marion in the Revolutionary War.

Chatham County seems to be place this family occupied for the longest time. According to the census there are four men living there in 1790 about the time she was married that could be her father - James, Hosiah, William, and John Haithcock. Gathering the information from the census record only three of these men have females in the family. This in itself is not a deciding factor to drop one of these men, but I'll make a note of it for now. I may have to make a decision later on the preponderence of evidence in one man's favor. From family trees that have been posted there is a possibility that there could be two more that may have lived here for a short time - Isaac and Charles Haithcock. The consensus seems to be they are all brothers or some other sort of kin. I'll go along with that since it is such an unusual name and all living in this same county.

Then the next problem is how does one sort out which one could be her father? Going on the assumption that he may have been a scout in the war then the next step would be to look for military records for all of these men. From my first attempt to find her father I had already gone through the ususal records such as Wills, Probate, Marriage Records, Deeds, Tax Lists, etc. This new more determined quest will be to survey what other types of records are available and how this could help to prove which man is her father. Also I will start a timeline and try to fill in the blank years with whatever records I can find. Hopefully I've gained a little more knowledge and experience this time around.