From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lost and Found Cousins

The extended family


As I wrote a few weeks ago, I've become engrossed in family tree research since I joined Ancestry.com, and I've learned more about my family tree than I would have ever imagined possible.

Some of the family lines that I expected to trace back through many generations are surprisingly barren in information. And some family lines that I expected to be short and dull have turned out to be the longest and most interesting branches of all.

When you research a family tree, there is no limit to the branches you can add to it. For example, you may intend to find out who your great-grandparents' mother and father were. But soon, you find yourself researching their brothers and sisters (your great-aunts and great-uncles), whom they married, and where they ended up -- and on and on it goes.

When you search for your aunts and uncles and cousins on Ancestry.com, related family trees are suggested. That has led to some interesting contacts with various cousins.

Eaton and Hart Cousins


My great-aunt Almira's son Don is one of the various cousins with whom I've been e-mailing, recently. I remember Don from my childhood. My mother liked to visit Aunt Almira, and sometimes she brought my sister and me with her. Don was a teenager at that time, and I didn't talk to him much because I was shy, and he was scary!

A decade later, my entire immediate family moved from Nebraska to Missouri, and a few years after that, Aunt Almira passed away. I didn't have any idea what had happened to Don, but when I happened to see his family tree on Ancestry.com, I knew it had to be him. I sent him a note, and he replied in a friendly way, and I have enjoyed renewing contact with him. He's living in Juneau, Alaska.

I've also contacted a Hart cousin who lives in Arlington, Texas, through Ancestry.com. If I have it straight, Bob's grandmother Lutie and my great-grandmother Emma were sisters.


Bob has a lot of Hart family information, and he is generous about sharing. He sent me a wonderful photo (above) of the entire Marcus Eaton family in about 1924. My mother is the baby in her mother's arms, and my grandfather is the man at far left. Great-grandfather Marcus Eaton is second from left in the back row, and Great-grandmother Emma Hart is second from right in the front row. The rest of the people are my great-aunts and great-uncles.

A cousin from the Hill and Mapes lines


Linda, a cousin who grew up on the West Coast, e-mailed me when she saw on Ancestry.com that I'd been researching some of our shared ancestors. She has lived in Argentina for the last ten years, due to her husband's employment.

The family relationship between Linda and me is interesting. We share Charles Lesley Hill as a great-grandfather. Our great-grandmothers were sisters. In the late 1800s, Charlie Hill married Lillie Mapes. Twin daughters were born. Then Lillie died, following the birth of a third child. Charlie then married Lillie's younger sister, Lana Mapes.

Linda, the cousin who contacted me, is descended from one of the twin daughters of Charlie and Lillie, and I am descended from a son of Charlie and Lana. Linda said she has been researching her family history for 30 years. She wondered if I know where Almus Hill, our mutual 2x great-grandfather is buried. Regrettably, I do not have that information.

Fishers and Clarks


I've also emailed with a Fisher cousin who has an extensive family tree website with my Fishers in part of it,  and with a Clark cousin who has a lot of family photographs of my great-grandfather Clark's brothers and sisters on his website.

While Ancestry.com is certainly a wonderful place to research family history, there's a lot of genealogy in other places that you don't have to pay to find. I found these Fisher and Clark websites just by running the names and dates for some of my ancestors through a Google search.

All this family history has been sitting around for who-knows-how-many years, waiting for me to get interested in it. I'm glad that time of my life has finally come. And I'm glad that the internet makes family tree research so much easier than it used to be.


I can't write about my cousins and the family tree without mentioning my cousin Alta on the Sees side of the family. She doesn't fit into the "lost and found" category, but she has given me some nice photos of the George Sees family, including one I wrote about a while back.

7 comments:

Collagemama said...

This is not the week for me to dig out genealogy stuff, but someday I'll check to see if any of my Clarks are your Clarks!

Genevieve said...

There were so many Clarks in that family line that there's actually a pretty good chance that you could be related, That would be amazing, but nice.

Evenewton1 said...

Genevieve, I found a story about Almus Hill online. Someone else was looking for his ancestors. They said that Almus lost his legs from being run over by a train in Republic county, Kansas. He married Lucinda Martin and they lived in Cuba, Kansas.
My husband, Scott Newton, is your cousin also.

Evenewton1 said...

The city in Kansas is incorrect. I reread the information and Almus Hill is buried in Belleville, Kansas.

Genevieve said...

Hi, Eve. Thanks for your message. Who is your husband descended from and where do you live? You don't have to post it here if you don't want, but please send me an e-mail! My e-mail address is gnetz51@gmail.com.

I have read on some genealogy bulletin boards that Almus Hill had an accident while working for the railroad. His census data does document that he was a railroad brakeman. Actually, I think the cousin who lives in Argentina may have written about Almus Hill's accident on some internet bulletin boards while she was inquiring for information about where he was buried.

If you will send me the web address where you read about Almus Hill's burial place, I know that she would be very interested in it.

Anonymous said...

Was great to hear from you on Ancestre.com. Darlene and I plan on doing more research for the death and cemetery records for Almus Hill.
Marie Hill Peterman, my wife's aunt also related the story of Almus Hill loosing his legs in a railroad accident. Hope to hear from you again. Wayne Clark

Genevieve said...

I loved hearing from the two of you, also, Wayne. Hope you'll visit the blog frequently. And I do hope that you blaze some new territory with your research on Almus Hill. Originally, I thought his wife, Lucinda Martin, was the mystery. Now I've decided that Almus is quite a bit more mysterious!

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