Saturday, March 24, 2012

Digging the Roots

Bolling Hall, Yorkshire, England
Genealogy is something I have been working on since my mom died in 1989, and I seem to run hot and cold with it. I attend a few workshops each year, and have a subscription to ancestry.com so that I can research from home whenever I want without someone booting me off of a library computer when my time is up. I have notebooks and hanging files filled with photographs, historic documents and notes. One of the reasons I participated in the Family History Writing Challenge last month was so I could try to make some interesting sense of all of the paperwork. I am on my way with my mom's family tree.

But a few days ago I was on ancestry.com looking at Anna May Hightower, who is my great-great-grandmother on my dad's side. I hit the motherlode, genealogically speaking. There are a number of genealogists who have researched this family way back to the founders of Jamestowne and then across the pond to England where there are Lords and Knights and all kinds of castles in the history books. This is the first line of ancestors that I have come across who actually did not immigrate here during the 1800's. This is a huge discovery for me as it opens doors to revolutionary war organizations as well as the Jamestowne Society.

But here is the thing about ancestry.com - you have to take everything you see with a grain of salt. It reminds me of Wikipedia a bit because anyone can submit anything without substantiating it. You will find people putting up mothers with birth dates that would make them younger than their children, or parents who are shown to be 50 years older than their children. Having said that, though, there are legitimate sources listed on the website as well. So you just have to sort out the wheat from the chaff. And having the information does at least give you a starting point so you know where to go look for records.

As the Hightower family lived in Covington, Kentucky when they first met up with my Hungler family, I'll be able to do a little research on them when I am in Cincinnati at the conference, since Covington is right across the river. Down the road I can see a trip to Virginia to check out all the family names there. And then to England some day? I can definitely dig looking for those roots!

1 comment:

  1. The Jamestowne Society!! That is quite a find. Good job of rooting around.

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