Thursday, July 09, 2020

Back into the Past

This is my great-great grandmother, Etta Hawkins.

Rosetta Rose “Etta” <I>Hawkins</I> Dewitt

And this is my great-grandmother, Bertha Skaggs:

Bertha <I>Bell</I> Skaggs

That's a picture of my grandmother, Mae Skaggs, on her knee. Bertha died at 32, when my grandmother was twelve. Mae was sent to Indiana to live with a relative. Family history says the relative owned a "roadhouse," which is local parlance meant a whorehouse. I don't know how much of that is true.

The husband there, Ditchler Skaggs, looks quite a bit like my father and my second brother. Mae looks a bit like me when I was young, especially the white-blond hair and the suspicious glare.

What happened was, I couldn't remember my grandmother's name. So I hunted for her husband's obituary, and fell into the internet.

The trail ends with Ella -- or at least that's as far back as I can discover.


nicoleandmaggie said...

One of my econ history friends got me hooked up to the Mormon app, Family Tree. My mom's family had traced back several threads to coming to the US, but some random person recently got back further to the Netherlands and England, past name changes, even on the patrilinial sides. (My mom's family is very matrilinial.)

They don't have my father's side, but apparently one of my second cousins in the homeland has a book that traces us waaaaaay back. My sister sent me a picture of our coat of arms which has money on it.

And now I just spent 2 hours playing with DH's genealogy and looking at the pictures of his ancestors that his maternal grandma gave him (as the only member of her family interested in her hobby). It only took two generations to get him connected to his family via Mormon Family Tree magic.

delagar said...

That sounds very cool. I should look into that.

Anonymous said...

Ancestry also works well with Mormon data base and hints from all over. I think Ancestry MAY be related/connected to Mormon Family Tree.....
In any case watch carefully for false leads and people who go in and enter false data........ none of my family in the late 1600's was born in Da Nang, Vietnam as an example........
IT can be fun.

Foscavista said...

I agree with anonymous: beware of the information others suggest on According to random people of the internet, I can trace one of lineages to the 14th century, with my ancestors "Guttan" and "Female Guttan." (I don't know either.)

nicoleandmaggie said...

You started a huge contagion with this post (by the way, you and I are very distantly related and family tree has Rosetta Hawkins in it, complete with the same picture). I mentioned it to my DH, who mentioned it to his mom and cousin and everyone dug out their late grandmas' genealogy stuff... and hoo boy.

Also, nestled deep here in the comments, I feel like I can say that I determined that I was absolutely right about the Trail of Tears being why DH's family settled where they did. I came across a document while doing work for my research a few years back that mentioned that a lot of people who took the land route for the Trail of Tears ended up just kind of settling in the part of the midwest where DH's extended family is from instead of finishing the journey. And it turns out the timing is exactly right-- in the 1830s one of DH's greats was 8 and moving from the Carolinas with hir parents and the other was 10, also moving from the Carolinas. They ended up growing up and marrying each other and having DH's great great grandma. There's a pretty amazing picture with DH as a baby, his mom, his grandma, and his great grandma (actually both great grandmas and the other one is rumored to be part Blackfoot at the same level, but my MIL says she's never found any documentation for the woman in question and the tree doesn't go any farther back on that side; it was something her father's family was ashamed of).

delagar said...

I honestly thought no one would be interested in any of this but me. I'm glad I went ahead and posted it!

Also, it is so cool that we are like 4th cousins or whatever!

Also the part about DH's family.