|BR: John Henry Baker, Frances Ellen Baker, Robert James Baker Chicken, Charles Webster Baker; FR: Lena Heppenstall, Frances Ann Bolton Baker Heppenstall, Thomas Heppenstall, Mary Jane Baker|
In an effort to someday break down the brick wall of Joseph Baker's past, I thought I might try tracing down some descendants of Robert Baker/Chicken again. I had tried in the past but never could get farther than his deceased children for whom I hadn't been able to find obituaries. There is a large black hole of records between records considered historical and thus scanned into online databases and modern day records that are immediately part of the digital record that makes searching for information hard to find without trips to distant places. This time around I found an online obituary for one of their children that was only three years old and it listed the three surviving Chicken children. A quick online search and I had the phone numbers for two of the three.
I called (George) Chicken first because he lived only forty miles away and it was certainly interesting trying to start that conversation. How do you introduce yourself to your 2nd cousin 2x removed and tell them that their last name technically might not be Chicken but Baker. Fortunately George informed me early on in the conversation that his sister and he had always wondered about their ancestry and how the Baker family was related to theirs. He wasn't the keeper of family information but he said his older sister was and as it happened, she was the other phone number I had found.
I called up (Mary) Chicken after a couple days so that I could give George time to call her and prepare her for my call so she wasn't surprised. We had a long talk about our ancestors and how the Bakers and the Chickens were all tied together and in fact, were one and the same. We exchanged email addresses and I spent a few hours writing her half a dozen emails filling her in with what I knew and sending her pictures of her grandfather Robert Chicken/Baker for whom she didn't have a picture. She has some information along with more that her other sister is mailing her that she is going to send to me via email and snail mail, most likely after the holidays, so I'm excited to receive that but now have to practice waiting patiently, something I find very hard to do when waiting for genealogy stuff. She didn't know of either Joseph Baker or Frances Ann Bolton Baker Heppenstall so I'm not expecting anything that will shatter my brick wall but perhaps if I'm lucky, I might get a clue that I can pursue to create a crack in that wall.