Wednesday, January 23, 2008

30 Down and 2 To Go

It's been a while since I've made any genealogical progress on my family tree. Mostly it is because I've gotten beyond the use of most archived records that begin in the mid 1800's on most of my lines. The records go back further but generally list just the head of household and give little information on the rest of the occupants other than an age range. This makes it hard to know anything for certain and so I just rely on research that others have done on the subject. Of all 32 of my great great great grandparents, I only lack knowing the names of four of them. One pair are the parents of my great great grandmother Mary of whom I know nothing about. I've researched neighbors of her trying to identify possible parents but to no avail. Short of making a trip out to their grave site, also unknown to me, and seeing if she happens to be buried next to family, this is a dead avenue for me… for now.

It is fairly difficult to track down the female side of a family tree so I doubt that this is a shocker. However the remaining missing pair of 3G grandparents were the parents of my 2G grandfather Frank Smith. I could find records of him after he was married to my 2G grandmother Annetta Jane Rice but not before. He seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. I found several likely records listing a Frank Smith as a son of various people but nothing that seemed right. For a couple years now, my best guess was that his father was a man by the name of Mordecai Smith but in a family tree line with common names, having a father named Mordecai just didn't sit well despite matching other information. Also, I could find no record of Mordecai living near the parents of my 2G grandmother Annetta Jane Rice or vice versa. Since travel was very limited back in the early 1800's, a chance meeting in a state clear across the county didn't seem logical.

I have a picture of my 2G grandparents on which Frank had the middle name of Isaac. So armed with this information and knowing that people often switched middle and first names as well as but different forms of their names, I recently tried again in earnest to locate Frank's parents, my 3G grandparents. I tried searching for Isaac Smith but because Smith is such a common name, there are lots of hits. I scanned the list looking for something familiar and finally found a record for someone named Isaac Franklin Smith. Clicking on it, I at least found the names of my 3G grandparents, Abraham and Clementine Smith. The ages, birth locations and everything matched. Most convincing, Abraham and Clementine lived just down the road from the Rice family. I was happy. I have since found my 4G grandparents on Abraham's line and a have even a record of my other 4G grandparents, Clementine's parents, though I can't read what was written. I'm leaving that for another day when I can investigate further.

So now I am down to just two great great great grandparents whom I haven't located and I hope to solve that riddle someday. But for now, I'm off on another branch of my family which I have largely ignored so far, my biological father's side. I haven't seen him since I was six years old and up until last year when he sent a Christmas card, I haven't heard from him either. He was just a non-issue in my life. But now that I've gotten addicted to genealogy, I am curious as to where my true bloodline comes from other than my mom's side. I've found quite a bit of the easy part and have a request in to my paternal grandmother to fill me in on more when she gets a chance. If I discover any interesting stories, I'll keep you posted.

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