Saturday, August 22, 2009

Unearthing Cousins

It seems that for the past 3 weeks, I'm always almost on the verge of reclaiming ancestors but then it never seems to happen. Maybe I'm not handling the introductions or inquiries correctly. As I started to feel that I will never attain one of my desired dreams and goals, that of reconnecting with distant and not so distant cousins, I got the most wonderful surprise.

My story is not nearly as amazing as my genefriend Luckie's, Family Bible Retrieval but it's still pretty awesome.

Remember my great aunt, Mattie Henyard Martin, my grandmother's older half sibling that nobody seems to know about except our line. Well back in May of this year I posted the following query on Surnames and Family Research Forum on Afrigeneas.com

Pierce Family in Walton County, GA
By:M Jones
Date: Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 7:24 pm
I'm seeking information on Pierces that lived in Walton County, GA during the early 1900s. My grandmother was Mary Magdalene Pierce (m. Lucillous Hosch in 1910). Her parents were Cornelius Pierce (born abt. 1863) and Fannie Henry or Henyard (abt 1865). My GGrandparents were married abt 1885.

It appears that they migrated to Walton County after 1895 from Watkinsville. The family is listed in Walton County on the 1900 and 1910 censuses. However, my great uncles (grandmother's brothers) Claud, Roy, and Felton all list on their WWI draft registration cards that they were born in Watkinsville. Roy was the youngest of the brothers and was born abt. 1895. My grandmother also had an older half sibling, Mattie Henyard (born abt 1885), that was the oldest of her sisters. I've not been able to locate Fannie or Cornelius prior to 1900 or Mattie prior to 1910. By 1910, Mattie was married to Thomas "Tom" Martin. Also, I'm not sure if Mattie is Cornelius' or Fannie's daughter but believe that she is my ggrandmother's child.

Cornelius died about 1910 and Fannie remarried (Sanford or Sandford). Fannie died about 1916.

Cornelius had a brother Lon / Lonnie Pierce, born abt 1864 who also had a wife named Fannie. They too resided in Walton County in the early 1900s.

There is a family, Jasper Pierce, in Greene County listed on the 1880 census that I believe could be my GGrandfather's. There is also a Cornelius Pearce listed in Greene County, 1880 census, that is possibly my grandfather but I've never been able to make a connection.

Any information or guidance would be greatly appreciated.


Well, this week I got an email with this story sounds very familiar. "Mattie Henyard" was my great grandmother but I've never heard of the Pierces. So, as briefly as I could in my reply e-mail, I went through as much as I could. Was so happy when she responded back and was even more excited when she wanted to talk. Better still, she thinks her mom, my 82 years young second cousin may be able to fill in some blanks. Her mom didn't know about this part of the family either but the more that we furiously sent e-mails back and forth, her mom remembered a woman from NC that was visiting and another relative telling her she needed to meet this lady from NC but the lady got away before she had a chance to talk to her. I suspect that lady was my grandmother who was visiting with her nieces.

The next step in this brief journey is tomorrow, four cousins who didn't know of each other less than a week ago will sit down and have a telephone conversation. I'm so giddy with anticipation that I almost can't stand it. It's like Christmas eve as a child except this is way better.

So tomorrow at about 2:00 EDT, may aunt Mat, my grandmother Mary and great-grandmom Fannie be smiling down on us.

Til Next Time!

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