Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday - Watch Night Service

Watch Night Service

There was a time when I dreaded New Year’s Eve because it meant being drug to church one more time. Don’t get me wrong, I love church and my faith has gotten me through many a difficult times but to be there on New Year’s Eve, uggh!

As a child mom, who was Baptist and who more times than not I went to church with, loaded granddad and me in the car and headed to church. Even in my adult years, mom and / or dad could often guilt me into going with them, especially mom with her “There’s no other place I would rather be to bring in the new year.” Last year, I finally understood what she meant as for the first time in my life I was at Watch Night Service because that is where I wanted and needed to be.

Prior to moving to Colorado for awhile, I always thought Watch Night Service was something everyone did but during my adult life, I’ve learned that Watch Night service is truly an African-American tradition and perhaps only observed in the southern states.

The tradition of bringing in the year in church appears to have it’s origins in the Moravian community, but the significance in the African-American community can be traced back to December 31, 1862, “Freedom’s Eve.” President Abraham Lincoln in his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, dated September 22, 1862, had indicated that the slaves would be freed on January 1, 1863.

So with new found vigor both in my research and the reflections on the history of our celebration, tonight when I go to Watch Night Service, I know I’ll think and wonder about them, my ancestors, as I’m already doing now, and about the thoughts that raced through their minds as they anticipated freedom. I’ll think about my 3rd great grandmother, Eliza Stovall, at the age of abt. 50, possibly with her children and grand children by her side, giving praise that she lived long enough to see this day.

So, in remembrance of all my known direct line and collateral ancestors that endured slavery, roll call:

Direct Line of known enslaved ancestors

Maternal Ancestors

Eliza Stoval – 3rd great grandmother, abt. 1810 – unk
(date of death bwt. 1880 and 1900)
Wyatt Rome – 2nd great grandfather, 1840 – unk
(date of death after 1910)
Alice Rome – 2nd great grandmother, 1836 – unk
(date of death bwt. 1900 and 1910)
Matilda Hosch – 2nd great grandmother, 1840 – unk
Monroe Barto Hosch – great grandfather, 1862 – unk
(date of death bwt. 1890 and 1900)
Jasper Pierce – 2nd great grandfather 1850 - unk
Jane Pierce – 2nd great grandmother, 1844 – unk

Paternal Ancestors

Issac Ewell – 2nd great grandfather, 1840 – unk
(date of death bwt 1870 and 1880)
Pennie Ewell – 2nd great grandmother, 1840 – unk

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Genea Wish List

Reflections, Goals, and Wishes

Part III - My Wish List

  1. No Brick Walls - for as much as they have helped and continue to help me hone my research skills, they are very frustrating, especially the ones that have been with me almost since Day 1 and 20 years later, they are no closer to crumbling than they were on the first day.

  2. That request for Vital Records, SS5 Applications and various other documents were cheaper. No one ever said that this pursuit was cheap, but those $10, $15, and $27 per document costs add up.

  3. That I lived closer to my geographical research areas. It would be so much easier to take a day here and there and run over to the next county and poke around for documents, burial sites, old home places, etc. Besides the convenience, the cost savings would be tremendous (no hotel stays, travel cost would be minimal, etc.)

  4. That lost lines had not been lost, that almost lost lines do not become lost, and that I can some how reconnect with both.

  5. That there are photos of all my direct line ancestors lurking in photo album(s) somewhere and that each and every one of them has the ancestor's name written somewhere on them for easy identification.

  6. That there were no misspellings, misidentifications, etc. on the census, etc.

  7. That Grandma Mary Pierce Hosch had conveyed to her daughter, my mother, exactly how all of her "People" were related to us, especially Aunt Mattie, her half sister.

  8. That the destruction of the 1890 census via fire and water had not occurred.

  9. That I can identify my other slave-owning families and that the descendants of those families will be as kind and helpful as the descendants of the Hosch slave owners have been and continue to be. Thank you so much Pat and Millie.

  10. That my mother had had an opportunity to meet her grandparents. All four were gone by the time my mother arrived into the world. As a child she longed for a grandmother.

  11. That the tape mom and I made of granddaddy Hosch had not been lost / destroyed (taped over). 30+ years later, and yes I sometimes still hunt for it.

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Beverlyn Marie Evans (cousin-in-law)
1967 - 2001

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sentimental Sunday - Remembering Cousin Nay

Nathaniel Hosch Evans

Sunrise: Sept. 24, 1944
Sunset: Dec. 20, 2008

It seems like he should still be here, the jovial one, the prankster. Yet, as of today, it’s been exactly one year since the Lord decided he needed his son with him.

He was Aunt Lucille’s one and only and even though we were 16 years apart, there was always this strong bond between us. Aunt Lucille, who is only 2 years older that my mother, always called him my big brother and when he married and began having his own family, his children were my little brother’s and sisters.

I don’t think anyone ever called him Nathaniel. To family he was Nay or Nat. Friends called him Hosch. More recently whenever we saw each other we always addressed each other Mr. Evans and Miss Jones with the biggest smiles on our faces. I have no clue why we started doing this but it was always a fun thing to do and we both got such a kick out of doing it.

Cousin Nay had such a big heart. He was paralyzed most of his adult life due to blood clots, but he never let the paralysis stop him or used it as an excuse. I don’t ever remember seeing a frown on his face even during the last year of his life when he was in extreme pain. He was always checking on everybody to see if they were okay and helping out whether it was helping mom with some painting, ferrying his mom to the doctor, helping me find a new engine for my car, or assisting friends in the community with some of their needs. When I went off to college, he was the one that took me because he had a van to put all my belongings in. Mom always said she saw him do more from a wheelchair than lots of folks who still had the use of their legs. I couldn’t agree with her more.

On top of all that he was a tireless worker in church. He always visited the sick and shut-in, offering his assistance to them. He along with the rest of my family that are members of our little hometown church was the biggest reason that after moving back to the big city, I tried for as long as I could to still get back over to the hometown on Sundays for church.

But it’s this time of year that I think will always cause me to long for my “big brother” the most. Until recently when I begin my own holiday tradition, for at least 20 years, Thanksgiving and Christmas were always spent with Cousin Nay’s family. I always got such joy from picking out just the right present from him, whether it was the gag gift of $1000, shredded, that I got from the Charlotte Mint or working 24/7 for days on end to cross-stitch a picture for he and his wife.

His funeral was a true tribute to the man and a realization of how many lives he touched during the short time that God allowed him to walk with us. Our little church was definitely too small. Aunt Lucille and Cousin Nay's wife decided to move the funeral to one of our bigger churches. It still wasn’t big enough to hold all of those who knew and loved him.

For as much as I miss my “big brother” and long to have him pick at me one more time, it’s when I visit my aunt; see his wife and my cousins, his children and grandchildren; or listen to my mother’s remembrances of her “favorite” nephew that I realize how much he meant to our family and how much we all depended on him. Like Billy Joel said it seems “only the good die young.”

Until Next Time!

Picture from the personal collection of Mavis Jones.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Goals for 2010

Reflections, Goals, and Wishes

Part II - Goals

My Goals for 2010 aren’t very ambitious. In fact they are quite simple. I just need to do them.

  1. To develop an organizational system that works for me. When I first began, all those years ago, my genealogical records were the one part of my life that was completely organized. I never stopped working on it without putting everything back into its proper place. These days it seems to be scattered in various locations throughout my house. It’s not even organized chaos, it’s just simply chaos although surprisingly when I need to grab something I usually can find it right away. But as the acquired documentation continues to grow, this will not suffice.
  2. To plan and actually do at least one research trip and preferably two, one for a maternal line and one for a paternal line.
  3. To get up to speed on using Family Tree Maker. I’ve had it for a couple of months now. I have loaded the software onto my computer, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
  4. To try to stay on an even keel with posting to my blogs, so that those who read them will hopefully stay interested.
  5. To finally truly interview my parents, my two aunts and two uncles. Yes, I’ve asked them all tons of questions for the past 40+ years, even before I officially started researching, but like they never sat down and recorded what the grandparents, great aunts, etc. told them, I’ve never taken the time to sit down and record what they were telling me.
  6. To finally meet Pat and perhaps Millie, descendants of my slave owning Hosch family. Through the years both ladies have been terrific in helping cousin Roy and me reclaim our ancestors.
  7. To go to one training seminar or a national, regional or local meeting of a historical / genealogical group. As I’ve renewed the research, I’ve picked up a few more reference books to use as guides in doing my research. They are treasured additions to my limited collection but I’ve discovered that after awhile, there is no additional knowledge to be gain via this method. I don’t believe that I’m going to be able to topple present and future brick walls without training that involves more than just me reading a book.
  8. And probably the most important of all, just to spend more quality time with my parents. My friends always tell me that I’m a good daughter and that I spend more time with them than most adult children spend with their parents. But for me that’s just not good enough. It’s not about just spending time with them but enjoying and partaking of life with them and it’s the later part of that, the enjoying and partaking of life with them, that I’m always feeling like I’ve fallen down on the job on.

Until Next Time!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Reflections, Goals, and Wishes

As this year winds it’s way to a close, I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on this past year, set a few genealogy goals for 2010, and give my wish list.


After not really working on my genealogy since 1998, this year has almost felt like a genealogical whirlwind. So in no particular order, here are things that immediately come to mind for this past year. Some, make that a lot, of these will probably be things I blogged about throughout the year but I thought they were worth mentioning one more time before I close out the year.

  1. Thanks to my research prior to 1998, my second cousin, Deborah O., gave cousin Nicholas I. (2nd cousin twice removed) my name. As you know, I, along with many of my Geneafriends, am a firm believer in we are guided by the ancestors. Therefore, I think the ancestors had a hand in this introduction, because Nicholas definitely provided the spark I needed to get going again and boy did I return to research with a vengeance. It seems like genealogy is all that I have done this year. I’m ever so grateful for this introduction.
  2. I still can’t believe that I’m blogging. And what’s more I have not one but two genealogy blogs. Sometimes I struggle with what to write but I’m grateful that I started both. They have allowed me to connect with fellow family researchers / genealogists, which has truly been a godsend. Being able to share highs, lows, strategy and thoughts as I have continued to travel back through time has truly helped.
  3. In addition to making Geneafriends, this blog, in particular, contributed to my mother and I reconnecting with an almost lost line, a line on my maternal grandmother’s side that only mom, Aunt Lucille and I seem to know about. And now, hopefully through ancestral DNA, my new cousin and I can connect the dots of an ancestor’s life that seems to have left virtually no paper trail.
  4. During my time away, I’m thrilled by the role the Internet is now playing in the hunt for ancestors. However, it also saddens me, too, as it appears there may now be a large segment of family researchers that truly believe that it’s all on the internet and everything is in the census records. When I renewed my research efforts this year, I must admit that I almost fell into this trap myself but luckily for me, (1) I begin my research efforts when there was no internet - only microfilm and snail mail, so I knew there was a ton of other information out there that was nowhere on the internet, and (2) my new found Geneafriends wouldn’t let me fall into that trap by reminding me of other places to check. (Thanks Angela, Luckie, Sandra, Michael, Felicia, Valerie, Renate, et. al).
  5. I feel like the biggest accomplishment this year is that I think I’m finally beginning to grow as a researcher even though often times I wonder how much I have truly grown. This means, I still have a long way to go.

By the way, since my lists ended up being a bit longer than I had planned, I decided to divide this post into three parts. Today was the reflections part. Part II will be my goals for 2010 and Part III my genea wish list.

Until Next Time!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Madness Monday

Continuing the Hunt for Uncle Felton

Last week and today, I received what little information there is on Uncle Felton Pierce’s time in the army during World War I.

Last week I received his World War I Summary Card from the Georgia Department of Archives. At first glance, one would think there is not a lot of information there, especially from a genealogical stand point but I personally found the information contained on this summary card quite interesting. The following are some of the items note:

  • Contrary to all of the family stories, Uncle Felton did not actually participate in the war. He never left the country. He was in the Reserves, Unit 437. Given how our government at this time in history felt about sending colored troops into battle, I’m not surprised. There were a couple of black units that got a chance to go into battle but most did not.
  • Uncle Felton was inducted into the Army on August 23, 1918 and was honorably discharged on February 21, 1919. So, he was only in for 6 months. But during his brief 6 months, he was promoted to Corporal, achieving that rank on November 14, 1918.
  • The one piece of genealogical information is that his summary card indicates he was born in Athens, Clarke County, GA.
And from his Final Pay Voucher, it was noted that he was in Company C of the reserves

In my previous posts, I’ve noted that Uncle Felton’s WWI Draft Registration card, as well as my other great uncles, all indicated that their birthplace was Watkinsville, Oconee County, GA. (Oconee and Clarke were one county until the last quarter of the 1800s). Athens as a possible birthplace is interesting due to the fact that I think I might have stumbled upon my great grandfather Cornelius Pierce’s first marriage. If this is Grandpa Cornelius’ first marriage, it occurred in Clarke County.

So, now that it’s official that he survived the War, and per his niece’s memory (that would be mom), he visited his big sister (grandmom) and her family sometime between 1928 and abt 1936, what happened to him? Why can’t I at least locate him on the 1920 or 1930 census? Where else can I look for him? The hunt continues.

Until Next Time!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Madness Monday

Fires, Fires, and More Fires

What’s with all the fires destroying records that were generated during crucial periods of my ancestors’ lives? First there is the well known fire of 10 January 1921, which destroyed the 1890 census, although from what I’ve read most of the damage was created by water and not the actual fire. During that 20 year period between the 1880 census and the 1900 census, a lot occurred - relocations, deaths, births, marriages, etc. Overall, the loss of the 1890 census has not hampered my research, at least for the lines that tended to stay put. It’s the lines that I seem to know the least about where that 20 year gap is the most frustrating. I keep thinking if I just had the 1890 census, I could perhaps put the pieces together. However, I refuse to use the loss of these critical documents as an excuse, so I continue to push myself to think of other methods to determine and follow the movements of my ancestors.

More recently, as I’ve concentrated on Uncle Felton and trying to determine what happened to him after World War I, I have learned about another fire that occurred on July 12 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO. This fire destroyed 80% of Army records generated between November 1, 1912 and January 1, 1960 and 75% of Air Force records generated between September 25, 1947 and January 1, 1964. To put it another way, 16-18 million records were destroyed.

Picture obtained from National Archives webiste

Even though this presents another disappointment and possible set back, I’ve not been deterred, yet.

The National Personnel Office did notify me that the National Archives had the final pay voucher for Uncle Felton on file. So, last week, I submitted, via snail mail, $20 to obtain a copy of this document that offers a possible glimpse into Uncle Felton’s life. I also submitted a request to Georgia Archives to obtain a copy of his WWI summary card.

Since submitting these two requests, I’ve also done a bit more research on other possible locations for WWI personnel documents. I’ve learned that the military made recommendation to WWI and WWII veterans that they file a copy of their discharge papers at the courthouse. For Walton County, GA these records are filed with the Superior Court. While I’m excited to know that his discharge papers might exist in a courthouse somewhere, based on my previous dealing with the Walton County Superior Court, I’m not looking forward to having to contact them, again. Yes I got the information I was seeking, but I also received a letter telling me that they were not equipped to do this kind of work and that I needed to hire someone to do this. So, you can see the dilemma I have. Even though I still plan to do a research trip to Walton County, GA, I’m not sure when that will occur as every attempt this year to get there has fallen through.

For now, I will just wait, anticipating the arrival of the documents already requested, and praying that they will contain enough information to help me determine what happened to a long lost Uncle.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

From the personal collection of Lucille Hosch Evans

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sentimental Sunday - A day late

SHS Class of 1979

In addition to this past week being Thanksgiving, it was also a chance for the Shelby High School Class of 1979 to get together once again. This obviously was our 30 year reunion.

Normally, I don’t get too sentimental about these things but this year I found myself being overly emotional about it. As much as I hunt for elusive ancestors, the summation my life is more than biological relations and these folks who I came of age with are just as much family as my biological family.

It seems like a lifetime ago that we walked the hallowed halls of our High School. We’ve witnessed a lot in our lifetime, the last bit of segregated schools in our area, the Vietnam Conflict (even though most of us were just kids at the time), man walking on the moon, and the lists goes on.

It’s hard to believe that nearly 10% of our class is already gone. The striking thing is that majority were African-American. Most died of natural causes, cancer, but some lives came to a tragic / violent end at the hand of another.

There were those who were with us a spirit but couldn’t be with us physically because their body’s are failing / turning on them and they struggle to survive one more day.

There were those I knew all my life and others I met along the way as I matriculated through elementary, junior high and then high school. 30 years later, there were faces I recognized right off the bat and faces I had no clue sometimes even after they told me who they were.

Some asked about my dad, who taught Driver’s Education at the high school, and some about my mother, who worked with Girl Scouts for years and now serves on the Board of Elections. But mostly, we just got caught up on where everyone was and what they were doing now.

In closing today’s post I just want to say that I’m thankful

1. For being granted one more day, year, etc.

2. For the community that helped shape me in addition to my parents

3. For friends old, new, and those that I’ve yet to meet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Madness Monday

Hunting for two Great Uncles

This Monday in a way I’m sort of returning to a familiar theme, which ancestral line to follow. For the time being, here is what I’ve determined and it seems to apply to both my maternal and paternal lines. Since both my grandfather and grandmother’s lineage hails from the roughly the same geographic area, I really do think that until I discover a few more ancestors I can work both maternal ancestral lines at the same time. For those that read my blog, it will probably appear that I’m jumping around, but for now, I have to go where the ancestors lead me.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I thought that I would announce that I’m determined to find out what happened to my grandmother’s brothers, Claud Pierce and Willie Felton Pierce. As much as I would like to continue trying to follow great grandmother Fannie, I’ve run out of ideas for the time being, and I don’t have anything else to report on my Hosch and Rome ancestors at this time.

So, let’s begin the analysis of Claud and Willie Felton. You can refer to my previous post, My Grandmother's Brothers, for additional information on them.

The last documentation that I have for either great uncle is their World War I Draft Registration cards. From a documentation standpoint, it’s like both just dropped off the face of the earth after that.

Claud Pierce (abt 1892 - ????)

Per his World War I Draft registration and the census records, Claude was the oldest of my grandmother’s three brothers. According to his World War I Draft Registration card, he was born in Watkinsville, GA on 20 Feb 1892.

Order No 622, which is handwritten, appears at the top of his draft card. I’ve yet to determine exactly what this number represents. If any of my Geneafriends know and can enlighten me, I sure would appreciate it.

World War I Draft Registration Card of Claud Pierce
Obtained through

Working on the assumption that this number could possibly be his call to duty order number, I wrote the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. About a week after I had written, I received a call asking for more information on Uncle Claud. Sadly, I, of course, had nothing further that I could give them for Uncle Claud.

This past week, I received a letter stating that they could find nothing in their files that matched Uncle Claud.

It would help tremendously if I knew a bit more about Uncle Claud but as I’ve noted a few times, no one in the family even knew he existed until I started doing the research.

Some of the records that I’ve searched for Claud include 1920 and 1930 census, lynching records, SSDI, and Georgia on-line death certificates and so far, I have turned up nothing. Still working on the assumption that he could have possibly served in World War I, I plan to write the Georgia Archives next and see if they might have a World War I Service Summary for him.

Willie Felton Pierce (abt 1896 - ????)

We know that Willie Felton served in World War I, and based on mom’s remembrances of him visiting with them when she was a girl, he survived the war. My mother was born in 1928. He is the reason that I believe the handwritten Order Number on their Draft Registration cards could possible be a call to duty. The Order Number on Uncle Felton’s card is 255.

WWI Draft Registration Card of Willie Felton Pierce
Obtained through

It should be noted that at the time of registration, it appears that Uncle Felton as well as their youngest brother, Roy, fudged their ages to appear older than they were. This notation is based on their stated ages on the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

Some of the records I have searched trying to find Uncle Felton are the 1920 and 1930 census records in GA and Washington, DC (mom thought he might have moved to Washington, DC), SSDI, on-line death certificates at Georgia Virtual Vault, etc.

As with Claud, I wrote the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO to see if they have anything on him. I didn’t have much info but submitted his Draft Registration Card along with the only photograph known to exist of Uncle Felton, which shows him in what appears to be a WWI army uniform.

Willie Felton Pierce
From 2006 Pierce Family Reunion Program

Unlike with Uncle Claud, I didn’t receive a call asking for additional information nor have I received a letter to tell me they couldn’t find any information on him. So, I’m taking that as a good sign. Keep your fingers crossed.

I will also submit a request to Georgia Archives for Uncle Felton, too.

If anyone has any other thoughts, I sure would love to hear them.

Until Next Time!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Follow-up on Wesley Hosch from Wordless Wednesday

I know I'm supposed to be on mini hiatus for the remainder of the year. But wouldn't you know it, just when I was whining about having a lull in the research, I think I perhaps may slowly be putting a few things together.

A week or two ago, Pat, the descendant of 2ggrandmom Matilda's last owner, e-mailed me a copy of the picture of Wesley Hosch and asked me if I knew who he was. I of course had no clue. Forwarded it to mom and cousin Roy to ask them if they knew. Mom didn't but cousin Roy had said that he come across the picture when he was really going at the research. He informed me that Wes was the son of Daniel and Clarissa Hosch and that he had a brother named Cicero.

So fast forward to this week. I finally got the SS5 application for one of my maternal grandmother's relatives and since that didn't provide me with a lot of insight at the time, I some how got sidetracked onto granddaddy Hosch's side of the family. Granddad's distant cousin, Eli Hush, came to my mind once again. So playing around on ancestry, I came across cousin Eli's death certificate, which revealed that his father's name was Franklin Hush. One thing lead to another as I kept following his line back through the census records. It turns out that Daniel and Clarissa are Franklin's parents and in turn cousin Eli's grandparents, which means Mr. Wesley Hosch, from this week's Wordless Wednesday would be cousin Eli's uncle.

My mind quickly honed in on the fact that Daniel Hosch was only 5 years older than my Matilda. So, you know what I am thinking, that perhaps Daniel is grandma Matilda's big brother, which of course would make Wesley her nephew. If Daniel is grandma Matilda's brother, this raises more questions. He's not mentioned in the will of Matthew Hosch, grandma Matilda's first owner. The first info I have on him is in the inventory and estate appraisal of Henry Hosch, Matthew Hosch's son. Henry and his wife were grandma Matilda's last owners, too.

After my discovery, I immediately had to write cousin Roy and tell him all about it as I don't think I had ever mentioned cousin Eli to him. Turns out, while he had no clue of the connection, he had kept a lot of info on this line and gifted me with a picture of cousin Eli's grandmother, Clarissa. In return, when I get a chance, I'm heading to the hometown library and newspaper to see if I can find cousin Eli's obituary to send to cousin Roy. And hopefully between mom and I we can gift cousin Eli's descendants with a picture of their grandma Clarissa. Hopefully, it will bring the same joy to them that it has already brought to me.

Clarissa Hosch
wife of Daniel Hosch and grandmother of Eli Hush
Jackson County GA Historical Society

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

From the personal collection of P. Hardin
Also located with the Jackson County GA Historical Society

Was he grandmom Matilda's nephew?

Until Next Time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Kreativ Blogger Award - Thank you Gini!

I'm up in the wee hours of the morning because I can't sleep. These days instead of getting something done around the house during these times, I always come get on the computer. So, it was a wonderful surprise, when I discovered this AM that sometime during the night, Genea-friend Gini, Ginisology, had gifted me with the The Kreativ Blogger Award. Gini is one of my newly discovered Gene-friends who is a wonderful treasure in the genea-world. Gini does the most wonderful interviews and write-ups for Geneabloggers that introduce us to fellow members of the genealogy blogging family.

Gini,  thank you so much for the award. Once again, you have managed to lift me up at a time when I was struggling with the research and blogging. I am honored to have been chosen.

The winner of The Kreative Blogger Award has to list seven things about themselves and then pass the award on to seven other bloggers.

So, let's begin:

  1. Even though I don't do it often these days, I love baking, especially this time of the year. As a side note, I wonder if not being able to make my momma's delicious yeast rolls will torment me the way not being able to make grandmom's custard pie tormeneted mom. By the way, some time during the past 11 years, mom finally figured out how to make the pie, so there's hope for me yet in learning how to make her rolls.
  2.  I love spending time with my folks. I continue to learn from them even as they grow more dependent on me to try to teach them about many things in this technologically advanced world that they live in. I must say both have done well on their own without much input from me.
  3. I still miss my maternal granddad even though he's been gone for 31 years. He was my world, my reason for being, my inspiration.
  4. Even though I took a 10 year hiatus from my family research, the drive, the passion, and the need to find all my ancestors and tell their story is still there.
  5. Although of late you would never know it but I love to travel. Wishing that I had the resources right now for another international trip, perhaps to Africa, so that I could recharge and be exhausted at the same time.
  6. I used to love doing my crafts. I still do but don't seem to have or make the time for them any more. I keep trying to get back to them especially the sewing. That I way I could have clothes that are tailor made for this crazily build, middle-age body.
  7. My biggest struggle in life is staying organized. Hopefully, one of these days I can at least manage to get back to the semi-organized stated of being.
Deciding on seven genea-friends / fellow bloggers to gift with The Kreativ Blogger Award was a tough decision because every blogger in their own unique way is kreativ. Here are my seven
  1.  Our Georgia Roots Luckie Daniels
  2. Be Not Forgot Vickie Everhart
  3. GenBlog Jule Tarr
  4. We Tree Amy Coffin
  5. Spence-Lowry Family History Alum Spence
  6. Reclaiming Kin Robyn
  7. Saturday's Child Jama

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, November 9, 2009

Madness Monday

It seems like it wasn't that long ago that I was actually fretting over which one of my Georgia ancestral lines to concentrate on. Since then, I've seem to hit a lull both in both my research and my blogging but at the moment, none of the ancestors are calling out to me.

I don't know if it's the rapidly approaching holdiay season, another year quickly coming to a close which in turn is making me realize I've not attained many of my goals for this year, or simply that I'm burned out after rekindling the genealogical fires and thus pushing myself extermely hard to finally break through my two biggest brick walls by years end.

I thought it was just me that was suffering through this genealogical and blogging paralysis. And I was also beginning to wonder and question how much I had truly begun to mature as a family historian / reasearcher / genealogist. But then I read Genea-friend Sandra Taliaferro's, Blogger's Block.

Sandra's post for me was a reminder that this is not a sprint but a marathon. It was also a reminder that I need balance both in my research and in life. Unfortunately or fortunately, I can let a hobby, activity, or interest consume me to the exclusion of everything else in my life. As a result, this year after renewing my research efforts, it feels like I've lived, breathed, and consumed genealgoy 24/7.

So, perhaps with the holidays approaching, maybe I should make and take a little time for myself and not worry about research or blogging so that I can start out 2010 renewed and refreshed. Does this mean, there will be nothing going on between now and 01/01/2010? Of course not, but I will try to focus on a few other hobbies and interests like decorating my house for the holidays, preparing Thanksgiving dinner, getting together with fellow jazz enthusiast, sewing, and last but not least, socializing with friends and family.

Until Next Time!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Surname Saturday + Saturday Night Genealogy Fun


Randy Seaver's, Genea-Musings, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge, offered a perfect opportunity to combine Surname Saturday and SGNF.

Surname Saturday

The Hosch surname represents my maternal grandfather's lineage.

For me, the Hosch surname is so uncommon that instinctively when you hear it, you some how know there is a possible connection even if it was eons ago. The origins of this surname are Germanic and could have come from

  • Northern Germany: Nickname from reduced form of Middle Low German hovesch ‘courtly’, a derivative of hof ‘court’
  • South German: probably a nickname for a scornful person, from Middle High German hoschen ‘to mock’, hosche ‘mockery’
  • (eastern German, of Slavic origin): from a pet form of the personal name Johannes (1)
Although, I can safely say that the bulk of my ancestors do not hail from Germany, there appears to be strong evidence, my granddad's blue eyes, that somewhere along the continuum of my ancestors, we more than likely have a European / Germanic ancestor.

There are many variations in the spelling of the name because of the way it is pronounced, at least in the South / Southeast, which does not correlate to how it's spelled at all. The most common spelling of the name is Hosch, which is how the slave owning family spelled the name and hence how the bulk of my ancestors and collateral relatives spelled it. However, the slave owner's and my family both pronounce it hush (like push but with an H). This explains how even within the descendants of the slaves, there was one variation in the spelling. Granddaddy Hosch's cousin Eli spelled it Hush. Other variations include Housch.

There is a town in Georgia, Hoschton, that bears the surname and yes, my ancestors are connected through slavery to the three men that the town was named after. Their dad, Lt. Henry Hosch, was the last or next to last owner of my 2great grandmother Matilda and their granddad, Matthew Hosch, appears, from all evidence gathered, to be grandmom Matilda's original owner. However, the first slave owner, in this line of the Hosch family appears to be Jacob Hosch, Matthew’s father, who migrated to SC in the 1700s from PA.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge

The instructions for this week were as follows:

  1. Find out the geographical distribution of your surname - in the world, in your state or province, in your county or parish. I suggest that you use the Public Profiler site at, which seems to work quickly and easily. However, you cannot capture the image as a photo file - you have to capture the screen shot, save it and edit it.
  2. Tell us about your surname distribution in a blog post of your own (with a screen shot if possible), in comments to this post, or in comments on a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter.
I went to the Public Profiler Website and entered "Hosch" in the surname field.

The profiler showed the highest distribution of the surname in Austria (48.61 FPM). Others were Germany (23.19 FPM), Switzerland (9.58 FPM) and USA (6.99 FPM).

I then checked the distribution in the US. Surprisingly, Iowa (79.28 FPM) had the highest distribution in the US with Cascade, IA being the top locality.


Until next time!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My momma's first cousin
Bessie Mae Jackson
Daugther of Effie Irene Pierce and Arthur Hillman Jackson
From 2006 Pierce Family Reunion Program

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

When I was growing up, neither one of my parents made a big deal of their birthdays, so as a result, in my adult life, some how every year I manage to miss one or both parents birthdays. This year it was mom's turn.

Earlier in the week I remembered. Sent a card, that did a superb job of expressing my love for her. Got it in the mail so that it would get over to the hometown by the big day. But then the day of her actual birth, I completely forgot, ughh.

So even though the online celebration is a couple of days late. Happy 81st birthday to my mother. Your one and only prays that you have many more. Love ya mom.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - The Mystery of the Shaking House

While putzing around on the internet the past few days, I came across this neat little article about my great Uncle Will Hosch, my maternal grandfather's brother, and some of my second cousins.

This article comes from the Cooleemee History Loom, No. 60, Fall, 2005 published by the Cooleemee Historical Association, P. O. Box 667, Old #14 Church Street, Cooleemee, NC 27014.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday into Sunday Genealogy Fun

I know it's now Sunday afternoon but I still wanted to participate in this week's SNGF challenge from Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings.

The instructions for this week were as follows:

1) Pick one of your four great-grandparents - if possible, the one with the most descendants.

2) Create a descendants list for those great-grandparents either by hand or in your software program.

3) Tell us how many descendants, living or dead, are in each generation from those great-grandparents.

4) How many are still living? Of those, how many have you met and exchanged family information with? Are there any that you should make contact with ASAP? Please don't use last names of living people for this - respect their privacy.

5) Write about it in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or in comments or a Note on Facebook.

1) I chose my great grandparents Monroe Barto Hosch (Born 1862 and died sometime bwt. 1890 and 1900) and Sallie (Rome) Hosch (Born abt 1868 and died sometime bwt. 1890 and 1900)

2) Children = 3

All are deceased although no one knows when, where, or how for my great uncle Hosea.

3) Grandchildren = 26

Granddad had 8 and my great Uncle Will had 18. Five are still living.

4) Great Grandchildren = 83 (at least)

Granddad had 29 grandchildren and Uncle Will had ???

At the great grand level, my generation, is where it begins to get a bit tricky because I don't have all the information for all my great uncle's descendants. So the above was my best guesstimate based on information at hand (2 of his 18 children had 22) and making a few assumptions, like an average of 2 children for Uncle Will's other 16 children that I don't have information on (as you can see while both lines migrated to NC, we don't communicate). If anything, the 83 is extremely low.

I know 11 of the great grands are deceased. I'm sure there is more than that but those are the ones that I know.

5) Great-great-grandchildren = 57+

I just did my granddad's line because of the already mentioned problems with my great Uncle Will's line, which is why there is a + added to the 57. To the best of my knowledge, only one of the great-great grands in my granddad's line has died but with such a huge family tree just on granddad's line, I'm sure I'm missing some.

Also, I'm going to stop at this point because, you can easily see how this is escalating into messiness with each generation.

So at a minimum, my great-grandparents have a 169 descendants just 3 generations later, although I would suspect that number is much higher than that. Have I met all of them? Surely you jest, I haven't even met all the descendants just in my granddad's line, much less my great Uncle's line. I met all my aunts and uncles, and considering I grew up with most of them around, I have met all of my first cousins and I've even met most of my first cousin's children, the 3rd great grands, because many of them were closer in age to me than my first cousins (heck some were even older than me). However, from the 4th great-grands on, no. Some, I imagine don't even know about this part of their family tree as I doubt that it was even passed on to them and sadly, most probably aren't even curious.

I've met some of the descendants of my great Uncles - 7 of his children (grands), 5 of his grand children(great grands) and none of the descendants after that.

One day I would like to find out what happened to my great Uncle Hosea Hosch.

I know he was born in 1890, probably in Hoschton, Jackson County, GA. He married Jessie Montgomery In Walton County, Georgia on November 2, 1908. Of the three brothers, he's the only one that did not migrate out of GA. He just disappears after the 1910 census. To my knowledge, he didn't have any children.

I also plan to at least account for all the grandchildren of my great Uncle Will and hopefully go from there. As geographically close as both lines are, you would think that we would be closer but sadly it's not the case. Hopefully, although I myself have also been guilty of not communicating with my kin, we can somehow find a way to build a bridge across the 83 miles that seperate the bulk of my great grandparents descendants. And for me, from the beginings of my research efforts, this reclaiming of lost lines, reuniting with the ones that are on the verge of being lost, etc, has always been a goal that is of utmost importantance.

Until next time!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Picture, Two Visitors, and Never Ending Mysteries

These never ending family mysteries come at you from out of no where, sometimes catching you off guard and taking your breath away until you have a chance to sit down and think them through a bit.

Pat, descendant of Henry Hosch (slave owner), had told me in one of our recent e-mails that during the 1960s, two men, descendants of the slaves, had visited her father in Hoschton, GA. She informed me that they had left a picture. Pat said that she would bring the picture back during her next trip to GA. Well, today she e-mailed me the picture.

Imagine my astonishment when the picutre I received was almost the exact same as the picture Aunt Lucille had just given me of my grandfather, Oscar Lucillous (LC) Hosch, and his big brother, my great Uncle, Will Hosch.

LC Hosch (1898 - 1978) and Will Hosch (1896 - 1962)

There however was one huge difference between the picture Aunt Lue let me have to copy and the one Pat e-mailed. Aunt Lue's photo has no dates, etc. on the back but the one Pat sent me had this on the back.

The picture given to Pat's father appears to be a copy of the original and provides evidence that it wasn't my granddad and my great uncle that visited Pat's dad as Uncle Will died in 1962. But who visited and how did they find out about Pat's dad and that he was a descedant of the former slave owner?

I think I can narrow the who down a lot easier than the how. Seeing as the copy of the picture that was given was done in Winston-Salem, NC, mom and I have narrowed the who made the visit down to Cousin Julius, one of Uncle Will's sons, who lived in Winston-Salem, and perhaps one of his brothers. The rest of this trip and how they determined the slave owner's descendants is an utter mystery. I've a couple of theories but all the people in my family that might have been involved are no longer here, so I don't know if I can follow through on any of my theories.

Perhaps, if Pat can find the other picture, it will shed more light on this mystery. Until then, I'll continue to try to track and understand the interwovenness of lives between two american families, one black, one white, one free, one slave.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday - Private Wheeler Sharp

Pvt. Wheeler Sharp
1895 - 1971

Aunt Lucille, finally let me have access to some of her pictures, which included some picture postcards she had retrived from my grandparent's trunk after my granddad's death (1978). This was one of those. Luckily for me, a couple had names written on the back.

Back of Picture Postcard of Wheeler Sharp

As we were going through the pictures, my aunt said that this was some of momma's people but I don't know how they were related. So, we have the beginning's of another mystery on grandmom's side of the family.

First, a few things of interest that I noted about the writing on the back of the picture.

  • It was noted that Pvt. Wheeler died in 1977 (he actually died in 1971). My grandmother died in 1966 so obviously she didn't record this. My grandfather died in 1978 but that doesn't look like his handwriting and by this point in time, my grandfather's mind wasn't what it used to be anyway. The writing sort of looks like Aunt Lucille's but I can't imagine her spelling Cincinnati like that. So, who noted Pvt. Wheeler's death and how did they find out he died?

  • There appears to be 3 different handwritings on the back. There is the barely visible recording of the Wheller Sharp name near the top, the person who seem to know him as Bubba and recorded his death and where living / died, and then the much more visible Priv Wheller Sharp.
Well, I started doing a bit of research on Priv. Wheeler Sharp and here's what I can tell you
  • In 1920, he lived in Walton County, GA. He lived a couple of houses away from my grand aunt Effie Pierce Jackson and her family. He was married and had no children
  • In 1930, he was living in Cleveland County, NC. Yes, the same area my grandparents migrated to as well as a few more of the relatives. In fact, in 1930 he was living beside another set of cousins, the Durdens. I still have not determined how the Durdens are related.
  • Sometime after 1930, he migrated to OH.
  • And if you remember my almost cousin, Stella, Priv. Sharp, if related, represents another shared line with Stella.
I decided to order of copy of Pvt. Wheeler's SS5 application to determine who his parents were and how he might be related. Have also contacted Stella regarding Priv. Wheeler's children. Are they still living? Does she have contact with them? Etc. Etc.

While I patiently wait for the requested item, I'll continue to see what I can find out about Priv. Wheeler, as well as continue to work on my Hosch ancestral line.

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Family History Month - Challenge #3

One of my favorite genealogical webistes, Afrigeneas, is observing Family History Month by challenging us to remember various family activities during the the month of October. Both the blogging and non-blogging family researchers are really enjoying the challenges.

Today marks the end of CHALLENGE #3 and I've not written anything, yet. Yikes!

The instructions for the third challenge were as follows:

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5 through 6 (yes! one extra day.), write and post a photo about either: 1. School days (at any age) or 2: Autumn / fall memories.

I decided to write about autumn / fall memories.

Next to Spring, Fall is my favorite time of the year. Two of my favorite things, football but especially HS football and the county fair took place during the fall months. I initially thought I would discuss both the football and county fair memories but have decided to just talk about the football ones. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did remembering them.

I'm really not sure how or when I ever got into football. Maybe it was the pride that the local black community exhibited over two of their own, Bobby Bell (Kansas City Chiefs 1963 - 1974) and Melvin Phillips (San Franciso 49ers 1966 - 1977) who I've never met because they were way older than me (about 20 years) or maybe it was that I was part tomboy but all I know is that by the time the Miami Dolphins had their perfect season, I had been bitten hard by this sport.

My earliest rememberances of being totally excited about football were Friday night football games with my dad. My dad was a teacher at the HS and sometimes had to work the games but often went even when he didn't have to. I would always tag along and my cousin Daryl, a year younger, would come, too. Back in those days Daryl and I were almost joined at the hip as you often didn't see one of us without the other.

The routine was the same each week there was a home game. Darryl and I would discuss who we were playing, what we were going to use as confetti, etc. until the excitement of Friday night arrived.  Even daddy's Friday night routine was the same. Daddy always got into the games free because he was a teacher but he was supposed to pay for me and Daryl. For lack of a better word, daddy was and is cheap. So every Friday night he was always saying to one of his fellow teachers who was working the gate "what about my little girl and nephew?" and he always received the usual nod of go ahead. To my knowledge, daddy never once paid for us to attend a game and this carried on through junior high. When I got to HS, I could get in free on my own because I was in band.

Once inside, Darryl and I always took our usual spot down on the front row while daddy went off to do whatever it is he was supposed to be doing. We jumped up and down and cheered furiously whenever our Golden Lions scored. There was always somebody throwing real confetti, which Daryl and I were always jealous of because we never had any but were always plotting how to get some. We knew better than to ask that someone buy this for us. So, every week we would create our own confetti by asking everyone around us if we could have their empty popcorn boxes. While we would tear the pieces of empty popcorn boxes as small as we could get them, it was never quite the same as having the real stuff but we still had fun tossing them into the air just the same. At the end of the game, there always seem to be a bit of a let down that all the excitement and fun had come to an end. But then we would get geared up and get going for another week.

Daryl and I rarely ever see each other now even though he's still in the hometown and I'm not to far away, and as I progressed through junior high and then HS, I was in the band and later became a majorette during marching season which created an entirely different set of Friday Night Football memeories. Yet, when that fall crispness hits the air, my mind always seems to drift back to those wonderful Friday nights spent in George Blanton Memorial stadium with my cousin Daryl, my dad, and our Shelby High Golden Lions.

George Blanton Memorial Stadium

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Willie Felton Hosch

Willie Felton Hosch
My Uncle
October 14, 1916 - November 3, 2004

Monday, October 5, 2009

Madness Monday - Competing Ancestors

In an ideal genealogical world, conventional wisdom states that you follow one line through to completion before starting on another. But from the beginning of my research, I've never lived in an ideal genealogical world. As an African-American researcher, can you really follow all those stated rules anyway about how things are "supposed" to be done?

Even so, since I've been back at my research, I've tried to follow the conventional wisdom, then out of the blue, I get the look here, check this out feeling from one of my other lines that I've vowed not to look at until I've worked on the current ancestor / line for a specified period of time or until I've solved the case, whichever comes first. Then off I go.

So this Monday, I feel, for the the moment, I sit at a genealogical cross roads. Do I continue to pursue ggrandmom Fannie and possibly great Aunt Mattie in the process, since for me, at the moment, they are linked? Or do I continue with trying to figure out where 2ggrandmother Matilda is trying to lead me? Or do I figure out a way to work on both at the same time? Thank goodness there seems to be a bit of a lull on my paternal side or I really would be struggling but they've been known to create rumblings out of the blue, too.

What I've finally settled on, as I write today's post, is that for the moment, since my direct ancestors are still small in number, not following the conventional path works because although often times it seems like they are jocking for position, going pick me, pick me to work on next, this competition from one line sometimes helps me to come up with ideas for another line.

Until Next Time!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October is Family History Month - me ca. 1967

Afrigeneas is celebrating Family History month. For the next two days, they are asking that you post a picture and / or write a narrative about yourself under the age of 18.

I have several pictures of myself  under the age of 18 and it was difficult deciding which picture to use for this post but I finally decided on this one

That's me in the middle just standing there. I think I was six years old at the time, and to the best of my knowledge, this was my very first recital after mom decided to enroll me in ballet and tap. Later, I would also take up jazz and participate in the annual dance workshop that my teacher, Mrs. Welch, did each year.

I know it doesn't seem like it in the picture but I really took to this and thoroughly enjoyed it and thrived on all of the genres that I was in. Sadly, for whatever reason, my mother decided that after six years, I had had my fill of the dances. I remember begging her to let me continue on and was so disappointed when she said no.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blessings from the Ancestors

Wow what a whirlwind genealogical week it has been. First there was the rediscovery of my notes and e-mails from 1998.

So, it is with delight, glee, and yes, even a few tears, that I would like to anounce that I have finally been able to reconnect with a direct descendant of Henry Hosch and she still lives one county over. Needless to say, Pat and I have been furiously sending e-mails back and forth and are hoping that we can eventually meet. (There is no way I'm going to lose contact this time.)

So, here are new updates on my Hosch line.

  1. Pat has a copy of her ancestors family bible. There is a section of the bible labeled "Negroes" that list the births of several people and the death of a couple of people. Let's just say, that outside of the census records, this appears to be the only record of my ggrandfather Barto Hosch. The date of birth is right, within a year of my estimated dates, which were established from the 1870 and 1880 censuses. Also with two unusual names (Barto and Hosch), what are the chances that it is anyone else but my ggrandfather. So I proudly announce that ggranddad's entire name is Monroe Barto Hosch, born Oct. 31, 1862. I hope to be able to post a picture of the page from Pat's treasure but will check with her first before doing so.
  2. Pat's father is still alive and well and has told Pat that some of the slave descendants visited him back during the 1970s. He has pictures of some. The next time Pat visits her father, she's going to check on these pictures for me.
  3. Finally, this offer was totally unexpected. I was discussing with Pat that I didn't know who ggranddad's father was as there was never a husband / father indicated on the censuses. It was always 2ggrandmom Matilda and her children.
         While discussing all this, I mentioned that my grandfather was dark but had blue eyes. Pat volunteered that one of her cousins would be more than happy to do a yDNA test. Now I just need to reconfirm with one of my cousins that he is still willing to do the test. (It's been over a year since I asked if he would be willing to do it.)

As many of my geneafriends would say, things are revealed when they are supposed to be revealed. And to my gggrandmom, Matilda, thanks for the guidance.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Stirrings from Matilda

I find it ironic that tonight I came across a notebook of information that I had started on about 10 years ago. As I've renewed my search, I kept thinking I had more notes somewhere but I've always tried to keep everything in my trusty file box so I just assumed everything that I had done up until 1998 was in that file box.

I wasn't even looking for this notebook tonight. I was acutally looking for a booklet from one of the Pierce family reunions. Was looking in a cabinet that I rarely ever go in and came across the notebook. As soon as I touched it, I knew it was more old genealogical notes.

In it was all the correspondence between me and another one of the descendants of my Hosch slave owners. She is a direct descendant of Henry Hosch, gggrandmother Matilda's last documented slave owner. Now I know grandmom Matilda lead me to this notebook tonight. I mean it's only been in that drawer for I don't know how long. So, now that she's lead me back to it, I have to determine what treasure lies within that I've missed during all those years of inactivity.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Mother and Son

One of the benefits and joys of doing this blog has been my mother and I sitting down and looking through old pictures. Some I've seen before and it's like I'm seeing them again for the first time and other's I just don't recall seeing before although my mother has had them all along. This picture would fall into the latter category. This is a picture of my grandmother, Mary Pierce Hosch, and my Uncle Willie Felton Hosch. Uncle Willie is one of many Willies on the Hosch side of my family but was named after my grandmother's brother, Willie Felton. One of the reasons I like this picture is the illusion it creates. It's not that Uncle Willie was that tall but that grandmom was that short (under 5').

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

This is the tombstone of my 2ggrandmother's, Matilda, owner. GGGrandmother was a little girl when Matthew Hosch died. The proceedings from his estate incidicate that she was to go to Francis R. Hosch. Francis was more than likely Matthew's daughter as he had a daughter, Frances Rebecca Hosch.

Now the confusing part that I've yet to figure out is that somewhere along the way gggrandmom some how ended up with Matthew's son, Henry. Henry died during the civil war and the appraisal of his estate shows Matilda. Now cousin Roy always had a theory that Matthew's slave, Dave, was our Matilda's father because they both ended up with Henry. In the settlement of Matthew Hosch's estate, Dave was to go to Henry.

So much to get caught up on and understand.

Until next time!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thoughts on a Monday Evening

After reading about many of the trials and tribulations many of my Genefamily have had in trying to communicate with the descendants of their slave owning family, I've always been grateful to the descendants of the slave owners of my Hosch ancestors. Perhaps it's the hunger and drive they have for their own ancestry and the problems they have encountered along the way that makes them so willing to help, or perhaps it's as cousin Roy said one time that they treated our ancestors like family even though we were property and while we are generations removed from that instittution which joined us and both families have gone on, perhaps that connection is still at the core of both sets of descendants. Whatever it is, I'm glad that it is there.

Since Saturday, Millie and I have had a few e-mails back and forth. She's provided me with a 59 page Word Document of the lineage of the branch of my slave owning family. In return I had the opportunity to tell her about the book, Nevah come back no mo' by Clarence Robert Hosch. She told me that she hadn't known about the book until I told her.

And so now as I sit trying to figure out the perfect way to close out this post, only one thing comes to mind: Blest Be the Tie that Binds.

Until Next Time!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ahnentafel Roulette

It's Saturday night and you know what that means, it's time for Saturday Night Genealogy fun with Randy Seavers at Genea-Musings.

Instructions were as follows:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

  1. How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."
  2. Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?
  3. Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."
  4. Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.
  5. If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!
Starting out with step 1, my father is 81 years old. Following the instructions, my roulette number would be 20.25, which rounds to 20. The 20th person on my pedigre chart is my 2ggrandfather, Henry Everett. Since I only determined Henry's name a couple of months ago, I didn't have much to tell, yet, on Henry, so I spun again using myself.
My new roulette number is 12 and the 12th person on my pedigree chart is my ggrandfather Barto / Bartow Hosch.
Three facts about Barto Hosch
  • Barto was probably born a slave. The 1870 census indicates that he was 7 years old which means he was born abt. 1863, two years prior to the end of the civil war.
  • Based on the ages of my granddad and my great uncles on the 1900 census, Barto died between 1890 and 1900.
  • In 1880, his occupation is listed as Farm Laborer. He was single and still lived with his mother, Matilda, in District 243 in Jackson County, GA
Until Next Time!

In the Midst of it All - A Voice Calls

I know many of my new found geneafamily long for things of this nature, so it's with shame that I say I can't believe I've not at some point during these past 10 years taken the time to read Nevah come back no mo' by Clarence Robert Hosch, which contains references to my 2ggrandmother, Matilda Hosch.

You know the story of after moving back home in 1998, I essentially pushed my research to the side for a host of reasons / excuses. So, although between cousin Roy Hosch and myself but mostly Roy, we've been able to push back into the slavery era of our ancestors, it wasn't until this year, when my hunger and passion for the hunt were renewed that I actually sat down to digest Roy's work.

Even so, getting back to researching my Hosch ancestors has been sporadic at best because so far this year I've been consumed with ggrandmom Fannie and ggrandmom Martha Jones (paternal granddad's mom). Plus for some reason, there's that little chink in my personality that wants to be at the same level on all lines at the same time. I know this isn't a reality but it's still a part of who I am that I must contend with. But the ancestors always seem to have a different set of requirements. So, in an ever so subtle way gggrandmom Matilda spurred me to not forget about my Hosch and Rome ancestors. All I did was simply respond to an old post on Ancestry. It's funny that I didn't even know there was a Hosch surname board on Ancestry until this week and I really don't even remember what I was looking for when I discovered it. The poster was asking about one of their Hosch ancestors. My response was to tell them that line moved to Georgia. It wasn't even the original poster that responded to my response but another poster, one of the descendants of my slave owing family. After a couple of e-mails, discovered that she had talk via e-mail to cousin Roy years ago. Now I don't know if this the same person I had contact with myself back then but either way, I've always appreciated the extended hand that I have received from my Hosch slave owners descendants and have always prayed that my other lines are this way too.

So, I feel that I'm coming full circle on the Hosch ancestral journey. First it was me informing Roy of who some of the ancestors, like uncle Hosea, were. Then it was Roy informing me, as he found our slave owning family, and now perhaps back to me to continue on the path.

So, you know what I'm going to be working on this weekend. Yes, I will be trying to catch up on gggrandmom Matilda by reading the excerpts of Nevah come back no mo' , sent by cousin Roy all those years ago. Obviously, gggrandmom feels that there is still work to be done here, so I must heed her calling.

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Green Bethel High School, Class of 1945

This is a picture of my mother's graduating class. My mother is the shortest, smallest person on the front row. (She only weighed 95lbs when she headed off to college. Too bad I didn't take after her.) Can you guess who her best friend might have been? Hint: She's on the front row and stands in stark contrast to mom.

Two of mom's teachers were still living during my lifetime. One, Ms. Ball, standing directly behind mom, use to come visit us all the time. I think mom must have been one of her favorite students.

Updated on 09/20/09 - Mom corrected me. She was in the class of 1945 instead of 1944, so there was a small correction to the title of this post.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Story of Two Aunts and One Man

Martha E. Jones and Genva C. Hosch Jackson

To date, I’ve not come across any true black sheep in my family. There are probably those that present and deceased family consider / considered black sheep but in the true sense of black sheep are not. As a result, I never have had anything to contribute to Black Sheep Sunday and even this is not about Black Sheep but the funny story of two aunts, my dad’s big sis, Martha, my mother’s baby sister, Geneva, and one man, Cleveland. I thought that Black Sheep Sunday was the perfect day to remember it.

Now I don’t think I was born when this story took place (if I was I don’t remember any of it) and to tell you the truth, I’m not even sure my parents were married at the time. So, it’s another story that was relayed to me by my mother and it’s one I laugh at every time my mother tells it because having known both aunts, I know all of this took place in exactly the manner as my mother tells it.

Until I find out differently, let’s just assume that my parents were married at the time this story takes place. My two aunts, Martha and Geneva, were both dating Cleveland at the same time. Now my mother knew they were both seeing the same man. Dad on the other hand didn’t. So, as time went by whenever Aunt Martha saw Cleveland’s mother, she would say there goes my mother-in-law, etc., etc., etc. Now momma could have told Aunt Martha that Cleveland was seeing someone else but mom never said a word. Momma, you know you were wrong for that.

I’m sure by now you can guess where this story is heading. Yes, it was soon announced that Aunt Geneva and Cleveland were getting married. Reportedly dad says to mom, “I didn’t know your sister was seeing Sister’s boyfriend.” Mom always thought it was more that Aunt Martha was seeing her sister’s boyfriend.

One day, after she and Cleveland were married Aunt Geneva, I imagine with her usual cackle, asked her hubby why he decided to marry her instead of Aunt Martha given the fact that Aunt Martha was a school teacher and all and she was just a country girl who longed for the action of the big city. Uncle Cleveland liked Aunt Martha but thought she was just a little too bossy.

Aunt Martha never married. She doted on her 6 nieces and nephews. She never forgot our birthdays. To a certain degree, she was the preserver of the bit of family history that I do have on the paternal side of my family. The older pictures that I have of my Jones, Ewell, and Everett ancestors were Aunt Martha’s. She’s the only person I personally know that has been back to the motherland, Africa. She did a couple of trips bringing goodies back each time. (I have some of her artifacts.) Aunt Martha died in 2000. I get constant reminders of her presence, whether it is looking after her house, which she left to my dad, rummaging through the pictures for something to post for Wordless Wednesday, or just staring at the masks and sculptures that she brought back from Africa that now have a place of honor in my own home.

Aunt Geneva, my cousin Leon (Aunt Geneva’s son) and Uncle Cleveland moved to Detroit. Aunt Geneva and Uncle Cleveland eventually added my cousin Maynard to their family. Aunt Geneva was always sending us packages from the big city. One of my favorite dolls and one of my favorite elementary school outfits came from Aunt Geneva. Aunt Geneva died in August 1995. My last remembrance of seeing Aunt Geneva is May of 1995 when she came to North Carolina to attend Uncle John’s funeral. She stayed with Aunt Marie. Aunt Marie didn’t have a microwave. Aunt Geneva upon realizing that Aunt Marie lacked this vital appliance declared in true Aunt Geneva fashion, “Awww Marie, everyone needs a microwave. When I get back to Detroit, I’m going to send you a microwave.” And she did.

So, there you have it, the story of two aunts and one man.

Until Next Time!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thinking Out Loud, Gathering my Thoughts

Today I decided to try to organize my thoughts, via the blog, by answering a few of my geneafrineds questions from this past Thursday's Trying to Build a Case.

This post will try to answer questions posed by geneafriend Michael Hait.

  • Do you have death certificates and SS applications for your grandmother and ALL of her siblings?
Here is the breakdown of information for grandmom and her siblings. Grandmom and 2 of her sisters didn't work.
Grandmom's death cert - granddad was informant. Fannie's surname, Henry, is listed there, which matches what mom says grandmom told her and what I've been told all these years.
Grandmom's youngest sister, Ossie, no. The informants for her death certificate would have been one of her children. From this branch of the family is how I learned of the White surname for Fannie. Had never heard it prior to this year.
Grandmom's older half sister Mattie, no death cert. She died right on the cusp of Georgia beginning to keep death records. Have not been able to locate a death cert. for her. However, due to there also being some confusion about Mattie's surname, yesterday, I ordered the SS application of her daughter Sallie to see what it has for Mattie's surname. Should say that I'm not sure that Mattie is great grandmom Fannie's child but based on the census records, unaccounted for children, I believe that Mattie is ggrandmom's child. My grandmother didn't pass on which parent Mattie belonged to just that Matt was the oldest and a 1/2 sibling. Mattie is the sibling that none of the rest of the branches of the tree seem to know about.
Roy, grandmom's youngest brother - only the SS app, which was in previous post and indicates Fannie's surname as White. Did not obtain his death cert.
Evelina, grandmom's oldest full blooded sibling, death cert - informant her husband, indicates White. It was Evelina's death cert. that made me finally start paying attention to the White surname.
Effie, has been ordered and waiting on it's arrival. The informant will probably be her husband.
Brothers Claude and Willie Felton - don't know what happened to either one. Nobody in the family even knows of Claude. Mom remembers Felton visiting grandmom when mom was young and remembers seeing pics of him in WWI uniform. Outside of that nothing. Have tried checking online military records for him and come up empty.
  • For death certificates, investigate the informants of each one. Who were they? Did any of them provide info on more than one of the certificates? Did any of the informants have first-hand knowledge?
The ggrandparents were already dead when her children started dying. Of the death certs obtained, all of the informants were the spouses, who were from the same area as their mates. For aunt Ossie, her husband was already deceased when she died so, more than likely, one of her children would have been the informant. For Roy, the informant more than likely was his wife. They had no children and she was still living at the time. Also, Aunt Ossie would have still be living when Roy died.
  • Also, have you obtained SS apps for anyone not listed in the SSDI? SS numbers also appear on many death certificates and some military service files
Grandmom didn't work and was buried under granddad's SS benefits (granddad's SSN is what appears on grandmom's death cert). 2 of her sisters died before there was a SS system plus they didn't work. Sister Effie didn't work. Uncle Felton might have been in WWI but I haven't been able to locate any military records on him. Are there other places I should be trying to find WWI records?
  • Do marriage records provide parents' names in Georgia, like they do in some other states? If so, get marriage records for your grandparents & all of her siblings - esp. if any were married more than once
No, at least not during the time period I'm looking at.
  • Have you checked for birth records? (Not sure when Georgia started recording births.) But don't forget delayed birth certificates - many people recorded these in the 1930s so they would qualify for SS benefits
Georgia didn't start recording births until 1919. Grandparents and their siblings were all in the late 1800s. That being said, some counties have prior records. Oconee is one (started recording births in 1875). Since the great uncles indicated on their WWI draft cards, they were born in Watkinsville, I am planning to check there.
  • Check for obituaries for all siblings
Have the one's for grandmom (1966), uncle Roy (1971), and aunt Ossie (1991). Will ask the cousins if they have one for Aunt Effie (died in 1951). Other 2 sisters died early 1900s and I've not come across any. The other 2 brothers, don't know when or where they died.
  • (This one is obvious.) Check for all federal census records for grandmother & siblings, with her parents. Were there any families living nearby (within a few pages before & after) bearing the same surnames as those provided for your grandmother's mother in any of the other sources
Have checked and rechecked. 1900 and 1910 censuses for Walton County, GA - Unless I've missed them, there are no families in the neighborhood with any of the surnames I have for ggrandmom Fannie. Ggranddad, I can trace back to Greene County, GA and I've even checked there and have come up with nothing.
Based on everything my mother's told me over the years, grandmom never mentioned any aunts or uncles on her mother's side. She talked about her uncle Lon, ggranddad's brother, who also migrated to Walton county and lived beside them. Grandmom mentioned the ethnicity of her grandmothers or at least one of them but there were never names attached to the her grandparents, so I don't know if grandmom met her grandparents or if that was what was told to her.