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!