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