Late last year in December 2018, I remembered a blog post I wrote about my Genealogy Wishes for 2018. I reviewed the list, and much to my surprise, I made a lot of progress.
To recap, my wishes were:
- Find Rebecca! More like, find her true maiden name, parents, grandparents, etc.
In early 2018, I asked a great-granddaughter of Rebecca Ann Dial to take an Ancestry DNA test. Thanks to her help and the help of other cousins, I’ve been able to narrow down Rebecca’s grandparents to likely be Mary Jane Goff and J.W. Tarkington. The best lead is Rebecca’s parents might be Mattie Tarkington and Ben Hartin.
- Put names to faces and identify old photos from my great-grandmother’s collection.
With the help of the Lauderdale, Alabama old photos group on Facebook, I was able to identify a couple of old photos and realized it was my great-great-grandmother’s extended family. It was truly wonderful to put names to faces.
- Figure out the father (and mother) of my great-great-grandfather, Whit Dennis.
Through many hours of research and DNA studies, I found that one of Whit’s parents had to be the child of John Kernell & Mary Wilcox; the other parent had to be the child of Samuel Dennis & Sinthy Feland. The most likely candidates at this time for his parents are Narcissa Dennis and Joseph Kernell, but this has not been confirmed.
- Connect with more cousins and get more photos of relatives.
In December, I saw this wish, and realized I fell short of doing much legwork to put this into fruition. To my surprise, my mother received a letter in the mail from a cousin the Friday after Christmas. He said he had some photos of our family he wanted to pass along. I always wished that I had a four generation photo of my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, and me, and the cousin sent us one! It was a beautiful end to my 2018.
- Confirm my Harper line; were Elizabeth and John Harper the parents of James Hansel Harper, my fourth great-grandfather?
I have spent the past several years studying all Harper families in early Nashville. I feel more confident than ever that Elizabeth was the name of James Hansel Harper’s mother. I still do not know his father’s name, but by ruling out other Harpers, my search grows closer.
- Find William Bennett’s parents.
This is one item I saw in December and kicked myself over. I knew William Bennett had previously been interviewed for newspaper articles about his life, and we knew much about him, but nothing of his parents. I decided to take another look and found another newspaper article – one that I had not read before. In it he gave his father’s name as John Bennett, and it included enough info to assume his mother’s name was Mary.
- Solve the Bartholomew-Carroll mystery.
While the mystery is still not solved, I feel like I am closer than ever. With the help of a distant cousin, I put together a blog post about Jack Carroll’s father, Joseph Bartholomew. I think Joseph was Jack’s biological father, however, where Joseph came from still remains a mystery as does the name change.
- Update this blog more! I have so many things I want to write about; I need to make the time.
I did write more articles in 2018 and made much progress in my research.
For those of you doing your own genealogy research, just remember how much progress you can make in a year!
In 2019, I have a few hopes for my genealogy research:
- Receive more family photos.
- Find more newspaper articles about my ancestors.
- Research if Thomas Kilgore was really Thomas Gilbert’s father.
- Visit more historically significant places.
- Find out about a possible historical marker at Sam’s Creek in honor of the Springs and Samuel Feland.
- Ask a relative to take the spare Ancestry DNA test I have.
- Work on mini-biographies about my grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.
Here’s to 2019 and preserving history for future generations!