Sunday, August 16, 2009


Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun at Genea-Musings for last week, which was to list the basic data for our 16 great-great grandparents and their estimated ethnic background, compelled many of us to confront our research gaps. This week’s challenge is another one requiring even more serious thought:

1) Answer these questions:

* What is your UGG - your "Ultimate Genealogy Goal" for the genealogy research that you wish to leave to your heirs, descendants and the genealogy community?

I would like to leave a body of well-organized, well-sourced, and thorough genealogy research that includes the following:

A. A solution to my greatest brick walls and/or pushing the line further back:

- Susan Elizabeth Smith (married a Mr. Bonner and Hiram Carroll Brinlee, Jr.), b. 4 April ca 1868 in Tennessee, d. 29 July 1958 in Collin Co., Texas.
- Emily Tarrant (married William Spencer Moore), b. ca 1813 in South Carolina, d. before 1880
- Samuel Moore, d. 1828 in Greenville County, South Carolina. Also want to learn who his wife was.
- John T. Brindley (and definitively establish his connection to Hiram and George Brinlee)
- George Floyd, b. 29 Sep 1807 in Vermont, d. 11 March 1880 in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas
- John Finley, reputed to have been born in South Carolina and may have died in 1849 in Greene/Jersey County, Illinois. Who was his wife and who were his other children (in addition to Nancy who married George Floyd)?
- Rebecca Monk (married Joseph Madison Carroll Norman, b. ca 1837, d. before 1864, probably in Alabama)
- Jerusha Elizabeth Neeley (married William T. Sisson), d. before 1858, probably in Alabama
- A few other female brick walls in various lines.
- On my husband’s side: The parents of Julius Henry Koehl, Josephine Lochner, Christine Fichtelmann, Benedict Davi, Maria Terzo, and Nicholas D’Arco; the maiden name and parents of Nicholas’ wife Jennie, and the European birthplaces of all of the original immigrant ancestors on his side.

B. Learn more about the following families:

- Elisha Berry Lewis and Martha Poole: I have found out a lot about this family, but I want to know more, especially about some of the daughters. I would like to write a biography about their son (my great-great uncle) William Henry Lewis, who was Sheriff of Dallas County Texas from 1886 to 1892. I also want to find out more about Elisha Berry’s children with his second wife, Frances Campbell.

- Elisha Lewis (Elisha Berry’s father) and Rosannah Dalrymple. As far as I have been able to learn so far, their only child who had children was Elisha Berry. Martha was apparently a spinster all her life, Sarah was handicapped, there was another son named J. Newton Lewis who may have been handicapped (he only shows up on one census, 1880, but was already a grown man), and Mary seems to have married too late to have children and then divorced (and her husband was a Smith; if he was related to the Smith family that married into another Lewis branch, that would be interesting). I have seen sons Samuel and Pinkney also mentioned (based on a clergyman's diary, apparently) but have no evidence of their existence.

- William Lewis and Mary John – All of their sons have been pretty well researched (my Elisha was the last one to join when I started researching him) and some capable researchers are looking into William’s background, but I would like to find out what happened to their three daughters. There are also some other possible interesting Lewis connections (through Williams’s brothers, perhaps?).

- The siblings and parents of Camila Clark (m. Rial Matlock): Her father was Bolin Clark and her mother was a Dyer, but I’m not sure which one, so I also need to find out more about the Dyer family into which Camila’s mother is said to have been born. I have leads on 3 possible brothers for Camila, but some researchers say there were 12 children in this family.

I would like to have all of this research recorded in a variety of ways that would ensure that it would not be lost. I would like at least one copy to be passed down to my daughters and it would be wonderful if at least one of them (or perhaps their children?) would become intrigued by what is there and “take up the torch.”

I also want to pass down as much of my own story and family pictures as possible and I would like to put together everything that my Uncle Bill has told me about the Brinlees, the Normans, and his own life. It would be fantastic if my cousins on my mother’s side and I could get together, record our family memories, and put together as much history and genealogical information as possible on our parents and the whole “Bomarton Bunch.”

It would be nice to publish some of the above, but at the very least I need to have it in coherent, presentable form, with all associated documents, pictures, etc. properly identified and attached to the relevant set of research.

* How long do you think you have left to fulfill this ultimate goal? I hope 30-35 years.

* Are you prioritizing your time adequately in order to achieve this goal? Probably not.

* If not, what should you do to achieve the goal? Research that will require “road trips” needs to be carefully organized so that I can do the maximum amount at the most distant locations: Texas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Illinois, and possibly a few other states. I may need to take classes in certain types of research (land and court records come to mind) in order to get the most out it.

* Will you do what you need to do? If it were only left up to me, I would say yes, but some of this will mean that a lot of our future vacation time will be spent on research trips. My husband will be very supportive and gung-ho to do this, but family and work demands could still cut down on the amount of time I will have.

2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, or in comments to this post or on Facebook. Done.


  1. Greta,
    Wow, that's a lot of brick walls.
    I hope they all come tumbling down for you eventually!


  2. Hi, Greta :) Thanks for your comment, you are so right. I do find myself dreaming about genealogy and daydreaming is a great way to think through some problems. What a blessing this community is!

    I love your answers. So organized. I wish you well in your goals.

  3. Greta:
    I am amazed you have done so much. I am jealous, my brick walls seem to be the elusive Irish and Germans. Since half of the great grandparents never left Europe and the Irish records are non existent I am chipping away piece by piece.

  4. I hope you realize all your goals, Greta. I, too, wonder who will carry the torch in my family. I don't think my sons have any interest at all. I am hoping that one of my cousin's children will be bitten by the genealogy bug.

  5. Thanks to all for your comments. I am glad at least that all of us are putting a lot of this information on our blogs. Perhaps some of our research will be lost, but I think a lot of it will survive. Laura - I'm not actually that organized, but I had all of this stuff in my head because, well, that's what I daydream about when I can't actually be working on genealogy. Claudia - I'll bet there will be breakthroughs for you on at least some of those walls. It's odd how we can just stumble on the right information sometimes, and other times we have to turn everything inside out to find it.