Saturday, October 16, 2010

SNGF: Who’s To Blame?

I really love Randy’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun theme this week, and for a special reason that I’ll detail below.

Randy’s instructions are in bold and my answers follow them.

1) Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. She asks these questions:

I had already read Brenda’s article when I saw the SNGF challenge. I enjoyed Brenda’s post because I love to read about what lured people into genealogy. And in this case Brenda asks not just “how” but also “who.”

* Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?

Yes, I can, although there were several other people who aided and abetted by making the ground fertile so that the seed of genealogy obsession could sprout: my mother, who often told family stories (and whom I often begged to “tell me about the Olden Days,” to much laughter), various members of her family who participated in storytelling at family gatherings, my father and Uncle Bill, who let little bits of information drop about their family (“Grandma started doin’ Brinlee family history but got disgusted when she kept turnin’ up criminals and horse thieves who got themselves hanged”), and my Cousin Paul, who passed me a copy of the History of the Floyd Family.

But the person who is really guilty is the author of the History of the Floyd Family, my second-cousin Eunice. And why is this so special just now?

Recently two distant Floyd cousins, Randy and Rich, got in touch with me after finding Floyd articles on my blog. It turns out that they have a whole slew of information as well as family letters on the family of Eunice’s and my great-great grandfather (and brick wall), George Floyd. The letters include one from our great-grandfather Charles Augustus Floyd and several written by my grandmother’s sister Lannie Angelina Floyd only a few years before she died after giving birth to her first child. There is rich information on George’s siblings (only one of whom, Henry, was our branch of the family even vaguely aware of) and Rich’s conclusion on the identity George’s father, which coincides with Eunice’s original guess.

I have corresponded with Eunice a number of times and exchanged family history stories and information, but the demands of life have pulled one or the other of us away from “the hunt” at times. But this recent windfall, additionally fueled by some interesting articles I have found on our Texas Floyd family through my recent subscription to Genealogy Bank, has gotten Eunice “back into the game,” as well as another Floyd descendant family, Jim and Patsy (Eunice’s first cousins and my second cousins).

Now we are merrily turning up more information than we had thought possible and shooting off e-mails about our finds. Of course, each mystery solved is turning out to give rise to several new mysteries. I found reference to a lawsuit in one of the articles, gave Eunice the number, and she went to the library, printed off the file, and sent it to me. This is the second big family lawsuit file I’ve acquired in little more than a month!

So, my research is just now coming full circle, in a way. I’m doing it the way I enjoy it most – with “cousin co-conspirators” – and having a blast!

* Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?

Sort of, and thank goodness my first look at a family history was a wonderful example of “how to do it.” Back in the 1990s, Eunice did it the old-fashioned way: books and microfilm at the library and interviewing relatives. And this was the information I started with in my first tentative Internet searches. The fact that I could push some of the lines back using just names, dates, and places that Eunice had provided (especially some tantalizingly unusual middle names) opened my eyes to how much I could find and the fact that I could keep going. But for the Floyd line itself, I was not able to add much to what Eunice had found, though I did find a marriage certificate for George Floyd and Nancy Finley, some Illinois land documents for George and Henry Floyd, and a few additional descendants of George’s other sons.

* Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy?

No. One of my daughters had a family tree project in elementary school, but that was before I got involved in genealogy, and I was not able to give her much information from my side.

* If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

I’ve only been researching for five years.

2) Write your responses on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a note or comment on Facebook.

Here it is.


  1. Me thinks someone is having WAYYYY too much fun! How delightful!

  2. Greta, I think you ran out of steam towards the end. Anyway, I enjoyed this, and you know, I know about the Floyd line..I will always keep my eyes open for you. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Neat to see how you got started-and how wonderful that you've met the 2 new cousins. Its so amazing-how those posts turn up more family memembers.