Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Look Again - Look Next Door

I found my great grandmother, Pinky Ann HOPE as a child! Her name was actually HANCOCK. And where was she living? Next door to Smith (My Simon & Nancy), who eventually became her husband. This was my very first census page find back in 2002. (Yes folks, I know. I have since backtracked starting from me to get back to them). You have to consider, me being a genealogy newbie, very excited to find that I had ancestors, was hoping to have descendants and was wondering "Who are these people?"

All this time I had been connecting Pinky Ann to the HOPE family (Henry, Mariah, Simon & Lula) in Burke County, GA. This HOPE family is the family I found within weeks of my initial searching and I was headstrong believing that was my Pinky, until now. I did get clues that there was something wrong with my logic when I got Pinky's death certificate. Her death certificate specifies her parents as Thomas HOPE and Fannie HOPE. In actuality, it is likely Thomas HANCOCK and Frances/Fannie HOPE. Note that her husband, Smith, provided the death certificate information. He just lost his wife of 46 years. I'm sure he was heartbroken, probably not thinking clearly. Smith lost his only living daughter almost three years before that and now he has three grandchildren to care for by himself, the youngest being about 3. His two living sons? One moved to Alabama where his wife lived and the other, my grandfather moved his family to Pennsylvania then Ohio. Don't leave out that he was about 75 years old.

Then I further sidetracked after getting Pinky's death cert. Because of the other HOPE family being in Burke County, I was also attempting to follow them connecting to the John HOPE family in Richmond County. It certainly is not my desire to necessarily be related to someone famous, I'm just trying to find my folks. For those not aware, that John HOPE is the one who eventually became to be president of Morehouse. Coincidentally, his Mother's name is Mary Frances AKA Fannie/Fanny. So I guess for now, I can drop Burke County from my Georgia map. I'm going to unlink Pinky Ann from the Burke County family but I'm not deleting them from my database. Keeping them as a family, individuals of interest until I prove otherwise; they are not related to me at all. And I can return this ILL, A Clashing of the Soul, that I recently borrowed from Cincinnati. That is John's biography.

This is GREAT! It's been almost a year now since I have had an epiphany or any significant genealogical find. So now, anybody heard of any HANCOCKs? jk Remember the movie Out of Time, when Alex inquires of the entire squad room, "Cabot, anybody hear of a (forgot his first name, Jeffrey?) Cabot". They weren't dissing her but nobody answered until she asked again. Substitute Cabot for HANCOCK. Anybody heard of any HANCOCKs? LOL

So besides wanting you all to see my significant find, I was going to ask you to help me identify Pinky's brother and sister's names. Reading this handwriting is pretty bad along with some fading ink. Another light bulb moment, look them up in Familysearch. The record page will show all of the household member's names. Sure did!

The LANDANs are an indexing mistake. They are in a different household from the bottom of the previous page.

I'm also going to keep an eye on these HANSEL people. There are HANSELs living in the neighborhood of Smith & Pinky along with Pinky's (brother?) Tom HOPE in 1910. I feel so intoxicated, I just can't stop. OK, time to calm down, Darlene. You have to cite this find then follow up. Before I close, I just want to add a couple more things. I suspect Pinky's brother John (look there is two of them) also changed his name to HOPE. Pinky's oldest child that lived, his first name was Ben along with one of my first cousin's middle name Benjamin, nickname is Benny. My middle name is Frances.

Last, you know better than this. Let this be a lesson learned to you. When you find somebody new, study the entire document; along with several pages before and aft if it is city directories, cemeteries, census, etc. I'm going to let you off with a short scolding this time, only because you were a rookie when you found Nancy, Smith and Simon! For that matter, consider yourself already punished. Just think how much farther eight years of research in the right direction would be.


  1. DNA testing by way of oral swabs is by far the standard procedure of sample collection as it's really quick to perform; nevertheless DNA tests, such as paternity testing.
    DNA Testing

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  3. Can't afford DNA right now. Even if I could, I wouldn't want to be randomly taking samples...
    I am going to get to it some day. Prices have dropped drastically.

    I would think some research should be done before checking into DNA.

    You work for a lab?

    My guess, years from now, genealogical research wouldn't be necessary. Just take a DNA test and it will be done. When that time comes, I hope to not be researching anymore. That futuristic research, however accurate, will take all the fun out of it for me.

    btw, when my son was born, ultrasounds were only being done for cases that had some kind of abnormality. I was blessed to patiently wait nine months to find out his gender.

    Thanks anyway, for your contribution. I appreciate your suggestion to what direction I may want to take to get my research faster and likely more accurate. But DNA is not got to resolve the stories behind my ancestry. It's not going to answer who followed who from Georgia to Pennsylvania between 1923 and 1927. I wrote this post to simply remind myself and others who care to read it, please carefully check your documentation. I'm still celebrating this old time research that appears to be correcting wrong turns I have made.

  4. Congratulations on this discovery! Information provided by informants on death certificates can definitely be misleading; I have copies of several with just the kind of mistake you described.

  5. Yay! It's so satisfying to find the mistakes and be pointed in the right direction. instead of lamenting those 8 years of wrong research, be happy you didn't continue on for another 8!