Friday, July 17, 2009

Missed Opportunity ?????

Last night while conversing with CHASTITY, Genealogywise, about her Jones line and my Jones line, I suddenly remembered my Aunt Martha telling me about a family, surname Gaynor, that I think lived in Texas that were our cousins. So, as I was looking for the information on the Gaynors, I reread a letter Aunt Martha had written to me in 1991 when I was in the early stages of this search. There it was just as plan as day yet somehow I've missed it all these years, the two cousins, Ophelia Hargett and Arbutus Carter, that were still alive and living in Martin County, Williamston, in 1991.

I immediately plugged Ophelia's name into ZabaSearch and to my surprise there was a match for an Ophelia Hargett in Williamston, NC. So I thought to confirm the ZabaSearch results that I would double check using No match. Not to be deterred, I decided to search census, birth, and death records, using Ancestry, to try to find Ophelia. No matches for birth or census but there appears to be a match for a Death Certificate.

  • Vonzella Ophelia Hargett
  • Female
  • Black
  • Non-Hispanic
  • 78 years
  • Date of Birth - 25 Jul 1919
  • Birth County - Martin
  • Date of Death - 3 Aug 1997
  • Death County - Bertie
Is this the Ophelia that Aunt Martha referred to? I may never know but I'm not about to give up now because one of my goals when I started looking for my ancestors was a determination to reclaim lost lines of my family. Many years have passed since I first started my research and I ended up taking a 10 year break, (What can I say, life took over) but the need, the desire, to reclaim my kin is just as strong now as it ever was.
As I continue to hunt for my information on the Gaynors (where did I put it), I can say I've learned a valuable lesson here
  1. No more 10 year brakes - At this point in my life, the ancestors cannot afford for me to take another break of that magnitude.
  2. Always, always, go back and look at notes, documents, etc. - Now that I've awaken from my 10 year hiatus, I'm constantly picking up on things in documentation, notes, etc. that I never would have noticed when I first started. I really believe this comes with maturity as a genealogist. Unfortunately, many of us when we first began the journey do try to get back as far as we can as fast as we can and even now, I sometimes find myself falling back into that pattern. In the early stages of research, we don't often pick up on what appears to be an insignificant mention of a name, place, event because in those early days and years of research, unless it has to do with your direct line you aren't as interested. As you mature in your research efforts, you begin to realize that those insignificant mentions can be a goldmine of information and researching other branches of the tree can actually lead you back to your direct line.
Until Next Time!

1 comment:

  1. I think any of us who have been researching for awhile have learned this lesson Mav. Don't be to hard on yourself - I fully believe the Ancestors understand our plight... heck, they were human too!:-)



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