Saturday, August 30, 2008

Family History Humor and Freebie

Well Deb should have thought twice about telling me to post family history items, lol. Well this weekend is the last so called summer holiday but with gas prices and weather like it has been I am sure there are those of you like me, sitting home this weekend. So, I decided I would do a small post. Well actually it might be pretty long!

I had mentioned my Hodgett line in a previous post. This is my maiden name and a line that took me 5 years to research to the point I am at now. First I remember many, many years ago my father visiting and my Grandmother was with him. While sitting at the kitchen table having coffee one morning I asked Grandma Hodgett if she would tell me some family information on her family. She said she would so I ran and got the notebook and pencil and stated writing what she was telling me. After getting hers I asked her about Grandpa Hodgett's line and if she knew anything about his family since my mother had said that Grandpa's mother had died when he was young. Oh boy, now there ya go with those family stories again. I found out that Grandpa Hodgett's mother did not die whe he was young. Grandma proceeded to tell me all she knew on the Hodgett Family.

Well with raising kids and all the everyday busy schedules my family history was put on the back burner for a while and Grandma's information put into a drawer.
Later when I really got back to researching the Hodgett Family I totally forgot about what Grandma had told me and even forgot where i had put it!

So in researching I started in, asked my father and he told me what he knew, lol, oh yeah. I found out that Grandpa's father was born in Texas and I found him in Arkansas on the 1910 census and it stated that both parents were born in Missouri. So my research for five years took up from the state of Missouri south to Texas and east to the Atlantic. NOTHING! I found nothing for five years I beat my head against a brick wall. I did find where Grandpa Walter married Grandma Rhoda in 1906 but nothing on where he was in 1900 and I could not find them in 1920. The 1920 census was very bad at the library and almost totally unreadable. The 1930 was not yet out.

So I found out I could send for Walter Hodgett's WWI draft record, sent to the Southeast Archives for it, it came back. At this time they still had the old copiers that if exposed to light would drastically fade and this copy was so faded and unreadable, I called them and asked if they could try again and at least write down the info that was on the WWI Card.
In the meantime my father came back for a visit and one day we were sitting there drinking coffee and I started telling dad that I could not find even where Grandpa Walter Hodgett had died. Mind you for five years i had asked this man on the phone many questions on this family and he would tell me he just didn't know much. Well, my father proceeds to tell me what kind of man Grandpa Walter was, that he was quiet and that he only knew of one time of him raising his voice when he stood up and told Grandma, Rhodie shut up!. Was I ever floored, I know if someone had taken my pic my mouth would have been to the floor. I went to stuttering and stamering and I said Dad, you knew Grandpa Walter! Oh yeah did this open up a full conversation in which I could have strangled my father for not telling me these things.

I found out that Grandpa Walter was living with them when he died and dad prceeeded to tell me where he was buried, etc. Five years, five years and my father had more information! I said dad why didn't you tell me this, he said you never asked!
DUH, DUH, I thought that is what I had been doing for five years!

Anyway after about a 2 hour drilling conversation I get on the phone and within an hour I had so much information. Still no parents on Walter but alot of information on Walter. Well the next trip to the library I noticed a sign saying new 1920 Census roll for Crawford County Arkansas had been received. Oh boy did I get a hold of that film. Not as good as it could have been but alot more readable than the one they had and I did find Walter and Rhoda. It did list my Grandfather as Ray and his older siblings and younger ones as well. ALAS, I was thrilled, but what, oh my, it lists him born Texas, yes I knew that but both parents are listed as being born in WISCONSIN! Wisconsin, north, up north, but I had been searching all south. MY goodness I was churning with questions!

The next day even more so because my new copy of his WWI arrived, alot better and the transcribed part as well. It listed nearest living relative as Austin Nelson in Ashtabula Ohio! North, again! About this time I remembered Grandma Hodgett giving me some information on the Hodgett family, where did I put that book. Oh my, we had moved twice since her visit, I know it is here, but where? I proceeded to tear the heck out of my house trying to find where I put that book. I finally found it about a week later, duh she told me Grandpa's parents were from Wisconsin! Why did I not remember that! Sometimes I can be so dense!

Boy had I been researching the wrong area of the country for five years! Now mind you this was before we had internet in our area at all, or even thought about the internet. So everything was done by snail mail or library research. So was this austin nelson an uncle, half brother, what.
Called Dad and this time specifically asked if Grandpa Drew any kind of check. He said yes that was what several family fights was about with my Grandfather Ralph and his oldest sisters husband, was over who was keeping grandpa walter and his check! So I though maybe Grandpa Walter had a social security number. So off I went again in this search. I did receive his SS# and this is what gave me his parents names. Austin Nelson was an Uncle, his mother was Josephine Nelson and Walter's father was Edward K. Hodgett. Well that got me going but there is more to this crazy story, but will tell more later.

So for those that are home this weekend here is a freebie that is graciously given by DD's Designs again. I would like to thank these girls so much for all their gracious freebies that they are giving me the chance to share with you. These backgrounds are from their Earthtone Background Collections at DIP. They are Commercial Use and ready to go for you to add embellishments to make your kits with. Check them out.

Sorry link No Longer Available

Have a great day today everyone!
Deb S


Maria said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 31 Aug [LA 12:00am, NY 02:00am, UK 07:00am, OZ 05:00pm] ).

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for such a great gift! Love reading your family history stories. We're our family genealogists so we've also been there, done that!

Aunt Anne (adsd group)

Anonymous said...

I didn't need to think twice about asking you to write about family history. You are GREAT at it and we love reading your stories. Keep 'em coming sis :-)

Deb Adams