Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The cost of doing research

Don't get me wrong, everyone doing Hendricks research has been wonderful in sharing information. There is only so much one can do on the computer when it comes to family research. Most of what is out here that has no cost has been found or uncovered by someone else. That is wonderful. The cost for one individual to be a member of each site that has a large database of names, dates and facts not associated with someone's research is prohibitive. On top of that once the information is found the researcher needs to spend additional monies to get copies of all the source material for that information. I don't know about you; but I don't have the resources to be able to foot all those costs and then I also don't have the necessary vacation time and gas money to travel to the locations to obtain that information first hand, let alone to have the money to pay for the documentation once the information is found. We are in a Catch-22.

Getting this documentation is vital to the serious Family Researcher! I personally don't care if I have a photocopy, fax copy or a computer generated JPG file as long as I know who and where the original is. Everyone has been so generous with their files and time of what they have been able to document to date. However, the pickings are getting slim for those "Lone Wolf" ancestors with no descendant families and no indication where they went when they left the fold.

Since we are already collaborating on our information, etc., I would like to make a suggestion and see where the cards fall. I live in the far Southeastern corner of the sparsely populated State of South Dakota in her largest city, Sioux Falls. If any of you have research needs in this neck of the woods, I would be happy to gas up my horse and go see what I can find, as I am sure you would do the same for me. I would like to see a list of who lives where and where they could go to look something up for another of our intrepid troupe of researchers.

In addition, who would be willing to support a single membership in one of the on-line database sites (such as: Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com, MyFamily and many others) and be the researcher for all of us at those sites? The cost would be about $16 - $18 per month so one could access all areas of the site. I've been thinking about becoming a member at Genealogy.com but cannot do it for at least another 90 days.

I'll share my frustration with you. I have a relative who has done a lot of research and has gotten many relative friends on-line who she has shared information with. She has a lot of information, but it is like pulling teeth to get her to be forth coming with that information. As an example, I found out the date and place of my Irish great-great-grandparents marriage and her maiden name (Finally after 15 years of looking). I mentioned that to this cousin-in-law and was told "Oh, I've known that for years. Yet, every time I ask about that family I get nothing. Whenever I find or uncover something the first people I share it with is my sisters and first cousins.

I want to say a special thanks to Carol, Martin, Judy and Kathy Ann for helping me join the Massachusetts line of Hendricks. Each in their own way has been more than forth coming. I was just thinking we could all help each other out and make this a fun pursuit of genealogic truth. What I like to find in my family is that skeleton noboby claims or that rogue that has some shady history. That makes everything we do more colorful. It is so much fun to share those stories with others and to have them shared with me.

What do you think of my idea of volunteering for one another and getting a list going as to who can do what and where? We can share documents, names, locations, leads, etc. When I got a copy of the Kalamazoo. MI paper from around 1901 or 1902 and found that my very prim and very proper banker grandfather who was a 32nd degree Mason had gotten a girl pregnant while in high school and ran off to Kentucky to marry her, I laughed for a week. I laughed even harder when I found out his father chased him all the way there and brought the two back un-mmarried. I recieved that from someone in Kalamazoo who was helping me on another angle of that family.

This is what makes this whole genealogy thing fun. Again this is just an idea - sort of a shot in the dark to get others opinions.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Scott, the National Geographic Society has a very interesting DNA project going on tracing ancient ancestral migrations. Men can trace either their maternal or paternal lines. Because women do not have a Y (male) chromosome, they can trace only their maternal line. It's easy to participate and involves swabbing in the mouth just like the test you did. Cost is $100. I enrolled for my maternal line. It might answer questions about where our paternal line originated. We do match the Nordic catagory. Vikings invaded the British Isles, so that's one possibility.

I've wondered if T.A. was descended from old South Henry. That may have been the embarassment T.A. had in his closet. Henry is supposed to have had 20 children, I think the last one was born when he was in his 80's. Story is that Henry was old and so poor, with so many kids, even the pillagers with General Cornwalis had instructions to leave them alone. Carol
It is always difficult to admit that your research led you to wrong conclusions. Every genealogist makes a leap of faith from time to time and then backtracks to prove that assumption from the other direction. From the beginning I not only knew who my grandparents were and when and where they were born. I also knew the names of all my great-grandparents and their children. You see my mother was a high school history teacher and her home was just an extension of her classroom; with one exception, she was more demanding on us than them when it came to personal history. My mother, Beatrice (Brundage) Hendricks made huge leaps of faith and then went about proving those leaps. Unfortunately, she died before she was done with the proving stage.

I inherited her love of history and all the documentation that she had done. She was short on maintaining documentary evidence, but she was good at documenting the sources of that inormation. The biggest inigma of her search was my fathers family. They were not knowledgable about their family history and his paternal grandparents died before he was born or not long after. His mother, Georgia Kenney (Hammon) Hendricks died seven months after George (my father) was born. His father was ill-equiped to raise a child on his own and his father was already dead and his mother quite elderly, with little resourses to raise a child. George ended up being raised by a nanny (at that time a nanny was referred to as a governess) in the home of his maternal grandparents, Wendell Philucious "WP" Hammon and Augusta Mary "Gussie" or "Mur to family members" (Kenney) Hammon. George rarely saw or associated with his father, who had become somewhat of a west coast playboy. George knew his paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Susan "Lizzie" (Glass) Hendricks. She died when he was still a young boy. George's education was at various military academies: mainly, Black Fox Military Academy in Hollywood, CA and New Mexico Military Academy in Roswell, New Mexico. He didn't know his paternal cousins until later in life. So my mother pursued that avenue because she knew it was important.

My mother was able to get George's line back to Abram Hendricks m. Sarah Elizabeth "Eliza" Henderson. She found out that they moved from Westmoreland County (Or around Pittsburgh), PA. She was unable to get any further than that. She also knew that George's grandfather, William Chalmers Hendricks was related to V.P. Thomas Andrews Hendricks. She never shared with her children how she knew that. It wasn't until my father donated WC's files to the California Historical Society and he photocopied those files for the writer of this blog, that I found out they were first cousins.

I started to trace the line past Abram Hendricks of Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana. I found that he was fourth son of Col. Abraham "Abram" Hendricks and Ann Jamison. It wasn't long there after I was able to make the connection to Daniel, Sr. After searching for ten years I ran across a book call the Frontier Hendricks by Dr. John Scott Davenport. I obtained both copies of the book and found that he touched on the ancestry of Thomas Andrews Hendricks. I knew that by tracing backwards on TA was going to be easier than Abram's. Dr. Davenport made a leap of faith when he made an assumption that Daniel, Sr. was a part of the Henry Hendricks line son of James (first son of Albertus Hendrickson) because of the proximity of where he found land records and where he lived.

We pursued that angle and became convinced that was the family from whom we descended. With the advent of Y-DNA testing we found that our family was no match for that of Albertus Hendrickson. Since I was the only male with irrefutable evidence of the family connection to TA, we decided to have the 37 marker Y-DNA test done. That test is now back. I was surprised to find out that all the research over the last ten years ended with the wrong conclusions. It is clear that my line of family belongs to the line of Daniel Henry Hendrick b. Oct 16, 1610, d. Jul 1663 Ipswich, Essex Co. MA. m. approximately 1642 Haverhill, Essex Co., MA Dorothy M Pike daughter of John Pike and Dorothy Day b. Abt. 1617 Bridgewater, Landford, Wiltshire, England d. June 5, 1659 Havehill, Essex Co., MA.

This has caused me to question all of my research to date. At first, I was in a state of consternation. But then, Carol Wilson, who I met on line over the years sent me an e-mail welcoming me to her line. I had found out years ago of two additional children for Daniel Sr., Absolem and Daniel Jr. Carol's family is descended from Absolem.

My point of this whole essay is: Always question what you do and don't hesitate to go back and make sure all your documentation is in place. Y-DNA testing only gives you direction; it does not provide the answers to you questions. We still need to do our due diligence when it comes to documenting the lines we come from. It does not mean we cannot share information and collaberate with other. What we need to do is to make sure when we have tenuous connections is to keep going back and question who, what, where and why.

Please share your comments and bring other Hendricks/Hendrix/Hendrick researcher over to lend their opinions, frustrations, comments and recent finds.