Monday, January 22, 2007

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.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Looking for JD Hendricks or Hendriksen or Hendrickson. He is between 46 and 52. Served in Air Force in 1987 as MP in Germany. Blonde hair. Born and raised an hour north of Souix Falls South Dakota. A real nice guy.