and be hugged. We all like the thrill of victory. I also find it
thrilling to shout "Gotcha" from time to time. The best "gotcha" is
unraveling the many clues in digging up the family.
I've been researching the children of John HENRY (abt 1750-1838) for
about ten years now. I've made contact with descendants of over half
of his 12 children. I'm determined to find more.
My house just shook with my gleeful shout of joy. GOTCHA!
Samuel Smith HENRY was of the children of the first wife of John
HENRY. I had already identified Samuel's two wives and had also been
in touch with a descendant of his inlaws. Eleanor LAIRD, as was
common in 1822, died in childbirth. Samuel arranged for the care of
the motherless wee lass. Her guardians, who were family members,
moved to Ohio from Allegheny Co, PA and had a great life. Letters
from the grandchildren tell us more of her early life. We find her
father, Samuel, paid for her education and visited her often. We
find her happy.
What I hadn't found was the fates of Samuel's other four children by
his second wife, Jane Cook. One son was named Ashman C HENRY. Now
you would think that would be a fairly easy name to locate in the
1860 census. Not so. Not until I got creative and expanded my way
of thinking. When I looked at the 1850 census, I find Samuel listed
as SS living in Ohio. That's news to me- but ok. The census also
lists the four children. However, Ashman was listed as AC. Hmmm........
No AC Henry surfaces again for awhile. Here's one in CA in 1880.
He's a banker. Since I don't know his wife's name, I can't say if he
is mine or not. More surfing needs to be done.
I know that Ashman had a sister who married a William REED. GOTCHA!
There he is-- a judge in Ohio. So I sent an inquiry to one of my
geni lists for help in Ohio. GOTCHA! Since he was a judge, there
was a really nice family bio in a history book of the county. In
this book, it mentions that Ashman had gone to CA. GOTCHA!
Now it's back to CA records. Now I look in earnest for AC and find
Ashmun C Henry- a banker who becomes the mayor of Oakland in 1883.
Now I will look for his descendants.
The kind volunteer geni in OH also provided the death date and
probate dates for Samuel, Ashman's father. Now I will search for a
way to get my hands on copies of those papers.
Got to shout "GOTCHA" from time to time. It's what keeps me
motivated in this unending quest to put flesh on the bones of my
ancestors. So, as you come up against your proverbial brick wall in
your own research, take a break. Look at another line. Come back
with an open mind and be willing to ask for help. Be willing to
assist others in their own quests. Be ready. One day, you will
shout "GOTCHA" and shake your house, too.