Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Ancestry Excitement

I have been doing some work every week on all of my various family lines. I'm slowly trying to fill them all in- at least to get back to the first immigrant to America, if I can, and further back if possible. What I've found is that my family, on almost all lines has been in this country for a very, very long time. Most of them were here before the Revolutionary War, and some of the lines were from the very earliest European settlers to this country.

As such, it is not surprising that many of my lines trace back to the East Coast. I had long known that on the Barnard side of my family, we descend from Colonel Jonathan Buck, the founder of Bucksport, Maine. I later learned that the Buck family had come from Massachusetts before they settled in Maine. The Buck line had married into the Darling family, and the Darling family later married into the Barnard family. And so, one section of my family tree is full of Bucks, Barnards, and Darlings. I had a pretty fair amount of information about the Barnards and Bucks, but I had just begun to research the Darlings. So, I sat down to try and discover more about them. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
My G-G Grandparents, Bertha Elna (Wilkey) and Henry Knotts Barnard

Henry Barnard's grandmother was Julia Cobb Darling who married Enoch Barnard. Her father was Henry Darling, who married Eliza Cobb. Henry Darling's father was Eliakim Darling who married Ruth Buck.

After Eliakim Darling, for some time, I was confused. Some information had an Eliakim Darling Senior as his father, and some had a Thomas. It took me a while of digging around, but I've come to the conclusion that they are the same person. The records that name Eliakim Senior, and the records that name Thomas both say that he was married to Martha Howe, and that his son was the Eliakim who married Ruth Buck. And they all agreed on who his parents were. So, although I still don't know for certain which is his first name, I know I have the right man. Maybe he was Eliakim Thomas Darling. Who knows?

Anyway, once I'd made sure that he was my man, I could add his parental info to my tree. His parents were Jonathan Darling and Sarah Wardwell. This is where it got really interesting.

Sarah Wardwell was the daughter of William Wardwell, of Salem Massachusetts. William Wardwell was the son of Samuel Wardwell and Sarah Hooper, of Salem.

If you remember any of your history lessons on the Salem witch trials, those names might mean something to you.

Samuel Wardwell was one of the 19 accused, convicted and hanged for being a witch.
His wife, Sarah was also accused, but later released.

Samuel, himself, might have been spared the gallows, but he retracted his confession.

One of the (many) strange things about the Salem Witch Trials, is that the people who refused to admit to witchcraft were tried, convicted and punished. People who confessed were sent back to prison, many of whom avoided the death penalty because they were able to "wait out" all of the insanity. Samuel confessed, but recanted, and was held up to all as an example of what happened to those who tried to change their testimony after admitting to being a witch. No other person who confessed was hanged, save Samuel.

Samuel is also unique in that he actually is believed to have dabbled in some fortune telling. The other "witches" seem to have had no actual part in anything even remotely like sorcery, but it seems to be widely accepted that Samuel had often read fortunes as a bit of entertainment. Certainly, we know now that doing a palm reading, or looking at tarot cards, does not mean someone is "in league with the devil," but to the Puritans, it might have been too much evidence to overlook. Certainly, when Samuel recanted and said that he was not a servant of Satan, and he had not hurt the girls in any way, his pleas fell on deaf ears. Instead, they made an example of him.

To me, this is all just a shock. I never would have guessed, when I started researching my ancestry, that it would lead to so many fascinating discoveries. I mean- I learned about this in history books, read Samuel's name...never knowing that this was my 10th Great Grandfather. I did always have a morbid curiosity about the witch trials, but I can't attribute that to my lineage. I think a lot of people feel the same way. It was a horrible and horrifying part of early American life. But, if I have to be connected to this, I think I am glad it was through one of the people who were accused. They were innocent. The people who did the accusing, who did the hanging...those people were guilty of and accomplices to murder. I think if I had to face the knowledge of that, it would be a much worse feeling. Now, someday I hope to go to Salem and actually see his memorial- bring a flower for my innocent ancestor who was the victim of religious hysteria.

You can read more about Samuel Wardwell all over the internet. Here are some good links.
Read all about the Salem Witch Trials here at Project Gutenberg.
This link takes you to the Salem Witchcraft Papers, regarding Samuel Wardwell, then click on the links within to read the individual documents.
And his bio is here, click on the plus sign, next to "Full Essay" to read all of it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Looking for Isabelle

My mother always told me we were part Native American- specifically, Cherokee. 
I honestly wasn't sure about that...there are lots of people who say things like that, and she didn't know many specifics. The family member was on my great-grandfather's side, she couldn't remember how far back, but she was pretty sure my great grandparents knew that person, so not very far back. 
I started doing research last year on, and as I was discovering the names of family members I had never known, I found my great-grandfather's line. No one had a name that sounded Native American to me. We had Floyds, Flynns, Hudsons, Carmichaels, Fergusons, Bakers, Naughts...they all sounded pretty European to me.
I started to think my family connection might be a myth.
But then I went home for a visit, and made a point of going to my grandmother's house and talking to her about everything she knew first hand. She also had many pictures in an old trunk that I had never seen. One of these, was a picture of Isabelle (Hudson) Carmichael.

"Mary Margaret Floyd's mother- Max's Grandmother Carmichael. Her husband-Riley Carmichael"

This was my Great-Grandfather's Grandmother. So yes, he would have known her. In fact, I have a picture of her with my Great-Grandma, and my Grandma as a toddler.
 G-Grandma Julia, G-G-G-Grandma Isabelle, and baby Janet

Apparently, this is the person who said she was full blood Cherokee. And to look at her, I can't say she's not.
But then, why is her maiden name Hudson?

She appears to have been born to a David and Charlotte Hudson, in Greene County, Indiana. She married Reuben Riley Carmichael in 1879. Her race is listed in the census as "white." She had 7 children, but by the 1900 census, only 3 are listed as living.

Her parents are a complete mystery to me. In the 1880 census, Isabelle lists her parents as being both from North Carolina. The 1900 census states that her father was born in Kentucky. No mention of her mother is in that census. By 1910, her parents are now both born in Indiana. The 1920 census believes that her father was born in Tennessee, and her mother in Missouri. The 1930 census just lists parents' birthplace as "United States." And that is about as much as I actually know- they were born in this country.
David and Charlotte Hudson had a lot of children: Lankston, Mary, Jeremiah, Rachel, Nancy, William, Sarah, Isabelle, Elizabeth, Samuel, and Margaret. These are the ones that show up in census records, anyway.

Charlotte's maiden name may have been Lewis, but only some other family trees point to that. There are no birth records or cemetery records that I have uncovered so far. So I can't be sure of that fact.
There are some folks out there who list David's father as either Richard or William Hudson, his mother could be either: Rebecca Bowling, Ann Spiers, or Martha Fullwood. I have no way currently, to know which is correct.

Everything I am seeing so far does nothing to prove any Native American connection. However, it doesn't necessarily disprove it either. I have found many "Hudsons" searching for Cherokee ancestors online. Maybe this is a name some took? Or does the heritage come through her mother- the woman about whom, I have no records?

So I am hoping maybe someone who KNOWS will see this. I am looking for any information on the Hudson family. Is there a Cherokee connection? Or was that just a story? Either way, I would love to know WHO they were and where they came from. So please leave me a comment here if you have a piece of the puzzle. Or connect with me on Twitter- @SkyRhino.