Saturday, August 24, 2013

Crashing Through A Brick Wall

The most amazing thing happened recently.  I've been stuck on my maternal 3rd great grandmother for years.  All I knew about her was her name, Lucina McDowell, and that she married Thomas James Hodges.  They were the parents of Elizabeth Hodges Penrod who was the mother of Sarah Penrod Oglesby who was the mother of Alvateen Oglesby Barnard who was the mother of Myrna Loy Barnard Lemon who was the mother of me.  Years ago I was gifted with a copy of a photograph of Elizabeth Hodges Penrod, which I cherish. 

She looks strong and stern and kind of scary.  She was born in 1850 in Indiana and died in 1930 in Sturgis, Union County, Kentucky, where my grandma's family lived.  I've tried repeatedly to find the family of Elizabeth Hodges Penrod, but have always failed.  One cold day last winter, having given up after another of couple of hours of fruitless searching of records on, I stormed into the basement to feed the fire and yelled out loud, "OKAY!  If you all want me to find you, you're going to have to help me out!"  I am serious, this really happened.  I then spent the next 5 or 10 minutes roundly cussing out my mother's side of the family because of their stubborn refusal to be found.  My father's side of the family, which for years had been so difficult to trace, had become almost easy compared to the Oglesbys, Hodges, McDowells and Penrods.  So then I gave up looking for them for a long time.  I worked on my father's family, the Lemons, as is documented here.  I worked on my husband's family, the Knapps.  I even began the search for his mother's biological family, she having been adopted out before she was a year old by her birth mother.  I was wildly successful, for which I take none of the credit.  I am lucky in genealogy and sort of an idiot savant.  I start to look for a family and their names start falling into my lap.  My hunches almost always pay off.  And I love tracing families!  It gives me hours and hours of enjoyment.  When I get stuck on my own families, I create new trees and start documenting them.  It never gets boring, the thrill of finding them never gets stale.
So on Monday I thought to myself, "Why not see what McDowell families were living in Switzerland County, Indiana the year Lucinda and Thomas were married?"  Just an idle thought, and I wasn't able to do it on Monday, I looked on Tuesday.  The heavens opened and names started throwing themselves at me.  I found Lucinda's mother's maiden name.  I found her father's name.  I found the record of her parent's divorce and her father's remarriage to a woman named Lucinda Gibbons.  The names kept coming and I traced siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles.  Then today I found a fully documented site with all the names I'd been finding, plus some I hadn't found yet. 
Roberta Tuller has a website, documenting my family.  :)  I am beyond happy.  I am, almost, beyond words.  Thank you, Roberta Tuller, for putting your research online so I could find it and break down this HUGE brick wall.
Now if I could only find the parents of David Stevens, the father of Edna America Stevens, my great grandmother on my mother's paternal side.  

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