Chipping away at my William T Hughes “brick wall”

Who’s his daddy? Who’s his mommy? At some point, every genealogist encounters a “brick wall” ancestor. These are the ancestors whose document trails baffle, frustrate, and block all attempts to trace and extend a family tree line at least one more generation further back. Running into these obstacles is inevitable. But sometimes, it is possible to break through them or, at least, chip away at them. My 2X great-grandfather, William T Hughes (1823-abt 1875), is Read More …

There’s gold in them thar’ notarial records!

Stumbling into a gold rush It wasn’t until I began digging deeper into my Harrell family ancestors that I discovered a treasure trove of family history chronicled in Louisiana’s parish notarial records. Parish notarial records? Wha-a-at? Yep. That was my first reaction too. But as I examined them more closely, I sensed that these records might hold an extensive amount of valuable information about members of the Harrell family. This blog post describes how I Read More …

Some Gifts Just Keep on Giving

A Christmas surprise Last Christmas, our grandson received a very special gift from his great-aunt Trisha. She had made him a teddy bear that he calls, “Special Bear.” That name is perfect because his great-aunt had used family heirloom quilt tops to construct the bear (see Image 1). This is a story of how “Special Bear” came to be. But, it’s mostly the story of the fascinating woman, Kate Emeline Harrell, who originally hand-stitched the quilt tops Read More …

The Harrell Family and the Mehitibel Mess

My Harrell Family roots My husband will tell you that I have spent several hours every day during the past 2-3 weeks consumed with researching my Harrell Family line. He is correct that I have done little else during this time. It seemed that the more I browsed and read whatever I could find online about this family, the more confused I became. There were just too many family members with the same given names Read More …