Connecting Family Trees


This week's theme of "Great" could have led me anywhere. My first thought was to write about the benefits of having a great research partner. My daughter, Jen, is certainly that. I will admit I've been neglecting my research. I'm a nurse, and the Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed my job. I am not meant to sit at a desk looking at a computer all day. I still go to the office each day, but in-person patient care is minimal. I spend my day responding to phone calls, emails, and dealing with Covid cases and exposures on campus. I used to hate Excel spreadsheets, but now I'm getting pretty skilled at creating and using them. The point is, I have given up my hobby to an extent because I can only stare at at a screen for so long.


My great research partner encourages me to dive back in. She sends me texts or emails about things she has found, and, of course, I want to check them out. The other day, she sent me a death certificate for Helen Huston Clark, her 3rd great grandmother and my husband's 2nd. Naturally, I felt the need to search the Huston family a bit this weekend. She lived and died in Illinois, but her father was born in Kentucky. William H. Huston married Catherine Bishop in Trigg County, KY. I found him on the census there in 1840, shortly before they moved to Illinois. They had one child at the time. They were enumerated right before Robert Huston, a man certainly old enough to be his father, although Robert's wife was too young to have been the mother of William.


I searched other people's family trees on Ancestry.com for clues, because I couldn't find solid records online. I don't usually add names, but check out the sources they have attached. One tree led me to a book entitled Settlers by the Long Gray Trail: Some Pioneers to Old Augusta County, Virginia and their Descendants of the family of Harrison and allied lines. This was written in 1935 by John Houston Harrison. Houston? There was certainly a clue there. The book deals primarily with the Harrison family, and also a family with the surname Herring or Herron. A Sarah Herring married a Robert Huston.


I have written previous blog posts about our family, my family connection to Abraham Lincoln. One branch, the Elmores, knew Lincoln personally when they were living in the New Salem, Illinois area. Before that, in Kentucky, a member of my Brumfield branch married into the Lincoln family. I worked on these more distant relatives until I had it all properly documented. Although I share no DNA with Lincoln, I was able to put the former President into my tree.



I would like you to meet my husband's cousin, Abraham Lincoln. I am still in the process of getting this verified, but, thanks to my "great" research partner's prompting, I have come to a "great" point in my research. I will be able to connect my tree to my husband's tree! I think this is a good lesson for those who only research their direct ancestors. I have learned so much about people, about history, and about how we are all connected to each other in often surprising ways. And that is certainly great!

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