It started with Rinda. Last week’s post got me comments and emails! Here are a few:
- A teacher friend emailed she needed to record her families’ stories of eastern Europe.
- A cousin shared a story I’d never heard. Her mom, my aunt, quit school to help at home when Rinda was sick and dying. I can’t imagine asking this of my kids, or doing this as a teenager.
- The sweetest came from another cousin. She wished for a picture of the two of us as babies with our Grandmother Rinda. We were born 2 days apart. Maybe I can make it happen in a book.
Another cousin sent me a set of documents and pictures. She put together a huge notebook of family history. I thought I’d share some of it. I hope it helps you look into yours.
When I got this photo, I’d never seen it before. I didn’t recognize anyone in it. I guessed and guessed right! My mother said so. This is my grandmother and grandfather with 4 of their 6 kids. My mother and her brother Don weren’t born yet. The oldest kids, sitting, are her siblings Grant and Opal Lee. The little ones standing are Mary and Leo.
I was surprised when I copied it onto my blog, Rinda and Richard flipped sides from the original print. It must be computer magic!
This is my great-grandfather, Rinda's dad, George Hoskins. He’s the one who didn’t want Rinda to marry Richard.
I knew he had another family, but never thought about it. Here are his daughters. They’d be my great-aunts, Nellie and Dessie. I’ve never seen them before. They both married. I wonder if they had children.
This is my great-grandfather’s second family. I never met him. I didn’t realize he died 2 years after Rinda.
The lady beside him is my great-grandmother, Mary Green Hoskins. I remember her. She died in 1970. I was 11. I did the math, she was 96. It’s sad to realize she watched her children all die, except Leonard.
The left side of the document is a record of their children. I didn’t know Rinda was the oldest, like me. I never thought of her having brothers and sisters. They were Verdy, Edgar, Leonard, Stearl, Robert, Henry, and Lidge. I wish I had pictures of them too.
This is the Hoskins family in 1904 from left to right: Dessie, George holding Elige, Nellie standing in back, Verdy standing in front, Mary holding baby Leonard, and Rinda. Rinda was 7. My mom said, at 7, I looked exactly the same.
Notes: 1. I’m not sure if Elige and Lidge are the same person. 2. Rinda's brother, baby Leonard, never became a doctor. I got my Leonard's confused. Dr. Leonard Hoskins was actually George’s brother.
You can find documents online like these on sites like ancestry.com. The first is my great-grandparents’ marriage license. Back then it was called a marriage bond. My mother also pointed out that her grandfather paid $100 it. In 1897 that was a huge amount of money.
The second document is the 1900 Census. My ancestors are highlighted in yellow. George, husband, shows up first. Mary, wife, is next followed by their three daughters, Nellie, Dessie, and Rinda. They’re in birth order. Rinda will appear in three more censuses. She died in 1937.
These two pictures are of my great-grandmother, Mary Green Wilson. Growing up, I remember her looking like the first picture. She was thin, always in bed. She never, ever, got up, but my cousin Mary remembers her being as sharp as a tack. The 2nd is from ancestry.com in case you’re curious what you can find about your relatives online(picture added).
I can go back one more generation. These are Mary Green Hoskins’ parents, James K. Green and Sarah Jane Robbins. They’re also my great-great-grandparents.
I can go back another generation. These are George Hoskins’ parents, James Knox Polk Hoskins and Rosanna Wilson. They’re my great- great-grandparents. My mother saw their picture growing up, but never knew who they were growing up. I didn’t either, till now.
This is Rinda’s family tree. I took you back 3 generations in pictures. This chart will take you back 6. On the right side, go down to the second set of names, and you’ll see Richard D. Wilson. Mom said he was our first ancestor to come to America. He left Scotland in 1772, four years before the American Revolution. I wonder what Richard could tell me about it.
And, thanks to Rinda, I started a bucket list to discover my past. Here it is:
1. I want to track down the homeland of my Hoskins and Wilson ancestors. Mom has talked about Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. I want to know where I came from.
2. Then I want to travel there, stand where they stood, walk where they walked.
3. Then I want to do the same for the Wagner and Beach sides of my family.
4. Stories have a way of finding me. I hope to find a few while I’m exploring the past.
Learning about my roots pushed me to make a bucket list. I hope it inspires you to find your roots, to make your own list. Here’s to the future, where ever it takes us!
P.S. I’m sending a big shout out to my cousin, Teresa. Her research allowed me to write this blog. Thanks, Teresa! You’re amazing!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!