Genealogy Surprises

One of my on and off projects is researching my father’s side of the family.  My expectation in the beginning was just to learn names, dates, and places.  But there is so much other information that arises unexpectedly.   So I’ll tell you about my first major discovery. 

My interest in tracing my roots began in 2009 quite by chance.  We were getting ready to rent our house out in order to travel in the motor home for a couple of years.  I had been storing a very large framed picture of my great grandmother Martha who died 20 years before I was born.  She was so severe looking that I didn’t want to display the picture and so I thought about getting rid of it.  On a whim, I did an internet search of her name and there was a link to a Flickr photo album.  The photo album had more pictures of Martha in addition to her entire family.  I messaged the owner of the pictures and surprise, it turned out that we were distant cousins.  My great grandmother and her great grandfather were siblings.  My new found cousin lives in the same county in Kentucky as my fore fathers and her hobby is collecting old photos taken in Wayne county.

One of the very interesting pictures this cousin had was of my great grandfather Jacob, who I had never seen a photo of.  These great grand parents had 13 children, my grandmother being the youngest.  The story we always heard was that my great grandfather left them all, went west, and was never heard from again.  We, in our immediate family talked about what a scoundrel he was by leaving behind his wife with 13 children.  And now that I saw his picture, my interest was piqued as to where he went.

I joined in order to have access to records to do some research.  Here’s what I found out:  He moved to Missouri and got married and had another child.  A bigamist……or so I thought.

Uncovered was that fact that he and my great grandmother had gotten a divorce even though she never revealed this to anyone in the family.  Plus, the divorce happened after all the children were grown.  And Jacob’s oldest son had moved with him to Missouri.  So it appeared he wasn’t so horrible after all. 

Jacob Higginbotham



She’s looks to be pretty straight-laced.

The picture below was one that the distant cousin had on Flickr.  My grandmother is the baby in lap third from left.  Just amazing what putting a name in a search engine can lead to.

Jacob and Martha Higginbotham and children. Grandmother Lula is the baby in Martha's lap.  Martha had 13 children so presume the younger woman with baby is Martha's oldest daughter.

I have more discoveries to share that are downright astounding!