Monday, November 21, 2011

finding your ancestry isn't always easy

Hi All! Sorry it's been so long, things have been hectic around here.  I've been working on bit on trying to find some genealogical information about my maternal grandfather's family.  Now this family is especially challenging because they've been in the United States for a long time.  Through the greatness that is I've taken what little bit I knew about my grandfather's family expanded it.  All it takes is a little patience and some time for you to be able to take the little bit your grandfather can tell you (his grandparents names and dates of death) and add that to a family tree with known descendants.  From there I found my 3rd & 4th great grandparents, and discovered that my family is not native to Illinois.  After this all this I made an interesting discovery, my 4th great grandfather disappears before the 1870 census.  I did some more digging and found that he had in fact been a Union soldier in the Civil War and had died from wounds he had received in a battle.  But unfortunately for me it only gets harder from there not easier.

Let me try to lay out this family a little so I can make it all a bit easier to understand.  My 4th great grandparents William R Meeks (born 1835 in Ohio) and Rebecca Davis (born 1834 in Ohio) had one son, William Dalton Meeks (born 1861 in Illinois).  He married Millison R Smith (born 1866 in Kentucky) and they had 3 children; George William (1882 - IL), Charles E (1885 - IL), and Ethel (1888 - IL).  George William went on to marry Louise Tjardes and they had my great grandfather Milton, along with 5 other children.  Now my grandfather had always heard some rumor that he had a relative that was a police chef or something of the sort and he had heard they were from Effingham, IL.  So I did some research and it led me a whole lot of different places.  I've realized what can work really well sometimes is just simply googling your ancestors name.  You never know what you may come across.  I typed "William Dalton Meeks" into Google and came across numerous personal family websites & Effingham County genealogical sites to assist me in my search for my ancestors.

Long story short, I got in touch with some people through Effingham Country websites and Ancestry that gave me some great information on my family.  I also dragged my mom into a trip down to Effingham to do some searching for grave sites.  Unfortunately it is not confirmed as to the location of William R Meeks' burial but due to his date of death it was assumed he's buried at a small cemetery in what used to be Ewington Township in Effingham County Illinois.
This cemetery was probably one of the coolest I've been in.  It was very small and only had maybe 100 or so graves, many were warn due to being close to 150-200 years old.

Well that's all for now, hopefully I will be able to keep up with this better than I have been.