Where Was Your Family in 1908?

Lisa, who has the energy to write several interesting blogs, posed the question, “Where was your family in 1908?” on, appropriately enough, her 100 Years in America blog. A century ago, neither of my paternal grandparents had been born yet, although one, my grandmother Jessie Beatrice Bowie, was just a year away. Her parents, my great-grandparents, Hattie Bryant and Elias …Continue reading →


The Elusive Sarah Gilbert

I’ve blogged quite a lot about Sarah Gilbert Johnson, wife of Ezekiel Johnson, and my great-great-grandmother. She appears in the marriage records of Clay County, Missouri, at the time of her marriage to Grandpa Zeke and in the 1880 census for Kansas City, Missouri. Then she appears of record no more. I’ve been over and over the available materials. Indeed, …Continue reading →


My Families’ Weddings

She’s there every morning, watching me, this pretty teenager. Her eyes dipped slightly, confident yet demure; slender and shy. She grips a rosary in her hands. A long veil falls down her back to the floor where it merges with the pool that is the train of her dress. She watches me, this teenager from across the room, from across …Continue reading →


Confirming & Debunking Family Myths, Legends and Lore

I have a host of family legends that I have not been able to entirely confirm or debunk. Legend #1: My gg-grandmother, Sarah Gilbert Johnson, was an Indian. I haven’t found any evidence that she was, mainly because I’ve found no evidence of her except an entry in the Clay County (Mo.) marriage records and one census record. Family members …Continue reading →


Once Again, "There Are No Easy Cases in Genealogy"

A key objective of the trip to Missouri had been to further identify Sarah Gilbert Johnson, the presumed wife of my great-great-grandfather Ezekiel Johnson. Unfortunately, I made no progress at all on this issue and it continues to frustrate me. I would have to say that this is my leading research objective right now. So I had begun to write …Continue reading →


Cue the Twilight Zone Theme Music!

A little less than twenty-four hours ago, I learned for the first time that my great- great- grandfather was held in slavery in Clay County, Missouri by a man named Henry Wilhite. Tonight as I was going to bed, I grabbed a book off the shelf to read myself to sleep. I wasn’t looking for a particular book, just any …Continue reading →


Today is "Zeke Johnson" Day

A week from this Thursday, which would be June 14, 2007, is the 160th anniversary of the birth of my great-great-grandfather, Ezekiel Johnson. I’ve written about him before (here, here, and here). For awhile, he was one of my very difficult brickwalls. And then one day, a sudden breakthrough gave me some special insight into his origins and at the …Continue reading →


Evidence, Hypotheses, Analyses

This week we resolved the question of whether I’d been researching “wrong Longs” as the parents of my great-grandfather, James William Long. I said that in an upcoming post we’d show how we did that. Out here in the hinterlands, the NGS NewsMagazine arrived a couple of days ago. As usual, it’s got a number of excellent articles. One that …Continue reading →


Kansas: Rise Above the Noise and Confusion . . .

Back in cyber-Kansas today, I run into a couple of intriguing issues. To understand them, we need to go back a little bit. Harriet Mitchell Sometime ago, we were looking for the parents of Ezekiel Johnson. And we found a death certificate which listed his parents as Dan Carpenter and Harriet Mitchell. We subsequently discovered that Dan Carpenter was a …Continue reading →


Sarah Gilbert Johnson: A Trip to Kansas, A Step Forward

One of the most elusive of all my ancestors is Sarah Gilbert Johnson. Here’s what I know about her: according to the marriage records of Clay County, Missouri, she married Ezekiel Johnson in September 1867. She appears only in the 1880 census of Jackson County [Kansas City], Missouri. There her age is given as 31 years old. Her birthplace is …Continue reading →

August 2015
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