Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Looking in the Mirror, and Beyond

Do you ever look in the mirror, and wonder who it is that is looking back at you? Not that you're having an identity crisis...but more like wondering who you inherited all those features from.

Whose nose is that? What person passed that chin on to me?

I am so glad for the wonderful invention of cameras!  Before that, we had no idea what our ancestors looked like. Unless you were fortunate enough to find a painting, or description of them, it was all up to your imagination.

I have been quite fortunate to have many older photographs to peruse, and I love looking through them for physical links between the generations.

Thanks to, I am able to see a photo from my 5x-great grandmother, Elizabeth Weaver Sparks. Although it is not of the best quality (and therefore hard to take a close look at her features), this first photo of Elizabeth is my first look at this side of the family.

Elizabeth Weaver Sparks
(Source: The Sparks Quarterly, June 1973)

I wish I had photos of Elizabeth's chhildren, and more of her grandchildren.  With no photos of these two generations besides one grandchild (not my line), it is hard to tell which features are inherited from Grandma Weaver.

Indiana Governor Winfield Taylor Durbin
(Source: Indiana Governors)

Did their grandchild, Indiana Gov. Winfield Taylor Durbin, inherit Grandma Weaver's features, or more features from his Durbin side? Of what I can see, I think he resembles Grandma Weaver quite a bit. 

I wish that I had a photo of Elizabeth's son, Hamlet, or his daughter, Mary R. Sparks. However, I do have several photos of Mary's daughter, Anna Moore Hillman. I choose to include this photo, because it shows her features at approximately the same age as everyone else. 

Anna is my great-great grandmother, and two generations removed from my first photo. And yet, I still see a strong resemblance (in the eyes and nose) to Elizabeth. It looks to me that Anna also shares the same eyes and nose with her mother's cousin, Winfield.

Anna Moore Hillman
As I look at the photo below of my Great-grandma Haessig, I also have many wonderful memories to go with it.  We enjoyed going to her house, and spending holidays with her. 

Although those eyes are hiding behind glasses, I can still see the resemblance to her mother (Anna), her grandmother's cousin (Winfield), and to her great-great grandmother (Elizabeth). I think the eyes and nose are still strong features in this family.

What do you think when you look at these past ancestors?  Do you see a resemblance?

Carrie Hillman Haessig

The following photo is of my father, Gene, and two of his 1st cousins.  With my father, especially, I think that the resemblance is still there. But I would like to see what your opinion is of the three of them.  Do you think that Elizabeth's genes are still running strong in the 21st century? 

I would love to hear your opinion on this.  I know that there are several other family genes that start running through each family, and vying for attention, too.

1st cousins ~ Ethel Mae, Gene, & Nancy

And, to bring this post to a close, I am including one last photo to show how strong the family ties can be sometimes.  At the recent family reunion, I was talking to my 2nd cousin's daughter, Kim. She never thought that she looked like her mother's side at all. She always felt like she mostly resembled her father's side.  

We have physical proof that she was wrong! Lol!  I found a picture on my tablet of her great-grandma and her father's sister, Ethel Mae, taken over 50-60 years ago. 

Do you see a little bit of a resemblance between the woman holding the baby, and the woman holding the tablet?  Kim did, too! She said it was like looking in the mirror!

My 2nd cousin's daughter, Kim (in photo, Clara Goins, Ethel Mae Goin & unidentified baby)

So, who do you resemble?  How far back does those family genes go?  Share your stories with us! We would love to hear them!!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Now, How Is He Related to Me?!

Ok, a show of hands, please, if this has happened to you…

You have just uncovered a fascinating story about a relative, and can't wait to tell everyone. You begin the story, and you have your audience hooked...until someone says, “now, how are we related to him?”.

As you start to explain, their eyes start glazing over...and you know you've lost them!

I know, because it has happened to me. A while back, I discovered that one of our cousins would be acting alongside Daniel Radcliffe, in the film, “Imperium”. Exciting news that I couldn't wait to share with my son, right?!  And he was excited, until he had to go, and ask THE QUESTION.  (The answer by the way was my son’s 3rd cousin)

So, I hope this chart might help you, and your audience, as you discover new relatives, and old ancestors.

  1. Find the common ancestor(s).
      (Ex. ~ In my story above, that would be Henry & Carrie Haessig.)

   2. Go right across the top blue row, filling in each generation until       reaching the one you are researching. Start with the Common             Ancestor’s child, grandchild, etc.
     (Ex. ~ Henry & Carrie > Ethel > Gene > Diane > My son. My son
     would be the 2nd Great-grandchild of Henry & Carrie.)

  3. Now, repeat Step #2 (going down the left blue column) with the           other line that you are researching.
      (Ex. ~ Henry & Carrie > Clara > Robert > R.G. > The Actor. The               Actor would also be a 2nd Great-grandchild of Henry & Carrie.)
     *I am being vague with some names for privacy’s sake.
  4. After finding the two relatives along the top blue row and the             left blue column, trace their lines until they meet in the chart.             This will tell you how two people are related.
      (Ex. ~ My son is 2nd Great-grandchild along the top blue row.              The Actor is 2nd Great-grandchild along left blue column.                     Where they meet in the chart, states they are 3rd cousins.)

I am sure this is as clear as mud right now, but it honestly gets easier each time you try it! I know it works best for me if I always try to keep my right pointer finger on my top row relative, and my left pointer finger on my left column relative. Then, I can just move my fingers until they meet.

You may need to write your relatives’ names in the boxes. Whatever works best for you is the best way to use this chart.

Now...a short quiz to test your newfound skills!

I am related to an Indiana Governor from the early 1900’s. His name is Winfield Taylor Durbin, and our Common Ancestor is Elijah Sparks.

Winfield’s line ~ Elijah >Eliza > Winfield

My line ~ Elijah > Hamlet > Mary > Anna > Carrie > Ethel > Gene > Diane

How are Governor Winfield Taylor Durbin and I related to each other?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hoosier Roots Run Deep in Indiana

Good news for this Hoosier Lady!

When starting a blog, one of the more difficult tasks is coming up with a name. It is a good idea to find something catchy, but it should also speak volumes about the blog itself.  I chose the name “This Hoosier’s Heritage” not only because I am a born-and-bred Hoosier, but also because I knew my roots grew deep in the state of Indiana.

Several weeks ago, I sent off my application to the Society of Indiana Pioneers.  If they can verify that you have ancestors in the state of Indiana before 1840, you are then welcome to join the Society and your ancestors will be added to their database.
Carrie (Hillman) Haessig on the left, Ethel
(Haessig) Schrader on the right 
My paternal grandmother, Ethel Haessig, has roots that run deep in Dearborn County.  Her mother, Carrie Hillman, was born in the small town of Moores Hill to Thomas Hillman and Anna Moore.

Thomas Hillman and Anna (Moore) Hillman

Anna Moore has a very rich heritage in Dearborn County, and much has been written about her grandparents' and great-grandparents' accomplishments and pioneering spirits. Her grandfather, Adam Moore, and his wife, Judith Smith, travelled from Maryland, and established the town of Moores Hill. The town was supposed to be named Moore’s Mill; but, through an error by the postmaster, it was mistakenly, and forever, named Moores Hill.

Adam Moore's will (naming Levin, and his siblings)

Anna Moore is the daughter of Levin Moore and Mary Sparks. Although Levin’s father, Adam, played a pioneering role in the founding of Moores Hill; Mary’s side of the family played an even bigger role in the history of Dearborn County.

Elijah Sparks' Life in Indiana

Her grandfather, Elijah Sparks, brought his wife, Elizabeth Weaver, and children (including Mary’s father, Hamlet) from Kentucky into Indiana Territory in 1806. He became a Territorial Judge for Dearborn County, until his death in 1815. Although Elijah helped to settle this southeastern corner of the Indiana Territory, he was not fortunate enough to witness its statehood.

I was waiting on pins and needles for a reply from the Society of Indiana Pioneers, and was delighted with their answer. According to their genealogist, "I will have no problem, whatsoever, in approving your application for both Elijah Sparks and Adam Moore."

My next step is completing the membership requirements for the Society, which is just a few small details on my part.

However, as all family historians are well aware...half of the fun is digging up the facts and stories.  The other half is in verifying whether they are indeed facts, half-truths, or legend. 

When an organization, such as the Society of Indiana Pioneers, verifies your research is in fact true, you breath a sigh of big relief.

Ahhh, now to continue digging deeper!!