Emma Weeks was born on 15 April 1871 in Vinland, Douglas, Kansas.  She died on 8 December 1898 and was buried in the Vinland cemetery.  She was married to Franklin White.

  • Nick Woods - November 16, 2010 - 10:50 am

    Jen, the family tragedy:
    Emma did marry Franklin White.
    She was found dead at the bottom of a water well at the young couple’s home.
    Franklin said, “Emma was depressed and threw herself down the well.”
    Peter & Julia said,”Emma was not depressed. She would not kill herself. Franklin murdered her.”
    What a mystery! Could we find old records of the inquest?
    Elizabeth (Weeks) WoodsReplyCancel

  • Jen - November 16, 2010 - 10:59 am

    I remembered that there was something “fishy” about her death, but wow! You’re right – there might be some sort of court records that we could find. That would be interesting to read!ReplyCancel

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There’s One in Every Family!  A family legend that is.

Usually, it has something to do with being  related to a famous person.  A president.  A General.  Royalty.  Maybe an actor.

My family is no different than any other – and actually I think that we share one of the most common family legends in the country.

Ours is that we are “somehow related to Robert E. Lee”.

I recall my grandmother telling me this when I was a child.  I didn’t pay much attention.  At the time, I honestly didn’t really know who he was. I wish that I would have listened a bit more – and maybe have gleaned some clues as to what that connection may have been (if she even knew – which I doubt).

Interestingly enough, the legend was also passed to some of the long-lost cousins I have found since starting my family history quest.

One of the pictures they gave me also mentioned the connection:

I’m sure that all Lee families who spawned from Virginia try to claim some shared ancestry with the General – and his famous family.

I am taking it with a grain of salt.  Not saying that I wouldn’t be doing cartwheels if I could find some connection!  Of course I would.

It’s just that it’s so darn easy for one of those “rumors” to start.  All that has to happen is some child overhearing Grandma wondering if they were related and 50 years down the road it’s remembered as there being a definite connection.  It’s like the game of telephone, spread out through the generations.

The truth is, I have no hard data to either prove or disprove the legend.  I’m not going to be upset if we aren’t even remotely related.  I will just be happy to have the speculating over with.  I would love to one day get past this brick wall.

Here is the information on my Virginia Lee family.  Maybe someone out in cyberspace is a Lee family guru and has some information that can help me!:)

The furthest Lee ancestor that I actually have any information on is Francis L. Lee.  Another researcher gave me his name as Francis Ludwell Lee and I believe it was mentioned as that in a sketch in a county history.  I haven’t seen his middle name listed as Ludwell on any documents.  Francis was born abt. 1778 in Virginia.  I have found him in the 1810-1860 census in Bedford, Montgomery, and Roanoke counties (which all border each other – apparently he moved around a lot).  I have found him listed in a deed and as a surety for a marriage in the same area.  He married Sally Moorman, daughter of Charles Clark Moorman and Nancy Hancock, on 28 Sep 1804 in Bedford county, VA.  The same sketch I mentioned above listed his father as a Richard Lee of Kentucky.  Kind of vague, especially in this area.

I have information on their children, one of which (Samuel Edward Lee) was my direct line.  I don’t have much more than that though.  I don’t have exact birth or death dates for him.  I don’t know where he lived before 1810.  I don’t know who his parents were.  And I’ve been stuck at this brick wall for a number of years now.

So, for now at least, the legend still lives…

Written for the 100th Carnival of Genealogy with the theme of “There’s One in Every Family” hosted by Creative Gene.

  • Greta Koehl - November 15, 2010 - 9:21 pm

    Well, I don’t know whether or not you are related to General Lee, but I do believe you are related to me, albeit distantly. I have a Moorman ancestor somewhere back there, and I’m pretty sure that it’s the same set because of the name Clark, a related family. And I believe that Samuel Clemens also had a connection to these Moormans. Vickie Everhart at BeNotForgot is connected to those Clarks, so we can all call one another “cousin”!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - November 15, 2010 - 11:04 pm

      Yes, that’s the right Moorman family! Samuel Clemens was related through my Charles Clark Moorman’s sister Rachel. (if I remember right). It’s nice to find another cousin. :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan - November 19, 2010 - 1:39 pm

    Keep at it, Jen. My husband’s family had the same story (his middle name is Lee). I was skeptical but eventually (20 years later) discovered they were right, though it is the most remote of connections. Now I just have to find out how I’m related to Wade Hampton!ReplyCancel

  • J.M. - December 6, 2010 - 2:25 pm

    There are plenty of family legends in every family and I think trying to prove or disprove them is part of the fun of genealogy. Great post!ReplyCancel

  • HW - November 10, 2011 - 10:00 am

    Jen, there is a connection to Gen. R. E. Lee. Try the “Arkansas Family Historian” PDF, from page 30, which is put out by the Arkansas Genealogical Society. http://www.agsgenealogy.orgReplyCancel

    • Jen - November 11, 2011 - 10:03 am

      Which edition??ReplyCancel

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Hugh M. Robertson was my 3rd great-grandfather’s brother.
He was born in 1836 in Kentucky and was a schoolteacher.
I don’t have a picture of him, but I have his physical description from his military records. He was 6 foot tall, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion.

He enlisted on August 15, 1862 in Washington, Iowa and served in Co. A of the 25th Iowa Infantry.

He was killed by an explosion of a shell in July of 1863 in Jackson, Mississippi.

His gravestone is in Washington, Iowa, next to that of his father, John Robertson.

I have always thought it was tragic that he died so young. He never got married or had children of his own. He doesn’t have any descendants to carry on his name.  And so I honor him here on this Military Monday.

  • Cherie Cayemberg - November 15, 2010 - 8:35 pm

    A touching tribute! He died serving his country and he’s got you and your children to remember him always!ReplyCancel

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When I open up my computer and decide to work on genealogy for a few minutes, this is what happens….

She found her sister’s make-up and glitter and decorated herself with it!  That’s why I have to wait until after she’s sleeping….

  • Jo - November 15, 2010 - 3:31 am

    So cute….and funny :-) You’ll only be an “After Bedtime” genealogist for another year or two!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - November 15, 2010 - 12:35 pm

    Love her! What wonderful stories to tell though! Hugs to all the munchkins…even the glittery ones! :)ReplyCancel

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After getting about 10 hours of straight, uninterrupted sleep in my king-sized bed (if you have little kids, you can appreciate the significance of this), I woke up ready to attend another day of classes.  I was definitely more alert and well-rested than the previous day!

I took a chance and left some of my stuff in the car this time around.  My shoulders thanked me for it.  I really wanted to take pictures, but I was there by myself and for some reason I felt really weird about pulling my huge Nikon out and flashing away.  I wish that I had done it anyway.:(

I met a lot of neat people between classes and during lunch, most from the Atlanta area. I didn’t run into anyone else from the Savannah area, but that didn’t surprise me since it was quite a drive.

As much as I enjoyed my classes from the first day, I liked the ones the second day even better. Here are the ones I chose.  (and it was very hard to choose since there were 11 classes being offered every session!):

  1. Breaking Down Brick Walls With Location Based Genealogy, taught by Bernie Gracy.  What a phenomenal class.  He has a new website, Ancestral Hunt, which is still in beta testing.  It is a way of uploading data on entire neighborhoods or cemeteries and being able to see how these people interacted and were often related to each other. It is a place to collaborate with other people who are researching the same areas.  He gave a great example from his own research about how he used location-based genealogy to find out where his ancestors lived in Italy.
  2. Twitter, It’s Not Just “What I Had For Breakfast” Anymore, taught by Thomas MacEntee.  I took his social media class the day before, but I really felt like I needed the complete Twitter class.  I had signed up for an account months ago, but had yet to really use it.  I can understand Facebook, but Twitter was a mystery to me.  The hashtags and following were confusing.  I’m glad to say that I now understand the ins and outs of Twitter and how I can use it in my genealogy research.
  3. An Introduction to AncestralHunt.com, taught by Bernie Gracy.  Many of the people who attended his first session returned for the second.  While the first session was geared towards how to use location-based research, this one was specific to the site Ancestral Hunt.  Standing room only again.  They had to move him to a larger room for his last class.
  4. The DAR Library for All: Near or Far, Member or Not, taught by Jennifer Dondero. She worked for the DAR before starting her own company and is very knowledgeable.  Since I am in the process of filling out my DAR paperwork, I was very interested in seeing what things I may have missed on the website.  I also found out that she does NARA research and I’m considering hiring her to find my John Edwards Civil War pension records, which I have been trying to find for the past 10 years.
  5. A Ton of Thompsons? A Bounty of Browns? – Researching the Common Surname, taught by Deborah Campisano.  Those common names often turn into a brick wall.  I have a few of them – John Robertson, Francis Lee, Thomas Woods.  It definitely makes it hard to pick them out of a crowd.  This class showed some techniques for how to single them out.  One of the record groups that I really haven’t used is tax records.  I think that I need to look into that one.

When the classes were over, there was a closing keynote speech and then prize drawings.  Do you think I won anything?  Nope.  I was really hoping for the week of research in Salt Lake City – as was everyone else!  That’s okay though, I bought a few books and some back magazine issues which I’m very excited about reading.  I also came home with a nerdy T-shirt which says “I’ve lost my census”.  Yes, I’m a geek.:)

So, all in all my trip was a great experience!  I have no regrets about going – even though I had to spend 9 hours in the car this weekend (after driving to Kansas and back earlier this week.)  I think that I’m going to stay home for a while, though.

A few of the things I want to remember for next time:

  1. Bring snacks and drinks!
  2. Bring a friend!  I felt like everyone else came with someone.
  3. Get a hotel room the night before so that I can be awake during my classes.
  4. Take pictures and don’t feel weird about it!
  5. Print the syllabus beforehand.
  6. Make sure that my phone and computer are fully charged.

I feel like I’ve had a nice practice run for the upcoming NGS conference in Charleston next year.  Now I’m no longer a conference newbie.:)

  • Linda McCauley - November 14, 2010 - 7:45 am

    Hi Jen, Wish you had come by the Blogger table in the Exhibit Hall. You would have found instant friends to hang out with – some of us were even in a couple of the same classes you were in on Sat. There will no doubt be lots of bloggers at NGS – I’m planning to go.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - November 14, 2010 - 9:55 pm

      I wish I would have sat down and hung out too!!ReplyCancel

  • Mavis Jones - November 15, 2010 - 9:37 pm

    Hate I didn’t get a chance to meet you. As Linda said, you should have come by the bloggers table. I was only there for the 2nd day but had a blast.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - November 15, 2010 - 11:05 pm

      I should have! I promise not to be shy next time. :)ReplyCancel

  • Atlanta Family History Expo Bloggers’ Recap - November 18, 2010 - 10:26 am

    [...] Atlanta Family History Expo: Day 2 Recap [...]ReplyCancel

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