I used to think that people who were interested in genealogy were a little strange, maybe even a little obsessive.
That all changed after a trip through Kentucky way back in 1982. My mother had told me about an ancestor she thought I might like to write about. He had lost his leg while serving as a confederate soldier in the War between the States, and after reading his autobiography, which I may actually post sometime in the future, I agreed with her. His story was very interesting.
I called the public library in his home town to see if they had any old newspapers, and was told they did not, but the library in the next county might. I didn’t want to go to the library in the next county.
Then I called back and asked if they had any information on Captain William Johnston Stone. The librarian said, “Funny you should ask that. There was a man in here a few minutes ago, telling us all about him.” I got his name and phone number, and the man urged me to contact him when we came through town. This I did, and he took us on a tour of the area.
We saw Captain Stone’s “old Kentucky home” and his gravesite, among his family members and ancestors. We visited a woman who had purchased his library, and I was able to see where he’d written his name in some of his books. We were put in touch with his granddaughter, who lived in Paducah, and invited by her to come see some of the things she’d inherited from him.
It was a joy to meet a cousin I’d never heard of, and to see the old family bible with Captain Stone’s family members listed in the center pages. We exchanged addresses with everyone and promised to stay in touch.
The Genealogy Bug didn’t bite me, however, until I received a letter from the woman who owned Captain Stone’s library. She was a member of the county historical society, and she had found a will that she thought I might be interested in. It was for a John Stone, who turned out to be Captain Stone’s great-grandfather, and it listed children we knew nothing about.
That did it. I added those names to the John Stone family group sheet, and I’ve never looked back. Now I’m one of those strange and obsessed genealogy people and have been for years.
I hope to post here the results of my research since then on Captain Stone’s ancestors and cousins in Kentucky. And when I’ve finished that, I’ll share what I’ve found on other ancestors.
I also hope to find other cousins I’ve never heard of, and I hope the cousins I already know will find this information useful.