Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Genealogy Paths

I have been MIA on here for the past week. Something has been bothering me for a while, and I decided to act upon it. Family heritage...was I Irish, or Scot-Irish? Since my visit with my Aunt Erlene a few years ago and we took a trip to see my family land and last living relatives, I had begun to ask questions about where we originally came from, or who we descended from.. In spite of her short term memory loss I was able to get key information about some of the family names, but needed lots more to begin my search. In my search I discovered my aunts name was not spelled 'Earlene' as I had always thought, but birth records showed the above spelling.

Needless to say, but I am having so much fun! Maybe too much fun (my sister and husband say) discovering who and where I came from. William Eakin started it all- his son changed it to 'Akin', but the first born son kept the original spelling. Many census reports have one or more spelling*. He was brought over on a ship in 1747, after being labled a 'rebel' in the Battle of Culloden-1746. Once in New York he married a fellow Scottish woman, Eleanor McDaniel. His grandsons fought in wars and one was a Reverend. A church still stands in Maury County Tennessee and is credited to the Akin name. That ended when his son came to Texas. Not sure what happened to the Presbyterian influence. My grandfather and grandmother did not attend church, but took my father. He stopped going after his first divorce. My mom's family was Catholic and Pentecostal, which is what I was brought up in. Gosh so much, so much! I saw my grandfather was married to someone before my grandmother, and I saw my dad's ex-wife's name, something all hush hush.

Then there are the Stokers. A family I grew up hearing about. I was always told my looks, humor and strength were that of my great grandmother, Martha Susan. Turns out this branch of my family tree has ties to Virgina and Jamestown, as does my mothers family as well. Which brings me to the Kennon side (my mom), also Scottish. My journey through my mothers family is what surprised me. What happened. My sister and I found ourselves asking that question this week. From riches to rags. Not to mention both sides of the family had from nine to thirteen children. I have so many cousins from Virginia to Tennessee, to North Carolina, and finally in Texas. Phew!

Did I mention my mothers mother's family? Carrol- 'Mulatto' was the final word, and after her great great greats...nothing, well outside of the cousins having married it all went cold. I am guessing slaves, and who had children with white owners. I heard rumors about this from my grandfather, but grannie was not telling. All hush hush, and she was not very nice. My sister, Mary and I had a good laugh about that one. Not because we are ashamed of it, but because my mother and her family were so racist. Maybe because my father was too. I never found the Native American ties on this side of the family either. Maybe they explained the African American heritage away with the tale of Native American blood...who knows!

My moms father's side of the family owned slaves and were in the Confederate Army (Union on the Akin side). I am not surprised. They owned lots of them, along with land in North Carolina. I found list, but only one name was mentioned, a cook is mentioned on the census. I even made a family tree for her (maybe out of guilt), Tennie Tellus, or Tullus, or Telles, or...I found so many variant spellings in the census reports, so I am not sure. Well I hope if Tennie's family are looking, they will see I left a trail for them. She was married to Samuel Tullus, and had five children.

Oddly, Telles was also a name associated with my great grandmother, in parentheses; my dad's mom's mom. Then that trail just went dead, well sort of. Something kept popping up, a Hispanic trail to Mexico for Delia Telles. She did not look like she could have come from Mexico like the father listed. Odd??? Maybe it will pan out.

The Native American heritage I was told about by my father, and his grandfather? Stone cold. Dead in the water. If my great grandfather was indeed Native American, how do I find out? He was born in Kentucky. Only stories floated around. He told my dad his great grandmother was taken by Indians, and the family went after her. She was finally found two years later, and returned. After having a daughter, my grandfathers mom. I saw 'Lightfoot' in that family link, but I will have to take some more time to go in that direction.

That is the problem...this takes lots and lots of time...and even more time in my future. I still need to do my son's fathers family- Dillion/Adams, and my current husband- Stelling/Kane. As I said, what a journey the past two weeks have been. And I still find time to cook, clean, and work. Oh and I have a husband! He works a lot of hours lately, which is why I decided to distract myself with the genealogy quest. My son? Oh he is doing great. He is in Korea teaching with his girlfriend. They are on quite an adventure themselves. I talk to him more now via skype and other than I did when he lived in the states. Funny huh?

And the family names! First of all, Elizabeth was a name that was seen all through the centuries in my families, and on both sides. Mary, my sisters name, did not show up until my great grandmother. I had always wished my name was more exotic, but what can you do? Heh! There were some strange names that did not make it past 1800, and thank goodness. Gave me a few laughs!

Now I have to go begin my days adventure. I am catering a party for thirteen people. Most of the food is done, but I have to finish the scallop ceviche, black beans, and mango masa boats. The chocolate brownie mousse parfaits too. I am not sure why, but when I serve those dinner guest tonight, I will be thinking about the women along the pioneer and other trails who had all those children. Goodness! A lot of mouths to feed.

*I have heard, no real records are out there to indicate this, and I am no expert, am taking a stab here; through my own family history they dropped the 'E' off of the name because of our own (United States) version of the English language, and simplicity. The 'E' provided a longer A sound of Akin in the Scottish tongue...therefore Eakin.

(Above- Scottish Flag of the Highlands, William Eakin's family records/Below- Jamestown emblem, bestowed upon member- Robert Kennon in family records)


farmlady said...

This geneology thing is so interesting. You can really get involved in the family path and where everyone came from. It's fascinating!
Remember that some information was word of mouth and isn't always accurate.
The American Indian was so disenfranchised, as were the blacks, that it's very hard to find relatives that had any records.
Keep looking... it's the threads in the quilt of your life.

Chef E said...

My family kept very good records, but its funny you say that, a branch in Tennessee said they thought we died off in funny, we just did not have many kids after my grand parents generation, but they all had six or more up there!

I am just not sure what records to look for where the American Indian branch is concerned...I will not give up. The source I am working with is a good one, many people have been happy with them.