I’ve become a little bored with my research. It seems I’ve lost my genealogy mojo. With so many new resources becoming available, you would think I would have a renewed excitement. The release of the Pennsylvania death certificates kept my attention for several months for research on my father’s side. After mining that database for all my known relatives that died within the period covered and the recent discovery of a previously unknown stillborn baby girl that my grandparents had (see Why We Should Never Assume), the shine has worn off.
I need a new “project”, and I think I have a good one to work on. I want to concentrate on something small and I wanted to pick something that my great Aunt Ruth could relate to. Aunt Ruth is my maternal grandmother’s sister. She is 92 and not in the best health. My mother visits her regularly and tells Aunt Ruth about my research. Aunt Ruth recently volunteered to take a DNA test, took it and we have received the results. This has uncovered some new ethnicity that does not show up in my or my mother’s test (European Jewish…What?).
Note that I have interviewed my aunt in the past but do not ask her too many questions about the family anymore. She seems much more comfortable just having casual conversation with my mother, so Mom gives me a report after every visit. Sometimes it may take 3 weeks to get even a small tidbit from Aunt Ruth because she tends to ramble and repeat parts of her story several times. I am not complaining, 92 years is a lot of years to remember! Maybe being able to tell her some new stuff will prompt some old memories.
So I have decided that I want to find out more about my Aunt Ruth’s mother’s cousin Edna Henry and her parents.
Edna Henry was the daughter of William R. and Florence E. Henry. William was the younger brother of my 2nd great grandfather Charles Dorsey Henry. Charles, William and their father John Baker Henry had a blacksmith shop in the Govans area of Baltimore, Maryland.
Why this family?
1. Finding out more about this collateral line may help me break through my Henry brick wall. I have minimal information on William and Charles’ father and grandfather. I recently (well in May) found a death notice for John’s father Charles Henry. I wrote about it in my post Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are.
2. I don’t know much about this family. I have no birth, marriage, death information on Edna’s parents. Nor do I know Edna’s mother’s maiden name. I would like to fill in those blanks if possible.
3. My Aunt Ruth has mentioned Edna several times, usually with a giggle. My mother says she also heard a few stories about Edna. Apparently Aunt Ruth’s mother (my great grandmother) and Edna were close in their younger days, and my great grandfather did not seem to like Edna. My mother remembers comments that “Pop-Pop” would make about “Mom-Mom Pisani” and Edna going down to the Naval Academy to hang out with the sailors. Neither my aunt or my mother remember anything about Edna’s parents.
4. I know that Edna was married but Aunt Ruth and Mom seemed to be a little surprised by this. Aunt Ruth remembers that Edna went by another last name (she couldn’t remember what it was) but never met a husband. Could be that he died early in their marriage, could be they were divorced, who knows?
5. Much of the information I have on this family is unsourced so this is a chance to go back and properly document the records I have for them.
I do not like long posts as I don’t want anyone to get too bored, so I will split this project into several posts. I hope you find it interesting enough to follow along.
Next up…Everything I already know about William, Florence and Edna.