Friday, January 1, 2016

What a Year!

No more New Year's resolutions for me!  I make them and then I break them. From now on I am going to focus on what I have accomplished during the past year and think about, but not transcribe, what I would like to accomplish during the next 12 months. Fair?  I think so.

I continued to work on my Wolstenholme family during 2015. My 3rd great-grandfather, Hugh Wolstenholme, remains a bit of a mystery. Oh, there is a lot of information to be found about him online, but very little seems to be documented.  If you type his name into Google, up pops a long article on  NCpedia . How impressive is that!  The traditions are wonderful, but are they true?  I have been trying to prove or disprove them for some time and have not had much luck. It seems he just didn't leave many courthouse records and, naturally, there are no cemetery records.

Hugh Sr. participated in England's last revolution in  Pentrich in 1817. Because he took the wrong side during this fight and because he did not want to share the fate of his cohorts, Hugh fled England for the United States, leaving behind his wife and young children.  A big event is planned in 2017 to commemorate this revolution. I was honored by being asked to write a chapter on Hugh for a publication on the participants in the revolution.  What a thrill it would be to attend this event!

In July, we went to Pack Memorial Library in Asheville, North Carolina to see if they had anything about old Hugh. Because he was so colorful and his life so eventful, I was sure there would something, but, alas, there was not one thing found in their loose files or in a book of local history.  In fact, I left a biographical sketch of his life for their files. Maybe another Wolstenholme descendant will visit the library and see that sketch. 

One of the traditions about Hugh Sr. says that he taught (later President) Andrew Johnson to read when Johnson was just a poor apprenticed tailor in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is said Hugh visited his tailor shop when Johnson later moved to western Tennessee. I have found references to Johnson being taught to read while serving as an apprentice in a tailor shop, but the tutor is never named.

On the positive side of this research, I did learn that Hugh's son, Henry F. Wolstenholme, made uniforms for Asheville Confederate  soldiers during the Civil War. Because they were in the cavalry, the seat of the pants had a double thickness.  That bit of information has been added to my growing stack of interesting trivia.

I have enjoyed the Wolstenholme research and don't get discouraged as there is always something else to check.

In 2016, Seth Flood (died 1778/1779 Henry County, Virginia) is my research target. He is shrouded in mystery and it is time to find out just who he really was.  With a name like Seth and a wife named Comfort, I doubt that he was a native of Virginia. I'm thinking Massachusetts or maybe even New Hampshire.   

The only other thing on my list for 2016 is to slow down and enjoy life a little more. The past year has been far to hectic. I will let you know next year if I was successful.

 Published 1 January 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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