Sunday, August 9, 2009

Genealogy tales

My Aunt Marge compiled the Goudey and Porter genealogies (paternal grandparents) some years back and distributed them among the relatives. I have looked at it over the years, marveling at my ancestors longevity in the 1600s, noting where they lived, when they moved from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, and how closely connected we all really are.
But one thing had me puzzled in the Porter genealogy. James Porter (son of Hezediah II, who was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia), was born in Deerfield, Portage, Ohio in 1789. Suddenly Hezediah got a hankering to head to Ohio? James's 11 children are also born in Deerfield, Portage, Ohio.
According to Marge, my great great grandfather, Ebenezer Corning Porter, was also born in Deerfield, Portage, Ohio. But oops, his son, my great grandfather Titus Hurlburt was born in Deerfield, Yarmouth. This was just strange.
Finally, yesterday, I came upon a Web site constructed by Ken Goudey. He had a page on "other immigrants," including the Porters.
Aha. James was born, as were his children, in Ohio, all right. But not Ohio, the state, but a tiny town named Ohio, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. I googled Ohio, Yarmouth, and there it was, including Deerfield just up the road. An addendum on James pedigree says he bought land near Hooper's Lake and Salmon River. Also up the road from Ohio.
Somehow my aunt got it all mixed up. But genealogy is not a one-time, it's-all-done sort of thing. It takes persistence to figure it all out, and then you only have pieces of it, primarily because the female genealogy was rarely recorded.
I emailed my cousin Cheryl, and her son, Tom, who has been working on the family genealogy. She wrote back and said, "You're a good detective. Now find our Mayflower connection." Right.
In the process of solving one mystery, another mystery was also solved. A woman I plan to meet in Foxborough, Mass. is my relative on the Goudey and Porter side. Our great great grandfathers, Ebenezer Porter and Moses Porter, were brothers, traced back to John and Mary Porter, who landed in Hingham, Mass. in 1635 or so. Both our grandmother Porters married Goudeys. Our Goudey line can be traced back to George Goudey, who landed in America in 1735 with wife, Elizabeth Morgan, who is buried at Marblehead, Mass.
Clear as mud, but worth slogging through it.

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