A cousin of mine suggested that my great great grandmother was a whore. Being the person that I am, thus started my journey. At 16 instead of going to the game or out with friends, I chose to take a 1 hour bus ride to the National Archives and spend my free time flipping one page at a time through the Federal Census images. I had pages and pages of potential great grandfathers that were hard to track and harder to prove. In this day and time the electronic media at least makes the bus ride un necessary.
Through the years what I found was this: a) the first hand knowledge of my cousin (raised by my great grandfather) was right in most respects, b) my great grandfather was born in Wisconsin, c) he was born in 1851, d) he didnt know who his mother or father were, e) he did grow up in Boxley (which turns out to be Boxley Post Office, Addams Township, Hamilton County, Indiana) and to this day is so named. The last clue from my cousin was that he had an uncle Fletcher.
My cousins assumption was developed in cooperation with a man named Cordtz (again remembering that at this time in history you had to go to the National Archives and go page by page to find anything) was that my great grandfathers mother was actually an unmarried mother who gave her last name to her bastard child. Shortly before his death I think he might have regreted some of those words as he discovered the 1860 Federal Census that had him living with William Kennet and his wife Louisa. The family that he supposed was his was not. She was not the child of Gideon McMindes.
So what can we take from this? Some how Albert Gideon McMindes at the age of 9 was living with the William Kennet Family in Indiana.
So back to the point of this post. Everything at a dead end, I started a Facebook page for McMindes. Out of a few hundred McMindes, I found two that represented 2 of 3 McMindes lineages, paid for DNA testing, and compared results. Bottom line they matched perfectly, but not to me. Be careful what you wish for my readers. And where do I go from here?
There is one more line that is poorly documented. One of four boys went west with the Mormon Pioneers and never married. He is burried in the pioneer cemetery in Utah. So instead of asking Why his mom was a daughter of a McMindes, technology has brought us to the point where we can ask – Was he the son of William McMindes, who is burried in Fairfield Cemetery in Utah? This I think will be my last quest to find my ancestors. To, one day, be able to sample and analyze the DNA of my potential ancestor and find my true roots.
Why William? There were actually 3 Williams in Wisconsin/Indiana at the time near Albert’s birth. William from the Gideon Lineage. William who is mysteriously in the 1860 Federal Census living very near relatives. And William that is from the James Lineage who goes to Utah. He never marries. For a devoutly religious man to not go out and multiply is not the norm in a society that promotes multiple marriages to increase the population of zion. Why would he ignore the mandate of his religion? Why would he travel back and forth to Wisconsin and Indiana transport the faithful to the new world?
As plausible as that my great grandfather was a bastard child, is as plausible that the tradegy of moving to the new Mormon Territory tore this family apart and a small child was left behind.
As I am older now and not past the suggestion that led to a life of searching – I dont quite know what to do. I would hope someday to exhume a small part of William McMindes, do forensic testing, and put this possibility to rest.