Some years back my oldest child prepared a pretty binder with family mementos in it for my birthday. It held photos, a watch that belonged to my grandmother, a poem written by a great grandfather and other mementos. It also cited some of our family genealogy. This was genealogy transmitted orally by relatives, not located on the Internet, therefore I feel very confident that it was correct.
My interest was whetted and I began to intermittently research my ancestors.
My mother’s side of the family was a mixture of Scottish and Welsh ancestry, immigrants who came to this country in the mid to late 1700s.
My father’s side of the family was a mixture as well – but surprisingly, it was a mixture of native American tribes and documented all the way back to the 1700s too. Even more surprising, there are more family records and photos available from my Indian relatives than from my European ones.
I suppose I am the unofficial family historian now that my brother and sister have passed on. These pages are meant to share what I have available with other family members and to be a memorial to all those strong and amazing folks who came before us.
Our Scottish Line
Although my mother’s family also included Welch ancestry, we know the most about the Scottish ones. They migrated from the southwestern part of the Scottish Highlands in the mid to late 1700s. They wound up in the Cross Creek area of North Carolina, along with many other Scottish families, such as the Campbells, McKenzies, Buies, and on and on.
Although family verbal history, obtained prior to Internet websites which sometimes rely too heavily on shoddy research by their members, confirmed that the family originated in Scotland, we have no idea which of seven Wilkinson brothers who came to America was the father of Archibald Wilkinson, my fourth grandfather. The Scottish tradition of naming sons and daughters after uncles and aunts etc. has resulted in several Archibalds in that time period and it has been very difficult to pin down the family relationship.
We do know that he migrated to Georgia around 1826 and that he brought his wife Margarett (most likely a second wife) and ten children ranging in age from 24 years of age to 1.5 years of age. This was an unfortunate move for Archibald, because he died sometime in late 1828 or before March 1829. He left no will, but luckily for our family researchers, the records of the distribution of his estate still exist.
From those records, we were able to determine who each of those children, with the exception of the youngest named Joseph who died in early childhood, married and also where they moved on to after their father’s death.
Even more amazing, we were able to find out details of their lives, and from that sprang amazing stories of courage, spirit and adventure, as well as sad tales of miserable, hardscrabble existences.
Little by little, I plan to add narratives to this page that share their journeys.
Our Native American Line
My father and mother were divorced when I was a toddler and for years I knew almost nothing about my father. He was not popular with my mother’s family and they had a low regard for him. However, my desire to know this person who gave me half my traits was only whetted by the mystery and I continued to search for him, even after my mother had died.
One rainy afternoon in 1993, Compuserve – then a leader of information on the Internet, offered a free phone directory search. Once again I went to the Wisconsin directories hoping to find a clue about my shadowy father. What I did find was a name that was so similar, I had to contact that person.
When I made the call, I discovered a half brother I had never known about. We were both stunned by the discovery, spoke for a few minutes, then hung up to think it all over. Later that day we spoke again for hours.
Within months, a little sister found us as well. Our father had married multiple times and left three children that we know of wondering about him.
The most amazing part of this search for ancestors was that I found that myself and my cousins are directly descended from several famous American patriots, including Honyere Doxtator, who were also native Americans.
Although I have not applied for status, I qualify for Daughters of the American Revolution on BOTH sides of my family! I am so proud of my ancestors and their achievements, the way they overcame harsh obstacles that make today’s struggles pale.
Each side of the family lost soldiers in the Civil War, on opposite sides of the conflict. Each side of the family pioneered wilderness. On each side, there were strong individuals who fought for the rights of the individuals around them.
My research has made me even more proud to be an American!