So I have two family reunions this summer. The Nance reunion and the Whitehurst reunion. I’ve never missed a Nance reunion, and because of that, I can count on one hand how many Whitehurst reunions I’ve been to (and still have fingers left).
Actually, the decision is not that hard to make– I’m probably going to be on the program for some type of presentation at the Nance reunion. What said presentation will look like, I have no idea.
Your suggestions are welcome. In the meantime, I’ll be hoping the Whitehursts will prepare Cliffs Notes or a PowerPoint Presentation or some other type of reunion recap.
Sometimes you have to play a bit of the name game during genealogical research. In my family, it’s not uncommon for folks to go by a couple of names. (suggested reading: Pinkard Cast of Characters).
The same is true on my dad’s side of the family. I had been researching Sallie Whitehurst, who was my great-great-great-grandmother. (She had a son named Rubin, who had a son named Marion, who a daughter named Ruth– my paternal grandmother). I had been searching and searching for Sallie Whitehurst, but came up with nothing. Then I found Rubin Whitehurst’s death certificate and noticed that his mother was listed as Sarah Whitehurst.
“Ah, yes,” I thought. “Sallie is a nickname for Sarah!”
And so I began a feverish search for Sarah Whitehurst and happened upon an entire branch of a family that was previously unknown to me.
In the 1866 Alabama Census Sarah Whitehurst was living in Pike County, Ala., with three children. They’re unnamed in the document, but there are two girls and a boy, all younger than 10. In the 1870 U.S. Census, the three children are still with her, and they have names– Tobe, Margaret and Rebecca. (They’re 7, 12 and 10, respectively). By 1880, Sarah has relocated to Barbour County, Ala. Tobe and Margaret have left the household, but Rebecca is still in the household. Sarah also has three grandchildren, Marg. J, Maggie and Major.
So far, that’s the last record of her I’ve been able to find. But, as I’ve realized time and again, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any out there.
In less than three minutes, I explain what a vital record is, how to get it and how a single death certificate helped me broaden my knowledge of my family tree.
Ah, the Whitehurst Freeway. This busy stretch of highway hugs Georgetown and tugs at my heartstrings as it traverses the District. It’s also a source of curious pride for me; my paternal grandmother’s maiden name is Whitehurst.
So of course, I did a little digging. Here’s what I’ve discovered. The freeway ‘s namesake, Herbert C. Whitehurst, was a director of the District’s highway department. His family was from Richmond, Va., and made its fortune manufacturing sashes, blinds and doors.
My Whitehurst line is deeply rooted in Lower Alabama; my great-great grandfather, Rubin Whitehurst was born in Alabama in 1849. (His mother, Sallie, was born in Florida and his father was too). My grandmother, Ruth Whitehurst Nance, was born in Barbour County, raised in Coffee County and spent most of her adult life in Bullock County. (Incidentally, the Whitehurst Freeway is part of U.S. 29, which eventually makes its way through Bullock County).
As far as I’ve been able to tell, there are no direct Virginia connections to my Whitehurst line– but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one to be found.