Saturday, March 8, 2014

Surname Saturday: Potter

Today I want to focus on my husband's last name: Potter. Yes, I get asked all the time if I am related to Harry, to which I always reply, "yes, of course." Being the Harry Potter fan that I am, I always joke that that's why I married my husband Ben- to have this last name.

But Potter has a rich history in Indiana. Ben had a CD-ROM that I discovered a few years ago created by his great-uncle Bill Potter. It was the entire genealogy that his uncle had conducted, and it shared the history of the Potter family. Needless to say, I was instantly drawn in, being the genealogist and 9th generation Hoosier that I am. Turns out my husband is also a 9th generation Hoosier, so that makes our kids 10th generation!

Anyway, the Potter family came to Brown County, Indiana in the 1850s because they heard it was pretty. (We still camp in Brown County every October.) The Potter men have moved around Indiana from their days in Brown County, including Bloomington, Lafayette, and eventually Indianapolis, where Ben was born. Below I have pictured the Potter family tree, beginning with the youngest, our son, Micah James.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mystery Monday: The Andrews Family

  Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects about genealogy is research on your own last name. In some ways it defines who we are. As a teacher, mine follows me around all day long. First I was Miss Andrews, now I'm Mrs. Potter. So, naturally, when I began genealogy at age 16, the Andrews line was of particular interest to me. Unfortunately my Papaw Andrews had died two years before I started researching my family history, but I did have my Grandma to tell me what she knew, which really wasn't much. I did however immediately learn a heartbreaking piece of my grandfather's past. His father had walked out on him and his mother and sisters when he was very young. My dad had never met his grandparents on that side, and the only hint he had to their character was visiting his grandmother's grave with his father, who stood there, harrumphed, and moved on. So for me, the new genealogist, it was a dead end. I had Katie, Todd, Glenn, and Glen Andrews, and that was it.

  Then, years later, I managed to contact family on my grandpa's side who still lived in Illinois, where he was from. I still remember the happy dance I did in the living room when I received their letter. They had found Glen's parents! Daniel and Sarah Jane Kimball Andrews. So my grandfather, Glenn Daniel, was named after his father and grandfather! Whattya know. Now it was time to take to Ancestry. Sure enough, there was Daniel as a baby in 1850 with his parents James and Hannah Finney Andrews. Yes!

  But past James? Not a trace. We even vacationed in upstate New York last summer, and happened to be an hour away from Saratoga, where he was born. So we made the little trip up to the Saratoga library to come up with absolutely nothing.

  In short, sometimes you have to come to peace with the fact that you will never know everything there is to know about certain lines of your family. I suppose it just makes what you do know all the more special. I am an Andrews, and that's that!

                                                    Glenn Daniel Andrews 1911-2000