Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Henry "Old Hundred" Church

There is a historical marker in Hundred, Wetzel County, West Virginia, that explains how the town got its name:

My grandmother, Nellie (Church) Kuhn, always said she was a descendant of Henry Church, but it has taken me years to finally sort out what I believe the connection is.  I knew my grandmother's parents were Eli Church and Lenora Susan Summers ... I don't remember Eli, but I do remember my great-grandmother.  We have a reunion every September of descendants of Eli and Lenora at Grand Vue Park in Moundsville, WV - and it was at one of those that I first saw a photo of Eli's parents, William S. Church and Elizabeth "Betsy" Roberts.  I was one generation closer to the connection.

Through census records, I eventually confirmed William's parents, Samuel and Sarah Church.  Sarah's full name was Sarah Elizabeth Anderson per some researchers, but I don't like to accept facts until I have actually seen official source documentation myself.  Far too many researchers simply copy info they find on the internet without determining whether or not it is accurate ... and there is a LOT of incorrect info out there.

Since Samuel was born circa 1813, and Henry's lifespan was 1751 to 1860, it would have been possible for Samuel to be the final link.  However, Henry's wife, Hannah Keine (1754 to 1860), would have been around 60 in 1813, so I needed one more generation to close the gap.  At this point, I am left with the lineage that I have seen by several Church researchers, including some I know and whose research I trust.  They report that Samuel's parents were William Clark Church and Sally Cohen, with William being the oldest son of Henry and Hannah.  So, assuming these final links prove to be accurate, it looks like Grandma was right!!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Let me take this blog a little further with a few details.  I am researching the ancestry of my grandparents:
  • Paternal: Herbert Samuel Kuhn and Nellie Belle Church
  • Maternal: Charles McClure Harris and Dessie Charlotte Aston
Other important surnames include: Clark, Lydick, McGary, and Summers.  My family is concentrated in Marshall County, West Virginia,  but other prominent counties include Calhoun, Monongalia, Taylor, and Wetzel.  Of course, all of this area was part of Virginia prior to 20 June 1863, and is often shown as (West) Virginia by many researchers for events that occurred in the areas of Virginia that would ultimately become West Virginia.

In the next few posts I'll add more details for each of the lines and share some of my questions and brick walls.  If you believe we have a common ancestor, I hope that you will contact me so we can compare and share info.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Ventures

Here's to new ventures ... I've researched my family for close to 30 years.  First with paper records and later with a variety of genealogy programs to track the paper.  I now use The Master Genealogist (TMG), developed by Wholly Genes, Inc., to track and record my research.  Second Site, developed by John Cardinal as a companion product to TMG, is helping me clean up my data ... but the real beauty of Second Site is that it generates great web sites from data stored in TMG.  That gets the promos out of the way.

My goal for 2011 (perhaps an early New Years resolution?) is to finally create a web site for my family history and get it online ... a new venture.  In the mean time, I'm experimenting with this blog.  Here's to new ventures!