Week 5 – Life Experiences: Sometimes the challenges in life provide the best learning experiences. Can you find an example of this in your own family tree? Which brick wall ancestor are you most thankful for, and how did that person shape your family history experience?
One of my brick wall ancestors - Elias B. Hays - is found in the Tippah County, Mississippi, census in 1850. His mother was likely the widowed Delitha Hays in the same place. They both moved to Arkansas within two years of that census. When I first started my quest to find his father's name, I found a second cousin online. The resulting collaboration and friendship led me to go back home and take my mother to a family Reunion - at that time she was one of the oldest living family members. Mom and I were both able to connect to family members we had never met. Mom is gone now and I will not likely be back to that place, so I am very thankful for that opportunity. During the years since that occasion, I have found other cousins of this family - we've never been able to knock down that Wall in the past, but we've opened many doors to information about the family that would not have been possible without sharing. This Hays family did not leave many tracks but comparison of our family stories has been important in learning all we could - not everything can be found in the record books.