My genealogical journey started in 2007. I had retired a couple years earlier and was in search of a new hobby. There were only so many quilts I could sew.
I signed up with MyHeritage to start with. The ‘CHALLENGE‘, this weeks prompt in the #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks, where do I start?
Building trees became very easy if you used the trees others built. I quickly had a tree of over 5000 people on my mother’s side. I was so proud of myself. Then there were those pesky record matches that didn’t make sense. That’s not the family I have in my tree. Where did those come from?
I deleted that whole tree. The ‘CHALLENGE‘ was, how do I start over?
It became obvious that I should start with what I know. I knew when and where I was born. Who my parents were. I added my younger brother into my tree as well. Then I worked on my mother’s family since she is still alive, and turning 87 this coming May.
I found her birth certificate from 1932. I found her and her parents in the 1940 Census. I realized this is the ‘CHALLENGE.’ Finding documentation.
My mother’s brick wall didn’t go back very far. I was in search of her paternal grandfather, William Henry Beauchamp.
W H Beauchamp married my mother’s grandmother, Artie Rether Freeland in Rusk County, Texas in 1909. My mother’s father was born on 31 Mar 1910. The only time this family was together was in the 1910 Census.
In 1920, Rether was living with her parents and her 3 children being listed as a widow. When did William Henry Beauchamp die? Where was he buried? This was another ‘CHALLENGE.’
Then I found this in the courts records in Angelina County, Texas.
William Henry Beauchamp was alive and well in 1919. The ‘CHALLENGE‘ here is, he was claiming adultery against Rether, all the while he was living with someone else and had 2 children. Here is the 1920 Census record.
I questioned if this was the William Henry Beauchamp I was looking for. My ‘CHALLENGE‘ was to find out.
Ancestry DNA gave me my answer. My mom has 6 DNA matches to the daughter, Ruby Jewel Beauchamp’s grandchildren, proving he was who I was looking for.
William Henry Beauchamp died in 1943.