A breakthrough moment

For years my effort to connect what I had on my Hodson line in Ohio to George and Mary Thatcher Hodgson in North Carolina was stymied. From family Bible entries and other notations, combined with the detailed Census of 1850 and later, I was able to take the line back to George and Delilah Hodson in Guilford County. But I remained stuck taking the leap to what I had collected working from the other direction.

And then I received this chart in a set mailed by Charles H. Saunders in Indiana, confirming my hunch that William and Diannah Saferight Hodson were my missing link. Hallelujah! I remember staring at the opened package in a state of awe and deep gratitude.

SCN_0041Still, while Saunders cites respected genealogist Glen C. Walker as his source, I wondered how much credence to give this new information. Later, others told me Saunders was reliable and his extensive records, which he had kept in his car, had disappeared after his death. So I was very lucky to correspond with him when I did.

Revisiting the charts he sent, I am reminded of the deep care and generosity of many earlier serious genealogists working in an era before photocopying and then Internet options. The chart displayed here was typed on card-stock paper – a time-consuming task, at best, and more difficult than today’s “keyboarding.” Often, copies like this were deposited in local genealogical libraries, where they may still be encountered.

I also observe limitations in the findings. Delilah’s maiden name is relayed as Hunt, rather than the actual Britton, or the alternate Rayle. And we now know of more than four children.

Still, so much of our research depends on sharing what bits we have, in the hopes that a fuller puzzle can be pieced together.

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