puzzling, tips, updates

The Mess That Just Keeps on Growing

Whiteley - Hyde

Once upon a time, I drew that colorful – {both literally and figuratively} – flowchart.  I wrote about the matrimonial messiness in this part of my tree.  I followed that up with a post about Arthur Hyde who seemed to have left a family in England and then married his widowed sister-in-law while still being married to his wife back home.  That was followed by a post about the incestuous relationship between uncle and niece – Robert & Rosey Hyde.  Then there was the follow-up post reminding readers that we need to always click to the next image because I found even more details about that crazy mess up there on page 50 of a record.

This fascinating series of discoveries was capped off by a post all about Rosey’s Girls.  I had learned so much since I drew that first flowchart that I had to update it.

marrying mess

The crazy, twisty, utterly shocking journey did not end there.

DNA connected me with two of Rosey’s living granddaughters.  My finding-living-people-stalking skills led me to a direct descendant of Rose Elvera Hyde.  And my cousin bait – namely this blog – brought a living descendant of Arthur Hyde to my digital door.



That super colorful flowchart needs another update.  A major update.  So major in fact that I have to start from scratch.  I thought that last post about Rosey’s Girls was hard to write.  Ummm…these next ones are going to be even more complicated if you can believe that.

I just wanted to share a few tid-bit teasers and two BIG, FAT REMINDERS as a PSA to all my fellow genealogists.


Tid-bit Teaser #1

I wrote this about the men in Rosey’s life: “There are details that come from the nuances of the records that lead me to believe that Harry was the great love of her life, that Neil was a loving old age companion, and that Robert, well, Robert seems to be the villain.  I don’t know if that’s fair, but that is who he is becoming in my mind.”

Well.  I got that completely wrong.  It turns out Harry is definitely the villain.  So much so that Robert is starting to seem not so bad.  How’s that for a turn of events?


Tid-bit Teaser #2

A very long time ago I wrote about my Grandma’s adopted first cousin Sherry Hunter.  At the time I wrote about Sherry, I still didn’t know Rosey had any children.  But it turns out that Sherry is a descendant of Rosey, adopted by her biological 1st cousin once removed.  Sherry belongs to that crazy mess up there.  I did not see that coming.


Tid-bit Teaser #3

Muriel Grace Groome nee Hyde - cleaned up

This lovely photo made it’s way to me.  That is Rosey’s daughter Muriel Grace.  Isn’t she beautiful?


Now for the PSAs.


Big Fat Reminder/PSA #1

If you have not DNA tested – PLEASE DO IT!  I cannot believe the wealth of information that has come my way as a result of DNA testing and transferring my results to two additional companies.  Followed up by contacting my matches.  In fact, I’ve gotten so caught up in the deluge, that I have lots of matches I haven’t had time to contact yet.  What other goodies are waiting for me?


Big Fat Reminder/PSA #2

When you have a mystery, brick wall, dead end – write about it.  Leave plenty of cousin bait.  If you are a regular reader you have probably noticed that I mostly write about my questions and unsolved mysteries.  In fact, if you aren’t paying close attention you might think I never solve anything.  😉  I am putting out massive amounts of cousin bait.  And it works.  People email me after finding something I wrote about a family member we have in common and they fill in details that ONLY THEY can share.  Details that exist in photo albums or memories.  Details that answer some of my most unanswerable questions.  Like what the heck happened to Arthur Hyde and his first wife Mary?  Did he really just leave her and the children behind in England and marry Alice?  Why yes, yes he did.

Cousin bait is your friend.  Make sure you are leaving it out to attract the cousins you need to find.  Your beautifully researched, perfectly reasoned, tidy little genealogy stories will attract cousins too, but usually not the cousins who bring more toys to the party.  You solved those ones.  Go ahead and write them up, but don’t let your mysteries languish in a stack of notes.  Those glittery little bits attract the distant cousins who just might answer some of your burning questions.  You may not like the answers – after all, there is a reason you haven’t been able to solve it with traditional research – but they are usually very fascinating answers.


Are you excited for my new flowchart?


I am!  Now, I just have to figure out how to fit all of the crazy connections on one page.


Maybe I need to go buy a posterboard…



29 thoughts on “The Mess That Just Keeps on Growing”

  1. I am looking forward to hearing more details! Also, thanks so much for sharing your tips. I definitely need to post about the mysteries in our family. I’d love it if someone came along with info to share!

    1. Thank you! It really is delightful to get an email from a stranger who is actually your cousin who found you by googling a family member’s name. Often the messages come a few years later, but still soooooo worth it!

  2. OK, consider me teased! I look forward to learning more. She is a beautiful woman. And good advice all around in the PSAs. I remain skeptical of the benefits of DNA testing for endogamous groups like the Jewish population that has intramarried for so long, but it is nevertheless worth getting tested.

    1. Thank you Amy. I think you are correct, I should probably add a disclaimer that the results for endogamous groups are far less predictable and easy to use. I did see an article recently… maybe from the Ancestry blog, that was all about maximizing your results if you are Jewish. I didn’t read it, no time. I think I left it open on my phone for later. I wonder if there are any tips in there that might help you?

      I had the weirdest experience yesterday and it made me think of you. We visited my husband’s almost 90 year old Grandma. She asked me what I had been up to lately and I told her that I have been dabbling in DNA with my genealogy. I went on to tell her about Grandpa Costello and my surprising DNA results. When I said he was born in Spain she was shocked and asked if I was Spanish. (Not in a good way.) Then when I shared that it turned out he was Jewish I got a whole lot of prejudicial comments and laughter from her. I was so shocked! I have come to expect higher levels of open prejudice from older generations (not, of course, everyone in those generations) but she has known me for more than 20 years. I am who I am and she adores me, so I never considered that telling her I am part Jewish would be met with anything more than interest or curiosity or surprise. I had the weirdest sensation – sort of a “this is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg of what your family experienced” type feeling. It made me feel so sad for others. And honestly, I thought I probably wouldn’t bother to mention it to certain other family members who might react the same way. It was so disappointing and eye opening and just generally disconcerting.

      1. Wow, Amberly, I am so sorry that you experienced that. How sad that people are still so closed minded, especially someone you love. And I’ve been very lucky not to experience it directly in my life, but I certainly know it’s still out there. Prejudices die hard.

        1. Thank you, Amy. They really do. I hope I am doing a good job at recognizing the prejudices in myself and working to eliminate them, we all have them whether we see them or not. I know she would never consider herself racist, but, she is. I love her anyway. Such is life.

          1. Yes, we do all have our prejudices, and we have to work to resist them and to try and educate others. But dealing with an elderly person whose views are not going to change is difficult. It’s the next generation we have to hope for.

    1. Thank you! I wish I could take credit for that clever turn of phrase, but I first heard it years ago from another genealogist. It is quite descriptive though. Great imagery. 😉

  3. I say buy a roll of butcher-block paper or bulletin board paper! Tell me about cousin bait. Where are the best places to leave the bait? I’m a stalker, too. Maybe you wrote a post on this already…let me see…

    1. Hello Sarah! Cousin bait is leaving information online somewhere about family members that leads cousins back to you. Blogs are about the most straightforward way to do it, but it could be anywhere – findagrave, old message boards, online trees, etc. I actually started writing a post about cousin bait a few weeks back but just haven’t finished it. Maybe I will. 😉

  4. Forget the one page. Forget the posterboard even. Go try popplet.com. MUCH easier than paper, mistakes/additions just take a nudge of the mouse. Here’s what I did (for free) on Popplet with a cousin that married at least 3 times, had so many first names I couldn’t remember them all, birthed at least 3 children and had the audacity to die, no one knows where or under what surname! http://popplet.com/app/index.php#/1460682

      1. Did I mention it also lets you store records right beside your facts? It’s minimized, but you can click to view them. Besides correcting mistakes or adding info w/the click of a mouse, that’s my favorite part!

  5. Can’t wait to find out more!!! I’m so sad about your experience with your grandma in law. We are good at “making allowances” for older people and their casual racism and prejudices, but that doesn’t make it hurt less.

    1. Thank you Su! It’s going to take a while, but I’m very excited too. The records I am slogging though are vast, a good thing, but slowing down the making of the new flow chart. And thank you on the Grandma thing. I’m still quite surprised by her response. I really thought how she feels about me personally would temper any response she had, and I guess maybe it did (which is worse)…

      1. Hang in there 🙂 I’m sorry I’ve been a bit slow to respond, but have just read your other comments and I so hope you are ok.

  6. I’ve loved that chart every time you posted it. Looking forward to the next version. But I have to tell you, they remind me of things I need to do and keep putting off. Languish….good word.

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