Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Having Fun

Naturally tonight I'm having fun. It's been so long since I voted for the winning candidate, I almost forgot how it feels. As I watched the election returns, I kept thinking they were going to back track and say they had called it wrong in such and such state. I feel like a dark cloud has lifted.

But that's not the only reason I'm having fun. Over the weekend I turned over one of those odd stones that set my genealogical research off and running again. I'm sure I've written about my black sheep great-great grandfather Hodge at some point. He was a rascal and seems to have had few, if any, redeeming qualities, but he has turned out to be the ancestor I most like to chase. Because he never stood still and he left records everywhere he went.

So far I have the old goat leaving court records in Crittenden, Livingston and Lyon Counties, Kentucky; Clay County, Tennessee; Johnson County, Arkansas; and Caldwell, Hays, Bastrop, Lee, Fayette, Fisher, Leon, Harris and Brazoria Counties, Texas. It was when I was poking around the Internet over the weekend, looking for some information in Brazoria County, that I discovered I could order copies of deed records that could be accessed immediately in digital format. A few clicks of the mouse later I had a whole pile of paper relating to his deed transactions in that county in the early years of the 20th century. Lo and behold I found references to more records in Grimes and Wise counties that I will now have to hunt down. And, best of all, I found a reference to a third wife that I had never known about until now.

Ole Henry is like the connect-the-dot games we played as kids. Every dot I plot on the Texas map for him leads me to another dot. Sometimes I think I should just start in the northwest corner of the Panhandle and check every county between there and the valley for evidence of his wheeling and dealing.

Sure wish some of the property he once held was still in the family. At one point or another he owned quite a chunk of Alvin and some downtown lots in Lockhart. I would settle for just the mineral rights. But, the name of the game seems to have been buy it, hold it for a year or so and sell it.

I guess only another genealogist can fully understand how much fun it is to turn a corner and suddenly find a whole new nest of records to comb through for more clues.

It's almost as much fun as seeing the Republicans get handed their walking papers.


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