Indiana is Stalking Me

New Castle Democrat in the 1890s Henry County, Ind.

An image of the New Castle Democrat offices in Henry County, Ind., ca. 1890s. (from

Those of you who have been following my journey with the Indiana Shivelys will appreciate this.

As you know, I have started focusing on my father’s side of my tree. Most of Dad’s family, both maternal and paternal, have been in Missouri for several generations. (Can’t wait for the Missouri Genealogy Crash Course!) Last night I was on trying to research my missing grandfather Alton Blosser, specifically his mother, Edna Stinson. As I was flipping through records I stopped and did a double-take. A very familiar location had popped up on the screen. It appears my 5th-great-grandfather was James Stinson, an early pioneer of Henry County, Ind., and he was living there at the same time as my husband’s ancestor, the mysterious Michael! I still have to do the documentation and double-checking, but how cool is that? I can’t wait to check the land records to find out if they were neighbors!

You know, when we’re young we are so arrogant. We see ourselves as these independent agents, forging our own paths, creating our own destinies, believing that our generation is unique. Then one day the tapestry of your life gets flipped over, revealing thousands of little threads, connections you never knew existed, all combining to make you who you are. Every thread, every ancestor contributes to the person you have become and the life that you lead. You aren’t alone in the universe and, even though those threads sometimes feel pretty confining, there’s something very comforting about that.


Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.

3 thoughts on “Indiana is Stalking Me

  1. I had much the same thing happen as I was researching my mother’s family in a town in Ky and ran into members of my father’s family (that I had been unable to find) in the same town (1865). The families had never met. My mom and dad later met when both families moved to Indiana and they went to the same High School(1930s),one that I later attended in 1952.

  2. You are so right. I too had exactly the same experience finding 2 families in Hendricks County, Indiana, at the same time. Plus, nearly all my families spent some time in Guilford County, North Carolina! My mother’s family went to the midwest; my father’s went to the deep south.

    I am the editor of the Wichita Genealogical Society’s quarterly publication. I would like permission to publish the last paragraph of your blog (the metaphor about life being a tapestry)in our next (April) issue. It is such a perfect description of what all family historians discover. Of course I would credit you. If this is okay, please email me with your permission. Thank you so much.

  3. I also “loved” your last paragraph about the tapestry of our life…have printed it out to read over and over. Thanks.

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