Wednesday, July 24, 2013

High hopes for a Brookshire Breakthrough!

I have been doing family history research for well over 45 years, beginning with helping my grandmother help someone else write a history of our part of the Boone family. My mother and I were working on her lines back in the mid 1970s. My mother's mother was a BROOKSHIRE, and try as I might, I haven't been able to connect our line of Brookshires to either of the two brothers from whom supposedly all U.S. Brookshires descend. There have been several well-researched books written on the Brookshires in the U.S., but those authors have either ignored our line or stuck them in the "uncategorized" section. It's been very frustrating. I cannot begin to count how many hours I've spent searching for and reading early records of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia trying to find my 3-great and 4-great grandfathers.
I've researched all of my great-great-grandfather's children and their lines. While Henry Clay Brookshire was married three times and had three wives and 6 sons, only 3 of those sons lived to adulthood and only one had a son who lived to adulthood and had a son. I did track that male Brookshire down, but he was totally disinterested in his family history and was outraged when I asked him to do DNA testing.
So a couple of weeks ago I went back to my Brookshire genealogy and stepped back another generation to Henry Clay Brookshire's brothers, sons of William L. Brookshire. William and Sarah (VARNELL) Brookshire had at least 10 children, 6 of whom were sons. I had identified a number of male Brookshire descendants of these men over the years, but have never been able to actually "find" any of them in real life. So I started looking again and amazingly found a son of a son of a son of James Houston Brookshire, the eldest child of William and Sarah.
Even better, I discovered that this 4th cousin of mine is on Facebook.
After messaging back and forth a few times, I told my new favorite 4th cousin about the sale that FTDNA is running on DNA testing and he agreed to YDNA testing. I am SO hoping his DNA will tell us which of the brothers we descend from, although the BROOKSHIRE group at FTDNA apparently only has 10 test results.
Hope springs eternal.

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