I am now official! I have sufficiently proven that my father was descended from Stephen Hopkins, a Mayflower passenger. This process took several months, most of the time waiting for questions and answers, but it was a great exercise for me in practicing what I preached to my genealogy students for many years. Phrases like "what do you know and how do you know it" and advice to check with local repositories (hoping for Ethel - I found one!) echo in my brain and, in fact, served me well in this process. Just do it!
Now I'm working on proving my link to John Howland. This may be one of my favorite ancestors. He fell overboard off the Mayflower during a bad storm and then grabbed a topsail halyard that was trailing in the water. Crew members pulled him back onboard.
My mother is now officially a member of First Families of Ohio, my father is descended from a Mayflower passenger and from an Early Settler of Warren County, Ohio, and my husband's mother is descended from yet another First Families of Ohio! I'm delighted I was able to complete the necessary paperwork! That information is now available at the Ohio Genealogical Society library and the Mayflower Society Library for all those future generations who may be interested!
First Families of Ohio
My cousin, Mike Murray, my father's brother's youngest son, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. We don't know how long he has, so I decided I could actually do something for him. With lots of help from the President of the Ohio Genealogical Society, Margaret Cheney, who is also the Chair of the First Families of Ohio Committee, I was able to prove that the family of my Aunt Eleanor, Mike's mom, was in Ohio before 1820. They were actually in Ohio before it became a state in 1803. I also had great help from Diana, at the Warren County Ohio, Genealogical Society, and Joan at the Greene County Archives - both absolute angels when it came to helping with this project. Also, Roger Kennedy, President of the Greene County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, was kind enough to personally present Mike with his certificate and pin. It takes a village in Genealogy. None of us can do it alone. This was an incredibly rewarding use of my time.