Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Summer.

Summer has been a WikiTreer since March of 2016 and is one of our newest Leaders. She leads our Volunteer Coordinators and Tennessee projects, co-Leads the Rangers and Slavic Roots projects and is an Ambassador and Data Doctor.

Surnames you are researchingSpann, Hudson, Stover, Locke, Eley, Rainey, Carter, Harrell, Shotwell, Gilson, Hullett, Towns, Bell, Bradley, Lunn, Lonas, Mills, Vanderbilt.

Locations you are researching:

I’ve not really focused on location very much, but I have a few of interest that I would like to delve deeper into one day.  Leading the Tennessee project for the last year has really caused me to develop more of an interest in Tennessee history, particularly in my hometown of Nashville.  I’ve also recently developed an interest in Panna Maria, Texas, which was the first permanent Polish settlement in the United States. It is about an hour from my current town and I had the privilege to visit last year.  I took lots of pictures for the Polish Roots project, which you can view here.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

Genealogy and family history have interested me for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t get very serious about it until about three years ago. I had an elderly cousin who was always the family historian and had written several things over the years. I asked her for a copy of what she had and she wouldn’t give it to me.  So, I decided to start my own research. It took one google search and about four minutes before I realized I was absolutely hooked. I haven’t looked back since.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is my 3rd great-grandfather, John Crockett Hudson, who also happens to be my biggest brick wall.  He was a Civil War veteran and was featured in an article titled “Why the Rebels Wore Ragged Clothes,” in the Nashville magazine “The Confederate Veteran” in 1893, about a remark he made during his time as a POW in Camp Morton.  His remark is just hysterical to me because it sounds exactly like something my father would say. The confederate prisoners were brought out to parade in front of the Governor and his entourage. One of the well-to-do women asked why they were dressed so poorly.  His answer was “Gentlemen of the South have two suits-one that they wear among nice people and one that they wear when killing hogs, and that is the one in which we are dressed to-day.” (1)

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down:

I don’t really have any I’ve broken. I’d like to change this to  Tell us about a brick wall you have been unable to break down:  My biggest brick wall is a 3rd great grandfather, John Crockett Hudson. I’ve been searching for several years but I cannot find his parents, nor can I find any information on him before 1850. I suspect he was adopted and/or changed his name when he was a child. I’ll probably never know the true answer.  My other major brick wall is another 3rd great grandfather Andrew Carter. I cannot find a marriage record, birth record, census record, or anything concrete at all that will confirm his identity.  There are lots of possibilities but nothing to put him with his wife and children. He is a complete blank.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

I would absolutely love to be related to Harriet Tubman. I admire her courage and tenacity, and her will to stand up for what was right.  There are not many people willing to risk their own life to save strangers. She is truly a person to be admired and celebrated.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

First and foremost, I love to spend time with my family. I have the most amazing 3 children and husband. I really like anything artsy.  I am frequently found painting, sculpting, sewing, crocheting, writing, or reading. All of those are my passion and I can never find enough hours in a day to do as much as I’d like.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I joined in March of 2016 and I’m usually very active. I am Leader for the Tennessee Project, the Slavic Roots Project (and subprojects for Poland and Russia), and the Volunteer Coordinator Project. I participate in many projects other than these, my favorites being the Quakers project and the US Presidents project. I also have quite a few name studies.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I love it that WikiTree is actually managed by people! There are a lot of people who work very hard to keep WikiTree accurate, sourced, and helpful. There are always going to be problems but there are processes in place to deal with them. I love that people are so dedicated to doing something that will not just benefit themselves, but others today and for generations to come. Honestly, there isn’t really that much I don’t love about WikiTree.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Take advantage of all of the help pages, tutorials, and other areas set up to help the newcomers. WikiTree can be very overwhelming and confusing when you first begin.  Ask questions if you don’t understand something!  We’re all here with one common purpose, working toward the same goal.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

The most important thing is not to ever take your loved ones for granted. Don’t hold grudges or give someone the silent treatment; you never know what day will be the last day you get to see or speak to them. Doing genealogy brings a lot of things into perspective. When you can sit and put a person’s entire life on one piece of paper, it makes us seem very small in the grand scheme of things.  Be bigger than that.  Make your mark on life.

1.  Womack, J.K. ”’Why the Rebels Wore Ragged Clothes.”’ Confederate Veteran (Nashville, Tennessee), 1893, V. 21 ed., Page 50 sec; Accessed 5/25/2016; https://archive.org/details/confederateveter21conf


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  4 Responses to “Meet our Members: Summer Orman”

  1. Nice interview, Summer! I’m amazed at all you’ve accomplished on WikiTree in just 15 months! And still have time for all those other interests! I confess I’ve almost forgotten how to knit since I got hooked on genealogy.

  2. Hey Summer! Looks like we are like 8th cousins twice removed or something. Interesting that we both married Ormans!

  3. I saw the name TOPEL in your records. How does that fit in with you history?

  4. Thanks so much for your dedication and hard work. Loved reading your blog interview and seeing the connections in my tree!

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