It's time to meet another one of our wonderful WikiTreers! This week's member is Sharon Hinshaw-Payne.
Sharon became a Wiki Genealogist in October of 2018. She is a Data Doctor and also a member of the Notables Project, the Early Pennsylvania Settlers Project, the Ireland Project, and the US Civil War Project.
What are some of the surnames you are researching?
My main focus at this time is on my parental line of Hinshaw, also spelled Henshaw, Henshawe, Hanshaw, Hanshall, Henschall, and Hanchey. (Whew that’s a lot.) I am also always looking to attach ancestors under Hopkins, Griffith, Proffer and Blaha (my maternal line).
What are some of the locations you are researching?
Right now I am going through the orphaned list for “Hinshaw”, and 1700’s and 1800’s North Carolina is where most of my Hinshaws come from. I have adopted, sourced, and connected about 400 orphans so far. I also research England, Wales and Ireland, specifically the Ulster area of Northern Ireland, Counties Armagh and Tyrone, and Czechoslovakia/Austria where my maternal grandparents were born. Ireland, Wales, and Czechoslovakia/Austria are a wee bit harder to research, as I do not speak or read the language. I do have a cousin in Slovakia that I correspond with, and sometimes he is happy to help find and decipher a source or certificate.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
When my Dad passed in 1999, I started writing down what I could remember of all the stories he had told us. His grandfather was a Civil War POW at Alton Prison, and that started me on an 11 year quest to find out about his life and where he was buried. I traced him from North Carolina to Indiana to Kentucky to his final resting place in Ravenden Springs, Arkansas. And the genealogy bug bit me hard and it spiraled out of control from there. I have met many wonderful people on my genealogy journey, some related, some not, but all were great.
Who's your favorite ancestor and why?
I would have to say my gr. grandfather Thomas Bartholomew Hinshaw. He was a share cropper and tobacco farmer in Sassafras Ridge, Ky; father of 11 children; a Confederate soldier, a private; wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, and again at Chicamauga; was a prisoner of war, twice, once taken to Louisville Ky. then to Alton Prison, and the second time straight to Alton Prison; he was released on a trade for a Union Captain and made to take the oath of allegiance, that resulted in him being branded a traitor and a deserter and cost him his pension; he lost his home and all of his family's possessions in a house fire; and still he kept going. His name was placed on a monument erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1926, at the main gate entrance to Hickman City Cemetery, Hickman, KY., called the Confederate Memorial Gateway. He was a survivor; he persevered through all that was put in his path. I wish I could have met him face to face.
Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.
My brick wall is my 7th gr.grandfather, John Griffith. He was born in Ireland, came to America in 1729 with his daughter, Ruth, and son, Christopher. He settled in Pennsylvania. My line comes down through his daughter Ruth Marshill, wife of Jacob Marshill. I have only assumptions of where he ended up. Not sure on his parentage, or even the exact year of birth or death. Still looking for that needle.
If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
Hmmmmm, good question. I would have to say Abraham Lincoln. I have read many books on Lincoln, including one on his speeches and papers. I find him to be a fascinating man, both in the political arena as well as his private life.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
Since retiring from the Postal Service in 2012, I find that I like to putz around in the garden, growing both flowers and veggies; I read – mostly history related and biographies; and I make jewelry.
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