It's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Kathie Forbes.
Kathie became a Wiki Genealogist in April of 2015. She participates in the Virginia Project and is also a valuable asset to our Native Americans Project.
What are some of the surnames you are researching?
Parks, Simmons, Youngblood, Robbins; I’d like to take the first three farther back, and there are so many Robbinses in early Connecticut that I just can’t sort them out.
What are some of the locations you are researching?
Many of my ancestors lived in the mid-Atlantic states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Many of them followed the migration path south and west, so North Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi are all on my list. Another set started in Massachusetts, moved through Connecticut and ended up in western New York.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
Both of my parents told stories about their families from the time I was a small child. I met quite a few of their elderly relatives and always wanted to know who they were and how they connected to me. My father had a large leather-bound book called “The History of the Cherokee Indians” by Emmett Starr, which laid out the genealogy for my Cherokee ancestors. Seeing all those names and generations got me started. On mother’s side, her father, her aunt, and a cousin spent years on their genealogy. My mother inherited all their correspondence and paperwork, which has since come down to me.
Who's your favorite ancestor and why?
I can’t pick a favorite, but the ones who left their homes to head off to a new country or a new location have always intrigued me.
Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.
I broke one brick wall through serendipity. I was never sure who my Mississippi grandmother’s grandmother was. She didn’t seem to be in family records, and I even sent away for my great-grandmother’s death certificate which came back "parents unknown." From my research I was pretty sure she was a woman with the unusual name of Hercilla Baldridge. While going through a random box of family photos one day I found a picture of my grandmother on her aunt’s front porch, clearly labelled. Mystery solved and that family now traced back to the early 1700’s. I still can’t pin down that woman’s husband even though I know his name - John Simmons - and when and where they got married.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
I am an avid reader, I spend as much time as I can with my children and grandchildren, am active in my Cherokee community, enjoy crafts like needlepoint and beadwork, and love to travel. I was about to leave on my bucket-list Egypt trip just as the pandemic lockdown started.
[Interview continues in comments.]