I've been doing research into my family tree for about 15 years. I've logged over 14,000 hours. My research started, as many people do, on Ancestry.com. I was simply curious about my two biological grandfathers, both whom died prior to my birth at roughly the same age.
As I began to dig, I discovered my mother's father was a boxer with some notoriety in Baltimore. Taylor Kesterson married a 16 year-old Polish girl by the name of Rose Dombrowski, at the age of 24, and had a daughter, Evelyn. My mother always believed she had a half-sister, but never knew for sure. I would love to contact someone who knows more of the story behind Rose Dombrowski and her daughter Evelyn Kesterson/Czaplinski. Evelyn's children married into the Amend and Jefferys families respectively.
Because my family has no documentation; nor do they have photos, on either of my grandfathers, my research has been a combination of first-hand stories along with historical documentation such as census reports, phone books, and newspaper articles. This now along with visits back to my homeland to study documentation in person over the last 5 years have taken place. The result has been tens of thousands of photographs of documents from Special Collections, E.G. Swemm Library at the college of William & Mary, Special Collections at the Library of Virginia, Mathews Memorial Library, Civil Records divisions in both Mathews and Gloucester Counties, and visits to old bookstores, etc.
On my father's side of the family, I've hit a roadblock at Francis T. White, my biological GG-grandfather. I still don't know what the "T" stands for, but my best guess currently is Tompkins or Thomas. I've uncovered a fair amount of information on Francis, mostly by traveling to Mathews County to look through all the civil records myself. Because the census reports prior to 1840 only list heads of families, it's very difficult to determine who Francis' father and mother are. Between my wife & I, we have about 25 years of land-title experience, which has helped in tracing land-ownership records along with tax records. We've also sat down with researchers in Mathews County (Becky Barnhardt) to further help pin down records from microfilm. Because the references are so vague, quoting sources becomes difficult. The physical documentation can only be found at the sources. We've done well to photograph much of what we have found, and I've posted much of it on my Ancestry.com page located at Ancestry Family Tree
Francis married a Rebecca Parrott in 1849, (known simply by deduction and census report investigation.) While in Mathews County, I located a passage in a civil record book which states: 1849 - Francis T White, Taking proof & rescinding deed from Elizabeth Moughon 1,50. Taking bond and qualifying Richard W. Marchant as guardian to Rebecca Parrott ______,,86.
|Francis T. White, marriage bann, Rebecca Parrott|
At this stage in my research (mid-2021), my best guess at Francis' father is a man by the name of William White. Francis may be the grandson of William White and Dorothy Davis. One would think we would see the "T" carry over to another son or daughter. However, no children are named thus, nor are any middle names carrying the initial "T". Francis' children are John William, Lucy, Martin Luther, Stanley, and Virginia. We also find Francis' name next to Dorothy's in census reports. We know William White & Dorothy Davis marry right at the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775. It's possible William died during the war or because of it. We see Dorothy D. White handling his estate later. Perhaps Francis never knew his father well, but whatever the case, there are no children named after Francis, or his middle initial, nor anyone named Dorothy, nor any initials matching her maiden name. This opens up the possibility of other parents.
UPDATE 2021, December: Thanks to the Mathews Memorial Library, digital division, uploading family bibles, the Armistead Family Bible revealed what I had been supposing for years. The first page of genealogical records was the White family showing William White married to Dorothy in 1804. As I read down the names, I recognized the names of Francis' siblings, George Armistead White, Lucy Adeline White, and William Walker White. My suspicion of Lucy being the sister of Francis was pure speculation based upon her marriage to Christopher Delmas Tompkins. Tompkins was a friend of George A. White, and somehow I knew he had married a sister of George's. The bible revealed she was in fact, a daughter of William & Dorothy. Because the 1st page belongs to the Whites, and the bible belonged to Francis Armistead, passed down to him in 1804 by William Buckner after his death in 1803, I knew there was no reason to include the White family unless someone had married an Armistead...that being Dorothy. On the subsequent pages we see Dorothy Read Armistead's birth date along with her siblings, Thomas and Francis. What a find, and what a way to close almost 10-years of painful brick walls. Now, on to William's parents, who are still vague.
Francis' older brother was a gentleman by the name of George A. White. George is also seen in census reports next to Dorothy and Francis T. George wrote a mathematics book, which can be viewed at William & Mary College. On the 1st page of the book, at the top, written in cursive, is the name, Francis T. White. I have no idea what happened to George, but he appears to be friends with Christopher Delmas Tompkins and his brother, James Monroe Tompkins. Christopher marries a Lucy Adeline White, and my suspicion tells me she is the sister of George & Francis T. James Monroe Tompkins moved to Tennessee, along with several other brothers, and I'm wondering if George moved with them? Christopher Delmas Tompkins died at the age of 44 in Mathews (reasons unknown), but we know his brother, James, was legally in charge of his estate from newspaper articles. Christopher was the Coroner of Mathews Co, and the person who enumerated the 1830 and 1840 census in Mathews County.
M is 21 degrees from Michael Aday, 33 degrees from Karolus Magnus Carolingian, 22 degrees from Cher Bono, 26 degrees from Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 28 degrees from Rodrigo de Vivar, 41 degrees from Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, 28 degrees from Walter Liberace, 15 degrees from Pocahontas Rolfe, 28 degrees from Prince Nelson, 25 degrees from William Gosset, 25 degrees from Lesley Lawson and 28 degrees from Susie Officer on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.