Last fall, I attended a family reunion and connected with a cousin who shares my love of our family's history. I showed her what photos I had of the family on Google drive. She inherited her grandmother's (my uncle's wife) collection of photos, which she promised to share with me in the future.
A few months ago, I decided to take a trip over spring break to do some research, something I hadn't done in over a decade. On a whim, I invited my cousin to join me, and was delighted when she said she could.
Now, this trip created enough material for a year or two of posts, which I will get to eventually. We traveled six days, over 1200 miles, through seven states. We visited cemeteries, courthouses, libraries and geocaches. We photographed and photocopied hundreds of documents which will take months to go through.
But the most amazing find of all? It was only 30 minutes from my house the whole time. I'd even seen it before but didn't know what I was looking at.
|Vaughn Hilyard age 4|
But look on the wall behind him. Wonder who that could be? Let's flip the picture over.
|Vaughn Hilyard age 4 reverse|
Friends and family, I want to introduce you to Vaughn's grandfather, and my great-great grandfather, Thomas Hilyard. I wrote about his time in the Civil War, He died in 1882 from tuberculosis he contracted while serving in the war. I had abandoned all hope of ever seeing a picture of him, but there it is, the size of a postage stamp and clearly labeled by my wonderful great grandmother. Here's a better look:
|Thomas Hilyard 1840+1882|
Grandfather of Vaughn Hilyard
I hope to share more from our trip soon.