IntroductionI have always found it easier to trace my father's side of the family even with the few brick walls I have encountered. On the other hand, my mother's ancestry and especially her paternal side has and continues to be full of brick walls. Recently, I have been determined after I discovered a website that I know my mother's paternal side resided, and prior to this discovery I would avoid researching this side.
I was aware that the family lived in Matagorda County Texas in the town of Matagorda, in the Lower Caney section of town. I knew my great grandmother, Annie Rounds, lived there with her parents and siblings.
A Mother Lode - The Discovery
The age of computer technology should not be overlooked. I do agree that if something cannot be found online, if possible, these records should be found at the courthouse or university libraries that have numerous collections. Or if there is a library-sharing program and you do not mind looking through rolls of microfilm, which is what most did before the dawn of technology, by all means do so.
My discovery came from searching online. I found a website after thinking that I'd never find any genealogical information about my family ever online - boy was I wrong! I did a search for Matagorda County Texas. I found information about what possibly may have been Jesse Rounds, my 2 x great grandfather's, last slave owner on the 1867 Voter's Registration List, I found out who my great-grand uncles and great-grand aunts married. In addition, I found when my great-grandparents married. I was able to find information about my great-grandfather and his sisters.
This discovery made me keenly aware that the ancestors speak to you! I heard about an aunt, Onie Peters, that I never met, but heard her name over and over. I found her on the marriage records list below. She lead me to find her. I never knew her married name, let alone that she had been married.
Matagorda County Slave Database
1867 Voter's Registration List
1870 US Census Matagorda County Texas - African American & Mulatto Families
Matagorda County Marriage Records
Since those discoveries I have found it enjoyable to doing research on my mother's paternal side. I have been able to tackle my mother's maternal side, it too fraught with brick walls, and those too have come tumbling down. It has been so fulfilling to discover my past and to verify and document my mother's paternal ancestry.
Admittedly, I was overjoyed with what I thought might have been my 2 x great grandfather's last slave owner, who I thought was J L Thorp, but I understand now that some online indexes may have errors or that they do not give accurate information. However, I welcome the challenge to locate other owners he may have had. I look at this as turning lemons into lemonade.
I have thoroughly enjoyed what I thought was something I wanted avoid to an activity that still fascinates me, finding my mother's paternal ancestors. I used the county website for Matagorda County that was full of information from: African American churches, slave database, baptisms, marriages, brands, that verified and documented their existence for me. Although further research will turn up more I look forward to digging deeper.