©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Saturday, October 16, 2010

SNGF - Who or What Do I Blame?

Responding to Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun Challenge which is:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and we need more of you to do this, otherwise it may end...), is to:
1)  Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog.  She asks these questions:
*  Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information? 
*  Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off? 
*  Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy? 
*  If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

Well, this one is easy for me even though I've been researching our family's (mine & my husband's) for about fifteen years. I had just recently "retired"  - the company I worked for moved to California but I chose to stay in Illinois. One day my husband and I were visiting with his parents and the conversation went something like this:

Father-in-law (FIL):  "A long time ago someone told me that Higgins Road was named after my grandfather." (My FIL's name is Francis Higgins and Higgins Road is a main artery in the city of Chicago.)

Me (in ignorance):  "That should be easy to find out. I'll go to the library this week."

And I did go to the library that next week and I did find that Higgins Road is named for a man named - would you believe - Francis Higgins who had owned a farm in the Chicago area. Alas, I also learn that the two men are not related in any way.

Feeling somewhat deflated by this news, I decided I should see what I could learn about my FIL's real grandfather. It took some digging and certainly more than a week but I found the family. I was able to tell my FIL about relatives he barely, if at all, knew; even reuniting with a cousin whom he had not seen for seventy years. I was also able to tell time that Higgins Road in Hampshire, Illinois (just outside Chicago) got its name because it ran alongside his grandfather's dairy farm.

Of course, I couldn't stop there. I knew each family line had its own story and so the search goes on. At least it keeps me out of trouble, most of the time!


  1. Becky, If you weren't already, you surely then became his favorite daughter-in-law. Good story, and I'm glad it led you to a wonderful hobby.

  2. I am enjoying reading everyone's beginnings! Thank you for posting yours!

  3. OOOOO, great way to get started!! FUN FUN FUN!