Saturday, December 4, 2010

Betty's Box - Part I

Wyvetta "Betty" Hodges
One of the advantages of an Ancestry membership is that they will notify you if someone else is researching a member of your family tree through Ancestry.  Last spring I was notified that someone was researching a member of my Jones branch.  Since I'm not shy, I tried to contact this person through their "Member Connect" option.  Through Ancestry, you can contact the other person without revealing any personal information.  They can choose to get back in touch with you or ignore your request.

As it ended up, "Betty" was my second cousin.  She was visiting a sister-in-law who was sharing her research with Betty.  Betty suggested to her sister-in-law that she search on a member of her family, which led to a connection in mine.

We share the same g-grandmother, Rachel Wainright Jones. Rachel was the mother of my grandfather, Charles "Fred" Jones and Betty's grandmother, Mary Edith Jones.  That makes us second cousins.

Betty's mother was named Wyvetta.  (Wyvetta is pictured above on a boat trip she took to Louisville with my grandfather, Pop, and her cousin, Edith). Wyvetta's cousin, Leo, was unable to say "Wyvetta" and instead called her "Mybet."  As a result the entire family started calling her "Betty."

Wyvetta married Harold Joseph (Ruflow) Hodges who worked in construction.  In 1949, he moved the family to Florida, moving from one side of town to the other depending on where the work was. The family often returned to Ohio during the summer where her father was easily able to get employment.

My newly-discovered cousin is also named Betty.  Her maiden name, "Hodges" is part of my family's folklore.  The Hodges had a reputation for "not staying put", especially in Betty's mother's generation.  If it was said that you were "one of the Hodges," it meant that you weren't one to stay in one place.  My Dad would always say that his sister, Margaret Ann, was "either dying or going on vacation."  This characteristic made her "one of the Hodges."

Betty Hodges Arnett was the person conducting this miscellaneous search on Ancestry who ended up being my second cousin.  We exchanged email addresses and phone numbers and the pieces started falling into place.  Betty remembered my grandparents, Norine and Fred, and their home on Eastern Ave (now Riverside Dr).   Her mother had a car and during the summer she would often bring Betty and her siblings to Cincinnati from Owensville to go swimming at the LeBlond pool located close by. As a child Betty remembers my grandfather's visits to see his sister, Edith Hodges. There was nothing Pop preferred more than a Sunday drive. My cousin, Fred Breving, remembers with fondness being one of Pop's frequent companions on these drives.

During our phone conversations, Betty told me of a box that had belonged to her mother.  "Betty's Box" had been moved from place to place throughout her childhood.  It contained labeled family pictures and copies of pages from her grandmother's family bible.  THIS IS ONE IF THOSE TIMES THAT FAMILY HISTORIANS LIVE FOR!!!

Betty, who lives in Florida, scanned in copies of the family bible and other pictures contained in the box.  As I had spent several years trying to prove that my gg-grandfather, Britton Wainright, qualified as a member of "First Families" in Hamilton Co., Ohio, I almost viewed her scans with fear.  My documentation had been accepted by the Hamilton County Genealogical Society.  What if I was wrong?

Imagine how excited I was to discover that her grandmother's bible entries completely agreed with what I had found?  I was able to enlarge the scans and make transcripts of the documentation.  I still get goose bumps when I think of the experience.  Pictured  are the scans Betty sent to me.

In addition to the three scans posted, there are three additional scans. It it difficult to read them in this form, although I love picturing the information just the way Mary Edith Jones Hodges entered the information into her Bible. Should you be interested in all of the scans with their transcriptions, email me and I will send you the file ( In the next post, I will share some of the precious pictures stored in "Betty's Box."  I'm sure Edith Hodges would be very surprised that we are all able to view her record keeping -- and I will be forever grateful.

1 comment:

  1. It always such a great feeling to make these connections with 'cousins'.


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