Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mystery Resolutions sometimes come in small notebooks

The tiny family history notebook that Jessie Christene
wrote the family tree in. 1932

 When my sisters and I opened up our mom's cedar chests last week I knew there would be many finds to capture my genealogist's heart. She tended to hold on to the very things that would interest me. Mom has been gone for almost 7 years but schedules, location and a promise to wait until we all could look inside together has kept us from opening her hope chest and our grandmother's cedar chest until last week.

I came home with a crate, a box and a bag of pictures, files and artifacts tucked in the back of my car. The dining room has been covered with stacks of pictures, letters in new sheet protector homes and a variety of other documents and artifacts.

When I pulled out a small, red, loose-leaf notebook from one of the folders last night, I knew I had something special in my hands. On the first tiny page, the handwriting said:

"Family Record
Presented to Forest R.E. Dibbens
(my grandfather) 
from Mother (my great grandmother, Jessie Christene Field Dibbens) Written Mch 9, 1932 
Cheney Kansas"

Besides the fact that it was written by my great grandmother, I was excited to find an answer to a mystery that I have been trying to solve for several years. My great grandfather, ARJ Dibbens Jr.'s family came from Isle of Wight, England. It has been very difficult to go back very far in England because of some names that keep confusing me. The surname, Cobb was showing up on both of his parents branches within one generation. I always thought I had something confused but Jessie devoted almost an entire tiny page to that mystery. On page 26 (yes, she numbered each page!) she wrote:

"Grandfather & mother Cobb
Great grandfather
Leah Linnington married
Mr. Cobb then
daughter Ann (Cobb)
married William Dibbens"

That may not be exciting to some people but it left me saying, "aha!" Now it makes sense! I love a solved genealogy mystery!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone which is a very advanced skill! ;-)