Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - Cox/Hix Family

One of my long-term projects focuses on the family of James Harvey Cox and Medora Hix. They are the great great grandparents of a client who has become a friend. This client has given me things as ways of thanking me for this work. One of my favorites is a mug that she hand painted saying "Best Genie - Sue." When she introduces me to someone I am known as her Genie. One day she said, "I would give anything to have a picture of Medora Hix Cox." In the process of researching this family that week I made an amazing discovery.

Our research on this family occurred some months before, and on I found their marriage indexed in Illinois Marriages 1851-1900. It lists the following: James Cox, male, spouse Medora Alice Hix, marriage date October 16, 1877, Iroquois County. Medora was the daughter of Garrett Hix and Mary Elizabeth Sellers. The client was most interested in finding out the truth in a family tradition of Medora being of Choctaw and Cherokee heritage. Her grandfather received checks from the government supposedly related to this heritage. So far there are no records of this heritage, but we will keep pursing this possibility.

In returning to I checked out the family trees posted online. To my surprise I found family trees posted by two distant cousins. The most amazing thing is that there in front of me was not one, but three pictures of Medora Alice Hix Cox. I could hardly wait to share the news with the client. There was a picture of her later in life, about 1926; one of her and James and their six children in about 1907; and another of her and her six children in about 1917. Medora was born 12 May 1859 and died 27 December 1928, at the age of sixty-nine.

In trying to print the pictures I realized that the quality was not very good. So, I sent an email to inquire if they would be willing to share with us the original scans of the pictures that they posted. They responded with eagerness to learn more about the family and willingly shared the original scans. The three cousins connect to two different daughters of Medora. Through a dozen emails and many exchanges of information we have enjoyed several serendipity moments.

There are five public family trees listed for Madara, Madora or Dora Hix or Hicks and James Cox. It is difficult in searching as the results varied with each specified name. Finally in doing a search without exact search marked I was able to find the original trees where the pictures were posted. Each of the public trees contains varying degrees of information, some being more accurate than others. As with all information found in such files, they need to be documented as you add them to your database.

If you would like to view the pictures I will challenge you to find the correct files. Besides the three pictures in the files, the new cousins shared a few more. It is so nice to work with cousins and other relatives in doing this work. This is not the first time I have found fantastic pictures online and I am finding more on the family trees all the time. That may be due to the new interest from the television show "Who Do You Think You Are?" Maybe you should look for some for your ancestors.

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