Turning Over New Leaves

The Commoner

by Judy Sander Cockrell

Do you suffer from one of genealogies seemingly fatal and most frustrating problems? Are you one in a million? A needle in a haystack? Or are you so common that you can't find a crowd to stick out in? Ah yes, you have a serious case of the "commoners."

With a name like Jones, Smith or Johnson on your search list, what does one do?

You look in the other direction, as in, find the most unusual given name you can amongst your common folk. Maybe you have an Ardelia Smith or a Chauncey Jones or a Halley Johnson. How about a Jr. or a Sr. or a III, IV, or V?? Run with it!

In fact, a very good friend of mine did just that. With the last name of Johnston, she could have been going in circles for a good long time, but as it turned out, she began with the given name of her father "Rhemus"...

And as we say in the business the rest is history……

Here's a wonderful note from Larry and Mary Johnston on what inspired this web site:

We were driven to it by our grandchildren and great nieces and nephews. The schools, these days, give every kid an assignment to, "Go talk to your oldest, living family member, and write a short history of your family." I'm it. I knew so little, it was embarrassing.

Not even knowing how to start, we did it any way. We have driven thousands of miles over the back roads of TX, OK, AR, MO, TN, MS, etc. We have spent more time in out of the way courthouses than most county judges, and trekked through more country cemeteries than a regiment of ghosts. We have haunted libraries, from the largest city libraries to the one room versions in remote, backwoods locations.

Has it all been worth it? Absolutely! You can't imagine the feeling of accomplishment until you receive an email, as I did recently, from a previously unknown 3rd cousin who says, "I just had to contact you to say, Thanks! Thanks to your website, my 80 year old father has just seen, for the first time in his life, a picture of his grandfather."

It don't get no better than that!

Visit The Commoner today!

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