When you first begin to search for ancestors and your family roots, you must expect that there will be a great many surprises uncovered, multiple mysteries to be solved, and any number of odd circumstances that can be downright disconcerting. You will find yourself learning things that you didn’t really want to know.
I had hardly begun my initial digging and exploring when I tripped over a real family head-scratcher.
Census and other records all reveal that in 1887 my great grandfather John Wesley Baldridge had married Ellen Baldridge. So, I began poking around to find out her maiden name, only to discover that it was, umm… Baldridge. Ellen Baldridge appeared to be a distant cousin, coming from a different Baldridge family in North Carolina, but somehow I found little comfort in that.
Whenever a cousin is married to a cousin in the old family tree, I would feel much better if they are on completely different branches, at least, and as distant and many times removed as possible. And then I found another unusual family connection between great grandpa John Wes and his wife Ellen that made their relationship even more complicated and difficult to sort out. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.