A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots. – Marcus Garvey
We are walking through the basic steps to reveal your story. I began in a previous BLOG with step one: write down what you know.
Using, as an example, a side of my family tree I know little about, I am walking through my own process outlined in the workbook: Give Your Story A Voice. I am not sure why so little is known, except:
- My mother’s mother was occupied with keeping day-to-day life going. In a time of washboards, gathering eggs from chickens she fed, milking cows, and churning butter, her energy was consumed with daily life.
- In addition, she had several serious health issues early in life, which, no doubt further eroded her time and energy.
- I never knew her parents and she did not talk about them. I never asked her why. I now wonder why I was not more curious.
Step two: to share what I knew with other family members or those who were close to the family. I received some great insights and feedback from that BLOG post allowing continued exploration.
In the meantime, using Ancestry, I discovered a wonderful, if not remote, connection through, my maternal grandmother’s mother’s line, the Hoags, to a significant geographical location in my life.
Reveal Your Story – The Trail
Using Ancestry, comparing to information in Family Search, I backtracked through census data on the Hoag line. Starting with Pearl Miller Rightmeier, my maternal grandmother, then to her mother, my great-grandmother Clara Belle Hoag Miller, the journey went like this:
- Clara Belle Hoag (Miller) – Born Jewell County Kansas – 1881
- Father – Edwin Rolland Hoag – Born Illinois – about 1845
- Grandfather – Jacob Hoag – Born Ostego County, New York – 1814
- Great-grandfather – Stephen Hoag – Born Dutchess New York – in 1792
The Hoag line seems to stop here. More digging and comparing are needed, but sources point to Stephen Hoag immigrating from the British Isles. The journey thus far has taken my family to just after the revolution living in the Hudson Valley, New York.
Reveal Your Story – A Side Step
On a whim, I looked at Stephen Hoag’s wife, Mary Mosher’s, ancestry. This is where the waters opened up:
- Mary Mosher (Hoag), my great-grandmother Clara Belle’s great-grandmother (my great – to the 5th) was born in Dutchess New York – in 1789 – she and Stephen married around 1812.
- Mary’s Father – Thomas Mosher born in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts – 1755
- Thomas’s father – Benjamin Mosher born also Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts – 1706
- Benjamin’s father – Daniel Mosher was born as well in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts – in 1678
- Daniel’s father – Hugh Mosher born in Providence, Rhode Island – in 1633
This is early colonial time for this country. Remember, the Mayflower landed in Plymouth in 1620 beginning the:
- Hugh’s father was also Hugh Mosher but was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England in 1600.
No doubt this Hugh Mosher was one of those who joined the Puritain migration, probably about 1630 or so. I have yet to find the exact ship he traveled on.
- British Hugh’s father was Stephen Mosher who was born in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France – 1572. He left Strasbourg and moved to Manchester to escape persecution as a Protestant. He took with him the family silk weaving business.
- Stephen’s father – Hugh Edward Mosher was also born in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France – in 1537
- Hugh Edward’s father – Stephen Mosher was born in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France – in 1510
The trail goes cold at this point, but all the way to the 1500s isn’t bad!
The 1500’s in Strasbourg were pivotal:
- The Protestant Reformation arrived with Luther’s Thesis posted on the door of the Cathedral
- A Gymnasium was established developing into the University of Strasbourg
- just a few decades after the invention of the Gutenberg printing press, the first modern newspaper was printed in Strasbourg.
Reveal Your Story – The Connections
Discovering a branch of my family line connecting me to Strasbourg France is exciting for several reasons:
- First, my husband received his Doctorate from the University of Strasbourg. The backstory is posted here.
- Second, as a result of the above, I too lived and studied in Strasbourg. While my husband worked on his doctorate, I earned a degree in French from the Univerity of Strasbourg. Read that backstory outlined here.
- Third, the historic home we are restoring is named after Marie-Louise Hahn Stackman Steinbuchel. She was born and raised in Strasbourg! We live in an Alsatian-influenced house in Wichita, KS. I blogged much about this house and its family namesake. Read some of those articles here.
My imagination sees the Mosher family navigating the turmoil of the times walking the streets of Strasbourg. Were they aware of the emerging university that a descendant and her husband would attend years later? Did my feet travel the same paths as theirs centuries later?
To this point in time, I had laid claim to the Strasbourg connection for the above three reasons. Certainly, that is enough, but somehow, knowing I have a direct family line that runs through Puritan New England all the way to the ancient city of Strasbourg, gives me a greater claim to the DNA of Maison Steinbuchel.
More Steps To Reveal YOUR Story
I have developed a workbook outlining, not just the two steps I have used here, but a complete road map. From clarifying the story you want to tell to transforming it into a shareable form, it is all there.
Get your copy today. Comment below or email me at: email@example.com with your insights and/or questions.