Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monroe Hobbs

Monroe Hobbs was my grandfather. He worked for West Virginia Coal & Coke Corp. in Omar, West Virginia. He worked as a tippleman and later as an assistant foreman. He was b. 1900 and d. 1957 and was married twice, first to my Grandmother Ethel (Emma Jean) Sansom and second to Mae Hall. My Dad, Hibbert, was from the first marriage along with his twin brother Herbert and a younger brother, Herman.
Here is photo of Monroe by an old car:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Corn Bread And Beans

When I was growing up, every couple of months or so my mother would make a big pot of pinto beans along with a skillet of delicious crusty cornbread served with butter. Occasionally we would have collard greens or mustard greens on the side.
You see, in Depression times in West Virginia where my parents grew up, pinto beans were a staple part of their diet. Most families put a big pot of beans on to soak, then cook, every single day except Sunday. On Sunday my Mom said they had a chicken if they were lucky. She remembers eating fried bologna and gravy for breakfast, and apparently lots of oatmeal (which she hated for the rest of her life and refused to eat again.) But the beans and corn bread were family traditions we enjoyed even though we didn't "have" to eat them anymore.
I love a good bowl of pinto beans and cornbread myself! Here is the recipe:
Sort through a 2 lb. bag of pinto beans to remove any small rocks or bad beans. Wash beans, then put in large pot, with water to cover. Soak overnight, adding additional water if necessary. In the morning, drain off old water and replace with fresh. Bring beans to a boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, then turn heat down to simmer. Add 1 large onion, 1 carrot and 1 good meaty ham hock. Simmer beans on low heat until tender. This will take several hours. Remove carrot and discard. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve in a bowl with a few raw white onion slices on top.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Victoria McCoy Hobbs

My Great Grandmother was Victoria McCoy Hobbs, b. 1867 KY or VA, d. 1935 WV. She was related to the famous McCoy family known best for the Hatfield-McCoy feuding in WV and KY, and actually saw some of the feud killings take place when she was a girl.
Here is the only photo I have of Victoria; she is pictured with daughter in law Ethel Sansom Hobbs (my grandmother), and grandsons Hibbert, Herbert and Herman Hobbs.

Red Headed Twins Fight For America in WWII

My Dad, Hibbert Hobbs, was a career Army officer, beginning during WWII and also serving in the Korean conflict.

In 1941, my Dad was inducted into the Army along with his twin brother. In 1943, they graduated at the top of their class from OCS (Officer's Candidate School)! Here are the news clippings that tell about it: (NOTE - his name is given as Hilbert in the article; he went by Hibbert.)

U.S. Safe! Red-headed Twins Volunteer For Army
"Two young men from Omar are hoping today that if the Huntington induction station rejects any of the selectees from local draft board No. 2, that at least two men are turned in the examinations being held today in the Bigg's Armory.
It so happens that these two young men are twins and for as long as they can remember, what one has done the other has done.
They have volunteered for induction into the army for a year's military training, and both have passed their preliminary examinations and are in Class 1-A. They are ready to go to Huntington as replacements for any men from baord No. 2 who are rejected by the induction board.
Their names are Hilbert and Herbert Hobbs, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Hobbs, of Omar. The twins were born on September 13, 1919 and since birth they have attired themselves in the same kind of clothes, adopted the same mannerisms, and add to the confusion of their closest friends who try to tell them apart, by having the same color hair - red!
Hilbert and Herbert attended school together, and since quitting school, they have done exactly the same type of work. At present they are employed on a tipple at an Omar mine of the West Virginia Coal and Coke Corporation.
The fact that they have never been separated for any lengthy period since birth, probably had a little to do with their applying for voluntary induction. Herbert drew a very low order number - 32 - at the local board, while Hilbert has order No. 832, which means that if they waited to be called by the draft board, their periods of induction would be widely separated.
Miss Jane Howard, clerk of board No. 2, in commenting on the twins' applications said:
"Hilbert and Herbert are two very fine looking young men and resemble each other very much. They came into the office to volunteer attired in the same color sweaters, had wrist watches exactly alike, and I don't believe there is a bit of difference in the shade of their red hair.
They stated that they had never been separated since they were born - that is, for very long at a time - and were anxious to continue their close replationship right on through their year's training under the selective service act."
She continued: "Bot have sent their questionnaires back to the office and have passed their physical examinations. They are in Class 1-A and will be taken as replacements if any of our quota of 42 men are rejected at the Huntington induction station."

"For the first time in the history of the Armored Force officer candidate school, a set of twins was selected to fill the fole of "honor man" in a graduating class at Fort Knox, Ky. The twins are Lieutenants Herbert and Hibbert Hobbs, Omar, W. Va., shown above at the graduation of the 30th class of the Armored Force OCS. they won the honor by displaying outstanding leadership and scholarship among the 224 men who were in the class. The red-haired, identical twins are sons of Monroe Hobbs, assistant mine foreman for the West Virginia Coal & Coke Corp. Before they were inducted here last year, they worked in a coal mine."

Who Is Your 'Brick-Wall Ancestor'?

I know we all have them - those elusive ancestors whose names stare at us from pedigree charts that end with that person and go no further. Who are they? Why, our 'brick-wall' ancestors, that's who! I've had one that has driven me to distraction for many years. So much so, that I finally quit looking in his direction and went on to friendlier family connections on other research lines that actually yield results.
But he's still there, lurking in my database, reminding me that one of these days I need to try yet again to figure out his family's past and put the puzzle together. Do you have one too? Don't be shy - share him or her with my blog readers by leaving a note on this post.



Michael (Mullins) Hobbs is my Gr-Gr-Grandfather on my Dad's side. When I was a teenager, my Dad told me stories of Michael's background, saying that his real name was Michael Mullins, but that he had taken the name of Hobbs because he was taken in and raised by a family named Hobbs.
According to my Dad, Michael's father was really Solomon "Money-makin' Sol" Mullins of VA, who was a counterfeiter that made coins in a cave in Virginia, before moving on to KY and then to WV to escape problems with the law. The stories of the counterfeiting are documented; the stories of my Michael being a son of Solomon are not. You see, Solomon was married to Sarah Cathey and had a family of children by her, and there is no mention of Michael anywhere with that family.

This leaves researchers to scratch their heads and wonder how Michael fits in with Solomon at all. But I'm not the only one with the same stories; I've run across other researchers who also had the same basic set of facts: Michael was a son of Solomon Mullins, raised in VA or KY by a family named Hobbs.

So WHY was Michael raised by Hobbs's? He doesn't appear anywhere in Solomon's family of children; was he illegitimate? If so, who was his mother? And why the striking efforts of Michael and his own children to 'cover their tracks' by leaving blank spots on legal documents years later? My own suspicions are that there is more to the story than just the counterfeiting. I wish I new more about Michael's background! So far, I haven't even found connections to a particular Hobbs family that might have raised him.

Michael Mullins Hobbs remains my brick-wall ancestor to this day.
For more information on Michael including census records and what information I have so far you can visit my Michael Mullins Hobbs squidoo lens

Welcome To My Genealogy Blog

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to teach a class on genealogy blogging. The only problem? I haven't done any genealogy blogging! Now I've blogged plenty for my business, but genealogy - nope. So began some internet research time on what kind of blogs are out there, and just how people are using them to share their genealogy with other researchers.
I found a myriad of blogs to choose from - some big, some small, some started and forgotten. Some that have photos and document images, some that contain travel logs of genealogy trips, some that just contain the ramblings of excited genealogy addicts that want a place to share their latest find.

It got ME excited too, and I realized I had been missing out on a great way to share my own research and to keep myself motivated to work harder on genealogy.


Now that you're here, what can you expect to find in my blog?

  • Posts about my family lines and researach
  • Posts about genealogy trips I've taken
  • Links to genealogy blogs I read
  • Resources for the genealogist

    So hang on to your hats and stay with me! I promise you'll find out all kinds of great stuff about Nina's genealogy as I blog away and share my years of research with you.