Friday, January 12, 2018
No Children = No Grandchildren
It may seem like a no-brainer of a statement, but the fact that William and Kate Hopkins had no children—at least none that any online documents revealed—meant that they had no grandchildren. In other words, there were no descendants who, upon their passing, had their belongings heaped into a pile which subsequently was disposed of by estate sale where they'd be distributed to those who might purchase on a whim a trifling token like an old photograph.
William did have step-children from a subsequent marriage, and Kate's brother and half-siblings also had children. But in none of their descendants did I find a path from their Kentucky location to any home near northern California, the place where I found the Hopkins photograph.
The easy part, of course, would have been if William and Kate, married in 1899, had children who, by the 1920s, would have had children of their own. These, easily, would have lived until perhaps the last ten years, when a quick search of the many now-online obituaries would have helped pinpoint which grandchild's estate might have included the very family photograph I'm now holding in my own hands. But it isn't working out that way.
Not that I have another ten to twenty mystery photographs burning a hole in my genealogical pocket, but I decided to take the quick-and-easy way out: I looked up the other Ancestry subscribers who are researching this couple. From that resource, I looked at their publicly-displayed trees and selected the one which seemed to evidence the most meticulous research style.
And then, I wrote a letter.
The message was simple: Hi, I'm a fellow researcher, and I found this photo you might be interested in. If it's your family, I'd be happy to send it to you. Just let me know.
Easy. All except for the waiting part. I really want to talk to this particular researcher, who happens to have posted another photograph of William and Kate that I would love to be able to share with you.