Yesterday I pulled a small book, chosen totally at random, from my shelf to examine it more closely. Over the years my husband and I have taken advantage of the used book sales that area libraries offer. We're drawn to the really old, often tattered books, usually small in size. We examine them for autographs, inserted papers, dried flowers, old bookmarks, and things like that. I recently put an arrangement of some of our prized old relics on a shelf that had formerly supported houseplants. The book I chose was "Famous Biography", which I wrote about in my previous post, dated July 28. It was autographed, and evidently from the personal library of Amos Jay Cummings.
Since I've spent so much time over the past dozen years researching the families of me and my husband, I'm prone to refer to my genealogy database when I find a new name, to see if I might have some connection to a newly-met friend, or in this case, a newly-found autograph. After I wrote about Amos J. Cummings, I searched my database for the Cummings name. I discovered that I did have people by that surname in my file, and then noticed that one of them was married to a direct ancestor of mine. My color-coded direct lines in my RootsMagic database make that type of searching easy. The name I found was Nathaniel Cummings, husband of Abigail Parkhurst. I knew I have a 7th great grandmother named Mary Parkhurst, so I went to Google to do a search on the ancestry of Amos J. Cummings. I wanted to see if there might be a connection between Nathaniel Cummings and Amos Cummings. I found a message on the boards at Genealogy.com that mentioned a web site dedicated to the descendants of an Isaac Cummings. My search there revealed the ancestry of Amos. I examined my Rootsmagic database to see if any of his ancestors were also listed among my 'Connections'. Indeed they were. I was just beside myself. I commented in astonishment to my husband "I just don't believe it!" Well, the truth is I should have easily believed it because I often find connections between myself and random people, whether I see their portrait in a frame on a restaurant wall, or notice a familiar name carved in stone in the cemetery.
From the information I gathered, I was able to put together this chart to show my connection to Amos Jay Cummings.
All these years I had no idea that I owned a book from the library of a very noteworthy American gentleman who also happened to have a family connection to me. Amos's 5th great granduncle married my 7th great grandaunt. My greatest joy in doing family history research is discovering connections and I certainly found a good one this week!