Days Gone By - stories from the pastGenealogy Information

Ahhhh. . . this is the reason I have so much trouble researching my family history!

It is December 31, 1852 and Henry Hydenwell sits at his desk. He dips his pen in ink and begins to write his New Year’s resolutions.


  1. No man is truly well-educated unless he learns to spell his name at least three different ways within the same document. I resolve to give the appearance of being extremely well-educated in the coming year.
  2.  I resolve to see to it that all of my children will have the same names that my ancestors have used for six generations in a row.
  3. My age is no one’s business but my own. I hereby resolve to never list the same age or birth year twice on any document.
  4. I resolve to have each of my children baptized in a different church, either in a different faith or in a different parish. Every third child will not be baptized at all or will be baptized by an itinerant minister who keeps no records.
  5. I resolve to move to a new town, new county, or new state at least once every ten years, just before those pesky enumerators come around asking silly questions.
  6. I will make every attempt to reside in counties and towns where no vital records are maintained or where the courthouse burns down every few years.
  7. I resolve to join an obscure religious cult that does not believe in record keeping or in participating in military service.
  8. When the tax collector comes to my door, I’ll loan him my pen, which has been dipped in rapidly fading blue ink.
  9. I resolve that if my beloved wife Mary should die, I will marry another Mary.
  10. I resolve not to make a will. Who needs to spend money on a lawyer?

Faith and Courage: A Novel of Colonial America Inspired by real people and actual events, the family saga of colonial America continues with Ambrose Dixon’s family. Faith and Courage presents the religious persecution of Quakers in Pre-Revolutionary War days of America intertwined with a love story.

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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10 comments

  1. Donna, that would be funny if it weren’t so true!

  2. Karen Gibson

    Haha. Unfortunately, too true. Genealogy can be frustrating!

  3. Robert Rainey Morris

    Yep County records burned by accident or intentionally by British or Yankees or just blown away by a tornado!!!

  4. Or your county has been formed from 5 others and you don’t know where to begin, or some well meaning clerk took the land record book home to work on it and his children tore it up. Other possibilities are that an ancestor did not really marry his third wife that you are descended from. Alas ! !

  5. Darby Weaver

    No – It was just fraud and misrepresentation.

    That’s why they did it.

  6. Darby Weaver

    With a name like hidden well – one ought to learn how it was that Alabama became hidden so well in fraud and deception even by those who were not intent to do so.

    So it might seem.

    Fraud or misrepresentation has no statute of limitations.

  7. The truth is even the illiterate and uneducated Choctaw Nation of Indians in Mobile County Alabama were quite well documented despite being told otherwise.

    Sorry – the church may have burned but the census records did not. When they were altered it was usually concerning details and not always the basic facts.

    Not always true but mostly.

    Everyone can usually be traced to their earliest ancestors who made it to the USA.

    Despite much pretense to the opposite.

    There are reasons for everything.

    Take another look.

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