Freaky Friday’s ~ This Really Surprised Me!

freakyfridayHave you ever found an Ancestor that really surprised you? One you never would have thought could be related to you. Well, 4 years ago I discovered that I am related to General Robert E. Lee. I couldn’t believe it. I had every intention to write a blog about him, but I never did.

Gen RE Lee

I have a lot of Ancestors who fought on both sides in the Civil War. For whatever reason, they really believed in their cause and they were willing to sacrifice for it, even if it was the price of their life. Some paid the price by being seriously wounded during battle and some came home unable to cope with what they had seen and done. I think I didn’t want to write about General Lee because I had a hard time with what he was fighting for.


Gen US Grant


Yesterday, I had a change of thinking. Not because I changed my mind about him, but because I discovered that I was also related to General Ulysses S. Grant. This was one of those “Freaky” moments I have been writing about.


Gen. Ulysses S. Grant                                                             Gen. Robert E. Lee


They are both my 4th Cousin, 7 times removed


They both come from my Hayes family line


They both were 63 years old when they died


They both reached the rank of General by the end of the War


They fought against each other in 11 Battles


List of Battles:

Battle of Fredrick, Appomattox Courthouse, Cold Harbor, 2nd Battle of Petersburg, 3rd Battle of Petersburg, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Battle of the Wilderness, Totopotomoy Creek, Overland Campaign, Siege of Petersburg, and Battle of Richmond.


Lee Surrendered to Grant on April 10, 1865


Both Grant and Lee fought in Gen. Winfield Scotts’ unit during the Mexican American War


 I don’t know about you but to me that is FREAKY!



I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

I Can Use A Little “Wisdom”

wisdomI have been doing Genealogy research for over 20 years. When I first discovered about 10 years ago I knew that it was a Godsend. I knew it was going to make research so much easier. I transferred all of my written Family Tree to the website and I spent a lot of time finding my Ancestors.


Fast forward to the present day. On July 1st it was the 153rd Anniversary of the start of the 3 day battle at Robert E. LeeGettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Confederate Army was led by General Robert E. Lee. When I read this I remembered that I had some Lee’s in my Hughes line and I thought “wouldn’t that be weird if my line and General Lee’s line were related?” I went searching the tree and sure enough, Lee was my 4th cousin 7x removed. My 10th Great Grandfather was Lee’s 4th Great Grandfather. I got excited and announced it via Facebook to all of my Hughes/Hayes family. I posted a photo of Lee with just a quick explanation and a promise to post the lineage link later.

A couple of days ago I started to do just that. Imagine my surprise and great distress to find that when I first joined Ancestry I had entered this online Genealogy world as a “clickophile”! As I was becoming a professional Genealogist I had gone through most of my trees and corrected a tremendous amount of mistakes that I had loaded that I had gotten from other peoples trees. So much of what I had originally linked to was undocumented and not researched. I spent a year and a half going through both my maternal and paternal lines. I thought I had done a complete job…WRONG!

I started with the lineage of Robert E. Lee and traced him back to Col. Richard Henry Lee, our common denominator ancestor. Then I started going back down the tree towards me. The problem is I got stuck about half way down to my 6th Great Grandfather John Wisdom. The only documentation I had on him was his marriage information. Everything else was garnered from someone else’s’ tree! AND that isn’t the worst of it. John was born in 1738 and I had his daughter being born in 1746…he was only 8 years old. Now I am having to do some intense research trying to put the correct pieces together. Here I had announced to the family this new finding and now I can’t say positively that it is true. I am totally embarrassed that here I am, a professional, yet I had this glaring mistake in my own tree. I realize that as we go farther back we have multiplied the number of “Grandparents” and it can be easy to overlook one or two, but that doesn’t make this less disturbing to me.

The moral of this story is these few points: 1) If you are new to or Genealogy do not justmistakes click on those little leaves, blindly trusting that what comes up belongs to your ancestor. 2) If at any time you were a “clickophile” you should go back and make sure the information you added was not erroneous and if it fixes it and 3) I am ashamed to admit that I should have used better “Wisdom” when I was adding ancestors to my Wisdom line.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on and You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.