Internet Search for Ancestors Simply Amazing

About a year ago I got completely obsessed with ancestry.com.  It all started when Dr. George Schweitzer who lectures and assists on genealogy at the East Tennessee History Center  gave me my “family tree.”  Like most of us, I knew about 3 generations back and not much more except a few legends that my parents had passed down.  My husband, William Dickson “Dick” Williams (who is actually the fifth WDW’s) has a very extensive and impressive lineage including First Families of Tennessee, Sons of the American Revolution, people in the Colonial Dames and even the Order of Charlemagne and that goes back a very long way!  On the other hand, I had very little information about most of my ancestors.  So, I joined ancestry.com and began the search which quickly turned into an obsession. Warning, it will happen to you as well. My first glimpse of where my fraternal grandmother’s people, the Gladneys, came from was again through ETHS’s director, Cherel Henderson.  She and Dr. Schweitzer were headed to Ireland and I thought the Gladneys came from Ireland but wasn’t sure.  She not only confirmed it through the internet but found the Gladney cemetery in Winsboro, SC, where “Widow Jane” Gladney came with her three sons in the mid-1700’s following the death of her husband.  All the Gladneys in America descended from Widow Jane and her three sons, including me and my fraternal grandmother.  I have now discovered the whole Gladney clan has an association that meets annually and I have visited the Gladney Cemetery in Winsboro where Widow Jane, her three sons and several descendants are buried.  My line was from Samuel, who fought in the Revolutionary War as did the other two sons. Even more astounding was a document I found while researching my father’s great grandfather, Lasley Odem.  We knew he was a Confederate solider and was taken prisoner by the Union Army and was sent to Illinois for his incarceration.  I actually found his “Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to the Union” that he had to sign to be released from his Union imprisonment.  That brought tears to my eyes.  How thankful I am that he did sign it and that the Union was saved. I also didn’t know about many early Virginia settlers, some I believe date back to early Jamestown.  I am still working on proof and that is going to take a little time but the stories that unfold while doing research is amazing. Here’s the best one though.  Dick’s family of Williams came from Wales to Virginia to North Carolina and his direct 3-G grandfather came to Greeneville, TN.  Dr. Alexander Williams who was one of...

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