Today I attended the memorial for a cousin, Robert "Bob" Ethridge. Growing up we all knew him as Bobby, although I learned from the memorial service that he wasn't particularly fond of that name. It was a wonderful memorial. His son Josh, who I haven't had the pleasure of knowing much, spoke of his memories with his father, and dwelling a great deal on Bobby's love for his family, which included many Ewings. His mother Melba is a Ewing, one of the four girls and two boys which were siblings and children of Thomas Kelly and Sytha Brownlee Ewing of Gwinnett County Georgia. They are one of several Ewing families of Gwinnett who all descended from an original ancestor who immigrated to Georgia shortly after the American Revolution and was found paying tax on land in Jackson County in 1802.
Several of my cousins and their families expressed interest to me about catching up on the family history. Many knew that we had problems with the lineage as published by Margaret Fife, and were interested to know about the new breakthroughs. I promised to many to send them links to this very site, which has a basic framework of the genealogy for now, but will hopefully expand very soon to include everything... all the details, all the source documents, images, proofs, narrative, historical backstory, and so forth. I expressed to them my desire to hold the details for a bit longer until I could get all the conventional research and documentation in place to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt our lineage. This is important because many people have taken Margaret's research and conclusions in her book as gospel and are propagating the incorrect lineage all over the internet. When I publish the final, corrected, and proven lineage, I'm sure there will be naysayers. People don't like to be told their research is wrong. I know because I was one of them, and it took me about 9 years to get over it and move on.
For those of you who are new to this page and haven't followed my exploits of the past several years, I recommend you stop right here and start reading through this blog from the bottom.
For those of you who have been keeping up, I know I left you hanging after my March trip. While in Cecil County MD, I ran out of time and had to come home to work. But before I left I discovered a treasure trove of Ewing research that did not belong to the Ewing Family Association, but rather belonged to the Cecil County Historical Society, and hence was not moved to the Allen County Library in Indiana. There is an entire file cabinet up there that has a ton of research that I want to review and capture. This is part of my effort to leave no research stone un-turned to get to the truth of our lineage. I will be up there June 25-27.
One item that was on my list after talking to a member of the Barrow County GA Historical Society was a tip that one of the earlier churches in Jackson County (part of which is now Barrow County) was Thyratira Church, which was founded about the time our William was in the area. I checked this and confirmed that he indeed was not on record as having attended there, which is not to say he didn't, it's just not on record. In fact, I checked all of the churches in the area and haven't found him in attendance. There may be a backstory there, for if you refer back to my account of my Cecil County findings, his experiences with the family and the Church's response (keeping father Patrick in the fellowship in spite of marrying his wife's sister after his wife passed away, and children marrying cousins, William may have gotten fed up with the Church. That is only speculation, fur there were not many Presbyterian Churches in the area of Georgia that our William moved to and his family as well as the Whaley family, who raised his future wife Hannah, were staunch Presbyterian. And if you read the history of the Presbyterian Churches in the Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania areas, they were not likely to risk attending other denominations because of theological differences. But again I speculate. He's not on record at any churches in the area. I have an eight-year gap to close between the last documented appearance of William in Cecil County in 1792 and when we suspect he moved to Georgia. I only need to find how he got here. There may be hope yet.
My father recently ran across a possible reference to William and Hannah getting married in Morgan Co GA, but hasn't been able to find it again. If he were to achieve this, it might place William residing in another Georgia County before he was found in Jackson Co in 1802. That might give us the documented bridge, or at least part of what we need to wrap up my conventional research and proof. Again, we have already virtually proven the lineage by my DNA link to that family in Cecil County Maryland, and a strong candidate William born at exactly the same time that was said to have moved away in the right time frame. I just want to get the conventional proof so there can be no doubt.