This post is part 1 of a three part series telling the story of a genealogy quest to extend a family line beyond a dead end that lasted over 3 decades. It includes many names, dates, and places because those are central to much of what genealogy is all about, however the posts focuse on the quest. I hope they inspires others facing similar roadblocks and provides some ideas and insights that might help you along the path a little faster than I was able to trod.
I first turned to family history about 1980. Previously, my own family only knew our direct Polson genealogy to my father’s grandfather, William Alexander Polson who married a Cherokee woman in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).
With some help from my family, and tremendous help from several others that had already researched the ancestors of my great-grandfather Polson, my direct family was quickly extended to included my great-great grandfather Jasper Alexander Polson, born in north west Arkansas, Washington County, in 1839. At the same time, I learned Jasper Alexander Polson’s father, William G. Polson, previously of Lincoln County Tennessee born about 1809. Earlier in his life, William G. Polson spelled his last name as Polston.
With minimal effort on my part, I had quickly extended my direct Polson line another two generations, but the trail abruptly ended there. As the years went by I was able to learn and then prove the “G” in William G. Polson stood for “Greer” and that he and/or his family had at one time or another said he was born in a host of different states. If I recall correctly, various documents have him born in KY,TN,AL, and GA. I posted my work online, History of the family of William G. Polson, hoping to find others who could help me further extend the line, but nothing came of it.
I learned of a Mary Henrietta Polson similar in age to my William G. Polson, that married Josiah Norwood and lived among many of my Polson ancestors in Washington County, Arkansas. But I was never able to tie her directly to my family.
I learned the 1830 Lincoln County, Tennessee census showed William G. Polston with what appeared to be a “Jr.” after his name, while living next door to an older gentleman also named William Polston. This fit with the research of others, William G. Polson’s father was named William Polston. But I wanted more than just a name, who was he? Read More→