Back in February, inspired by all the genealogy books I design, I made a search of my own and wrote about what I discovered in Genealogy Surprises. Nearly two months later, I finally called High Point Museum in North Carolina where our ancestral cabin is preserved, a cabin likely built by the younger brother of Anthony Hoggatt, whom I’m descended from, on their father’s land.
From my visit to the museum’s website, I already knew they sold a “Hoggatt Cabin” ornament and a CD with information on the Hoggatt family and cabin. The woman I spoke with who runs the store also told me of a genealogy book they sold at the Hoggatt reunion back in 2004. Having thought they’d sold out of all the copies available, the manager of the museum had recently found three more stored away. When the woman told me this, I promptly agreed I was very lucky to be able to buy one of those as well. After informing me I have a HUGE family, she also asked if I could send another staff member an e-mail with my information and which of William and Mary Hoggatt’s children I was descended from as she keeps a running database of all my cousins and I.
Since that phone call, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of that book and CD. Will it have more information on my family? Will I find out about some of those many cousins? What will I find within its pages?
Well, today it arrived and I have been pouring over the pages. A lot of research was done for the book and I am so grateful to have it. Among my favorite finds is the story of Jane Hoggatt, only sister to my ancestor, Anthony Hoggatt. Frequently mentioned in the records of the local Quaker meeting, the researcher states, “It’s difficult to know exactly what she was doing, but wishing to travel ‘on truth’s account’ appears in one record, and she attended yearly meeting in N.C. [North Carolina] in 1754. Perhaps she was a preacher or wished to be one.” Being part of the Quakers myself, I agree with the researcher’s conclusion. A traveling minute is given when someone travels in the ministry to another meeting or Quaker gathering. I’ve been given traveling minutes myself over the years when I’ve gone to speak or take part in ministry. I also find it interesting the two oldest sons of William Hoggatt are given five shillings each in his will but nothing is known of them, at least when the book was written back in 2004. We have information on every other child but not them. Why is that? Another of my favorite finds is about a nephew of Anthony’s who “was well known to be a preacher and prophet at Springfield Friends Meeting. He was also known as a potter.” Abigail Hunt Blair is recorded as remembering his “prophetic visions” and that “He was a preacher of ‘many peculiarities’ and yet there was a depth of spiritual discernment that often created a sensation in the meeting.”
As I shared in “Genealogy Surprises,” it means a lot to me to know I’m not the first Quaker preacher and prophet in my family nor am I the first woman of my family to be a traveling minister among Friends. I have a long-standing tradition behind me of artists and preachers, of leaders and teachers of spiritual depth and courage. It’s a tradition I hope to uphold with grace and integrity and is one I hope to learn more about as I do additional research of my own.
What family history gems have you found?