Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July to My Extended Family

I created this timely blog on the 4th of July as a gift to my extended family including my children Adriane Ethridge and Christian Ethridge, my grandchildren, Dylan Ethridge, Andrew Ethridge and Jacqueline Ethridge. My step-daughter Sarah Ethridge and her daughter Emerson Ethridge. Also to my nephew Derek Hatley and his two daughters Bianca Hatley and Ava Hatley. And to my ex-husband, Davis Ethridge and my sister's ex-husband, Jack Hatley.

Happy 4th of July!

You are related to Thomas Jefferson!

In case you have forgotten the reason we celebrate the 4th of July, the Americans were fighting for their rights as subjects of the British crown in 1775. By the following summer, with the Revolutionary War in full swing, the movement for independence from Britain had grown and delegates of the Continental Congress were faced with a vote on the issue. In mid-June 1776, a five-man committee including Thomas Jefferson drew up a formal statement of the colonies’ intentions. The Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, written mostly by Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

I made the primary discovery last week that my ex-husband, Davis and Nita's ex-husband, Jack are coincidentally cousins. They grew up on opposites ends of Texas and met one time at my wedding in 1977. It is uncanny that Nita and I would marry cousins, wouldn't you say?

As I was leisurely having my morning coffee and reading Facebook posts, I found a photo of my nephew, Derek and his two daughters and decided to download it and place it on Ancestry. com. The ancestry website notified me that there was some updated info in the Hatley lineage. I've spent a considerable amount of time in the past ten years researching my side of the family yet I've not done much research into the Ethridge family because I didn't have any leads. But this little hit on the Hatley lineage lead me to an unexpected discovery and/or gold mine. After several hours of research, I discovered that Jack Hatley and Davis Ethridge are 5th cousins. My first clue was finding a woman named Sarah Elizabeth Ethridge born on June 15, 1841 in the Hatley lineage. After about eight hours of research I traced both the Ethridge and the Hatley lineages back to Thomas William Etheridge I born in England in 1564.

This information opened another can of worms. I discovered that Captain William Ethridge was married to Judith Marmaduke and then I noticed that her mother was Judith Randolph. The Randolph family is a prominent Virginia political family.The first Randolph to come to America was Henry Randolph in 1643. His nephew, William Randolph later came to Virginia as an orphan in 1669. Because of their numerous progeny, William Randolph and his wife, Mary Isham Randolph, have been referred to as "the Adam and Eve of Virginia ." The Randolph family was the wealthiest and most powerful family in 18th-century Virginia.

President Thomas Jefferson was the great-grandson of William Randolph and is the second cousin seven generations back of both my ex-husband Davis and Nita's ex-husband, Jack.

Yeah.... the 3rd President of the United States who oversaw the Louisiana Purchase leading the United States to double in size during his presidency.

I'll go into Robert E Lee being the great-great-great grandson of William Randolph at a later date. Today isn't the day to talk about the commander of the Confederate Army of North Virginia in the Civil War.