Or "Rednecks, Divining Rods and Pure Dumb Luck"
by Uncle Hiram
Our mutual hobby (Obsession) is fueled by intense research, whether its running the Court Houses, haunting the libraries, staring at Fiche (Grin) or Cemetery hoppin. We have discussed at least in passing all of these but this month I wanna tell yall about the thing every amateur genealogist lives for, PURE DUMB LUCK.
Over the Memorial Day weekend I took a trip down to Van Zandt County to do a little Cemetery hoppin. I stopped at the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society Library and picked up a copy of their cemetery guide. (Graveyards of Van Zandt County, TX Volume A, Southeast Section (I20 to TX19)
Now some of yall may have guessed I aint a Professional or even a very conventional Genealogist. I tend to try things "normal" people would dismiss as crazy. Which explains why I took a Divining Rod to the cemetery. A well respected AOL Gen Room Chat host from Oklahoma that is a good friend of mine sent me an email describing their use in locating unmarked graves. So there I was in a small East Texas cemetery near the Van Zandt – Henderson County line with my book, Divining Rod, Graph Paper, Pencils and 3 cameras making notes, taking photo's and wandering from grave to grave. I noticed a couple of other people when I got there, I waved at them and basically forgot about them.
I was examing the headstone of a James Marion Hocutt (a distant cousin) taking photo's and wondering what his relationship was to the other Hocutt's in this cemetery when I heard a voice behind me. "Boy, what you doing to my Daddy's Grave?"
I turned around and saw a 6ft tall Good Ole Boy wearing a baseball cap that said "Hocutt Cement" frowning at me. I very quickly explained my name was Hocutt and I was doing a family tree for our family.
He looked at me and shouted over his shoulder "Honey, this little guy says he is a Hocutt and he's doing a family tree. Aint that a kick in the head?" I ended up going over to their house and discussing their branch of the family over BBQ ribs and home made Cole Slaw. Once again we come to the end of one of our Adventures with a few lessons learned. (1) Do your research, know who you are looking for in the Cemetery (2) Keep an open mind don't dismiss a research method just because it sounds crazy and (3) Some times you just get lucky.
-Adios and Keep Smiling!
- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)