Genealogy Ramblings

Genealogy Ramblings – Family Stories – Fact or Fiction?

I’m sure every genealogist has heard some rather unbelievable family stories over the years.  But before you are ready to throw them out, examine them once again to see if there could be some truth lurking behind the fantastic stories!  A prime example on my dad’s side of the family – my aunt always asserted that we were related to Billy the Kid.  Aunt Catherine could never give me more details than that one simple fact.  She did know the story came from her dad’s side of the family.  I smiled politely and listened – then dismissed the notion as nonsense.  Wasn’t I surprised years later to find the name of Pap’s great-grandmother – Arena Kidd!  She married Tillotson Ross.  They named their son William, probably called him Billy.

As stories are handed down from generation to generation they get turned around a bit, a little embellishment added here and there.  But if you look closely enough there’s generally a kernel of truth hidden somewhere in the middle!  And it sometimes turns out to be a gem!

3 replies »

  1. I believe this is a branch of my family you are talking about here. I heard the same stories but know little about my ancestry on that side. My mother was Norma Kidd and had three brothers, William, Elymer, (can’t remember the 3rd,) and two half sisters…

    • Arena Kidd married Tillotson Ross September 23,1824, in Madison County, Kentucky. They had 11 children: James, Lydia, Jane, William, Elizabeth, Fatima J., Frances M., Nancy, Joseph Mitchell, Richard Thomas and Mary Ann Ross. Tillotson died before 1845. Arena married secondly Henry A. Matherly, July 8, 1849, in Washington County, Kentucky. They had 3 children: Mountford, and the twins, Harford and Mandy Matherly. Do any of these names sound familiar? Tillotson Ross’ parents were George and Lydia Ross. I don’t have any other children for them – am sure there were, I just don’t have their names.

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