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Cousins I Never Knew I Had

"In the cookies of life, cousins are the chocolate chips!"

A genealogy research success story by Christopher Regan Ferree. "With the aid of my research, I am learning a lot about where I have been and met people who are part of where I am going."

chrisI was born in High Point, Guilford County, North Carolina next to Randolph County where many North Carolina Ferrees were born or moved to from Pennsylvania many years ago. Growing up in High Point I had two cousins who lived down the street from me and as far as I knew, they were the only Ferree cousins I had. There were many cousins I knew about on my mother's side of the family (Regans in California) but the only Ferree cousins I had any knowledge of were these two in High Point.

Beginning a Search

Years later I started research on my family history using the Personal Ancestry File genealogy program. I browsed the internet and found some sites where I could enter messages and receive replies. I also visited Paradise, Pennsylvania, and while there purchased a few books on Paradise history and the Ferree family historic sites.

Making Contacts

I soon started receiving replies to my inquiries on the internet from people who said we were descended from the same ancestors. I received e-mails from Charles Heisterkamp and Mike Smoke, two people who have in depth files on Ferree genealogy. I swapped GED com files with both, giving them information on my personal line (back to my great grandparents) and receiving their files. Mike is a Ferree descendant. Charles is an "honorary Ferree". I owe much to both in my search for these unknown cousins.

I also heard from others whose grandparents were brothers or sisters of my grandfather. I replied with my e-mail address and phone number and soon we were burning up the telephone lines with calls. All of a sudden I found I had many cousins that I had not known existed, and these cousins were as close on the chart as the two I had grown up with.

In addition, I found two new lines on my father's maternal side (which by the way were also on my father's paternal side because my grandparents were descended from a common couple four generations before). Any Ferrees who are descended from Joel T. Ferree who was married to Mary Mae Trogdon also are descended from the Trogdon and Julian line because Mary Trogdon was the daughter of Samuel Trogdon and Abigail Julian. These two families have a history in the United States as old as the Ferree family and there is much on these two lines and lots of interesting history. I even have met an eighty four year old Julian descendant who has a great website with the Julian line and I have talked to a Trogdon descendant who helped compile a Trogdon family book and website.

Complementing My Research

My research has been more than just plugging in dates and places of births, deaths, and marriages in my Personal Ancestry File program. I have also been adding stories about our ancestors plus actually talking to and meeting, when possible, my new living cousins, whether close like those described above or distant. In this research I have discovered relatives who are "every day" people and also some who are famous, including authors, political figures, and artists. It is great knowing there is so much family out there and now know we not only have newly found cousins (close and distant) but also new friends.

My Line of Descent

  • Daniel Ferree and Marie Warenbuer
  • John Ferree and Mary Elizabeth Musgrave
  • Solomon Ferree and Rebecca (?)
  • Daniel Ferree and Priscilla Ward
  • Joel T. Ferree and Mary Mae Trogdon
  • Samuel Ferree and Keziah Ann Giles
  • Calvin Madison Ferree and Mary Elma Lamb
  • Hobart Garland Ferree, Sr. and Madge Trogdon
  • Hobart Garland Ferree, Jr. and Rosemary Regan
  • Christopher Regan Ferree, Mary Kathleen Ferree ( my sister), William Mark Ferree (my brother) who died as an infant.
Calvin Madison Ferree
Mary Elma Lamb Ferree

The search for my family roots has led to many interesting and great discoveries and connected me with a family I did not know existed. As one of my maternal uncles wrote in his autobiography, "You won't know where you are going until you know where you have been".