Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rosa E. Morgan: Another Cousin and Rare Photo Discovered!

A few weeks back I was doing one of many Google searches examining my “Morgan” family line looking for anything I might have missed in a previous search. The connection I share to that branch of the family tree is through Rosa Emma Morgan, my great grandmother on my mother’s (Slack) side of the family. My search yielded a twelve year old post on a website from a person looking for information on some of the same ancestors I was searching for. Whenever I see something like that, I can’t help but wonder if I’m on the trail of an undiscovered relative.

I replied to the old post realizing that the past dozen years made it a long shot at best, and sure enough, the email came back as “undeliverable”. Taking a chance, I did another Google search just on the email address prefix (that part to the left of the “@” sign). When creating new email addresses, people often use familiar words and phrase for the first part of an address making the attempt worth a try. As it turned out the effort paid off! I found a newer email address with the same exact prefix, and the subject of this new search result concerned genealogical research. Good sign! From there, I shot off a preliminary email to the second address and back came a reply from my newest distant cousin, Darla Aytes of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma! The Internet just keeps making research better and better all the time.

After exchanging preliminary information, I found out that Darla descends from Rosa’s brother, Robert Lee Green Morgan (b. 22 Feb 1858 d. 24 Jan 1934). Robert was her maternal great grandfather. As a huge bonus, Darla shared a photo of Rosa Emma (shown above at top of post) with two of her sisters (from left to right)—Nancy Belle Morgan (b. 11 Mar 1868, d. 21 Jul 1956), Clara Jane Morgan (b. 1874, d. 19 Aug 1962) and Rosa Emma Morgan (b. 1 Nov 1878, d. 15 Jun 1937). This is only the second photo of Rose that I have ever seen. A fire in the 1920’s destroyed my great grandparent’s house along with much of Rosa’s keepsakes. What a discovery—thank you Darla!

Over the course of multiple emails, I also learned that Darla was traveling in the panhandle region of Florida. In an unrelated event, I had previously made her aware of another cousin I recently discovered, Kathryn Tilley of Destin, Florida. As it turned out, Darla was close by and wanted to meet her. After a few email exchanges, Kathryn and Darla were able to get together and share their research, thoughts and ideas. From that, I received a photo of both ladies (below, Kathryn left, Darla right).

I have come to appreciate my new cousin as a prolific and passionate amateur genealogist. Her work has provided new insight into the Morgan line of my family and some cool photos as well. In fact, she even provided a picture (below) of her great uncle and one of Rosa’s brothers— William Kinion Morgan (b. 29 Jun 1866, d. 26 Dec 1942) on the right of the photo, standing next to her mother’s father, James Thomas Grubb (b. 7 Sep 1878, d. 28 Oct 1959).

Darla even mentioned that it appears her grandfather James was wearing his “infamous toupee” in this ca. 1930’s photo. On second glance, I think she’s right! Honestly, I didn’t know they had toupees back then. That’s what I love about researching family history—you learn something new every day.


  1. Darla Aytes let me know she had some trouble replying to this post. It's my pleasure to lend a hand. Here are her comments:

    Accolades to you, Andrew, for putting this story together so well. Especially since you were a third party to my meeting Kathy Whitehead Twilley. In addition, I think it will be so very nice to have a "hunter" helping find the unanswered questions and hidden tidbits that wait to be discovered. I can say I'm as excited as I possibly could be to find my new cousins. This is only the beginning of a long and happy hunt of our ancestors...welcome aboard. Darla