Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kiss-Up Ann Saves the Day...

It's exciting to "meet" new ancestors, especially ones that have left some clues about what they were like. In trying to discover the parents of my GGGGrandmother Ann Giffin Heagy from Gettysburg, I came across two Giffin wills in her hometown, newly digitized and available on These wills enabled some large growth in our known family tree.

The first will, dated 1794 was by a Stephen Giffin, Sr., and he mentions mentions a wife and daughter, both named Ann. Hooray!  Until I realized that the daughter would have been way too old to be my Ann.  Also, the daughter Ann never married or had children.   The will also included a Stephen Giffin (Jr.), and his son, Andrew.  Andrew is a buzzword here, since our Ann named her son David Andrew, and the David part would have been after her husband David Sr.  Are you confused yet?

To clarify, we now have three Anns near Gettysburg, where before we only had one.
1.  Matriarch Ann (insert maiden name) Giffin, wife of the will writing Stephen Sr.
2.  Ann the "Maiden Aunt" Giffin, daughter of #1.
3.  Annie Giffin Heagy, who until now was the end of the line.  Now all I had to do was connect her to the others.
For my own brain, I've had to assign these Anns some nicknames because, I didn't mention before, I keep getting Annie Giffin Heagy mixed up with:
4.  Hoopskirt Ann:  Ann E. Hartzel Heagy, who married Annie Giffin's son David Andrew.
5.  Second Wife Ann:  Annie Meritt Heagy, who married David Andrew after #4 passed away.
 I'll tell you about Ann #3's nickname in a minute.
Hoopskirt Ann

Second Wife Ann, not blood related

David Andrew Heagy, son of Ann Giffin Heagy, husband to Ann Hartzel and Ann Meritt. And very handsome.

The second will turned out to be by that unmarried, maiden aunt Ann, who lived to a ripe old age.  (Maiden Aunt is the polite way to say Old Maid).  In the will she leaves several items to one Ann Giffin, daughter of Andrew Giffin of Gettysburg "for her services and attention to me and my sister Elizabeth".  She also left young Ann the house, with a gentle condition "I do hereby desire the said the same Ann Giffin continuing to take care of me and my sister Elizabeth during our lives."  Bam!  This caretaker Ann Giffin is the right age, in the right place at the right time to be our Ann Giffin (as supported by the 1810, 1820, 1830 Census).  She would have been the great niece of Auntie Ann, and also the great granddaughter of Stephen Sr. who wrote the will.  In my mind I have been irreverently calling my Ann Kiss-Up Ann, because she was taking care of her rich Auntie.  I don't know, if I were her, I might have played up the fact that I was Auntie's sweet and dutiful namesake.

The whole situation reminds me of Jo in Little Women reading to her cranky old Aunt Josephine, hoping for some financial support and perhaps an inheritance.  In any case, her descendants are very lucky that Kiss Up Ann did her duty, because it prompted Auntie Ann to record the relationship in her will and gave me a boost up over that research brick wall.

So, to guide you up the tree, we are related as follows:
Me>Mom>Grandpa Heagy>Charles Aaron Samuel Heagy>Charles Heagy>David Andrew Heagy>Ann Giffin>Andrew Giffin>Stephen Giffin, Jr.>Stephen Giffin, Sr.

More on this new branch later...George Washington will be making an appearance.

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