Sunday, December 12, 2010

Evidence indicates...

I was saddened to read that Elizabeth Edwards had died this week. Since I now live in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, area, it was local news for me, as well as a story of National importance. I admired her.

While reading stories about her, I discovered that her mother's maiden name was "Thweatt". (See Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer at 61, page 2). This piqued my interest because my husband, John's g-g-grandmother's name was Mary Eliza (Thweatt) Clark. I wondered if there might be a family connection between John's family and that of Mrs. Edwards. Below I'll list the steps I took to search for information that indicates that Elizabeth Edwards and my husband share a common ancestor!

I tried using Google to see if I could find any of her family info posted on the internet, but I didn't see anything beyond the name of her mother. Most people don't publish much information about living people in their online genealogies. However, a very few helpful people had already updated their databases at Rootsweb with Mrs Edwards' date of death, so that a search for "Elizabeth Anania" led me to this information: Mary Elizabeth Anania. Her pedigree from that database shows her g-g-grandfather was named Nicholas Booker Thweatt, whose parents were named Howard and Elizabeth (Echols) Thweatt, but there the database stopped. Thankfully, Rootsweb makes it easy to search for an individual in other people's databases. I clicked on the name "Nicholas Booker Thweatt" and near the bottom of his page I clicked on the link that reads "Search WorldConnect". I was shown three databases containing a man with that name. By random, I chose the second one in the list and was able to follow his ancestors back to a man named Henry Thweatt whose wife's name was Hannah Stanley. Bingo! This couple is in my database for John's family. Henry Thweatt was the brother of John's 6th g-grandfather, John Thweatt, and this indicates that John and Mrs Edwards' common ancestors were the parents of John and Henry Thweatt: James Thweatt and his wife whose name is unknown to me. (I see that other people believe she may have been Mary Lee.)

If the information posted on Rootsweb is correct, then John A. Clark and Elizabeth (Anania) Edwards shared a common 7th great-grandfather, which according to the chart HERE, makes them 8th cousins!

Rest well, cousin Elizabeth! If you would like to see more info, visit her virtual grave at Find a Grave.


  1. Hi Cousin! I admired her too and have been very sadden by her passing. She was so courageous. Glad to see you back blogging.

  2. I have chosen you for the "One Lovely Blog Award!" Please visit my blog, Heritage Happens: for your badge and acceptance rules.


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