Tuesday, September 18, 2018

When Family Lines Intersect

Sometimes I think about that silly children's song, "I Am My Own Grandpa" when I consider my maternal ancestry.

Seems like I am always running into branches that double back on themselves.

For instance I just found that I am related to a specific family surname of OVERBY or OVERBEE by marriage through both my maternal Grandmother AND my maternal Grandfather's lines.

This Overby line goes back to John Overby.  Before 1860 his middle name was given as Wesley, perhaps named after John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism.
Currently no one has the definitive answer to where John was born....some say England, some say North Carolina.  All the records that can be found have him living in Wake County, North Carolina his entire life.....except for during the Civil War.
Family oral tradition is that John had a small plantation in North Carolina before heading off to fight the Yankees.  He was a POW for 4 years and had a hand crippled by a musket ball.

John Overby came home after the war to find his property had been confiscated and his 1st wife was dead.  Indications are that the wife, Catharine Cunningham Overby had died around 1855.  The 1860 census seems to support that Catharine died prior to 1860 as John and 4 children are listed in the same household in 1860, but no Catharine.  This means that John lost his wife about 10 years before the war.

After the war John Overby married again, to Elizabeth Frances "Betty" Cannada or Canady.  John also gains a new middle initial, "D." and many speculate that the "D" stands for David or Davidson.
John and Betty went on to have five children-twin sons Charles David and John David, Rosanna, Robert Clingman and William Burton.

My cousin Ruby....in the center of this photo(in jean jacket)......

had a brother Warren Rayford Sublett who died in 2017.  Ruby and Rayford are/were my mother's 1st cousins so my 1st cousins 1 x removed.  This connection is through my mother's father, Wirt Harper and his sister, Ollie Harper.  Ruby is Ollie's daughter and my mom was Wirt's daughter so my connection is through my maternal grandfather.

                               Warren Rayford Sublett

Rayford married a woman named Barbara Wills Overby.  Barbara's father was Clifton Lee Overby and Clifton's father was William Burton Overby, John D Overby's youngest child, making Barbara the great granddaughter of John Overby.  This link makes me related to the Overbys through marriage to my 1st cousin 1 x removed, Rayford Sublett.

While noodling around on my maternal grandmother's side of the family, I was filling in another of my mom's cousins' branches.  Mom's mom, my grandmother Lillian Vassar Harper had a sister Rosabel Vassar(my Great Aunt)who married Raymond Foster(Raymond is also related to me not only trhough marriage but directly through my 3 x Great Grandfather Wesley Baxter Foster, so my 2nd cousin 2 x removed).  Their second child was Hilda Janet Foster. 

Hilda dancing with her cousin's husband back in 2014 at the Family Reunion.
Hilda passed away in early 2016.
Hilda and my mom were quite close as children and remained close throughout their lives.

Cousin Hilda Foster's third husband(she had four)was Kenneth Sledd.  Kenneth's first wife was Barbara Ann Fuller.  This Barbara's parents were William Henry Fuller and Hattie Sue Overby.
There's that Overby surname again!

Hattie's parents were Martha Chitty and Charles David Overby.  Charles David was one of the twin son's of none other than John Overby and Betty Cannada/Canady.
This makes me relate by marriage to the same Overby family through Hilda Foster, my 1st cousin 1 x removed.
So through my maternal grandfather AND my maternal grandmother lines I am related by marriage to the same Overby family line.

And to just make things more confusing....how can it possibly get worse!?...lolz....I see that Barbara Ann Fuller second husband was John Robert Couch Jr..

John's father was Cleveland Mason Harper.  Hmmmm, I already had Cleveland Harper's father, Richard Washington Harper on my tree but it's not "my" direct Harper line.

Every time I find an answer it leads to new questions.  ;-)

Any interesting discoveries in your family tree lately?



  1. This i re-read three times and still dizzy . Fascinating

  2. interesting! I hope someday to have the time, and extra money for the subscription, to delve into all that more thoroughly. It was fun for me.

  3. My Mom's mother and father each had 3 siblings that married 3 of their spouse's siblings, so Mom's family is filled with double first cousins.
    TheHub's uncle's wife is also his his first cousin's, first cousin. So Margaret is Brenda's aunt and cousin. I guess it was even worse to be her dad because his niece was also his sister in law. Life gets interesting.

  4. I know a family sort of like Anne's. Three brothers married three sisters. The family of sister's were all three involved in incestuous relationships. The family of brothers were all ministers. I try not to think of it all.

    Sluggy, at least your family tree does not go straight up. It sort of twines around each other.

    I have no new news about any family genealogy. Yours is fascinating.

  5. I know two couples who divorced and swapped partners. Each couple had kids from first marriages, then had more from second marriages. Half siblings were also step siblings, LOL.


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