18 January 2009

Happy Dance Moment or Finding Laura Backus

In 2000 this message was sent to me via the Rootsweb PML. It was about 10:30 p.m. when my blurry eyes popped wide open in realization that the "Will of John Backus" post blasted through a genealogical brick wall. There was my Laura (Backus) Richmond, identified as a daughter of John Backus of Tomkins County, New York, in the post. Additional information provided to me by the poster (SLJ753) showed Laura Richmond as a resident of Lapeer County, Michigan, in 1863. Incontrovertible (if there is such a thing in genealogy) evidence that John Backus was the father of my Laura.

Laura, her husband Thomas P. Richmond, and daughter Cynthia (Richmond) More were some of my earliest subjects in 1989 when I started my genealogical research. Once I found the J.B. Richmond book (published in 1897) and realized that my ancestors were in it (see excerpt here), including Laura Backus, I started looking for Laura's place in the Backus family.

This document found in a family Bible (once owned by M. George Allen) stated that Laura Backus did indeed marry Thomas Richmond and that she was born in Turkey Hill, NY. After narrowing Laura's birthplace to Livingston County, I started looking for a Backus family in the area. Initially I found found Ebenezer Backus (John's brother and son of John the Revolutionary War veteran), but could not find a connection to Laura Backus. John Backus lived in Livingston County, NY, in 1850, so he may have been on my radar at the time, but was still a big question mark until the post popped up on my computer. I was shaking too much to do a really great happy dance when the connection was made. At that moment in 2000 I didn't even know that Laura connected me to Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins.


Robin Roberts said...

Congratulations on your discovery!! I know you have been looking for this for a long time! Please don't tell me this means you won't be visiting Lapeer any more...ha!

Palmsrv said...

Hi Robin,

This post is an account of one of my best "finds" that I wrote about for the Carnival of Genealogy hosted by

-- it was an oldie but a goodie. (I remember it as though it was yesterday!). Lapeer is in our plans as of now -- hope to see you and the other genealogists this summer. Thanks for reading my blog(s).


Bill West said...

Hi Cathy,
Interesting post. And I'm descended
from Stephen Hopkins as well through
Nicholas Snow and Constance Hopkins,
so you're another distant cousin
among the Genea-bloggers for me!

Looking forward to reading more of your blog.


wendy said...

Congrats! I love it when posts to Rootsweb suddenly help us with the connections and people we are looking for!