After posting my last blog entry, I started looking around at some genealogy resources. At Ancestry.com I found some amazing information about my family. I was looking at census data from 1930, 1920, 1910 and 1900. I found more information about my father’s side of the family more so than my mother’s. But, if you want to know something interesting, my surname (Koonce) is DEFINITELY of NC origin.
The census data provides interactive maps to show the distribution of surnames across the united states and for each year, there are more Koonce’s in NC than in any other state. The distribution is heavily concentrated in NC in late 1800’s, early 1900’s, and then becomes more widespread to TN, TX and a few other southern states. That is no surprise to me though. The area of NC where my father is from (Kinston/New Bern area) was heavily populated with Germans and Koonce is a German name. Since they had slaves and slaves ended up with the surnames of their slaveowners…I have a German surname.
But, a few things I did find out that I did not know before:
1) I knew the name of one of my great-great-great grandmother’s because my paternal grandmother had an obituary from 1966 and it mentions my great-great-great-grandmother’s name. But, from the 1930 census data where she is listed as a member of her son’s household, I learned her approximate birth year — she was 70 years old at the time and therefore born around 1860! (Through a similar method, I also was able to deterimine the approximate birth date of one of my paternal great-grandfather — information that I did not previously have).
2) I learned that in 1930, my maternal grandmother was living with her aunt and cousins at the time of the census. She was only 5 years old, but her and her next youngest brother were listed as membes of her aunt’s household. My mother said grandmother has never mentioned this, but it’s possible she doesn’t know!
3) And, I veriified some information from an old family bible. My paternal grandmother was named after her grandmother (my great-great-grandmother). Well, my great-great-grandmother remarried after the father of her children passed. In the 1930 census, she is listed with her new husband and her children are listed as his stepchildren. Then, I found her in the 1920 census as head of her own household, but guess what the very next family entry was — the family of the man she ended up marrying! I guess they were neighbors 🙂
So, I have had an exhilirating past couple of days looking and gathering all of this information. I can’t wait for the 1940 census to be released!