I have always been fascinated with history and how we connect to it. I must admit however that I have taken many things for granted over the years. For example my last name. Metcalf is not really a common American name. Not like Jones or Smith. But all my life people have asked if I were related to so and so. My answer has always been the same. No, all my family is from Michigan. My parents and myself were born in Flint, Michigan. My family is from Flint. All of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins with a few very limited exceptions live in Michigan. Additionally, of the people that I am asked if I am related to, the spelling of their last name is generally different.
I grew up and currently live in the southern tip of Indiana. What we call the tri-state is where Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois meet. It’s 9 hours from here to Flint. I know I have been trapped in the back seat of my dad’s car more times than I could count with my 2 little brothers on that road trip. 9 hours at a time that cell phones, tablets, and portable DVD players weren’t even conceived of. 9 long grueling hours! So I have always assumed that there is no way that I was related to any of the Metcalf’s, Medcalf’s, Metcalfe’s, or Midkiff’s in southern Indiana. No, where I am from is like a million miles away so no.
In September of 2014, my father passed away from pancreatic cancer. Horrible thing. Now, my dad was that guy. You know, The one who believes that he who dies with the most toys wins. If you suffer from this delusion let me assure you that he who dies with the most toys is a burden to his family. We spent 2 years trying to downsize my poor mother from a 5400 sq. ft home to about a third as much space closer to us. Part of the problem is that I am super sentimental, so I have a ton of worthless junk that I just can’t let go of. Part of what I took in the downsizing was a paper grocery sack filled with family history. Family trees, photos, etc. There was a ton of research done by one of my dad’s cousins and it fascinated me.
Apparently, in that bag, a genealogy bug was hiding and when it found it’s opportunity, it struck.
I signed up for an ancestry.com trial that I, of course, forgot to cancel. I couldn’t just let that money go to waste so I started using it and a whole world of information opened up for me. I was in awe of the sheer volume of information that was out there in other people’s family trees on all of the sites. Soon I had an awesome looking tree with over 10,000 individuals in it including some pretty cool historical figures. I had arrived and suddenly felt that I was an expert historian, especially because I had uncovered that all of the Metcalf’s I had been asked if I was related to, actually were relatives. And not so distant either. It seems that my great great grandfather settled in Dale, Indiana back in the 1800’s and then migrated to Missouri, and from Missouri to Michigan. <—Mind Blown!
And then I suddenly realized it was all pretty much worthless.
I found myself making assumptions and believing what other people had in their trees and began adding it to mine only to realize that there’s a whole lot of family trees out there that are nothing more than works of fiction. People with good intentions grasping at straws to make connections that don’t really exist just to see how far back they can go. Believe me, I know. I was guilty of it too. I started receiving emails asking me to prove my tree because apparently some of the sites that I belonged to had only 1 big tree and every assumption that I made and then contributed created a gross error for hundreds of thousands of other people. Thus I received a bash course in sourcing.
I have created and deleted so many trees over the last 18 months of research until finally, I decided to create this website. I have whittled that big nasty mess down to a few hundred well sourced and documented entries. I am making every attempt to properly research and source each branch of my tree. If I can’t find actual documents to back up my findings, it won’t be here. The tree published on this site is probably unique from any that you will find on the genealogy sites created for the masses in that every effort has been made to exclude other family trees as sources. I have decided to stick to documented facts only. Birth, marriage, death, and census records primarily with a few exceptions. I have joined “The Metcalfe Society” which has some very dedicated researchers and expert genealogists and with any luck, I believe that we can sort this mess out!
I have created this site as a public service to any and all Metcalf’s, Medcalf’s, Metcalfe’s, and Midkiff’s. My personal tree is divided into 4 main branches. 1 for each grandparent. They are Metcalf, Brazeal, Grammatico, and Lascelle. Same for Marie. Her primary branches are Magruder, Sparrow, Hayden, and Lewis.
If you have found your way here researching your own family tree and you share a common branch with one of us that can be proven with actual documentation and not just other peoples trees, I want to encourage you to join us. I believe that this will be an incredible journey and I pray that we will once again become family.
One thought on “The Tangled Mess of Ancestry”
I am Mary Boyers (Metcalf) first grandchild