I can’t believe I’m only getting around to posting this, but last week I had a great connection on my Koonce ancestry. I was contacted by a distant cousin after she saw my great-grandfather, Barfield Koonce, on my tree on Ancestry.com. She sent me a message and we were able to speak the same night (I’ll refer to her as KM). We were both so excited to find each other!
It turns out that she and I share ancestry from Isariah/Mariah Koonce (b. 1839 – 1919?) of Craven County, North Carolina. I am descended from Isariah’s daughter Caroline, who was Barfield’s mom. MK is descended from a sister of Caroline’s whom I never knew about — her name was Fannie. MK had been home over the Thanksgiving holidays visiting her great-aunt Mary Koonce and Mary shared with her handwritten notes she’d done about the family tree.
Mary’s list is not quite in family tree format, but the names of my family members are on it. When I started telling MK how I’d come to verify that Caroline was Barfield’s mom – namely by working on information shared with me by a cousin that Barfield had a sister named Agnes, MK replied that yes, Agnes was on her great-aunt’s list!
Here’s a snapshot of Mary’s notes:
my Barfield is there, his mom Caroline, along with his sister Agnes – and then Isariah is there too as the mother of Fannie. It was so much to take in!
From MK, via her aunt, I learned that Isariah’s father was white and that the slave master had taught daughter Fannie to read and write. There are other family stories as well that she shared, including some suspicion that even though Isariah married James Koonce, James may not have been Fannie & Caroline’s birth father. What?? You mean I’m not a Koonce after all? I can’t wait to further explore these areas of potential research with MK… utterly amazing!
MK also shared that Mary was married to Harvey Koonce, who was related to Barfield Koonce but she wasn’t sure how. As I looked back over my notes, I realized that Mary’s husband Harvey “Lamb” Koonce (1920-1982), is the brother of my grandfather, William Koonce Sr. – MK’s great-Aunt Mary is my great-aunt too! Wow.
Headstone of my great-uncle, Harvey Koonce. Buried in Mitchell Cemetery, Craven County, North Carolina
I am very much looking forward to continual correspondence and research with MK – my newly found cousin.