Every time I get a notification from our site, I want to respond, but I have to budget my time these days. My family is for the most part well and I’m in a place where I’m able to start doing genealogy again, so here goes.

The substance of this site is in the comments, so I’m going to go over those, oldest first, and work my way up. Then I’ll get to emails, again oldest first, and work through them. I hope to finish by Christmas. If you don’t have an answer to an existing query, just ask again. The work we do is 100% volunteer and unpaid. I’m moving toward certification in the US and UK, but that’s a process. Sometimes the needed information is behind a paywall or requires an in-person visit to a local history center, and when that happens we’ll tell you where to go and what to look for. During Covid, the places that are not closed outright have very limited hours, although you’re still able to make research requests over the phone or via email. So the tools are there, we just have to adjust our ways of making the best use of what’s available.

I want to thank the co-founder and moderator of HGA, Dan Hyde of PA, for continuing to maintain the site and answer questions in my absence. Tom Hyde of TN and Ed Hyde of TX continue to compile source information and put the pieces together and we’re grateful that they’re part of the team. To all those who’ve shared information or answered questions from other readers, I can’t thank you enough. Especially those who’ve taken charge of a particular line and made corrections as more documents come to light.

Our long-term projects are unchanged. Humphrey Hide of CT is still first. I set out to do a writeup on Humphrey about 7 – 8 years ago, thinking it would be easy to compile a few paragraphs of facts about him, just like our other writeups. What I encountered was unexpected. My focus has always been to uncover the story, and to do that, I found I had to put the pieces together around his absence. So it’s not your typical genealogy writeup, especially since I was never able to actually find him. But there is someone who did.

Myrtle Stevens Hyde, FASG, is one of only 50 lifetime fellows appointed by the American Society of Genealogists. The 50 are the best of the best, rockstars of genealogy. She completed her work on Humphrey several years ago. If you’ve been following about Humphrey, she’s the person I’ve been alluding to, all this time. She is planning on making her work on Humphrey into a free, downloadable booklet.

The next long-term project will be Elizabeth Leatherwood, who married Benjamin Hyde. One notable work of fiction, Thirteen Moons, by award-winning author Charles Frazier, has already touched on the subject. But the real story is more intricate, and shapes the run up to the Civil War. Author Allison Hedge Coke is working on this one and I hope to collaborate with her.

Next projects include America and Britain’s first celebrity, Massachusetts tribe member, Praying Indian, and master storyteller Sam Hide (not to be confused with Deacon Samuel Hide/Hyde of MA born 1610, although they both knew of one another). At one time, he was believed to be a character of American folklore along the lines of Paul Bunyan. But he was very real, and possibly of mixed race. The evolution of his stories over time became co-opted into narratives about stereotypes and trust. I encourage you to research him on your own.

We’re having a family zoom tomorrow, and between now and then I’m going to try to learn how to use funny filters in the middle of things, like suddenly turning oneself into a potato with lips. It’s rewarding to have serious discussions with potatoes or otherwise visually filtered individuals.

From all of us at HGA, be safe, be kind to one another over the holidays, and hopefully by this time next year, we’ll be able to give all the hugs in person that we want to give right now.

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