The Gift…A Hickerson Cousin


Merry Christmas to Me.

Merry Christmas to Me.

Yep, I’m singing a fine little ditty today.

You see, I received a gift….a really special gift….all thanks to DNA and a cousin.

Well, actually the cousin IS the gift.

Let me explain.

I met a new cousin thanks to a DNA match between the Hickersons and the Vannoy brood.

Bill Hickerson matches one of our Vannoy cousins, and since we have been trying, for years, to prove (or disprove) that Sarah Hickerson and Daniel Vannoy were the parents of Elijah Vannoy, you’ll understand my excitement when I saw William Hickerson’s match to one of our Vannoy cousins…and subsequent excitement when more matches were discovered, confirming our Hickerson roots.

But this story was just beginning.

When I contacted Bill, he was very receptive and e-mailed me right away.

He and I exchanged pleasantries for a bit, and then got down to brass tacks.

  • Who are you?
  • How do you connect?
  • What do you have?
  • I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.

Yep, that’s the reader’s digest version of conversations between genealogists, genetic and otherwise, researching the same lines.

Except, this time I didn’t have much in the treasure trove…and he had a lot…starting with his genealogy.

Bill is double descended from Charles Hickerson and Mary Lytle, the parents of both Sarah Hickerson, my ancestor, and his ancestor, David Hickerson.

WooHooo….in DNA parlance this means that he got a double dose of Hickerson DNA and that he stands a better chance of passing some of it on than if he only had one dose.

Bill then asked if I was interested in old letters…he had some old letters and he would send them if he could find them.



Now, I’ve heard this before in the past and it often means the letters are never found, so I try not to get too excited.  But not in Bill’s case.  He found them the same day.

And if you’re wondering why I think this is so exciting, take a look at this paragraph….

hickerson letter

Then, when we were in the process of figuring out who has what, he mentioned that he has the marriage bond of Daniel Vannoy and Sarah Hickerson.




Oh Happy Day.

Not only that, but he found it as well.

Vannoy Hickerson marriage bond

Oh yea…..Bill is a keeper….that’s for sure.

I asked Bill if he has ever been back to Wilkes County, NC and if he knew where Charles’ land was located, as Charles sold it to his son David, Bill’s ancestor, before he died.

Next thing I knew, in my e-mail was Charles Hickerson’s land grant.

Charles Hickerson land grant 2

Can you see me doing the happy dance????

Snoopy happy dance

Not only is there a lot of joy in finding your ancestors, there is also a lot of joy in finding your cousins.  Cousins who are willing to share are a blessing.

When I asked Bill if I could write about this experience, using him as a “good example,” here was his reply.

“It’s important for us to encourage sharing family history information. It’s a nice way of giving back and honoring all the researchers of the past who’ve been so generous with their time and expertise.”

I can tell you, I really REALLY like my new cousin.  It’s such a breath of fresh air to find people with such good information and so very willing to share.

But then, it got even better yet, as if that was even possible… because Bill mentioned that his father might be willing to do the Family Finder test, which would put us one generation further back.

HIS FATHER.  Who hooo..


HIS FATHER…who has now agreed to DNA test.

I really, REALLY hope Bill is on Santa’s “good example” list, because he truly deserves to be.

I think Bill IS my Christmas present…along with the land grant and marriage bond!

Here’s hoping you get a wonderful new cousin for Christmas too!!!




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28 thoughts on “The Gift…A Hickerson Cousin

      • My Wilkes County lines are Baker and Meadows; Bakers particularly, I believe, were on the Yadkin River. We’ve talked about Claiborne County Harrells before. Here is a Claiborne County Vannoy, though … Nora Jane Vannoy was the mother of Clarence Campbell, who married Ida Mae Greer, my grandma’s second cousin, and a Chittum-Monday descendant.

  1. Wow thanks for sharing, Bless your new cousin. What encouragement to the rest of us. For me so far Familyfinder has not made an obvious link but maybe soon.

  2. WOW! That is such a gift. And IMHO an excellent example of genealogy karma. You have given all of us so much, and a big chunk of karma is comin’ back.

    Joyous holiday season to you and your new extended family.

  3. Congratulations, such a beautiful gift to share . It actually gave me goosebumps and some tears in my eyes.

  4. What a delightful post! Finding those cousins IS so important in our genealogy research! It reminds me of almost 40 years ago when I corresponded with Dorothy Thrawley on our Linton family – she was a treasure in her own right, but willing to share what she found. We spent a good ten years or so corresponding and sharing information. But more than that, she was a great encourager! I miss her so! You received a wonderful Christmas gift!

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  6. Great story Bobbi finding a match and then finding more information and others willing to do a DNA test. Good luck.

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