I was always most interested in learning about the Haywood line, probably because much of my childhood was spent at my grandparents’ house with my great aunts & uncles over visiting all the time (I wish as a child I had known what a gift those times truly were). What turned an interest into a passion however was the release of the 1940 census in 2012.
An online family reunion
My name is Janine Haywood Bonfiglio, I’m a 5th great granddaughter of Thomas & Joannah Haywood. My line goes from them to:
Lewis Haywood Sr
Lewis Haywood Jr
George Washington Haywood
Albert Haywood Sr
& then my grandparents George F & Alta (Robards) Haywood.
I have been researching my genealogy off & on since I was a teenager. It all started with a project in a Social Studies class at Dansville (NY) Jr. High back in the 80s – thank you Mrs. Wood!
I believe it was a Facebook post from Ancestry.com giving free access to that 1940 census plus the 1930 census that piqued my interest. I looked up my grandparents in 1940, thinking how fun it would to be to find them as young adults with my young father. Yep, there they are, let’s look at 1930. There they are, living with Alta’s parents…wait a minute…who is that?! Along with the 4 of them were 3 other men listed as boarders. Huh… The house is small, like really small, how did they fit 7 people in there?? And why were these guys living there? Two of them were married, what’s going on?
I eventually decided they were probably workers at the “foundry” down the road as my grandma called it – the factory Foster Wheeler. Their families likely lived up in the rural hills surrounding Dansville, & they didn’t have a way to drive to & from work each day.
So that was the moment, that point when I was hooked. I had found an interesting story, something I hadn’t known about. I gave Ancestry my credit card info & I was off. Eight years later, I realize this truly is a life-long hobby!
As to setting up this site, Facebook comes into play again! I have connected with several cousins that I know & many I didn’t even know existed. We are of course spread all across the country. I wanted a place where we can all share old photos & memories & just get to know each other better. Plus, I wanted to share what I have of our family tree, & hopefully get more information to add to it.
So here we are, the Haywood Cousins. Please take some time & look around. Share anything you have to add. And share this site with any other Haywood cousins!