Remembering stories of "Uncle Rush" throughout my life, I felt certain my aunt might provide further details to uncover. Assuming for years that "Uncle Rush Hobbs" was the brother Rush of my great-grandmother Elvira Hobbs, I wondered if my aunt had much contact with the much elder ancestor.
"Yes, I remember Uncle Rush. We spent a lot of time visiting Uncle Rush and Aunt Gale." But the details began to blur as she described years knowing our Hobbs ancestor.
How could that be?, I wondered. "Uncle Rush Hobbs" must have died only a few years after my aunt was born. It's not possible for her to have years of contact with the much older great-uncle.
Reviewing, rereading and pondering my Hobbs family tree; my mind went back and forth second-guessing my research.
And then my genealogical light bulb clicked on and I was struck by the realization that for years, the "Uncle Rush Hobbs" that was so endeared by my mother and aunt was not at all their uncle.
He must have been a younger generation Rush Hobbs, I thought: Perhaps a son of one of great-grandmother Hobbs' siblings. And with that, my light bulb brightened as I furiously began placing each of my Hobbs ancestral uncles and aunts in the Ancestry.com search engine.
And voila! I found it.
The "Uncle Rush Hobbs" that my mother and aunt so dearly loved was not their uncle at all. He was the cousin to my grandfather: A son of a brother of great-grandmother Elvira Hobbs. And I found the younger Rush living with his father only a few miles from our family home. The "Rush" name appears to have been passed through several generations; an all too familiar genealogical perplexity and frustrating phenomenon.
So why was the familial misnomer of "uncle" used for dear cousin Rush? That question will most likely go unanswered. But that one little inquiry led to a whirlwind of an inquisition, resulting in the further discovery of more Hobbs ancestors. Which reminds myself to obey my number one rule:
Ask your elders.
Mistakes and misnomers are just as revealing as certainty. And when something doesn't make since, go toward the light; especially if it's blinding your eyes.
Keep searching for answers,