Meeting My Great Grandmother (and other tidbits)
My great grandmother (my grandmother Georgia Cooksey Briggs Baughman - yes she was married more than once) was Hester or Hettie Cooksey for as long as I can remember. It was not until I grew up and embraced the family history that I learned so much more about the 'small' family I thought I had. First of all I found out my grandmother was not just Georgia .. she was actually born Georgia Lucille Cooksey (she divorced my grandfather before I was actually born). No one knew she had that middle name. In fact my grandmother's father George Cooksey died about 1914 in Mercer County, Illinois. So even my father was not familiar with any grandparents except his grandfather Francis Albert Briggs who went by the nickname of 'Bert'. Bert and Hettie were probably the only biological grandparents my dad actually got to meet. By the time my dad was born Hettie was married to her second husband William Coultis and had lost her remaining son James A. Cooksey to influenza. I do have his death certificate. Never could locate an obituary. Her other two children Sarah and William Cooksey seem to have faded off the records and I cannot find them beyond 1910. Hettie has to be the source for the legend within our family that we have Native American blood in our veins. Hettie's father Allen Martin may have been the Native American in our lineage. Hettie's mother was easier to find. Her grandfather was from Norway. Hettie's first husband was George Cooksey, born in Kentucky in Cumberland County. His parents were Elizabeth Riddle (her obituary says her full name was Martha Elizabeth Riddle and Samuel Cooksey. By the way there was a twenty-five year difference between George and Hettie. It happened and I've seen even greater differences.