Book Review – Sustainable Genealogy by Richard Hite

Richard Hite, author
Richard Hite

Legendary families often can prove troublesome. That’s what Richard Hite found out when he confronted his family genealogy as a presumed descendant of Hans Jost Heydt, well-known to the Jesse James family as the progenitor of their cousins, Wood & Tuck Hite, and the Hite brothers’ father, George Burns Hite, who married the outlaw brothers’ aunt, Nancy Gardner James.

 

book-Sustainable GenealogyThe unique subtitle of Richard’s book Sustainable Genealogy reads as: “Separating Fact from Fiction in Family Legends.” Legendary families come with all the baggage possessed by families not so famous. Every family is burdened with family lore, genealogy, and stories that should be scrutinized by every generation, especially if one’s intention is to produce an exact and true genealogy of family history. The information handed down by one’s own family may not be correct. The Jesse James family certainly has wrestled with this problem for over 130 years.

Genealogy today is big business. The marketing of genealogical services tricks novices and professionals alike into believing one’s family genealogy will be produced with a simple subscription and a few clicks of a computer keyboard. That’s a deception. Many times commercial genealogy is as riddled with errors as one’s own family lore. Likewise, the genealogy one buys needs as much scrutiny and correction as the genealogy one inherits.

As an archivist for the Rhode Island State Archives, Richard Hite wasn’t going to fall into that trap. Like every serious genealogist, Hite knew that due diligence is the only means for achieving bullet proof results. In Hite’s experience, Hite quickly grasped that every exciting discovery leads to more discoveries that are just as exciting. And every disappointing error, that is proved to be error, raises the possibility of other wrong information that needs to be investigated, studied, and not overlooked.

Along Richard Hite’s path of discovery, Hite developed an extraordinary bag of tricks for verifying inaccurate information, that he now shares in his book. For each commonly encountered problem, Hite offers his unique solution. For uncommon problems, Hite offers uncommon solutions. Hite’s skills could become the envy of any private investigator. Genealogists will continue to use this book as a reference source when confronted by difficult brick walls.

– ERIC F. JAMES

Sustainable Genealogy: Separating Fact from Fiction in Family Legends
By Richard Hite (Genealogical Publishing Inc. 2013) 110 pp. soft cover, $18.95
ISBN: 9780806319827

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HITE Family Reunion 2018

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Wednesday June 16th, 2021
Stray Leaves

As a 6-year-old boy, Jesse Edwards James Jr. was a witness to the murder of his father, Jesse James. The event impinged on his life forever after. His unruly childhood was brought to heel by both family and community, which included the Crittenden family of Gov. Thomas T Crittenden. It was the family friend Gov. Crittenden who put the bounty on Jesse James that resulted in his killing. Law school and a job in the Crittenden law office directed Jesse Jr. into his future as a lawyer. He did alright until he was solicited into producing a movie about his father. After collecting production money from family, friends, and business associates, the movie flopped. Jesse Jr. assumed responsibility, but he never could never repay the money lost. Severe depression overcame Jesse Jr. He required hospitalization, and then institutionalization. Equilibrium escaped him every living day. He died at age 50 in the care of his loving wife Stella and his four daughters. His grandson Jim Ross, whom he raised with his daughters, became a lawyer and judge. See MoreSee Less

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He has his mother's nose.

That was cool but creepy at the same time. Last photo looked like there was no one home. You can see the change in his eyes.

Monday June 14th, 2021
Stray Leaves

HAPPY 30TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY to the 2nd great-grandson of Jesse James, David James Ross, and his wife Jessica Lemoine Esq. David & Jessica appear here at their 20th anniversary in Jamaica, and more recently in 2018 supporting their adopted family, the Los Angeles Kings ice hockey team. See MoreSee Less

HAPPY 30TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY to the 2nd great-grandson of Jesse James, David James Ross, and his wife Jessica Lemoine Esq. David & Jessica appear here at their 20th anniversary in Jamaica, and more recently in 2018 supporting their adopted family, the Los Angeles Kings ice hockey team.Image attachment
Friday June 11th, 2021
Stray Leaves

ZEE MIMMS JAMES AUTHENTIC PHOTOS ANIMATED . . . Zee was named after Jesse’s mother, Zerelda Cole. Zee and Jesse were first cousins. John M. James was grandfather to them both. Despite the strong family tie, most of the family disapproved of their marriage. Their uncle, Rev. William James a Methodist minister and himself a black sheep among the James, married Zee and Jesse. Zee bore Jesse five children. Two lived to adulthood. A set of twins died soon after birth. A fifth child was miscarried. Zee died at age 55 of neurasthenia, a condition characterized by lassitude, fatigue, headache, and irritability, associated chiefly with emotional disturbance.
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Impressive

Eerily Amazing 😳 Thank You

Wednesday June 9th, 2021
Stray Leaves

BOB FORD AUTHENTIC PHOTOS ANIMATED . . . Yesterday, June 8, 2021, was the 129th anniversary of the murder of Robert Newton Ford by Ed O’Kelley in Creede, Colorado. The murder was the retribution of Bob Ford’s assassination of Jesse James on April 3, 1882. History recalls Ford as "that dirty little coward." See MoreSee Less

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