A year of crazy…so why not!

It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten back into the swing of things with my ancestry! I’ve changed jobs, moved to a new city, helped contribute to a family reunion, living through a pandemic and whatever else 2020 has left in store for us, and just settling into new routines to keep me going!

One of the things that I am happy with is the start of collecting my information that I’ve worked on through the years and putting them on this site. I’m moving towards making the information more interactive and putting it in a way that I can tell my family story better. I’m leveraging some genealogical methods that I’ve learned through coursework and personal experience to make things flow better. I’m still learning how best to reference the information, so suggestions in my comments are a plus to helping me to grow! Of course, if you have more information, photos, details, family connections that you’d like to share I would be more than happy to associate them to my site!

As you may notice, besides the new layout, is a new link in the menu called Family History of Robb Reed. It includes drop down boxes of the four lines of my family I am going back with. I’ve only included the further generation line of each at the moment, and will add more to them each week. I will try and get some updated by dates on the pages so you know which ones to reference, and I’ll update them on my sites so that you can hopefully follow-along if there is any specific member that you are interested in. A lot of my source information will come from Ancestry.com because it is where most of my work lives. I’ll add some personal photos and documents as well to keep things digitized. Finally, I’ll see how I can incorporate the genetic information if I think it makes sense. I know that more and more family members have gotten theirs taken in the last few years.

Thank you all for your patience, I know that only a handful even got associated with the early stages of my site, and I appreciate those, especially my family, who have provided me support over this past year and half that have kept me going. THANK YOU!

I’ve Come a Long Way, but I’m Just Getting Started


One of the things that I feel like I’ve learned in the area of Genealogy is that no matter how far along you may be, there is always something or someone new, or challenging, or curious that is waiting around the corner.  No matter how much information that I may have collected on one of my ancestors, I’m always still looking for just one more piece of information that will confirm things, or open up a new door for me to explore.  It’s left me with the feeling that no matter how far I’ve come, or how far I still have left to go…each day is set up for me to explore and do it all again tomorrow.

Robb Born

Me on “The Day”

My mom wakes me each morning of September 26 at 9am something with a message of “Hey Birthday Boy!”  Through the last five or so years that’s transitioned into the phrase from my siblings “I’m glad you were born.”  Kind of an inside family joke that has seen its share of birthdays across each other.  Like clockwork, I would expect to receive a card with my age listed in circles on the outside just to make sure I remembered how old I’ve become.  This year was no different.


First Birthday

My first Birthday – CAKE

As I’ve gotten older, birthdays aren’t what they used to be.  In the past it would be a countdown filled with curiosity of what gifts may be coming my way.  I could rely on a money filled card from my grandparents, one in person and one in the mail; gifts from my parents of which some I had asked for and others that I definitely had not.  I was blessed to never have to worry about feeling special or loved.  As I’ve gotten older, the gifts have been replaced with time spent with family…sometimes at a restaurant with embarrassing hats while I was sung to, and other times at home with a well cooked meal followed by a chocolate cake with cool whip icing. (if you haven’t tried it, I would recommend it)

I grew up in what I felt like was a small town.  Greenfield, Indiana is the county seat of Hancock County which is directly east on I-70 from Indianapolis.  Growing up, my knowledge of small and large was towns and cities.  There really wasn’t an in-between, and since I didn’t live in Indianapolis, then I lived in a small town.  My classmates from the Class of ’97 would agree.

My parents were Randall Richard Reed and Jeannine Ann Tidrow.  They had married in 1973 in Greenfield, and first had my older brother (Ryan Richard Reed) a few years prior in the summer of ’76.  My father was from Rossville, Indiana and had met my mother, who had split her growing up between Tipton and later Greenfield, Indiana, while attending Butler University in Indianapolis.  Both of my sets of grandparents were still alive at the time of my birth and were a part of my life.  Ernest Gaston Tidrow Jr. and Alice Adeline Spillman were living in my hometown, and Robert Joseph Reed and Norma Jean Hufford were living in Meridian, Mississippi.

The first house we had lived in was 1216 Melody Lane in Greenfield.  A small 3 bedroom home that we lived in for the first 7 years of my life, it was filled with early memories.  It was where I obviously achieved most milestones that infants and toddlers come across.  It’s where we housed our first two puppies in Benji and Blackie that followed.


My father Randall Richard Reed and my brothers from L: Ryan Richard Reed and Rhett Randall Reed (I’m on the R)

I was introduced to my older brother Ryan Richard Reed, and my younger brother Rhett Randall Reed.  It’s where I learned to ride a bike, and later got in trouble with riding on the back of my first and only motorcycle with our “risky” neighbor Wesley.  I still razz my older brother for ratting me out when I thought he was out of sight!  It’s where I believe my mom strategically placed stick pins throughout our backyard where I still to this day think it became a game of how many I could step on walking barefoot outside.  My swing-set was there, our elderly neighbors gave us fresh vegetables from their garden, and where I didn’t want to leave when we decided it was time for more space with three growing boys.

We picked up adventures at 200 Creek Wood Drive in Greenfield.  It was a two-story house with a large backyard and sat across, what I thought, was a large woods full of adventure.  This home served as our place of residence for over 15 years.  My sister, Richelle Renae Reed, was born while we were here in 1986.  As my brothers and I had grown very accustomed to being “the boys” it was an interesting twist that, at the time, were not ready to adjust to!  However, I grew what I believed to be a tight bond with my sister in this house, and we were always there to give her a reason to cheer us on to try to take part in our video game adventures.  We built an outdoor concrete slab that had a basketball goal and an above ground pool while we were here.

200 Creek Wood Drive

200 Creek Wood Drive

Our dog Blackie was still around at this time, but unfortunately decided that on one of his many adventures of getting out of our backyard that it was time to not come back.   The woods that I mentioned earlier separated us from the Hancock County fairgrounds.  Tractor Pulls, Demotion Derbies, and the Mosquito fog spraying truck would always send us on a mad spree around our home closing the windows during the summer after one of us would notice the happenings. I experienced quite a few life milestones in this home; a letter to Santa, neighborhood bonfires across the street, High School Graduation, first kiss, Prom, the near-death experience of my older brother Ryan from a careless ride on the back of a pickup truck, and the actual first experience of a death of a family member in my grandmother Alice Spillman.  This will always be considered my home, and every now and then when I am passing through my hometown I’ll pass by to see how it’s holding up.

High School Graduation

Greenfield-Central High School Class of 1997.  My parents Jeannine and Randy

I graduated from Greenfield-Central High School in the Class of 1997.  At the time, we were the largest graduating classes at the school.  My last three years of attending we spent going through various stages of construction that transformed the place that my mother had graduated from in 1972, and where my grandfather, Ernest Gaston Tidrow Jr., had been the principal of since it’s inception in the late ’60s.  I wasn’t the popular one of my brothers.  Both of them were much more socially active than I.  I preferred exploring our home computer or video games as I attempted to teach myself BASIC coding.  I was in various clubs like German Club, National Honor Society, and Key Club.  In my Freshman year I sang in Choir, played tennis, and was on the Freshman and Junior Varsity Basketball teams.  My High School coach approached me prior to my Sophomore year that I could choose to continue to play Tennis and sing in Choir but if I did that I shouldn’t bother trying out for Basketball that year.  Since my family was deeply rooted into this sport, I chose to sacrifice my interest in other things to focus on being a better player for our team and spent the last three years on the Varsity squad.  I had the benefit of really not being bullied or picked on as a Freshman thanks to my older brother Ryan being a Senior at the time.  I must say that it was extremely cool to go to school during that same period as he was successful as an athlete who later signed a full-ride athletic scholarship to play basketball for Ball State University.


Ryan, Rhett, Robb

I myself never developed a high enough skill to receive significant offers to play athletics for a Division I school.  I had interest from smaller universities that I did explore, like the University of Chicago, but later decided that I would focus my time on school and working towards a career where I knew I would be successful in.  Being 6’6″, considered the runt of my brothers in height, my brains are what carried me through school.  During my summer of my Senior year, I went with some other kids from my school to Europe.  We visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, and England.  It was during the same week as the TWA crash out of JFK airport and it led to a very somber and terrified flight home.  I wish that I would have been more aware of my ancestry at the time as I would have considered the stops in a few countries as a pilgrimage home.

I chose Butler University as my college of choice out of High School.  I decided to attend the same University where my parents had first met, and where my grandfather had played basketball for Indiana legend Tony Hinkle.  I went after an accounting degree, and found that I missed playing the sport that I grew up surrounded by in Basketball.  I followed my older brother Ryan through his Senior year at Ball State with my dad as we attended many home and away games together.  I spent many weekends at Indiana University visiting my friends Amanda and Jenny and their boyfriends.  I later decided after my Freshman year that due to my more frequent visits to IU and my disinterest in Greek Life at Butler that I would attempt to transfer.


I’m on the Right with my friends attending an IU Football game.  This fandom was a common look throughout the season.

I spent the next few years in Bloomington finding myself and developing into the person that I am today.  I say that I was born in Greenfield but made in Bloomington.  So many positive memories and connections that I made while I was there, have me coming back as often as I can still today.  After catching wind that my family was struggling to find the finances to continue to have me attend school, I took up an offer from my employer at the time, Old Navy, to leave school and pursue a career in retail.

Since I left IU in that Spring of 2001, I have been spending the rest of my years working in a variety of different retail locations; Old Navy, Abercrombie & Fitch, Fossil, and currently at Apple.  I moved around quite often with Fossil that took me to West Des Moines, Iowa; Denver, Colorado; Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Dallas, Texas; and Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


My sister Richelle and I while I lived in Dallas, TX

I was able to return to school, thanks to a generous benefit of tuition reimbursement from Apple, via online at Indiana University-East.  I completed by Bachelor’s in Business Administration in December of 2015.  I can’t say that I’ve needed the degree to be successful in my career, but it was a promise I made to my grandfather, Ernest Gaston Tidrow, that I needed to fulfill in order to feel some sort of deeper connection.


In the Fall of 2012 I left Fossil to work for Apple so that I could be closer to home and minimize the amount of travel that I had experienced over the past four years.  As I write today, I’m currently a first-time homeowner in a home that I built in November of 2016.  It’s just me and my beautiful cat Stella that now call Westfield, Indiana home.

My Home

My home in Westfield.

So where do I go from here?  This blog entry obviously took some time to write.  I never imagined it would be so difficult to touch on aspects of my life.  What’s enough?  What’s too much?  These were all questions I had to leverage over the past month to determine how to approach this entry.  I believe I’m going to focus on my maternal grandmother Alice Adeline Spillman next.  I’ll share what I currently have from my Spillman line, and my MtFull Sequence from familytreedna.com.  Here’s to a much more timely entry!


How it all Began

Robert Joseph Reed Headshot

Grandpa Bob

My grandpa, Robert Joseph Reed, had passed away on February 15, 2010.  I knew he wasn’t doing well.  I had been down there the past Thanksgiving to spend what ended up being a final holiday with him.  “Down there” was Scottsboro, Alabama which is the county seat of Jackson County in the Northwest corner of the state.  It was a place that my family would visit during Spring Breaks, or small vacations when we would get away from where I grew up in Greenfield, Indiana.  My grandparents had moved to the state in the early ’80’s when they opened up the first McDonald’s in the city.  Growing up, it was exciting to tell people that your grandparents owned a McDonald’s!  The ownership definitely played an important part in how my grandparents lives changed and also impacted my immediate family as well.

Robert Joseph Reed and Norma Jean Hufford Dry Run Crew McDonald's 1980

My grandparents during a dry run of their McDonald’s on May 31, 1980 in Scottsboro, Alabama

Death wasn’t new to me.  My maternal grandmother, Alice Ann Spillman, has passed away in 1993 from complications from a valve replacement.  However, the gap between, almost 17 years still didn’t make it any easier to cope with or become comfortable with knowing that things would start to become different.  It left me with questions.  What did I miss?  What didn’t I know?  How much harder would my grandmother, Norma Jean Hufford, take the loss of her soul mate and how much longer would it be before she herself would pass away?  Why was it so awkward to be around my family at this time?  Who are these people who I’ve never seen or heard about?  Who was this Aunt Kay?  Why are they talking about a brother Dick that I had never known of?

These questions led me to want to seek out some answers.  Unfortunately, I learned that my father’s side of the family didn’t talk much, or at least like to go into great depth.  I knew my father, Randall Richard Reed, wasn’t much of a conversationalist unless it involved the Cincinnati Reds, my brothers playing basketball, or popular sports topics.  However it was confusing to know that there was so much that I didn’t know.  My grandmother wasn’t able to hold a solid conversation anytime my grandpa’s name was brought up.  She was ready to go, and didn’t want to think about not being around her husband of over 50 years.  Unfortunately, it seemed that I may not get to know these answers I sought out.

Fast-forward to March 2010 and the airing of a new TV show on NBC called “Who Do You Think You Are?”  Appropriate, because it was a question I was asking myself.  I was living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee at the time and started watching the show.  For those of you reading who are unfamiliar with the show, it focused on the family history of American celebrities.  The first episode aired on March 5, 2010 with the story of Sarah Jessica Parker and how through a website called “Ancestry.com” they uncovered her roots leading back to the Salem Witch Trial.  The next episode was Emmitt Smith, a famous Dallas Cowboy Running Back, followed by Lisa Kudrow from the show “Friends.”  This show was fascinating to me.  Learning how these celebrities found out about members and stories of their families via “Ancestry.com” began to spark my intrigue into finding out what I could learn by using this service.

It was March 29, 2010, and I was in a Hampton Inn hotel in Huntsville, Alabama while visiting one of my Fossil store locations there.  I was a District Manager at the time.  I pulled out my laptop in the room and went to ancestry.com to begin my journey; signing up for a membership that I have kept to this day.  It seemed simple at first to enter in some information about myself, and for my Parents and Grandparents.  I plugged in my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins.  I included my Nieces as well…  This was information that I knew.  What happened next would blow my mind.  I had a green leaf show up that expanded beyond the information that I knew.  Who was Owen and Velma, Richard and Florence, Ernest Sr. and Pauline, and Robert and Hildred?  These were names that I hadn’t heard growing up, or if I had it wasn’t something I had paid attention to.  Doors started opening up.  Documents, Census Records, an Obituary.  I started accepting everything because I didn’t know what was true and what were guesses.  They were all guesses to me!  I spent that week logging in after I would get off of work looking forward to seeing what else I would find.  I was a kid in a candy store!  I couldn’t get enough!  I called my mother, Jeannine Ann Tidrow, to share information with her that I had found. She helped to confirm a lot of the information that I had come across, and she would be a big resource throughout the years in helping to fill in blanks and add some life to the information that I had found.

Grandpa Bob Census Cropped

One of the first records that uncovered new names for me on Ancestry.com taken from the 1930 Census (1)

Over the course of the next 8 years I broadened my reach.  I joined additional sites such as “newspapers.com,” “fold3.com,” “MyHeritage.com,” and “FamilyTreeDNA.com.”  I submitted DNA tests to “Ancestry.com,” “23andMe.com,” and “FamilyTreeDNA.”  I sought out joining the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution).  I joined the Indiana Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society.  I have even recently attended my first FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Lastly, I am looking to gain my certificate in Genealogy through Boston University.

So this is where it began.  It may be a familiar story to your beginning in your research.  I was 31-years old at the time that I began my journey in Genealogy. I have been blessed that the research that I do today takes place, in large part, to information that has been made available via technology.  I, of course, have ventured out to many cemeteries across the Midwest and South.  I’ve visited many libraries in small towns and come across family members through “Ancestry.com” that have opened up more doors.  But this was my starting point.  This was my why, to find out who I am and what were my roots.  I’m sure I’m not alone, and hopefully after reading this you may feel yourself that you also are not alone.

I’ll spend some time sharing stories about my relatives.  I’ll provide some photos and some background.  I’ll also attempt to share the portion of the tree that relates to them.  If through some of these names you find that we are related, I’d love to hear from you!  If you have any information that could or should be added, I’d love to hear that as well.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about my beginning story.  In the next update I’ll start with me.  Who I am, where I’m from, and what I’m up to.

(1) Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626,

The Journey Begins


Time to Start…

This is my first blog entry on what I hope to be a great resource, not only to those that choose to read, but also to myself as I document my journey as a Genealogist.

I do not claim to be a professional writer, and I’ve yet to gain my certification as a Professional Genealogist, but if you hang in there with me, you may be able to share a part in my improvement in both areas.

My story is simple, and I’ll lay it out here in the near future.

Where I began?

Where I’m at?

Where I’m hopefully going?

These are all questions that I’ll be able to share, along with my tree, my adventures across this beautiful part of our country, and my obstacles and successes along the way.  It will also serve as a source for updated information for family members that share my lines, a look into DNA research across multiple sites that I am a member of, and hopefully provide you with a starting point to your Genealogy journey.

Thanks for joining me…let’s shake this tree!

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” — Seneca