Since Sandy and I are more or less co-authors of this blog, I will try my best to live up to part of the responsibility, and let her handle the rest in a later post. So--ten things my ancestors have done to enlighten/surprise/humble me.
- Armenus Gilbert was my first discovered ancestor. I knew his son GGrandpa Roy, but never learned anything farther back. I was so delighted to find Armenus in the 1890 Civil War Union Veterans index. As a result, he holds a special place in my heart.
- Mary Sitts is an ancestor that was "gifted" to me by a distance cousin who shared her story when we met. This wonderful woman was captured by Indians during the Colonial times as a child, was raise by the Indians, eventually ransomed back, ran off with my ancestor and eventually became know throughout her community as "Granny Johnson."
- I was pleased to discover that, just like Sarah Jessica Parker, that I have a Salem Witch connection. The same day that Sarah Jessica's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? aired I discovered that Mary Clements Osgood was my 10th Great Grand Aunt in Law. Am I stretching the connection a little?
- I guess in the surprising category, I have been surprised to find no connection to Ethan Allen, as family legend states he was an uncle. Of course, in one place one of my Allens married another Allen, and we only have traced the one side. Perhaps on the other.
- Equally humbling/frustrating is the Gerald Ford connection. Again, family legend has him as related to my GGrandma Carrie Belle Ford. I know he was adopted by the Fords, but I have been unable match his Fords with mine. But we "have been told" that he attended Ford Family Reunions, when he was small. So the search continues. I wrote to him once to inquire, and he referred me to his daughter, but I was too shy to write again.
- Another family story was confirmed when I found a clipping from a 1899 newspaper stating that a Mecosta farmer was killed when he tried to hop a train. Sure enough, James Henry Samis had died when he lost a limb when the train ran over him. I later discovered, in a delightful bit of serendipity, that some friends of mine now live on his family farm.
- I have also been enlightened by my roots. When cherishing the supposed Ethan Allen connection, I felt that I was a long time American. When I could not confirm that it was rather disappointing. However I find that most of my family have been in North America for some time. My nearest immigrants are paternal GGGrandparents who came from Ireland. Even my Canadian roots are no nearer than Great-greats.