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Old 07-10-2013, 10:18 PM
 
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This has been on my mind for more than three years, because my research hasn't yielded much information on this guy, but one of my ancestors on my mother's paternal side really resonates with me -- maybe just because he's playing so "hard to get!"

But from what I HAVE learned, he was definitely the family black sheep, as I am and have always been, and I have a feeling of strange familiarity with him. I know he got married and had seven children, of whom he seemed very protective, but he also was a bit lawless -- in 1799, he was wanted for trespassing on what was then the blurry border of SC and GA, and he even left behind his own land to escape to another state. There was a $200 bounty on him, but the sheriff finally sold the land and gave the money to the fellow who had sued him for trespass (the details of which I still know nothing).

Then, in 1817, he got into a fight with his employer, who killed him! I don't know if he shot him or knocked him down or ran over him with his horse, but his employer was charged and pleaded insanity. My ancestor was only about 47, and I know that his children went on to live otherwise normal, trouble-free lives. So, though I'm not a criminal , I'm very, very independent and have a tongue like a needle on a sewing machine when I get angry, and I don't follow "the rules" -- I just do my own thing.

Do you feel a certain, closer kinship to one ancestor than another?
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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I've felt very connected to a few "old maids" in my family tree. Being an unmarried woman myself, who chooses to not have kids, I never bought into the idea that a woman "must" marry and have children. But much of genealogy seems to discount those who don't reproduce. And if you only study the "pedigree" family tree, that's all that matters. Those who don't reproduce become genetically unimportant.

I figure, hey, I'm a pretty damned interesting person, I'm sure the "old maids" and "spinsters" in my tree were pretty interesting too! I am particularly attached to a sister of my great-great-grandfather. She had an odd first name that stood out to me at first, so that's what caught my attention. Then she became one of my "favorites" and I found she lived a very long life, caring for her siblings as they become old or infirm, even living alone owning her own house when hardly any women did, popping up in directories and church records. She was born in 1862 and lived till after WWII. I even find myself "talking" to her sometimes, when I am frustrated by a genealogical brick wall, and asking her to help.

Sure, she may not have passed on her genes, but her influence could have affected many, even down to my own generation.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:38 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
43,034 posts, read 26,803,896 times
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This reminds me of your question about personalities. I do feel an affinity for some ancestors, having studied their lives, but not the sort of one-on-one bond you seem to be describng. I would love to meet many of my ancestors, if that were possible. I suppose some would be like meeting old friends and others would prove the unexpected is always out there.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
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Originally Posted by bjh View Post
This reminds me of your question about personalities. I do feel an affinity for some ancestors, having studied their lives, but not the sort of one-on-one bond you seem to be describng. I would love to meet many of my ancestors, if that were possible. I suppose some would be like meeting old friends and others would prove the unexpected is always out there.
You know, that's funny, because the other day I was watching a movie with a time-travel theme to it, and as is often the case, the discussion around here was about "what time period would you visit if you had the chance"...

Used to be, I'd have said something about going back in time to learn about some invention that I could invest in and get rich in modern times. Or maybe going back in time to meet some famous historical figure.

Not anymore though; when I fantasize about a time machine, I immediately want to go back and visit all my ancestors and have the most complete and perfect genealogical record EVER! Funny how priorities change.

Anyway to answer the OPs question;

This one ancestor in particular, I do feel an affinity for, but maybe it is because her stories are the most known to me in the form of family legends and anecdotes.

She is my maternal GGG Grandmother. Supposedly, she was half Scottish, half Native American. Hot tempered and proud, resourceful and strong. She had a hard hard life but she bore it bravely and died at age 50. She seemed very much a gutsy, take no bull kind of woman and she inspires me.

Her husband came from nothing and made his way as well and although it doesn't sound like he was the greatest husband, he was much admired by his daughters and his story also gives me inspiration. He came to this country at 17 years old but says that he and his cousin were so small at 17 due to malnutrition that they looked like 10 year old boys. He just kind of forged ahead without any advantages or parental support and when I start feeling sorry for myself, I like to think of him and the woman he married, who wouldn't be sitting around crying over their lot in life but actually doing something about it.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 19,591,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally_Sparrow View Post
You know, that's funny, because the other day I was watching a movie with a time-travel theme to it, and as is often the case, the discussion around here was about "what time period would you visit if you had the chance"...

Used to be, I'd have said something about going back in time to learn about some invention that I could invest in and get rich in modern times. Or maybe going back in time to meet some famous historical figure.

Not anymore though; when I fantasize about a time machine, I immediately want to go back and visit all my ancestors and have the most complete and perfect genealogical record EVER! Funny how priorities change.

Anyway to answer the OPs question;

This one ancestor in particular, I do feel an affinity for, but maybe it is because her stories are the most known to me in the form of family legends and anecdotes.

She is my maternal GGG Grandmother. Supposedly, she was half Scottish, half Native American. Hot tempered and proud, resourceful and strong. She had a hard hard life but she bore it bravely and died at age 50. She seemed very much a gutsy, take no bull kind of woman and she inspires me.

Her husband came from nothing and made his way as well and although it doesn't sound like he was the greatest husband, he was much admired by his daughters and his story also gives me inspiration. He came to this country at 17 years old but says that he and his cousin were so small at 17 due to malnutrition that they looked like 10 year old boys. He just kind of forged ahead without any advantages or parental support and when I start feeling sorry for myself, I like to think of him and the woman he married, who wouldn't be sitting around crying over their lot in life but actually doing something about it.
This is something which I have found inspiration from in my own life. My great grandmother was widowed and had my grandmother, who could not take the cold in Minnesota. So she left and took care of her daughter in Texas, starting on her own. Then I learned about my other great grand mother who's husband just dissapeared one day. She didn't remarry but raised by dad's mom herself. Thats two 'single' mothers raising their last kids in a time where it wasn't the usual. Women usually remarried after losing a husband to have a father for the kids. Some of the stories of mom's grandmother were not hers, but they still inspired me. My mom's dad's father got burned out in the civil war, the first county to be emptied of civilians in Missouri, and waited out the war in Minnesota. But when it was done they returned and started over. They didn't dwell on past misfortune but on the need to deal with today. I felt when I had to do that that I wasn't alone.
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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WOW! This whole Thread has been a great inspiration. Thanks to all contributors .
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:52 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
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I have a few, so it's hard to pick. But I'd guess my favorite ancestor is one who was born on the east coast near the turn of the 19th century, and died on the west coast near the turn of the 20th century. In between, over the course of about 30 years, he crossed the continent. Which all was a pretty interesting experience.

It was made even more special, when a few years back, I encountered transcriptions of letters he wrote home to his brother on the east coast, from various points as he moved westward. That was a thrilling find, and filled in some details. If he hadn't been my favorite before ... that certainly would have made him so.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:06 PM
 
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I have really been interested in finding more information about my great great grandmother. She lived to be 103 when she passed away in the 1940's. A relative sent me photocopies of several portraits of this woman when was very young. She looks just like I did at that age. I think that is what really got me interested. The more I find out about her, the more I admire what she went through. She came to the US as a 16 year old girl with an older brother. She married an older man and they had 11 children, 7 lived past the age of 5. Her husband died in 1890 when their children were very young, several were just babies. Three of her adult children died a few years before she did. The home her husband built shortly before his death is still standing. Her home was open to all her family, she seemed to get her children and grandchildren through many tragedies and hardships.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:31 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
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Originally Posted by Norcalmom99 View Post
I have really been interested in finding more information about my great great grandmother. She lived to be 103 when she passed away in the 1940's. A relative sent me photocopies of several portraits of this woman when was very young. She looks just like I did at that age. I think that is what really got me interested. The more I find out about her, the more I admire what she went through. She came to the US as a 16 year old girl with an older brother. She married an older man and they had 11 children, 7 lived past the age of 5. Her husband died in 1890 when their children were very young, several were just babies. Three of her adult children died a few years before she did. The home her husband built shortly before his death is still standing. Her home was open to all her family, she seemed to get her children and grandchildren through many tragedies and hardships.
Have you ever visited the house? I would love to do that, if I were you and you have not!

My mother was raised, in part, by her Great Aunt and to me and my brother she was known as "Grandma Lela" even though she wasn't technically a Grandma. She was the sister of our actual G-Grandma who died when my Grandma was a pre-teen.

Anyway I remember visited her and I remember her house like I was there yesterday, even though I was last there probably 30 years ago. She had a screened in porch, and an old style fridge (where she kept her lipstick because the house was too hot in summer to leave it out!)... she had an old car in a detached garage out back, and a water pump, and a butter churn, and blackberries grew all up and down the alley out back. I used to go pick them and bring them back for her to make cobbler. I didn't spend a lot of time with her but she sure made an impression! She had an old wooden screen door on the back and heaven help you if you let it slam when you ran out...she's make you close it slowly about fifty times as punishment!

Anyway the point of my ramble (sorry, I am tired, and I inherited the gift of gab from this woman for sure -- she could talk for HOURS with family stories!) is that she died when I was in high school, and her heirs sold her little house for practically nothing. It made my mother so sad, and me too! I'd love to be able to buy it back (even though it IS in Brownwood, Texas! lol) just for the nostalgic reasons. I worry someone has taken and "remuddled" it to make it all "modern" by this point.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:29 PM
 
95 posts, read 155,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally_Sparrow View Post
Have you ever visited the house? I would love to do that, if I were you and you have not!

My mother was raised, in part, by her Great Aunt and to me and my brother she was known as "Grandma Lela" even though she wasn't technically a Grandma. She was the sister of our actual G-Grandma who died when my Grandma was a pre-teen.

Anyway I remember visited her and I remember her house like I was there yesterday, even though I was last there probably 30 years ago. She had a screened in porch, and an old style fridge (where she kept her lipstick because the house was too hot in summer to leave it out!)... she had an old car in a detached garage out back, and a water pump, and a butter churn, and blackberries grew all up and down the alley out back. I used to go pick them and bring them back for her to make cobbler. I didn't spend a lot of time with her but she sure made an impression! She had an old wooden screen door on the back and heaven help you if you let it slam when you ran out...she's make you close it slowly about fifty times as punishment!

Anyway the point of my ramble (sorry, I am tired, and I inherited the gift of gab from this woman for sure -- she could talk for HOURS with family stories!) is that she died when I was in high school, and her heirs sold her little house for practically nothing. It made my mother so sad, and me too! I'd love to be able to buy it back (even though it IS in Brownwood, Texas! lol) just for the nostalgic reasons. I worry someone has taken and "remuddled" it to make it all "modern" by this point.
I hope to see the home next spring. It's on the east coast and I am on the west coast. I do have some photos of it and checked it out on google maps. Your story made me smile, reminds me of some of my relatives that have passed on.
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