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The old-fashioned kind, not the shocking results of a DNA test...This turned out pretty cool. 

Way back in the Depression, my great-grandmother died pretty young -- in her early 50s. She didn't get to live on to old age and tell her stories. All but one of her kids were still minors when she died, so they wouldn't remember much detail about what she told them. I think one of her brothers was kind of a ne'er-do-well -- one of those guys who was always trying to drag his in-laws into bad investments or something like that, so I think our family sort of distanced from them. Also, widower, my great-grandfather, and all of the kids ended up leaving Austin, where they were all born, by World War II: two to NYC, one to Houston, and another to Lubbock. Daddy wound up in Dallas. 

Anyway, great-grandmother's name maiden name was Brown, so tracking down her people was all but impossible until millions of people got on the Internet sharing their trees. One of them had a very unusual middle name, and through that, I was finally, only about five years ago, able to track down her people.

And there were some really cool stories in there. She was a direct descendant of Polly Moore, the last Indian captive taken from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Shawnee raided the family farm, killed almost all of her family, hauled her up to 1794 Detroit, then as now, a hive of scum and villainy, and traded her to a dissolute Englishman for a few barrels of rum. (Along the way, her mother, also a captive, was burned alive in front of her by the Cherokee, who were drunk and had beef with the Shawnee, who they met up with in modern-day Chilicothe Ohio, then a big Indian market town.)

She was 12, I think. Eventually a surviving brother -- who was only alive because he had been taken by the Shawnee on an earlier raid -- tracked her down, bought her from the Limey scumbag, and hauled her back to the Shenandoah Valley, where she married a Presbyterian minister and had about eight kids, most of them also Presbyterian ministers. Because she had PTSD, a local carpenter made her an "adult cradle" so she could rock herself to sleep and "possibly a reminder of her pre-abduction innocence".  It now has pride of place in the Rockbridge County Historical Museum in Lexington, Virginia:

636257103931616545-Mary-Moore-cradle.jpg

 

And he had a descendent who fought in pretty much every battle of the Civil War under Stonewall Jackson...He ended up living with his kids in Austin, dying there in the 1920s, I think. 

And here is my latest discovery, made just tonight -- that man's grandaughter, my great-great-grandmother, was Harvey Penick's aunt. So Harvey and my great-grandmother were first cousins. 

I've played golf twice and sucked. If I'd known I had this illustrious cousin, maybe my life would have ended up differently. I'd probably have taken some lessons and won a few Majors by now. Oh well. Moral is, don't lose track of any wing of your family. 

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5 hours ago, MaybeACoordinator said:

The old-fashioned kind, not the shocking results of a DNA test...This turned out pretty cool. 

Way back in the Depression, my great-grandmother died pretty young -- in her early 50s. She didn't get to live on to old age and tell her stories. All but one of her kids were still minors when she died, so they wouldn't remember much detail about what she told them. I think one of her brothers was kind of a ne'er-do-well -- one of those guys who was always trying to drag his in-laws into bad investments or something like that, so I think our family sort of distanced from them. Also, widower, my great-grandfather, and all of the kids ended up leaving Austin, where they were all born, by World War II: two to NYC, one to Houston, and another to Lubbock. Daddy wound up in Dallas. 

Anyway, great-grandmother's name maiden name was Brown, so tracking down her people was all but impossible until millions of people got on the Internet sharing their trees. One of them had a very unusual middle name, and through that, I was finally, only about five years ago, able to track down her people.

And there were some really cool stories in there. She was a direct descendant of Polly Moore, the last Indian captive taken from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Shawnee raided the family farm, killed almost all of her family, hauled her up to 1794 Detroit, then as now, a hive of scum and villainy, and traded her to a dissolute Englishman for a few barrels of rum. (Along the way, her mother, also a captive, was burned alive in front of her by the Cherokee, who were drunk and had beef with the Shawnee, who they met up with in modern-day Chilicothe Ohio, then a big Indian market town.)

She was 12, I think. Eventually a surviving brother -- who was only alive because he had been taken by the Shawnee on an earlier raid -- tracked her down, bought her from the Limey scumbag, and hauled her back to the Shenandoah Valley, where she married a Presbyterian minister and had about eight kids, most of them also Presbyterian ministers. Because she had PTSD, a local carpenter made her an "adult cradle" so she could rock herself to sleep and "possibly a reminder of her pre-abduction innocence".  It now has pride of place in the Rockbridge County Historical Museum in Lexington, Virginia:

636257103931616545-Mary-Moore-cradle.jpg

 

And he had a descendent who fought in pretty much every battle of the Civil War under Stonewall Jackson...He ended up living with his kids in Austin, dying there in the 1920s, I think. 

And here is my latest discovery, made just tonight -- that man's grandaughter, my great-great-grandmother, was Harvey Penick's aunt. So Harvey and my great-grandmother were first cousins. 

I've played golf twice and sucked. If I'd known I had this illustrious cousin, maybe my life would have ended up differently. I'd probably have taken some lessons and won a few Majors by now. Oh well. Moral is, don't lose track of any wing of your family. 

That's pretty cool. I have one that I'll share soon. But first, did she have her period in that rocker or something?

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Very cool story...  but an Indian maiden named Polly Moore ? ?  Sounds kind of fishy, I mean Running Deer, or Hopping Bunny are your typical, period, Indian names I thought.

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My mom's side of the family are descendants of a Count of Transylvania. They were princes. My uncle was named after the ruler, first and last name. He was a nice guy. We played bocci ball in the summers.

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33 minutes ago, UTGrad98 said:

My mom's side of the family are descendants of a Count of Transylvania. They were princes. My uncle was named after the ruler, first and last name. He was a nice guy. We played bocci ball in the summers.

Summers in Rangoon?  Bocci ball after luge lessons?

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While badgering my grandmother about our family history it came out my great great grandfather was George Washington’s personal coachman until after his presidency. A letter from him acknowledging the end of his service and expressing his thanks are a treasured family heirloom. 

Had no idea until my late 30s

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Posted (edited)

All on my mom's side:

Multiple ancestors were the mayor of Zurich, Switzerland.  That family line had a castle at one time also.  There's still an area south of Zurich named Hirzel. Dunno if it was named after the family or the family was named after the town.

Rhys ap Gruffydd was a powerful Welsh landowner who was accused of rebelling against King Henry VIII by plotting with James V of Scotland to become Prince of Wales. He was beheaded for treason at the Tower of London. 

Also, descended from the Black Douglas clan who had two family members that were killed at a dinner hosted by King James II of Scotland. It was called the Black Dinner and was the source inspiration for the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones.

All of that and we still ended up complete white trash within 600 years.

 

Edited by CooterBrown
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Posted (edited)

My grandfather was the family historian. He typed up this massive genealogy of our family line going back to how our name changed from the Old World to the New when the first person landed in Philadelphia from their journey out of Amsterdam. I have some copies that I kept after my father and grandfather had died. Lots of farmers, some people in the Revolutionary army. It was interesting to see how they fanned out across the newly formed America going from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to eventually Texas. There's bad history like how many slaves they owned until freed after the Civil War. I shared all this information with my older daughter as she was doing a class project on her family heritage. Nothing super notable as far as occupations or historical significance. 

Back in 2016, I was on a work trip to New York but had some time to walk around on the final morning before my flight. I made my way down to the New York Central Library in Bryant Park. I was just messing around as this was the same library that was featured in Ghostbusters. So I did some looking around and noticed they had a genealogy wing. I wasn't sure exactly when and where the first person in my family made his way to America but I thought I'd go check thinking if any place had information on immigration to America, it would be New York City. I thumbed through some books that were manifests of ships that arrived in America, broken down by time frames and countries of origin. I knew Amsterdam was the launching point. I then found a manifest from the exact ship that my ancestor sailed on and his signature stating he was immigrating to America in 1737. It was pretty cool to see that first link to my family in America.

Edited by mdmost
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11 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:

Also, descended from the Black Douglas clan who had two family members that were killed at a dinner hosted by King James II of Scotland. It was called the Black Dinner and was the source inspiration for the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones.

 

that's cool.  iirc james ii's regents killed the 14 year old and the 8 year old male b/c they were worried about them challenging for the throne (james ii was 10 i think?).  so are you descended from the cousin's line?

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1 minute ago, gsoda3 said:

that's cool.  iirc james ii's regents killed the 14 year old and the 8 year old male b/c they were worried about them challenging for the throne (james ii was 10 i think?).  so are you descended from the cousin's line?

I'd have to go look it up to be sure how the relation is exactly. I remember when researching it, there's so many births, illegitimate kids, marriages, general fuckery, it's a bit convoluted.  My line is through Sir William Douglas, 3rd Baron of DrumlanrigI.  

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