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Ancestors

Lately I've been thinking about a story my grandma told me.
Info: I'm descended from quite a bit of royalty. You name some famous king, queen, duke, or what have you, I'm probably related to them. Several generations back though, so close enough to brag, not close enough to be a princess.
Story: My great-grandfather (never met him) was a farmer. My grandmother was a little snoop as a child (she claims she wasn't snooping, what else do you call listening at the door to a conversation?). She heard him talking on the phone to someone about some relative's will. The relative had left him a castle (not big but still). If he didn't accept it, it would be sold. He turned it down. So after he hangs up the phone, my grandma walks in and asks him why he made that decision (what little child wouldn't want to live in a castle?). He explained that it would require a lot of money to move over there (which as a farmer he didn't have) and he would have to sell the farm. And he was happy farming.
So I started thinking about the chain of events that followed that and how that would've affected not only his life and my grandma's life, but also my mother's and mine and even all of our husbands and families and close friends and everyone else we would have had an influence on?

Anyway, anyone else got an interesting ancestor story?
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Re: Ancestors

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    We are distantly related to the Heinz ketchup fortune. There were 5 Heinz brothers, 4 stayed in Germany and one moved to America, losing out on the fortune. Guess which one I'm descended from.

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    I actually have a cousin who has done some extensive mapping of our family tree.  We had a little inbreeding, some very distant relations to Johnny Cash as well as Jesse James and some of his gang, tons of Native Americans, a couple African Americans, and some Polish indentured servants. 

    On my dad's side, all we know is there is some type of European ancestry (lots of blue eyes), and his great (great?) grandma was the last full-blooded Cherokee. 

    I do have an aunt who married a Mayflower descendant, so my cousins are also Mayflower descendants, but I, sadly, do not have that benefit!




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    larrygagalarrygaga member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited November 2014
    Does that mean you are a product of years of incest?



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    LadyMillilLadyMillil member
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    edited November 2014
    Back in the mid-1800s Canada had a big campaign to try to get people to leave Britain and come to Canada to farm. My maternal ancestors came to Canada during that time, settled down on a farm and the first son has been living there ever since. Very respectable. My paternal side is less respectable. Great-great-great grandpa was a sheep thief in Britain. According to family lore he was supposed to be sent to the prison colony in Australia. He escaped from the prison ship and stowed away on a ship that ended up in Canada. The sheep stealing is true, but I'm not sure how much of the rest of the story is embellishment over the generations.
    ETA: I also had a distant relative that was on Titanic and survived.

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    On my father's side one of my ancestors' brothers signed the Declaration of Independence. 
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    Oh and somewhere along my mother's line I am descended from adultery. How's that for creating a moral conundrum. 
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    We got kicked out of Wales for stealing sheep.  Moved to Ireland instead. 
    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
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    My paternal grandfather is really into genealogy and traced our family line back to about 600 A.D. It turns out that we are direct descendants of Bernardo O'Higgins, who was a leader during the Chilean War of Independence and considered one of the founding fathers of the country. He is basically the George Washington of Chile.

    I don't know much about my mother's side, apart from that she has many different European nationalities.

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    CMGragainCMGragain member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited November 2014
    I have always loved this quote from the movie Stripes. 

    " We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!"

    My paternal grandfather was an immigrant from Denmark.  He never got rich.  He eloped with Grandma, who was descended from passengers on the Mayflower.  Maternal Grandfather was of English origin mixed with Irish and German.  I don't know anything about my beloved "Mimi"'s family.  They cut her off when she eloped with Grandpa.
    I have done almost all the family research myself.  It is a fascinating hobby.  I have also researched my husband's family, and he is from similar roots.  We actually found out that 200 years ago, our ancestors knew each other, and attended the same church.  No, we aren't blood related.  I have a feeling that they didn't like each other.
    I belong to the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution).  They have a beautiful building and library just west of the White House in Washington, DC.  Some of their objectives are to honor and remember the service of patriot ancestors, and to preserve history.  I am proud to have both ancestors who served in the American Revolutionary War, and ancestors who came through Ellis Island.
    Among my ancestors are Quaker ministers, slave owners, felons, and wealthy landowners.  Yep, I'm an American mutt.
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    My grandma is relate to John and Joseph Brandt.  That's all I got off hand.
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    According to Richard Dawkins "The Ancestor's Tale", we are all related to one another. All of us, no exception. There, that is my interesting ancestor story.
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    My great aunt is really into genealogy and has told me all about our family history, but I don't remember most of it. Ancestors on my dad's side were among the first French fur traders to settle along the Mississippi River in what is now St. Louis.
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    I am distantly related to the founder of Macy's and Drew Barrymore. Score!
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    There is a long-ago book that traces my grampa's family back to the only Jews in German royalty. This was hundreds of years ago and the book stopped tracing my family at my great-grandfather. I don't speak or read German so I can't read any of it to confirm. Due to my grampa's escape from Germany during the war, I now have dual citizenship with Germany.

    On my gramma's side, I know that my great-great-gramma's family came through Ellis Island from Russia after their village was burnt down and there were mass murders of Jews. My great gramma and her little sister stayed but their 4 brothers got sent back because of pink eye. That always strikes me.

    My dad's family came here from Germany in 1768. It sounds like they were poor farmers until the 1920's when they lost the family farm and became poor farm laborers. Someone fought in every US war.

    My parents joke that my sister and I can be the only German Jews in the DAR (not true but we're untraditional).
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    My uncle (dad's brother) is very into genealogy and traced our family history. He says we can trace our family lines directly back to one of the first families from France that settled in Canada (duh, we're French Canadian). But from what I've been told, our last name is very common in the French parts of Canada, almost like Smith or Jones in the US.  
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    My grandfather fought for the British army during World War II, then when WWII ended and Israel was given to the Jews, Britain refused to leave. So my grandfather left the British army and joined the new Israeli army to help kick the British out. Although I have mixed feelings about the present state of Israel, that's always been my favorite story, especially the way he told it.

    We're also a distant cousin of Irving Berlin, apparently. Along with some famous comedian from Argentina.

    But going way back, if you believe Jewish lore, we're direct descendants of Moses's brother Aaron. Of course I can't confirm it, but that makes us kohen (holy class of a sort). My father and his brother aren't supposed to go into cemeteries or be in the presence of dead bodies, and when my uncle wanted to get married he had a hard time finding a rabbi who would perform the ceremony because even though his fiancee was Jewish, she was a divorcee.
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    My aunt hired a pro genealogist. We traced my mom's side back to something like the 1200s. Somewhere back there, we were descended from a few different kings of England. I also have an English ancestor named Lady Temperance Flowerdew (I love that one). That side of the family came here on the Mayflower, fought in the Revolutionary War, and for the North in the Civil War.

    On my dad's side, I'm descended from the priest who performed the wedding for Pocahontas and John Rolfe (not John Smith like the Disney movie says). That's the Jewish side of the family so how a priest ended up over there is beyond me. That side is all from Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia, and somewhere back there we're linked to Russian royals. My aunt, in fact, has a Russian crown jewel locked away that she inherited from my grandma. Also, my grandma's dad was one of the civil engineers/architects to design Soldier's Field in Chicago.

    That's all I got.
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    I don't know much about my ancestors. One grandma is full german, but the rest of me is a big mixture of everything. I do know that I am a Daughter of the American Revolution which means we decent from Patriots of the American Revolution ( I think we had family hop over on the Mayflower) and that I am part Native American, so I came to the US and greeted myself. Woot! 
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    My cousin is very into geneology and I find it incredibly interesting.  He's worked on my paternal grandparents families and traced my grandfather's side back to living relatives from their origins in Germany.  I think it's very cool and would love to visit the town and meet distant relatives if I ever get the chance.  When I was little my grandparents visited to meet people and I'm jealous (my cousin has also done this and fairly recently so I know he'd hook me up if I decided to).  I've always known I had a lot of german.  I know some about my mom's side, mostly german with some irish and dutch.

    When H finishes school we've already talked about taking this up as a hobby.  Little is known about his family past his grandparents.  His paternal grandparents died when he was very young so he really wants to trace his history.  From what we've done so far based on last name we are thinking it has scottish origins.

    In terms of anything really cool I do not know.  I've only scrached the surface of my cousin's research.  The only thing I know of was a "scandal" that my grandmother was always hush hush about because so and so got knocked up out of wedlock by a slave (gasp!) and suddenly relocated to NOLA which is why we have some of her uncommon last name there.  It's since been proven untrue haha.

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    These are all pretty badass and cool!!

    In the late 1890's my great-great grandmother and her husband wanted to live in America because it had more opportunities than where they were -middle of nowhere Nova Scotia Canada. So they WALKED for weeks/ months while my great-great grandmother was pregnant. They were going to just keep walking south until she gave birth. She gave birth here in Massachusetts and we've been here ever since. So we could have ended up in the southern US if she had another month of pregnancy.

                                                                     

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    I don't know much about my history.  But DH has some interesting characters.

    DH's grandfather was in Poland during WW2.  Canadians found him and told him "Look kid, you can come with us and fix radios, or you can wait for the Germans or Russians to do god knows what else."  So he decided he really liked radios.  When he came to Canada, he opened a radio/stereo store.

    DH's Grandmother was in the same town (never met Grandfather there, only met him in Canada which is a funny coincidence on it's own) and was captured by the Germans, who forced her to labor as a maid in a wealthy family's home.  They threatened her every day and treated her badly, and told her if she didn't do as they said, she'd go to the camp.  The Canadians freed her and said she could go anywhere in the British empire, so she chose Canada.
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    The only cool story I have is that we are (on my dad's side) related to Tom Zachary who was a MLB pitcher in the early-ish 1900's. He was most famous for giving up Babe Ruth's 60th home run and then won a game in the World Series with the Yankees the next year.



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    On my Dad's side of the family I am a descendant from a Mayflower passenger (which makes me very distantly related to Richard Gere).  Most likely an American Revolution fighter in there somewhere but it hasn't been proven.


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    On my mother's side, Robert Leroy Parker (aka Butch Cassidy) was a cousin of my great great grandma Parker. If I have to be related to a criminal, it's some consolation to note that his wanted posters described him as "well mannered and affable."

    My great great Grandfather was a practicing polygamist, and was arrested 3 times for it. He finally took his most pleasant wife, and left Utah to start a sugar plantation in Cuba, and disappears from all family and public records after that. He left Great-great Grandma behind, because she was reportedly the least pleasant of his four wives. My grandma still refers to her as "that vile old bitch," whenever she's mentioned. 

    A couple of Confederate officers, one of whom is noted briefly in history for standing near Robert E. Lee during the surrender at Appomattox. (Losers, but vaguely interesting ones.)

    On my father's side, a bunch of Italian peasants. Mostly law abiding, with the exception of some booze running during prohibition. Because close to Canada, had fishing boats.

    So nobody rich or illustrious, one infamous. 
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    My family is related to presidents McKinnley and Cleveland. Other than that, not sure. My dad was adopted and so was my grandfather (mom's dad).
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    My only story is one told to me by my great-aunt. One of my great-great grandfathers was German (actually a lot of my family is German but he's the only notable one). We don't know very much about him other than he came to the US in his late teens. He disappeared around July 30th, 1916 at the same time a giant explosion happened in a munitions depot on Black Tom Island in New York Harbor that was later determined to be caused by German spies. My aunt believes he was either involved in the explosion or went into hiding because of the heavy anti-German sentiment in the area.



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    On my mom's side, we are descended from the founders of a town in Poland.  The church they built is still there.
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