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Fourth of July Post: American Ancestors


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I make a post like this from time-to-time. I'm curious what you all know about your American ancestors?

I made a list of some of 12 of the more prominent Americen ancestors of mine from 1776 to my great-grandparents's generations as I think about Independence Day: 

  1. One of my great-grandmothers arrived in 1907 from what is now the Czech Republic. She's both my last immigrant ancestor and my last immigrant ancestor to get citizenship, which she didn't do until 1961! 
  2. One of my other great-grandmothers was captain of her basketball team at Boston Latin School for girls just a year or two after basketball was invented. She later got a degree in philosophy.
  3. One of my great grandfathers was the secretary of the Ohio Republican Progressive Party in 1911 and 1912. In 1917-1919, he was the chief legal advisor for Woodrow Wilson's Sec of War and held the rank of Major. 
  4. One of my great-great grandfathers was a naturalist, focusing primarily on birds. Several birds are named after him, as well as some mammals, lizards, mollusks. He was also the first editor of the first professional ornithological journals. Wrote many books. Invented a taxidermy method that was popular in New England. 
  5. A 5th great-grandfather served both in the army during the Rev War and as a privateer operating out of New Jersey. 
  6. A 4th great-grandfather was a Massachusetts sea captain who owned a small merchant fleet. His ships were attacked several times during the Quasi-War with the French and during the lead up to the War of 1812 with the British. 
  7. A 3rd great-grandfather was a Massachusetts lighthouse keeper and owned and operated a shoe manufacturing business for a short period of time. He won a gold medal from the Massachusetts Humane Society for saving most of a crew's life after a ship wrecked off Ipswich, Massachusetts. His son's first and middle name are named after the two people he couldn't save. He made his own suit for his wedding and made his own violin that he played at his wedding. 
  8. A 5th great-grandfather was in the Massachusetts colonial legislature that created the first Massachusetts Constitution, which is actually the first written constitution. He also served as a selectman (co-mayor) of Newbury, MA during much of the Rev War. 
  9. A 6th great-grandfather owned a tavern in Massachusetts that was visited by some of the Founding Fathers. 
  10. A 5th great-grandfather died at the Battle of Ticonderoga during the Rev War.
  11. A 5th great-grandfather left his job as a cobbler's apprentice in Philadelphia without telling his employer to join Washington's army when it was just outside Philadelphia. 
  12. Two of my 3rd great-grandparents and a 4th great-grandparent died of cholera on the same boat on their way to Galveston, TX from Germany. Fortunately, their children I descend from survived and arrived in Texas. 

I'm curious what you all know about your American ancestors?

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43 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I make a post like this from time-to-time. I'm curious what you all know about your American ancestors?

I made a list of some of 12 of the more prominent Americen ancestors of mine from 1776 to my great-grandparents's generations as I think about Independence Day: 

  1. One of my great-grandmothers arrived in 1907 from what is now the Czech Republic. She's both my last immigrant ancestor and my last immigrant ancestor to get citizenship, which she didn't do until 1961! 
  2. One of my other great-grandmothers was captain of her basketball team at Boston Latin School for girls just a year or two after basketball was invented. She later got a degree in philosophy.
  3. One of my great grandfathers was the secretary of the Ohio Republican Progressive Party in 1911 and 1912. In 1917-1919, he was the chief legal advisor for Woodrow Wilson's Sec of War and held the rank of Major. 
  4. One of my great-great grandfathers was a naturalist, focusing primarily on birds. Several birds are named after him, as well as some mammals, lizards, mollusks. He was also the first editor of the first professional ornithological journals. Wrote many books. Invented a taxidermy method that was popular in New England. 
  5. A 5th great-grandfather served both in the army during the Rev War and as a privateer operating out of New Jersey. 
  6. A 4th great-grandfather was a Massachusetts sea captain who owned a small merchant fleet. His ships were attacked several times during the Quasi-War with the French and during the lead up to the War of 1812 with the British. 
  7. A 3rd great-grandfather was a Massachusetts lighthouse keeper and owned and operated a shoe manufacturing business for a short period of time. He won a gold medal from the Massachusetts Humane Society for saving most of a crew's life after a ship wrecked off Ipswich, Massachusetts. His son's first and middle name are named after the two people he couldn't save. He made his own suit for his wedding and made his own violin that he played at his wedding. 
  8. A 5th great-grandfather was in the Massachusetts colonial legislature that created the first Massachusetts Constitution, which is actually the first written constitution. He also served as a selectman (co-mayor) of Newbury, MA during much of the Rev War. 
  9. A 6th great-grandfather owned a tavern in Massachusetts that was visited by some of the Founding Fathers. 
  10. A 5th great-grandfather died at the Battle of Ticonderoga during the Rev War.
  11. A 5th great-grandfather left his job as a cobbler's apprentice in Philadelphia without telling his employer to join Washington's army when it was just outside Philadelphia. 
  12. Two of my 3rd great-grandparents and a 4th great-grandparent died of cholera on the same boat on their way to Galveston, TX from Germany. Fortunately, their children I descend from survived and arrived in Texas. 

I'm curious what you all know about your American ancestors?

I have never heard a mention of such an ancestor(s). That doesn't necessarily mean they didn't exist - just that I would be unaware of them.

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16 minutes ago, Patine said:

I have never heard a mention of such an ancestor(s). That doesn't necessarily mean they didn't exist - just that I would be unaware of them.

How much research have you done? 

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11 minutes ago, vcczar said:

How much research have you done? 

Mostly what older relatives have said (many of them no longer with us) - at this point, anyways.

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

Mostly what older relatives have said (many of them no longer with us) - at this point, anyways.

I only knew of about 10% of what I posted from what older relatives told me. I had to research all the above myself. Census records, old newspapers, some information already gathered in other sources, etc. I even found photographs of some of them. My parents and grandparents seemed to either know very little of their own grandparents and prior or they never thought to tell me. 

I could help you find more about your ancestors if you want, but I can't devote too much time to it, but I could probably uncover a lot in just an hour, if I have some basic information about your grandparents. The best and most accessible information, at least for researching US ancestry, is between 1850-1940. After 1940, some records aren't public domain. Before 1850, records become fewer and less informative, making it take more effort to make convincing connections. I assume Canada is probably about the same. 

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10 minutes ago, pilight said:

My grandfather told me stories about his grandfather fighting in the Civil War.

What did he say? 

I had siblings of ancestors that fought in the North, where most of my ancestors lived.  My Northern ancestors registered for the draft, but they don't seem to have ever been called or have volunteered. However, they were either older than most soldiers or were not of age until the last year or two of the war, which might explain the reasons why they didn't fight. I know the brother of my great-great grandmother fought in a New Hampshire regiment (from Massachusetts though), and was killed fighting in Louisiana. 

I had one Confederate -- German born guy living in Texas who never owned slaves. He was stationed in Louisiana, but I haven't researched if he had fought in any battles. He remains the only ancestor that served in a military capacity. 

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My great great great (great great?) grandfather came to New York from Germany when we were still a British colony.  He (or his son? I forget) fought in the revolutionary war...against those damned rabble rousing rebels.  ;c). 
 

He lost, of course — but for his loyalty to the British crown, he was awarded land in Canada and founded a town that bears our last name.  
 

Eventually his descendants wandered down to Missouri before turning East, where a large % of people with my last name settled into a single farming community near Pittsburgh, including my dad’s father’s dad (my great grandfather.)

His wife (my great grandmother) was born to first generation Italian immigrants who settled in that same town.  She died just two years ago, at the age of 104.

My dad’s mother’s dad (my other great grandfather) was a World War II naval gunner who served in the Pacific.  His role was to shoot down Japanese kamikaze pilots before they could hit the US ships.  One pilot did hit his ship — it didn’t sink, but he got shrapnel in his neck from the explosion.

His son served in Vietnam and is still alive.

I know less about my mom’s side — they tend to die earlier, so they didn’t stick around long enough to tell their stories — but I know I have a great great uncle who died in the Battle of Argonne in World War I.

 

 

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Happy 4th of July!

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I actually do have American blood in me running way back to the Revolutionary War times.  Many loyalists fled the colonies after losing the War of Independence, and plenty were given land in the Caribbean region, in addition to Canada as mentioned above.  I did genealogy research many years back, and it turns out I have quite a few long-distance family members from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Maryland in particular.

Had family that fought with the US in Western Europe during the Second World War as well.

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I likely have 0 American Blood in me not just because I am British but because my family seems to have been not well off enough to really go anywhere.

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10 hours ago, Patine said:

What holiday is considered the main "national holiday," in Austria today?

October 26th.

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On 7/4/2020 at 11:40 AM, vcczar said:

I make a post like this from time-to-time. I'm curious what you all know about your American ancestors?

I made a list of some of 12 of the more prominent Americen ancestors of mine from 1776 to my great-grandparents's generations as I think about Independence Day: 

  1. One of my great-grandmothers arrived in 1907 from what is now the Czech Republic. She's both my last immigrant ancestor and my last immigrant ancestor to get citizenship, which she didn't do until 1961! 
  2. One of my other great-grandmothers was captain of her basketball team at Boston Latin School for girls just a year or two after basketball was invented. She later got a degree in philosophy.
  3. One of my great grandfathers was the secretary of the Ohio Republican Progressive Party in 1911 and 1912. In 1917-1919, he was the chief legal advisor for Woodrow Wilson's Sec of War and held the rank of Major. 
  4. One of my great-great grandfathers was a naturalist, focusing primarily on birds. Several birds are named after him, as well as some mammals, lizards, mollusks. He was also the first editor of the first professional ornithological journals. Wrote many books. Invented a taxidermy method that was popular in New England. 
  5. A 5th great-grandfather served both in the army during the Rev War and as a privateer operating out of New Jersey. 
  6. A 4th great-grandfather was a Massachusetts sea captain who owned a small merchant fleet. His ships were attacked several times during the Quasi-War with the French and during the lead up to the War of 1812 with the British. 
  7. A 3rd great-grandfather was a Massachusetts lighthouse keeper and owned and operated a shoe manufacturing business for a short period of time. He won a gold medal from the Massachusetts Humane Society for saving most of a crew's life after a ship wrecked off Ipswich, Massachusetts. His son's first and middle name are named after the two people he couldn't save. He made his own suit for his wedding and made his own violin that he played at his wedding. 
  8. A 5th great-grandfather was in the Massachusetts colonial legislature that created the first Massachusetts Constitution, which is actually the first written constitution. He also served as a selectman (co-mayor) of Newbury, MA during much of the Rev War. 
  9. A 6th great-grandfather owned a tavern in Massachusetts that was visited by some of the Founding Fathers. 
  10. A 5th great-grandfather died at the Battle of Ticonderoga during the Rev War.
  11. A 5th great-grandfather left his job as a cobbler's apprentice in Philadelphia without telling his employer to join Washington's army when it was just outside Philadelphia. 
  12. Two of my 3rd great-grandparents and a 4th great-grandparent died of cholera on the same boat on their way to Galveston, TX from Germany. Fortunately, their children I descend from survived and arrived in Texas. 

I'm curious what you all know about your American ancestors?

I've been doing some family research this summer and have found some pretty interesting facts. I'll post them a little later once I have some time to look back in my notes and highlight the best ones.

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12 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

I've been doing some family research this summer and have found some pretty interesting facts. I'll post them a little later once I have some time to look back in my notes and highlight the best ones.

If you have any brick walls let me know. I have access to a lot of stuff and I've worked on over 30 family trees. 

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10 hours ago, vcczar said:

If you have any brick walls let me know. I have access to a lot of stuff and I've worked on over 30 family trees. 

I might have to take you up on that offer some time. My dad's dad's dad's dad has especially been a tricky one to figure out.

 

So my dad's mom's side of the family is heavily connected to a well known family in Kentucky (the LaRue's). They originated in France as Huguenots but were forced to other places in Europe by the Catholics. Some were killed at the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. They eventually made their way to America. Isaac LaRue (my 5th and 6th great-grandfather) obtained some land in Virginia. George Washington surveyed the land for him. His sons Jacob (my 4th great-grandfather) and John (my 5th great-grandfather) eventually made their way to what is now LaRue County, Kentucky (named after them).  John LaRue worked with Squire Boone (brother of Daniel) to survey his land. He also served in the Virginia Militia during the Revolution. His wife Mary served as the mid-wife for the birth of Abraham Lincoln. John's Grandson (my 4th great-uncle) was John LeRue Helm, former KY governor, Lt. Gov, and speaker of the state house. His son Benjamin Hardin Helm (my 1st cousin 4 times removed) was a confederate general and married Emilie Todd (half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln; making her the sister-in-law of my 1st cousin 4 times removed). Another of John's grandchildren was George Helm Yeaman (also my 1st cousin 4 times removed). He was one of the key lame-duck Democrats who voted for the 13th Amendment. A number of other branch-offs of this side of the family served in the Revolution, the War of 1812 (including some that were officers with Andrew Jackson in New Orleans), and the Civil War.

My dad's dad's side of the family pretty much all come from Germany.

I haven't done a whole lot of research on my mom's side of the family yet.

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4 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

I might have to take you up on that offer some time. My dad's dad's dad's dad has especially been a tricky one to figure out.

 

So my dad's mom's side of the family is heavily connected to a well known family in Kentucky (the LaRue's). They originated in France as Huguenots but were forced to other places in Europe by the Catholics. Some were killed at the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. They eventually made their way to America. Isaac LaRue (my 5th and 6th great-grandfather) obtained some land in Virginia. George Washington surveyed the land for him. His sons Jacob (my 4th great-grandfather) and John (my 5th great-grandfather) eventually made their way to what is now LaRue County, Kentucky (named after them).  John LaRue worked with Squire Boone (brother of Daniel) to survey his land. He also served in the Virginia Militia during the Revolution. His wife Mary served as the mid-wife for the birth of Abraham Lincoln. John's Grandson (my 4th great-uncle) was John LeRue Helm, former KY governor, Lt. Gov, and speaker of the state house. His son Benjamin Hardin Helm (my 1st cousin 4 times removed) was a confederate general and married Emilie Todd (half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln; making her the sister-in-law of my 1st cousin 4 times removed). Another of John's grandchildren was George Helm Yeaman (also my 1st cousin 4 times removed). He was one of the key lame-duck Democrats who voted for the 13th Amendment. A number of other branch-offs of this side of the family served in the Revolution, the War of 1812 (including some that were officers with Andrew Jackson in New Orleans), and the Civil War.

My dad's dad's side of the family pretty much all come from Germany.

I haven't done a whole lot of research on my mom's side of the family yet.

One of my friends is a direct descendant of Squire Boone. 

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18 hours ago, vcczar said:

If you have any brick walls let me know. I have access to a lot of stuff and I've worked on over 30 family trees. 

An African American friend of mine tried to do research on her family tree and hit a wall just three generations back

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4 hours ago, pilight said:

An African American friend of mine tried to do research on her family tree and hit a wall just three generations back

That’s not too unusual for African-American families. However, it’s usually pre-1870 when the brick walls start to occur. 

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