Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ancestor Approved Award

Leslie over at, Lost Family Treasures, presented me with the Ancestor Approved Award!  Thank you so much for the acknowledgement.  So as a recipient of the award I will attempt to list ten things I have learned about any of my ancestors that has surprised me, humbled me, or enlightened me:
  • My paternal grandmother had a profound faith in God right to the very end of her life. I always respected her for this, as her life was full of sickness and tragedy. Through all of that, she never lost her faith. I admire that.
  • I had a relative who, though not a direct line ancestor, also had a story to tell. She had a lifelong dream to have a college education, but you know how life can sometimes get in the way. She graduated with her degree in education when she was in her late sixties. She then went on to teach elementary school for some years after! I guess you should never give up on a dream.
  • One of my great grandmothers was orphaned at a young age and was raised by her alcoholic grandfather. Her grandfather would become quite abusive when he was 'in the bottle' which created misery for everyone living in his household. My great grandmother began working as a housemaid when she was in her early teens just to get away from her grandfather. Even with such a rocky start to life, she raised five children, and was a successful entrepreneur at a time when a woman's place was 'in the home'. I admire the spirit and the sheer fortitude she showed.
  • One of my third great grandparents lived in southern Kentucky. He was a quiet man of God, who loved his family. His oldest daughter married and moved to Missouri with her husband's family. The Civil War began and travel became very dangerous. His new son-in-law ends up dying unexpectedly, leaving his widow and her young children in poverty. My third great grandfather walked all the way from Whitley County, Kentucky to rescue his daughter and grand children in southern Missouri. He succeeds in bringing his daughter back home, but two of his sons would perish fighting in the War.
  • One of my second great grandfathers was a fiddle player. He lived in a remote part of Scott County, Tennessee and rarely left the confines of Stanley creek. People would come from all around to hear him play.
  • One of my fourth great grandfathers, living in Onondaga County, New York in the early 1880s, lost his wife of more than sixty years. He was found dead near her grave a little more than a week later, the local paper said 'from a broken heart'.
  • One of my third great grandmothers ran off and married her childhood sweetheart, and according to her deposition for a widow's pension, much to the anger of her father. She mentions her husband was terrified of her father because her father was 'going to horse whip him' when he could get his hands on him. She goes on to mention her father finally calmed down, and he and his new son-in-law actually became friends! Love conquers all.
  • One of my third great grandfathers was Welsh. He immigrated to the U. S. in 1819 as a young child. This is a story about observing everything in a census page. The census taker was required to ask 'country of birth'. So when my third great grandfather answered, he would say Wales. The census taker would inevitably write, English. This is the observation part. The census taker would cross out English and write Welsh or Wales just above it. I'm sure my ancestor corrected him. He did this in every census!
  • This is another census story about the same Welsh ancestor in the previous story. In the 1850 census for St. Clair County, Michigan, he was asked to list every one that was living in his household. My second great grandfather was named James. His father pronounced James the way the Welsh would, with an accent on the last syllable. So James would be pronounced Jame-ess. The census taker wrote what he heard and recorded the name as Jame S. Perry (probably thinking the whole time my third great grandfather was nuts). Fast forward to modern times. An indexer thought they were 'correcting' the data when they changed the name from Jame S. Perry (male) to Jane S. Perry (female). Always check the original document!
  • One of my second great grandfathers was a Baptist preacher. He was known for his Hell-fire and brimstone preaching style. He also would preach with his Colt 45 pistol within easy reach! Nobody messed with him.

I'm supposed to pass this award on to ten other Blogs. I'll do this a little later...

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