We were talking about grandparents. I’ve had the great fortune to know many ancestors, some of them for a wonderful and long time. (Ten or eleven, if you’ll let me count step-grandparents, who always manage to dote on you just like a regular grandchild, anyway.)
I have prominent memories, for example, of a great-great-grandmother. I could not remember when she died, so I had to look that up. I was in the ninth grade or so. She’d lived for 93 years, a simple, country life, but she’d seen planes, cars, penicillin, the nuclear age, space flight, hippies and the entire run of MacGyver.
She was a little woman, always wore her bun in her hair. We were always probably too loud for her. But she gave you a kiss and a half a stick of Wrigley’s Doublemint every time you saw her.
In re-discovering her obituary I found a link to someone’s genealogy research. I had great luck going back in time through her husband’s family tree — most of the success coming from the men, as they are typically better documented beyond a certain point. I found the names of people who died before the family cemetery was built. These people have a long history in the area, which helps explain why they are one of the four or five family names you always hear in that county.
I found a man named Peter who served in the 2nd Regiment of the West Tennessee Militia. I found a mention that suggests he might have bene in the middle of Andrew Jackson’s lines at the battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812.
Peter had sandy colored hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion. The Census noted he could read, though his wife couldn’t. He was a Tennessee boy, but moved, with his brother, to Alabama soon after that opened that section of land was opened up to white settlers. Purely a guess, but I’m guessing this was in the 18-teens, likely just before statehood. So that family has been in the area a good long while. (That’s four two-brothers stories I’ve heard of in that county. How everything isn’t named Romulus and Remus is beyond me.)
Peter came from a big family. His father, Layton, married twice. He had 24 children, his last when he was 63. Somewhere, how he found the time I don’t know, Layton moved his family into Tennessee from Virginia soon after the Revolutionary War. But Layton’s parents were from New Jersey, back when it was still new, and spent some time in West Virginia before moving into Virginia to avoid the Indian Wars. And right in here, somewhere in the middle of the 18th century, is when the spelling of their family name changed.
One more generation puts you in New York — in Amersfort, NY (modern Long Island or
Brooklyn, NY). That makes my grandfather 10th generation American, a farmer like much of his family before him, and descended down one branch of his family line from Netherlands.
If all of that is correct. I did read it on the Internet. But it is easy to be amazed at how many people you’ve never heard of, supposedly in your family, doing genealogy research when you skim those sites.
On the other side of the family tree I found some Dutch roots last year, through a hit off a digitized 1946 newspaper. The Alabama Courier (established in 1892 and merged with the Limestone Democrat in 1969 to publish the News Courier) copy yielded two new surnames and the obit of a great-great grandfather, a WWI veteran. He was survived by his wife and four children, including my great-grandmother.
Some of that genealogical work was done by a nice lady whom I emailed, but have never met, who is apparently a fourth or eighth cousin.
Makes you wonder what a real family reunion would look like.
At the ballpark tonight Conner Kendrick pitched seven and one-third innings, allowing only four hits while striking out eight, which ties a personal best. When he left the game Auburn had a 2-0 lead over the 11th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks:
Kendrick’s night ended so that Terrance Dedrick could take the mound. Dedrick, as a junior, has become the stopped that Auburn has been searching for over much of the last decade. He’s 4-2 this year and came in tonight with nine saves.
And he’s usually doing something amazing, ballet moves at first, over the shoulder catches behind the mound, or just striking people out the old fashioned way. Tonight he forced a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and give Auburn a key late-season win over Arkansas, 4-2.
The first conference shutout since 2011. Now they just need two more wins to end the season.