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Do you know anything interesting about your family history? Would you like to know more?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 3, 2012

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Photo of Dennison Cox

“On my mom’s side, I have a great-great-great-great-uncle, John Wesley Powell, who charted and mapped the Grand Canyon.”

Photo of Valerie Jennings

“I don’t, but I bet if I talked with my grandparents, I’d hear some interesting stories.”

Photo of Lauren Reinhold

“I have an interest, but I haven’t researched any. I know it’s a lot easier to do now with websites.”

Photo of Chris Leiszler

“I’ve heard that we have some connection to Leonardo da Vinci. I’d like to verify that. My mom has traced her family to Sicily.”

Comments

gphawk89 1 year, 10 months ago

My wife's a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln (not Abe the president, but his grandfather Abraham). Nothing terribly interesting on my side of the family. My clan was a bunch of troublemakers who were kicked out of Ireland. Eventually they were kicked out of England too, and fled back to Ireland.

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George_Braziller 1 year, 10 months ago

My maternal gradfather's, paternal grandmother's brother was an unsuccessful horse thief. He was caught (and hung) from a telegraph pole in the 1870s. Someone took a photo and my mom has the original picture of "Uncle Dan" on his last day. Fortunately it's taken from about 75 feet away so you can't see any of the grisly details.

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autie 1 year, 10 months ago

Momma says it's nice to have a couple of sessions of fish fry material in the freezer. It is just flat out Yazoo City muggy down here right now...the storm chasers are playing bridge about three or four counties west and I gots chigger bites. I do find it interesting that not one person so far as come on this and told one of those "hold my beer and watch this" stories about their family member. I need to put Lucas Kansas on the itinerary, they have a new toilet.

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prospector 1 year, 10 months ago

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Anyway, it is all about what did you do for me today?

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tange 1 year, 10 months ago

I did get to meet a new arrival recently, froglike and becoming. Why do we arrive suntanned?

/ rhetorical

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g_rock 1 year, 10 months ago

Best family story is my grandfather cutting off part of two fingers on his cousin's hand in a bizarre outhouse/chicken/hatchet incident. And my grandfather was not the ornery one of the family!

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 1 year, 10 months ago

My ancestors carried a small bag of thyme attached to their lapels to protect themselves from the smells of the populists.

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mom_of_three 1 year, 10 months ago

years before computers made it easier, my grandpa and a distant relative traced his family back to the Mayflower. Verified it through ancestry.com. grandma's side has native american ancestry and I am still searching through that. may be related through marriage to Belle Starr, but who isn't? still searching through the trees and see what shakes out.

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tange 1 year, 10 months ago

Apparently, my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents had no surviving children.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 10 months ago

Had an ancestor who helped mash the potatoes for the Last Supper. (yes, I'm aware that potatoes are a New World crop, but we're talking family lore here and anything goes)

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wiolfial 1 year, 10 months ago

Related to General Custer ,must explain my fascination with his horse Comanche.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 10 months ago

cait, Sand Creek was not a battle it was a massacre of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho people told to fly a white flag of neutrality at their encampment. Instead a Methodist leader, John Chivington and his Colorado militia rode into the camp and slaughtered innocents. Women and children were shot and slaughtered and members of this militia rode into Denver with body parts strown on bayonets. Chivington was ran out of the military but got away with murdering many and the United Methodist Church didn't really apologize for this until the 1990's and a local church district gave money recently for a interpretive center at the site. Cheyennes and Arapaho warriors were at Little Bighorn due to actions like this.

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rockchalker52 1 year, 10 months ago

We go all the way back to Clarrg the Chiseler, the first blogger of record as hieroglyphically noted in the caves of early man. Somewhere along the line, his early wayward descendants convoluted the last name & we are now synonymous with grifters & con artists.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 10 months ago

My sister is a professional genealogist and has traced our family back to the 13th century. On my mother's side, we descend from William Wallace's (you know, that Braveheart guy) cousin (or younger brother. It depends on the source and given the amount of "fostering" that went on in those days it could be either one). We also have a connection to Warwick, the Kingmaker. My great grandmother's maiden name was Houston and was born in Belle Fleur, TX (IIRC). Not a direct descendant of Sammie but definitely part of Texas "royalty". What is more interesting to me are the stories about some of the more common folk. One of my Wallace ancestors was strung up and hung from a tree in his own yard by a man who had purported to be his friend and did it in front of his wife and kids. This was in north Texas and it touched off a manhunt that didn't end until several years later in Oklahoma Territory. Another ancestor was at the Battle of Sand Creek, CO, the most western Civil War battle fought. (Interestingly, despite the fact that all of my American ancestors came from Confederate states, those that fought in the Civil War did so for the Union.) And oh my! The skeletons that can come tumbling out! My grandmother, when she was a young woman, got into a full on, hair pulling, nail scratching, cat fight with her step mother in broad daylight in the middle of downtown in front of God and everybody. My great aunt was a 1920's "flapper" and smoked marijuana. Yeah, shaking your family tree can be great fun!

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autie 1 year, 10 months ago

My daddys always said his grandfather was with them boys up in Minnysota that chased down after them bank robbers at Northfield. Other than that we just a bunch of non-descript regular normal folks.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 10 months ago

A very distant relative was a helper for Michelangelo while he painted the Sistene Chapel. I think he maybe mixed paint or made sammiches for him. Later on some of my family were dumped in the southern bayou area from Spanish prison ships. But they didn't do it! They wuz framed!!

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Caz Snwot 1 year, 10 months ago

I have three greatX10 aunts that were hung in the salem witch trials. Rebecca Nurse is a feature character in the crusible... Her sister also placed a curse on Ernest Hemingway's Great X3 grandfather, just before dying.

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Bill Lee 1 year, 10 months ago

I've spent many years climbing my family tree, and have learned a lot. All of my lines were here before the USA was formed from the 13 colonies. I had a couple of ancestors who were recruiters for the British Army around Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. The hardest ancestors to trace are those with no money or land. Literacy helps, too. If you tap into royal lines, historians have often done the work for you.

When I told my kids we were descended from Prince John in the Robin Hood stories, one asked why we couldn't have been descended from his brother Richard the Lion-hearted instead. I had to tell them that Richard was gay and had no children.

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