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Sesshomaru

Family History Stories

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There is already a genealogy topic dealing with the genetic makeup of one's ancestors, but I thought it would be cool to have a thread specifically for sharing the most intriguing tales of our ancestors. I know many of us have a marked interest in history. Feel free to share any story - bitter, sweet, or both - but please keep everything PG-13. If the protagonist of your story is a recent ancestor and you don't want to share names, you can keep their identity anonymous.

 

Mine:

 

  • "From France to America, François Joseph Durand." It reads like The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo combined. He was my 7th great-grandpa.
  • Longfellow wrote a poem about the ship that my grandfather, Captain Nathaniel Turner, disappeared on. (His ancestry is unknown, but there is a theory that he descends from Sir Francis Walsingham's sister.)
  • My 3rd great-grandpa, Francis T. Walton, was a bit of a legend in his time. He was a Union colonel in the Civil War (one of Governor Andrew Curtin's staff), a hotelier, and a horse gambler who lost basically everything he'd made. He's the reason my family isn't better off, but I'm still fascinated by his life, and I don't hold it against him.
  • Yelles Kasel, a Mennonite who discovered the Kasel comets.
  • Herman op den Graeff, another Mennonite about whom many stories endure, such as the mystery of the Lohengrin Swan.

  • Sir Anthony Morgan was a Welsh cavalier during the English Civil War, and his pedigree is pretty incredible. Owain Glyndŵr anyone? Through Anthony, I'm also the descendant of Seren-y-fenni and her father Dafydd Gam (Owain's enemy, ironically), as well as a 2nd cousin, many times removed, of Richard III.

  • I'm the distant cousin of several US presidents, the direct descendant of the Mayflower Brewsters, the descendant of the Benkestok barons of Norway, the cousin of the screen cowboy Tom Mix, the cousin of Amelia Earhart, and the distant granddaughter of Robert the Bruce, Llywelyn the Great, and Brian Boru - all three.

  • There's also my progenitors Thomas and Rebecca Mix, who were basically the worst Puritans ever.

 

Let's hear yours!

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Posted (edited)

My family's history, on my dad's side, goes back to Clan Donnachaidh and King Duncan I of Scotland--the same that Shakespeare based the character of the same name off of in Macbeth. (Macbeth, in real life, was named Mac Bethad mac Findláich and was one of King Duncan's dukes. He died in battle against Mac Bethad, rather than being stabbed in his sleep like in the play. There's still a castle in the family name back in Scotland, and if I ever get to travel internationally I plan to visit.

Edited by dragon_mando

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I'm from a long line of... Farmers. From Germany. There's not really any notable figures I am aware of in my ancestry. It's possible there are some in offshoot branches of cousins.

 

Still, there are interesting stories though. A year or so ago I learned about an ancestor who was a serf in 'ye olde feudal system. One day a nobleman's carriage got out of control and the guy saved him. Was rewarded with land and based off my geneology research, possibly one of the nobleman's daughters. (There's a Kathrine von/vom Hapstat which for a German surname I believe denotes some aristocracy or nobility. Because the "from" part of the name changes for a few generations it's really difficult to find anything on her.) I have trouble Google searching anything concrete to back up what I've heard about this branch because the last name of that family line is really unusual and spellings have changed around. If anyone has suggestions on better resources or research methods, I'd appreciate it.

 

Another, much more recent ancestor of mine left Bavaria back when there were multiple German countries and wars in the 1850s to come to the US. The sources I read pretty much stated he didn't want to follow into a military life like his father. However, when 1860s with it's civil war rolled around, he got drafted without a choice. He even tried getting out of the situation by trying to get a doctor's note for gout.

Edited by Daydreamer09

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@dragon_mando Yep. I'm also huge Shakespeare/Scottish history nerd. (I'm also an acting student, so I'm seeing the Bard in my dreams at this point, lol.) I'm descended from the Dunkelds, too, including from Malcolm Canmore, the guy who supposedly really did slay Macbeth (which was actually his real name, albeit in English - it means "son of life.") and his stepson, and became their successor.

 

@Daydreamer09 Ugh, Germans. I have so many German and Dutch ancestors that are creating brick walls in my research. Er, they sure were prolific. I've managed to find some info about them, though: Anneke Esaiasdochter, an Anabaptist executed by drowning on charges of heresy, Reverend Kassel, who observed the Kassel comets, and pretty much all of William Penn's fellow first settlers to Pennsylvania.

 

Wikitree is my favorite genealogy website. It's free, and its reliability is fairly high, as it is regularly maintained by its volunteers.

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There are no historic person in my family I guess, but I think story of my grandparents' are strongly bind in modern history on Korea.

 

In my father's line, my grandfather actually lived at northern part of Korea peninsula. I heard there was actually South before war occurred. During war, he could evacuate, but some of his family remained north (including his wife and children.) He married in South again. It wasn't long ago that I heard my father had older siblings.

 

In my mother's line, they were landlords. There would be some historic person on that line as they were elite class of Choseon dynasty. According to my mom, they had several old documents in their home but her uncle sold them all.

 

There might some more story but I hadn't asked that much or detailed.

 

And as I'm native, there are no story related with migration. (My grandpa(mother's dad) spent his young days in Japan tho.)

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Posted (edited)

@Sesshomaru

I have quite a few ancestors who had over 10 kids. I never really thought of it as a German thing. Well, again almost everyone in my tree is German, (the rest being Hollander Dutch) so I haven't had anything to compare really. Lol.

I just always assumed it was because they were farmers and they needed more hands to work.

 

@sh20000sh

Wow, so you have aunts and uncles you've never met living in North Korea? That's really something to think about with how crazy that country is right now. I hope they're safe and ok.

 

And it's awful you don't have any of those family documents. My grandfather's told stories about cousins stealing american civil war portraits from his parents. There's nothing really historical I've inherited either and it makes you wonder and wish you had those few precious heirlooms.

Edited by Daydreamer09

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