What's the most interesting story in your family tree? :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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What's the most interesting story in your family tree?

Question by Scott_J

I've got a few mayflower ancestors, but none of those stories feel very unique or "real" to me. Maybe because they're so well known. Do you have a great story?

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by Scott_J Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2016-01-26 07:56:22

Scott Jangro is the owner of FamilyTreeCircles.com and has documented roots back to Mayflower passengers Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster. If you're wondering what he's doing when he's mysteriously absent, here's some links to other stuff he's responsible for: about.me/jangro.

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by Hilary_D on 2016-01-27 16:39:08

My paternal grandfather was related to Joe Darby a well known 'spring jumper' who hailed from the Black Country in England, he cleared a snooker table from a standing position and also jumped on and off a box of eggs without breaking them! Growing up I was told many tales of his amazing feats.

by dorfyjean on 2016-01-27 16:55:43

One is that I am grateful they rescued John Howland when he fell overboard because there wouldn't be as many people now!!
My grandfather was born in England his father drown his mother and placed the girls in a work house. He joined the merchant navy and he and others jumped ship when they were at port in Nova Scotia.

by moog25 on 2016-01-27 16:57:15

My great great grandparents' story is a very interesting one. Rebecca Rumbell, born in Melbourne, married George Bond, an Irishman, in 1862. She was 19, he was 27. After the birth of their first child, they followed the goldrush across the Tasman to settle in the Otago province opf New Zealand, where they had a store at Arthur's Point. George and a partner built a bridge over the Shotover river.George tended the bridge, charging one shilling for pedestrians and two shillings sixpence for a horse and load. In 1867 they sold the bridge and moved to Cardrona and opened the Empire Hotel (now the iconic Cardrona Hotel, immortalized in beer commercials). Rebecca ran the hotel while George tried his hand, unsuccessfully, at gold mining. This lack of success led to his becoming the best customer of the Empire's bar.In 1874 tragedy struck. George, becoming increasingly unwell due to drink, entered the Cromwell Hospital in 1876. He left the hospital, against his doctors's consent, to stay at Goodger's Hotel in Cromwell. One night he was seen exiting from a window and disappeared. The police were called, and blood was found among the broken glass and rubbish on the steep hill near the outhouse above the river, leading toward the bank. He was found drowned downriver several days later. Rumors flew about suicide, but Rebecca surmised that he stumbled upon exiting the "closet" and fell down the bank, became disoriented and wandered into the water.
At the age of 32, with seven children to support and little money,she put the hotel on the market, planning to move and start anew, but it hadn't sold 3 years later, so she moved to Arrowtown and took up the lease of the Ballarat Hotel. In 1885 she moved to Queenstown to manage the prestigious new hotel, The Mountaineer. In 1893 she took over Invercargill's Crescent Hotel. She retired in 1904.

by chezawolf on 2016-01-27 16:58:10

Here lie the remains of
who slew the Irish Lord, settled Augusta County,
located the Town of Staunton,
and furnished five sons to fight the battles
He was the son of Andrew Lewis Esq.
and Mary Calhoun and was born in Donegal County, Ireland in 1678,
and died in Virginia Feb. 1st, 1762.
He was a brave man, a true patriot and
a friend of liberty throughout the world.

This John Lewis is my 5th great grandfather. I find it kind of ironic that he fled his homeland after killing a man and then being this upstanding person in the Americas. I am glad he made a name for himself here.

by ddsuarez on 2016-01-27 17:00:26

While watching a show on the History Chanel about Lewis and Clark, we learned that Sacajawea was married to a man named Charboneau. Having seen that family name in my genealogy travels, I ascertained that her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, was the brother of my direct Charbonneau ancestor. He is my 3rd cousin 6 times removed, and their son and daughter who lived with and were ultimately raised by Clark after Sacajawea died, would be my 4th cousins. This was a very interesting piece of family history to discover!

by jded_101148 on 2016-01-28 03:56:35

Having only begun researching my own & my late hubby's family trees since 2008 {2nd marriage so families not blood related} - I have achieved wonders & mostly free and by connecting & sharing with others. From about 10 known members my late hubby's tree now numbers about 4,000 (proved) & I was able to pass this own to many true connections , here & overseas. On my own tree there were only 4 people including my sister & I. Now there are over 3,000 proved connections & they are increasing daily due to my being able to inspire research by new-found European connections - they have discovered the bug!.... Thank heavens because I do not speak the language!
In the beginning I posted requests & stories in our local Family reseach magazine (Australia) of which there is only one "Australian Family Tree Connections".
For research in India use Fibis (Families in British India) - almost all info is freely accessable. Advise subscribing (not expensive) for more help if needed. If researching any place which was a British Colony - always check the Fibis records - You would be amazed how many spent at least a little time in India during their journey elswhere.
I have discovered sooo many fascinating stories from both our Trees I could write volumes. My hubby was "gobsmacked" at the things I was able to tell him about his ancestors. He was thrilled when we caravanned around hooking up with rellies many times removed. Even now he is gone they have remained my friends.
....So one of my stories would be about all the contacts, worldwide, who have become part of both our families... & discovering an affinity not always experienced with more closely related family members.
In relation to my own Tree there are 2 stories that would each warrent a book:
1) My father & his 5 wives & ancestry of 250yrs+ in British India.
2) My Polish mother's journey from 1939 via German Concentration camp, to Siberian Labour camp, joining Anders Army, nursing in Persian refugee camps, being torpedoed by the Japanese in the Gulf of Oman, nursing in Karachi (then still India) for the duration of WW2, experiencing revolution in both Persia (Iran) and India & then finally coming to Australia in 1947!..... & now being able to finally discover her Polish ancestry.

Am exhausted just thinking about the work I have yet to do!

by Scott_J on 2016-01-28 09:44:41

I love these stories. thank you!

These responses remind me that one of my ancestors died building the Hoosac tunnel in Western Massachusetts 150 years ago. There are always stories out there.

"Deadly accidents during construction killed 193 workers, leading the survivors to dub the Tunnel the "Bloody Pit". Many of its victims died in explosions, most by black powder, others by the more stable nitroglycerin (the Hoosac project marked nitro's first commercial application in the United States)."

Hoosac Tunnel

by brl123 on 2016-01-28 14:33:30

In 846 A.D. a Norwegian by the name of Ralf led the Vikings into what would become Normandy, where they were successful in defeating the indigenous population. Some were given land at the mouth of the Seine to protect against the next wave of Vikings. Two centuries later of course it was a decendent of Ralf's, William that invaded England, and succeeded, becoming William the Conqueror. His half sister Christine and her husband were granted land in Norfolk, where the family resided and became influential at court; and very wealthy. They are the ancestors of those with the surname Cushing Cushon, and many varitations of the name. My mother was a Cushion. I guess this is interesting in that, starting as probably the wealthiest family in England, my mother's family was as dirt poor as a family can get.

by GGraham on 2016-01-28 14:55:38

Resuming my genealogical efforts (after decades) during the sesquicentennial observance for the American Civil War, I learned that I had three direct ancestors on my mother's side who were Tennesseans who fought as Confederate soldiers. One of the three had a younger brother who was also a Johnny Reb. Indeed, they enlisted in the same company, Co. C, 17th Tennessee. At the Battle of Murfreesboro (31 Dec 1862 - 2 Jan 1863) my direct ancestor, James E. Sansom, was wounded in the leg. Brother Elias stayed with James, even as the Yankees approached and captured the brothers. Elias took the oath of allegiance and got assigned to a position from which he could monitor James' recovery. As soon as James was well enough, Elias stole two horses, got both men away from the Yankees, and took James home. He then found his way back to Co. C and re-enlisted to continue fighting the Yankees!

My conclusions: 1. I'd say that I was ashamed to discover a horse thief in my family tree, but then again they WERE Yankee horses! 2. Elias clearly believed that the ends justify the means, at least where brotherly love is concerned!

by GGraham on 2016-01-28 16:38:12

Oops! I got the name wrong! James E. Sansom is my direct ancestor and he did fight as a Johnny Reb from Tennessee. However, he was the father of the two Sansom brothers I wrote of (and other children). The son who was wounded at Murfreesboro (also called the Battle of Stones River) was Sam(uel) D. Sansom.

by Summers76 on 2016-02-09 10:01:20

The family stories above are brilliant :)Keep up the good work. When friends ask me why I am researching my roots some from Ireland my answer is always the same. "Its the one Legacy that we can pass on to the next Generation " .To all who maybe just starting the long research road, never give up. You may have days, weeks and find nothing, then out of the blue you get a gem link. As a silversurfer and researching my many family links I wish you all good luck .

by sueann69 on 2016-02-09 23:56:51

I guess the most interesting in my family tree are the Tabors of Big Creek, Taney county. S.C. Turnbo wrote several short stories on them. Google S.C. Turnbo, The Tabor family of Big Creek, Taney County, Missouri and see what you come up with.

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