Monday, February 23, 2009

Family History: That Wasn't What I Expected; Almost Famous; Robbo Would Not Be Pleased; That Would Explain My Love of Chocolate

My sister, being a full-time (but not quite Desperate) housewife and mother, has recently taken up researching our geaneology as a hobby, mostly through the web site She's managed to trace our ancestors back as far as the 16th century (the English Branch), and has dug up some fascinating stuff. Among our ancestors were early Pilgrim or Puritan settlers in Massachissetts (not Mayflower passengers, but within a few years, and giving birth in the colony by 1627), and victims of an infamous Massacre in Upstate New York during the Revolution. What I really found interesting were the following tidbits:

That Wasn't What I Expected:

I have always known I had German ancestry -- my surname, after all, is blatantly German, and my sister's research has confirmed my German Ancestry. But what surprised us was that our Patrilineal line was NOT German, despite the family name. In fact, the first of my ancestors born in America was also the first ancestor with that last name. His father, Hendrik Johansson, was born in Sweden, as was HIS father, Johan Hendriksson. Why my ancestor had the middle name Johansson and then the last name that our family now bears is a mystery -- my best guess is either he was orphaned and adopted or his mother remarried. But so far, we don't have any records that say one way or another -- this was in the

Almost Famous:

For a couple of generations, my mother's family has been convinced we were related to Daniel Boone -- there are, after all, several Boones in the family lineage, and from the right part of the country. But my sister's more detailed research has shown conclusively that we are not related to Daniel Boone on my mother's side. On my FATHER'S side, however, we ALMOST are -- my great-grandfather married a woman who was a great-granddaughter of Daniel Boone and a greanddaughter of Meriwether Lewis. Unfortunately for us, she was his second wife, and our family line is from his first marriage.

Robbo Would Not Be Pleased:

This part will dismay my Royalist friend over at TPSAYE: My sister has also discovered in her research that we are direct descendants of a(n) (in)famous(?) roundhead, Daniel Axtell. Being a descendent also of Patriots from our own revolution, and a staunch Declarationist, I'm actually rather proud of this point.

That Would Explain My Love of Chocolate:

So it turns out that I am more and less of a mutt than I always suspected. The Irish, English, Wlsh, Scot, and German ancestry we always believed in has been confirmed. There is still no evidence of the Cherokee and Choctaw blood that has been hinted at from my mother's side, but that is offset by the revelation of Swedish ancestry, as well as French (to my horror) and... this is the one that really blew my mind... Swiss -- from a small valley south of Lake Geneva, just a few miles from the French border.

I'll post more if it seems interesting enough.