I said in my first post about family history that I didn’t “get” the appeal of genealogy. I am now getting it more, and apologize to anyone I offended by how I characterized my earlier disinterest in previous generations. I honestly DO see now that people are interested in more than just finding out if they were related to any kings or queens.
That said, hey, I have ancestors with “Sir” and “Lady” and “Viscount” and such in their listings! Knowing that I have slave ancestors on one side, I guess it all balances out.
When I delved into the past of my dad’s side, which are Kendall and Butts lines from north Georgia in the hills, I kept thinking surely I would run into a dead end pretty quickly, since “all those hillbillies” probably didn’t keep good records. Well, once again I was totally wrong.
People care deeply about migration patterns of early European settlers to the US, and there are very good records showing how my ancestors ended up heading as far as Arkansas. Where did they start out? Most arrived in the Virginia colonies in the 1600s. I read a tale on Ancestry.com of one Kendall ancestor who paid for his passage by putting his two sons into indentured servitude for three years. As soon as they were done, they got out of Virginia! People owning each other seems to have quite the history, and it applies to my ancestors on both sides.
Why Leave Merry Olde England?
I read a very intersting article or heard it on NPR (in other words I don’t have a reference) saying that many of the waves of migration to the US coincided with diseases being eliminated and population booming. That seemed to be what happened in England in the 1600s. The families were huge, and even landed gentry didn’t have enough land for all the sons. So, the second through nth sons struck out for another continent.
I decided to look into the English ancestors (like the many generations of Thomas Kendalls I found). Because they had good records and such, the genrations kept rolling on. I found someone (Thomas Lucy I, 1532-1600) who was apparently a buddy of William Shakespeare and a whole bunch of lords and ladies leaping.
I kept going and going finding ancestors all over England. I finally ended here at my 16th gread grandmother:
Emmotte Hervey 1440–1485
BIRTH ABOUT 1440 • Hereford, Hereford, England
DEATH 8 NOV 1485 • Whitney, Oxfordshire, EnglanBIRTH ABOUT 1440 • Hereford, Hereford, England
I knew there were no more, because someone put END at the generation above her.
For actual Kendalls, I got to the 1300s, a Richard Kendall, born in 1355, another 16th great grandfather. Wow. His son, John, died 22 August 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the last battle in the War of the Roses. Go Tudors, I guess.
As I was browsing through all the English people, I did find my Native American ancestor, a woman named Mitha Elizabeth Meaurroway Pender-Parker, who was born in 1668. I was surprised to see how far back her ancestry can be traced. I think it’s because one of her grandfathers was Chief Powhatan. Because of that, the Native American line goes back to the 1400s, before those meddling Europeans showed up.
I think that’s far enough. All of that digging convinced me I am, as I thought, a white Euro-American person, but way, way back there was one Native American. (I do not forget that my grandfather on mom’s side was Swedish, but that line didn’t go back far at all).
I think I have two more ancestor posts in me. One’s about “famous war people” in my US ancestors, and another one is some stuff I’ve re-learned about my dad, the athlete.