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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't done any genealogy research, but the other week my brother told me a surprising fact about our family. I knew the Scott branch came over from Ireland in the 1800's. I always assumed it was because of the potato famine.  But apparently, my great-great-great-great? grandfather was a coachman for a wealthy family who fell in love with their daughter.  They weren't allowed to marry, so they came to America.

Kind of a cool fact for a woman who writes romance!  I'm just surprised I never heard this story before.  My brother's wife has been doing some research and also discovered that distant members of her family and our family have married in the past.

My great-uncle was a jeweler murdered in a hold-up at his store in the 1950's.  It was a notorious front-page case that involved a lengthy manhunt.  One of the robbers was never caught.  The others were put to death.  And another great-uncle was a pilot whose plane disappeared over the Atlantic during WWII.  A VFW post was named after him.

Wouldn't be awesome to be able to talk with your ancestors?  Have you ever made any interesting discoveries about your family?
 

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My mother is big into genealogy.  However, our family history is ordinary.  My mother listened to her grandparents tell stories about their lives in Germany.  It is amazing to listen to her stories.  I taped a lot of her stories.  It was fun and we spent some delightful hours together. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tippy, I did that with grandmother a few years ago and took her stories and pictures and put them together as a book for her to give out to the family for Christmas.  I'm so glad I did that, because she died unexpectedly three months later.  It was a wonderful final gift to have those memories.  I miss her so much.
 

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About six months ago I used Ancestry.com to make a family tree. That was a blast, and I found out many things I didn't know about my ancestors. My great grandfather worked his way up to be president of a steal factory. Sometimes you also find that 'black sheep' of the family too...that can be interesting.
 

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I found a broadside in the Rutger's library that was written by my many times great grandfather after the Revolutionary War.  He had a reversal of fortune and went to the Pennsylvania congress to talk about his overdue Revolutionary War pension.  They gave him the money to go to Washington, and told him to knock on the President's door (John Q Adams at the time) and ask for his pension.  Surely, they said, the President is not going to begrudge a Revolutionary War vet.  He went to DC by coach, and spoke to Congress, who also said to go straight to the White House.  My many times great grandfather did just that, and after he explained his case, President Adams responded, "Begone you impostor and dirty old rascal, I'll have you horse whipped!"

My ancestor hitch hiked all the way back to Pennsylvania, and explained to his wife and children that he wouldn't be receiving his pension after all.  He then wrote a broadside about what an ass President Adams was, and encouraged everyone to vote for Jackson in the next election!

(Quote comes from the broadside itself, which Rutger's photocopied for me.  Love having this piece of history!)
 

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I did a lot with my genealogy about 12 years ago now, back when all the sites were free . . .  As an anthropologist, I'm really interested in the stories families tell themselves.  My family is all from Boston (on both sides) and while a whole section of them were revolutionaries and fiery abolitionists later, another section were Scots who fought for the a highland regiment AGAINST the US in the American Revolution and were rewarded with land in Nova Scotia afterwards.  Ended up in Boston anyway a few generations later :)

 
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