FAMILY STORIES. . .FAMILY TREE

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FAMILY STORIES. . .FAMILY TREE

Postby Malia » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:36 pm

A while back, after a discussion about Fanny Keats and those living today who are (or might be) decendents of hers or of George Keats, Saturn suggested that maybe we should start a family tree thread wherein we can post stories or information about our own personal herritage.

It sounded like a good idea to me, so I decided to create the thread. This is a "family stories, family tree" thread because not everyone knows their lineage but most everyone has a story that's been passed down through their family that might be interesting to share.

As far as lineage, I can only trace mine back to perhaps a great, great grandfather on my Mom's side and only to my great grandmother on my Dad's side. Mom's family all came from Germany and the German/French boarder. They were immigrants in the 19th century who started up farms in Kansas. My grandmother's generation was the first of the Guenthers to even speak English as a first language. The Sanger side has been in America longer--my great, great (great?) grandfather Stephen Grieble was a drummer boy for the Union Army in the Civil war.

Dad's family is English/Canadian and Irish. His grandmother was from Canada. Even though she was deaf, she still owned her own bakery for a time and it is said that I inhereted my baking ability from her ;)

My Grandma Mary (after whom I was named) was born and raised in County Mayo in Ireland. She immigrated in the 1920's to New York and spent quite a few years as a maid at the Plaza Hotel. In fact, she was the Beatles maid when they first came to America in 1964 to do the Ed Sullivan show. I remember asking her what it was like to meet the Beatles and all she could say was "they were nice boys"! She also said they were a little scared/nervous about all the fans they suddenly had.


Well, that's a bit from me--anyone have any interesting stories? Any tales that have been handed down through the generations about your family's ancestors? Anyone related to a famous historical figure? Do share! :)
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Postby dks » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:37 pm

This is an excellent thread, Miss Malia. What interesting stories you have...I love that small detail about you inheriting your baking ability from your great grandmother! You have quite a good bit of information about your family...I have information, but it's piecemeal.

Here's a few tidbits about from whence I came...

1. I am made up of dual heritage: Mexican and Lithuanian. My mother is Latin, my father is Russian.

2. My maternal grandfather was born in 1896. He was 56 when my mother was born and my grandmother was 40--my mother is the youngest of 9 girls...when my grandfather met my grandmother, she had 7 girls from two previous marriages--now that's love.

3. My great grandfather faught alongside Maximilian in his army in Mexico. He helped fight for the liberal causes for which Maximilian later gave his life to the Mexican Republicans who detested his popularity--Victor Hugo wrote a letter pleading for mercy for the great emperor, but the conservatives prevailed. It is to be deduced my passionate, rebel tendencies come from my maternal line...if you knew mi madre, you'd immediately know why :!:

4. My father's grandparents came to New York from Lithuania. My father's name was originally Klabonskus...but was mercilessly changed to Klabonski when they immigrated--apparently immigration officials figured that to be Lithuanian is the same thing as being Polish. I guess it just sounded better to them. :?

That is all I have for now...I look forward to reading about everyone...family history is so intriguing... :shock:
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Postby darthoutis » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:23 pm

You forgot to mention, Denise...

"Cut the shit!"

Haha. Whenever I need to be cheered up now, I always think about your mother (to whom you need to introduce me by the way)!
What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
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Postby dks » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:37 pm

darthoutis wrote:You forgot to mention, Denise...

"Cut the shit!"

Haha. Whenever I need to be cheered up now, I always think about your mother (to whom you need to introduce me by the way)!


Yes! And I will. By the way, I love your avatar!!!! :lol:
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Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:08 am

Wow you both have such fascinating histories :shock:

No-one in my family has been able to trace our direct family tree that far back beyond the late 19th century.

The Saturn's have a long history of emigration to America going back to at least the 18th century.
I do know that there was a Stephen Saturn who fought against the British in South Carolina in the Revolutionary Wars so even that far back the Saturn's were emigrating to America. I'm told there are a lot of us in some of the Southern states, particularly the Carolina's.

Back in the old country, I only really know enough about my grandparents. So here's my rather uninteresting family history.

My paternal Grandfather was born in 1908 I believe and when older he owned a farm but gave that up and moved to the city when he married my grandmother and opened a Co-Op store which was later burnt down.
He and my grandmother brought up nine children [six boys, three girls] in a three bedroom semi-detached house. He died in 1988.
My Dad is the youngest of these and was born when my Grandmother was about forty-two; she was born in 1910 and died last year.
Something I never realised is that she wrote poetry and was famous for it. Before she died one of my cousins had them printed out for her and she was delighted with this. I knew I got it from somewhere. I also have inherited her bad hearing :? which is obviously not so good.

She had a dear older brother who went to live in New York but who died mysteriously at the age of about twenty-one. No-one knows the cause of death, the whereabouts of his grave or what happened to him. It was a life-long wish of hers to discover what became of her poor brother.

My maternal Grandfather was born in 1920 and grew up in the small seaside town of Rostrevor Co.Down. In his young life he loved fishing with his elder brothers and playing every conceivable sport. When older, he and his older brother joined the Irish Army and ended up fighting in the Belgian Congo in the 1950s I believe.

He married, moved to the city and brought up nine children [four boys, five girls] in a comfortable suburban home. He became a Vintner after leaving the army but virtually never touched a drop of alcohol. My mother is the second eldest of these children. My maternal grandfather died in 2003 at the age of eighty-two.
My maternal grandmother is an enigma to me I know very little about her at all - not an easy person to talk to at all, we've never been close.

So there you go.

I've got revolutionary fighters and poetry in my blood :!:
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Postby Malia » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:23 am

Thanks for your story, Saturn. You know, it's funny--when one writes out or relates one's own family story, one thinks it is fairly boring or uneventful (I felt that way about my story, truth be told), but frankly, I think all of the stories I've read have been truly interesting and engaging. I guess it proves that everyone has a story-- a *history*--that is worth telling. I guess that's what Alex Haley must have realized when he wrote Roots. :)
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Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:23 am

This is a fun idea, Malia.

On my dad's side, we've been able to trace back to one of my first ancestors in "the colonies": one Dugal McQueen, a Jacobite revolutionary who was sent over by the British as a prisoner in 1716 from Scotland. No wonder I have such an affinity for the place!

Further down the line, I have an ancestor who fought alongside George Washington himself in the Revolutionary War. My friend and I used to sort of joke about this, since her family tree has links to Martha Washington, so we would say that maybe once upon a time they met and it was like some kind of sign of predestination that we would end up being friends centuries later.

I also have some thespian blood on my dad's side. Interestingly, the black actress Butterfly McQueen, who had the role of Prissy in Gone With the Wind, figures distantly into our family tree. And my brother's interest in fast cars begs the question. . . might it have something to do with sharing a bit of blood with Steve McQueen? :wink:

I know much less about specific individuals on my mom's side of the family, but I am nonetheless very proud of what I've learned of my German heritage from genealogical research done by some of my relatives. Many if not most of my German ancestors came from a very unique part of the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany called the Probstei. Throughout the history of the various Germanic states, the Probstei was the only region in which feudalism was not practiced. It was, like so much of the world at that time, primarily an agricultural society, but unlike most places, the system of inheritance actually stipulated that property would be handed down to the youngest son rather than the oldest. Essentially, it was a very close-knit community, so different from the rest of Germany that the people generally stayed together within this small geographical area for centuries.

I am a bit fuzzy on this part of history, but as I understand it life got to be very difficult in the Probstei around the 19th century; because people were so keen to remain in the community, and because land passed the way it did within families, there came to be a bit of a crisis of overpopulation, where there were too many people and too little free farmland. So around mid century large numbers of Probsteiers emigrated to the States, and in keeping with their tradition of community, ended up settling very near one another. I'm not sure of other places they may have ended up, but most of what I've found confirm that they stuck together around the Eastern border of Iowa, which is where my mom is from. As a result, I'm related to about half of Scott County, Iowa. :P Or at least it seems that way when we go visit down there. Another result of that community was the fact that the family managed to remain of 100% German heritage after entering the States, all the way up until my mom's generation--about 100 years. When people ask about my ethnic heritage and I say that my mom is 100% German, they assume initially that either she or her parents actually came from Germany. It really is a pretty miraculous thing.

That's about all I know about my family history. Someday I hope to learn more about the Swiss and Swedish parts of my heritage, or maybe even take a little trip to the national archive in Scotland to do a little more research on Dugal McQueen (Scotland is supposed to have the best and most complete public records in the world). Anyway, there you have it!
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Postby Saturn » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:10 am

I thought this quote may be appropriate here:

"The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate."
~Bern Williams~
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Postby Brave Archer » Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:13 pm

I do like this idea, first, i'll start with my fathers side because I know very little of them, i'm on speaking terms with only a few, an aunt and a cousin being the most important to me.


My grandfather was born somewhere in the late 1900's to a family whose last name was Lewis, they had five children my grandfather, named Arlington by the way, was the youngest. His mother had a sister who married and somewhere along the line discover'd she couldn't have children so my great-grandmother in all her infinite wisdom decided to let her sister pick one of hers to raise as her own, like kittens. My grandfather, at the time a newborn, was hands on favorite and was chosen-- I realised only a year or two before he died how much that mess'd with his spirit. He loved his adoptive parents, but was obviously hurt that he could've just been given away like that.


His earlier life is a mystery to most, I do know that he was a bit of a trouble maker, and thats me watering it down, he was very educated and sometime in his twenty's after marrying my grandmother decided to put it to some use. In Lewes, Delware he had opened a dry cleaners and at the time it was the first and only black own'd business in Lewes, which he was very proud of that. He was a hard man, never cried, his laugh, although genuine, seem'd forced. I never understood how he ended up with my grandmother.



Her father was a white man from one of the Carolinas, South I believe, he own a several businessess which were very successful, he had family with a black woman. One night some friends of his were out and someone was hurt over this, it was never clear to me whether he was really to blame over what happen'd or if he was just accused. But, either way, he left and came to Delaware. He tried to bring his wife up but she refused, telling him that the children the had were happy there. He accepted this, told them to keep what money was there, and eventually he met up with my great- grandmother who was black and had my grandmother and her brother. They ran into some problems here in lower Delaware, but not to the tune of murder.





Now to my grandmother, whom I wont speak on other than to say, she had to be one of the sweetest most gentle souls to ever exsist, but, she died when I was around nine, and here death still touches me. My father was murdered when I was about to turn six, now she ended up with cancer, but after he died so young and under so much mystery, people still are afraid to discuss it, she just became to weak. His death was just as big a part of her death as the cancer. She taught me to read at a young age she always told me it would come in handy and would be important, and has been.


My father was 24 when he was killed, and during the 'investigation' the death was ruled a suicide, cops were promoted, and it was just left to the side. So much about that number scares me, I just turned 24 in December and will be happy when I turn 25.



Now, to my mothers side, I am bless'd to have both grandparents and ironically enough, the same thing that happen'd to my dads dad happend to my mothers father. But, I know nothing of the circumstances other than he just was not want'd. Which was a shame because he's such a great, caring, and giving person. HE lives life a little on the cautious side, but thats only a reflection of the time he grew up in, he had to be careful were he piss'd, drank or sat at. He is a Carpenter, and learned so much about it from him, I love knowing that no matter what is in need of fixing, I can fix it myself or with very little help. My cousin, on my dads house was shock'd when I told her I know how to build a house, it's quite easy I told her. Now, my house wouldn't be as good as my grandfathers, but it wouldn't fall over. He's a math genius, something I wish I could've picked up from him, i'm more than terrible at math, I just don't get it. But, some of the things around here in my small state that my grandfathers hands have either created or help'd to create i'll one day be able show my children and say thats what he did. I love that man, and so much than he knows. So much wisdom in one man, and he's always willing to teach.


My grandmothers father was a sharecropper, and his father a slave, but theres not much to his life. He was a slave, in his late forty's, I believe, he was given freedom and had children. My great-grandfather was a sharecropper, I don't know if you guys know what it is, but it was a way for some blacks to make something for there family. As a sharecropper you tended to someone elses land and in return they gave you very little money, if any, and a certain percentage of land-- this was what they work'd for. And, that land still exists here today. Now he married my great-grandmother, a cherokee indian, and ten children were born.


These stories aren't much, because there wasn't much. I've got a couple of former professional athletes in my family, but that never appealed to me, not much of a baseball fan.

Now, I don't want to bore you any more and that I would do if I talk'd about their children, mostly, they live simple lives.
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Postby Malia » Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:42 pm

Thanks for your story, Brave Archer. It is wonderful to read it :) Every time someone posts his or her story in this section of the forum, I feel two things: Blessed to hear the story, and amazed at how everyone has such a unique and engaging tale to tell--it goes to show you that everyone's history is worthwhile and worth telling :)
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Postby Saturn » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:37 pm

Your name Brave Archer is certainly well earned :shock:

It's trite I suppose to say and I'm sure everyone says it but I'm sorry to hear about your father :(

Your history puts my own relatively conventional family problems into perspective.
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