How many of you have interesting ancestors?

I'm sure there has to be a few big-name descendants around.

I know a little on my paternal grandfather's side - initially leaving France, and helping to build Montreal.. descendants moving down to Minnesota, and eventually out here in the Northwest. I know less about my paternal grandmother's ancestry (my grandmother, herself, was the oldest of 7 and dropped out of school after the 8th grade to raise her siblings after my great-grandfather died on the examination table immediately after his check up - sudden, massive heart attack).

My maternal grandfather was a migrant worker - a hobo. Riding the rails and taking whatever jobs he could find until he settled here and married my grandmother.

And then we have my maternal grandmother - where I get my interesting relative; Nathan Hale Olney;

There was a new gold rush in the Fort Colville area, bringing a new flux of travelers through Nathan's town. Another gold rush in Montana brought even more. Unfortunately, this time the bad element came too, the gamblers, outlaws, and prostitutes. Nathan was appointed sheriff to combat the new lawlessness problem. Nathan got more and more busy so he trained two of Annette's brothers to run the ferry and the trading post. Nathan and his volunteers were involved in the Indian hostilities and successfully avoided annihilation of themselves and some troops in a trap the Indians had laid. Nathan is also sometimes credited with killing the famous Walla Walla Chief Peu-Peu-Mox-Mox in that same incident. Nathan's daughter Melvina was born at the end of that year, December 19, 1855.

To help solve the Indian problem, Colonel George Wright was tasked to establish a fort somewhere in the Yakama area. The site he selected was called Mool Mool by the Indians, meaning "bubbling water" or "many springs." Whites called it Fort Simcoe. An old trail led from the area to Fort Dalles. Consequently, the soldiers and supplies traveling to the new fort passed through Fort Dalles, increasing Nathan's business even more.

It was while he was out avenging the deaths of a small wagon train that Nathan was shot in the head with an arrow. Unfortunately the arrowhead remained embedded in his skull. By the next morning his head wound was swollen, he was dizzy, and had difficulty seeing. He rode for two days to reach Fort Dalles. The fort doctor couldn't get the point out. Annette applied poultices to ease the swelling and infection. He recovered but the position of the arrowhead was dangerous and could kill him at any time if he didn't take it easy. His brother Cyrus found the solution. He and Nathan started a fur trading business with the Sandwich Islands. Nathan was in charge of building their ship. He recruited plenty of helpers among the Indians, both to supply furs and to build the ship. He, Annette, and Cyrus sailed on the first voyage. But the venture proved detrimental to Nathan's health, so he and Cyrus sold the business and the ship at a nice profit.

A small,  yet important part of the development of several areas of our region. And, he lived 11 years with that arrowhead embedded in his skull, until;

One day in 1866, he was out branding cattle. Nathan's horse stepped into a badger hole and threw him. Unfortunately he landed on his head on a rock right where the arrowhead was. The fall shoved the point into his brain and killed him instantly. It was September 28, 1866, and he was 42 years old. He was buried at Ft. Simcoe. He was survived by his wife and their five children.

Who are your interesting ancestors?

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My 6th Great Grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Does he have anything to do with the publishers?

I'm related (somehow) to Daniel Butterfield who was a Union general in the American Civil War and is credited with composing Taps. 

My peeps helped take over England in a little thing called the Norman Invasion of 1066. 

Then my other peeps got kicked out of France for being the wrong kinds of Christians, so they settled all over the place like the Canary Islands, South Africa, Brazil, etc.


Fourth (I think) great-grandfather on my mother's side was one of the 200ish that died at the Battle of the Alamo.  Gordon C. Jennings.  The oldest defender, age 56.  To Texans, he might as well have been one of the Spartan 300 at Thermopylae.



Too cool, JB!

Depends on who you ask.  Ask somebody a few hundred miles south of here, and he was a land-stealing terrorist that had to be bayonetted to death for near-two-weeks of sniping at Mexicans from a backwoods church.  Heh.


My paternal grandfather has traced his ancestry to Charlemagne and William Penn (Penn by marriage, so he doesn't really count).

My paternal grandfather has traced his ancestry to Charlemagne

To far back. There is virtually no way possible to "trace" your lineage to Charlemagne. Secondly, if genetic testing and mathematics are correct, almost every single living white person in the world is a descendant of Charlemagne. 

There's someone at my church who insists she's descended from Queen Esther of the Bible.  She also insists we're related, despite my repeated explanation that we've never had family where she's from in the US, and our family name in Europe was different from what my great-great-grandfather told the forerunner to ICE, and, not only that, the old name indicated we were from a whole different country than the new name.

She may need a little vacation in one of the facilities I do per diem in!

A short time ago, I had the pleasure of caring for Cleopatra! Unfortunately, she was trapped in another woman's body...

She, Cleo that is, must have a split spirituality because I've seen her trapped in a man's body as well (scary that).


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