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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Obscenely rich oligarch turned pennyless refugee turned bootlegger. Never put your fortune in fiat money of a country with severe economic and social polarization. They're too prone to civil war and revolutions.

I'd love to do the ancestry research to find out more, but as far as I know right now:

Our family has the papers lying around somewhere that indicate that we're related to Daniel Boone, the famous frontiersman. 

I heard he was a man. A big man.

But the bear was bigger...

I heard that, too! a BIIIIG man. What a Boone, what a do-er, 
What a dream come-er true-er was he! 

Sorry, I grew up on that stuff and just couldn't resist!

I've had the opportunity to thumb through a couple of family-made books containing oral histories and genealogy for my maternal grandmother, and paternal grandfather.

This one that I shared is rather interesting, as this is my Yakama Native Heritage, and the trail ends at Nathan Hale Olney, his wife, and Father-in-Law. No further oral, written, or documented family history persists for the Native line. But Olney is papered back to ancestry in England.

The book for my Paternal Grandfather's line went all the way back to 1500's France. Though, I just thumbed through it, and found that the "cousin" that brought it was related 5 grandfathers back in Montreal.

The French, in general, have a large farming presence in the valley here. Though, I don't recall that my grandfather or his siblings farmed. 2 dentists, some store owners, and an Army officer... but no farmers that I am aware of. That bounces back over where my maternal grandparents were ranchers.

What are the French names in your family, Michael? I might be able to give you a few paths to check out. 

My ancestors owned the Comstock Lode silver mine. 

Not famous, but interesting; my grandmother murdered my grandfather in the early 90's and made it look like a suicide. She confessed on her deathbed 10years later

Snored too much?

She was a raging alcoholic, tried to kill him several times but was never successful. She just got fighting mad when she was on a binge.

I'm eligible for the Daughters of the American Revolution through both my maternal grandparents.  A distant cousin has done some thorough research, and I'm descended from every kind of Western European Protestant, but no Catholics.

As an adult, my hair is lighter than my paternal grandmother's hair as an adult, but as a child, it exactly matched hers as a child.  We know because my great-grandmother saved some.

"I'm eligible for the Daughters of the American Revolution"

Do you get a discount on quilting supplies and ammo? 


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