What my family didn’t know




My mother’s side of the family didn’t know. My father’s side knew some of it.  What am I talking about? The family history. Before I go further and tell you how it all started with me-let me encourage you dear reader whoever you are-get interested in your family genealogy. What you are folks is partly due to the ancestors that went on before you. You carry their DNA. And be warned-it can become a passion that will catch hold of you and not let go. Your family history will open up new worlds to you. And you will be amazed at what you might find!

I had no knowledge of my genealogy until fifteen years ago or so. I very innocently accompanied my wife to Detroit’s Burton Historical Library while she was researching her background. So, with nothing else to do while I waited for her, I started to look into my family history. By the way, in that same room in that Archive area of the Burton Library-stood a magnificent statue of Abraham Lincoln. It was as if he was watching me in still delight. That day was it for me. The journey to the discovery of my history began. Coincidently, a first cousin had already caught the genealogy “bug.” She really got me going. I thank her forever. She provided me with tons of information which I have banked on ever since. And so what did I find out? what didn’t the family know? We have over 20 ancestors that served in the Civil War (both sides). One of them died in service. Another one received a pension afterward for service-related disabilities.  At least one or two of them were deserters. One of the ancestors appeared in court once for operating a “bawdy house.” Oh Lord. We have over a dozen that served in the War of 1812. Three of them served under General Andrew Jackson. Several of my ancestors married Native-American women. Then there is the American Revolution. We have over a dozen that participated in that one. None of my ancestors owned slaves-they were all too poor-farmers. My family line married into the Boone family line-and the Lincoln family line. And to bring things into more modern times, we are related to the Judds- yes, the singing Judds. Now all of this stuff for me is only by reason of my particular birth into this family. It’s not a bragging right, as I see it. I have nothing to do with anything that my ancestors did- good or bad. But I do honor and respect what my blood-kin did that was honorable. I am proud of them. So what did my family not know? Just about everything-and to me-that is sad. So go to it people-study up!

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