We’ve Been “Ancestor Approved”

Echo Hill Farm Weblog has received the “Ancestor Approved” award.  How awesome!  We were awarded this honor via Kathy Reed of  “http:www.jonesfamilymatters.blogspot.com” a lively and informative blog you’ll want to read.  The award itself was created by Leslie Ann Ballou of “Ancestors Live Here”  to show her appreciation of other bloggers for “blogs full of tips and tricks as well as funny and heartwarming stories…”

To participate you must list 10 things that surprised, humbled or enlightened you about your ancestors.  What fun!  The only hard part will be stopping at 10!

Here’s my official “Ancestor Approved” badge which I’ll also happily post in my sidebar.  Now on with identifying those 10 items…. hmmmm….. decisions, decisions.

1. My cousin told me that our GG Andrew Jackson Boss died in the Civil War.  While that sounded very probable I was surprised to learn that not only did he not die, he was a deserter and close to being arrested during his service.  You see he had been in the hospital, and when his unit moved on and he was left behind he simply went home.  He later redeemed himself by re-enlisting and was discharged in 1865 on medical disability.  Andrew lived until March 25, 1891 when he had a stroke and died.  He’s buried Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

2. Another surprise involved my Shane ancestors who immigrated to America from Ireland in the 1840′s.  I’d always been under the impression that they were quite poor so imagine my surprise when the results of studying the Agricultural Census for 1850-1880 showed that the family owned about 800 acres!  It appears that between Robert Shane, Dennis, Daniel and Michael Shane and their Mother Mary, purchased lands adjacent to one another… and these were not homesteads but purchases.  So of course this raises another question: where in the world did they acquire money enough to buy 800 acres of Iowa farmland?

3. I’ve just been studying my Samels family who arrived in America in 1860, settling first in Aurora, Illinois and later in Sand Springs Iowa.  Although the Samels name is far from common I was happy to learn that it really is quite a large family and very diverse in occupation.  There were farmers, bankers, salesmen (yes, they were salesmen in those years) service station owners, a creamery owner and laundry owner.  This all happened within a couple of generations of Franz Samels arriving from Luxembourg to claim some of the rich farmlands in Illinois and Iowa.

4. My GG Grandfather Walker lived in the town of Fordwich, Huron County Ontario.  He died in 1877 and my research led to actually holding a copy of his will in my hands. I was very moved by the experience.

5.  Again in the Walker line, G Grandpa William Alexander Walker (1843-1930) was featured in the September/October 2008 issue of Ancestry Magazine!  Yes, really. He had been the subject of one of Colleen Fitzpatrick’s Forensic Genealogy puzzles.  Have a  look at the article and his picture here: http://susaned1.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/great-grandpa-walker-makes-the-news/ I’ll bet he’d have been quite surprised at finding himself featured in a magazine article.

6. It was a fun surprise to learn that my Grandfather George Walker’s eldest sister and her husband were at one time members of “The Clam Digger’s Society” right here in Washington State!

7.  I was fascinated to learn that Margaret Amelia Daly, my GG Grandmother was born in Calcutta, India in 1824.  Her father was an employee of the British East India Company and based in India for several years.  “Captain Daly” as he was known received a grant of Canadian Crown Lands for his service.  He died in 1868 and is buried in East Oxford, Margaret married William George Walker (of #4) died in 1864 and is buried in Fordwich, Ontario.

8.  I so admire my dad’s grandmother Bridget Hogan who was born in Ireland, came to America and married Robert Shane.  After Robert’s death in 1884 Bridget inherited their family farm..she was already owner of half of the land as Robert split the farm with her when they separated several years earlier.  They were a good Roman Catholic family and never divorced.  After Robert’s death another party claimed ownership of Robert’s land and the case went to court, eventually making its way to the Iowa Supreme Court. Bridget must have been an intelligent and persistent woman to go through such a long legal process.  The result in the Iowa Supreme Court?   I’m going to look for that in my next genealogy trip to Iowa….

9.  I’ll always feel a tenderness toward my brother Bob Shane who had a marvelous sense of humor.  He once stuck a baby suction cup toy to his forehead and had to go to work the next day with a big round bruise right in the middle of it.  You can read Bob’s story here: http://susaned1.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/pit-and-siz/

10.  The process of studying genealogy and family history has brought me in to contact with so many new and wonderful cousins:  Jan, Tom, Bob, Jan W., Margaret, Patti, Darlene, Debi, Marie, Joan, Nancy, Dale, and many, many others.  My thanks to all of you for helping me with this project and for enriching my life immensely.

So there you have it!  It’s just a good thing there’s a 10 item limit or I might go on for pages more.  To my blogger friends I just say “thank you so much”‘ for all the ideas, insights and just plain help you’ve given me over the years.  And thank you again to Kathy Reed for nominating me for the “Ancestor Approved” award, I feel humbled by the honor.

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, Januay 9, 2011, All Rights Reserved.

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