I’ve been focused on my father’s side of the family. There was a lot of great information about my father’s side in Brooklyn. However, they make their earliest appearance in the mid-1840s to mid-1850s. They immigrated to the United States during that period of time, and since they don’t exist in the records much prior to 1855, I figured it was time to turn to my mom’s side of the family.
My mother is from the South – her family has roots in Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia… and way back when in Pennsylvania (who would have thought!).
I have reason to believe – mostly from the anecdotal information of others, that our family on that side traces back to Colonial America. If that’s the case, then there should be plenty of potential research for a class focusing on pre-1855 records.
On my mother’s side of the family, there are some fascinating stories that I am looking to prove or disprove:
● A common ancestry with both Robert E. Lee and George Washington through a woman named Elizabeth Townley.
● Busby cousins who fought for the Confederacy, with one who supposedly died at the battle of Gettysburg.
● Native American ancestry with links to the Cherokee, Creek or Monacan tribes.
● American Revolutionary War veterans – direct ancestry that may make us eligible for membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution.
● Ancestry tracing back to royal English society, including an ancestor, William Garrard, who was a Baron, and one time served as the Mayor of London and financer to Queen Elizabeth I, and who opened the first trade routes between England and Russia.
If I can prove just one of those family history rumors to be true, I will consider it a very successful semester of research.