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  1. #61
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    My Gx5 Grandfather was one Stephen Edwards, who was hung in 1777 for spying for the British. He is supposedly descended from Stephen Hopkins, who came over on the Mayflower, but I haven't been able to trace the line yet.
    "My sources are unreliable, but their information is facinating!" Woody Paige

  2. #62
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    One of my great (?) grandmothers was shot by her son-in-law. He was outside on the sidewalk, and shot her through a window. The reason he gave was because she was a nosey mother-in-law.

    There was an unwed mother in the German branch of our family back in the old country. Don't have much info on it, but I'm sure unwed mothers were quite scandalous in the 1800s.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    This brings to mind two memories of mine:

    1--At a conference for teachers on the Holocaust in Washington D.C., a survivor spoke to us. She brought a photo of all of her 18 grandchildren together. She had taken the same photo with her when she visited the camp she was held in a few years before. She told us she held that photo up to the sky at the camp and yelled at Hitler that he had lost. Because that was her proof.

    2--Summer before last, I helped with a community service event at the State Holocaust memorial with over 2500 Jewish teens from all over the country and around the world. At the end of the day, all of them and their sponsors were sitting on the hillside facing the memorial at this cemetery listening to a survivor speak. As an organizer of the event, I was near the front and able to look out at this huge crowd of amazing Jewish kids from everywhere--and I remembered the woman in D.C.'s words--"You lost, Hitler! You truly and really lost".
    Thank you for sharing that---it has been quite some time since I've been to DC and I want to visit many sites including the Holocaust Memorial Museum. I understand it is very moving. And God bless the survivors for their willingness to share their stories. I love this thread because we read history all of the time but we don't speak about our own family stories. This is so interesting.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by FGRSK8 View Post
    Lady Figureskates' great Uncle is Stanford White, the architect.

    He was murderd by the husband of Evelyn Nesbit with whom White had had an affair with...the Girl on the Red Velvet Swing.

    This event was covered in the movie, "Ragtime".

    My great great uncle was the chief financier of the Society of the Secret Six which funded John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. If any of the participants in the raid had ratted out the secret six, they would have hung as well.
    Did you uncle write at all? It must have been frustrating to grow into adulthood and age knowing your country allowed slavery. I would have loved to talk to him about his views and if he believed war inevitable.

  5. #65

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    Where to begin?

    William Millman (2nd cousin twice removed on my mother's side) (allegedly) got Mary Tuplin pregnant in 1887. He solved the problem by shooting her. He was hanged April 10, 1888 in Charlottetown PEI.

    I did a presentation on "Black Sheep in the Family Tree" a few years back and included this story. Coincidentally one of the people in the audience was a distant relative of Mary Tuplin and brought a poem that had been written about the tragedy.

    There are a few more murderers and victims but Billy Millman is the most (in)famous.

    Minnie McGee, who poisoned her 6 children in 1912, was not a relative, but her lawyer was a relative on my father's side. She was sentenced to hang, but it was commuted to life in prison. She died in an insane asylum in 1953.

    My father's first cousin went to jail in the early 60's over some shady stock dealings.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    Did you uncle write at all? It must have been frustrating to grow into adulthood and age knowing your country allowed slavery. I would have loved to talk to him about his views and if he believed war inevitable.
    He did.

    Unfortunately it was all destroyed in the the great Boston fire of 1871....
    Happiness is being married to your best friend!

  7. #67
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    A couple that I know of.

    1) In the not too distant past my mom's mother had three kids from three different men, but was only married 2x, once to my Grandfather. This was in the 1920's. My uncle's father is unknown. We think that she got pregnant when she went to Hollywood to visit her brother, who was a silent film actor. Incidently, that uncle was adopted out to the neighbors as a baby because their mother died shortly after he was born. However, that was not uncommon in those days.

    2) More distantly, one of my Great, or Great Great Grandfather's brother on my dads side, so this would've been early to mid-1800's, was a crew member on a known slave ship, and is buried in the West Indies.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by FGRSK8 View Post
    He did.

    Unfortunately it was all destroyed in the the great Boston fire of 1871....
    Oh that is frustrating but at least you know his role during such important events in our history.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    Oh Susan - that is fascinating. It was a different time then, I guess I can see how aunt 4 would not want to acknowledge the son, especially if she hadn't told anyone about him.
    It is unfortunate that his 1/2 siblings don't know him, but maybe in the future it will be possible.
    It's commonplace now, but to know my mom and her sisters as "saints" all their lives, it was quite a shock to a teenager to find out about that particular skeleton!!! And then to hear about him showing up later and she rejected him? Geez.

    And here's the funny thing that bothered me after that, this guy, my "cousin" would have been 6 years older than me. What if we met somewhere and fell in love or whatever. None of them knew his name or the people who adopted him, or that they were still in our city. Holy Moley!!!!! (I think I always had it in my mind that I would never date a guy who was 6 years older than me - just in case!!!!)

    We're all in our 40's and 50's now. My aunt (she's a great-grandmother) will go to her grave never telling her "kids" about him. I know they don't know, otherwise they would have looked him up long ago. And I'm sure not going to tell them.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Johnston View Post
    One of my great (?) grandmothers was shot by her son-in-law. He was outside on the sidewalk, and shot her through a window. The reason he gave was because she was a nosey mother-in-law.

    There was an unwed mother in the German branch of our family back in the old country. Don't have much info on it, but I'm sure unwed mothers were quite scandalous in the 1800s.
    Reminded me of something else - my cousin's (son of aforementioned aunt 3 LOL) girlfriend followed him to a bar after he broke up with her and shot herself in the parking lot when he came out to get in his car. This was back in the 70's. (Hey, my family's more interesting than I thought-not!)

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Johnston View Post
    There was an unwed mother in the German branch of our family back in the old country. Don't have much info on it, but I'm sure unwed mothers were quite scandalous in the 1800s.
    I don't know that it would have been so scandalous unless your family had some means. I am sure that there was many unwed mothers who did not have anyone to speak up for them or defend them or do a shot-gun wedding for them.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I don't know that it would have been so scandalous unless your family had some means. I am sure that there was many unwed mothers who did not have anyone to speak up for them or defend them or do a shot-gun wedding for them.
    Since you weren't supposed to be intimate before marriage, I would disagree. I'm sure there were unwed mothers but I'm sure no matter their status, they were frowned upon and talked about.

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    Since you weren't supposed to be intimate before marriage, I would disagree. I'm sure there were unwed mothers but I'm sure no matter their status, they were frowned upon and talked about.
    There were probably plenty. On my grandmothers side (my mother's mother) all of them got married about 6-7 months before the birth of their first child, including my grandmother. My mum was also pregnant with me when she got married. People definately didn't talk about sex education back then. One of the reasons why my mum had no problem with my and my sisters learning about it.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  14. #74

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    All On My Paternal side:

    My Great Great Grandmother was a gambling woman and was murdered in front my great grandfather in Harlem, KY. My Great Grandfather was orphaned at the age of 6 years and basically took care of himself and his brother from that point on. My dad said my great grandfather didn't talk much about his childhood and I can only wonder what he had to do take care of his brother and himself. I think for a while they were homeless and on the street or took shelter where they could.

    My great grandfather had many jobs in his lifetime: a shoe shine boy, a coal miner but he switched to bootlegging and being a body guard because "he didn't like shining shoes and hated the coal mine". So he switch to being a bootlegger when he was 17 years old. This was at the beginning of prohibition. He said he could make more money and he make his own hours.

    He was a bodyguard and possibly a "hit man"

    This was in Harlem, KY during Jim Crow/segregation. My family is african american/black and my grandfather didn't want to rely on the employment from "whites" so he was very self sufficient and did what he felt he had to do to maintain that.

    He died when I was toddler so I don't remember him. But my dad says he was very generous, jovial, fun person. Down to earth and very direct.

    My Paternal Grandfather:

    He was married 5 times, twice to the same woman before he died in September of this year at the age of 84.
    He has 9 children with 4 different women; He left my grandmother in 1964 for a white woman(very big deal in 1964), he had 5 children with my grandmother and my dad was 15 years old when he left. My grandfather married the woman he left my grandmother for, but divorced 4 years later and moved to the St Croix, Virgin Islands. Where he met and married wife #3. I have an aunt who is 10 days older than me
    Last edited by topaz; 12-14-2011 at 05:30 AM.
    "“My bronze feels like gold,” said the bronze medalist Carolina Kostner

  15. #75
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    One of my great grandfathers was a bootlegger. I have a copy of an awesome picture of him and his two cousins with their still that was in my great uncle's photo albums which my dad inherited. I used to show it to my history classes when we were doing the unit on the 1920s. It was taken before they ended up in jail for it!

  16. #76
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    My great grandfather was also a bootlegger. He was a Polish immigrant and lived in Camden, New Jersey and also spent time in Atlantic City. I didn't know this until a few years ago when I had asked how he had such a nice car during the early years of the Depression. A few years after Prohibition ended he died of natural causes. When I watched the HBO series "Boardwalk" the creator talked about the adage of sex, drugs and rock roll being sex, booze and jazz during Prohibition. My grandmom told me my ggd was very much a family man but I can see how his chosen career could be a dangerous one. I wish I knew more about him. The people closest to him are gone.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    It gave me goosebumps as well: Compared to this my family history is uninteresting too. But think of how much pain Scintillation's grandfather endured. Maybe he would prefer being uninteresting and still have loved ones rather than have lost so many to the camps. I'm glad to read about the happy reunions. And I'm glad to read of his remarkable life. And triumphant in a way---Hitler did not get what he wanted after all. Surviving is victory.
    Aw thank you, he really is an amazing man. I hardly ever see him anymore, since I can't afford to visit Denver that much these days.
    So I decided to google his name at random, and lo and behold I came across an article about him: http://http://www-contendo.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1260181020506&pagename=JPost%2FJPArt icle%2FShowFull
    His wife Dianne is my stepgrandmother. My maternal grandmother died from cancer when I was 6, although they divorced long before she died.
    It's funny, he never went into that much detail when I asked him about it, granted I was young and was doing research for a history project. My mother was also the one who told me he was Goering's translator, but here he says he couldn't face doing it, so he made his colonel give him other jobs. My mom's a damn liar.
    I should also mention that before he got his PhD in biochemistry, all he had was a bachelor's in animal husbandry. He set the record at the Univ of Chicago by getting his PhD in 5 years--a record that has probably since been broken countless times. Like I said, no one in my family has come close to his accomplishments--and no one has experienced that level of suffering either.

  18. #78

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    My grandmother made "bathtub gin" during prohibition but she wasn't involved in the selling process so technically she wasn't a bootlegger. My dad's father died when he was 8 yrs old in 1925. My gm had 6 kids, 2 even younger than my father so she had to support them any way she could. She even laid track for the railroad during WWI. Even before he died, my gf had poor health & often couldn't work. I think my gm was an amazing woman.

  19. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    I am a direct decendant of a survivor of the Donner Party. She was my fraternal grandmother's grandmother, and the rule around the house was, "that subject" was never to be mentioned. Also, evidently she never smiled, even to her many family members.
    WOW We just watched 'American Experience' on the Donner Party not too long ago, what a sad story.

  20. #80

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    My g-g-grandfather wrote a notable book on cheating (ahem, "Advantage Playing") at cards, was the primary gambling supplies dealer in post-Civil War NYC, and was ultimately arrested by Anthony Comstock of the NY Society for the Suppression of Vice (aka YMCA) for selling pornography, and sent off to federal prison.

    Sometimes the black sheep really are the interesting ones.

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