52 Ancestors Week 43: Quite the Character

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Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge...

52 Photos and 52 Ancestors sharing bacgesPlease share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:

Quite the Character

Share below.

You don't need to share every week to participate, but those who do will earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 shared profiles in 13 weeks, 26 in 26, or 52 in 52) let us know here. For more about the challenge, click here.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
My paternal gg-grandfather, William A. CLARK was arrested in MO for being a secessionist. I believe he was in jail for about a year, and then was required before his release to swear an oath of allegiance. Besides that, though the family story for years has been that he was bushwhacked when soldiers stole his horses, there are some now who say that he ran off to Arkansas and began a new family there. I was always sad to hear the way he died, but now I would rather he died that way than that he abandoned his family!

For this week's challenge, "Quite the Character," I present my 10th great-grandmother: Hannah Baskel Phelps Phelps Hill Smith (bef. 1630 - aft. 1696). She was an early Quaker with her first husband Nicholas Phelps in the Massachusetts Bay colony, and had two children with him, Jonathan and Hannah. She hosted the first Quaker meeting in Salem in her home. They were constantly in trouble with the Puritans and had to pay fines for their unapproved religious practice. Nicholas died about 1663 and Hannah married his brother Henry. Eventually they relocated, sailing to North Carolina and settling in the Albemarle region, where an active Quaker community sprang up at Perquimans. After Henry died, Hannah remarried to James Hill in 1676. And apparently after James died, she married Joseph Smith in 1696. Thanks to the Quakers and their excellent record-keeping, (and perhaps proof of the saying "well behaved women seldom make history), she left a trail of her existence when so many women of the era did not. There is an excellent 1987 genealogy article about Hannah by Gwen Bjorkman (also referenced on her profile) which I highly recommend reading. From this and the WikiTree profiles of her and her husbands, I get the impression she was a very strong woman indeed.

25 Answers

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Best answer

I think quite a few of my ancestors could be described as Quite the Character. It's really hard to pick one, but I'm going with my maternal grandfather, Ernest Lane who most people called "Big E." Ernest was the eldest child in his family and took that responsibility seriously as they all looked up to him. After marriage, he moved the area of Bee Spring, Kentucky, where his wife was born and raised. Although trained as a teacher, he soon abandoned that vocation to open a general store similar to the one his father-in-law owned, but down the road near the mining town of Kyrock. After WWII, he would move his general store down the road again to a small blip on the map called Sweeden, Kentucky (which is still spelled in that way.) He became the Postmaster for the US Post Office established in Sweeden, which he ran from a partitioned area in the back of the store. The store expanded in size and variety over the years, eventually selling everything from salt to clothing, televisions, washing machines, and furniture. Whatever you wanted, Ernest would have it shipped to his store for you to pickup there. Later the store even offered many services such as plumbing and electrical work.

Ernest was charismatic and gregarious, making friends of nearly everyone he met. He made long-lasting friendships with all people, of both high and low status. He befriended a young Frank Clement who a few years later would twice become governor of Tennessee.

Ernest was a great story teller and never seemed to lack for one to tell. The Kentucky Historical Society even captured him on audio tape as he related some of them. As a boy and a young man, I would listen intently to his stories, wondering if any of them were as real as he claimed. This attribute went hand-in-hand with his interest in family history. He told me many family stories, many of which I am now certain were embellished to varying degrees. Ernest even had his grandfather write down some of the oral history that he knew (or thought he did.) But he did other things that really made him Quite a Character.

As a young man he had  learned how to survey land, work as a carpenter, and many other miscellaneous skills. Although a successful farmer, he spent most of the time on his farm training a towering, liver chestnut Tennessee Walking horse, whom he named Traveler after the horse Traveler owned by Robert E. Lee. (This despite the fact that all his ancestors had fought for the Union!) I remember him describing surgeries that he performed on his horse and would be happy to perform on me if only I would allow him! Once he asked my sister (a pharmacist) for IPECAC syrup. He wanted it to kill moles who made holes which might cause his horse to stumble. He knew rodents could not regurgitate and had decided IPECAC to be the perfect non-toxic solution.

He was an insatiable reader, devouring any book put before him in short order. He knew Latin and Greek well, which enabled him to solve the Sunday Crossword puzzle in mere minutes. He bought a new World Almanac every year, which he would consume cover to cover. As such he was knowledgeable about almost every country in the world and kept up with both national and international current events. 

He collected knives and guns, although I never knew him to shoot anything but a shotgun on a rare day of bird hunting. He carried an old, worn pocket knife which kept meticulously honed and oiled. Best be careful if you borrowed his knife to cut something!

Sweeden was unincorporated and had no governing body, but that didn't prevent him from calling himself Mayor of Sweeden. He had the self-appointed title framed in his office and painted on his big red truck, which was also emblazoned with the name Lane's Store, in large lettering. The sign on his truck read:

 Big E.
Mayor of Sweeden

As a young teen, I made the mistake of showing Big E. a catalog from Edmund Scientific. He fell in love with many items in the catalog, ordering everything from a drinking bird toy and a solar wind spinner, to one-way mirrors. As a joke, he installed a one-way mirror in the door of a small bathroom in the back of the general store. No one could see into the bathroom, but once seated inside, many a patron was disquieted by the fact that they could clearly see everyone and everything on the outside, through the one-way mirror. 

Once I showed him a dribble glass, which had tiny hidden holes in the side whereby water or other liquid could slowly drip. Not to be outdone, Big E. took selected glasses from his kitchen and used a tiny diamond-point drill to manufacture his own dribble glasses. He drilled holes on only one side, so if you knew about the glass you could position the holes away from you and not get wet. One had to be aware when selecting a glass from his kitchen cabinet!

He was also obsessed with  the American Chestnut tree having seen so many of those stately giants succumb to blight from South East Asia. He was sure that one tree or another would eventually produce a blight-resistant mutation which could be used to populate the country with tall chestnut trees once again. Whenever a basal root would spring up from an old chestnut stump, he would nurture it with care until it finally died from the blight.

Every now and then, on rare occasion, Ernest would hear an old song, such as a reel or a fiddle tune. At such times, when in an excellent mood, the old man would lift the front of his trouser legs with his hands and begin to dance with a clogging action and a broad smile. Yep, quite the character. 

by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
selected by Zuladawn Hall
Would be great if you could get that interview digitized and online!
You are correct and I agree. The interviews are on cassette tapes in the state library. I need to go there, pull the tapes, and digitize them slowly. I already have a portable cassette digitizer to use. It''s on my list of things to do, but certainly not soon.
Sweeden is one of the many variant spellings of the Sweeten surname.  I have Sweetens in Laurel and Clay counties.  Do you know if Sweeden is named for a family of that name?
No. A group of Swedish immigrant families were enticed to buy land in Edmonson County, Kentucky, where they settled for many years and became an integral part of the community. Many of the families eventually moved to join other family members in colder states of the mid-west, but a few Swedish surnames can still be found there among the local residents.

No residents there have ever had the surname of Sweeden or Sweeten.
Sounds like a fun grandpa!
Definitely a character. Thanks for sharing! I'm impressed that you got all the pictures where they belong--I love the drinking bird! Can you give me some help in getting my pictures in the right place? (It has taken me several months just to get my pictures posted so that people can see them, and the words fall where they may.)
+15 votes

My maternal grandmother Nellie Marvin was quite the character. I have over 50 stories, since she lived with us, and I knew her and her sisters well. Half the stories were told to me by her sisters. She occasionally would go "on strike", which would mean that she was not doing housework, only piano playing and reading. On one occasion she was tired of cooking, and she threw every pot and pan in the kitchen into the backyard, and they stayed there for sometime. These strikes went on though out her marriage and my childhood. One of my childhood friends recently told me everyone in the neighborhood was afraid of her.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (429k points)
Alexis, With that cloud in the background and the dark hat, your grandmother Nellie looks like a candidate for one of the characters in The Wizard of Oz.
Alexis your grandmother look stunning what a magnificent hat she is wearing thank you for sharing this wonderful photo
Thank you C Ryder, my first cousin and I would say same thing about this photo :)
Thank you Susan, she was well know to throw away photos. She kept this, so it must have been one of her favorites.
I agree! Reminds me of the same thing!
Loralee, I love your name, my grand aunt I loved so much was Nora Lee Long,  and she often put her first and middle name together. Thank you Loralee for your fun comment.
She was a beautiful woman and the photo fits your memory of her. I enjoyed your story. (Someone showed some great photography skills or just got lucky. It's a wonderful photo.) Thank you for sharing

Zuladawn thank you for the wonderful comment. It is one of those photos that was taken in one of those photo booths. I have two others of her sister taken in the same booth, since they are the same size and background. They are very small, but you are right about the quality. Guess people used them for wallet photos. This is the link to Week 28 and one of the pictures of her sister Nora.

https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1067961/52-ancestors-week-28-multiple

I would never have guessed that the photo was from a booth. But it is great that you have it. I enjoyed Nora on week 28 as well. Mom wrote a novel based upon the things that happened in her father's life. The stories within the book were all true. They were verified with in her research. It have the beginnings of one that you've shared here. (Mom was born in a very small town in south east  Nebraska called Nora.) Thanks
Zuladawn, so glad you have great stories about your family. I recently had a longtime friend stay with me, and we did profiles on her Nebraska family. They were homesteaders. Glad you are on WikiTree, and hope you will find this is a great place to work on your family tree.
+8 votes

My paternal great-grandmother Roberta Nester was apparently quite a character when she was alive. She passed away when I was six years old, so admittedly I don't know too much about her other than through what very little I do remember as well as stories that I've been told. According to my mother, any time my father walked in they would call each other names (jokingly, might I add). She spent a lot of time with me as well, to the point that I think I may have inherited some of her fighting spirit without ever realizing it! She was always joking with somebody, and there was never a dull moment with her around.

by Raven Martin G2G6 (9.7k points)
Raven, I bet you did inherit some of her fighting spirit. I think we are part of each of our ancestors, and that is one more thing that makes genealogy so intriguing. Glad you have the stories you were told.
+8 votes

I can't help thinking Rebecca Bowen Kellogg must have been quite a character. She most certainly had her reasons for making hard decisions, liking letting one of her young daughters be adopted at age 13. Or running away from the home of her 3rd husband. Whatever the reasons, she's an unforgettable member of a wide family tree.

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (81.7k points)
C Ryder, it was probably a wise move for Rebecca’s 3rd husband to run away. She must have been quit the character.
+11 votes

My paternal grandparents, Wesley John Robins and Amy Esther Clark had a house moved one mile, it was originally whare the harbor freeway (110) is east of harbor collage and put on a lot in wilmington Califorina. Wes wanted to sell it after they spent time fixing it up. Amy did not like that idea and while her husband was at work at the sand and gravel pit in san pedro, Califorina. She hired a moving company and moved everything into that house one block away and he came back to an empty home. He just shrugged and went to the new home. He never spoke about it again. 

by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
edited by Jennifer Robins
Jennifer, it is obvious who was running the house, and Wesley knew how to get along.
+9 votes

G Grandfather John Hogan was a character in his later years.  He doted on his grandchildren and never missed an opportunity to regale them and their friends with (most likely heavily embellished) tales of his adventures in the Royal Navy (shipwrecked off the shores of China! Months before he was able to return home!) and as a horseman for the Boston Fire Department.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 5 (55.1k points)
+11 votes

My grandmother enjoyed telling us about her cousin Minnie, who was quite a character.  Her name was Mary Manchester Seaton, but she went by Minnie.   She was someone who got younger, instead of older, with time.  She was born 21 years before my grandmother, but pretended they were close in age.  You can trace this in the census, In 1900, when she was 32, the information is accurate.  But 20 years later she was 45, and wouldn't budge from that, even though her son was 30.  Although she was born in Fair Haven VT, she and her husband moved to Troy NY, a much larger place, where the customs and fashions were different.  They weren't far apart in miles, but light years apart in perception.  Minnie would come home to Vermont like an enlightened figure from the future, bringing knowledge to the ignorant, and water to the thirsty.  She would be wearing what was au courant in Troy, and would explain fashion to her country cousin.  My grandmother was highly amused by this.  My grandmother was a rather serious and hard working person, and her older cousin, with a touch of mendacity and airs of superiority always struck her as funny.   When the British series "Keeping up Appearances" came out, our family found more than a little suggestion of Cousin Minnie in Hyacinth.   https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Manchester-808

by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 7 (72.8k points)
Troy! Paris on the Hudson! People wore shoes there! My great-grandparents were married in Cohoes. On their honeymoon, they took the train across the river to Troy (cost a nickel), but what they did there I do not know. Maybe they just stared at all the wonders.
+9 votes

My cousin-in-law, Shelby Stanga! He's a Louisiana swamp logger and star of television reality shows. I"m not sure how much is reality, but a lot of it is.  Many of his adventures are on Youtube. He bites the heads off snakes and pulls teeth out of an alligator.  In one episode, Shelby goes "Christmas shopping" in the swamp. A glass bottle! An old shoe! A snake from which he fashions a head band! He shoots down a tree branch and converts it to a Christmas tree by decorating it with other treasures. You may not always understand what he is saying, or what in the world he is doing, but he's always interesting.

by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (111k points)
edited by Joyce Vander Bogart
+9 votes
There have been numerous stories handed down through the generations of my family ... some of the best are about my Great-Great Grandmother, Catherine Mumma-Omelia (1848-1935).  She was definitely "Quite the Character".

Her ideas for fun were to pull practical jokes on others.  Some people thought her pranks were funny and some would get upset.  She believed that you could tell a lot about a person from their reactions to her pranks?

She was famous for "Shorting the Sheets" on a bed.  Everyone in the household had likely had it done to them at least once.  So she reverted to just doing it when there were guests in the house.

Another prank is that she would sometimes switch the sugar and salt in their respective containers.  Some would laugh and take it in stride.  Some were annoyed, since it may have spoiled their food, cup of coffee or glass of tea.

There are several stories, but just one more for now.  She would put a fly or a bug in the water when filling an ice cube tray.  This would usually surprise the guest who happen to get that ice cube.  She would wait and see if they made a fuss or just kept their mouths shut.  

Anyway, I wish I had met her.  She seems like a fun person that was "quite a character"!
by Bill Sims G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
Reminds me of a story about two of my uncles. When one of them had a "hot date" the other would slip a slice of smelly cheese into his pocket so it would stink, and presumably, fail to enhance the romantic atmosphere. Great idea for Valentine's Day.
+8 votes
Quite the character ? This would have to be pap Welch (my husband's pap). He was always the highlight of the party. I used to think he was innocent until one day he was telling us stories and realized he was telling a joke. It was a your mom joke. After that pap we paid closer attention because it reminded us that our elders are not innocent people at all despite what we think. I know that's niaeve of me but to be honest I never thought of pap as being a dirty person because he was the most upstanding christian man I've ever known. It's just another reminder that it's the quiet ones that are the most mischevious.
by Christine Preston G2G6 Mach 4 (44.0k points)
+8 votes

My second Great Grand Uncle, James Newman Clark, was "quite the character". He was an amateur ornithologist and taxidermist. He collected and mounted more than 500 birds. He was called "The Bird Man". When he died his bird collection as well as his notes and diaries were donated to the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. The University created the "James Newman Clark Bird Museum" to house them.

by Chandra Garrow G2G6 Mach 5 (55.3k points)
+10 votes

Bill Navan, my wife's father, was a byword among family, friends, fellow musicians, lounge patrons, and Ottawa Kiwanians for his humour, wit and jokes. One of his fellow students at the Ontario School for the Blind in Brantford still remembers his wickedly accurate imitations of their principal and teachers. He laughed easily and often, at himself as well as at others. During his long career as an Ottawa entertainer and member of the Rideau Kiwanis Club, he was known as Old Loudmouth; and his wisecracks (corny as they often were) frequently made the papers. Some examples:

When asked the location of the new club he was playing at: "How should I know? As far as I know it's near the corner of Walk and Don't Walk."

In the 60s, he worked at a place called the Leprechaun Lounge -- "except on Jewish holidays when it becomes the Lepre-cohen."

He once volunteered to referee a broomball game to prove what they say about referees.

"If skirts get any shorter the gals are going to contract 'double knee-monia'."

When a friend was told that he "danced like a camel", Bill defended him: "So would you if you were over the hump."

by Richard Hill G2G6 Mach 2 (23.8k points)
Thank you Richard for sharing your very talented father-in-law. He certainly was a quit the character in a very good way.
+8 votes
I'm going to have to say that my husband (Andre Lozier)  is quite the character.

We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary today (21 Oct). We met online - I was in NZ and he was in Canada - and I fell in love with his wicked sense of humour and all the interests we had in common. Movies, music, TV, scifi, pop culture etc.

He does have a profile, but of course it is unlisted because he is still living so there is not much point in me linking to it.

But I can show you our wedding on 21 Oct 2000 in NZ.

These are 2 Layouts I made last year, about our wedding. They are posted at Pixel Scrapper - a Digital Scrapbooking website.

https://www.pixelscrapper.com/robynne-lozier/gallery/day-43-arranging-a-wedding-layout-100-days-project-red-gold-cream

https://www.pixelscrapper.com/robynne-lozier/gallery/day-44-getting-married-layout-wedding-100-days-project-red-gold-white
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (940k points)
Happy Anniversary Robynne! So glad you have a wonderful husband. A sense of humor is just the best thing ever;  hope you have many more happy years.
Thank you, Alexis!!
I had never heard of digital scrapbooking before. What a great way to stay in touch with family and friends so far away. Thanks for sharing! Your wedding must have been lovely.
+10 votes
My Grandmother's (Sarah Jane Snow) cousin, Michael Quinn lived in St. John's, Newfoundland. Mick was quite the vagabond and was well know character about town, noted for his wit. As the Irish say he loved his sup. At one time he found himself without a dwelling place (another story). As a last resort he abided in a large barrel on St. John's waterfront. On day a friend of his knocked on his barrel and asked Mick to come out, Mick replied " I can't come out, I'm busy" His friend asked what was keeping him so busy in the barrel to which Mick replied "I'm wallpapering" Another time he needed repairs to his shoes and went to a shoemaker. He asked the man how much it would cost to repair the soles of his shoes. The man replied $1.50. Mick then inquired how much it would cost to replace the heels of his shoes. The man replied 50 cents. Well, then, said Mick, heel them up to the soles.
by Frank Walsh G2G1 (1.8k points)
+9 votes

One of my ancestors seems to me to be Quite the Character. My great great grandfather was baptised in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1819 as Charles Murray, but subsequently became Charles Stuart Murray. My ancestry research indicates that the simple inclusion of the name Stuart has continued on through countless descendants, and yet there is no explanation, that can be verified, to determine the origin of that name.

Charles was born in South Leith, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. His parents were Charles Murray and Helen (Nicol) Murray. As a young man Charles moved to London. He earned his living as a Messenger (1851 Census), Shorthand Writer & Reporter (1856 Post Office Directory), Newspaper writer (1861 Census), Scientific Journalist (1871 Census), Scientific Horological & Engineering Writer (Author) (1881 Census), Journalist (1891 Census). All his addresses shown in Censuses and directories indicate he lived in fashionably expensive areas of North London, but we have not found evidence of wealth. Charles married Maria Lydia (Bailey) Stalman a widow with three children, who Charles took into his household as his children. Charles and Maria had a further six children. There is a mystery about Charles that would be great to find the reason behind. From about 1871 Charles is noted as Charles Stuart (or S) Murray. He does not have the name of Stuart at birth, nor in the Censuses in 1851 and 1861. Some of his children had the name of Stuart before their surname. The name of Stuart has been included in the names of many of his descendants, including me and my son and a grandson. The names of my paternal grandfather and his six siblings all include the name Stuart before the surname of Beavis, and many of his descendants are unclear as to the reason he started to include Stuart in his name. As children we were told that we were descendants of the Stuart monarchy of Scotland and England, but I have found no actual evidence of this. Charles, to his descendants, was a man of mystery. I can see him now looking down on us, his descendants, and chuckling at the mystery he has created.

by Stuart Beavis G2G4 (4.5k points)
What an interesting story, which coming from Scotland, does not surprise me. My Scottish ancestors never cease to amaze me.

I had a similar experience with a middle name on my mother's side, the origin of which we can't explain. In the 1800s., people used the mother's last name as a middle name, such as Charles Pierson Smith, and Joseph Pierson Hildreth. However, we still have not identified the woman in our family whose maiden name was "Pierson."

Also similar to your situation, we were told growing up that we had descended from the famous Ceruti violin makers from Cremona, Italy. When I actually went to Italy to research this in Cremona at the Archivio di Stato, I found no evidence that this was true. In fact, more evidence came to light that almost certainly refutes this hypothesis. Various DNA analyses also fail to support any relation. As far as we know, we are no relation to the violin makers. Thus, another family myth has been exploded. It does not, however, prevent me from repairing a musical instrument as needed, from time to time.
I can relate to both your story and Stuart Beavis's. In some ways it is easier to follow the family lines during research by making use of the tradition. For generations our parents have been so thoughtful as to include naming one child with the mother's birth name. My older brother's middle name was after my mother's maiden name. (Bach) My younger brother's middle name was for my paternal great grandmother. (Rowland) In hind site I almost wished I had followed those "guidelines" for they have sure helped me with my research. There is no mystery in my decision to try to find out where my father's middle name came from. It was Boothby, and no relative I knew about ever had the name. As a young adult I found Dad's great grandfather was the same as his: Cyrus Boothby Hall. I was so sure that the  name Boothby had to come from a relative or at the very least, a very good friend, especially since they had lived for many generations in Maine. (Kittery, Porland, and Bangor and its surrounding area). I've asked about this from my older relatives, but no one seemed to know why. I have researched the maternal lines, but have found nothing. Along with the middle/maiden naming tradition, Mom and Dad used living relatives and ancestral names as their list to choose from. My search was never in vain. And it is certainly not over.
+8 votes
My ancestor, 72 generations back, was born in Wales sometime around the year 90 C.E. (not a typo) He was:

Amalach ap (Avallach) "King of Wales" Beli

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Beli-1
He must have been quite a character. Legends were spun up about him. I got the idea that "ap" means "son of" or something like that, in whatever was the Welsh language at that time.

This information was discovered using fan charts, which have proven quite useful and interesting. If you want to explore this lineage, start with George Hopton in England.
by Marion Ceruti G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
edited by Marion Ceruti
Aren't you glad you learned about fan charts!
Fan charts are way cool. I need to learn more about how to use them. So far I have learned a few things through trial and error. One thing I could share is that if you are going back 2000+ years, you will want to keep track of how you got there. Always record which branch will be the center of your next fan chart. It was just by luck or accident that I finally found the same ancestor twice, since the ancestry for George Hopton is so well documented.
Once you have tracked him down with a fan chart, can you use the Relationship Finder to trace from him back to yourself?
Thank you for the tip, Joyce. It seems like a good short cut and an additional tool.

I was inspired by your hunt for an ancestor, so I looked for one of my own. I too have some "ap" ancestors. According to Wikipedia, it does mean "son of". Here's the link.

+6 votes
You have to be quite the character to give someone 21 one dollar bills on their 21st birthday. https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2020/10/52-ancestors-week-43-quite-character.html
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (457k points)
+7 votes
Week 43 - Quite the Character. This week I am highlighting Watkins-6202, who was my Grandfathers father. Unfortunately I don't have much up about him and his wife, but what I personally know, is that all their four children, where the most amazing characters, and there is no doubt that they had to have gotten it from somewhere. His kids all had such great senses of humour, always ready with wry well told funny stories. Always friendly to everyone, generous and caring. Such incredible stories of childhood activities, hunting, fishing, exploring, causing trouble like a whirlwind, but never in trouble with the law. Grandpa used to say that his father was too serious to him, and fairly strict, but I suspect there is a lot more to him, that I would have loved to have found out about. Fortunately some living ancestors still remember both of them, and hopefully I should be able to find out more.
by Ben Molesworth G2G6 Pilot (120k points)
+7 votes

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Nicol-1434 

Hugh Nicol, brother in law of my 4th cousin 4th time removed was a professional major league baseball between 1881 and 1891. He was a showman and entertained the crowds with acrobatics. He was known for his speed between bases and holds the record for stolen bases.

by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
I'm wondering how you know about the brother-in-law of your 4th cousin 4 times removed? Did your family talk about him? Did you discover him through your own research? Or did you know about this famous person and wonder if he could be a relative? This is an interesting hobby!
My father died when I was a teenager and I didn’t learn anything about his family into I started researching my tree. The brother married to my cousin was actually divorced. Divorce was not that uncommon in Rockford in the late 19th century. The paper was very sympathetic to her. “Nichol is very well known here and is notorious for his misdeeds. The facts in this case are not fit for publication. His outraged wife has the sympathy of all”. Prolly should have listed him as quite the character”.
+7 votes

My maternal grandmother was Quite the Character! She was a flapper, made bathtub gin during prohibition, wore men's suits before Kate Hepburn thought of it. She was 12 when women got the right to vote and 66 when women got the right to control their bodies. With a 3rd grade education, this pint-sized entrepreneur started and ran three successful businesses. The one goal she never realized was to become a nurse. Two granddaughters and a great granddaughter met that final goal.

May (Koput) George

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (522k points)
Thank you Carol for sharing this wonderful photo of your grandmother
Thank you, Susan! Always wonderful to hear from you! My grandmother was such a wonderful person. She died in 1989 in the hospice unit I worked in. I still miss her. I can still remember her phone number from around 1952 when I was 7! Hilltop 20186 (HI 20186). The old days!
Your grandmother most have been happy you workin the same hospice she was in, and you visit her.

Carol I can certainly understand you still miss her, she sound like a wonderful grandmother

Thank you for sharing the story

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