Sometimes genealogy can give you the unexpected

+19 votes
137 views
My ancestors have usually been pretty predictable, a long history of Catholics from St. Mary's County, Maryland, and Kentucky. Suddenly out of the blue I make a discovery concerning my 3rd great grandmother. The ancestors from her side of the family are solid Protestants from the historically different states of Rhode Island, New Jersey, Virginia. This includes the historic Borden family (yes, that includes the infamous Lizzie Borden) whose ancestors were Quakers from Rhode Island.  I had learned about this connection many years ago from online trees but dismissed it as it just didn't fit into my family's history, and more importantly, I didn't see solid proof. We all know how inaccurate online trees can be.

I have now discovered documented evidence, and more importantly, DNA connections to this new discovery.  Of course, I welcome this new branch of my family tree with open arms. I get excited when I can discover ancestors who bring a rich history into my genealogy.  It would be boring if everyone was the same or from the same states.

I guess the lesson from all of this is never dismiss the improbable when it comes to your family tree, it just might be the truth.
in The Tree House by James Stratman G2G6 Mach 8 (84.3k points)

5 Answers

+4 votes
How true! Great story.
by John Noel G2G6 Pilot (712k points)
+3 votes
Its surprising what you can find........ sometimes when you least expect it.

Always good to get "connections"
by Chris Burrow G2G6 Pilot (146k points)
+4 votes
James, I agree that without good sources I would not trust any online tree or family story, but I would also not say they are not true. They are always a line to explore and as you found out they just might be true.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
Dale, that is so true.  I have found really great hints from online trees that I would otherwise have overlooked.  One can't discount just because they are in online trees and lack sources, but such hints can be used to further prove or disprove.
+4 votes
James , even though I had heard about my ancestry all my life , related to Royalty , Native American blood , African blood. Related to whomever.  I was always " yeah ,yeah , yeah. Whatever , you're all full of it."   The last thing I ever expected was for any of it to be true. I set out to prove it was all blarney. Well my foot isn't as hard to chew as it was.  I still search for sources to validate. But it sure has been a fun ride here at wikitree.
by Anonymous Roach G2G6 Pilot (185k points)
I have to say Trudy, it is quite an exciting ride when we uncover these 'truths' in our family history.  I think it shows there are elements of truth in the family folklore that has been passed down. What blew me away was that my Catholic ancestors were pretty much tightly knit in their own communities, marrying cousins, etc.  I never would have guessed such a lineage entering into my family tree.  It was quite an exciting revelation.
+1 vote
Oh gosh. The discoveries we  make. I am very unpopular with well to do relatives because I found out our common ancestor was a convict. Of course, he told his children and grandchildren that he arrived free. Silly man dropped the name of the ship though, and he was easy to find...for me. I don't mind being a persona non grata though. I love our ancestor for his achievements- he was a survivor and overcomer- despite his rough start.
by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (71.0k points)
Actually Susan, I find that the lesser known people in our tree can be the most fascinating.  Their stories haven't bee discovered. Each of us have ancestors whose stories are yet to be told, and I'm sure it is quite the most interesting story.
I used to tell kids at school proudly that my ancestors were whalers. Well, that won't get you much admiration these days. :)

Thankfully I have five convicts to boast about now.

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