Question of the Week: What's a favorite love story that you've found in your research?

+11 votes

Valentine's Day is coming up! heart

What's a favorite love story that you've found in your research? 

Share below!

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
My Great Grandfather, Frank Kalina, fought in the Spanish American War in the Philippines. He fell in love with a beautiful Philippina hiding in the mountain caves with her family. They married, and she died in childbirth there, trying to deliver a large baby boy whose father was over 6 feet tall. He returned to the United States with his infant son, met and married my Great Grandmother, Anna Meissert, a widow with an infant daughter, my grandmother, Dorothy. Her husband, an engineer, had died of malaria in Central America. Together, they had a baby girl, Selma, who we all called Aunt Sally. Out of grief, came love and a beautiful blended family—Frank Jr., Dorothy Louise and Selma.

20 Answers

+9 votes

Not sure what the ratio of truth to lore is in this. I am one of many to count myself as a descendant of George Hempleman and Margaret/ Margarette/ Marguerite Duffy of Germany.

From an old post at

"George & Margarette landed at Richmond, VA as indentured servants for 4 years to pay for their passage. George was sold to a cotton planter in one of the Carolinas, and Margarette to a tobacco planter near Richmond, VA. They re-met at the Old St. John's Church in Richmond where they were married."

From another source:

"I came upon the Baron von Hempleman name finally along with a romantic story that one day I will attempt to relate here. For George and Adam Hempleman, brothers of the Baron, sailed to America before the Revolutionary War, along with Marguerite Duffy. Marguerite was a commoner and Baron von Hempleman apparently was indisposed to permit his son, George, to wed her. Thus, the brothers gave up their titles and lands and came as indentured servants to America. The three were separated upon arrival as each traveled to their place of service. The brothers would both fight for America’s Independence and not see one another again until late in life."

by Tim Campbell G2G3 (3.6k points)
+11 votes
[[Anderson-19656|Edward Anderson]] born into a simple Yorkshire farming family went to sea. However he fell in love with a girl from his home town and courted her when he was between voyages. Both families thought it was a good match. Then, the day before he was due to sail again, they stayed out all night. The scandal caused a furore but Edward duly sailed leaving Catherine to face the music. When he got home again he found that Catherine had died. He recorded the story in a long narrative poem recalling how he would sit by her grave and weep. After that he neglected his family to such an extent that they did not know whether he was alive or dead. Years later, he became a Methodist, and was restored to his family, marrying late in life. Interestingly his much younger brother married Catherine's niece. We always visit their graves when we are in Yorkshire and think of them.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (283k points)
Somehow a really good love story has to have some tragedy associated with it.
+10 votes
A brother of my grandfather had seen this girl and thought it would be someone for my grandfather. so they sent him to deliver a cow to the house of her widowed uncle were she lived  and took care of the houshold and the children. My grandfather was a bit afraid of the big farming animals.

The moment he arrived with the cow my grandmother just left the farmhouse with a can of coffee/milk.(the stories differ here) When she saw him she dropped the can. It was love on first sight.
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Pilot (156k points)
edited by Eef van Hout
+12 votes

There is a ghost story associated with some of my ancestors, George Beckwith and his wife Frances Harvey. The story goes that George Beckwith sailed to England on business, and died there; in his absence, and without news of his death, his wife took ill and died; after her death a ghostly figure was seen standing under an elm tree near the shore and watching the horizon in expectation (and following the return of the ship bearing George Beckwith's body back to Maryland, there were reports of a man and woman standing under the elm). The whole story is here (text is from the book "Classic American Ghost Stories").

by C Handy G2G6 Pilot (171k points)
+10 votes
Betrothal poems written in 1842 at Moriah, Essex New York by 2nd great grandparents: Abigail Andrea Colburn; answered by Newell Bowman Adams. (Written in pencil on 8 x12 lined paper, found folded together into a 2" square to fit into a small purse that Abigail might have carried in a pocket of her dress.) Newell died at only 48 in Moriah. Abigail lived almost 20 more years, having migrated with her 3 adult sons to Nebraska;
by Marj Adams G2G6 Mach 4 (40.7k points)
+10 votes
Oliver Silverstone 1686-1746 and Mary champion de Crespigny 1688-1746: Mary was disowned by her father Gabriel Champion de Crespigny because she fell in love with and married a lowly groom.
by Jamie Thompson G2G6 (6.3k points)

Actually we discussed this here on Wikitree G2G back in 2017. It seems likely this story is not so. Mary daughter of Gabriel Champion Crespigny died as an infant and there is a burial record. There is no evidence that Mary who married Oliver Silverthorne was a member of the Champion de Crespigny family. A noted Silverthorn family historian did not document her surname. The story arose in recent decades but no supporting records have been produced :( see Happy if there are records to say otherwise.

thanks for the info. I will look into it and change my tree when I get a chance. I have been taken down many incorrect branches by other, only to find with more research they were impossible.... :)
+11 votes
I have no idea if its true or not - but its a great story! My 2XGrandparents on my mother's side were from Ireland - that much is true! According to family lore, one was Catholic, the other Protestant, and they couldn't marry in Ireland, so, GGGrandfather, James Hubbard, went to England and got established there, then sent for GGGrandmother, Catherine, and they married in Essex. They lived there the rest of their lives. True or not, its a good story.

More modern times, and not discovered, I've known all about it for a long time - and it is true! When I was 17, in 1965, I met a handsome teenager at East End Teen dance in Brandon, Manitoba. We "went steady" as teenagers did back then, until I left home at 18 to become a Wren in the Royal Canadian Navy. For the next 17 years we both went our own ways, In 1982 I was back in my home town, with a 2 year old son, and ran into this, now handsome man. In 1984, he and I were married. My dear husband, Gordon Archie Hockley died Feb 9, 2009. His step son, Harley and I miss him dearly.
by Linda Hockley G2G6 Mach 1 (12.5k points)
edited by Linda Hockley
Linda, did you mean you married in 1984? Or am I totally confused?
1984 - I seem to be having finger problems this morning!!! I'll fix it - thanks for bringing that to my attention!!!
I have 3 x's great grandparents from County Cork, Ireland who were never married, though they had 5 children. He was Catholic and she Protestant I've assumed they could not marry because of the Church and I'd say your story rather confirms this. Her husband died in 1847 (famine, perhaps?) and she ended up in a poor house later in years and married another man.
I've heard many stories like yours and mine, so I guess it was quite common. They appear to have been/still are very rigid about religion in Ireland! Many went elsewhere, to England, or the "new world" to be free, or lived in a precarious way, as did your ancestors.  What a shame! In today's world we'd think nothing of it, but we can't judge the 1800's or earlier by today's more lax standards.

I sure hope your 3 X GGrandmother found happiness at last!

They did leave us with great stories, though, didn't they???
She had two sons, one went to Australia, the other to the USA (my 2 x's ggrandather). I've always wondered why one of them did not send for their mother, unless she would not go.

Yes, very interesting stories!
+10 votes

According to my grandmother, my great-grand uncle Henry Thiefels loved to tell a good story to his nieces and nephews. One of his stories was about this girl he knew in high school who he courted for a while in the early 1910s. She was just smitten with him, but after a lot of prayer and thought, Uncle Henry finally realized that he was being called to the priesthood rather than marriage and after a tearful goodbye, joined a seminary hundreds of miles away. His former sweetheart was so broken up that she soon became sick and, as my uncle would conclude the story, "died of a broken heart." Apparently the way he told the story moved many of the children to tears.

Usually at the conclusion of the story, though, Henry's sister Marie (my great-grandmother), fed up with her brother's wild storytelling, would dryly add, "She died of pneumonia."

by Emily Yaden G2G6 Mach 1 (13.8k points)
+10 votes
Hans (John) Josef Weber and Elisabetha (Liesl) Bona Kessler, my maternal grandparents, is a wonderful love story. John came to the U.S. in 1915 after leaving Liesl behind in Switzerland with a promise to send her a ticket as soon as he could afford it. Over the next six years he suffered many trials and tribulations as he tried to establish himself here. At long last Liesl wrote to him telling him she didn't care what his situation was and to send her a ticket!

Her story of immigration and arrival was also one of suffering and challenges. When she arrived at the train station, a porter tried to help her with her luggage. Not speaking any English, she thought she was being robbed and struggled briefly to push the porter away.

Fortunately, John was right there and stepped forward and said, "Thank you sir, I will help the young lady."

He turned to Liesl and said, "Hello, my brown-eyed girl. How are you?"

She turned to him with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm hungry!"

They were married three days later in a wonderful ceremony donated by all of John's friends and co-workers.

There is so much more to this story, but it's so special to our family and was a lifetime love they shared.
by Randy Almond G2G1 (1.3k points)
+9 votes

My mother '''[[Laurin-13|Lois Elaine Laurin]]''' (orginally from New Hampshire) went to Union College in Kentucky where she met my father '''[[Cook-7767|Floyd H. Cook]]''' (originally from Connecticut). However my father wasn't the first love she had in college. 

I found my mother's college scrapbook and she had saved many items and had written many notes in it, here are some:

"John Wharton - First date: Oct. 1 (movie), started going steady Oct 7, Broke up: Nov 28"

"Dance Christmas Ball in Chelsea with John Allen, Dec 23"

"My placecard at John Allen's family's Christmas dinner, Dec. 24"

Then on another page: "Feb 18 - Girl's Open House and Sweetheart Dance sponsored by French + German Clubs. Date 'Floyd Cook' Had a ball!"

"Representing all the home games which I went to with Floyd Cook from Conn."

"Flower 'Cookie' picked for me" and next to that "Excellent! Date: 'Cookie'"

"Messing around at Foley's with 'Cookie' after 'The Satyr Kiss'"

Peformance of "Hamlet" - "Date 'Cookie' Superb Acting!"

"Dance after which Cookie asked me to go steady on steps of Classroom Building"

And I found this card:

by Keith Cook G2G6 Mach 3 (39.8k points)
+8 votes
During the Revolutionary War (1779) my ggggreat grandmother Hadessa (Esther) Crawford was captured by indians and taken from her home in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to wherever the tribe was located.  At the same time her father was being held as a prisoner of the British in New York.  Hadessa somehow escaped from the indians and ran to a community of settlers.  She was rescued by William Wirt Whitsett who was serving with Colonel William Crawford as an indian scout.  Hadessa married William Whitsett in 1780 and they had 13 children.  The last child was their only son, my gggreat grandfather.  Only 3 girls made it to adulthood.  When Hadessa died, she instructed her family to bury her in an unmarked grave in the dead of the night so the indians could never find her again.
by Terri Crowell G2G5 (5.9k points)
She must have been terribly traumatized. Very sad.
+9 votes
My maternal grandfather graduated from UPR in 1916 and came to the States from Puerto Rico the same year.After working various jobs for over a year he sent for his wife-to-be. She left San Juan on Sept 5th 1917 and arrived in NY on the 10th of Sept. I have the passenger list of the SS Coamo showing Isabel Cruz and her brother Jose. They were met at the dock by my soon to be grandfather, Joe Bosch and headed directly to City Hall! I have their marriage license dated Sept 10th 1917.

On 29 June 1918, 9 months and 19 days later their first child was born and named Woodrow Antonio Bosch, after President Woodrow Wilson who signed the bill that made all the people of Puerto Rico American citizens in 1917.
by Joe Hay G2G6 Mach 1 (12.9k points)
+10 votes

My grandfather, Gerald Taylor, and my grandmother, Marie Katherine Ramge, were teenage sweethearts. I didn't discover their early connection until my research found that Marie Katherine Ramge went to Blume High School and lived in Wapakoneta. She’s in the Home Economics Class in 1922; Ruby Elizabeth Taylor is Class President. Ruby is Gerald’s cousin, daughter of his uncle, William Perry Taylor.
Grandpa's pocket diary details his romance with Marie; he wrote letters to her, and waited anxiously for return mail. He mentioned phone calls and visits to see her; they were about sixteen years old.
Because Grandpa seemingly "accidentally" got 17-year-old Olive Violet pregnant with my Dad in late 1929 - his romance with Marie was in hot water. Marie married someone else. BUT... in 1934, both divorced their spouses, and married each other on January 5, 1935. They were married until they died in 1978, within six months of each other.

by Sheri Taylor G2G6 Mach 2 (24.9k points)
+9 votes
The one I like the most was about a great great aunt who eloped at the age of 15. Learning of this, her father went to the husband’s house and dragged his youngest daughter back home, threatening to have the marriage annulled. The girl was steadfast to her beloved and her father eventually relented, allowing the couple to reunite. They lived a long life together and  raised a large family.

Another story concerns an ancestor who supposedly bought his bride to be at auction in early Baltimore. She is said to have been an Irish “princess” (of course) who was kidnapped off the coast of her homeland. He rescued her at the auction and she fell in love with him. They married in the Catholic Church and raised a large and prolific family, spreading to all points of our country. This story has probably been embellished considerably over the years, but it is fun to think about.
by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (150k points)
+9 votes

My favorite love story is found in the jr high and high school diary of my mother-in-law. The diary is filled with little incidences of the life of a girl growing up in Kentucky in the 1930s. On almost every page is a little note:

heart CJ. 

True love from the beginning. They married just before WWII and remained so until CJ died in 1981.

by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+9 votes
My grandmother and step-grandfather. They "went out" as it was called in the late 1890's - to a barn dance or dinner at someone's house in the community, always accompanied by adults. It is my understanding that he was in love with her but she said she just wasn't ready for marriage. A number of years later, in 1906, she met and married my grandfather. He was much older than she and was a minister. They met when he came to her community to preach and she was playing the pump organ. They had 5 children, 3 of which lived to adulthood. My grandfather died in 1926. My grandmother finished raising the two daughters who were still at home. Then, in 1937 she received a message from her "first" suitor. He had never married. They saw each other several times and exchanged letters which I now have. They married and settled on his small farm in east Texas. He was the only grandfather I ever knew and he was really good to my grandmother's children and grandchildren.

My memories of visiting there every summer and many holidays are still vivid. For a city girl, it was a different life.
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (856k points)
+7 votes
So my grandparents Rev Gerald Aubrey Hunt and Enid Elizabeth Newcombe were courting secretly and went to the then jungles (now more an urban variety) of Nigeria as missionaries.  

The sad policy in those days as soon as romantic interests were noted, they would be stationed 50 miles apart - as happened to them.  

For an entire year and a half, my grandfather was given permission to travel the 50 miles through the jungle paths every second weekend to visit her.

There was many a harrowing ride of course due to the many animal and human preditors.  

But a year and a half later, they were married and finally the adventures ended.

But the sheer love that grandpa must have had to go way beyond his comfort zone is unrivalled
by Lloyd de Vere Hunt G2G6 Mach 3 (31.7k points)
Wow! What a story of courage for love!!!
+9 votes
This is a LOVE STORY FOR THE AGES. Jacob Romer  (Romer-120) fell in love with Frena Haerlager (Haerlager-1), her parents felt that he was not "good enough" for her and denied them their blessings for marriage. Not wanting to be separated, the two proceeded to runaway and sail to America. In the case of Jacob and Frena, she was sold for the passage expense of both, for a term of seven years - three and one-half years for each - in order that he might better prepare for their future. They arrived in New York about 1747, Jacob was 33 and Frena was 22, neither understood either Dutch or English and almost before they knew what was happening, they were sold to different masters, not knowing were the other had been taken. They were separated after all for the terms of their "servitude" .
Frena had been sold "up the river" to Albany, while Jacob settled in New Amsterdam. He worked as a tailor and obtained membership in the Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow in 1753. He enlisted on an English man-o-war on blockade duty, off the Port of New York. He earned the title of Captain. He sailed the seas as a privateersman while Frena served her seven years of servitude. As her time of service was coming to it's end, Jacob, purchased a small piece of land on a high hill called "Kykuit", now known as "East View", near Tarrytown and erected a small house. It had a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. It was now time to find Frena..... Jacob enlisted the help of the old post carrier, for a fee, who traveled between New York and Albany. The old man's search was successful, and one day Frena mounted his Steed behind him and made the 150 mile journey to Philipsburgh to meet Jacob.
They were married on August 20, 1754 in the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow, with Rev. Johannes Ritzema officating. The record shows that they were both born in Switzerland and now resided in Philipsburgh, Westchester, New York. They had 5 sons and 7 daughters........ They were married 53 yrs when Jacob died February 14, 1807 at 93 yrs of age. Frena died January 2, 1819 at 94 yrs of age. Story related by: Evelyn Murray McKelvey - (Murray-2307) This couple are the 5th Great Grandparents in the Hankins Branch of my Family Tree.
by Evelyn McKelvey G2G6 Mach 1 (15.9k points)

Thank you for sharing this story. Talk about mailing an unusual package! (Used to be even the USPS would ship people if they had enough stamps, riding in the post cart usually rather than in a box)

I must note that in modern times German (Switzerland) Dutch and at a stretch English could be somewhat mutually intelligible languages. Further back who knows.

I would like to Thank whoever is responsible for choosing my story as the "Best". For myself and my family, THE HANKINS FAMILY BRANCH, we were overwhelmed by our Ancestors pluck and strength throughout their lives and we just hope we have inherited  their fortitude.  Thank you.

Evelyn McKelvey (Murray-2307)
Loved your family story!!! Thanks for sharing!
+5 votes
It is quite recent. When I arrived in Alaska in 1990, I ended up renting an old trailer on Al's property. Al was Albert Slemsek, possibly the only Slovakian ever in this Bush area. Al had been married to a stunning Redhead, Lorraine, in his early years. Lorraine, a teacher and very independent decided she didn't like living in this exceptionally wild, cold country so she and Al parted ways.

Al, subsequently married his bookkeeper at his Studebaker business.  They lived a happy life but after she died, both being  already elderly, Al was very lonely - although he dated every single woman in the area, always with one of his Roses and some homemade wine.   

One day he came over to talk to me about his first wife, Lorraine, that he hadn't seen in some 40+ years. He told me that 'he  had only 2 important  women in his life and they were both dead, but he wasn't really sure about the first one. He had heard, through friends, that she may still be alive in Los Angeles - and off he went.

Al was now almost 80 and not been out of rural Alaska in a very long time. We tried to disuade him but no luck. Lo and behold, a month or so later, back he comes with his sweetheart and they both had the same story.

All found Lorraine in a high scale nursing home and they immediately recognized each other some 40+ years later. He said to her" Honey, isn't it time you came home?". She thought a minute and replied yes!.

They lived together for several more years, in happpiness, in a little trailer, next door, in rural Alaska.

P.S. In doing her genealogy, it turned out that in this strange, far away place, she had been my cousin from the family in Maine. I now live in seriously nowhere, rural Alaska on land that my Maine cousin once owned._
by Christopher Wright G2G5 (5.4k points)
+3 votes

My 2x great grand-aunt, Elizabeth, did not marry until relatively late. The story goes that after the Civil War, a Union soldier came to the McFatter home in Claiborne co. MS and saw Elizabeth sitting on the porch. He fell in love with her and had to marry her. Elizabeth married William Dulay in 1871, but I think they must've died before 1880.

by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (224k points)

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