Question of the Week: Who is a paternal ancestor you admire?

+4 votes
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Who is a paternal ancestor that you admire? And why?

in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
My paternal ancestor whom. I admire most is Thomas Nelson, Jr.  He signed the Declaration of Independence, was Governor of Virginia during the revolution and funded and commanded Washington's field artillery at Yorktown.  Because of the debts he incurred during the revolution he died a pauper.

The paternal ancestor I admire the most is my sixth great-grandfather, John Sevier. He helped to establish the state of Tennessee, but while the area was still known as the Southwest Territory, he was sent by President George Washington to be a member of the VERY FIRST Congress. Then he was made the Brigadier-General over the Militia for the Southwest Territory. Once they met the criteria to become a state, John Sevier was then voted in as the very first Governor of Tennessee. He served three terms in a row, for six years. Waited an election cycle and then ran again to serve for yet another three terms in a row. He was beloved by the people he served, was a Revolutionary War Hero, having fought the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. And a magistrate for years.

Before all of this he was a signer of the original Watauga Association, one of their first five Commissioners, a member of their Safety Commission and he fought the Cherokee, keeping the Settlements safe. 35 battles fought, 35 battles won. For many years he served as the County clerk of Washington District. Once this region was acknowledged by the government of North Carolina, John Sevier was sent to Represent the United Settlements in Halifax, for the North Carolina Convention. 

Later that same year he continued on at the House of Commons, representing the Washington District in New Bern.

Once North Carolina ceded the territory, (for a second time) back to the United States, things moved fairly quickly. The Southwest Territory was established and from there John was hand-picked by President Washington to be part of the Upper Chamber.

After his last term as governor of Tennessee,  and turning down the position of brigadier-general due to his advanced age, he still desired to serve. This prompted him to run for  a term in the 12th Congress in 1811. He won re-election into the 13th Congress and was on congressional business for the 14th Congress, running and marking the lines for the newly ceded lands by the Creek Nation, which lay in the Alabama Territory. Unfortunately, he caught a fever that ran through the party and died the day after his 70th birthday.

Many referred to him as the "Good Old Governor" and his likeness, in bronze, resides in Statuary Hall. I consider him the Rock Star of my family.

My two grandfathers, William Richard Armistead and Clarence Clifton Chick. "Dick" Armistead, born in Georgia in 1867 to a Confederate veteran and his wife fallen on hard times, was raised by a pious aunt and her preacher husband. At about age 14 he ran away to Atlanta where he worked as a lamplighter for the city. Worked his way up to be Superintendent of Atlanta Parks, bought a farm during the Depression so his family wouldn't starve.  Clarence Chick of Berwick, Maine, after a stint in the Navy worked as a contractor hauling gravel for New England highways. He wrote my grandmother from the road in the snow, sleet and rain every day (I have his letters, a testament to his deep love for her). He loved being  by or on the water; my mother said that when driving he could smell the ocean twenty miles away and would risk a speeding ticket. Sadly, I never got to meet either of these men as they both passed away before I was born.

15 Answers

+8 votes

The paternal ancestor I admire the most is the one I actually knew personally and have respected, and he is my father-in-law. In this photo he is Lt. LeRoi Nelson, far right, and this photo was taken aboard the USS Evans very shortly before 11 May 1945. On that day the USS Evans and the USS Hadley, which is seen in the rear, were off the coast of Okinawa. The Japanese bombarded these two ships with kamikazes, and four actually hit the Evans. My father-in-law was part of a small group of men that were responsible for going down below and removing the men that drowned; this was after the damaged ship was towed to port. He never talked about any of this except to my mother-in-law. He was a very unassuming man, and he was loved by his family and community. One example of this was in July 1973 when Oklahoma State Penitentiary had one of the worst prison riots in US history, and a great deal of the prison burned. I picked up the phone at my in-laws home, and a man asked to speak to LeRoi. LeRoi, who was president of the school board, talked for awhile about how they could use the school kitchens to feed the prisoners. I later asked who it was that he was talking to, and he told me it was our governor. He would have never said he was talking to the governor. He died that coming Dec. of stomach cancer, and I saw how he faced his own death with great courage. I have the genealogy that he did on my mother-in-laws family, and I have missed him so very much. I do so wish he could have been here these last 45 years.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Mach 7 (77.3k points)
+4 votes
My direct Paternal ancestor Robert Weir was left behind by his father in Ireland when he was about six. He eventually followed his family to South Carolina, but when he got there his father had become a fairly large slave holder. Robert became convinced that slavery was unconscionable, joined an abolitionist church, and moved North to Illinois, leaving his entire family behind.
by Janelle Weir G2G6 Mach 2 (22.1k points)
+4 votes

While I look up to my Dad a lot, I think my answer to this question would be my Dad's first cousin Eddie Ross. Eddie was a 22 year old US Marine who was killed on Iwo Jima. He always represented to me honor, duty, and the "uncle" I never got to know.  He loved his little cousin, my Dad, and taught my dad to tie his shoelaces. Though I don't have a picture of him, Eddie is said to have been very handsome with dark hair. I commemorate him and his sacrifice every Memorial Day.

by Mark Edrys G2G4 (4.7k points)
edited by Mark Edrys
+4 votes

The paternal ancestor that I most admire is my paternal grandfather, Ed Futterman. I was very close with him growing up, despite the fact that he lived 300+ miles away in Woodland Hills. He had deep, rich, booming voice that served him well when he worked as a radio disc jockey. He loved music (especially jazz) and collecting antiques. I credit him for influencing my love of a wide variety of genres of music. I have many recordings of his radio shows and I hope to one day make them available to listen to on YouTube. He really was my best friend growing up. I would call him pretty much every day after school, and because I was his only grandchild I knew it made him happy to hear from me. He passed away in 2011. I miss him and think of him quite often.

by Andrew Futterman G2G Crew (320 points)
A. your grandfather is also a very handsome man. Thank you for the link to his profile. I have always liked men with deep voices, and thank you for sharing.

You are welcome. His voice is one I'll never forget and hope to share. laugh

+1 vote
I have a number of ancestors both paternal and maternal whom I admire, but limiting this to paternal I will choose my paternal grandfather, John Niven McFatter.  He was a builder and architect in Texas in the late 19th early 20th century. He was the type of man who chose not to make a profit on building the first courthouse in Hamilton County. He only charged the county for actual material and labor. Later he was elected as Justice of the Peace in Ranger Texas for 22 years, beginning in the 1920s oil boom days. Judge Mcfatter was  a respected citizen. I loved "Papa Mac". I am honored to be called "Mac"
by Mac McFatter G2G Crew (900 points)
+1 vote

My patermal ancestor that I admire the most is my 4th Great Uncle Ambrose Spencer Murray (1807 - 1885) he was an abolitionist and a prominent figure in Goshen, New York. He'd provide specially marked tickets for slaves fleeing through the Underground Railray

by Keith Cook G2G6 Mach 1 (17.8k points)
+4 votes
I was adopted when I was 2 1/2 yrs old.  I never knew my real parents.  When I began my search for my ancestry, I found many to admire and a few - not to admire.  Everyone has a skeleton or two.  One of the paternal ancestors I found to admire was born in 1507 in Warwickshire, England.  Rev. John Rogers was martyred for his faith; he was burned at the stake.  I pray that if the day ever comes that I have to stand up for God, I will be as brave as he was.  One can find his story quite easily on the internet.  His story was also included in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.  I have the book, but never knew I had any ancestors in it. He encourages me daily.
by Sherry Sievert G2G3 (3.8k points)
Sherry, I can not imagine being part of anything so horrible to one’s fellowman. Thanks for sharing your beautiful message.
I was just reviewing his profile from my Ancestry records.  I hadn't realized he was also the ancestor of Thomas Rogers who arrived in the New World on the Mayflower.  Awesome heritage.
+2 votes
The paternal ancestor I most admire is my grandfather, James Elmer Lillard.  He was born in 1895, an illegitimate child.  His mother never told him the name of his father, and he lived at various times with his mother and his grandfather during his childhood, though he maintained a close relationship with his mother throughout.  My grandmother, his wife Edna, was pregnant and unmarried at the time he met her.  He asked her to marry him, and they did so, so that another child would not have to deal with the stigma of illegitimacy.  The child was my aunt Doris.  Together, James and Edna raised four children, including my father, James.  Their marriage lasted until his death in 1966, and they were a close and loving couple.  I'm proud of my grandfather for being willing to take on the responsibility for raising and loving a child that wasn't biologically his, at a time when people were less tolerant about these things.  In fact, if my grandparents hadn't made that fateful decision, my father and I, as well as many others, would not exist.
by Anneliese Kennedy G2G6 (8.5k points)
Liese, that is a wonderful story about your grandfather. He must have been a fine man to understand what his mother went through and be a father to a child that needed one.
0 votes
My Favorite Ancestor is King Louis IX My 22nd Great Grandfather. He was Canonized as St. Louis. He was renowned for his charity. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, ministered to the wants of the lepers, and daily fed over one hundred poor. He also founded many hospitals. If my calculations are correct He is an Ancestor I am Proud to call Mine!
by
0 votes
My Favorite Paternal Ancestor, is King Louis IX, My 22nd Great Grandfather. He was Canonized as St. Louis. He was renowned for his charity. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, ministered to the wants of the lepers, and daily fed over one hundred poor. He also founded many hospitals. If my calculations are correct He is an Ancestor I am Proud to call Mine!
by
+1 vote
My Paternal Ancestor I Admire Is my 22nd Great Grandfather, King Louis IX of France, He was Such a Devout Man, He was Canonized as a Saint. He was renowned for his charity. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, ministered to the wants of the lepers, and daily fed over one hundred poor. He also founded many hospitals.
by Ernest Doucette G2G1 (1.6k points)
+1 vote
The paternal ancestor that I most admire is my dad, John Larrabee Rommel Jr.  He was serving in the Philippines during WW II when I was born.  After the war ended, he went to work in his grandfather's general contracting business.  He had a desire to become a physician, but was needed by his father, to work in the family business.  He felt a sense of duty to his family.  He was a wonderful father.  He was kind, loving, and understanding.  He loved his family.  He encouraged his children to learn a variety of things, from literature to science, to theater arts.  He taught his daughters life skills also, teaching us to change tires, construct play equipment, lay hardwood flooring, and even repair broken plumbing.  He was also always very interested in what we were doing throughout our lives and enjoyed being with his family and his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He had many friends and was the kind of person that others liked to be with.  He was fun, gentle, humble, honorable, and kind.  He was the kind of person that I would like to be. I love him and miss him.
by Susan Niedert Rommel G2G Rookie (230 points)
+1 vote

I have discovered some famous and some 'semi-famous' people in my tree that were well-respected Public figures. When I find a possibility I make sure to cross-reference at least 3 times, so recently i found out I'm related to that "Hero" Daniel Boone. Of course he will remain in history as a greatly admired person. 

But also through my research I have been struggling with a brick wall for many many years. I have used numerous sources so I've found a lot about one particular person's  life but nothing who his parents/siblings are. Still, by the research I've done on his life I would pick him as "most admired." [at least in the male category]. He was born at a time in our country where you had to work super hard just to survive, and at the same time wonder if your family wasnt going to get slaughtered by the Natives.. He then fought in the Civil War on the Union side. [North Carolina was a "southern" state]. After the war he went back to farming but was also a Postmaster for his community. lol It was a respected person who handled your mail. It wasnt delivered to your door, so you had to be nice or the mail would get "lost." in the back room, and you weren't allowed back there. 

 In 1875 he'founded' the Little Creek First Baptist Church in an old schoolhouse. The Church is still in existence but not the same building of course. In 1897 Joshua became an ordained minister. He had previously served as a local Commissioner and continued to do so.. He often took in orphaned children until families could be found for them. 

Joshua F. Justice was a simple man but he gave all of himself to his family and community. What I dont understand is his gravestone is bending to the side and unkempt. I live on the other side of the States.

by DeBee Justice G2G2 (2.9k points)
edited by DeBee Justice
+1 vote
The paternal ancestor I admire .. I have a few for various reasons. 1. My father William Samuel Drew Becker.- he went thru pure hell in WWII with the 9th infantry and 346th Regular Service Engineer Regiment in heavy artillery motar man and expert rifleman, He was a difficult man having little use for those who thought they knew it all. That is probably why he was denoted from Sgt back to pfc in Us Army. Yet he was awarded silver star european ,  african , middle eastern service metal , purple heart AR 600-45,  2 bronze stars, distinquished unit metal AR 600- 68, good conduct medal,

2. Heinrich Castleberry for having will, strength and fortitude to get to this country under the circumstances that europe was under. He from Bruggs germany, he lived thru so much, being the first of the Castleberry’s to arrive.

3. My grandmother , Zillah Elizabeth Chancellor Drew Becker. Through hard times she supported her family and 2 husbands passed due to polio and pneumonia, and the other I beleive was an accident at work.

She helped raise us three girls seeing that we had everything we needed.
by Linda Nevins G2G2 (2.1k points)
+1 vote
The paternal ancestor I admire .. I have a few for various reasons. 1. My father William Samuel Drew Becker.- he went thru pure hell in WWII with the 9th infantry and 346th Regular Service Engineer Regiment in heavy artillery motar man and expert rifleman, He was a difficult man having little use for those who thought they knew it all. That is probably why he was denoted from Sgt back to pfc in Us Army. Yet he was awarded silver star european ,  african , middle eastern service metal , purple heart AR 600-45,  2 bronze stars, distinquished unit metal AR 600- 68, good conduct medal,

2. Heinrich Castleberry for having will, strength and fortitude to get to this country under the circumstances that europe was under. He from Bruggs germany, he lived thru so much, being the first of the Castleberry’s to arrive.

3. My grandmother , Zillah Elizabeth Chancellor Drew Becker. Through hard times she supported her family and 2 husbands passed due to polio and pneumonia, and the other I beleive was an accident at work.

She helped raise us three girls seeing that we had everything we needed.

This is not a duplicate
by Linda Nevins G2G2 (2.1k points)

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