52 Ancestors Week 42: Adventure

+14 votes

Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge!

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


From Amy Johnson Crow:

Week 42 brings "Adventure." Do you know of an ancestral adventure, be it great or small? How about an adventure that you've had while researching?

Share below!

Participants who share every week can earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 in 13, 26 in 26, 52 in 52) let us know hereClick here for more about the challenge. 

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)

Only 10 weeks to go! yes

That means 10 weeks to Christmas - I need to start shopping.  Do we select names for gifts! lol

Merry Christmas (early)

37 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer

My great great grandfather, Evangel Luveous Morris, served in the Civil War with the 17th Kentucky Regiment and was wounded in the head on 15 Feb 1862. In 1879 he moved his his family to Kansas where after the death of my great great grandmother with her 8th child—he moved with all of his children in 1890 into Oklahoma Indian Territory. This adventure took them all into the 1893 Cherokee Strip Land Run. This is a photo taken from the Oklahoma Historical Society of this Land Run. 

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (444k points)
selected by Susan Laursen
That's an Awesome photo, Alexis.
Thank you David, glad Oklahoma Historical Society has several photos of this, since so many of my ancestors made this run.

Like Walmart on Black Friday morning! cheeky

Wow, what a photo.

SJ, The only question I have about these photos—Is where are the women? I feel like my great grandmother and her sister were certainly unusual, and not nearly as pampered as I have been.

When the cannon is fired, the horses and wagons take off at full speed and whomever stakes a claim first gets it.  Speed is a necessity - and probably dangerous too.  I suppose ma is back at the tent with the young ones and after dad stakes a claim he will come back for them.  You can't have a horse or wagon at full speed with 4 toddlers in the back and if they're at the tent, someone has to watch them.  

The Tom Cruise Nicole Kidman movie "Far and Away" gave a representation of it that is probably somewhat accurate save for the inclusion of women and loaded carts in the rush.  With the exception of a Calamity Jane type, I'd suppose that it was almost entirely men and horses or empty wagons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFrVoG-edFc

Thank you SJ for the movie link. I love “Far and Away”, the only thing I thought was odd was—Why would someone from a wealthy family like Nicole Kidman’s make the land run to come to Oklahoma? I know that my ancestors did not have much else going for them, but a chance to get free land, and living in Western Oklahoma was not an easy place to live.
What a amazing photo Alexis just saw it now

How fantastic your great grandfather served in the civil war

Thank You for sharing this wonderful photo
Thank you Susan for selecting this as best answer. You are so sweet, you have really been an encouragement.
It is a wonderful photo I really love it
+18 votes

It seems that I've been sharing a lot about my husband's paternal grandfather, William Arthur Shaules, lately.  He was the subject of last week's 52 Ancestor's Week: Context, where I commented on how I brought into context the "tall tales" I had heard about him.  Since then I came across a newspaper article on newspapers.com about one of his adventures.

He was an under-sheriff in Lewistown, Montana, in 1890 when he was shot doing his duty.  To me, that's an adventure.

The following was posted in the Fergus County Argus on 9 Oct 1890.

by Robin Shaules G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

...when he was shot doing his duty.  To me, that's an adventure.

you can't begin to imagine...

Thank you, SJ. It sounds as if you speak from experience.
pretty exciting story to read; you could make a Law and Order episode out of that one...
+13 votes

Since this week is Week 42, I was obligated to make Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy references. I regret nothing: https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2019/10/52-ancestors-week-42-adventure.html

I did go on a little genealogical adventure last week, though, when I uncovered the birth record for Caterina Coppola, my 2x great-grandmother. Remember the things you are looking for are where you least expect them.

by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (466k points)
Answer to life, universe, everything!
+15 votes

I'm not sure if Catherine McLean Greenlees was looking for adventure, but it must have seemed to be a lot of adventure as it unfolded. Before she was two years old, her parents took her from her home in Glasgow, Scotland to Montreal, Canada East to join her mother's brother. The family then went to Toronto, Canada West. Although city dwellers may seem likely to remain in settled areas, they moved again in 1860 when Catherine was about 6 years old to an area newly opened for settlement, Wiarton. Wiarton's population then was 752 people. She married a widower, David Dinsmore, with 6 children aged 5 to 16. That would have been pretty daunting to me, but she managed to have her own 6 children as well. One of her daughters, Florence, married and moved to Calgary, Alberta. Catherine went to visit her daughter, taking the long train journey across Canada and visiting family in Saskatchewan along the way. While in Calgary, she died while babysitting a neighbour's child when she fell down a fight of stairs. None of this adventure seems likely have sprung from looking for adventure, but it added up to quite a life. 

by Judith Chidlow G2G6 Mach 4 (45.2k points)
+14 votes
I started serious genealogy after an adventure in Ireland. I visited the land where my grandfather was born. The house had been torn down, but a part of the foundation remained with a plaque affixed. My third cousin’s family now lives in the house.
by Rosemary Dill G2G6 Mach 1 (18.0k points)
+16 votes

Today I'll write about my fourth great grand uncle, John Mathews. At age 16, he joined the ranks of the Continental Army. From his war record,  I know that John was a small man, only 5 feet 2 inches, but from his history I know his life was big with adventure.

After the Revolutionary War, John trained to become a surveyor. He first surveyed the area of northeast Massachusetts which was then called the Province of Maine. When the Confederated Congress sent surveyors to the Northwest Territory, John was among those men and began work on the Seven Ranges in July of 1786.

Unlike the other surveyors, John never returned home to Massachusetts. In February 1787, he took charge of the commissary at Fort Steuben. From this endeavor, he remained in mercantile trade for the remainder of his life.

In December of 1787, he was appointed as one of the surveyors for Ohio Company of Associates. He is listed among the "First 48 to Ohio". Personally, I think he should have been listed as "first" since he was already there when the other men arrived.cheeky

While surveying in August, 1789, he escaped an Indian massacre, running from their previous night's camp in his underclothes. The man seated next to him had been shot as they talked.

He learned fluent French when he became superintendent of the commissary at Gallipolis for the incoming French settlers. He also ran the commissary at Fort Greene Ville for Mad Anthony Wayne's Legion. He was on hand at the Indian signing of the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.

With the end of the Indian War, he continued working as storekeeper and surveyor, but also became a land agent who located military bounty tracts.

John was already age 38 when he married in 1803. He settled at Moxahala Mills where he built a sawmill and a grist mill. He ventured into politics in the early 1800s. The first time he ran, his bid was unsuccessful. He was elected state representative in 1807 and state congressman in 1820. John was age 63 when he died in 1828.

by Diane Hildebrandt G2G6 Mach 9 (95.8k points)
Now that's an adventurous life!
+11 votes
Mine is Patrick Kerney Sexton. His profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Sexton-3308. He was a well-known farmer in the Garrison Community who raised and sold many acres of good strawberries and tomatoes. In the early 1900's Patrick often drove a team of horses all night by lantern light from Dayton to Chattanooga to sell wagon loads of his produce at the Farmer's Market the next day.
by Anonymous Barnett G2G6 Pilot (465k points)
+13 votes

I wonder if my gr. gr. grandfather William Charles Mayoh, at almost three years of age, still thought it was a great adventure to travel on a big ship to Australia, after there was a mutiny on board the S.S. Brothers at the Cape of Good Hope in 1841.

by David Urquhart G2G6 Pilot (153k points)
+8 votes

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Thomas "Walker" Fry was not an ancestor of mine. He was one of the Burlington 37 and as such, a survivor of slavery. Walker knew the life of a free man after the death of a master who had willed that all remaining slaves be freed. Walker was one of them. In 1849 the group of 37 crossed the Ohio River as best they could and formed a community in Burlington (Lawrence County) Ohio. 

"Their journey was made in fear and dread; fear that something might happen to prevent their reaching the haven of rest; dread that some shrewd, lawyer might pick out some flaw in the papers and that they would be remanded back to await the tedious motions of the law's delay. But nothing intervened to stop them, and bye and bye, they came to the banks of the Ohio River, the barrier to freedom which they had long known of, but had never seen before."

On WikiTree Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz headed a project to identify the original 37 freed slaves and their descendants.


by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (81.9k points)
+13 votes

I haven't discovered many ancestors who are known to have had significant adventures.
Most of my family lines start with poor farm labourers from English counties whose descendants migrated to English
cities during the industrial revolution and worked in various industries or trades.
I am sure there are many individual stories of adventures that where not recorded for posterity.
Several of my great uncles served in the Royal Navy during and after World War I but none of their stories have been shared with me.

I have found a few distant relatives who emigrated from England, one became a Canadian Member of Parliament, but this week I want to highlight Adam White, an LDS Pioneer who emigrated from England in 1868 with his wife and three children by ship, then travelled to Laramie, Wyoming (presumably by railroad) and completed his journey to Salt Lake City by wagon as part of the Joseph S. Rawlins Company.
That's some adventure for a lad whose contemporaries started and remained humble farm labourers who rarely ventured more than 10 miles from their birthplace.

by Ray Hawkes G2G6 Mach 5 (51.9k points)
+13 votes
My Serbian grandmother never journeyed much. But when her niece invited her to the city where she lived after her marriage, she decided to fly there. Many friends asked her: "Wow, aren't you afraid?" "No. The pilot also wants to come down again." When she was visiting her niece, they also made a short visit to the Adria. My grandmother never saw the sea before. So she put up the legs of her trousers and went into the water.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (799k points)
Your story reminds me of a picture of my grandmother when she was visiting my Uncle Jim in Hawaii. For whatever reason, she had not been to the beach during the visit and just before she went to the airport to go home to Tennessee Jim took her to the ocean. We have a picture of her grinning with her pants legs pulled up wading in the ocean.
+13 votes

An adventure? What could be more adventuresome than to board a sailing ship in England or Holland and sail across the Atlantic Ocean to a new world? My ancestor George Soule sailed in 1620 on the Mayflower, but I don't want to feature him (others wrote his profile). His future wife, Mary Bucket, was on the second ship that sailed to Plymouth, the Anne, arriving in 1623. Her previous circumstances have not been discovered, but since she was single she no doubt came under the auspices of another family, probably as a servant of some kind.

Governor Bradford said of the Mayflower voyage, "they were incountred many times with crosse winds, and mette with many feirce stormes, with which ye shipe was shroudly shaken." The voyage of the Anne would have been no different. During one storm their fellow ship the "Little James" was lost and did not arrive until some 10 days after the "Anne."

By 1627, Mary married George and had the first of nine known children. She and George left Plymouth to be among the first settlers of Duxbury. Mary died Dec 1676 after a long and fruitful life.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+12 votes

This week I am writing about my 3x great grandfather Jehu Higgins Pruett who migrated from Camden, Missouri to Oregon in 1847 on the Oregon Trail.  What an adventure.

His son James (my 2x gg) wrote a journal about his parents and their journey to Oregon.  He wrote, "Joining forces with Uncle John T. Smith and family, an team and wagons for both families was fitted up and all their belongings, including 3 children, the journey was begun and they landed on the Abiqua River, near the present town of Silverton, in Marion County, Oregon, about the last of October 1847."  

by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (191k points)
Oregon trail was no joke as many of your ancestors learned...
+12 votes

I've just started writing about the Abbott family.  My grand-father's cousin was admitted to the Sons of the American Revolution and we came to the realization that I could join by piggy-backing his application.  All I have to do is prove my descent from our common ancestor, in this case my 3x great-grandfather.  A lot easier than paperwork back to a 4th or 5th great-grandfather who fought in the war.

Our common ancestor is Civil War veteran Hiram Abbott.  He was born in Kentucky, moved to Illinois, fought in the war, and then migrated to Kansas.  Luckily, I have been able to obtain records for him and even a photo.  My cousin has spent about 20 years researching this line and with a fellow Abbott author, we have really turned out some nice records for this line.

Certainly pioneering west and joining a war provided him plenty of adventure.

Unfortunately, in his later years, Hiram suffered from senility and he was eventually institutionalized around the age of 70.

I decided to search for the family in Newspapers.com and I found all sorts of interesting articles about him, his sons, his wife, and grandchildren (including my great-grandmother who we know little about).

And then I found two articles that were written, likely just before he was institutionalized, by a reporter at the local paper.  The two articles perhaps were "funny" in their day but they were really quite cruel and mocked Hiram because of his senility.  I was really shocked to read them.  No mention of his courageous war service or that he was an early pioneer.  No, just mocking his mental defect and some of the things he had said when he was out of his mind.  These wouldn't stand by today's standards but 115 year old incidents of "newspaper-bullying" are quite disconcerting to read today.

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
This is so interesting SJ, same as my Civil War great great grandfather—moved from Kentucky to Kansas. I love the research you have done.
Thank you, SJ, for this interesting story. It's wonderful that you've been able to find so much information on Hiram.  I agree with you about the cruelty of the past. They seemed to be more "religious" than many of us are today, but they seemed to have failed in the basic premise of "doing unto others..."
SJ I'm truly saddened to read about that newspaper reporter. Some people need to tear others down in order to feel better about themselves. I think the reporter could have been that type of person.

I'm glad you found the wonderful information so that you could disregard that vile tripe!
+12 votes
I guess a good adventure would come from my Great-Great-Grandfather Roscoe Creed (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Creed-890).  When he was young he up and moved out to the far west and worked on a sheep ranch for a year.  My grandfather told me that he ended up hating it and came back to Michigan.  From there he worked in the rail yards and later served in the navy in WWI.
by Eric McDaniel G2G6 Mach 4 (40.8k points)
+10 votes
52 Ancestors, 52 Surnames.  Down to the last ten.  Scraping the brick walls in search of adventure.  Wait, here's one:

Hieronimus Bingenheimer https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bingenheimer-26  This man needs a better publicity agent.  It has been an adventure just figuring out who his daughters were and trying to find the Bingenheimers in Selzen, Hesse in the 1600s.  All I have is a posting (in German) to the Kissinger Family Genealogy Forum in 2002.  No way of knowing how to contact the person who originally posted it.  My daughter, by the way, thinks his name is really cool.
by Margaret Summitt G2G6 Pilot (161k points)
+13 votes

52 Ancestors Week 42: Adventure

Well, this doesn't have to do with my ancestors and it doesn't have to do with genealogy, but it does have to do with adventure, so if this doesn't count, please let me know, so I can do another one.

My hometown only has 3200 people in it. It was founded in 1834, and many of our buildings are well over 100-150 years old. My husband's 3rd great-grandfather, Walter B Hess was one of the original settlers of our town.  

We had a Tiffany brick company just outside of town, so many of our downtown buildings are made with tiffany bricks either turned backward, or they are inside the buildings. The buildings have been kept up very well.  But it was a surprise to the citizens of Momence, when we heard in 2001 that Tom Hanks was coming to town to film a movie called Road to Perdition.



We had a great time with Tom in town. He was very cordial, and the crew was wonderful. They redecorated the facades of the stores with different signs that faced backwards to fit the 1931 era. Paul Newman and Jude Law were also in the film, but we didn't see them in Momence. 

Well things settled down, and then a couple of weeks ago, the whispers began again. MGM was coming to town to film another movie. The crews showed up the end of last week and worked our downtown area again. This time for the 1950 era. We were told it was for a TV show called Fargo, and that Chris Rock was in the show, but that he would not be in Momence. Then - all of a sudden, today, guess who showed up.


Chris Rock - they even made snow. It was far from snowing in Momence today. But they made it look  so realistic.


Totally changed this storefront, and the fruit is real. They gave it away after filming today.

So, this has been a real adventure for our little town. We are having so much fun. The town is full of actors, they are running in and out of the local restaurants, letting everyone take pictures with and of them, and best of all - they are parked one block away  from my house. They will be filming this week and next and then coming back for retakes.

This is so exciting.

by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
edited by Cheryl Hess
Cheryl, What fun! You will have to keep us posted on who is showing up in Momence.
Thank you Alexis. We are having so much fun here. Our little town is over-flowing with people.
Just saw this magnificent photo Cheryl wow they are so amazing I could keep on stirring on them thank You for sharing my wonderful friend
Thank you, my friend. You are always so sweet to me.
+11 votes

All of my ancestors were adventurers; being from New Zealand, all of my recent ancestors (between my great-grandparents and 4x great-grandparents) were immigrants over thousands of kilometres of ocean from the British Isles. Some of them had children who died, some of them gave birth, some of them fell ill, and yet they all committed themselves to the adventure to try to find a better life for themselves. One of them, a William Boyt, in particular: he immigrated to New Zealand as a Fencible; the Fencibles, or "Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps", was essentially a volunteer police/militia force formed in order to "protect" the European settlers from the indigenous Maori.

by Amelia Utting G2G6 Pilot (187k points)
+8 votes

Ernest Miller Hemingway and I are 9th cousins through our PGM common ancestor, Lt. Thomas Burnham.   https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hemingway1;  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Burnham-34. If that isn't adventure enough, I attended a nursing research conference in Cuba in October 2018 (Bucket list-visit Cuba). I made it a point to tour Finca Vigía, Hemingway's home outside Havana (Bucket list-tour Hemingway home in Cuba). It was awesome to realize that The Old Man and the Sea was written at this home (when 'Papa' wasn't writing at one of the local tabernas, which I also visited). While I was touring, a docent, who was told of my relationship to Hemingway by a colleague of mine from Mexico, took my hand, walked me to the pool house and introduced me to 'Papa's' grandson, Patrick! Serendipity! Patrick was leaving Havana the next day when the conference began! A triple header adventure in this one post (1. Hemingway cousin; 2. Visiting Papa's home in Cuba; 3. Meeting Papa's grandson--another cousin)!

Related image

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (543k points)
edited by Carol Baldwin
+11 votes

My 5x great-grandfather George Knaggs is probably the best example of an adventurer in my family.

This article from the August 14, 1855 edition of the Greenock Advertiser does a good job of explaining his life;

"An old pilot named George Knaggs, aged above 70, who was connected with steam navigation in the Clyde from its commencement in 1812 until 1815, has just been superannuated by the Pilot Board. This venerable hero was at the celebrated battle of Trafalgar, when Nelson died in the arms of victory in 1805, exactly fifty years ago. In 1810, or forty-five years ago, he came upon the Clyde as a sailor. Steam had not yet been applied to the purposes of navigation in this country, except in a few experiments by Sympson on the Forth and Clyde Canal. The first Clyde steamer, the Comet, was put upon the river by Henry Bell in 1812, and Knaggs states that he was one of the hands in Bell's adventurous little vessel - the first river steamer in Europe. The next steamer on the Clyde was the Elizabeth, which was launched from the yard of the Messrs Wood, Port Glasgow, in 1813, and was the property of Mr Hutcheson. Knaggs was present at the launch, and was made master of the vessel, which plied between Greenock and Glasgow. He was therefore master of the second steamer on the Clyde. On the 26th May, 1815, he was admitted a pilot on the river, and in that capacity he conducted the first steamboat, the Margery, of 70 tons, which ever performed the passage from Glasgow to London. This was in 1821. It was about the same time that he acted as pilot to the Robert Bruce, which was the first steamer that ever proceeded from Glasgow to Liverpool. She belonged to Mr D. Napier. In 1821 he brought up the St. James - a ship from Jamaica, of 200 tons burden, which he deposited safely at the Broomielaw. So large a vessel had never been seen at the Broomielaw before. In 1828, or not more than seven years after, he brought from Port Glasgow to Glasgow a vessel of 1000 tons. This was the Strath Bran, from Derry. She drew 171/2 feet, and Knaggs put her at the Broomielaw in one tide. Lastly, as first class pilot he was employed to pilot the Royal squadron, with her Gracious Majesty the Queen, Prince Albert, and Royal Family, through the Firth of Clyde to Glasgow, on the memorable 13th of July, 1849."

by James Knighton G2G6 Mach 2 (24.9k points)

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