In spite of my long-held belief that my roots, while southern, are liberal ones, I’ve just returned from an internet rabbit hole and discovered a few surprises.
I knew that my many-great-grandfather James Wilson signed the Declaration of Independence, had a hand in drafting the Constitution’s Preamble, and helped to frame both the presidency and judiciary, but then hit a few rough patches. After these shining moments, speculative investments bankrupted him and by 1797 he was riding circuit for the Supreme Court in the South to avoid creditors before a brief stint in prison in New Jersey. This morning I started doodling around in Google, chasing old family names. It was fun finding the people sandwiched in between James and my grandmother May.
I knew her father Ashley Wilson had been a founder of Mangum Oklahoma and was a successful storekeeper and farmer, but I didn’t know Ashley’s father had been a teacher and judge.
What was disconcerting was discovering that one of Ashley’s brothers, James (named after the Constitution signer? There’s irony for you.), had been wounded in the thigh in May 1864 in Cassville, Georgia as a soldier in the Confederate army.
I've got loads of Confederate relatives. Don't let it get you down. :)ReplyDelete
Yes, I have a suspicion there are a lot more. Wonder if my staunch Democrat parents knew.Delete
I'll bet he didn't have any choice in the matter of being drafted into that conflict. The same is happening in Russia today. Sigh.ReplyDelete
Interesting idea. Hadn't though of that.Delete
Makes you grateful for the accidents of our birth - aren't we glad we didn't come into this world as Russians.
I can't trace family further back in any detail than the 1850s when they arrived in the US! It's all shrouded in mystery. Maybe just as well!ReplyDelete
Ignorance is a kind thing. My illustrious ancestor James died penniless in a New Jersey tavern.Delete
You have discovered things even though you might wish you hadn’t.ReplyDelete
My family has poor farmers roots so not sure I could find anything of sigificance on the Internet. I really should join one of the family history sites. I think you past is wonderfully colorful.ReplyDelete