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Was Your Dad a GI?: The Genealogy Thread
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61 to 69 of 69
Apr 9th 2012

Yeah, I'd draw the line at somewhere across Westchester/Rockland counties, though that puts me upstate. I'm on the train line and could be in midtown in an hour. But if I'm not upstate, I'm close to it. It's funny, because if you look at a map, any definition of upstate includes 85-90 percent of the state.

May 22nd 2013

So a few weeks ago I met a distant cousin, whose great-grandfather was my 4th-great-grandfather. And her son has done a lot of research, but more on him than the other siblings in the family - I've been trying to find other descendants and he's been more interested in his life in Sweden.

In the stuff she sent me, he had a couple of pictures of August, along with information that he had a patent from the Swedish for some sort of carriage or something, and a medal. I sent off to the National Archives in Sweden and they just sent me back an essentially illegible document (because I don't know Swedish)... it's his application and it has his signature at the bottom.

The cousin told me that her son has (a copy of?) the patent from the King. The guy at the National Archives said they don't have the King's reply - it would have been sent to the applicant.

I'm waiting to hear back from the cousin's son. I hope he sends better prints of the photos and a copy of the patent. She said that her son is "out of town" but she'll see him sometime this month.

That doesn't mean much to me, though, because she's in Arizona. The son's probably closer to me than she is (unless he's in California or something).

May 22nd 2013

That's pretty cool. It's nice to have ancestors who were famous...if only because they "leave a trail" and are easier to research. What year did he get his patent?

One branch of my mom's family leads to English and Scottish royalty 1000 years back, which is so distant that everyone in Europe is descended from the same kings. But it's nice to have a direct line defined. Other than that, and one guy who was a police chief in upstate NY around 1900, I don't have any ancestors who were anything except farmers and laborers, who toiled and died in obscurity.

May 22nd 2013

I don't have any ancestors who were anything except farmers and laborers, who toiled and died in obscurity.

I think this is what most people did, and do. They just lived and did what needed to be done and fulfilled their role in the society. There are fewer job openings, for kings.

It was in 1863, and from what my cousin guy says, he was the groundskeeper at the king's hunting lodge and developed some sort of transportation thing to use there.

May 22nd 2013

I'm descended from rabbis, farmers, and at least one member of the House of Hannover. Strange things happen to families over centuries.

May 23rd 2013

My mom is a Kennedy (Scottish Kennedy, not the JFK Kennedy), and there is still a Kennedy castle there which my ancestors lived in during the 1600s. In the 1800s they came to America as farmers, and you wonder what happened? Were they a branch that didn't get the inheritance? I guess you can't really split a castle among your sons.

It's interesting to trace a branch, and see how sometimes the family improves itself, and sometimes it gets worse. I saw a show where they traced Chris Rock's ancestors, and he thought his family had always worked as maids and janitors and lived in the projects, and then it turns out his great great grandfather fought in the Civil War and was a black business owner after the war. Nobody knew that. It brought Chris to tears...and makes you wonder at what point did the family go from business owner to living in the ghetto?

I just want my rightful inheritance from the Kennedy Castle. I should just show up and claim it. They probably don't even man the watchtowers anymore, or fill the moat with alligators.

Feb 2nd 2014

I've been watching Roots, and on one hand, it feels a little remedial, like high school history class. And the guy from Mary Tyler Moore is almost like a time traveler, the way they're handling exposition. Like, I mean, he's a pretty old guy. You'd think he'd know how the slave trade worked, just from living in that time period. But they obviously needed a character who needed stuff explained, so they can explain what's going on to the audience.

Then other parts are very surprising. It's from a different time, I guess, and about an even more different time.

I've only seen the first two parts, so I don't want any spoilers. But I'm curious, is there a special about Alex Haley's life? Like, how did he track his ancestry back? It seems to me that it would be impossible to research. Is the whole series set back in time, or does it continue to the '70s?

Do you guys even know? :-)

Also, what did LeVar Burton do between Roots & Reading Rainbow?

Feb 2nd 2014

so I don't want any spoilers

Father Abraham attacked with the North and freed the slaves.

Roots is very cringeworthy when the slaves are all "yes massah". I think it would be difficult to act like that, or for the white actors to be talking down to the black actors.

A show about how Alex Haley researched that would be very interesting. Tracing black ancestors pre-slavery is not easy.

Feb 2nd 2014

It's something I kinda want to look into, but just to see what resources there are. But I can't just pick a name, 'cause I don't feel like whatever I might find would be any of my business.

Roots is very cringeworthy when the slaves are all "yes massah".

Exactly. It's unsettling. But even saying so, it makes me feel like the old joke, "Why's everything happen to me?" My/our discomfort at hearing that is so much less than actual slavery. (Obviously.)

I think I'm gonna look for a book about Alex Haley. Surely, there's something about it.... somewhere.

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