Please be sure to join Randy Seaver each Saturday night for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) Ellen Thompson-Jennings wrote 20 More Questions About Your Ancestors and Maybe A Few About You this week and Linda Stufflebean thought it would be a great SNGF challenge. I agree!
2) Copy the questions from Ellen’s post or from my post below, and insert your own replies. Be sure to comment on Ellen’s blog so she knows you wrote about it.
3) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook or Google+. Please leave a comment on this post with a link to your post.
Q1: Why do you love doing genealogy/family history?
I love it because learning the lives of those that brought me into being helps me to understand more about who I am, on a multitude of levels.
Q2: How far have you traveled to research an ancestor?
Since I’m sure that I can’t count our move from South Carolina to Texas as a genealogy research trip (about a thousand miles), I will have to go with about 130 miles. We went from our current town to Beeville, Texas to see the graves of David’s great-grandpa Elias Wallis Roberts and his 2nd wife, Marguerite Gotthardt, who David knew as Papa and Nona. Papa Roberts’ first wife, Johnnie Cooper, died from complications of childbirth 8 months after the birth of their only child, David’s grandpa Leon Wallis Roberts.
Q3: What do you think your favorite ancestor would think of our lives today?
I won’t choose a *favorite* ancestor because I don’t want to upset any of them to where they close off the information portals. 🙂
I think they would think folks today are work brittle and need to get out and be more physical, not sitting at computers all day long and ignoring the folks around them. I think maybe they would be amazed about some of the supposed advances in medicine, but maybe they would be appalled. I know they would be about all the things that are put into food these days.
Q4: What do you think that your ancestor would like/dislike?
I think they would like the fact that I want to make sure they are remembered by future generations.
Q5: What was the most unusual cause of death that you’ve found?
Pellagra is the most unusual one that I’ve come across. It was unusual to me because I had never heard of it before. My paternal-paternal great-grandfather Andrew Jackson Gunter died of pellagra in 1927 at age 55, leaving behind my great-grandmother Annie Black, and six children, the youngest being approximately 6 years old.
Q6: Which ancestor had the most unusual occupation?
I would have to say my 2nd great-grandmother Philadelphia Isabella Evatt (wife of Richard Simpson Pressley). Her job was unusual, not as a job itself, but because of her gender. She was a postmaster in South Carolina, in the time period just after the War Between the States. Some would call her a “postmistress”, however the post office said this is an incorrect term. Regardless of gender, they are postmasters.
Q7: Have you ever gone to where your ancestor lived and it felt like home even if you’ve never been there before?
Yes, and it is the most awesome feeling in the world!
Q8: Do you have a distant ancestor (several generations back) that looks like someone in the family?
This question made me laugh. If they are my ancestor, then they *are* in the family. 🙂
Our oldest daughter resembles her great-grandfather Robert Bruce McClendon, Sr.
Q9: What is the oldest ancestral photo that you have?
I have a photo of my 4th great-grandmother, Eliza Ann Hollingsworth, the wife of Alexander Abner Walker.
Q10: Did you have an ancestor that had an arranged marriage?
I have not yet uncovered any arranged marriages, though I have found a few that the parents tried to un-arrange!
Q11: If you could live in the time period of one of your ancestors what year would it be? Where would it be?
I would go back to the 1600s, to Ireland and England, to talk to my immigrant ancestors. I want to know what made them leave their homes and everything they knew and come here to what was then a wilderness, long before it was the United States.
Q12: Which ancestor was married the most times?
I don’t have an answer for this one at this time.
Q13: If you’ve tested your DNA what was the biggest ethnicity surprise?
The biggest – and most upsetting – surprise was the percentage of English ancestry versus Irish. I had always been told we were an Irish family, but the latest DNA ethnicity estimates took away Irish points and gave me even more English points.
The latest update says 87% England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe, and only 13% Ireland.
Regardless of what this current estimate says, I still feel way more Irish than English. I can relate more to that part of the family than my English roots.
Q14: Did you have a female ancestor that was different or unusual from other females from that time period?
“Aunt” Rose Pressley isn’t a direct ancestor. She was really a cousin, but so much older than us that our mama had us call her “Aunt”. She was my great-grandpa Julius Jared Pressley’s first cousin, the daughter of his brother James Franklin Pressley. She was a WAC and a Young American Patriot during World War II.
Q15: Did your ancestor go through a hardship that you don’t know how they managed?
Yes, many of them! My granny, Evelyn Fowler (married to Andrew James Gunter) was a little girl and then a young teenager during the Great Depression. Hunger was a part of her life as was punishment for asking for food while at another relative’s house. Her story still makes me cry to think about it, just as she was doing when she shared the story with me. Who spanks their child for being hungry and crying for the same food the cousins were getting? Who does that?
Q16: How often do you research? Are you a genealogy addict?
I am an addict that doesn’t get to do the research anywhere near as often as I would like to.
Q17: Do you have someone in your family that will take over the family history?
Yes, our daughters are interested in our family history, our oldest daughter especially.
Q18: Have you had a genealogy surprise? What was it?
I discovered that my mother-in-law Merle Marie Roberts and my late father-in-law Robert Bruce McClendon have a common ancestor, Thomas Morgan (1725-1784).
Q19: Are you a storyteller? What’s your favorite family story?
I am not really a storyteller. That is my husband’s (David Eric McClendon) super power.
I think my favorite story is the one about the grandparents that got married in the middle of the lake because her father didn’t want them to get married. At the moment, I can’t remember which couple this was. Good grief!
Q20: What was your greatest genealogy discovery?
YES! One day I was researching my great-grandmother’s name (Carrie Williams, married to Julius Jared Pressley) in relation to when women got the right to vote. While doing that search, I came across a website that had pictures of my 2nd great-grandparents, her in-laws (Richard Simpson Pressley and Philadelphia Isabella Evatt). While I still do not have photos of either of my Pressley great-grandparents, I have pictures of my Pressley 2nd great-grandparents and some of their other children.
There is one discovery that will top that, if I ever make it. Years ago, when our oldest daughter’s heart defects were discovered, the geneticist told David that somewhere in the past we have a common ancestor. Ancestry’s DNA test says that we are not related, but as I understand it, it only goes back a few generations. Both David and I have paternal grandmothers that were born with the maiden name Fowler. All these years of research and I still have not found our common ancestor. I may have found a hint of a break in this case the other day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!