Monday, January 3, 2011

Into the Past, Part II

Several months ago I signed up for an account on Ancestry.com, but I left everything but my most basic information empty knowing that I did not intend to return to this project that has haunted me for the past several years until I had completed my dissertation. A couple of days ago, I began my genealogical research with vigor, paying the $155 annual subscription fee so that I could access all their US data. Since then, I've managed to trace two branches of my family back to the Revolutionary War. One of my ancestors served as a captain under George Washington, and both he and another ancestor from a different branch served in the North Carolina militia at approximately the same time. Little did they know that their descendants would eventually marry in east Texas and become my grandparents. One branch goes back much further, past two name changes: my 16th great grandfather was born in Norfolk, England, in 1450, during the reign of King Henry VI. On the other main branch of my family, the genealogical record breaks off abruptly after a generation or two due to adoptions, multiple divorces, and general black sheepness, who probably served in no war except the ones with his family.

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