Genology is really interesting. I found out my Great Grandfather ten times removed came over on the Mayflower, while a few Generations later another Great Grandfather fought in the French and Indian War and his decedent in the Revolutionary War.
A few weeks ago I wrote this blog regarding my family and why the Fourth of July is so special to us. I will post it here in case people are interested:
To tell you the truth I was hoping to post this earlier as the Fourth of July is the best way to tell you about my place and the very unique way my family inherited our property here in Maine. In fact we inherited it before this state was even a state, or a country for that matter, or heck even a colony...Still I think my great-grandfather ten times removed would be very pleased with what has transpired over the last several hundred years.
You see my family literally came over on the Mayflower, landing with Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. While it is pretty neat to think my Great-Grandfather was having a meal with the Indians that first Thanksgiving, it was perhaps the little know French and Indian War that really meant the most to my family.
My Great-Grandfather a dozen times removed fought extremely hard for the King of England, rising in the ranks enough so that the Kind of England granted my family a parcel of land in what is nowadays Waldo County Maine when the war was over. Unfortunately when the Revolutionary War broke out, that man's son had a hard choice...stay a loyalist for the British, or side with the American's and try for a better way of life.
Turning his back on the King of England, my Great-Grandfather made a hard choice. Only 1% of the population back then decided to try for a better life, but my Great-Grandfather worked his way up through the ranks in the continental army. Family history said he was a high ranking General in the army, but I have yet to substantiate that. Still he must have been pretty high because he was allowed to keep the land that the king of england granted him in the French and Indian War after the american's won the revolutionary war. Today my home resides on that same parcel of land given to our family so many, many years ago.
Today those thousand and thousands of acres have dwindled down to less than a thousand. Still I think my Great Grandfather would understand that a lot of acres would be meaningless without freedom. Our friends and neighbors own property, raise children and enjoy "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" thanks to the land that he once owned.
This may be bragging, but I know my Great-Grandfather endured a lot during those 8 years of battle to win OUR independence. He saw friends die from musket balls, he saw soldiers die from bar shot being fired mercilessly from cannons at the battle of Long Island, and most likely froze his feet off at Valley Forge. Still he never quit, never ran from battle and toed the line with our forefather's that had grit and determination and somehow knew democracy would prosper and spread to the other parts of the world even 230 years later.
The great thing is, that grit and determination is still here in the United States. It is within every american GI, no matter what war they served in, where they served, how long they served or what nation their family originally came from. That is what makes this country great, and what keeps this country free. I am just very proud that my Great-Grandfather made the choice to serve this country the very first time the call was made some 230 years ago.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"