Saturday, March 12, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? Entitled That's What.

I'm in a mood this evening, so I'm going to spew, rant, exactly how I feel about all those people who think they are entitled because of who their families are, or are not. Listen closely, Paris Hilton, and everyone else living off their Daddies money, or anyone else's money.

I've been interested in my families history for a long time since I was a pre-teen. I'm just not so sure how common it is to find yourself connected to so many high fluting people. I told my sister the other day that when we set in history class at the teachers talked about our fore fathers they really meant our relatives that came before us, same blood passed through their veins as ours not all that many generations ago.

My relative that is most connected to all this high fluting business is my maternal great grandmother Francis. I did know her. She babysat me on occassion when I was a youngster and lived to be 102 yrs old. She was a ward of the state of Mnnesota. Francis Belle Ellsworth was born to Elmer Wakefield Ellsworth and Katherine Mabel (Kittie) Bassett on November 11, 1892 in Rochester MN. There only child as Kittie went ill shortly after and passed away in Dec of 1894. Elmer being a young farmer didn't exactly now what to do with a young toddler while he was farming. Court records filed in Olmsted county state that he tied her to a tree while he went to work the fields. Elmer gave up custody of Francis to the state with a $100 bond that Francis would receive when she became an adult. In this case when she married Michael Joseph O'Donnell, my great grandfather. MJ and Elmer fostered a deal for them to get married. None of the details were ever known to current relatives, but from that marriage Mike and Francis started a meat market in Rondell South Dakota. They had seven children, four boys, one of which was my grandfather Louis, and three girls. It was an unhappy marriage that ended in divorce. The breaking straw being the death of their middle daughter Laura from diptherea.

I'm taking you in the wrong direction. I want to go back before Francis was born, or even Elmer, and Kittie. The names Elsworth and Bassett were names from Early American history. Could it be possible that I was descended from any of these affluent people of Colonial time?

Um . . . yes! I think I will make a list here and expound on all the greatness that my ancestors have to behold. I've found statistics that say that ten percent of the US population can say they are related to someone who boarded the Mayflower in 1620 on its trip to Plymouth Massachusetts. I'm interested to know if all those people can put together this kind of linkage.

9th Great Grandfather, John Howland. He was the young man who fell overboard into the Atlantic Ocean on their faithful trip to America. Of course he married my 9th great grandmother, Elizabeth Tilley, who was also aboard the Mayflower. She was the only member of her family to survive the first year in Plymouth. John Tilley her father, and Edward Tilley her uncle both signed the Mayflower Compact. They both passed in 1621 the first year in Plymouth.

William Brewster is my 12th great grandfather.

6th Great Grandfather, Lt Fortunatus Bassett, he was a member of the crew of the Brigadine privateer ship the "General Benedict". He was one of the unfortunate who froze to death on Christmas Day 1778. The crew was on its way to the West Indies to retrieve supplies for Washington's Army. A snowstorm trapped them in Plymouth Harbor in sub-zero temperatures. Quite possibly that is why his youngest son Cornelius Bassett moved to Warren PA. Then on to Olmsted County MN where he took several of his sons to start a saw mill. They were wagon builders.

John Trumbull, author, artist. American soldier, diplomat, author, painter
After a military career aiding George Washington, John Trumbull went abroad to paint. His skill as an artist went largely unnoticed until the U.S. Senate commissioned him to paint 4 war paintings which now hang in the U.S. Capitol. He went on to be president of the American Academy of Fine Art.

6th cousin, 7x removed, John Hancock, famous for his beautiful & large signature on the Declaration of Independence.

2nd great grand uncle, John Rozelle Topliff, served in the Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War in company K. He suffered illness in the first year but returned to service. He was mustered out in Brownsville Texas in August of 1866. Although hardly famous, he should still be remembered as a hero in the same regard as those who have been written about in depthly in the story books.

8th great grandfather, Matthew Mayhew, original owner and namer of Martha's Vineyard.

8th Cousin 2x removed, 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush and his son 43rd President George Walker Bush, who is my 9th cousin, once removed.

6th cousin 5x removed, 19th President Rutherford Birchard Hayes.

38th President, Gerald Ford.

There are lots of Reverends in the list. I find the most intriguing character was Marcia Melissa Bassett Colgrove Goodwin. She was an editor, printer and publisher of women's materials for the Sufferage Movement. She may have even been more famous in history if she wouldn't have died prior to the establishment of the movement.

The next major category of ancestors and descendants are writers.

Geoffery Chaucer, 20th Great Grandfather. (Link between Deacon John Dunham, and Thomas Dunham is debateable and mostly likely not true).
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 5th cousin 6 times removed.
Edgar Lee Masters, 8th cousin 3 times removed.

We should include Doctors as well.

Dr Medad Parsons, Sixth Great Grandfather. Physician in Vermont until his death in 1818.

I will have to tell you more, as there is so much it will not all fit in one post.