Notes from the past…

If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors…

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I have been so busy at work that I missed the last Carnival of Genealogy, so I figured I’d better get something going right now for the next Carnival! The topic will be: If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors who would they be and why? What a great question! I have “met” some really fascinating people in my research and it would be so neat to actually be able to talk to them.
The first ancestor I would love to meet would have to be my second great-grandfather Crist Hayes Carrico. I have written about him in previous blog entries, but I would so like to know what happened in his life that changed him from an intelligent, educated and distinguished-looking engineer into a drunken old man who died a gruesome death?
The next person on my most-wanna-meet list is my great-grandmother Dovie McBurnett. This lady is one of the reasons that I got interested in genealogy. She is known by my dad as his “Cherokee Grammaw”. He tells stories from his childhood of Dovie dressing in full Indian garb and living the Indian way of life, although by the 1930′s when my dad was a child, the Indian way of life was pretty-much gone in north Texas. When I began to seriously research her, I discovered she was indeed of American Indian descent, albeit Chickasaw and not Cherokee. She also outlived at least 5 husbands! In looking for Dovie, I met the first “cousin” in my genealogy journey, this lady being another of Dovie’s grandchildren by another of Dovie’s husbands.
James Bennett, Jr was my second great-granduncle. He apparently was an outlaw of the “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and the “Hole-In-The-Wall Gang” variety, although more violent, having killed at least one man in 1880′s San Saba, Texas, and probably more during his bank-robbing career. He was eventually killed while attempting his final robbery in Glendive, Montana, and is believed to buried nearby in Miles City, Montana. I hope he wasn’t too trigger-happy towards relatives!
There are a lot more relatives I’d truly want to meet, but for this list, I guess I’d also like to meet my oldest confirmed and documented ancestor, Miles Chappell. Born about 1790 in Virgina, Miles is the oldest member of my mother’s line, the Stanleys. The last official documentation I have of Miles is living in Walker County, Alabama in June, 1880 for that year’s census. He is apparently in at least fair health at age 90. I believe he died on 24 March 1887 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, at the ripe old age of 97! This man was born shortly after the birth of our nation, survived its most critical period of the Civil War and Reconstruction and witnessed almost a century of its growth. What would be the topic of conversation at his supper table?

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2 thoughts on “If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors…

  1. Very interesting reading, Iam glad you posted. I love theheros and the “outlaws”. That’swhat family history is about,finding them and telling theirstory! Great stuff!

  2. The periods of right before the civil war and right after it are two eras I’d pick to experience if there was such a thing as a time machine! Not because I had any ancestors here then (as far as I know, only the Donahue line was here before the civil war), but because I think that time frame was fascinating.

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