Randy Seaver, whose blog is Genea-Musings, has what he calls Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. I'm a little late on this one, but it's been a busy weekend. This weekend's "assignment" is to list your sixteen great-grandparents and figure out their ethnicity. The first part is a little bit of work. The second, for me, is easy. There isn't much variety in my genealogy until I get back to the sixth or seventh order of greatness in grandparents!
Let's see. I'm supposed to list them in pedigree-chart order with places and dates of birth and death. Now, it says that if you don't know all 16 of the great-greats, which I don't, to do this for the last full generation. But I think I'll deal with some of the 16 that I do know, then go for the 8 greats, which I do know all of. Let's pause while I fire up The Master Genealogist and take a look . . .
1. Matthew Hale Packard, born 1822 in Bolton, Stanstead County, Quebec, Canada; died 17 September 1881, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois.
2. Emily A. Hoyt, born circa 1823-24, in Bolton, Stanstead County, Quebec, Canada; died after 1881, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois.
3 and 4: Next pair unknown.
5. John Rector Reynolds, Sr., born ca. 1826 in Vermont.
6. Caroline Elizabeth [?-], born ca. 1836 in Connecticut.
7 and 8: Next pair unknown
9. Charles Reed, born 28 August 1840 in Gallia County, Ohio; died 26 January 1920 in Portland, Jay County, Indiana.
10. Clarissa Haney Wright, born 19 July 1844 probably in Xenia, Green County, Ohio; died 21 November 1908 probably in Portland, Jay County, Indiana.
11. Nelson Reed McKee, born 2 February 1837; died 6 May 1908 in Beloit, Wisconsin.
12. Sarah Ann Sunderland, born 2o June 1848.
13. John Teter Bowers Nave, born 21 October 1829 probably in Tennessee; died 17 March 1888, probably in Tennessee.
14. Lorena Jane Jones, born 15 February 1833 probably in Tennessee; died 3 December 1888.
15 and 16. Next pair unknown.
So there is a lot I don't know about my great-great grandparents. Most of them were from the midwest, around Ohio and Indiana. This is about as far back as I have gotten on many of these lines. As for ethnicity, the Naves were Swiss, the family name having originally been Näf. The name Teter Nave, reflected in my great-great grandfather's name, was originally Dieter Näf.
For the rest, pretty much English, though the name McKee hints at a Scots origin. The name Reed could be English, Irish, or Scots. My own unsubstantiated suspicion, based on some family behavior in that line, is that they may have been "lace-curtain" Irish. The Packard line is definitely English, Samuel Packard, Matthew Hale Packard's 4x-great-grandfather, emigrated from Suffolk, England to Hingham, Massachusetts in 1638. And I am happy to say that I am part Canadian!
As for the generation where I do know all or most of this information, my great-grandparents:
1. Oscar Merry Packard, son of Matthew Hale Packard and Emily Hoyt, born in 1848 probably in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; died after 1930 in Los Angeles County, California.
2. Augusta Hetherington, born circa 1851, in Ohio; died circa 1930 in Los Angeles County, California.
3. John Rector Reynolds, Jr., son of John Rector Reynolds, Sr., and Caroline Elizabeth [-?-], born April 1855 in Illinois.
4. Virginia Ferrier, born November 1858 in Missouri.
5. Francis Harvey "Frank" Reed, son of Charles Reed and Clarissa Haney Wright, born 17 November 1862 in Jay County, Indiana; died 26 February 1936 in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana.
6. Florence Elizabeth McKee, born 19 November 1862 in Indiana; died 9 November 1943 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California.
7. Teter Nave, son of John Teter Bowers Nave and Lorena Jane Jones, born 7 January 1854 in Tennessee; died 28 December 1909 in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana.
8. Elizabeth Taylor, born probably in Tennessee ca 1860, died after 1930 in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana.
The farther back one goes, the more difficult it is to find information, of course. Then there is the sad fact that most of these people were not well off by any stretch of the imagination. Charles Reed, a pensioned Civil War veteran, died in poverty. Many of these ancestors of mine apparently died intestate, not having much of anything to leave to anyone.
I did get a little farther, as I reported in another blog entry, with the family of great-great grandma Clarissa Haney Wright, tracking down her father, Francis Marion Wright, and his father, Merritt Wright. That was a nice breakthrough.