Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I've been doing some research

both for a character in the game and for my own family (they are both linked by Massachusetts, so that wasn't a random progression).

I knew that one of my ancestors, Edouard Bompasse, came to Plymouth in 1621 on the ship Fortune, which was the second ship to land there after the Mayflower, right after the so-called 'First Thanksgiving'. I found out that on that same ship was Philip Delano, an ancestor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Also, Edouard was apparently part of the Leyden group and so was, indeed, a Pilgrim. His family settled in Marshfield, Duxbury, and Scituate, near Plymouth. Eventually his grandson, Samuel, left there and went down to Virginia, where he became a tobacco grower who, it is said, was drowned by his own slaves. From there the family moved to North Carolina, and eventually to Tennessee, near Clarksville, and then married into the Broadbent family, which moved to Cadiz, Kentucky and so then spawned my grandfather (who to be honest, I never met--falling out with fathers runs in my family, apparently). So I am the 14th generation living here in the US on that side. On another side I'm the ninth generation living in Kentucky (and on that side there was a story of a man and his sons who hid in a South Carolina woodpile eating snakes when the Indians attacked--his wife and daughter were killed). That was the Cobb family (my most famous relation, a many-degreed cousin, was Ty Cobb, the baseball player.) All in all my family is Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, maybe some Cornish, and a little bit of Indian mixed in, according to family tradition (My paternal great-great grandmother was supposed to be Blackfoot, and there's Cherokee on my mother's side).

There was one Bumpus cousin who was publicly whipped for having sex with a man in the Plymouth Colony. Well, he was whipped and he had to pay money to her family (I gather he may have been married, and of course was the man, so was seen as the more responsible party, whereas she was whipped for not protesting his advances enough, but was not married, so there was no serious breach of the adultery laws. (I'm not sure how it was with the Pilgrims, but in the actual text of the Bible, and in Judaism, it's only adultery if the woman is married, as a man could have more than one wife during Biblical times.)

So, Pilgrims, Indians, slaveholders, blacksmiths, yeoman farmers--a little bit of everything went into to produce me. Almost all of my ancestors were some kind of independent farmer of various means, until the last generation, really, moving about the country to find new opportunities but then settling for generations once they were found. Some fought in the Revolution. There were those on both sides of the Civil War, too, and of course both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam. I love genealogy. I'd like to learn more about the lesser researched members of the family. My mom and aunt are working on the Craig, Lamb, and Reardon families. I know just a bit about the my Duncan side of the family. Of course, I am a librarian, and there's so much more available than there used to be with online forums, but the problem is finding the time to do it.

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