Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are?

Is it just me or is anyone else out there obsessed with the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?"
I mean, don't ask me why I care about a celebrity's ancestors. Other than the fact that some of them have some sad sacks in their family tree. It allows all the rest of us commoners to revel in a bit of schadenfreude. It's kind of fun to think that some famous star might have a Nazi sympathizer or a Revolutionary War traitor in their background.

Anyway, after watching the show a couple years ago, I was inspired to join and do a little family tree building of my own. I knew just a little bit about my immediate ancestors. My father's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Denmark, so all of my ancestors on his side were Danes- "Great Danes"- as my dad would call them. I love that I have a long Danish ancestry, but I've always been more interested in American history.
Hence, my mother's side of the family. With research on and a bit of independent confirmation, I found some interesting information about the Smith side of my family. Turns out, that some of my direct descendants were the unfortunate victims of a Shawnee Native American attack- the Muddy Creek Massacre in West Virginia. Apparently my friendly and accommodating family members shared dinner with the Shawnee, and then the tribe paid them back for their kindness by scalping my 7th great grandfather and taking the rest of his family hostage for a year.
Now, the ancestry hints took me on a long journey through history back to English and French royalty- ultimately even to William the Conqueror! Needless to say, I have a bit of skepticism about this trail. Still, it was lots of fun.

Anybody out there have any interesting ancestry stories to share?

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