Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Samuel Long, Part Two

The previous post included a newspaper article about the death of Samuel Long. This correspondence is also about his death. Thanks to Samuel's descendants Vincent and Norm and Becky for sharing this information. Double click on the photos to enlarge them. Then, use your back arrow to return to this page.
Page 2 states that the soldiers went to "arrest Sam Long", but I haven't found why he was being arrested. My own great Uncle Fred had told the story that a neighbor of his grandfather's was killed because he wouldn't join the army, so Sam Long's death was not an isolated incident and he might not have done anything wrong other than having slaves. Although Missouri was officially a "Slave State", with so many German Yankees, the area was very volatile.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Samuel Long, Part One

Samuel Long (1795-1862) was the brother of my ancestor Thomas Long (1792-1837). They came to Missouri from Allen County Kentucky around 1816-1817 with two of their sisters. After their father Bromfield Long died, their mother Elizabeth Mitchell Long came to Missouri to live with Samuel's family. The narrative below was written by Alfred Long one of Samuel's descendants.
This first part of the narrative was very exciting when I first read it because I believed that the Thomas Long mentioned was my ancestor. I wrote to one of Samuel's descendants, we compared family names, photos and were pretty sure we were related. DNA last summer confirmed our suspicions.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Presidential Cousins

Four of the men above are cousins of mine, sadly one is not. . . How do I know? has a little button you can press that says, "Find famous relatives." For some reason, this only works on my "Maupin" family tree. So, maybe Barack Obama is a cousin on one of my other family lines. . .
The chart above says, "Living Clinton", but it is William Jefferson Clinton. If you double click on the chart, it will enlarge and you can actually read the names of our ancestors. He is my 8th cousin, twice removed (notice how his chart has 2 entries more than mine---that's the "twice removed.") Double click on the charts to enlarge them.
This is for Jimmy Carter---you may or may not note that he, Clinton and I have the same ancestor Thomas Swann. I also made it a little easier to see how Carter is my 8th cousin once removed. For more information on cousins, click here. This has more information on cousins than even I can digest. But the chart above shows how Carter is "once removed" from me---we are a generation off.Here's a little test. So, what is my "cousinship" with George Herbert Walker Bush?Did you say 6th cousin twice removed? Well, look again at the chart above. . . .He's my 8th cousin on that one. If you look carefully at his family tree, you'll see everything is all right---mine is the probem. I'm related to myself twice---Margaret Via is my common ancestor for both charts: I'm descended from two different brothers: John (b. 1725) and Gabriel (b. 1720) while the Bushes are from their sister Mary (b. 1723)
But, those four living former presidents are not all. If you look on the chart above, I'm also cousins with William Henry Harrison (5th cousin, 4 times removed) and Benjamin Harrison (7th cousin, twice removed). Yes, they were both Presidents of the United States.
But, the one that surprised me the most was John F. Kennedy---I thought his family was all from Ireland. But, apparently the Fitzgeralds were in the United States for many generations. He's my 7th cousin, 3 times removed)

The last one, Zachary Taylor, is probably my closest presidential relative (not counting the Bushes who are "double cousins"). He's a 3rd cousin to my great-great grandfather. So, he's my 3rd cousin, 4 times removed.

So, to all my Cousin Presidents, I wish "Happy President's Day." For the record, I don't think I'm that unusual to be related to so many presidents---this just happens to be a very well-documented family. And, President Obama, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. . . .but, if that means I have to be Dick Cheney's cousin, too. . . .

****UPDATE*****  Barack Obama is my 6th cousin 4X removed through the Jennings line(Maupin) AND Bill Clinton is 9th cousin through his father's side (William Jefferson Blythe---through Harris line which is also my Maupin line).  So he is also a double cousin.

No word on Hillary Rodham or Donald Trump. . . .

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentines from Grandparents

This Valentine, from the 1940's, is from my grandparents Roy Long and Vivian Maupin Long.
It just reminds me of the art in so many books of my childhood and uses the slang of that era.
This Valentine is also from my Long Grandparents: Roy and Lena Long. Vivian had died and Roy had re-married Lena who was the grandmother most of us remember. They sent this to me while I was in college in 1964. So, Lena included a letter:
In the letter, she relates that they'd been to my mother and dad's house where Grandpa Wicker (whose wife Vennie had died) had brought his "Lady friend". The Longs had been invited to the wedding March 7 and "we are sure going hope your mother have tould you about this."
She then says, "Know you would like her. I think it wonderful for both of them. . .I know it hurts your mother for someone to take her mother's place but it is hard to understand till you get in a place like that. I know how it was with me, but Mother was taking it real good."
This Valentine is from my Grandpa Wicker inviting me to his wedding on March 7th. Note that he says, "Are you proud to get another grandma. . . you will just love her Jannie does and I know you will too."

Well, Janie may have loved her, but Mother never did really "take to" Mae, my grandfather's second wife. It's funny because Dave's dad, Grover was a widower for almost 20 years---I think we would have welcomed a second wife because we hated that he seemed so lonely, but he wouldn't even consider it. I think men often remarried years ago because they didn't know how to cook, clean, do laundry just as the women didn't know how to write checks or pump gas. But, today, we've learned to share household jobs and it seems less important to re-marry. . . and yet with this independence, the companionship is missing.

So, this is a Valentine to my step-grandmothers who provided my grandfathers with love and companionship (and meals) even though the grown children might not have appreciated them at the time. Thanks Lena and Mae.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Aldersons in England

Keld, Yorkshire, England
Although we don't have DNA to prove it, I suspect the Alderson family roots are Viking. The Alderson family is from the Swale River Valley which has an abundance of Viking names---Keld and Gunnerside are good examples. Click here for more information about the names of villages in the Swale Valley. Then there is the name Alder-son---sounds a bit Viking. But, the first indicator I had was in the York Viking Museum where we saw a map which showed the Swale Valley as being a significant inland Viking settlement.

The earliest Alderson I've been able to trace is Miles Alderson(1584-1610) who lived in Keld (in the upper left corner of the map above). But, we'll begin our story with Miles' great-grandson John Alderson (1661-1721) who lived in Park Hall near Healaugh (just down the river from Keld)
We have visited the area and the home was right around where "Healy Park" is in the center of this 1610 map. It's easy to imagine what the area looked like in the early 1700's---it can't have changed much. If you ever read or saw James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small, then you are familiar with the area of Yorkshire, England. Although he changed everyone's names in his books, his wife in the book was Helen Alderson (not in real life). For more about James Herriot, click here.Helen Boswell, an Alderson descendant also visited Park Hall and wrote that although an Alderson family lives there presently, it was not known if they were related since they hadn't lived there very long:
We, too, found evidence of Aldersons still living in Healaugh---Dave, below is photographing a notice which includes someone named "Alderson" in the village of Healaugh.If I recall, the Park Hill home is up that hill from the village.

We don't know much about John Alderson (sometimes known as Rev. John Alderson). Some sources think he was a minister in the Church of England but others believe he was an Elder in the Baptist Church in England. We do know that he didn't approve of his son John's choice of wife. As Col. George Alderson wrote in 1860 of his ancestors:
"He (John the immigrant) was of warm and social feelings, and about to contract an alliance with a young lady whom his father (John Alderson, a Baptist minister of good standing and property) thought beneath the standing of his own family, and to divert him from consummating the alliance, furnished him with two hundred pounds, a good horse well-equipped, and sent him out to travel."
Later Col. George Alderson writes that John the immigrant became a Baptist minister himself and "kept up a correspondence with his father, John Alderson, in Yorkshire, England, who sent him three large Theological books,which this writer has frequently seen. They were printed in Old English form." Those books were last seen in Atchison, Kansas in posessesion of Lewis Allen Alderson.
The book above gives a slightly different view beginning on page 11.
"It seems that he [John Alderson the immigrant] was the son of an Episcopal minister in England and had been studying for the ministry himself, when he fell in love with a girl of whom his father did not approve. The older Alderson, in order to prevent an undesired marriage, gave his son the not inconsiderable sum of 200 pounds, as well as a fine horse and saddle, and told to travel and forget the girl. . . The father in England had, meanwhile, been delighted to hear from his son in the New World, and to know of his reformation."

John Alderson was born in 1661 in Park Laine which is in the Grinton Parish (pictured above), married either Margaret Burton and/or Alice Milner and died in 1721 also in Grinton Parish. We visited the Grinton church above, but didn't see any tombstones of family members and my most vivid memory was of flies everywhere in knee-deep grass.

It is an area of England that is awesome in its stark beauty. Our other memory of this area is being on a one lane road, in the middle of nowhere and seeing a bright red gypsy wagon off in the distance. We felt like we had been transported back in time.