Am on an intriguing adventure through history while creating a family tree on Ancestry.com. Including finding a 1640s paternal-side ancestor nicknamed “the pilgrim” with a wife named Jane Bond! Yep, what a name. I have to find out if she did any spy work lol
My maternal Irish grandparents were dirt poor; struggling as coal miners, mine camp cook (my grandmother), lumbermen, and such. Great-grandad Luther passed down to his nine sons and daughters a talent for art, self-taught bluegrass music, and a taste for moonshine. He like many of my heirs apparently served (he in WW1) in every war from the Revolutionary War on.
That side of the family has proven a challenge to track given a mysterious name change from Siers to Sears along the way. So I’ve moved on for now to my paternal side – which has proven much easier and very enlightening.
My grandfather Dennis (“Dink”) was a farmer and itinerate driller/wildcatter during the Depression. My grandmother Rhoda was a teacher whose parents had once been fairly well-to-do farmers but had lost all but the farm in the Depression. She and her three sisters all went to college, a rarity in those days.
Grandma Rhoda’s maternal side tree formed quickly with lots of links and data on Ancestry leading back to Jonathon “the pilgrim” Ogden who came from England with his brother to Southampton in 1640.
It appears they were quite industrious, including a stint as contractors to build a stone church that stood 100 years. Jonathon then received another land grant on Long Island by the Dutch Government to build a small community. He fell out with the Dutch because of their horrid treatment of the Natives and went back to be with his countrymen at the eastern part of LI. His wife’s name was “Jane Bond”.
He and his brother Richard then formed a whaling company that included a sizable land grant of over 300 acres to form a six-family colony. Much more to the story but he later settled in Elizabethtown, NJ. I passed through the town a few times when I lived in NJ, with no idea an ancestor had been an early settler.
This part of the timeline “exploded” when I found a link to the National Archives and a book written circa 1905 by an ancestor. And get this, a Kindle version was on Amazon! The book includes 18 years of research into Jonathon Ogden’s English roots and ancestry back into 12th century England. I just started to read it, and am reminded of how much I loved reading about Knights of the Round Table as a kid. I was fascinated with that period and would have vivid dreams as if I’d lived it.
I feel like I’ve found a true “treasure” … something very much needed to take my mind away from the political events swirling around us like a Cat 5 hurricane.
I’m hooked on this adventure!