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Author Topic: Famous or infamous? your family tree in bloom..  (Read 2313 times)
Springheel Jack
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« on: May 26, 2014, 09:19:03 pm »

Do you have any relations of notable acclaim from your past? Were your predecessors people to be proud of or were they shunned by society for their deeds?

My great, great grand-father was no less than the self titled Lord George Sanger, this all came to light when we ware called to the reading of a will of my grandmother Bessie after she died in 1981. This man was either an entrepreneur or a fiendish and divisive man that never-the-less helped shape theme parks, circuses and holiday parks as we know them. Read on....

'Obtained from several sources'
"Lord" George Sanger (23 December 1825 - 28 November 1911) was an English showman and circus proprietor. Born to a showman father, he grew up working in travelling peep shows. He successfully ran shows and circuses throughout much of the nineteenth century with his brother John. He retired in 1905 and was murdered by an employee in 1911.
Sanger was born 23 December, probably 1825, in Newbury, Berkshire to James Sanger. James Sanger, the son of a Wiltshire farmer, had been pressed into the service of the Royal Navy at a young age, where he learned conjuring tricks, and later, as a navy pensioner, became a showman. He and his wife, named Elliot, travelled the country in a caravan, showing human curiosities and a peep show. After they began to have children, the family settled in Trowbridge and then Newbury, where George was born. George Sanger was the sixth of ten children, and the youngest son. The children grew up helping with their father's business. As a young man, Sanger made his first start in business, independent of his father, as an animal tamer.His first "troupe" consisted of canaries, redpoles, white mice and later, hares. He taught them to fire miniature cannons and walk tightropes. The show was a success and he exhibited at private parties, although he drew a few accusations of witchcraft from rural villagers.
Sanger started a travelling conjuring show with his older brothers William and John.[8] Sanger had earned the nickname "Gentleman George" from fellow showmen, and "his Lordship" from his father, for the smart way he dressed. In 1848, the three brothers took their show to Stepney Fair. Here, he renewed an acquaintance with a woman he knew form his childhood called Ellen Chapman. She was a lion tamer, known professionally as Madame Pauline de Vere. They married on 1 December 1850 in Sheffield.



Poster for Aladdin & Forty Thieves at Sanger's Amphitheatre in 1886
John and George Sanger decided to take their show to country fairs, believing that they would make more money than at the fairs in London. In the winter of 1850–51 they returned to London and, in addition to their conjuring show, they rented Enon Chapel—a former charnel house— to run a "sort of winter theatrical show". They employed actors and put on a Christmas pantomime. After being informed that not all of the bodies improperly buried at the site had been removed, and that the authorities intended to close the building, the Sangers moved out.

In 1851, the brothers took their show to the The Great Exhibition fair in Knightsbridge, an event that, due to heavy rain, was a disappointment to the showmen. The fair was abandoned and the Sangers moved on to the north of England. After another successful season at Stepney Fair (with a 'tame oyster'), the brothers decided to start a circus. Their first purchase for the circus was a Welsh pony, for £7 and their assistants were two nieces, a nephew and four apprentices.

In 1871, the Sanger brothers bought Astley's Amphitheatre for £11,000 and George Sanger ran it for 28 years until the London County Council ordered it to be closed in 1893. Sanger ended his professional relationship with his brother John in 1884.
From the 1880s, Sanger became active in defending the rights of showmen and was the president of the Van Dwellers Protection Association (which later became the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain). In 1903, he presented a statue of Queen Victoria to the town of Newbury, to stand in the same position occupied by his father's shop years before.

In 1905, Sanger sold off his zoo and circus effects, auctioned by circus auctioneer Tom Norman. He retired to Park Farm in East Finchley, London, and published an autobiography in 1910. On 28 November 1911 George Sanger was murdered with a hatchet at his home by employee Herbert Charles Cooper, for unknown reasons. Cooper then committed suicide. Sanger was buried on 4 December next to his wife's grave in Margate.


More::::
eorge was the sixth of ten children, his brothers being John (1815-1889) and William (1826-l901) and one of his sisters was Sarah (1830-1901) who became Mrs. Crockett. All the children received an education of sorts in the winter months. Opinions differ as to how well George could read and write. He could certainly write his signature, and (it is said) quote long passages from Shakespeare and other writers from memory, but after his wife's death he was thrown into confusion because she did all the accounts and letters. What George could do was talk. At an early age he was employed upon his father's stall, encouraging customers to spend their money. By 1833 the family was travelling around the country going from fair to fair. In his autobiography he tells of those rough old days; of fights, murders, rough justice and trickery. The family left Newbury after a dispute between the corporation and James Sanger over taxes he was said to have owed. In a rage James packed up his family and left for London, never to return.

George always said, and repeated it to Queen Victoria no less, that he had his first professional engagement on the day of her coronation, 24th June 1838, when he acted as 'patterer' for Malabar the juggler. Malabar having left without paying him, George decided to set up on his own. He began by selling confectionery, but then began to train animals captured in the countryside around Newbury to perform tricks. He was said to have a knack for training animals, but his methods would certainly not pass the scrutiny of the RSPCA and the more tender consciences we have today.

In 1848 he met and fell in love with Ellen (Nellie) Chapman, the lady lion tamer from Wombwell's circus. They could not afford to marry immediately and George, with his brothers, John and William, toured the country to raise money. But in 1849 one of the worst cholera epidemics struck many parts of Britain. James, in London, became ill and died before his sons could reach him. Returning to London, George married Ellen and took the widowed Mrs. Sanger to live with them.
 1851 the Great Exhibition was held at Hyde Park. Fairmen were allowed to set up outside the exhibition hall and they hoped to make money from the thousands of expected visitors. At the beginning of May they set out their colourful stalls around the Palace - then it began to rain. It rained heavily on and off all that summer (when the sun did shine it became insufferably hot inside the giant glasshouse) and the gaudy stalls became bogged down in sticky mud, the flags and bunting became bedraggled and their colours ran. In the end the stallholders left. Penniless, George and his family went back to travelling the roads. In 1853 things were still so bad that when their baby son died, the show had to go on to pay for his funeral.
According to George's autobiography, the following year George and his brothers stayed in Norfolk during the winter months with their families. It was here that the germ of the idea of having their own circus took root. Between them they built a ring. George trained a horse and its riders, John took care of the finance and bookings and William painted the advertisements and scene . By this time John was also married and there were several small Sangers to train in horse riding tricks. The circus began from small beginnings, but as their reputation grew, more artistes, animals and people to look after them were employed. Advance parties were required to put up notices, book fields and fodder for the animals, and the wives busied themselves looking after a growing band of children, and mending the costumes.

Twenty years later the brothers, George and John (William had already left to pursue his own interests), besides running Sanger's Travelling Circus, had bought the old Astley's Amphitheatre in Westminster Bridge Road, London, and also the Agricultural Hall in Islington and were putting on spectacular daily shows to enormous crowds. But the business had grown too big for two bosses with differing opinions, and an amicable split of their assets was made, each brother bidding for a lot, turn by turn, until everything had been disposed of. George (now styling himself 'Lord' George) decided to try his luck on the continent and John travelled Britain with his own circus.

George had two daughters: Laurina (1853-1882) who married Alexander (Sandy) Coleman and Sarah Harriett who married Arthur Reeve, son of the then Mayor of Margate. This connection with Margate led George to purchase land in the town and build 'The Hall by the Sea' and open an entertainment centre and menagerie with brother William managing it. A similar venture was opened at Ramsgate.

John Sanger's circus travelled under the name "John Sanger and Sons". He married Elizabeth Atkins and they had several children: John (1853-1929) who called himself 'Lord'John Sanger, married Rebeeca Pinder; Layinia, married Peter Hoffman, a horse breaker and haute ecole exponent; George, married his cousin Georgina Coleman; James married Babs Pinder. There was also William about whom I know nothing further.

George, as well as having a circus travelling on the continent, still had one on the road in England - sometimes called'George Sanger and Daughters'. It is calculated that in a nine months season it visited over two hundred towns, giving two shows a day, every day except Sunday. Their road train between sites was said to be two miles long and had (according to another proprietor Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake) 'at least ten wagons to carry the tent and seating, a lamp wagon, eight or ten living carriages, a foal wagon, ten wild beast wagons full of lions, tigers, bears and others, a harness wagon, a portable blacksmith's forge, property wagons, wardrobe and dressing wagons, a band carriage and at least six great tableau cars for the parade'. No wonder that the arrival of the circus meant that classrooms were depleted of schoolchildren - or the school was closed for the day in acknowledgement that there would be many truants - and townsfolk lined the streets to see the free show, before rushing to buy tickets for the performances. In Newbury, George would make sure that all the inhabitants of the workhouse who wanted free tickets got them ­as well as gifts of tobacco and sweets from his generous pocket.

At the time of Queen Victoria's death in l901 he had decided to present a statue of his revered monarch to the town. It would have needed a braver town council than was in power at the time to have refused the gift, even if it was to George's taste and not theirs. The figure of Queen Victoria in her state robes, on top of a stepped plinth with four arms, a lion crouching on each arm of the plinth. A statue of Fame, holding a laurel wreath, was added at the last moment. This was placed at George's direction in the Market Place on the spot where his father's market stall once stood.

George's brother John died at Ipswich in 1889 and was buried in Margate Cemetery under a magnificent statue of a horse in mourning and this became the Sanger family graveyard. George's wife who died in 1899 was buried there, as were their children and grandchildren. George continued until 1905 but competition from other popular entertainments forced the sale of the major part of his show and he retired to the circus winter quarters at Finchley. He began to feel his years and was said to have become uncertain in temper. According to reports in The Times' he dismissed one of his servants, Herbert Cooper, for allegedly stealing £50. One evening in November 1911 while George and his menfolk were at home, Cooper returned to the house, it is said to retrieve some of his property. After an exchange of words, he picked up a razor which had been left handy for veterinary work on the animals, and attacked Arthur Jackson, making cuts on his throat. One of the Sanger grandsons-in-law, Harry Austin, hearing a commotion, rushed in and Cooper attacked him with the house wood-axe which was nearby. Being an agile former circus performer, Austin was able to dodge most of the blows, but caught some on his arm. 'Lord' George heard the altercations and is said to have risen from his chair. The next thing that everyone agrees upon is that 'Lord' George was found on the floor with one or more wounds to the head and a large broken ornament on the floor near him. All were aghast, including Cooper, who fled into the night. Austin climbed through a window to go after him, while others attended to 'Lord' George, who roused sufficiently to be fussed over, given medical attention, and put to bed. However, he became worse and died in the night. Herbert Cooper appears to have returned to the shelter where he had been living since dismissed, written two notes of remorse and lain down on the railway until killed by a passing train.

There are other versions and accounts of 'Lord' George's death. The Dictionary of National Biography says that he was shot; newspaper articles at the time blamed Cooper and the inquest verdict on 'Lord' George was that he had been "murdered by Herbert Cooper" who then committed suicide "while being of unsound mind". 'Lord' George's grandson, George Sanger Coleman, writing in his account of the family, had some sympathy for Cooper, and thought that 'Lord' George probably hit himself over the head when springing up, grabbing the large ornament as a weapon, and then overbalancing.

The funeral was a magnificent affair, with the roads from Finchley to Holborn Viaduct Station lined with people sheltering from the heavy rain under black umbrellas. The coffin was transferred to a special train for the journey to Margate cemetery, where he was buried with Ellen and John, while in Newbury the flag on the municipal building was flown at half mast and a wreath placed on the steps of his grand statue in the Market Place in memory of one of the town's most successful and spectacular sons.

As the author of several articles about the life of 'Lord' George Sanger I often receive letters asking how to trace 'their red-haired greatgrand-mother who is said to have been a bareback rider with the circus', or 'my grandfather who looked after the horses in Sanger's Circus and was killed in a fight'. Unfortunately I have to say that I cannot help and that they may have a long search ahead of them. Researchers can join the Circus Friends Association (see note 2) or consult its founder, Dr. John Turner's growing number of books on circus families. Having tried to dampen any hopes of ever finding your circus ancestors, I must confess I was once successful in uniting two of the many Sanger descendants with their cousins.

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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 10:10:40 pm »

My Dear Jack,
What a wonderfully Steampunk story! It reminded me of Jamrach (and the Menagerie's link to Sherlock Holmes), and in pursuit of this I found that there was a court case, Jamrach v. Sanger, possibly about elephants; however, it was not George Sanger who was involved. Also, I found this most touching "letter" in Punch from a camel in which Sanger is mentioned as "Sultan," but not George. Sanger's Stables must have belonged to the family?
Gt.-Aunt Camellia, Concerned about her namesake.
P.S. The letter is quite witty, don't you think?
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 06:16:10 am »

It's often said that weak-stomached individuals should never watch genealogy being done...or was that legislation.

I have slave-owners on both sides, and an indian-fighter to boot...que lastima
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 06:23:14 am »

We have a "Dapper Ancestor" thread in Anatomical.  Sadly none of my pictures are still hosted, and many off the pictures in that thread are no longer hosted.

Maybe we need to start a new genealogy thread.
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creagmor
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 06:53:39 am »

Among my ancestors I can name the Earp Brothers who were my great-great grandmother's cousins, on my mother's side. While three of the five were well known, whether they were famous or infamous depends on which sources you choose to believe. As Wyatt, and at least one brother, were arrested on more than one occasion for running a "disorderly house" at the very best they could not have been considered angelic. 

To the best of my knowledge I have seen every movie made about the brothers and have to smile (or groan) at *the many ways he is portrayed. "Tombstone" is my favourite, but IMHO "Wyatt Earp" with Kevin Costner, is the most accurate.     

*I sincerely pity all who take ANY movie - even (or especially) those who are supposed to be "based on actual events" -  as factual history.
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 08:58:31 am »

Creagmor,
The Erp brothers! Rootin' tootin' shootin' right there!
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2014, 10:18:14 am »

Robert the Bruce of Scotland, 23 generations ago.  The only reason I know is that my mothers side of the Family are mormon and are obsessed with genealogy.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 02:03:10 am »

We are all descended from some one famous if you go back far enough... six degrees of separation and all that jazz...

Genealogy and heraldry are two very different things.  You can't turn the latter into the former unless you can trace your family with written records over that period of time, but if I ignore genealogy and go strictly by name history and by heraldic records, then I am a descendant of the House of Baztan from the valley of the same name, so the abbreviated surname taken later on was Bazan,  where Baztan in old Basque means "place where the bramble-tree grows."  This is a royal lineage in the former Kingdom of Navarre (Navarra) and I  can trace the name of Bazan  to the year 1127 or so.  The title held by the family males after Navarra became part of Spain and starting in 1526, and lasting well past the 19th C. was "Grand Marquis of the Holy Cross" (Grand Marquis in Spanish peerage is the highest rank and equivalent to Duke in British peerage, outside of Spain the title Marquis or Marquess is below Duke and above Count).  The lineage became very widespread, but naturally increasingly impoverished toward the late 19th. C. even with cases of farmers bearing that name by the end of the 19th. C. and most survivors are now mixed among the Mexican population in northern Mexico.  Some remain in Austria, and even Italy, for historical reasons (if you follow the history of the Spanish empire throughout the ages it becomes patently obvious why).

However, there are a few interesting examples, such as Alvaro de Bazan, who  was the supporter of an invasion of Britain and eventually became Admiral General of the Spanish Armada.  Unfortunately for the Spanish, the Admiral died in February of 1588  (before the August 8 attempted invasion of Britain, in which a large portion of the vessels were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland - you know your history).  Some people like to speculate about what would have happened if the admiral had not died and had taken command of the Spanish forces.

Admiral Alvaro de Bazan (1526-1588)

PS
Apparently we have a few rock singers in Seattle as well  Cheesy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bazan and a hot babe blogger from Belarus (!)  Grin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-v90USu2Nk


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Kieranfoy
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 02:59:20 am »

Know little about my mothers side of the family, save that my grandfather was a very skilled painter.

On my fathers side, I'm a descendant of the Scottish clan Fraiser.

Dads side come from Virginia, and my grandfather, now deceased, described them as "doing their duty by god and country", although which country that had been during was Civil War is somewhat in doubt...
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 06:01:47 am »

I claim as my three-times-great uncle Sir Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who was a prominent Irish playwright, parliamentarian and professional drinker, and (apparently) drinking companion to both Samuel Taylor Coleridge and George Prince Regent (later King George IV).

We also claim kinship with a certain famous big game hunter turned conservationist who was instrumental in establishing the tiger preserve in Uttarakhand, India which now bears his name. (We do not, however, claim kinship with the famous American pugilist of the same name.)

Note: I am obfuscating primarily to conceal my identity from Internet search engines. If you believe you've divined the name in question, please smile knowingly and say nothing. If you absolutely demand confirmation, please do so via PM.
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 05:37:26 pm »

Despite having traced my tree as far as I can go in every direction I have not found any famous names, only some misbehaving minor nobility. Through them I can get to the English monarchy (and a few others) by the time of the early Plantagenets but as Mr. Wilhelm says, it is just a numbers game by then, and being lucky enough to have the records (assuming they are accurate).

~A~
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creagmor
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 06:51:13 pm »

I suppose that I am a bit of a purist, but one thing that bothers me are the people who claim to be able to trace your family's coat of arms (NOT the same thing as a *crest!). I cannot speak for other countries but in the UK there is no such thing as a "family" coat of arms. It is issued to one specific individual. Once upon a time I studied this for a while, and it was quite a complicated project. The sons of the owner of the patent can also use the device, but only with "differences" on the shield, called marks of cadence, and are stipulated according to the order of birth. When the owner of the coat of arms dies the oldest son inherits it and removes his mark of cadency.

 Unfortunately I never found any marks of cadence for daughters. Given the fact that originally coats of arms were intended for identification during battle, with the advent of closed helms, I doubt there were any.

To each his own, but personally I found this to be quite an interesting thing to research, and almost all libraries will have books on this. The jargon alone was fascinating.

BTW there is no such thing as a "bend sinister" (a supposed mark of bastardy). Sinister is designated as the left side of the shield of the person carrying it and a bend is a stripe that goes all the way across the shield. There might be a bar (vertical stripe) sinister, but have never encountered anyone who had heard of it.

If you live in the US, the easiest way to register your own coat of arms, is to simply have it copyrighted.

My apologies if the above sounds a bit pedantic, but that's just me.  

* To be accurate, the crest is the object on top of the helmet, or coronet.  
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 08:40:46 pm »

I have an ancestor who was a missionary and got into rather a bit of trouble when the colonial authorities found he was supplying local tribesmen with more than spiritual advice. Seems he took the saying 'praise the Lord and pass the ammunition' too literally at his mission post. Ironically a few years later my great grandfather was getting medals for delivering ammunition through artillery barrages in WW1.

Other ancestors were tried for such crimes as pulling down fences, attacking rent collectors, poaching and so on but what can you expect to find when your name is Bowskill (as in skilled with a bow) and you were born in Sherwood Forest.

My mother's side is probably as interesting (She was at St James's Palace for the Coronation as she was in Domestic service). But as both were from families with 12 children my family tree looks more like the Amazon complete with a few lost tribes (it was a standing joke at school that anyone could get into our house if they said they were an uncle as we had so many we couldn't remember them all).
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2014, 11:50:40 pm »

I suppose that I am a bit of a purist, but one thing that bothers me are the people who claim to be able to trace your family's coat of arms (NOT the same thing as a *crest!). I cannot speak for other countries but in the UK there is no such thing as a "family" coat of arms. It is issued to one specific individual. Once upon a time I studied this for a while, and it was quite a complicated project. The sons of the owner of the patent can also use the device, but only with "differences" on the shield, called marks of cadence, and are stipulated according to the order of birth. When the owner of the coat of arms dies the oldest son inherits it and removes his mark of cadency.

 Unfortunately I never found any marks of cadence for daughters. Given the fact that originally coats of arms were intended for identification during battle, with the advent of closed helms, I doubt there were any.

To each his own, but personally I found this to be quite an interesting thing to research, and almost all libraries will have books on this. The jargon alone was fascinating.

BTW there is no such thing as a "bend sinister" (a supposed mark of bastardy). Sinister is designated as the left side of the shield of the person carrying it and a bend is a stripe that goes all the way across the shield. There might be a bar (vertical stripe) sinister, but have never encountered anyone who had heard of it.

If you live in the US, the easiest way to register your own coat of arms, is to simply have it copyrighted.

My apologies if the above sounds a bit pedantic, but that's just me.  

* To be accurate, the crest is the object on top of the helmet, or coronet.  


Being an amateur herald since my early 20's, I'm well aware of that  Grin.  Thankfully, the conventions (there are no rules - remember?) are very different outside of the UK.  Spanish and French heraldry convention on variations of field, rules of tincture and ordinaries vary significantly, among many others differences.  Even allowing the use of odd-numbered palewise and fesswise divisions in a chequy field and/or letters or even whole mottoes on a bordure.  How they are passed down the line is also different, and defenitely more of a family affair.

Example (Bazan; odd chequy):
http://rlv.zcache.com/bazan_coat_of_arms_family_crest_round_stickers-r431674f9ea154571b89cce26733be0d4_v9waf_8byvr_512.jpg

Example (Spanish/Latin American coats of arms with motttoes on bordures)
http://www.ngw.nl/heraldrywiki/index.php?title=Category:Bordure_with_motto

Some conventions on Spanish Heraldry (Wiki)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

. . . . .

[distraction]
Whew!  Dear Lord!
 http://letsdrink4fashion.blogspot.com/2012/07/blogger-kristina-bazan-from-switzerland.html
 [/distraction]

I beg your pardon *wipes sweat off forehead* We have a lot to be proud of  Grin I love the Internet.


Granting arms in Britain is a highly personal affair, as it is meant to be a privilege conferred on the bearer of the arms based on special recognition.  But in other countries arms are simply passed down the generations. Especially once the Americas became independent from Europe.  You'd have to expect that.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 09:13:53 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2014, 03:29:19 am »

None of my ancestors, that I know of, are all that famous. I apparently have an ancestor who was on the Mayflower. Then there was one in Norway who apparently gave Henrik Ibsen a terrible review on one of his verse plays, in Aftenposten, no less. That's about it for fame or notoriety.
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creagmor
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2014, 11:07:48 am »

Thanks for the additional information J Wilhelm. My research was limited to the UK because I'm mostly English and Scottish.

I dabbled in heraldry a bit while in the 7th and 8th grades, but didn't do anything more until I became interested in the SCA back in the 1980s (but never joined due to philosophical differences) and limited my participation in that sort of thing to the Ren faire that was at that time held in Agora CA.
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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2014, 03:23:25 pm »

Someone once said, and for all I know it may have been me, that in every King's family history is a beggar, and in every beggar's, a king.
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2014, 05:35:11 pm »

Apparently Flora MacDonald and some Viking Prince...
Know little about my fathers side other than the surreal picture my father showed of me his grandfather ...almost all 6 7 ' of him riding a horse ( he was a sheriff in the wild west ) who ended up marrying a Native and then going to Italy..
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2014, 05:47:43 pm »

well, I'm distantly related to Meriweather Lewis (about 3rd cousin, in the geneology, we're on page 698 out of 700...Wink The Indian Fighter named previously was Bosque John McLennan, and one of the other McLennans (Neal) helped found Waco Tx. Not sure if that's famous enough, but the county's named after him...Wink
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****
United States United States


« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2014, 05:51:20 pm »

There seems to be a history of violence in my more immediate family as it were.  Supposedly, my paternal great grandfather was a Mafiosi who was imprisoned before my grandfather was born and never made it home to meet his son, having been killed almost immediately after his release.  My maternal great grandfather, also supposedly, fought in the Easter Rising and managed to escape into the sewers and hop a boat to the US.  I don't have much in the way of actual proof in the way of either of these stories, just word of mouth really, though the first story contributed to my surname (My great grandmother remarried and, having never known his real father anyway, my grandfather took her new husband's name.)
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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2014, 10:19:04 pm »

I've got a business partner of William Penn, the sister of a founder of a university (John Purdue), an Underground Railroad conductor (runaway slave network, not commuter network), a notable viking (Eric the Red), and a barkeeper who's bar was known as a sporting house. Probably pretty standard for an American.
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Springheel Jack
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Past my time, before my prime.


« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2014, 09:50:17 pm »

Wow!
There are some very noteworthy characters that we inherit our genealogy from! I love delving into the antics and notoriorty of our ancestors, some are simply fantastic where as some are truly figures of history that have shaped the future as we know it.

Keep 'em coming ladies and gentlemen....
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