Napoleon, the Bootlegger
Something From Nothing & Finding A Lost Family History
The African Missionaries
A lot of students trace their families back to the Scottish and Irish settlers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. There are also quite a few with French Canadian ancestry. Sam's family comes from the same town, Sackville, New Brunswick, as my husband's family. Alex found ancestors immigrating from Italy, Ireland, and Belgium in the late 19th century.
Of those who can go back to the Great Migration, Jeff is a direct
descendant of Mary (Towne) Estey. She was hanged as a witch on September 22, 1692. A few share distant connections with me. Jack and I connect through Nathan Lord, of Berwick, Maine. Patrick and I connect through the Abbots of Andover, Massachusetts. Ryan and I connect through John Cheney of Newbury, Massachusetts. It became a bit of game to see if they could find a cousin connection with me.
On the military front, we found a few veterans. Patrick found a Civil War ancestor with an awesome name: Ivory Snow. His middle name was Fogg so he was Ivory Fogg Snow. Lauren knew her 2nd great-uncle had been shot down in World War II. She didn't know her great-grandmother also had a fiance killed in the war. Alex found her 2X great-grandmother, who lived in Portland, Maine and was born in Nova Scotia, married a man from Virginia. On the marriage certificate from 1919, it lists his occupation as "soldier." Since many troop ships came through Portland during and after World War I, we speculate that they might be how they met.
I have second generation immigrants who are documenting their family and writing the stories of the home country and the names and dates of relatives before those are lost to future generations. I have a student who had family affected by the Holocaust. He is interviewing the son of the survivor and writing the memories and stories to preserve them.
The projects aren't complete yet. They are due on Friday. I may have to share more updates and interesting finds after that. I'm excited to see so many of my students take an interest in their family history.