Thursday, October 5, 2006

Who Is Your Favorite Ancestor?

My favorite ancestors seem to be the ones that served their country honorably or suffered life hardships.

One of mine is a fellow named Isaac Buck, who was born in 1757 to Isaac Buck and Mary Richards in Southborough MA. Isaac served in the Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783 as a matross (which means he loaded, fired and sponged artillery). He married Patty Phillips in 1780 in Lancaster MA (who was the daughter of John Phillips by his first wife, Hannah Brown; John Phillips married secondly to Mary Richards, the mother of Isaac Buck), whom he grew up with in the same household. Isaac and Patty had 8 children, and I am descended from Sophia Buck, who married Thomas J. Newton.

Isaac and Patty Buck resided in Sterling MA. He applied for a Revolutionary War Pension and was granted $8 a month in 1818. Isaac died in 1846. The Sterling town record says:

"Registered Feby 10 1846: Isaac Buck, male, widower, age 93y 11m 20d; Revolutionary Pensioner; died February 7th 1846; died of old age; born in Southborough; Illegitimate."

Isn't that sad? He probably suffered with that label his whole life. Here is a fellow who served his country well in a dangerous job throughout the War, farmed and raised a family, lived and died poor, and the last word is "Illegitimate." I prefer to think of old Isaac Buck as a "survivor" and a "hero."

Who is your favorite ancestor? Tell me about him or her.


Anonymous said...

My favorite is Stella Ophelia Bowling, my gg-grandmother. She was born in Tennessee in 1867. She taught school in a one-room schoolhouse in the 1890's in Texas. She kept a diary and wrote letters, which I have copies of. I don't know why, of all my interesting ancestors, Grandma Stella appeals to me the most, but there is something about her that really captivates me. Probably it is just that because of her diaries and letters, I know the most about her daily life.

Craig Manson said...

Gosh, that takes some thought. My favorite is probably my gg-grandfather, Billie Sanford. Born into slavery in Virginia in 1810, he moved with his owner's family to Williamson County, Tennessee, before he was a teenager. Later, at age 44, he went to Milam County, Texas, with the owning family. He had four daughters in Texas, one of whom was my g-grandmother, Bettie. Billie Sanford died in 1916 at age 106. He's the oldest person buried in the City Cemetery in Rockdale, Texas.
(Thanks for the birthday wishes, Randy!).