Friday, April 20, 2012

A Second Beautiful Day

I am doing our genealogy and have had good success, but there are several mysteries still unsolved regarding who and how and why of my ancestral lineage.  I have traced them back to the middle ages.  Imagine me:  I was told by my mother that we were on her side, English, French, German, Portuguese, and that she recalled an event when she was young concerning a chateau in France.  The government contacted the family to see if they would like to pay the back taxes on it and regain title to it.  We didn't.  I personally thought this tale was a lotta hoo-daaa.  Everybody wants to be a princess or a peer with a reference to real estate:  Sir Wanton Necksqueeze, 4th Baron of Sillysocks, and his wife, The Lady Debutante.  

Well, I found the chateau story was possible, but the chateau would have been near Basel, Switzerland which borders France. Later some took residence and employment in Zurich, no doubt a more powerful city to rule from.   My maternal ancestors were deep into religion and government.  Government and religion are very good ways to earn a comfortable living, just like today: get everyone else to pitch in to support you.  

But their issue of mixing up church and state ultimately became the reason for establishing MY County.  When Peter the Goat Herd is passing the coin chest around, one wants to see no special perks for some special members of the congregation.  My people, Puritans, sailed first to England and then on to the colonies.  It was a treacherous, crowded three month trip with an uncertain destination.  Brave people, committed people our ancestors were. 

My mother's side is very difficult. I'm not finding anything for her grandmother.  Even the name was apparently "wrong".  She was referred to only as Little Grandma Ellen .She was about my height 5’5” when everyone else in her family was nearly six feet, and so it continues today: my kids and grand kids passed me up long ago, girls growing nearly 6’ and boys between 6’2” to 6’4”.  Grandma Ellen had a lovely first name: Claircy Ellen!  I found a reference in the Mormon records that her mother also was named Claircy.  What a crisp, clean and enchanting first name.  But....where did she come from?  I cannot seem to break through here:  the family name is Lee and there are umpty-dozen Lees who arrived in California prior to the Gold Rush.

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