Who Am I?
January 24th, 2018 @ 9:15 pm

Lately, I have been working on my family tree.  Thanks to my paternal grandparents, I think I am related to nearly every American historical figure with English ancestry.  By the way, Grandma was from the South and Grandpa was a Yankee.  He joined the military and was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY.  It was being close to Nashville that led to him meeting her.

Grandma’s mother, or Mom as we called her, was born a Norris.  She was born in Mississippi, but she comes from the stock of the Norris / Lott / Watts / Edmundson / Wiggins clans, on her father’s side alone. On her mother’s side, she had Byrds, Hiltons, and Kellys.

Seems based upon this, anyone with southern roots is tied to her.  There is a belief out there that she’s also descendant from the Lee / Armistead / Lightfoot families.  A Lightfoot is believed to marry the Lott she comes from. And if that’s a case, there’s a Mayflower in there to boot. There’s also a chance that Lightfoot is really just an half Cherokee woman that could be using the Lightfoot name to honor the Lightfoots she knew.

So many conflicting stories!

All I know is these family migrated originally from Virginia and Maryland. As for the previously mentioned Byrds, yes, as far as I can tell, it’s that Byrd family.

Then, on Grandpa’s side of the family, his mother was an Adams.  She didn’t come from the Presidential Adams line, but its believed that her Adams is related to those Adams. For certain, she is related to Helen Keller. I knew Helen’s mother was an Adams, and they always claimed she was from the Presidential family. My dad said growing up, it was a family story that his Grandma was one of those Adams.

Family stories usually have a tint of truth with them.

This same grandmother is related to Mather family, nearly a majority of the founders of Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA, and a majority of the Boston Brahmans.

On my mother’s side of the family, I haven’t had much luck.  My grandfather’s side is going to be hard since his parents came from Austria-Hungary.  Yes, I said Austria-Hungary.

Grandmother’s side, however, is interesting. Her great-grandfather could be a Coloured man. He was born in South Africa but lived a majority of his life in Canada.  I can’t get anymore details than that.  If true, his father was Scottish and his mother was KhoiKhoi. Nothing I can prove at the moment.

She had another great-grandfather die in the Civil War as a Confederate POW.  He died in Georgia, but I don’t know if he died at Andersonville or Camp Lawton.  My heart tells me he died in route from Andersonville to Camp Lawton.  His body isn’t buried too far from Savannah, so I did visit it, once.  And this great-grandfather’s wife is descendant from traitorous Loyalists that chose the Crown over the Colonies.  Yes, one literally moved his entire family to New Brunswick because they were that loyal to the Crown.

On her mother’s side, she’s descendant from Robert the Bruce. And one of her mother’s best friends was L.M. Montgomery. I do recall my grandmother loved watching “Anne of Green Gables” when on TV. I still see Collen Dewhurst on my screen when I think of Anne.

But the one united factor in all these stories?  They were always on the move. They were the rebellious ones. They risked wealth for adventure or for other means. They were sinners and they were saints.

I joked with my dad he needs to take one of those DNA tests.  I think he’d ruin it for everyone. And if the KhoiKhoi is there if I took the test, I would laugh.  My family is all pasty white.

But still, who am I?  I feel so small compared to some of these people in my line.

But hey, it’s pretty cool knowing my distant cousins are Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, and Juliette Gordon Low, to name a few. Amelia and I share Thomas Stanley. Helen, Juliette, and I all share Robert Adams.  There could be more, but these are the most direct links at the moment. However, these are all awesome women I grew up having as roles models AND I have visited their birthplaces. And then there is also the fact that one of my best friend’s husband is a distant cousin. Those Edmundsons also married the Blounts, as well as the Smithwicks did, and that led to our relationship. I have proven it on the Smithwick side; now to to show how the Edmundsons come into play.


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