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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the trail of my ancestors...

I have always loved family gatherings and the stories that were told.  It wasn't until about two years ago that I decided to try to learn more about my ancestors.

My dad is a great story teller and it sounds like a trait that was passed down in time from his Mother's side of the family.  My grandfather was 50 when my father was born so he was the baby of the family and didn't know many of his grandparents.  The one grandmother he did know lived with the family when she was older and dad was close to her.

So for the dad and his brother are both dark complected and both with coal black hair.  When asked where they got their looks we were told that Grandma Fuller was an Indian who had been abandoned on the prairie or something to that effect. This was the story that she had told my dad.  Other than that he had no idea what her maiden name was or where she was born, etc.

I happen to work with a Radiologist who is a very competent genealogist.   So one day I was asking him how I would find out if there was any Indian blood in our family.  He told me the easiest way would be to do a DNA test.  Since the grandmother in question was dad's maternal grandmother a mtdna test was ordered.  My sister and I purchased this for my dad for his birthday.  We were so excited to have the proof coming our way of the Indian blood that was in our family.

Well the test came back and we were so surprised... not a drop of American Indian in dad's blood!

So if great grandma wasn't Indian then I had to know who she was and where she came from.  From that day on I was hooked on genealogy.

I found that Grandma Margaret Fuller was born to  Elizabeth Byers and Tilghman Overton.  She was born on a homestead near Springfield Nebraska. She married John Fuller who was also living in Sarpy County.  They had 11 child three of whom died young and are buried in the Springfield Cemetery.  The family moved to St. Francis, Ks in January 1900.

This is a far cry from being an Indian child abandoned on the prairie but it made a good story to tell a grandson to keep him interested!

My next blog will deal with another one of her famous stories that stuck with the family for generations having to do with great grandpa dying because he had no thumbs!

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