A Synopsis For My Younger Family Members (Details to be found elsewehere)
| My main conclusion after years of limited research is that we are primarily, if not all, western European. I say limited research because I have not traveled overseas and met with language experts to read foreign documents. I have stalked cemeteries, searched marriage records, birth records, and death certificates. I have poured over censuses and last wills and testaments, even some court cases over land and inheritances. I have visited the local historical society, and had books loaned from other libraries to our library, to read what has been published about our ancestors. I found Civil War records in the Library of Congress. And I have used a great deal of other people's research, who have traveled and interviewed others.
I've heard rumors of Indian blood from both my parents sides, but have not been able to substantiate them. On Dad's mother's side, there were three elderly people who claimed in the 1980's that they personally knew the Indian woman (she'd have been born in the 1800's), and they were willing to testify to the researcher, who was also a notary, but he became ill and died before he could complete this action. They're all gone by the time I started to pursue geneology. I only knew of it because he was working with my grandmother to obtain data.
On Mom's side, there was a whole story involving a blacksmith (like Quint Asper on 'Gunsmoke'). All the details check out except that the Indian heritage. In both cases, the person in question had a wedding certificate, but the mother's name was blank. In Virginia, if the court clerk, always men in the 1800's, didn't approve of one of the parents, he left the name off. So there is a remote possibility in both cases, but it can't be proved with this time lapse.
On the Marshall side, the only thing I can find beyond American soil is English. The Wright's, with the exception of possible Indian, may have some Welsh, but is mostly English or unknown. These lines have not been researched well or recorded. One exception is the claim to Christopher Newport, of Newport News. I don't have much American history on these families, other than names in the census.There are no stories before the 1900's.
On Dad's side, there is much to tell. The Smith's were mostly Scottish or English. One of the family trees can go back to before 1000 AD. There are two Scottish kings, father and son, both short terms. MacBeth was a cousin to an ancestor. An English king was a cousin to a Scottish ancestor, way back. The Smith tree was in Virginia by 1700, but I can't find anything earlier or how they got there. Stories worth telling start to show up prior to the Civil War, and then get dull again after World War I.
I have been more successful getting background on Dad's mother's side. She was mostly of German and French descent. There is a lot of data that goes back to the 900's in the Channel Islands. We had ancestors from both Guernsey and Jersey. One family tree is Sweedish, one is Swiss, one is Bavarian. David the Immigrant was English. His daughter, Sarah the Immigrant, may be English, the daughter of his "lady" wife, or Irish, if she is the daughter of his Irish mistress. (Why did he immigrate without his wife? Maybe for the welfare of his illigitimate daughter?) I do have some sail dates and stories of some of these families. These stories will make you feel like rebel blood is flowing through your veins.
Dad's mother was fifth cousins with Ike Eisenhower, through his mother's side, Ida Stover. Patrick Henry ("Give me liberty of give me death") was a nephew of a direct ancestor. A General Clapsaddle was in the family tree and would have been well known about 100 years ago. We even have a Wild West story of a card playing drunk who shot a cheater in Oregon. There were a lot of ministers in the family over the last few centuries. We have a lot of poor dirt famers and a few craftsmen in the tree.