I enjoy the e-newsletter The Weekly Genealogist from the New England Historical Genealogical Society. It has genealogy research tips and sources, NEHGS updates, links to family history in the news — and the weekly survey. The latter is fun feature that helps stimulate readers’ own research and occasional blogging. If you wish, you can send in a short answer and some are used in the following week’s newsletter.
This week’s question provides great inspiration for blogging: Who is your favorite ancestor? This is a tough question as we likely have many “favorite” ancestors for different reasons. But it makes us mull over what we’ve learned doing family history and how our ancestors may have influenced us in unique ways. My short list includes:
- Elizabeth Bradley, courageous widow of Danyell Broadley of Bingley, Yorkshire, England, who sailed across the Atlantic about 1648 to the New Haven Colony with her daughter and four sons, ages 16 to 6. Her step-son William Bradley is said to have urged her to come. The English Civil War was raging between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists so it was thought to be a good time to leave. She settled in Guilford, Connecticut, and married twice more. Elizabeth’s youngest son Stephen Bradley is my ancestor.
- Aaron Bradley who enlisted twice in the American Revolution in Litchfield, Connecticut, and is my DAR Patriot Ancestor. Aaron went on to run a blacksmith shop, tavern, inn and store in the Bantam area of the Town of Litchfield, Litchfield County, during the Era of Stagecoaches. For several decades the area was called Bradleyville. He served as a Selectman for 9 years, represented Litchfield in the Connecticut Assemby 6 times, and had one or both of his daughters educated at Sarah Pierce’s Female Academy. His oldest son Horace Bradley is my ancestor.
- William Henry Luehr, born in New Holstein, Wisconsin, to parents who immigrated from Holstein, Germany, in 1858. He was the first ancestor in our family to complete college, namely the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He graduated on 19 Jun 1889 with a bachelor of letters degree, English Course, a college major we share. He worked briefly in newspapering, as I did, and then was a respected educator. I have a hunch I inherited my love of writing from him as well as from my father. And William Henry took great care to preserve his parents’ legacy, preparing a booklet with their story and photos and a fine memorial at the New Holstein City Cemetery. Perhaps my love of genealogy comes in part from him as well. His daughter Lucille Marguerite Luehr Conger is my ancestor.
Now, who is your favorite ancestor? And why?
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