Saturday, August 29, 2009

2,048 = me

image courtesy of

I mentioned in one of my posts (things you probably didn’t want to know) that I am a 12th generation American.  We have two fully documented lineages that go back to the 1600s, one from England, the other from Germany.  The English line got here earlier, 1647, the German line, 1728.  Actually, there is a third lineage (possibly German as well) that goes back even earlier to the 1500s but there is a gap of nearly 200 years in documentation...from a 1561 patent of 400 acres in Northunberland Co, VA to a 1720 birth in VA.  Family legend has it that it is the same line but we don’t have the documentation to back it up.  If true, that would make me 15th or 16th gen.  My grandkids, possibly 17th generation.

I can go back to the early 1600s on the Storm linage. From Hardin to Oder, possibly mid 1500s.  Posey as far as the 1700s, same for Abbott to Pulliam.  Sims and others to mid 1800s.  These are the names the farthest back I know them on the Hall lineage (mid 1600s).  

Thomas Hall and Margery Claxton - arrived Virginia 1647

  John Hall (I) and Elizabeth

    John Hall (II) (wife unknown)

      John Hall (III) and Sarah (last name unknown)

        Nathan Hall and Anne Rowe

          Nancy Hall and Coonrod Storms - moved to Kentucky

            Randolph Storms and Catherine Hardin

             Jonathon Storms and Mary Ellen Posey - moved to Texas

               Sarah Storms and Wilson Sims

                Edith Sims and John De Bace

                  Johnnie Lou Bace and Jack Abbott

                    Ellen Abbott 

11 generations counting backward is 2,048 people to make me, the 12th generation.  2 to make me.  4 to make them.  8 to make them...

I am a little awed by that.  Not that I have so many generations under my belt.  Everyone living has lineages that go back to, well, emergence.  Otherwise we wouldn’t be here, right?  But I have at least a few ancestors that came over to the new world early on.  The earliest known, Thomas Hall, born 1625 in England received a grant of land in Norfolk county VA on the southern branch of the Elizabeth river for transporting six persons to that colony.  My people traveled from Virginia and Pennsylvania to Kentucky and then to Texas.  My line, down to my grandkids, has been in Texas for 7 generations.  I have ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  We have provided the army with sustenance.  We have been slave owners.  We have been preachers and built churches.  We have been kidnapped by Native Americans and had children because of it.  We have been involved in feuds and kicked to death by horses.  We have bought and sold land.  We built railroads and made dresses.  We were an engineer and a doctor and finally to me, an artist and I have seen the line extend two more generations.   I like to think that whatever genetic material I have will continue to march on to the very end.


  1. It sure makes you awed. What you learned about your family is really fascinating and so American.

    I've never researched my family tree and I only know about a few generations. I'm sure it must be interesting (no matter what I would find).

    I'm sure you enjoy seeing your genes go on. :) Aren't kids great?

  2. I keep thinking that I'll explore my family tree sometime - I think it would be really interesting. Yours certainly is!

  3. So, are you a member of DAR ?

    My sister has traced my Dad's family & we just missed coming over on the three famous boats.

    I'm a Dodge from Dodge City, Kansas ...

  4. hey ellen, cool!! very cool!! i haven't thought of it all that way before. hmmmm. 'cause you know it goes back farther. so there's a chance for a lot of refinement . . . lots of special skills and abilities to be honed to a fine edge!!!! i like that!!! great post for thinking about!! steven

  5. The idea of each of us hosting untold numbers of ancestors in our genes is a new one for me, though it seems so obvious. What's great about this post is how it brings national and local history so vividly to life through your use of "we".

  6. My sister is into genealogy, she traced our family tree back to France and Ireland. Rumor is, we have French royalty in our blood. Who knew? And potato farmer's, oh...and this made me so sad, slave owners.

    You have a proud lineage, how wonderful!

  7. Well now I feel good. NOT. All those generations, struggling and surviving, stretching out ad infinitum behind me, only to have me drop the ball and end it here. (my son is my heart's child, not my biological one). Mom always said that girls who whistle come to bad ends, and here I am, living proof.

  8. Fireblossom, this is so not true: we do not only pass our genes on, but also our way of thnking and feeling, through the teaching to our kids. I'm sure your son would agree and so would you, looking at him. :) A boy teased my cousin, also adopted, that his mom was not his REAL mo, but his answer was quick and clear: of course she is, she's the one that loves me!

    But you know that already, don't you? Family trees are interesting, but adopting a chid instead of bringing one to this world is just another way to be a parent. If that doesn't fit into a family tree, hey, who cares?

  9. Fireblossom - Minkha ir so right. My grandson is not my daughter's birth child but she (and we) have had him from the day he was born. I count him among my descendants. I hope there was humor in your reply because I wouldn't want to cause you any ill feelings.

  10. JC - Wow, a Dodge from Dodge cool is that!

    No, I am not a member of the DAR though obviously I could be if I wanted to. I'm really not much of a joiner.

  11. THAT is fascinating stuff! Not just that you followed your lineage back so far, but that you had the energy to do it!

    I know I would probably enjoy knowing my family roots (as only the second generation to be born in America from Russia), I don't have the interest to trace.

    Of course, you could do it for me...

  12. Well, Alix, I would love to take credit for it, but actually my mother did some of it, but mostly my sister (who does all that cool stuff). I did go with her once on a jaunt around the hill country and helped her look stuff up in the books of vital statistics and censuses.

  13. Thank you so much, Minka and Ellen for your thoughtful replies to my comment. So true! And yes, there was some humor in there, Ellen. ;-)

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