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The importance of heritage...

heritage lineage genealogy

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#1    Jeremiah65

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:27 PM

I had no idea where to post this and this seemed to be the best place....I need some genealogy help....

The importance of heritage…why we are who we are.

I am going to toss this out to the brilliant scholars and historians of this site because there are many here much smarter than me.

My family is a funny lot…. we bicker back and forth over our origins because as we roll back time…it get more foggy and unclear.  I “get it” that we came from western Europe…but the specifics get foggy the further back we go.

This is what I have been told and to the best of my ability…. what I have been able to uncover.

My family is basically Scott-Irish with a splash of Scandinavian thrown in for good measure.

My mother’s family is the McClure’s.  From what I have been told and researched…. the McClures actually began in Scotland.  The migrated to Ireland and called themselves “MacClure and eventually accepted the Irish spelling of McClure.  Before they were MacClure…they were MacCleod….which means “son of Leod”…Leod was a Viking chief that invaded Scotland in the 7th century….effectively he aided in the extermination or “breeding out” of the native Picts.   Not necessarily a wonderful heritage…but it is what it is.

My father’s family…gets a little strange.  There are several origins for the family name…”Stephens”.  It could be from several sources…. from appearances…my family has all the traits of Irish/Scandinavian.  My cousins…god bless them…. have pale white skin and carrot red hair…I’m not talking about 1 odd one here and there…my Uncle Jerry has 14 kids and 8 of them are absolutely pale with red hair…not a genetic oddity…it appears to be pretty consistent.  Yes…I said that…my uncle Jerry has 14 kids…that is not a lie.

According to family legend…. one of  our ancestors was a captain in William the Conqueror’s army in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings….which leads us to Norman…which was actually Scandinavian…not French or “Franc”.  I have done a bit of research into the “Francs” reaching back to Charlemagne…the Normans were NOT Francs….the Anglo-Saxons…well…I know where Saxony was….basically modern day Germany….Not so sure where the Anglo comes from.  Confused on this…I try to research this back and it gets foggy drawing in the Visigoths and such…very hard to pin down.

My family, on my fathers side displays all the traits of a Scandinavian people, but we migrated to the USA from Ireland in the early 1800’s.  My mothers family….the McClure’s…came to America in the 1700’s….3 brothers that landed in South Carolina.

I am tossing this out there to you very clever historians because I have hit a dead end on my father’s side and I am hoping some of you clever folks might be able to point me in the right direction.  My mother’s side is documented in actual hard bound books…they have tracked the McClure’s back for over a millennium…I really can’t argue with that….but I am very interested in tracking my fathers side back at least as far….any help or directions you could point me in would be extremely helpful….and appreciated…

Edit to add....

Yes I have done the online genealogy stuff....they only go back so far....I am looking for ancient origins here....all help is appreciated....

Edited by Jeremiah65, 19 May 2013 - 04:30 PM.

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#2    Jessica Christ

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:24 PM

Maybe you father's ancestors were Scots-Irish? They were Protestants.

As for where Anglo comes from in Anglo-Saxon, like Saxony which was on the continent, Angeln was also on the continent. It is where we get the words England and English from.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 19 May 2013 - 05:29 PM.


#3    Jeremiah65

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:09 PM

View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 19 May 2013 - 05:24 PM, said:

Maybe you father's ancestors were Scots-Irish? They were Protestants.

As for where Anglo comes from in Anglo-Saxon, like Saxony which was on the continent, Angeln was also on the continent. It is where we get the words England and English from.

Thanks LBA.

The hard part is the possible multiple sources of my father's family name.  There are records of it in Germany, Norway and Ireland.  It could be any of them....and then there is the link to the Battle of Hastings...which was Norman.  You can research the name and sure enough...there was a supposed Captain named Stephens there....the family legend is far older than the internet so I have to at least allow a little plausibility to it because ...well...my family are country folks and the chance of them researching that and making the connection out of hope is slim....they aren't that clever or deceptive.  I have to accept a certain level of possibility because...well I know my family and they would never be able to research this stuff pre-internet age and claim it.  So this is the dilemma....I trust the legends have honest roots....the stories have been told for ages.  Just how accurate...I don't know.

"Stephens" is not a rare name....pretty common for the time.  But there are so many possible sources...which leads me to believe it must go back even further to a common source....perhaps that is incorrect thinking.  Based on "common" wisdom...names generally spawn out of a common source.  The other whack is the spelling.  There are many folks here in America that use the name "Stevens"....that are actually the same family....the spelling of "Stephens" is older....but they chose to change their spelling when they got here. Madness from a tracking standpoint.  Not only that....so many people just arbitrarily changed their name when they arrived here....pretty hard to track.

I am just trying to chase this thing as far back as I can.  We have long ago established the actual migration to America and the trip through Ellis Island....yes....we were "legal" immigrants...imagine that....some folks want to fight about it....we did it the way everyone is supposed to do it so .....not going to fight about it...we win.

I hope some of the brilliant historians on this site can help me and point me in a direction....I know specific genealogy is rare but maybe they have read something or at least can point a finger.

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"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."  Thomas Jefferson

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#4    Jessica Christ

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:26 PM

The Companions of William the Conqueror, those who fought with him at Hastings, were all highly rewarded. Many held positions of nobility.

It would be harder to imagine they would end up as immigrants to America.

Of course in Ireland some to this day still know which families are originally from Ireland and which came with William the Conqueror.

Some also came as simple fiddlers in his army.

So, nothing definitive, but maybe this sparse bit of information could help you.


#5    cormac mac airt

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:52 PM

View PostJeremiah65, on 19 May 2013 - 04:27 PM, said:


~SNIP~

Yes I have done the online genealogy stuff....they only go back so far....I am looking for ancient origins here....all help is appreciated....

When you say you've done the online genealogy stuff what sites have you actually used?

cormac

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#6    shrooma

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:43 PM

the normans weren't french, they were descendants of vikings, 'north man' 'norse man', maybe that's where your scandinavian part comes from?

Edited by shrooma, 19 May 2013 - 07:45 PM.

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#7    Lady Shade

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:04 PM

Your lucky you can find your family history. My great-grandmother got pregnant out of wedlock (big no-no back then). She later married a man and gave her son her husbands last name (Estelow). She promised to tell her son his real fathers name before she died but she took it to her grave. So we cannot trace our real family history on my fathers side. :no:

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#8    The Puzzler

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 05:15 AM

Stephen or Stephans is a Germanic name but it is a line of Gaelic too. In the clan MacTavish. Have you checked that out, all the red hair...

Stephen is a surname of Anglo-Welsh and German origin. It is an extremely rare surname and is usually found as a first name. It is thought to have originated from the German-speaking world as (Von) Stephan.
Stephen is the 83,845 most common surname in the USA.[2]
MacStèaphain (Scottish Gaelic) Stephen is a sept of the clan MacTavish.

http://en.wikipedia....tephen_(surname)

My surname is a Celtic spelling of an English sounding name, my ancestor came here from Cornwall, so my surname probably represents that. It appears to have been created when many surnames were, after William took England, and is apparently a Norman name also. My Dad hardly looks Viking but names were created at that time for the Domesday Book. DNA testing might take you somewhere which is where I'm going with it.
Also, I could swear that Chancelade Man from France is an ancestor of my line, even though that is 16,000BC, because everything about him and his skull features looks like my Pop and I find them on myself.

Edited by The Puzzler, 20 May 2013 - 05:16 AM.

In an mmm bop it's gone...

#9    Jeremiah65

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 05:36 PM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 19 May 2013 - 06:52 PM, said:

When you say you've done the online genealogy stuff what sites have you actually used?

cormac

Ancestry.com and genealogy.com.  They showed me relatives I didn't know I had,  But it just doesn't go back far enough.

I need to make a leap somewhere...I keep hitting dead ends.

It's possible I might not be able to go any further...The farther you go back, the less written records there are.

Consider this...the family has been....prolific over the ages...to put it mildly.

My grandmother was one of 15 (two sets of twins in the family), she was born in 1897(She died in 1990 at the age of 93...died on her birthday...Told my aunt the year before that she would die on the day she came into this world...but that is another story).  She in turn had 13 children and just one of those (my uncle Jerry that I mentioned earlier) had 14.  I am the youngest of 6.

Edited by Jeremiah65, 20 May 2013 - 05:47 PM.

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#10    Jeremiah65

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:30 PM

I contacted the Historical Society of Stephens City ,Virginia today (actually called the New Town Historical society).  I knew our family migrated into West Virginia(well it was Virginia at the time) from that area and it seemed like a logical place to dig around.

It seems that the family first settled in Pennsylvania and was given a land grant from Lord Fairfax which they in turn used to make what was called "New Town" Virgina...that became Stephensburg and that eventually became what is know as "Stephen's City" today.  "Peter" Stephens and his son founded the town in the 1730's.  It was chartered and named after Lewis Stephens in 1758.

The family....according to the people I spoke to...(who Identified my forefathers as far back as I have been able to track)...My name on this forum board is not actually my name by the way...it is the name of my great (x3) grandfather...born in Augusta, Virginia in 1815 (which is now Augusta, West Virginia.)

Jeremiah Stephens is on the public record....and they are....(drumroll please)....German.  Never would have guessed it.  According to what I have dug up today....they came from Heidelberg....fun stuff....now to see where this leads me.

Edited by Jeremiah65, 20 May 2013 - 06:40 PM.

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"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."  Thomas Jefferson

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#11    cormac mac airt

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:36 PM

View PostJeremiah65, on 20 May 2013 - 05:36 PM, said:

Ancestry.com and genealogy.com.  They showed me relatives I didn't know I had,  But it just doesn't go back far enough.

I need to make a leap somewhere...I keep hitting dead ends.

It's possible I might not be able to go any further...The farther you go back, the less written records there are.

Consider this...the family has been....prolific over the ages...to put it mildly.

My grandmother was one of 15 (two sets of twins in the family), she was born in 1897(She died in 1990 at the age of 93...died on her birthday...Told my aunt the year before that she would die on the day she came into this world...but that is another story).  She in turn had 13 children and just one of those (my uncle Jerry that I mentioned earlier) had 14.  I am the youngest of 6.

Genforum, WorldConnect Project, familysearch.org and Foundation for Medieval Genealogy can all be of help as well. Particularly the latter one if you can connect to royalty or nobility.

cormac

Edited by cormac mac airt, 20 May 2013 - 06:38 PM.

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#12    Jeremiah65

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:01 PM

By the way....thank you puzzler....you were completely correct.  The correct spelling when we arrived...."Stephans"....an "A" instead of a second "E".  What the guy at the Historical society told me is when I am running this down....he said don't be shy in assuming your family members went by their "middle" name...apparently at the time it was common for the family to name everyone "Hans" and they would be known by their middle name....So Jeremiah....was actually "Hans Jeremiah Stephens"....which somewhat accounts for the frustration I have had trying to find family names.

I actually had no idea it went back so far.  I had been told (incorrectly) that we immigrated in the early 1800's....it seems we were here a good hundred years before that.

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"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."  Thomas Jefferson

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#13    Oniomancer

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:40 PM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 20 May 2013 - 06:36 PM, said:

Genforum, WorldConnect Project, familysearch.org and Foundation for Medieval Genealogy can all be of help as well. Particularly the latter one if you can connect to royalty or nobility.

cormac

One should be careful about using Familysearch. The public records are ok but the genealogies are sometimes questionable. LDS members are required to submit genealogies but not verify them. I've seen things on there that either didn't pan out when I cross checked them or were just plain wrong. (this can tranfer over to other online genealogies that use the LDS as a source) That's where sites like Genforum and the Rootsweb forums come in handy. You can actually check your facts with other researchers who've been doing this a lot longer.

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#14    cormac mac airt

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:59 PM

View PostOniomancer, on 20 May 2013 - 07:40 PM, said:

One should be careful about using Familysearch. The public records are ok but the genealogies are sometimes questionable. LDS members are required to submit genealogies but not verify them. I've seen things on there that either didn't pan out when I cross checked them or were just plain wrong. (this can tranfer over to other online genealogies that use the LDS as a source) That's where sites like Genforum and the Rootsweb forums come in handy. You can actually check your facts with other researchers who've been doing this a lot longer.

This is true and it's also true about most any other genealogy site which has information other than public records. Having said that, it can quite often provide clues that may be of some help in furthering one's genealogy.

cormac

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#15    Mike D boy

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:00 PM

A person's heritage, whether from their family and culture (ethnic or national) is a prized identity of human beings, wanting to connect with their ancestors and sometimes, the homeland of their familial ancestry. Go farther back in time, you find the earliest human family records you descended from and the lesson is all humans sprouted from one common ancestor milions of years ago, but history doesn't go farther back than the Sumerians' earliest clay tablets dated from 5000 BC.

My father's Fleming and French ancestors' family tree dates back to the 16th century in church genealogical records, while my Mom's side includes Scottish or Ulster Scot (the Scotch Irish), Anglo-English and German (Bavarian and Silesian) immigrants and Native Americans of the Cherokee Nation of pre-statehood Oklahoma with additional Osage, Shawnee and Lenni-Lenape (Delaware) tribal members blended in.

I'm curious to know if I had any relatives, but likely fought in the American Revolution, on both sides of the Civil War and an earlier war against the French (the French-Indian war in the 1750s and 60s) in the then English colonies of America, but I'm related to Davy Crockett the hero of the Texas Revolution as stated in the maternal grandmother's family bible, and had two great-grandfathers fought in World War I (one side for the US, the other for France).

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