Last week NEHGS staff posted a new message on the Society’s Facebook page: “My favorite ancestor is . . . because . . .” Many people found those five words to be quite evocative because they prompted eighty-three comments on the topic as of Wednesday morning.
Here are some of the responses:
Roxanne Richardson: My favorite ancestor is my second great-grandmother Emily (Emma) Forder, b. 1849, in Indiana to her English immigrant parents, William and Maria (Wells) Forder. Emma has given me more genealogical fun for my money than any other ancestor. She lived to be just a few months short of 100 years, had four husbands, migrated a total of 6,000 miles over the course of her lifetime, and had six children, one of whom died and another of whom she gave up for adoption.
Laurie Davis: My great-grandmother, Chessell Abigail Bryant Davis. She raised 16 kids and was named Maine Mother of the Year in 1959.
Becky Mascari: I have way too many to count but here are two: My second great-grandmother, Angelica Fritcher, for running me around in circles for years thinking her maiden name was really Fletcher. Bless her for naming one of her sons John Fritcher Davis. My second one is Encyclopedia Britannica Dewey, because who can't love a name like that?
Debora Norton: My great-grandparents — Dr. John Billings and Jessie Wheldon — she for being strong enough to march in front of a May Day parade wearing men's pants, demanding women be able to vote and he, for loving her and standing by her in an era where men did not allow their women to exhibit such reckless behavior.
Lynda Gutierrez: My great-great-grandmother Rachel Mary (Westcott) Trefry (1833–1920), who accompanied her sea captain husband on tall ships throughout much of the world from their Nova Scotia home. She even gave birth to two children while at sea! Her evident spirit of adventure and joy for life is inspirational.
Joyce Chambers: My favorite is Joanna Williams, born 1838 in Wales and buried in a tiny cemetery in Kansas. After searching for her grave and almost giving up, I felt her spirit standing beside me and telling me to turn around — and there was her headstone.
Darlene Hill Burbine: Henry Bozyol Hill (born Nov. 1823 in Salem, Mass., died 4 Aug. 1913, East Boston, Mass.) was an amazing man who helped his mother support his four younger siblings when he was about thirteen, after his father fell overboard and was killed by a shark ! He was an author, business owner, politician, Vice President of the MSPCA, and helped start a national bank in East Boston. He had setbacks, but never gave up.
Karon Towns: My mom, Donna Lorraine (Bowens) Aldrich. She introduced me to the rest of my ancestors.
If you’d like to read more favorite ancestor stories and share your own, please visit the NEHGS Facebook page.