Saturday, April 3, 2010

SNGF: Degrees of Separation

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings looked fun, but was slightly depressing.
1) Find an ancestral line that stretches back to the time of the US Revolutionary War (1775-1783), about 230 years. Define your person-to-person connection (the person actually met the next person on the list) back to a historical figure from that time.
Since the challenge only specified time, and not location, I actually considered seeing what I could do with my father's chart. The earliest ancestor I have is a Meer Kruvond born "before 1795." I can definitely imagine parents, but I have no idea who they would have come in contact with in Cekiske, Kaunas, Lithuania. I remember my great grandmother, Bertha (Cruvant) Newmark, quite well, so I could get off to a very good start on that chain.

So I turned my attention to my mother's side, and that's when I realized how few generations I was able to skip in the process.

1) I know my mother.
2) My mother knew her mother, Myrtle (Van Every) Deutsch (1900-1951).
3) Myrtle Van Every knew her father, Melvin Van Every (1863-1929)
4) Melvin Van Every knew his grandfather, Andrew Van Every (1798-1873). (In a letter Melvin wrote Myrtle, he recalls receiving a half-dime from his grandfather.)
5) Andrew Van Every knew his father, David Van Every (1757-1820)

David Van Every, a loyalist from Poughkeepsie, NY, served under the leadership of Colonel John Butler, in Butler's Rangers. David also served very briefly in the New York militia, before joining the Loyalist side...I'm not sure who he met while there.

Or I could take a slight detour

4) Melvin Van Every knew his mother, Abigail Stuart (1825-1866), albeit only for three years.
5) Abigail most likely knew her grandfather, Israel Swayze, Jr (1753-1844)

Israel Swayze, Jr was a loyalist from Hope, New Jersey. I'm not sure where he served, but once he migrated to Niagara, he himself became quite prominent locally.
THE BEAVERDAMS CHURCH 1832: Early in the 1790's a group of settlers in this area had been converted to Methodism and formed a Class with in 1795, was included in the newly-established Niagara Circuit. Services were held in the home of a prominent local settler, Israel Swayze, and camp meetings took place on his property. - Beaverdams Church Historical Plaque
Town meetings were also held in his home between 1806 and 1809.

Note: Israel Jr's grandfather, Judge Samuel Swayze, is my shared ancestor with the late actor.

1 comment:

poemblaze said...

Fun challenge.

I am descended from Maj. John Cessna who was in charge of Courts Marshal at Valley Forge and Capt. Duncan McVicker who was paymaster at Valley Forge, so I would assume both knew George Washington.