Family rebels

On my father’s side, his father’s branch are English. Most families would boast of the illustrious ancestors, but mine boast about the black sheep. I am related to the last man to be publicly hanged for poaching in Sherwood Forest. My father’s father’s sister’s child, who is my age, went to Nottingham to check this legend and said that it appears to be true. I do not know his name. After his hanging, there were still hangings but they were not public. You couldn’t gather up your children and a picnic and go to see the punishment and gruesome death.

My father’s mother’s side are the Scots. My greatgrandfather is in the 1901 census in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in his late teens, with his father, a French stepmother and many half siblings. He played saxophone in John Phillip Sousa’s band and toured the world. Links in the Sousa website lead to a book with my greatgrandfather in the index. I have a very newsy letter that he wrote to me in the early 1970s.

My mother’s grandparents were Congregationalist Ministers, at least the males. The women were ministers’ wives. They were in Iowa and one was part of the Iowa Band, a group of twelve ministers from Andover that went to the wild frontier to spread the gospel: the frontier was Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. They started Iowa College that later became Grinnell. I have lots of relatives that went to Grinnell, including a first cousin. My mother’s mother’s father went off to Turkey with his family to help start Anatolia College, that moved to Greece at the start of World War I.

morris temple and cornelia

The photographs are Cornelia Temple and Morris Temple “about 1860”. They were in my mother’s father’s lineage, and my middle name is Temple.

2 thoughts on “Family rebels

  1. Family histories are so vital. They ground us. My own history is vast and gives me the feeling of belonging. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

    • drkottaway says:

      My family history makes me an excellent physician for working with addiction. Sigh. But I have some wonderful family members too: my father’s sisters…..

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