Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Family history...

Since I've been researching Texas pioneer families, I thought I'd share a bit about my own family history.

My father's family arrived in the United States around 1900. They came from the area of Chihuahua, Mexico. My Grandfather and Grandmother were teenagers and I assume they met after their individual families had immigrated to Texas. My Great Grandfather was a Congregational minister in Mexico. My Great Grandmother came from a wealthy Spanish family. She was disowned when she married my Great Grandfather, probably because he was of the mixed race (Spanish and Indian) and wasn't Catholic. After coming to the United States, my Grandfather attended seminary in El Paso, Texas and became a Baptist minister. He traveled throughout Texas and New Mexico spreading the Gospel. He later contracted tuberculosis (probably through his travels) and died when my father was only nine years old. I'm looking forward to meeting him in heaven!!

My mother's family can be traced back to Germany to the late 1600's. Our ancestors came to America and settled in Pennsylvania. At least one fought in the American Revolution, which means I am eligible to join the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution). Another fought in the Civil War. My Great Grandfather participated in the land run known as the "Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889" (pictured), where would-be pioneer's raced on foot, horseback and wagon for a piece of the two million acres the government opened for settlement. (It was, of course, Indian Territory.) He wasn't a "Sooner", which describes those cheaters who staked out land ahead of the opening day, and ended up with a parcel of property he later sold.

I'm proud of my heritage. My ancestors, like most of yours, sought a better life for themselves and their families. The comfortable life I'm blessed with is a direct result of their hard work, sacrifices and dedication.

Thank you, Ancestors!

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