Maybe it is that I am no longer young and numb, having worn out the young leaving just the numb. Maybe it is because I find myself less connected to the Present world as it spins by me. Or maybe it is because two people, one on the west coast and one on the east coast independently contacted me within two weeks of each other. Both were inquiring about my family's past. Regardless, I find myself becoming fascinated by the chain of events and people who participated in them creating the flow of history that has me playing a bit part here in Maine some 350 years later.
First it was my cousin on my mom's side. I opened my email one morning and there was "Ancestry.com" notifying me that I had been added to a family tree - the Faulkners of San Francisco. I located my cousin whom I had not seen for over 25 years and set him straight on a couple of family miscues on the tree. He had my grandfather right on my father's side but not my grandmother. He also had questions regarding what I might know about the Faulkners as passed down from my mom. Unfortunately, I had precious little as it turned out.
Then yesterday, a journalism student from Pennsylvania contacted me through the Acton Library. She was researching my grandfather, Dr. Robert Shuter Macrum of Sewickley, PA who had died in 1913 at the age of 45. A professor had taken her class to a cemetery in Germantown, PA and told them to pick a headstone and do a biography. She picked my grandfather's. Again I was not of much help other than supplying her with some images and a few kernels of history I had managed to collect by just being around family gatherings at the right time. I actually learned more from her than she did from me.
It appears that one branch of my family has been here since the mid 1600s and were original lessees of land from William Penn. It also appears I have noble Brit blood flowing in my veins and she found a history dating back to the 1000's. That's 1000 years ago. My mind is blown now.
I found out two of my ancestors died in the Neshaminy Flood of 1683 that swept through Bucks County, PA. Their two sons, having been orphaned, were sent back to Barbados to live with relatives until they came of age. One at least returned to try and reclaim his family's land. He had two sons and died in 1705 in or around Philadelphia. He bequeathed his two sons the princely sum of 20 pounds apiece once they reached the age of 21. They had a long wait. They were about ages 4 and 6 when he died. Apparently he was a merchant of some kind as the rest of his will was about dispensing with a barrel of rum, some bolts of cloth, beads and other valuable commodities of that era.
I am now bitten with a new quest. We'll see if I have it in me to chase down more of the history of my family. I supposedly have connections to the very area I live in now through my mom's family. It will be interesting to look into.