I’ve always had an interest in genealogy. I even took a class in college, but I never got very far, only to about my paternal great grandparents. I got further with my mother’s side of the family, Uncle H sent me a tree, but sadly it’s back in AZ in a box somewhere and with him in Thailand now, I will have to wait until I go back to my parents house to see if I can’t find it again.
However now thanks to my Uncle S I have a great deal more on my Dad’s paternal side, all the way back to 1673 in Virginia and back to 1808 in Germany on his maternal side. One of the problems with finding information about the maternal side is many of the records were lost due to bombing during WWII. Someday though I will go to Germany and see if anything can be found.
As pleased as I am having so much more of my family tree than I did before I am still frustrated. (This genealogy thing can make you obsessive!) Try as I might, I can’t seem to get past my ancestor Abraham Farrow and 1673. And as far as I can tell on the internet, no one else has been able to trace any further than that either. I did find some documents that speculated that Abraham or his father emigrated from County Durham in England but the connections cannot be confirmed without a ship passenger list or some sort of immigration record. But I have a feeling it’s out there and I will find it. First I will start with Virginia and then when I move next year I can see if I can find anything over in England.
Interestingly, I did find out that Rosemary Clooney and George Clooney and I share some common ancestors, William Farrow, my 4x Great Grandfather and his wife Elizabeth Shores my 4x Great Grandmother. The Clooney’s line comes from William and Elizabeth’s son Orson and mine come from their son Valentine. William’s father Joseph was a wagoner in the Revolutionary War. (Which I think means he transported the supplies) I haven’t found out yet if any of my family was in the Civil War or what side they may have been on, but judging from the geography and lifestyle I am going to guess Confederate. I always imagined my ancestors to be simple but poor farmers just trying to catch a break. Instead I got wealthy plantation owners that owned slaves. I actually found documents that named some of my ancestors slaves! I don’t feel good about this, I mean there isn’t anything I can do about it now but still it’s a bit disconcerting. The only thing I can do is stand up for people’s human rights today and hopefully when future generations do their genealogy they can look back to this generation and feel a bit better about it. (That is if they haven’t invented some horrible alien slave trade like the Ood or something..)
The other problem I found while examining the possible family tree was that there were bits that didn’t fit together. For example, it was said that the Farrows descended from the Virginia Farrars and as near as I can ascertain, this just isn’t true. The dates seem dodgy and the Farrar genealogy seems pretty well documented and their is no mention of an Abraham anywhere. It seems that the Farrows and Farrars are in fact two separate families at least in the 1600’s in America.
This brings me to the next issue: that of the Farrars being related to the Baron Ferrers of Groby and to the de Ferrers, the Earls of Derby. Apparently this is a popular notion but it just isn’t true either. The line is broken when it gets to Henry Ferror who was apparently a well to do merchant in Yorkshire but not the son of Henry Ferrer, at least as far as anyone can tell although it’s doubtful as the neither the geography or the timeline fit together. Of course if our Farrow line isn’t related to the Fararrs then it’s a moot point anyway, at least from my point of view.
So the search continues, and who knows maybe I will find out I am descended from Nobility after all…but I am not holding my breath. 😉