Pre-Civil War Period GGGgrandfather was a Kansas territorial judge from Alabama (a slave state), who had worked to have Kansas become a slave state, became embroiled in an altercation with an abolitionist. The judge used a cane to hit the abolitionist over the head and the abolitionist retaliated by shooting the judge. The abolitionist would later die in John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. The judge would years later die from complications of the gunshot wound.
In 1930’s Grandfather’s Cousin identified his brother as being the person run over by automobile, and buried his brother only to have the brother turn up, quite alive, a few weeks later.
Family legend has it that there is relationship to Amy Vanderbilt, the author of the etiquette books of the 1950s and 1960s. Research was able to prove that in fact she was second cousin. Further research also indicated a relationship to Grace Tully one of the secretaries to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Family with no knowledge of family further than great grandfather, but with strong military affiliations, was found to have GGGgrandfather who died in Civil War, and a GGGGgrandfather who was adjutant general for a southern state.
Uncle had died during World War II air maneuvers and had naval ship named after him; military records giving details about the action were found as well as newspaper articles about the christening of the ship. Also found were college yearbook pictures of the uncle.