52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Family Legends

family tree

Legends can be plucked as fruit from every family tree. The tastes can be sweet, sour, savory, salty,  or bitter. When bitten into, they can bring smiles, laughter, sighs, or tears to the one indulging in their flavors. This fruit is always in season. As they are consumed, pits or seeds lie at the core. The core holds the truth of the legend…the real story. The following legends can be picked from my family tree, and then the core truth will be told.

Legend: On my mother’s paternal side, it has been told that an ancestor came from England on the Mayflower…as the story goes, it was not on the maiden voyage but after the Puritans came in 1620.   Truth: Our ancestor George Soule did arrive on this ship. He was the indentured servant of fellow passenger Edward Winslow. He came in 1620.

Legend: The Story family arrived in the Colonies in the mid 1600s. In time, male members of the family would join the Patriots’ cause during the American Revolution. As the expression goes that when someone tells a “story”, that person is telling a lie. Hence, the Story family changed the spelling to Storer so these Patriots would be known as true to the cause and not “story-tellers”.   Truth:  In the 1820s, a branch of the Story family moved to Franklin County, Maine. When going to the land office to register their property, the clerk recorded their surname as Storer. It seems that their Maine accents made the spelling of their name sound like “Storer”. To this present time, different branches of the family spell it either way…we are all related.

Legend: Two brothers, John and Joseph Boultinghouse, emigrated from England. They entered through the port of Boston in 1773 just as the Boston Tea Party was happening. They were witnesses to the protest of taxes on tea. Later, John would head west and Joseph to the east.  Truth: Both brothers were born in the colony of New Jersey in the 1740s, where their parents had also been born. The family is thought to have emigrated from either France or Germany. After their participation in the American Revolution, they received land warrants for property in the Ohio Valley.

Legend: Daniel Boultinghouse was one of the first settlers in Ohio in the late 1790s. Later, he moved on to Illinois where he was part of a militia that protected white settlers from Indian raids. During one of these raids, he was scalped and killed. His grave in on an unknown place on the prairies. He was killed in 1818.   Truth: Daniel died from unknown causes in 1823, and he is buried in a cemetery in White County, Illinois. He was preceded in death by two wives. His third wife and 13 children survived him.

Legend (of a different sort): Melvin M. Storer was a Kansas farm boy who married and started a weatherstripping business. He became interested in genealogy way before  modern technology would make it easier for him. His records were organized papers and folders. When he retired, he decided to travel across the country to meet members of this family. Each person was asked to fill out a 5-page questionnaire about his/her place in the family. He rejoiced in all the genealogy findings he had uncovered. He kept many files in a special briefcase which he carried when he traveled. One day at the airport, he set the briefcase down and turned to speak to a fellow traveler. When he turned around, the case was gone…it had been stolen! Melvin had spent hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours on his work. He lost heart because he would not be able to duplicate his travels and gather the information again. He was devastated…he did not return to his work. He is known in the Storer family as a legendary genealogist.  Truth: The legend continues today with another family member who glories in finding branches on the tree. She is blessed to be able to use modern technology and DNA findings to locate aunts, uncles, cousins. She dedicates her work to her cousin Melvin’s memory…the honest-to-goodness truth of the story.




2 thoughts on “52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Family Legends

  1. So many family legends – and how cool that you’ve been able to research and find the truth about them. If the one about Melvin is true, how heart-breaking. I can’t even imagine it. As for the name change…that’s a very interesting one. How lucky you are to have been able to trace your family back so far!!


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