wow Geebs, that is quite a developing story you have. Whod a thunk you may have a Globetrotter in your ancestry?
I have been researching my family for several years and have uncovered quite a bit, just on the internet. I am descended from 8 families who sailed with William Penn's fleet of ships in 1682, they are on both my mom's and dad's side of the family. I am NOT descended from any family on the Mayflower. I am a proud member of The Daughters of the American Revolution; my 4 greats grandfather Ichabod Wilkinson served in that war. I have 4 ancestors who served in the American Revolution, but you have to be able to prove your ancestry, generation by generation, in order to apply for membership.
Probably the most astonishing fact I learned from the internet is that another 4 greats grandfather, in 1832, built a house in Logan County Ohio, with secret compartments, expressly to house slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. That story was not passed down through the family. It took me a while to confirm that this was my direct ancestor, but it was.
A great great grandfather worked for 38 years for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, from 1870 until his death in 1908. It was this fellow that got me into genealogy. I had just taken possession of some of his collected artifacts, when I realized I knew nothing about this man. Well, 2 stories had been passed down about him, but neither was true.
And the most interesting and mysterious family character is one of my great grandfathers, Ralph Wesley Clayton. His obituary states he worked for the US Secret Service and by the time of his death in 1918, had visited every capital in the world. The obituary states "no publication of his personal connections therewith was ever made and there remains of this service only the valued reports filed away securely in the national archives, along with the vast volumns of that character of the public service known as "state secrets."" I have never been able to verify this claim, which must have been written or submitted by his wife, my great grandmother, at the time of his death. I have been to the national archives in Maryland and only found one letter, between him and the secret service director. I have only found his name on one ships manifest, in 1908. I was communicating with the archives at the secret service department, but after 9/11, the department was moved to homeland security and all communication has ceased.
I have found some American Indian blood on both sides of my family, but that is about impossible to trace, they kept no written records of their genealogy.