Maybe I Should Start My Own Mayor’s Group

Bitter has been doing a good bit of genealogical research lately, and decided to explore a part of my family line that no one else in the family has ever explored. This is generally where we’ve found all the gold, including my 3x great grandfather who fought at Antietam. That was on my fraternal grandmother’s line. Recently Bitter decided to look at my maternal grandfather’s line, on his maternal side, and hoe-lee-sh*t. It turns out this guy is quite probably my 8th great grandfather. The sixth mayor of New York City!

So let me assert my ancestral right to declare that the family is very unhappy with what Mayor Bloomberg is doing to our city. We just hoped you’d do better with the legacy we left you. Maybe I should enter the New York Mayor’s race. I mean, I haven’t sent pictures of my John Thomas to half the women in New York, and I’m not a raving socialist. My family ran The City well for err… almost two years… and we can do it again! What should I call my Mayor’s Group? Descendants of Mayors of New York for the Second Amendment?

13 thoughts on “Maybe I Should Start My Own Mayor’s Group”

  1. I think that beats my great-uncle who was a member of Tammany Hall and was a State Senator for a district in NYC for 8 years.

    I want you to assert your ancestral rights!

    1. It’s kind of hard to boil down to short and sweet advice, but a lot of it is just starting with what you know, talking to the old people in your family and mining them for what they know, and then following public records like census records, birth and death records, as much as you can. Old newspapers are also a great resource.

      In some cases, like with what Bitter just did, you can trace back just a few generations and hit a prominent line that’s very well documented and researched.

        1. That should be pretty easy to track. Well, at least until you start looking into international records. We really haven’t gone that far yet.

          But, you might be surprised at lines that have been here longer than you realize. In one of my lines, it was just kind of assumed they were all German immigrants. Turns out the perception came from the German immigrants who just happened to be closest to the older people alive. I found a random Irish immigrant in there, and then plugging in a maiden name that was discovered, I now have indications that this part of that “all German” family dates back to pre-Revolutionary times. Assuming one person who is tracking the same line has accurate research and we’re definitely talking the same family, then it may trace back to Swedes who settled the area before the English.

          1. That is so cool that you might be a Daughter of the American Revolution!!!! Or perhaps of the entire colonization!!! That is so cool!!!

            My ancestry is predominantly German and Danish from the mid-1800s, but I do have an ancestor who married an American Indian lady, so I sometime boast that I can claim pre-colonial roots. :-) Unfortunately, I don’t get any governmental minority perks from that fact. But then I rail against those anyway, so I should stop being a hypocrite and be grateful to be just an…American!

            Anyway, thanks for the fascinating post! I am an American history nut and just love hearing about both of your ancestries!

            – Arnie

              1. I’ve got more lines to document, but I’m pretty confident I tie back to at least 9 men who either are already considered DAR patriots or can be proven to qualify as one. I do have a 10th who served in there, but I need to learn more about his service to get him recognized again.

                Arnie, I’m with you on the perks issue. I don’t have it documented yet, and DNA could prove the family stories wrong, but there are signs that I could have Native American ties as well. (Given where my family was living at different points in US history, it’s almost impossible that I don’t have some kind Indian heritage. I’ve got more evidence than Elizabeth Warren, that’s for sure.) But, it always annoyed me to see that there were scholarships that were available depending on test scores that varied by race. So, if I told them I was a Native American female, I would have been exceptionally qualified. But, by considering myself a Caucasian female, my scores weren’t high enough. Same scores, same academic opportunities (and limits), and same life story, but one classification would make me worthwhile of this investment while the other does not. That didn’t really sit well with me, and I actually felt that if I did qualify as an Indian, I would have actually been more insulted.

          2. I’ve tracked a few great grandparents back to the boat. I still have some loose ends out there that I have to track down.

  2. “Most of my peoples only arrived here in the last 100 years.” Bitter says “That should be pretty easy to track.”

    Maybe. A bit more than a decade ago I was participating in an ethnic genealogy list, for my ethnicity that typically arrived here either late in the 19th century or early in the 20th century. A very frequent complaint was, that our grandparents would not answer questions about the past, typically answering “Better that you don’t know.” I remember someone announcing that they had just discovered that their grandfather had a brother he had never mentioned in the slightest way — and that he had lived less than twenty miles away!

    There also seemed to be a pattern of providing disinformation to everyone, but especially to government officials. When I obtained my grandfather’s naturalization records from the National Archives, nothing he reported on them bore the slightest resemblance to what he had told his children. He reported the typical immigrant’s “Ellis Island” experience, in detail, but Ellis Island has absolutely no record of them ever being there, or of any detail he reported (ship and date of arrival) correlating with official records. (The story they told their kids was, they arrived in Philadelphia and just boogied down the street without checking in.)

    None of my ancestors were in the country before 1851. For awhile I pursued some evidence that suggested my Irish g-grandparents could have been among the Irish coal miners who drove the Union Army out of Lackawanna County in 1863, when they tried to enforce conscription, but that appears no to have been the case. That would have made me proud.

    As it is, I am proud enough to say we’ve had bootleggers, rum-runners, minor racketeers, someone who did two hitches in prison, and another who died in prison (of TB), but none who sank so low as to be in government. ;-)

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