Remember the Christmas tree Charlie Brown picked out? And how aggravated the others were when he brought it in with the needles falling all over the place, big white gaps, very few branches, and lopsided? That was my family tree a while back!
Putting down what I knew and adding what other people told me, I looked at it and thought, “Wow, this looks very sparse.” But it inspired me to research and dig and ask questions. Pretty soon I had four generations, then some fifth generation ancestors. Next thing I knew, I was hooked.
A few years later I discovered one of my lines goes back to the Mayflower. Never, ever would have dreamed this could be accomplished. In fact, it never entered my little noggin that perhaps one of my ancestors could be part of those people on the Mayflower.
Let me introduce you to my 11th-g-grandpa: Edward Doty. He was born in the late 1500s in England, and came over as an indentured servant. Marrying well after his arrival, he and his wife had nine children. He died in 1655 in Plymouth.
Apparently quite the rabble-rouser, he is described as argumentative, quick tempered and frequently out of control. His appearances in court were numerous over the years. There were instances where some of his business dealings bordered on fraudulence.
Interesting twist to this story. A few months after discovering all this, an ancestor of a friend of mine pops up in court with my 11th-g-grandfather back in the 1600s. What are the odds? Maybe pretty high, considering the United States is populated with many descendants of Mayflower arrivals. But to know his ancestors and my ancestors lived in the same community, may have attended the same church, and one hauled the other into court gave me goosebumps!