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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby 52xMax » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:42 am

I have never looked into my family history, but as far as I can recall there are no remarkable members on my family in the way of historical figures or anything of the sort. My uncle (mother's brother) is a prominent lawyer who's served in office a few times, but he's semi retired now. My great grandfather on my maternal grandmother's side was a Chinese peasant who came to work on the railroad, but he was deported before my grandmother was born, and her mother died in labor, so we know virtually nothing about the guy... but his last name was Chan, so who knows?

On my dad's side, there are some interesting characters as well. I know that one of my paternal grandmother's uncles was some sort of inventor, and I don't think he made any great discoveries or significant contributions to the world, but he earned enough money to live by himself on a boat house, so maybe he patented some sort of thing that is still used on toilets or something. The point is, the man was an eccentric, and yes, there is a history of mental problems on that side of the family as well. I really don't know much on my paternal grandfather's side, other than his dad was a big rich asshole who treated him like shit and didn't approve of his marriage to my grandmother, so they were dirt poor when my dad was growing up. And I am positive that relatives on both sides of my dad's family fought on the 1910 revolution, but I don't know the details on that, except that where they lived was right in the center of the conflict.

But since a substantial part of the world's population is related to Genghis Khan, and like I already said I have Chinese blood, the odds are I have at least that one famous ancestor.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby Kivutar » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:31 pm

My ancestors weren't particularly interesting people, but how they got here is a reasonably interesting story.

My fathers' fathers' side came to Canada by landing in Prince Edward Island in the early 1800s with a big wave of Scottish settlers. They made there way over to British Columbia, where most of them still are.

My fathers' mother came over from Germany after WWII. My great-grandfather had been in the army, of course, everyone was, but he hadn't done anything more nefarious than fly a wooden glider behind enemy lines to spy without being caught on radar, while my great-grandmother somehow found enough bananas and other nutritious foods that were hard to come by to keep a very sick baby, my great-aunt, alive. They came to Toronto, living in the area called Hogtown. Wikipedia will tell you it was because of the pork processing plants that used to be there, but my grandmother swears that the German immigrants around there were called "hogs". Maybe that name came from the place.

My mother's father grew up in communist Czechoslovakia. His people had used to be Hungarian nobility, but at that point were farmers, and when the farms were collectivized, everything went badly. His father became a member of the Communist party but got arrested, and his family nearly starved. Eventually he was released. My grandfather was not a fan of the Communists because of that, but he doesn't talk about it much, so things are vague. At some point he was in the army; at some other point he was in jail for some kind of dissent. That's why he's covered with prison tattoos to this day. Eventually, he and his little brother escaped into Austria, literally pursued by soldiers and dogs. The only time I've ever heard him actually talk about that was to a Vietnamese priest who had done basically the same thing, which was a bit surreal ("When the spotlights shine on you, you have to lie down, yeah." "Yeah, that way they can't see you. Pass the milk?"). He came to Canada and worked as a miner, first in the Northwest Territories and later in Northern Ontario, but when my mother was born, he switched to being a construction worker because that was less dangerous.

My mother's mother was born in Bosnia; probably a Bosnian Croat but some things she's said haven't quite added up; she might have had Bosniak ancestry. Originally her family was doing fairly well; she mentioned having the first electric light in the village. When the war came, her pacifist father was conscripted and fled to what is now Croatia. Her mother tried to follow with my grandmother and her younger sister (the only surviving ones of six), but kept being turned away at the border by the Serbian authorities. However, she eventually got lucky enough to find a Serbian border officer that her husband had done some favour for in the past. That guy recognized her and let the family through, where they were reunited with her father. My grandmother grew up and fared reasonably well under the system; she became a nurse and married a minor party official. He was corrupt, of course, and an alcoholic, but the last straw came when he cheated on her. The order of events is very vague, but one of my cousins told me she turned him in for corruption (!), then felt bad and came to visit him in jail, where she found yet more women also visiting him. He got out of jail almost as fast as he got in, and she fled the country with her young son, my mother's half-brother. I hear her first husband died as a bum on the streets of Osijek several years ago. Sadly, his son took after him and is now some kind of cult leader in Mexico.

That's how I got here. Any of that, except the very basics, might not be accurate. That generation was all about assimilation (though all of them still speak their native languages), and it's pieced together from vague stories told by different people. I like to think of it as a very Canadian story.
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Last edited by Kivutar on Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby IamNotCreepy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:21 pm

I have an interesting anecdote surrounding my paternal grandfather. He served in WWII on the USS Indianapolis: the Ship of Doom.

In March of 1945 the ship was hit by a kamikaze pilot. It limped back to California for repairs, at which point my grandfather got off. Good thing he did.

After repairs were completed, the ship picked up enriched uranium and the parts for Little Boy and went on a secret mission to drop them off on Tinian Island.

Shortly after, the ship was sunk by a Japanese sub. The crew was stranded for 3 days in shark-infested waters. Navy command had erroneously listed the ship as having arrived at its destination, so no one knew it had sunk, and no one was looking for it. The remaining crew was only rescued due to being spotted by a plane doing a routine patrol.

The captain survived but was court-martialed on bogus charges of not zigzagging as evasive maneuvers. He was convicted and ended up committing suicide. He was later exonerated posthumously due to an investigation in the 90s by a 6th grade student and with assistance from the Japanese commander of the sub that sunk the ship.

You may remember the story from Quint's monologue from Jaws:



The most tragic part of the whole story is that it was eventually adapted into a Nicolas Cage movie. I haven't seen it, but the reviews are terrible.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby Twistappel » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:28 pm

Oh yeah, and my grandpa was a police officer in India. He lived through the riots leading up to independence, and did guard duty on Gandhi during one of his incarcerations (not sure which one). He was seconded to the foreign service during WWII to work in counter-espionage, and narrowly lost out on a spot on India's Olympic field hockey team.

Unfortunately by the time I realized how remarkable his life was, it was too late to ask him about it.


If we're claiming relatives by marriage, the Man-creature's Scottish ancestors supposedly once ruled the Isle of Skye. They made a living from pirating English slave ships, then selling the slaves back to the English. It was around this point that the English decided they should no longer rule the Isle of Skye.

His grandpa also founded a successful and well-known bus company in Australia.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby octoberpumpkin » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:59 pm

Apparently I am related to one of the King Louis de Bourbons through a mistress line. So my however many greats-grandmother wouldn't have been royalty but my whatever great-grandfather was King of France. I thought it was Louis XVI, but he apparently didn't have mistresses? Might have been XIV, he apparently had an abundance. Just vaginas everywhere!

And that is why my last name is Bourbonnais!
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby iMURDAu » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:07 pm

One of my ancestors was good friends with William Wallace aka Braveheart.

My father is good friends with a William Wallace who is a descendant of the guy mentioned above. They've been friends since high school.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby Anglerphobe » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:29 pm

iMURDAu wrote: William Wallace aka Braveheart.


Image

William Wallace was never nicknamed Braveheart. It actually refers to Robert the Bruce.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby DoglovingJim » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:15 am

Twistappel wrote:His grandpa also founded a successful and well-known bus company in Australia.

Venture?
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skoobadive wrote:It's the legendary DoglovingJim! Ohboy, this must be the greatest day of my life!

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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby Twistappel » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:25 am

DoglovingJim wrote:
Twistappel wrote:His grandpa also founded a successful and well-known bus company in Australia.

Venture?

Greyhound.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby DoglovingJim » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:36 am

Twistappel wrote:
DoglovingJim wrote:
Twistappel wrote:His grandpa also founded a successful and well-known bus company in Australia.

Venture?

Greyhound.


Wow, Greyhound, that's one of the big ones. So if I were to kidnap you and your man. They'd be a good ransom for your safe return right?

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Edgar Cabrera wrote:HOLY SHIT GUYS, IT'S DOGLOVINGJIM!!! HE'S HERE!!!

skoobadive wrote:It's the legendary DoglovingJim! Ohboy, this must be the greatest day of my life!

Cracked.com wrote:Initially, his interest in animals was "primarily a sexual attraction," but as he grew older, he also "developed the emotional attraction." We guess we could call what Jim does ... dog-lovin'
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby Twistappel » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:51 am

DoglovingJim wrote:Wow, Greyhound, that's one of the big ones. So if I were to kidnap you and your man. They'd be a good ransom for your safe return right?

Nah. They sold the company off in the 80s, the AEC happened and there were several siblings. Plus I think his parents sort of expect him to sort out his own problems.



I might come after you Taken-style though.
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You say "New World Order" like it's a bad thing.

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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby DoglovingJim » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:44 am

Twistappel wrote:I might come after you Taken-style though.

Good Luck.
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Edgar Cabrera wrote:HOLY SHIT GUYS, IT'S DOGLOVINGJIM!!! HE'S HERE!!!

skoobadive wrote:It's the legendary DoglovingJim! Ohboy, this must be the greatest day of my life!

Cracked.com wrote:Initially, his interest in animals was "primarily a sexual attraction," but as he grew older, he also "developed the emotional attraction." We guess we could call what Jim does ... dog-lovin'
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby Australia » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:10 am

Britain is referred to as my mother country so I guess I'm the UK's son. I don't know how that'll work when the Brexit divorce happens. Mother twice removed maybe?
DoglovingJim wrote:
Twistappel wrote:I might come after you Taken-style though.

Good Luck.

You mock, but Ol' Millsy did track down the kidnappers because a dog barked in one of those movies, so based off that, you're pretty screwed.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby 52xMax » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:41 pm

Twistappel wrote:
DoglovingJim wrote:
Twistappel wrote:His grandpa also founded a successful and well-known bus company in Australia.

Venture?

Greyhound.


At one point I worked for a company that did business with Greyhound Lines, so I got curious and did some digging to see if both companies were affiliated. I got nothing. But since the Australian one was founded 14 years later, and I had previously done some similar inquiries about Australian Woolworth's, I can only conclude that before international copyright was a thing, it was a common practice to take the name of a famous brand and start a company in a different country under the same line of business, let people make their own conclusions.

What I'm saying is, it's not a coincidence that Australia's schtick is to leech off other user's identities. It's a national tradition.
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Re: Interesting Ancestors/Relatives

Postby Twistappel » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:11 pm

52xMax wrote:What I'm saying is, it's not a coincidence that Australia's schtick is to leech off other user's identities. It's a national tradition.

Are you saying that having a taxi service called "Yellow Cabs" wasn't a completely original idea?
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You say "New World Order" like it's a bad thing.

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