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War Heroes, Counts, Magistrates, and Lunatics…thanks Ancestry.com! June 16, 2017

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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EHM_graveI grew up in a broken home and had little interest or knowledge of my genetic family when I was growing up.  Until recently there were few ways to trace one’s lineage with any degree of accuracy.  In 2010 I joined Ancestry.com.  it was still pretty nascent and I didn’t get much value from the limited information available.  Last week I had an epiphany and looked up the obituary of one of the grandparents with which I was familiar.  It had just enough information that I started looking.  I went back to Ancestry.com and BOOM! I was on fire!  In the 7 years I was away from Ancestry.com there were volumes of new information added!  In two days I found over 160 direct relatives.  I had always assumed my relatives had come to the US like many Irish immigrants during the Great Famine of 1845-1852.  I guessed (incorrectly) that my relatives were farming folk from Ireland.  The real story is much more interested!

The first relative I looked up was my maternal grandfather Emery Harry Montgomery.  He was a Colonel in the US Airforce (previously the Army Air Corps) and had served with distinction in WWII where he flew P-47s over Europe and was awarded 4 Air Medals and in 1944 earned a Distinguished Flying Cross!  Colonel Montgomery was the CO of the 2nd Jet squadron in the US and was killed in 1958 while flying an F80.

I then found his grandfather Joseph Montgomery.  Joseph fought for the Union during the Civil War and was captured in 1863 during the battle of Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.  He was transferred to Camp Sumter at Andersonville, Georgia. In 1864 Joseph died of Scurvy while a POW at Andersonville.  For those who don’t know, Andersonville is one of the (if not THE) most horrific prisoner camps in the history of the US.  Luckily, Joseph had a child before he died in service to his country.  I found 3 other relatives who fought in the Civil War.

I continued to search and found numerous relatives.  Almost all of my relatives from Europe came to the US (the colonies) before 1750!  I ran across a very interesting fellow named Johan Peter Puderbaugh who is my 10th Great Grandfather on my father’s side!  Johan came from Germany to the US in 1752 aboard the ship the Two Brothers. When the Revolutionary War started Johan fought along side his sons on the side of the Colonists and was killed in 1800.  This is fascinating as the British used numerous German Hessians during the war.  There were an estimated 30,000 (1/4 of the total British force) Hessians fighting during the war for the British.  To have a German fighting on the Colonist’s side was impressive!

As I continued to look I came across a very interesting person named Henry Wolcott.  He came to the US came over on the Mary and John (a ship) with his wife and 3 kids in 1630.  According to records he sold land he had in England for 8,000 Pounds Sterling (I dont’ have the symbol on my computer) to fund the new life in the colonies….this was worth about $1.750 million in today’s dollars. He was a well known Magistrate in Connecticut until his death.   This is the earliest relative I can find in the US.

If you have not signed up for Ancestry.com you should think about it (no I am not working with them and I don’t get any referrals!…I just like passing on cool stuff).  I have been blown away with the amount of info I was able to find in just a few hours.  Very easy to use and really puts in perspective where we all originate!!EHM_grave



1. Geraldine Mercer - June 19, 2017

What is outstanding is the bravery and dedication these ancestors exhibited during the country’s war times. And how many women were widowed and left to raise the next generation, year after year. But they plodded on, proceeding to Make This County Great. May we who are living continue in their path of patriotism and individual achievements to MAGA.

2. Rusty Johnson - June 19, 2017

Is Emery interred at Arlington?

Chris Mark - June 19, 2017

I don’t think so..I think in New York…

3. Geraldine Mercer - June 22, 2017

A Search at http://www.findagrave.com found Col. Montgomery interred at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA. Find a Grave memorial #75041404. R.I.P. sir.

4. Stephen Taylor - July 23, 2017

Chris, I am humbled to know a hero like you. It is only reasonable that you have heroes in your blood. Thanks again for your service to our country, and also for teaching me a few pointers about distance shooting. Take care.

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