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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

D is for DESCENDANTS

My sister is our family geneologist.  She's had an interest in the history of our family for many years and has been quite successful in tracking it back for centuries.  She's focused mostly on our mother's side because one of our cousins is tracking our father's side.   

Sister discovered that Generation #3's Edmund Gross was born in Cornwall, England in May of 1613 but died in 1660 in Boston, Massachusetts.  His first child, Isaac, was born in Boston in 1642.  Therefore, there have been descendants in the USA and Canada for at least 370 years!  

With documentation to verify her findings, she has found that we are descended from as far back as July 6, 1555, where our (I'm not sure how many "greats") grandfather was born in Kelsale, Suffolk, England.  My grandchildren are Generation #15 from William Gross and his wife Mary.

Recently, she has discovered that Generation #15 is descended from a Frenchman by the name of Oliver LeGros, who was born in 1364, and is described as a knight of Crostwick, Norfolk.  DNA has proven that he is the ancestor of our Gross family in England, a family of ship owners in Cornwall and Great Yarmouth.

Because of the timing, sister tried to discover if any of the family came over to North America on the famous Mayflower whose maiden voyage was September 6 to November 9, 1620. Sister checked all the available manifestos, but was unsuccessful in finding any names that would prove this.

Then, just a couple of months ago, she phoned me all agog with excitement.  She had made a fantastic discovery.  The reason why there were no names relating to us as passengers on the Mayflower was because - are you ready for this? - we are descendants of the family that owned the ship!!!  This is a photograph of the replica I took when visiting Plymouth, MA, in the summer of 1988.  Little did I know at the time!

Trying to locate a family's history can be very complicated as there are so many branches on the tree.  It isn't quite clear as yet where these names all tie together, but sister did discover that the Gross family of Great Yarmouth were major trading partners as well as relatives of the Gross families in Kelsale and Little Bentley in Essex.

I was in England last summer and now I discover that I was less than a 2-hour trip to the village of Kelsale where I might have been able to see the graves of my great X ? many grandfather and grandmother!  This is the St. Mary and St. Peter Church there and I found it online here where it tells all about it.  I definitely have a desire to return soon to the land of my ancestors!


Thanks to the darling Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the dashing and dapper Roger, our administrator.  Also, thanks to the diligent team of assistants who drop in on all the contributors to leave delightful and dynamic documentation to let you know how much they appreciate all the contributions to ABCW.

28 comments:

Powell River Books said...

I am the "end of the line" so to speak for our branch of the tree. From big families it dwindled down to me, an only child, and I have no children. I know some about my family tree. On my father's and mother's side ancestors came to Canada before heading south to the States. I am sure there are still some distant relatives in the Montreal area, but we lost touch with them long ago. For me, moving back to Canada always felt like going home rather than moving to a new country. It's a nice feeling to get back to my roots. - Margy

GaynorB said...

WOW! That's really interesting Leslie. Well done to your sister for persevering.

MJ said...

Neaters! How cool is that to find out this kind of information. It takes a lot of determination to do this kind of work, good for your sister. How exciting for your family, hopefully you can make that trip to go back out to England.

Reader Wil said...

Dear Leslie, what a delightful description dedicated to descendants. Your sister has done a difficult job! Have a great day!
Wil, ABCW Team

Roger Owen Green said...

Love the punchline of that story. My tribe's thinning out. I have two sisters, each with a daughter, as do I.

Liz said...

Wow! Fascinating ancestors. To think they owned the Mayflower!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Wow Leslie , interesting story , especially about the ship the Mayflower.

YOu have more English in your family than I do ,, oh arggh you come from Norfolk ,,

I know that my great great granddad came from Scotland , and went to Nova Scotia and then Corsica and then Malta ,, and my mums family is Irish ,,

Carver said...

Very interesting post and wonderful shots to go with it.

photowannabe said...

I really enjoy delving into family history.
Wish I had asked a few more questions before my folks passed away.
My cousin has done a family tree from Mom's side and my Aunt for my Dad's side.
Nothing very exciting, just hard working people.
Love the information you found for your family. That's wonderful. I hope you can return to see more of your heritage someday.

Indrani said...

You do unique posts with these alphabets.
Good read again.

MERYL JAFFE, PhD - parent, psychologist, teacher, author... said...

What fascinating lineage! Every family needs a geneologist!

Leovi said...

Yes, these pictures are beautiful, yes, my descendants are the most important of my life! Greetings!

Lea said...

Researching the family tree is a wonderful time of discovery!
Lea
Lea's Menagerie

Hazel Ceej said...

The Mayflower is always mentioned in our World History classes in school. I love reading family histories. I share in the excitement of discoveries about one's ancestors. Wow you're great (dunno how many greats either) grandparents were descendants of the Mayflower builders! Well done, your sister and thanks for sharing with us.

Hazel

Hildred said...

Very interesting Leslie, - Charles' ancestors came to North America with the Winthrop Fleet, a couple of years after the Mayflower. My ancestors on my father's side were United Empire Loyalists who left New York State at the time of the revolution, but many of them had been in North America since the early 1600's and some of them were Palantines who were forced from their homelands and helped by the British Queen Anne to emigrate to 'the colonies'.... it's all very fascinating.

lotusleaf said...

A delightful anecdote of descendants.

Nanka said...

Very interesting Leslie, and you have done a marvelous job with all those explanations and going back in time!! The Church looks as old as England!!

Gerald (SK14) said...

Great that you were able to find these things out - my niece is the genealogist in our family and she's discovered some fascinating things.

Ann said...

I see a trip coming to document gravesites and take markings!!!I love studying the descendants in our family as well. I've not gone the DNA route but I'm sure that would be so gratifying. Thanks for your visit today.
Ann

Joy said...

Your sister has done some great research; owning the Mayflower has some bragging rights. Suffolk is one of my favourite parts of England, what an interesting church.

Saz said...

its been a while but am wending my way back...and joy abc wednesdays again....

great historical post Leslie!!

saz x

Beverley Baird said...

Something so special about tracing one's ancestors. Great post Leslie!
I've only been able to go back to the early 1800's.

Suzanne said...

This is a GREAT post with all of it's history. And just think, to be descendants of the owners of the Mayflower, wow!

Pride In Photos said...

I too have the longing to go back to the country of my families origins of Hungry, where both of my grandparents came from. Great post for the letter "D".

Lise said...

Wow, that is fascinating. My brother is the genealogist in the family...knowing more about my descendants makes me feel closer to them somehow. I don't have such a cool history though...how neat for you!

Chris said...

Great that your sister has done all that research. A second cousin in Australia gave me the family tree from my grand mother (his father was her brother) and it was 2ft long! He worked out that I have 394 people all related to me, most were dead!!
But how are you and Lorne? perhaps when you're back here in UK we can meet again!
Love and Blessings
Chris xxx

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

going back 1600s is amazing, we could only go back 100 years.

Suzy said...

Genealogy is so interesting. It fascinates me too.
Suzy at Someday Somewhere.