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.
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!
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