News From The Front (so to speak)

When they went on sale, I broke down and got a DNA test and the results were posted this morning.

Years ago my Mom and I created a family tree and made updates to it. It went back a few generations, mostly on my Moms side. Meanwhile my cousin also did her family genealogy and it went back quite a bit further, however it generally covered my Dads side of the family.

The DNA results of ethnicity are as we expected, English, Welsh, German and perhaps French. I had uploaded what family tree I had before but it had not linked with my cousins tree. I called her.

While we chatted, she explained parts of the tree she had and then mentioned a few of the relatives. Her searches had gone back to at least the 1600’s and then she told me about one relative.

You always think that there might be a King or Queen or famous person in your lineage, but there may be nothing exciting. Then again…

So on my Grandmothers side going back to the 1700’s, part of the family living in Connecticut.

{Condensed from Wikipedia}

William Williams (yes, they loved him so much they named him twice 🙂 was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, the son of a minister, Solomon Williams, and Mary Porter. He studied theology and achieved law school from Harvard in 1751. He continued preparing for the ministry for a year, but then joined the militia to fight in the French and Indian War. After the war, he opened a store in Lebanon, which he called The Williams Inc.

On February 14, 1771, and almost 40 he married Mary Trumbull, age 25. She was daughter of Jonathan Trumbull, Royal Governor, and an American politician who served as the second speaker at the United States House of Representatives.

{It keeps getting more interesting}

Williams was very active in the protests that preceded the American Revolution. Williams was a member of the Sons of Liberty and later served on Connecticut’s Committee of Correspondence and Council of Safety. Williams was a staunch supporter of the non-importation agreements implemented in 1769 to oppose the Townshend Duties and the occupation of Boston by British Regulars. Williams was disappointed when merchants began disregarding the non-importation agreements after the repeal of the Townshend Duties, save for the tax on tea, and he never trusted the intentions of more established merchants, most notably Silas Deane.

On July 1, 1774, one month after the enactment of the Coercive Acts to punish Boston, Williams pseudonymously published an address “To the King” from “America” in the Connecticut Gazette. It was an angry satire.

{And then the kicker}

Williams was elected to the Continental Congress on July 11, 1776, the day Connecticut received official word of the independence vote of July 2, to replace Oliver Wolcott. Though he arrived at Congress on July 28, much too late to vote for the Declaration of Independence, he did sign the formal copy as a representative of Connecticut.

{His name appears along with 55 others on the bottom of the document}

I have to say that I was surprised. I am related to the second Speaker of the U.S. House and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. There may be more exciting relatives, but this was certainly exciting enough!

 

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