Monday, April 5, 2010
Spirit of Elijah!!!
Ok, so as most of you know, this weekend has been LDS General Conference, which is one of the best weekends of the entire year! I loved every second of it. But I have a confession to make... my mom and I really enjoyed Elder Russell M. Nelson's address (the one on family heritage) in the Sunday afternoon session, that we sort of... got distracted and ignored the rest of the session. I guess you could say that we were inspired. Anyway, following his address, we both immediately got on familysearch.org, the church's genealogy site, and started randomly looking up family lines. It honestly was one of the coolest experiences of my life! We learned so much about our family that we never knew about before. Most of our amazing discoveries began with my great great grandmother, Julia Ann Crandall (born 1841), who is my Grandpa Boyer's grandmother. First, we followed her family line back to the 17th century to John and Priscilla (Mullens) Alden, my twelve great grandparents. We started to do a little bit of internet research on this couple, and it was like opening a treasure chest! It didn't take long for us to discover that John and Priscilla were not only on the Mayflower, but John Alden was supposedly the first person to step off the Mayflower onto Plymouth Rock in 1620. He was also the roommate of Miles Standish, the Captain of Plymouth. We thought this by itself was amazing, but then we kept finding more and more AMAZING facts about these ancestors. It turns out that John and Priscilla Alden were involved in the first, and one of the most famous, love triangles in the New World. Priscilla had two suitors once they reached Plymouth- John Alden and Miles Standish. Miles had sent John to Pricilla to tell her that Miles wanted to marry her. But Priscilla saw that John loved her too, and she said what is considered to be one of the most famous lines in history, "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" He left, but came back to tell her that he loved her. He obviously won, and here I am twelve generations and nearly 400 years later! Another descendent of John and Priscilla is the famous poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who happened to write an epic poem about their courtship, "The Courtship of Miles Standish." John Alden also went on to become the assistant to the governor of Plymouth and served on the jury of one of the two witch trials held in Plymouth. Incidentally, their son, John Jr. was one accused in the witch trials, but he escaped days before his execution. So basically... my family is awesome! Anyway, my mom and I actually went on to find 9, possibly 10, direct ancestors who rode over on the Mayflower's first trip to the New World. We also discovered a LOT of different nationalities that are in my blood that we hadn't known before. I'm mostly English and Norwegian, but we also found a lot of German, IRISH (on both sides! I've always wanted to be Irish), French, etc. But it's when my family line goes REALLY far back, say... to the first century... that you find the really good stuff! It turns out, if you look back far enough from Julia Ann Crandall's line, I am directly descended from royalty! Scottish royalty, English kings, Italian kings, A king, queen, and princess from Spain, LOUIS I ('The Pious')- Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 799, Louis VIII ('The Lion') of France, Louis VIII, CHARLEMAGNE of the Holy Roman Empire (who is known as not only the father of all French and German monarchies, but all monarchies of Europe), and "Ole King Coel" (you know from the song?). It literally goes all the way back to the year 6 AD. Anyway, a lot of you probably won't care, but I am really really excited. It's so cool and fun to find out that you are directly descended from people who played important roles in not only American history, but world history! So you all better start treating us Clark and Boyer people better, cause we're direct descendants of some of the most famous royals in World History!!! I'm a princess! And don't you forget it!!!