Boy, when I procrastinate, I sure do procrastinate! Several months ago (okay, it was a few more than several), Randy Seaver, through his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun series, challenged other bloggers to pictorially document their family back through the generations: For how many generations, unbroken, do you have portraits of your family?
On this day, 16 June 1786, Abraham Sell passed away. He was my 8th great-grandfather.
Born in 1715, in Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Abraham Sellen/Sell was the son of Heinrich and Margaret Zellen/Sellen. Abraham joined elder siblings Peter, Jacob, John, Barbara, Elizabeth, Mary, and Anthony. In 1720, little brother Henry was born in Germantown.
I have always been fascinated by language, specifically where it originates and how it adapts, mutates, and relates to other languages. That is why I found the recent series of blogs by Andrew’s Kindred so intriguing. It combined my love of etymology with my love of genealogy. I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided to try my to try my hand at chronicling the origins of our families’ surnames.
This is the twelfth installment of a series of posts documenting the etymology of many of our families’ surnames (recent and distant, direct and indirect.)
Well, since I already covered the L names, let’s now address the letter M:
On this day, 1 March 1680, a man by the name of Johann Heinrich Schlösser passed away. He was my 9th great-grandfather.
Born in 1642, in Londorf, Gießen, Hesse, Germany, Johann Heinrich Schlösser was the son of Friedrich Schlösser and Christina Schenck.
“[You] are the sum total of [your] ancestors. You are not limited by their limitations, but you have the potential of their accumulated sense of possibilities. And, you are a product of their stories even though you don’t know it.” ~Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Like every family everywhere, our combined families (mine, my spouse’s, our stepfamilies’, and extended) are a blend of ups and downs, highs and lows.
Throughout the branches of our family trees, I have discovered abolitionists alongside slaveholders and freemen next to slaves. I hope that by telling each and every tale, no matter how distasteful, that I might help shine a light on one of the darkest times in American history.
It is because of our families’ connections to the many sides of slavery that I found Ancestry.com’s Railroad Ties both poignant and hopeful. I hope you find this short film as moving as I have.