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In which i perused the genealogy

MacDonald Family Gristmill

10 things I learned while perusing the MacDonald Family Genealogy


While I was up in Vermont for a “family reunion” (not mine) I was fortunate enough to come across a 500-page document of the MacDonald Family Genealogy.  Some of the facts go back to the 1100’s so it is with great excitement that I present some of the “interesting” facts I learned.  Oh, and I have comments as well.


1.         There was an ancestor who was either a “Baron” or he was named Baron.  We aren’t really clear. (This is awesome, now I know that Kevin’s family comes from the upper class…or not)

2.         William Morris (b. 1859) was born to Thomas Morris and Mary Unknown (there were a LOT of people with the last name Unknown in this family history.  Apparently it was QUITE a common name)

3.  This history was written by Kevin’s father’s cousin.  I’m a little disappointed that it only goes back 23 generations to a guy who was born in 1190 in Scotland. Somehow, the Battle of Hasting’s was mentioned in a footnote and we all know that took place in 1066. (Here’s Daniels explanation:  The guy was born in 1190.  If you assume that his father was about 15 when he had him, then should assume that the father was born around 1175 which is all well and good but no matter how you put it, this guy missed the Battle of Hastings which was in 1066 so why the hell was there a footnote about it?)

4. The Moor’s owned Castle Cary or Kari (they weren’t sure of the spelling) and it was the richest property in Somerset.  We (as in the Moor’s which is who we were back then and by the way, I use the word we loosely as really, I just married into this family) had 3 gristmills, 23 villages, 20 smallholders (1 might have been larger and was in fact like Biggie Smalls, a medium holder) 17 plows, 6 slaves :(, 8 swineherds, 50 swine (that needed to be herded) 16 cattle and 170 sheep on 2400 acres of plow land and now all we have is this house in Vermont.  We suck. (Well, they do at least.   Also, every time we passed a mill for the rest of the trip we all bemoaned the fact that somewhere along the line, Kevin’s ancestors blew it and we could have been rich)

5.  There was a guy named Ebenezer so we must have been related to Scrooge.

6.  There were a lot of John Adams so we must have been related to the president and even more importantly, Samuel Adams of the beer fame and that’s always a good decision.

7.  On February 12,1692, 120 soldiers of King William pretended they were friends so they were invited to the MacDonald home where the Moor’s were visiting at the time. (This is just a coincidence as Kevin’s family was the Moor’s back then) They then massacred almost ALL the inhabitants including John Moor who was shot through the head in the garden.

When his wife found him dead, she covered his body and fled to a malt kiln for safety.  That night, while hiding in the malt kiln, she gave birth to John Moor. With help from friends, she escaped to Ireland where John’s brother Samuel took her in.    Eventually in 1719 this part if the family immigrated to America, specifically New Hampshire 

(I found this to be rather exciting as Kevin’s ancestor was born AFTER a massacre in a malt kiln, which explains my love of beer, right?)

8.  At Exeter on August 24, 1775 Capt. Daniel Moor was appointed Colonel of the Regiment of the Militia under General Stark.  They marched to Bennington, Vermont where they engaged the British a defeated them decisively.  This is known as “The Battle of Bennington.” Then they marched to Saratoga, NY where they fought and defeated Burgoyne. (So apparently Kevin’s family was made of awesome)

9.   Henry Adams was the great grandfather of John Adams, 2nd president of the United States (Holy SHIT!!)

10.  Some of his ancestors came over on the Mayflower. (Oh my god!)

11.  We had a pivotal role in the War of 1812. (Really)

NOTE TO READERS:  I just discovered that facts 6, 9 and 10 were actually Kevin’s cousins and were on the OTHER side of the family so that they are not actually descended from the Mayflower.  More importantly, we’re not related to Samuel Adams of the BEER FAME.  Still, that’s always a good decision in my opinion.   All the other facts are true.


And there you have it; 10 facts (more or less) that I learned about the MacDonald family (actually the Moor’s) while I was in Vermont.  Stay tuned for other exciting updates.  See how exciting genealogy is?

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  1. Julie
    July 22, 2011

    I seems this amazing genealogy post has scared everyone away. I remained awake just long enough to comment …

    • Lynn
      July 22, 2011

      Ummm… does it suck? or were you joking….well, i can’t hit a homerun every time i’m up at bat, now can I?

  2. Kristen
    July 22, 2011

    This is so cool. I’d love to get into my genealogy a little bit more. Either way, it seems you are destined to be a beer-drinker.

    • Lynn
      July 22, 2011

      Yup…low class all the way! Yeah for beer!

  3. Elaine
    July 22, 2011

    If you’d been my history teacher in high school, I would’ve actually paid attention. OK, I might have. OK, well, I probably still wouldn’t have but at least there would’ve been a few laughs along the way. (I just recently discovered your blog, and I love it!)

    • Lynn
      July 22, 2011

      Hahaha…I can’t imagine me as a teacher. Thanks for discovering me!!!

  4. Rowe
    July 22, 2011

    Loved this. My dad’s family comes from the circus. Really. As in we’re related to the Bailey’s (Barnum & Bailey). My husband’s family can only go back far enough to say that they were horse theives. Sigh.

    • Lynn
      July 22, 2011

      Wow…that’s awesome on both sides!!! Horse thief is so cool!

  5. Amy
    July 22, 2011

    I find family history to be very interesting ~unless its about my family in which case what I know I would like to forget…Nah, teasing, well sort of! bahahahahaha Family :-)

    Cool post…thanks for sharing.

  6. Kit
    July 23, 2011

    as always, thoroughly enjoyed…….my Dad is a genealogist so I have volumes of ancestral data everywhere…it makes beautiful coffee table books and I know all my friends love hearing about where i come from…..

    • Lynn
      July 23, 2011

      really? i have no idea about my own roots…but Kevin’s roots were totally awesome

      • Name *
        July 23, 2011

        really, LOL>>>>>…I bore friends with my ancestral stories….although I am a descendant of Daniel Boone….me and about 100,000 others…….

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