Our 5 Claims to Fame

why geneology?

Every family makes claims of genealogical greatness, but only ours holds credibility. Right?

Actually, there’s some merit to that humorously biased statement. For us, our genealogy truly is great because it belongs to our family alone. It connects us to our past, impacts who we are today, and preserves our heritage for the future. So this week we’re going to introduce a study of the Amos Boys’ genealogy. In the weeks ahead we’ll look at their maternal family, and later in the year, we’ll do their paternal family.

How many of you are genealogy geeks?

I’ve been since my early 20s, when Grandma Gladys sent me an old family photo. Over the years, I’ve acquired bits and pieces here and there and shoved them all into a box. Nowadays, I just go to Ancestry.com and everything’s available in a handy database. It kind of takes away the thrill of historical sleuthing, but who has time for that anyway?

Jerry’s into genealogy too. He’s much more meticulous than I am, and he’s done extensive research on his maternal side.

“There used to be an area called “Hulick Land,” says Jerry. “They don’t pronounce the G’s (or J’s) like we do, they say them like an H. It was right between Holland and Germany, and the two countries used to fight over that. Supposedly, that’s where the Gulicks are from.”

Gulick, as you may know, is Gladys’ maiden name.

And then there are names like Laing, Holmes, Van Ortwick, Cocoran, Mottinger and Beaumont. Obviously, we’re a great mix of people coming from many places.

This is going to be fun, isn’t it?

If you’re interested, sign up at Ancestry.com. You can subscribe for a monthly fee, or you can go to your local library and access it for free.

In the meantime, here are our family’s five big claims to fame (stay tuned to learn how we connect):

  • William I, Duke of Aquitaine, France, and founder of the Benedictine abbey of Cluny
  • Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great and Holy Roman Emperor
  • Stephen Hopkins, Mayflower Pilgrim who landed in Plymouth, MA, in 1620
  • Peter Laing, founder of the hopping metro of Laingsburg, MI.
  • Scottish raiders who stole cattle from the English (okay, maybe this isn’t classifiable as famous, but it’s interesting nonetheless:-)
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21 thoughts on “Our 5 Claims to Fame

    • Scot Highlanders originally had those cute little skirts and special plads. Tracing the Laings back to the Johnston Clan you might be disappointed to find that they were Borderers who were also Raiders (which meant riders) which seems appropiate considering that when starving they would rustle cattle down in England.

  1. Look for Stephen Hopkins’ squiggly signature at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence. Was he the only one wearing a hat in a picture of the signers? Maybe. At first a farmer until 1742, moved to Providence R.I.,erected a mansion, became involved in different enterprises, held numerous offices including governor of R.I. Was “inclined” to the Quaker beliefs.

    • Stephen Hopkins lived a very long time if he came over on the Mayflower in 1620, farmed up until 1742, then signed the Declaration Of Independence in 1776. No wonder his signature was a bit squiggly!
      Am I the only one having trouble with the math?

  2. Wow!! Hope I live that long……….Maybe no relation….or a great grandson. Tracing back is a problem when people keep naming their children after a parent, grandparent. Gladys gave me the information on the signer guy but I do not know where she got it. We should do some more research.

    • According to Wikipedia, Stephen Hopkins (1707–1785) the Rhode Island political leader who signed the Declaration of Independence, was born in Providence to William and Ruth (Wilkinson) Hopkins. His great grandfather was Thomas Hopkins (1616–1684), an early settler of Providence, Rhode Island. Thomas Hopkins sailed to New England in 1635, with his cousin Benedict Arnold.

      Maybe Thomas Hopkins and the Mayflower Stephen Hopkins were related somehow.

      • Clarification – this Benedict Arnold (1615–1678) was not the treasonous General Benedict Arnold of the Revolutionary War. That Benedict Arnold was a decendent.

  3. Dave’s obviously the super sleuth in the family. His Laing information is so interesting, but sorry folks, I’m going to pull it and make you wait a couple weeks. I promise I’ll put it all into an upcoming post!

  4. Actually, I was thinking since that William I guy founded the Abbey of Cluny, we must be related to George Clooney. I suppose now the Amos men are going to go from looking like Leonardo DiCaprio to looking like George.

  5. Pingback: Begats and Other Intricacies of Genealogy | Those (Expletive) Amos Boys

  6. The picture at the beginning has a woman on the right labeled “Rhoda” which might be a relative, but there is no record of such a person in the family. It could be a middle name not used in the records.

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