Maternal Surprises

Colonel Edwin Van Deusen Selden was an oil producer and refiner of Oil City, PA. He was born almost a century and a half ago, and was a member of the Order of Founders & Patriots of America. He was one of the people in the original edition of the F&P Family Forest, and of course he is on the new A&E disc.

A ten generation ancestor view of him fills in only 32 of his ancestors, meaning that there are far more dead ends than continuing lines. The line of his father’s father’s father’s father’s etc. travels the full ten generations, and leads back to early Connecticut, via Virginia.

But to which exciting places might many of those dead end maternal lines lead? Yesterday I discovered a few of those places.

One of Colonel Selden’s grandmothers was Louise Sophie Shattuck. She was a mystery (other than knowing that she married George Selden, had at least one son named George Shattuck Selden, and was the grandmother of Colonel Selden). No dates. No places. No other children. No Shattuck connections.

A reasonable guess, based on her surname, would be that she was probably born in New England. But that guess misses the mark by more than a thousand miles. She was born a world away from New England on April 24, 1801 on the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. Louise’s mother was the daughter of Alexander de Vincent, the governor of St. Thomas.

Yesterday morning Louise Sophie Shattuck was a mysterious dead end. Before noon, with the addition of only seven new people into the A&E Family Forest, she has become a wealth of exciting new possibilities. She is now connected to 28 ancestors with what are certain to be many interesting stories and places behind them. Surnames of those ancestors include Barnes, Barron, Cooledge, de Vincent, Hall, Palmer, Randall, Shattuck, Sherman, and Winship.

I wonder to how many exciting places and stories those new dead ends will soon lead?

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