On ancestors and immigrants

There are people in Canton, Mississippi today with the names of my mother and uncles: Elizabeth Lloyd, William Tilghman Lloyd. These are the descendants of that great-great-uncle who bought land for cotton in 1837, and my mother would be disturbed to discover they are still passing down these names.

While Mary Ellen Lloyd (sister of Daniel Lloyd, and a child at Wye House when Frederick Douglass was) was living in Maryland with William Tilghman Goldsborough I, my other great-great grandmother Henrietta Kahn was in St. Petersburg (Russian Empire) with Benjamin Moses Bary. Anna Wasserman, meanwhile, had arrived to the U.S. from Germany and was farming in Ohio with Gerhard Schroeder. Rose Angelsey, Mormon, was in Wales and about to embark for Utah, leaving my great-great grandfather John Angelsey behind. Helen Rowe (Roe), was a Baptist missionary in Bassein, Burma, with John Sidney Beecher (of the famous Beecher family). These last four of five known great-great-grandmothers are on my father’s side. At this level, just five generations back, only Mary Ellen Lloyd is known on my mother’s side.

I know the names of her parents and grandparents, but only of one set of great-grandparents (out of four). That set is the Tilghman-Goldsborough-Lloyd family. The others were more bourgeois, from Chicago, in pharmaceuticals and oil from what I understand, and they are English and German. The Beechers and my Maryland ancestors arrived in the 1630s and are the earliest, and The Bary/Kahn ancestors arrived in 1865 and are the latest. My great-grandfather Emil Benjamin Bary was entirely Ashkenazi by ancestry but was raised Christian and went to divinity school. He was not born in the United States and did not understand it. He lost his congregation in Bangor, Maine by telling them Jesus would integrate.

Study my great-great grandparents, and you will understand a very great deal about the long 19th century in this country. And my mother is English, Welsh and German, but American, and my father is German, Welsh, English, and more Eastern European and more Jewish than we knew, and we have become rather Mexican–and I am, of course, a skull on a stela at Copán.

Axé.

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