April 2021 - Flipbook - Page 26
TRACING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY CAN THROW UP BIG SURPRISES
ome years back I started tracing my family history and began with my father’s
family whose surname was Wannamaker. He was Canadian and at first there
was nothing unusual as I went back and back through the records until I got
to 1776 and found my Grandfather six generations back on the female side of
the family. His name was Russell Pitman and he was born in Vermont, USA. He
was an officer in Jessup’s King’s Loyal Americans Regiment. This meant that
he fought for the British in the American War of Independence. As a thank you
from George 3rd he was given land in the ‘new country’, which was Canada, and
he was one of the first settlers to cross over from America into Canada to start
a new life. The settlers were known as United Loyalists and entitled to put UL
after their names and this would continue right down their family line until this
day. Russell is mentioned in some Canadian History Books and I managed to find
a picture on the internet of his grave in Elmwood Cemetery, Corbyville, Hastings
County, Ontario, Canad, surrounded by railings and with a plaque detailing his
achievements. The land that George 3rd gifted to my family was still being farmed
by my grandfather in the 1980s.
I then came across William Latta who was my Grandfather six generations back
on the male side of the family. He served as a Regular soldier in The Turkey Creek
Regiment, fighting against the British in the American War of Independence. In
this instance future female members of William’s family would be recognized as a
Daughter of the American Revolution and entitled to put DR after their name.
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when John, son of William, and Susannah,
daughter of Russell, informed their parents that they had fallen in love and
wanted to get married. Don’t think it would have gone down well with either
Russell or William.
I did quite a bit of research and contacted both organisations to enquire
whether I was entitled to use these initials and after lots of bits of paper going
backwards and forwards across the pond, they informed me ‘yes’. Well this was
a quandary. If I put these letters after my name would anyone have any idea
what they stood for or would they make up their own definition. For example. UL
….Ugly Lady. As for DR… Definitely Ropy. After much thought I decided not to
bother however I cannot tell you how proud I was to know that somewhere in the
past my GGGGGG Grandfathers are part of history.
So just this once and never again I will sign off as...
Delia Taylor UL,DR