They came by ship and traveled by horse, buggies, wagon trains, in later years by trains and planes to places unknown and built their lives and their families. They are pioneers.
Until this week's episode of WDYTYA? which featured Kelsey Grammer I had never really thought about my ancestors as pioneers. Of course I have my immigrant ancestors but I never really thought about it very much with the exception of my paternal grandmother's Rich ancestors. I know of several pioneers in the Rich family.
My Mormon Pioneers are Apostle Charles Coulson Rich (1809-1883) and his five wives and his 50 children. Charles's parents, Joseph Rich and Nancy O'Neal Rich also joined the Mormon faith and followed him to Utah. Charles is my second cousin six times removed. He is a distant relation I know but his life fascinates me.
My seventh great paternal grandmother is Mary Boone Bryan (1736-1819) daughter of Squire Maugridge Boone (1696-1765) and Sarah Jarman Morgan Boone (1700-1777). Mary married Captain William Christopher Bryan (1734-1780). Mary Boone Bryan's brother Daniel Boone (1734-1820) married Captain Bryan's sister Rebecca Bryan (1739-1813) making them my seventh great uncle and aunt. Many of my Rich ancestors and allied families of Rich, Boone, Bryan, followed Daniel Boone from Pennsylvania, into Virgina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri.
Many of my children's paternal lineages are also pioneers. Their paternal grandmother's Rivers and Plowden lines trace back to England via the Caribbean Islands. The Rivers and Plowden lines started settling into South Carolina in the late 1600's. There are many of their ancestors who were French Huguenots who fled because of religious persecution.
Over the next several months I will be highlighting the pioneers of my family. I realize now that these pioneers are what shaped our families, they showed us where we come from, and they showed us their courage and perseverance to follow their path no matter where it lead them or what the consequences to themselves or their families might have been.
I hope that as I tell my ancestors stories I do them justice!