Ancestors: Sam, John & Will… Part 1: Sam

26 Jan

When I was just a little girl in Salisbury, NC two of my mom’s sisters thought it would be a wonderful idea to join that elite group of women known as The Daughters of the American Revolution.  Admission into the DAR included several specific conditions, not the least of which was having a direct blood link to some notable who was involved with the Revolutionary War. Yet another specification was being able to prove it.

And so my aunts embarked on an almost year long journey of research, attempting to find that lineage that would connect us directly to the American Revolution & grant them admission to The Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter of the Rowan County DAR. Elizabeth Maxwell Steele was a feisty tavern owner who played quite a role in the Revolutionary history of Salisbury, NC but that’s for another blog entry. Suffice it to say that she deserved to have a chapter of the DAR named in her honor.

In the days when Aunt Betsy & Aunt Robin were rummaging & rambling through the limbs & branches of our family tree, there were no computers & no internet to speed their research along & they had to rely on visits to courthouses, libraries & records kept in town halls in their attempt to find some blood connection of notability to the American Revolution. It was a long & difficult task but they never lost that energy that makes inquiring minds want to know, so committed were they to being members of the DAR.

My mom & her two remaining sisters could not have cared less but went along because they realized how much that special membership meant to Robin & Betsy.

Following that lengthy research, completed in spare time & on weekends that often involved traveling to nearby NC cities & digging through the records of out-of-town courthouses, they DID actually find that elusive ancestral connection that gave them an open-armed invitation to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. They were ecstatic & believed that they had finally “arrived.”

Dangling on the umbilical cord of the Rowan County chapter of the DAR was a chapter of the CAR … Children of the American Revolution. Riding high on the wave of their new membership, my aunts believed that since I shared the same lineage I should become a member of the CAR. And so it was that I spent one Saturday a month at a CAR meeting, held in conjunction with the DAR meeting just down the hall. I sat in my go-to-church clothes with my hands cupped one inside the other in my lap & never said a word. My one & only contribution was vital, however, as I opened every joint DAR & CAR meeting by singing the CAR Song.

I knew that my little girlfriends were playing somewhere, making mud pies & most likely eating them & that’s where I longed to be … but wasn’t.

I cannot remember the name or history of the ancestor whose presence so graciously allowed the women of my mother’s family membership into the DAR & maybe that’s not really important. They got in & that’s what is.

While climbing the limbs & shaking the branches of our family tree, Robin & Betsy inadvertently stumbled across a direct blood link that I found fascinating, mainly because of a movie that I was fanatic about at the time. They uncovered evidence that we … our family … were direct descendants of Sam Houston … the same Sam Houston who was mentioned in Davy Crockett, a popular Disney movie of the time.

Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett movie was all the rage for kids my age. I even had an artificial coon skin cap sold in retail stores to advertise the film & I seldom took it off. Finding out I was directly related to Sam Houston who was mentioned in that movie was the most exciting thing I could imagine.

I loved the part in the film where Crocket’s side-kick, Georgie,  played admirably  by Buddy Ebson,  made a last dying declaration to Davy Crocket consisting of, “Give ‘em what  fer, Davy”.

Sam Houston was a major player in parts of our American history & every time we read about him or he was mentioned when I was in school I was always overcome by an attack of pride. And I loved that he was mentioned, no matter how briefly, in Davy Crockett.

Because my mom’s sisters went on a pilgrimage to locate an ancestor that would ensure their admission into the Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter of the Rowan County Daughters of the American Revolution, I had been given a very personal slice of history. I will always be grateful to them for discovering our connection to Sam Houston & giving me many daydreaming hours of pure fantasy, especially during CAR meetings one Saturday a month. At those meetings I was dressed in church clothes but in my daydreams I wore a coon skin cap….

As a result, my two most favorite movies as a child were both Disney classics …Davy Crocket because of my shared blood line with Sam Houston who was mentioned in the movie & Old Yeller, with whom I shared no blood line at all.




7 Responses to “Ancestors: Sam, John & Will… Part 1: Sam”

  1. January 27, 2014 at 4:53 am #



  2. monkeys22013 January 28, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    Very interesting Linda. who knew you were into coon skinned


    • heimdalco January 28, 2014 at 12:47 am #

      My mom couldn’t get the doggone thing off me. I think she took it off after I went to sleep …LOL


      • heimdalco January 28, 2014 at 12:52 am #

        Since I wrote this I did a little digging & found out that Shadrach Stallings was our ancestor who served in the Revolutionary War. Took me no time to find that out through the internet. It took Aunts Betsy & Robin almost a year to find out the same thing.


  3. Anthony Moshonas January 28, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    Wow…Linda.. That was really interesting : ) ….Thanks for sharing …:)


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