I'd rather write about my dad—an amazing man of remarkable talents and boundless curiosity—but he is too close in time to be an ancestor. However, his family has a few gems in its background.
While my mom is a first-generation American, dad's family stretches back to before the dawn of the United States. Moving back in history through dad's maternal grandmother, we come in the mid-1700s to John Adam Treutlen. Of humble parentage, Treutlen fled Austria with his parents, heading for the religious freedom of Britain's American colonies, settling with other ex-pat Austrians in Georgia. Though he arrived as an indentured servant, his exceptional abilities were noticed, and he was sent to school. He initially became a school teacher, but then started a merchant business. He was appointed a justice of the peace, and then became a surveyor of roads, as the colony grew.
When the colonies began speaking of revolution, Treutlen was drawn to politics. He spent several terms in Georgia Commons House of Assembly in the early 1770s, and when war was immenent, he became one of the leaders of the revolutionary cause in Georgia. Treutlen strongly believed in the ideals of the American Revolution, especially those of equality and freedom. He was immensely popular in his home state and was elected the first governor of Georgia in 1777.
Though he survived the war, Treutlen did not survive peace. In 1782, he was murdered near his home. However, his name lives on, both among his descentants and in Treutlen County, Georgia.
There are no doubt other worthy ancestors who deserve to be memorialized, but I do not know their stories. This is the one I do know. As a historian with a love of the era in which Treutlen lived and acted, it is hard to not to consider him my most interesting ancestor.
Causes Cynthia Clampitt Supports
Feed the Hungry, Project Angel Tree, Wheels for the World, Feed the Poor