Tennessee Drifter

Random Thoughts at Random Times


My dad died when I was 25 and before he died I never took much interest in family history.  Unfortunately, by the time my dad died his older brothers, two of his sisters, and both of his parents had all died.  Dad didn’t talk much about the past or family. Added to that, there wasn’t much in the way of photographs or documents to help me piece things together.

I found an address for someone with my last name from Mississippi and sent him a letter in an attempt to develop some information.  Without even knowing who I was he sent me his copy of a family history book that a distant cousin had self-published.  I’m not in the book, and neither is my father, but my grandfather is listed.

As I flipped through the book I found there a rich history that I never knew about. But one reason why my knowledge of our history was lacking was because my father’s father died when my dad was seven, and my dad never knew his grandfather.  With every death more and more of our history was lost.

Because of this family history book, I was able to learn that my father’s ancestors came to America in 1738 from what is now Germany and the first of my ancestors to live in Tennessee arrived in 1804 and settled in Coffee County.  Because of the Internet and a variety of website I have been able to add to information available in the family history book.

One of the things I learned, that I didn’t know before; my grandmother was my grandfather’s second wife.  My grandfather’s first wife died and he had two daughters.  I never once heard anything about my father’s half-sisters. Granddad married my grandmother who was much younger and she produced four sons and four daughters.

So much history…so little that I knew…

Our history is important, good and bad.  I worry about the current trend to destroy history that some people do not like.  Our history should be cherished…protected.






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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration.


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